Automobile accident claims life of mother and children

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Case Type(s): Car Wrecks, Personal Injury

Type of Injury(ies): Death

Verdicts & Settlements:

Reprinted From: Morning Advocate, December 29, 1990 By: Mary Broussard, Westside BureauNEW ROADS - A district court judge has awarded three Baton Rouge residents a total of $2.8 million for a 1986 traffic accident in Pointe Coupee Parish that claimed the life of a 21-year-old pregnant woman and her 6-month-old daughter, court records show.The suit alleged the state of Louisiana and the state Department of Transportation and Development allowed a dangerous and hazardous road condition to exist and failed to take corrective action at the intersection of La. 1 and La. 16 near the community of Lakeland. The suit also alleged warning signals and traffic signs were not in place at the time of the accident, records show.Eighteenth Judicial District Judge Edward Engolio assessed the state and Cook Construction Co. each 40 percent of the fault in the May 25, 1985, accident, according to attorney Bobby Freeman, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.Engolio made his ruling earlier this month, but ordered a typewritten transcript of the judgment, which was filed in the Clerk of Court's Office on Friday.Robert Funderburk, who represented the state in the civil proceedings, could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. A secretary said he was on vacation. The telephone operator said his home phone number was unpublished.Cook Construction Co., which was doing overlay and shoulder work on the road at the time of the accident, settled its claim before Engoilo's judgment, Freeman said.Driver Mark Gnagie, who filed the lawsuit following the deaths of his pregnant wife and their 6-month-old daughter, was found 20 percent at fault in connection with the accident, Freeman said.Gnagie was in his 1971 Pinto and proceeding south on La. 1 at the intersection when he collided with an oncoming vehicle, Freeman said. His wife, Dana Gnagie, was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said. Their daughter, Ashly Gnagie, died later at a Baton Rouge hospital, troopers said.Surviving passengers in the Gnagie car, Danny and Shona Watts, also filed suit in connection with injuries they received, court records show.Gnagie was awarded $650,000 in general damages, $211,950 in loss of future wages, $87,065 in medical expenses and $30,000 for future medical expenses, Freeman said.The judge also awarded Gnagie $600,000 for the wrongful death of his wife and $75,000 for the couple's unborn fetus, Freeman said. Dana Gnagie was three and one-half months pregnant at the time of her death, court records show.He also was awarded $250,000 for the wrongful death of Ashly Gnagie, $35,000 for her suffering before she died and $9,917 in medical expenses. Freeman said.The judge granted Danny Watts $408,754 for future loss of wages, $350,000 in general damages, $55,893 for past medical expenses and $15,000 for future medical expenses, Freeman said.Shona Watts was awarded $10,000 in general damages and $428 for medical expenses, Freeman said.