Motorist struck by triathlete wins verdict for "Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress"

on the local college Campus. The triathlete smashed into the passenger’s side of the car, shattering the glass and knocking fragments onto the driver. The cyclist, racing in the second leg of the triathlon, was heard gasping for breath at the scene. The triathlete was rushed to the local hospital but died there shortly after the impact.

The driver suffered no physical injuries. Apparently, there were no cuts or bruises from the broken glass. The bike crash caused no outward, objective injuries. There was nothing that could be seen, felt or heard that was different about her body after the bike crash. However, the expert witnesses in the case testified that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the fatal bike crash. The lawsuit was filed seeking damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress resulting from the bike crash that killed the triathlete and the glass that hit her.

At trial, the plaintiff presented no evidence of special (itemized) damages other than the $2,300 cost of repairing her car after this triathlon bike crash. The driver, the counselor and the psychiatrist gave evidence as to her nightmares, insomnia, fatigue and an inability to focus as the result of the trauma of the fatal bicycle accident. The lawsuit was filed against the race sponsor and director, and not the deceased triathlete. The Circuit Court jury’s verdict was for $350,000 and post-trial motions to set aside the verdict are pending. For additional vehicle crash, intersection, emotional distress and injury cases, go to the Triathlon Trial Lawyer’s law firm website at

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