Auto-pedestrian collision caused woman to give birth prematurely, suit alleges

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 26, 2013, 9:22am

GALVESTON - A local woman claims she, her son and unborn child were involved in an auto-pedestrian accident almost two years ago, recent court documents say.

In a lawsuit filed March 21 in Galveston County District Court, Candy Piel pins responsibility for the May 3, 2011, incident on New Port Richey, Fla., resident Nathan Bennett Matthews. 

Piel says that she was standing next to a shopping cart with her 1-year-old child in the seat in the parking lot of the La Marque Wal-Mart when Matthews's vehicle "negligently" collided with the cart.

According to the plaintiff, the impact knocked the cart over and caused the boy to hit his head on the pavement.

The boy was then taken by ambulance to the adjacent Gulf Greyhound Park where a Life Flight helicopter picked him up and flew him to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

The original petition adds that Piel, who was several months pregnant at the time, went into premature labor "having witnessed such a traumatic incident."

"The plaintiff did not know if her son was going to live or die," the suit says.

"The plaintiff was in close proximity to her son, in the 'zone of danger' in relation to him, and had contemporaneous perception, both visual and audible, of the injuries her child sustained due to the impact and collision and the resulting injuries."

Piel also asserts that she suffered "severe emotional trauma and mental anguish" following the accident.

She blames Matthews for failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to give warning and failing to be attentive.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Attorney John Farneti Jr. of Houston is representing Piel.

Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Michelle Slaughter is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. 13-CV-440

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