In 2008, 22 year old Elvia Collado, a counselor for developmentally disabled kids, was killed in a car accident that was senseless and preventable. Elvia was a passenger in her boyfriend, Waldo Vargas', auto. Tragically, Waldo Vargas was intoxicated and lost control of the vehicle on a major parkway, striking a tree and killing Elvia who was a front seat passenger wearing a seat belt.
Ambulance personnel responded quickly. Elvia was pulled from the car and rushed to the hospital where doctors prepared her for surgery. With Elvia's massive internal injuries, doctors raced against time to determine the extent of her injuries and stop the internal bleeding. Sadly, Elvia could not be saved and was pronounced dead three hours after arriving at the hospital.
As administrator of her daughter’s estate, Elvia’s mother brought a lawsuit against Vargas seeking damages for her daughter’s pre-death conscious pain and suffering.The defendant answered the lawsuit denying liability. However, multiple eyewitness accounts refuted his claims and had Vargas traveling up to 100 mph.
With regard to pain and suffering, Vargas attorney argued that Ms. Collado was unconscious and unresponsive to pain and therefore he suggested an award of zero.