UVM Pays $325,000 in Fatal Vermont Car Crash

Back in November, 2001 three IBM employees were on their way to work in Essex Junction, Vermont when Theodore Pecor, age 25, veered into their lane of travel on Route 15. Lyman Dezotell Jr., 44, of Derby Line, Dean Fountain, 69, of Newport, and Kevin Baker, 44, of Coventry, all died in the crash. Although, at first, this may seem like a typical car accident based on the negligence of Theodore. Pecor, it wasn’t. Theodore Pecor was a college student who had been participating in a study at the University of Vermont. The purpose of the study was to determine ways to help drug addicts overcome opiate additions through medication other than methadone. Therefore, as part of the study, Pecor was given buprenorphine, two hours prior to the crash. It was determined that Pecor fell asleep at the wheel due to the sedative effects of the drug. The families of the victims claim that the researchers didn’t war Pecor about the sedative effects of buprenorphine. Although UVM had denied any liability thus far, Baker's widow, Ann Baker, won an $800,000 settlement last December and UVM agreed to pay $325,000 this past week. UVM was quoted as saying the settlements were "essentially a business decision based on the high costs of litigating cases of this nature and the prospect of even more significant costs associated with such cases going to trial." If you are wondering what happened to Pecor, he pleaded no contest to grossly negligent operation with death resulting and was sentenced to three to 15 years in prison.

Van Dorn & Curtiss frequently represents families of car accident victims. If you would like to find out more about these types of accidents, injuries, insurance claims, etc. visit our wrongful death and automobile accidents pages of our website. If you have been in an accident and are not sure what steps you should take to protect your rights, visit our Auto Accident Checklist For Negligence Claims for more information.

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