This matter has since been settled to our clients’ satisfaction.
Worcester, Massachusetts — A lawsuit has been filed in Worcester County Superior Court for the wrongful death of Elizabeth Jean Hill, 21, who was struck and killed by a snow plow in February. Her parents, Glen Hill and Jill Humann, filed the lawsuit yesterday against a commercial landscaping and snow management company and the company’s owner and driver.
It was a Friday evening on February 20, 2015, and Elizabeth Hill had just finished her work shift at the Market Basket Supermarket located in Wallace Plaza, Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She decided to walk the short distance to her home on Summer Street where she lived with her father, stepmother, and siblings.
Elizabeth exited the Market Basket and walked along the strip’s storefronts on the adjacent sidewalk until she reached the edge of the building at the Bank of America ATM machine. She then crossed the parking lot to turn right onto Upham Street, a short distance from its intersection with John Fitch Highway.
As Elizabeth lawfully walked along Upham Street, she was suddenly and violently struck from behind by the blade of a Fisher MC series snow plow mounted on a 2014 International Terrastar truck with attached trailer.
Minutes after the snow plow incident, Elizabeth was rushed to Leominster Hospital with hypotension, hemorrhagic and neurogenic shock and traumatic brain injury. She was immediately airlifted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. Her father, Glen, who had seen Elizabeth off to work earlier that day, was relaxing at home when a police officer knocked on the door to inform him of the accident.
Glen gathered his wife, Beth, and other children, then called Elizabeth’s mother, Jill, who lived in nearby Brockton. He and his family then frantically drove the 30 miles to UMass, where an emergency team was working furiously to save Elizabeth’s life.
Once the family arrived at the hospital, the attending physician informed Glen that his daughter was in poor condition with little brain activity. The doctor wanted to perform an extraordinary emergency procedure, to which Glen consented.
Elizabeth was urgently admitted to neurosurgery for a right frontoparietal temporal craniectomy, evacuation of the subdural hematoma, and duraplasty (suture of synthetic patch over the exposed brain). Tragically, this extreme procedure could not save Elizabeth’s life, and it became evident that further surgery would not be lifesaving.
While Elizabeth was still barely clinging to life, her family was approached by personnel from the New England Organ Bank to discuss organ donation. Despite barely grasping the terrible realization that their daughter was dying, Glen and Jill resolved that Elizabeth would have chosen to give the gift of life to others and agreed to allow their daughter to become an organ donor. The next day at around 4:32 p.m., Elizabeth was pronounced dead, and her organs were donated to the New England Organ Bank.