Waco: Wrongful death lawsuit ends before testimony begins

Emily Springer. (Family photo)
Emily Springer. (Family photo)(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 20, 2017 at 12:15 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A trial in a wrongful death lawsuit that lawyers said would last all week ended abruptly Tuesday morning after lawyers told the judge the parties had reached a settlement.

Lawyers for Visiting Angels and Emily Springer’s family reached the resolution before testimony was to begin in the trial on Tuesday morning.

Lawyers for both sides issued a joint news release after the announcement.

“Visiting Angels and the family of Emily Springer have agreed to resolve their dispute outside of court.

“The Springer family acknowledges that prior to the accident that injured her, Ms. Springer had received compassionate care.

“At the same time, Visiting Angels certainly regrets that Ms. Springer was injured while in its care.

“As a result of Emily Springer’s case, there will be greater protection for the elderly and additional measures have been taken to reduce the risk of similar transportation accidents.

“These protective measures include the purchase of safety harnesses for transporting the elderly and disabled; mandatory safety seminars for caregivers using the transportation van; increased supervision over all caregivers; and stringent hiring practices that include active and comprehensive driving records checks on caregivers that could possibly be transporting clients.

“Both parties are pleased that the outcome of Emily Springer’s case will result in Visiting Angels continuing to provide exceptional care,” The statement said.

Springer died four months after she was injured in a vehicle accident that involved a Visiting Angels van when the van’s driver, Aimi Salazar, slammed on her brakes at a local intersection, which threw the 96-old woman into the dashboard and caused what eventually proved to be fatal injuries.

Salazar has been indicted in Springer’s death but the criminal matters have not yet been heard in court.

The district attorney, however, says “our office’s obligation in seeing that justice is done is not affected by a settlement in a civil case,” and that his office is continuing to process the case and will see it to completion.

The lawsuit explains that Salazar failed to properly secure Springer’s seat in the van and that resulted in her being thrown from the seat into the van’s dashboard.

Springer died Aug. 14, 2014, four months after she was injured.

Details of the settlement were not made public.

Springer’s lawyer said the judge ordered all parties to not disclose details of the case.