WTA Tour

Venus fights back over wrongful death suit

2017-07-27 10:55
Venus Williams (AP)

Cape Town - Venus Williams is fighting back against a wrongful death lawsuit that blames her for causing a car crash in Florida that killed a 78-year-old man.

Jerome Barson died after the car he was traveling in hit Williams’ vehicle at an intersection in Palm Beach Gardens on June 9. 

His wife Linda - who was driving the car - suffered several broken bones.

A police report initially blamed Williams for the accident, but subsequently released CCTV footage appeared to show that the Wimbledon finalist entered the intersection legally before being held up in the middle of the road due to another car blocking the way.

Documents obtained by the Daily Mail earlier this week show that Williams is contesting the case.

Not only does she deny causing the crash, but she is also blaming both passengers' injuries on their own negligence for failing to wear their seat belts. 

The Barsons are also being accused of failing to adequately maintain and repair their vehicle.

Williams and her legal team are demanding that the estate hand over all autopsy reports, the death certificate, copies of marriage certificates, tax returns for past five years, life insurance policies and health insurance policies. 

Furthermore, they are requesting copies of any photos pertaining to the accident, as well as Mr Barson's medical records for the past five years, all degrees and diplomas, as well as a list of available tissue, blood or fluid samples from the autopsy.

Mrs Barson's legal representatives have also requested extensive records, including security camera footage of the crash, her phone records, and her driving record for the past seven years.

The Daily Mail reports that Williams has opposed the Barsons' notice of production for her phone records.

"If Venus isn't guilty and she was driving with all due care and attention then why wouldn't she hand over those records?" a source with knowledge of the suit told the newspaper.

"If she was distracted by her phone at the time of the accident then negligence becomes an issue - and suddenly things could get a whole lot worse for her."

Police do not believe any drugs or alcohol was involved, nor do they believe anyone was distracted, but the matter remains under investigation by the authorities.

So far no one has been charged with any crime.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  venus williams  |  tennis


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