Christensen Law Wins $9.5 Million Jury Verdict in Wrongful Death Case

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Dave Christensen and Sarah Stempky-Kime Secure $9.5 Million-Dollar Victory

Trial partners wrap up a protracted and challenging case with a positive outcome in a wrongful death suit against four Michigan-based corporations.

Plaintiff Karen Tremont is the mother and personal representative of the estate of her deceased son, Cameron Caldwell, a 31-year-old schizophrenic man who went to a local gas station and convenience store in the early morning hours to buy some snacks. He was confronted outside the store, and stabbed in the arm with a boxcutter, which severed his brachial artery and vein.

While bleeding profusely, Cameron walked into the store to ask for help, telling the clerk he had been stabbed, and fell to the floor. The clerk ejected him from the store, insisting that Cameron leave because he was bleeding all over. Cameron went outside and laid down just outside the door. Throughout, the clerk had a cell phone in his hand, yet delayed 10 minutes before calling for assistance. Meanwhile, he served multiple customers, who stepped over and around Cameron as he lay bleeding on the asphalt and concrete – including the woman who had stabbed him. The police eventually arrived and applied a tourniquet, but it was too late, as Cameron had already died from blood loss. Expert witnesses brought by the Plaintiff testified that his wounds were survivable, had emergency care been rendered earlier.

In his closing statement, firm founder Dave Christensen demonstrated how the critical minutes required to save Cameron ticked away as the unsupervised minor employee failed to summon help. He proved that if the store employee had called 911 promptly, police would have arrived in time to easily apply a tourniquet and Cameron would have lived.

Claims included general negligence by the then underage store clerk, negligent training and supervision, and multiple violations of Michigan’s Youth Employment Act.

The jury determined that the Defendants were negligent and that their negligent actions constituted a proximate cause of death. The jury awarded Plaintiff $4,000,000 for conscious pain and suffering, shock, fright, and mental anguish of the Decedent and $5,500,000 for loss of society and companionship for his surviving two parents and two grandparents, who, along with other family members, were present throughout the two-week trial.

“We fought for the voiceless and the grieving,” reflects Sarah Stempky-Kime. “While this outcome will never bring back what was lost, the jury echoed our call for justice, and together, we secured a verdict that will forever honor the memory of a life lost too soon.”


Judge Timothy Connors congratulated Sarah and Dave on the proceedings, saying this was one of the most complex cases he has heard in his years on the bench. He also spent time with the family afterwards, expressing his condolences and concern for their loss and gifting them a ceremonial tribal artifact to commemorate Cameron’s life.

After the decision, Cameron’s mother reflected “…this [the verdict] will be the last part of his life…I am so grateful to you for saving his life spirit, and for saving mine too.”

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury or death due to someone else’s negligence, contact a wrongful death lawyer today.

Christensen Law Attorneys in Court after Winning 9.5 million Verdict

Christensen Law trial attorneys Dave Christensen and Sarah Stempky-Kime with family of Plaintiff following jury award of $9.5 million in damages.