Palm Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Polo Mogul John Goodman Can Proceed Even With Criminal Case Unresolved, Says Judge

Circuit Court Judge Glenn Kelley says that the Palm Beach wrongful death lawsuit against polo club founder John Goodman can proceed. In issuing his ruling, Kelley denied Goodman’s motion to postpone the civil lawsuit until the criminal case against him is resolved.

Goodman is charged with vehicular manslaughter, DUI manslaughter, and leaving the scene of a crash in the Palm Beach County car accident death of Scott Wilson. Wilson died early on February 24 when his Hyundai Sonata was hit by Goodman, who ran a stop sign. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reports that Goodman’s Bentley convertible was traveling at about 28 mph above the speed limit when he struck Wilson’s vehicle. The impact of the collision caused Wilson’s auto to turn over into a canal. The 23-year-old then proceeded to drown.

Meantime, the polo magnate allegedly fled the Palm Beach County traffic crash site and did not notify police about the accident for close to an hour. Even hours after the collision, Goodman’s BAC was 0.177, which is two times the legal driving limit.

In their South Florida wrongful death complaint, Wilson’s parents accuse Goodman of not only driving drunk but also of making “no effort whatsoever to come to the aid of Scott Patrick Wilson.” They claim that even while knowing that their son was drowning, Goodman was making “telephone calls to friends and lawyers to protect himself from prosecution.”

Drunk Driving Accidents
Driving while under the influence of alcohol can impair a motorist’s judgment, slow his/her reflexes and ability to react to an emergency situation, and cause a person to act in a manner that he/she might not have otherwise when sober. That said, one’s actions, regardless of intent, do have consequences. A drunk driver end up in jail for causing injuries or deaths to others. He/She can also be held liable for Palm Beach personal injury or wrongful death.

Judge: Wrongful-death suit against polo mogul Goodman can go to trial in May, even with DUI manslaughter case unfinished, The Palm Beach Post, November 3, 2010
Dead man’s parents sue Goodman, polo club and bar in fatal Wellington crash, Sun-Sentinel, April 29, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Impaired Driving, NHTSA
Mothers Against Drunk Driving