A judge approved a death settlement this week reached by parties connected to a 2017 vehicle crash in Shenandoah County blamed for a woman’s death months later.
The petition for approval of the death settlement provides details of the crash. Karey Mullins drove a 2009 Ford Fusion at approximately 10:12 a.m., Jan. 6, 2017, westbound on West Reservoir Road near the Interstate 81 interchange. The Ford collided with a vehicle driven by Brenda Lee Greenfield and turning left on to West Reservoir Road from the I-81 southbound exit ramp.
Greenfield sustained injuries in the crash that resulted in her death more than six months later, on July 27, 2017, according to the petition.
Authorities issued Mullins a summons to appear in Shenandoah County General District Court on an infraction of failing to obey a traffic signal. Mullins paid a $100 fine, according to court records.
Jodie Greenfield Hartment, administrator of Greenfield’s estate, claimed in the petition that Mullin’s negligence ultimately led to Greenfield’s death. In the settlement, Mullins did not admit or imply any liability or negligence related to Greenfield’s death. Greenfield’s estate did not file any lawsuit against Mullins related to the crash. Rather, parties reached the settlement agreement.
Luray attorney Charles A. Butler Jr. represented Hartman as administrator of Greenfield’s estate in the settlement agreement. Ashley H. Waterbury and Daniel L. Fitch, of the Harrisonburg firm Wharton, Aldhizer and Weaver, represented Mullins and USAA Casualty Insurance Company.
The filing lists Hartman and her two sons as Greenfield’s survivors and beneficiaries. The petition states that the older son is an infant with special needs and a Medicaid recipient. Parties also filed an infant settlement agreement of the older son’s claims arising from the crash as a passenger in Greenfield’s vehicle. The petition goes on to seek a portion of the settlement proceeds to be paid to Hartman and held in trust for the older son.
Mullins’ liability policy with USAA Casualty Insurance Company included a $25,000 liability limit for bodily injury applicable to the claim, the petition notes.
The agreement reached by the parties identified in the petition calls for USAA to settle any claims connected to Greenfield’s death by paying $25,000 -- the liability limit of Mullins’ insurance policy -- to the survivors.
The petition further identifies how Hartman would spend the portions of the proceeds as Greenfield’s estate administrator. Almost $11,000 would go to cover funeral expenses, attorneys’ fees and other costs. The remaining amount just over $14,000 would be split evenly among the survivors.