Family of Grandma Killed by BMW Asked to Pay for Damages to Car

Say What!? 35

BMWTalk about adding insult to injury. Five months after a Long Island, New York grandma, Anna Cedeno, was killed while walking home from a local Costco, the insurance company, PURE, of the driver had the nerve to send a letter to Cedeno's family. And get this ... the letter demanded that her family pay $6,245 in damages to repair the very car that ran her over and killed her. 

Anna Cedeno, a 70-year-old cancer survivor, was walking to catch a bus home when she was hit by a passing BMW. She died two hours later from injuries sustained in the accident. The driver of the car didn't even receive a citation because Anna Cedeno was jaywalking. Apparently in Long Island, jaywalking is a more serious crime than vehicular manslaughter.

More from The Stir: 19-Month-Old Shot to Death in Crib While Mom Was Unloading Gun

Cedeno's daughter, Monica, was going to attempt to sue the driver for negligence, but before she could take action, the driver's insurer, PURE, sent its own letter. "Our investigation shows that your client was responsible for the accident. We now look to your client’s estate for payment of the damages to our policyholder’s vehicle." 

This is crazy! In the first place, why would any insurance company seek damages on behalf of a driver who killed a pedestrian? Last I checked, jaywalking was not an offense punishable by death. You've got to have balls the size of Texas to ask for money after you just committed vehicular manslaughter. I say the BMW driver should consider herself lucky that she wasn't charged with manslaughter and shrink away quietly, maybe take a defensive driving course or two.

It’s not common practice for an insurance company to seek damages from victims, even when the victim is at fault, in an accident. But since then, PURE has retracted its unconscionable request.

What do you think about suing a dead victim’s family for damages done to the assailant’s weapon?

Image via marcp_dmoz/Flickr

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Reali... RealityCheckNow

I live in an area with A LOT of jay walkers.  They just strut across the street in the dark with dark clothing on no where near a pedestrian crosswalk.  They are in the same category as bikers who have moaned and complained for years that they should be able to use the streets (even though they don't go anywhere near the speed limit) and don't bother to follow the rules of the road.  If one gets hit, they have to take responsibility for their decisions.  Jay walking isn't an offense punishable by death but it can be a natural consequence of poor decision making. The rules are there for a reason.  It is impossible to be a good driver and never get into an accident when everyone around you is making up their own rules.

Marcella Shambles

Agree with reality - it's sad she died, but she was at fault. It would be very big of the owner and/or the insurance company to drop it, but legally her estate is responsible.

cmjaz cmjaz

I am a bit confused about the lack of details. Was she crossing at night? Did she step out in front of the car? Was the car speeding? I linked to the other article but it didn't say either. In any case, its terribly sad that she died. Jaywalking is illegal for this reason. Its very dangerous to try to outrun a car. The police mustve had evidence that the lady driving the car was not given enough time to stop or swerve to miss the elderly lady. And that's why she was not citated. Very sad all around. I'm sure the woman who hit the elderly lady feels traumatized as well. She didn't leave the house that day thinking she would end someones long life.

nonmember avatar zizzler

I agree with the other posters that if you're jaywalking, you can be at fault if a car hits you. Obviously the police agreed if they didn't cite the driver of the car (had the driver been speeding etc, the case might be different). It's not as though you can just plow down anyone jaywalking, but I feel for the driver. Sometimes people just jump right out in front of you. And of course the insurance company is asking the woman's estate to pay for the repairs, she was the one who took illegal action and caused the damage. It's terrible that she died, but that doesn't make the cost of the damage to the car disappear.

Flori... Floridamom96

1. This was clearly not vehicular manslaughter. Way to totally slander the driver and sensationalize your story.

2. Also way to totally leave out that the insurance company rescinded the request and apologized saying it should never have been sent.

And I got all that from simply following the link you provided. Crappy job, Deborah.

nonmember avatar Kay

I wonder if Deborah left out the part about "...should have never been sent." because thats clearly BS. The text reads 'we look to your client's estate'.... umm, thats clearly not an automated response. Estate means, yeah, this person is dead and we want some of what she left behind. Someone thought about it, typed it and sent that letter out. Don't give us the BS about its not your position and we rescind. It was cruel and they probably sent it when they got wind that the 'estate' was looking to sue their company and they decided to act first.


Why are you talking such nonsense?Why should the driver be charged?It wasn't a hit and run,the negligence was on the one jay walking.You're not suppose to jay walk for a reason.

nonmember avatar kaerae

Nothing insurance companies do surprises me. That being said, we really can't judge this without more info. Yes, jaywalking is illegal, but was the driver also distracted, speeding, on a cell phone? Realistically, there is fault to go around.

sterl... sterling21

There is no way to safely jaywalk thats why its illegal, thers is no way to safely speed that's why its illegal, there is no way to safely ride a bicycle on the side walk that's why its illegal. Have any of the posters ever done anything of those things? It's illegal to enter the crosswalk if any person is walking,no matter how close to the other side they are. We all use poor judgement, but it does not make a person worthy of death. A good freind of mine died in a car crash when she was pregnant, she forgot to buckle her seat belt, the ordeal was horrid, but I would never shrug my shoulders and say it was her fault. Weird that everyone on cafemom, have never ever ever made a poor judgement call.

curio... curious1145

Floridamom,you owe an apology to Deborah. Next to last sentence of her article ends with,"PURE has retracted its unconscionable request."

Anyway, this is tragic and added salt to the wound of the victim's family. However,it was determined that it was the victim's fault. She may have just darted into traffic out of nowhere. The driver shouldn't automatically be charged with vehicular homicide just to make the family feel better. Her estate should be charged. The law doesn't go by compassion. I did think the driver was always at fault though when striking a pedestrian,but I guess not. They shouldn't be if the pedestrian exhibits extreme negligence and the driver doesn't as seems to be the case here.

Sterling, no one is saying they themselves haven't made a poor judgement call. That doesn't mean we never should place the blame on anyone who does. What sense does that make?

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