Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by Novato Accident Victim's Family Reaches Settlement

The family of a Novato girl who was killed by a vehicle received $1.12 million for their wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Novato, California.

$800,000 of the $1.12 million were paid by Tait North America, the employer of the driver who killed the victims, Hailey Ratliff, and Morningstar Farms, a horse stable near the scene of the accident. The City of Novato will pay for $30,000, and the remaining $290,000 will be covered by insurance.

Evidence that was discovered in the lawsuit revealed the driver of the vehicle, Samuel Lee boulware, was traveling 20 miles over the 45 mph speed limit when he hit and killed Hailey while she was riding her bicycle home on Sept. 27, 2012.

The Ratliff family insisted that Novato review speed and pedestrian safety on the road where the adjacent neighborhood does not offer proper foot access.

“We wanted two things: We wanted changes in the road and we wanted him prosecuted, and neither thing happened,” Angela Ratliff, Hailey's mother, said. “We grieve every day, still.”

Other families in the community agreed that the roads were in dangerous conditions.

In response to the City of Novato's agreement to evaluate the engineering and roadway conditions of the stree,t the Ratliff family said in a statement, “It is our hope that Novato's agreement to evaluate the engineering and roadway conditions will lead to a safer street for all of Novato's residents, particularly children, so that no family has to endure the lasting pain of losing a child.”