Settlement in suit over fatal crash
Posted: December 4, 2012
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — The ex-wife of a deceased Frederick County Sheriff’s Office deputy has settled with his estate for $500,000 in a wrongful death suit after one of their daughters was killed in a car accident in 2009.
The estate of Richard F. “Ricky” Brill, which is being administered by his sister, Debbie C. Grim, was sued by Caroline Sue Smith — who is serving as the administrator of the estate of 11-year-old Kaitlyn Nicole Brill.
That suit was filed Nov. 29, 2011, in Winchester Circuit Court.
Smith and Brill were divorced at the time of the crash.
On Dec. 14, 2009, Brill and his daughter died when his 1985 Chrysler Laser, headed west on Shawnee Drive, slid into the opposing lane as he rounded the banked turn near the entrance to American Woodmark and collided head-on with a Frederick County school bus.
Brill was taking Kaitlyn to James Wood Middle School.
Neither Brill nor his daughter was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to police.
Brill’s other daughter, 8-year-old Kristi, who survived the wreck, was a passenger in the back seat and was wearing a seat belt. She sustained minor injuries.
Police suspect icy road conditions were the main cause of the crash.
The lawsuit states that Brill exceeded a reasonable speed under the existing conditions and failed to keep a proper lookout, apply his brakes on time, give full attention and keep his car under control.
He also violated his common law duty as a parent by “placing Kaitlyn unsecured in an extreme injury risk location, while knowing that such placement would be catastrophic” if there was an accident, according to the lawsuit.
Smith was seeking $1.25 million to pay for funeral and medical costs.
According to the lawsuit, she and her daughters also sustained severe mental anguish at the loss of Kaitlyn.
All parties involved agreed to a full and final settlement of $500,000, according to court documents filed Friday in Winchester Circuit Court.
The money will be distributed as follows: $78,972.09 in attorney fees and costs to James A. Klenkar, $316,027.91 to Smith and $15,000 to Latisha Beth Brill — Kaitlyn’s sister.
The remaining $90,000 will be distributed evenly to Kaitlyn’s sisters Kristi Lynn Brill and Ayana Nicole Detamore, according to court documents.
The settlement does not preclude, according to the documents, Kristi Lynn Brill from pursuing her own personal injury claim arising out of the crash.
Richard Brill worked as a Frederick County Sheriff’s Office deputy for almost 20 years.
He left in 2008, and was working as a security guard at Winchester Medical Center at the time of the accident.
— Contact Melissa Boughton at firstname.lastname@example.org