American furniture retail store chain, Art Van Furniture Inc., has reportedly an accident lawsuit for $1.37 million. The lawsuit was a result of a traffic accident involving one of its trucks on July 1st, 2013. A Michigan couple was killed in the accident, following which the couple’s heirs filed a lawsuit through the accident attorneys. Art Van Furniture operates 37 stores across Michigan and several in other states including six stores in the Chicago area.
A fiery end on the I-75
According to reports, the Michigan based company paid $1.37 to settle the lawsuit that killed 34-year-old Lonny Moore, Jr., and his 25-year-old wife Kari Michelle Hinspeter. Their son, Jayce Moore, who was only five-month’s old at the time of the accident, is reportedly the beneficiary of the settlement. The Durand couple who planned to get married spent a night out in downtown Detroit and was on the way to pick up their 5-month old from Kari’s sister when the Art Van semi-truck tractor trailer rear ended their car at top speed on the I-75.
Their Pontiac was trapped under the semi-truck and dragged down the highway. The vehicle burst into flames, killing the couple in a horrendous death. Accident attorneys representing the heirs of the couple claimed that the driver was not paying attention to and was speeding. Firefighters reported their inability to see the car until most of the flames were put out.
Delay in investigations due to dental record check
According to police, the couple’s bodies were charred and unidentifiable, which also resulted in a delay in investigations by the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office due to a dental records check. Lonnie died from multiple injuries while Kari’s is said to have died from thermal injuries caused by the fire, and blunt force head trauma.
According to Oakland County Chief Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic, dental records are a standard procedure when victims cannot otherwise be identified by their family or when fingerprints or DNA check from blood samples are not available.
Witness reports
The driver of the Art Van semi-truck suffered minor injuries. He alleges that the truck skidded and jack-knifed, prior to catching fire. He remembered getting out of the vehicle but claims to have been unaware of rear-ending a car. A witness who saw the Pontiac prior to the accident said the driver was at a slow speed along the highway with the hazard lights on. During the trial, the defense argued that the couple’s car experienced mechanical problems, which was never proved.
Separate confidential settlements
Ironically, as per Lonnie Moore’s mother, her son was employed as a truck driver. He had four children from a previous marriage, of which one was autistic. None of the five children will ever see their father again. Art Van Vice President and General Counsel Mike Zambricki said the crash was unfortunate and there was no way to determine what actually happened. A separate confidential settlement has been made with Kari Hinspeter’s family. According to Zambricki, the parties reached an amicable settlement through court ordered mediation.
It seems there is a strong chance that the couple’s car having operational difficulty could be the reason this wreck occurred. It may not have been the company’s fault at all.

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