Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Dean Brett’s client Amar Dosanjh was killed while on the job, and the defendant, Baljit Bhatti, who was killed in the same accident, was Mr. Dosanjh’s employee, hired as a co-driver in his long haul trucking company. Bhatti negligently drove off the road, rolled the truck and killed both himself and Amar.
Dean faced a real challenge as he launched a wrongful-death claim for Amar’s widow. Dean knew that the jury might not be sympathetic because of the circumstance that the marriage had been arranged. In fact, Malkiat Dosanjh was sent to Vancouver to marry Amar Dosanjh by her parents, and she had not met her husband-to-be until she walked down the aisle.
Dean met this challenge by presenting the jury with information and witnesses to support the concept and traditional success of arranged marriages in Sikh culture, and by providing witnesses who demonstrated that the couple’s marriage was a strong and supportive one.
The jury returned a verdict totaling $800,000: $75,000 each to the widow, the son and the daughter, $75,000 in pain and suffering in anticipation of death, and $500,000 in lost earning capacity.
The verdict was thus several-fold greater than the largest personal injury or wrongful death verdict ever before recovered in Kittitas County.