Insurer to Pay $300,000 in Michigan Scared-to-Death Case

By ED WHITE | May 28, 2015

An insurance company has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit over the death of an 85-year-old man who may have been scared to death before his car slammed into a tractor-trailer in suburban Detroit.

The settlement ends a dispute over the opinion of Dr. Werner Spitz, who said Abdulla Kassem’s heart attack could have been caused by a “fear of impending doom,” just before the 2008 crash in Dearborn. There was no autopsy.

Kassem’s family sued the trucking company, Efficient Hauling Services, saying the truck’s rear lights weren’t visible.

The Michigan appeals court said a jury could consider Spitz’ theory, although a cardiologist called it “silly.” An appeal of that decision was pending at the state Supreme Court when the lawsuit was settled this month.

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