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$1.85 Million Arbitration Award for Navy Veteran Killed in Collision with Box Truck

A $1.85 million settlement was reached for the death of a Navy veteran who was killed in a motorcycle accident with a box truck.

Plaintiff’s descendant, Wyatt Mankins, a 24-year-old US Navy sailor, was riding his motorcycle on Viriginia Beach Blvd. The individual defendant was driving a corporate defendant’s 2021 Ford F550. He was approaching Mankins from the opposite direction. The defendant made a left turn across the lanes in which Mankins was traveling. Mankins was forced to lay down on the motorcycle, which collided with the vehicle. Mankins was killed on the spot. The defendant was charged and convicted of failure to yield.

The accident happened near several businesses and was captured on video from a variety of camera angles. Dash cameras were also installed in the box truck, both forward and backward, facing the defendant driver. Both before and during the accident, the defendant was seen looking in other directions and eating a candy bar. 

The case was settled in mediation before Judge Charles E. Poston (Ret.) for $1.85 million. The defendant corporation’s insurance limits were $2 million. However, because no agreement was reached on how the wrongful death proceeds should be distributed, binding arbitration was required. Among the statutory claimants were Mankin’s father, mother, brother, half-brother, and half-sister.

Charles E. Poston, a retired judge, presided over the arbitration. According to evidence presented during arbitration, Mankin’s mother had not had contact with him since he was 10 years old. There was also evidence that she owed Mankins child support arrearages, as his father had physically cared for both him and his brother when they were children. Mankins was revealed to have a close relationship with his father, stepmother, and brother.  

Judge Poston divided the settlement funds among the beneficiaries, excluding Wyatt’s mother from recovery. The proceeds were divided proportionally among the remaining beneficiaries.


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