Summary: In recently filed legal documents, Venus Williams said that she is not responsible for the death of Jerome Barson.
Tennis superstar Venus Williams has responded to the wrongful death lawsuit filed against her by the family of Jerome Barson, 78.
Last month, Williams was involved in a fatal car crash in Florida. At first, the police deemed her at fault for running a red light, but surveillance video showed that she had actually lawfully entered the intersection at a green light but was stopped there due to another car.
“Based on the evidence obtained in the ongoing investigation, it has been determined the vehicle driven by Venus Williams lawfully entered the intersection on a circular green traffic signal, and attempted to travel north through the intersection to Ballen Isles Drive,” a Palm Beach Gardens Police Department stated. “As Williams was traveling through the intersection, a Nissan Altima entered the intersection traveling south, and made a left turn in front of Williams’ vehicle, causing her to stop advancing through the intersection to avoid a collision.”
While stopped, Williams was then T-boned by a car driven by Jerome Barson’s wife, Linda.
Jerome Barson died from injuries sustained in the June 9th accident, and Linda said that she suffered injuries as well. She sued Williams after the police first stated the tennis player was at fault.
Now that police have changed their stance, Williams has served a response. In her documents, the tennis pro said that the injuries Linda and Jerome suffered were their own fault due to their lack of wearing seatbelts and their inadequately maintained vehicle.
E! News said that in the documents Williams denied liability for Jerome’s death. He was riding passenger as his wife Linda drove her 2016 Hyundai Accent that rammed into Williams’ 2010 Toyota Sequoia in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
In Linda’s original filing, she said that the crash had cracked her sternum and broke her right arm. Williams said that those injuries were not severe enough to be awarded damages in the state of Florida.
Williams is represented by lawyer Kevin Yombor. The Barson family is represented by Michael Streinger.
According to USA Today, Barson’s attorneys said that the couple were wearing seatbelts and had diagnostic information from the vehicle to support that claim.
“The black box download that the police department retrieved and the investigation they conducted on the scene on the accident both prove both Mr. and Mrs. Barson were wearing their seat belt at the time of impact,” Vivian Gomez, a spokeswoman for Barson’s lawyers, said.
After the accident, Williams wrote on Facebook, “I am devastated and heartbroken by this accident. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Jerome Barson and I continue to keep them in my thoughts and prayers.”
The Barson family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
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