Billionaire Jacqueline Mars Pleads Guilty to Reckless Driving In Fatal Virginia Auto Crash

Bloomberg news reported on December 6, 2013 that Jacqueline Badger Mars, a co-owner of Virginia based, Mars Inc. candy company, pled guilty to reckless driving. The billionaire was involved in a car accident in Northern Virginia that caused the death of an 86-year old woman. Ms. Mars pled guilty to reckless driving, a misdemeanor. Ms. Mars’ net worth of $23.5 billion comes from her 1/3 interest in the Mars company based in McLean, Virginia. Mars is the second largest candy maker in the world. Mars makes Milky Way, Snickers, and M&Ms.

There were six occupants in the minivan that Ms. Mars struck. The occupant who was killed was not wearing a seatbelt. The driver of the van also suffered the loss of the unborn child she was carrying. Ms. Mars, who was driving a 2004 Porsche Cayenne, has shown remorse for the accident. She admitted that she fell asleep while driving. No civil lawsuits have been filed yet, in part because Ms. Mars has been helping with the initial bills.

This type of case is illustrative of some of the issues that a skilled wrongful death attorney will review with the victims of an accident.

Who Can Bring a Claim?

  • The occupants who were hurt but weren’t killed could bring their own claim against Ms. Mars. The driver’s claim would take into account the fact that she lost her unborn child in the accident. That fact alone could give the claim a very high value.
  • An interesting question is whether a wrongful death claim could be brought directly on behalf of the unborn child. Some states require that the child be legally “viable.” Virginia, prior to 2012, did not allow a mother to bring a wrongful death claim in such an instance. As of 2012, the law for wrongful death claims on behalf of unborn children in Virginia changed. It would appear that a claim could be brought even if the child wasn’t viable.
  • The family of the 86- year-old woman would be allowed to bring a claim.
  • Moreover, in Virginia, whether or not one was wearing a seatbelt at the time of a car accident is not admissible in a Civil Claim for any purpose.

Joe Miller Handles Wrongful Death Cases

When a loved one is killed in an accident, the consequences will be surely traumatic and lasting. Family members often describe the horrific hole that is left in their lives when a dear family member is suddenly ripped away from them. If you have lost a loved one in an accident, you need a skilled personal injury lawyer on your side who knows how to fight for the families of wrongful death victims. For the experienced, caring assistance you need contact Norfolk attorney Joe Miller at Joe Miller Law, Ltd., by calling (888) 694-1671 or contact him online at www.JoeMillerInjuryLaw.com to discuss your North Carolina or Virginia wrongful death claim. Joe Miller will investigate your case and either negotiate a fair settlement or take your case before a judge or jury.