Louisville Woman Charged with Murder After Drunk Driving Accident

11/17/2008

Accourding to the Courier Journal,  Emily A. Hall, a 20 year old Louisville, Kentucky woman was charged with murder and drunken driving Thursday after causing a fatal car wreck on the Watterson Expressway.
According to the Louisville Metro Police Department, "Hall was driving a car while under the influence when she swerved into the path of a tractor-trailer on the interstate near Taylorsville Road just before 2 a.m. Thursday. The two vehicles collided and the truck hit a pole holding an interstate sign, splitting the truck in half," police said. Abram Reimer, 53, of Ontario, was in the sleeping compartment of the tractor-trailer and was killed when he was thrown from the truck.
What is most is disturbing is that, according to court records, this is the second time Hall has been charged with driving under the influence this year. I have looked at her other records and she has also had multiple speeding tickets in addition to the DUI charges.
Typically, punitive damages aren't available in most car wreck; however, here, punitive damages can be awarded for Hall's conduct because she was driving drunk.  Because this is not her first arrest, the prior DUI arrest will likely be admissible as well, what is less clear is whether her three speeding tickets come in as well.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer, as opposed to compensatory damages, such as mental and physical emotional distress and past and future lost wages, which are meant to reimburse the Estate for its loss. Unfortunately, most automobile insurance polices do NOT cover punitve damages, so if a jury awards them, the family will have to try to recover them from Ms. Hall.  That may not be possible since she is only 20 and likely doesn't have any significant assests.  This may mean that the family is limited to recovery what ever insurance Ms. Hall has and nothing more. In Kentucky, most people only carry the minimum legally required amount of $25,000. That amount can hardly be called "compensation."

Hans Poppe