Venus Williams has been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit following the car crash that resulted in the death of a 78-year-old man Sunday, June 25, but an earlier statement from her attorney contradicts its claims.
In documents obtained by TMZ Friday, June 30, the lawsuit on behalf of Linda and Jerome Barson alleges Wiliams failed to yield at a Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., intersection earlier this month. It also claims the seven-time Grand Slam winner ran a red light and drove distracted and speeding, although a police report stated there was no evidence of her using an electronic device while driving.
A statement issued to the website from Williams’ attorney, Malcolm Cunningham, following news about the star being blamed for the collision negates the suit’s claim.
“Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light,” the lawyer said. “The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was traveling at 5 mph when Mrs. Barson crashed into her. Authorities did not issue Ms. Williams with any citations or traffic violations This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”
Filed by Michael Steinger, the attorney of Linda Barson, whose husband, Jerome Barson ultimately died due to the crash, the documents state the Barsons’ SUV was “crushed, the front windshield shattered, the airbags deployed, there was crush damage to the rear on the driver’s side, and the back window was shattered” as a result of Linda Barson T-boning Williams’ slowed-down SUV.
Jerome Barson suffered head trauma, a fractured spine, massive internal bleeding and massive internal organ damage and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit. His wife had multiple broken bones and a cracked sternum. The estate is seeking unspecified damages loss of earnings, pain and suffering, medical and funeral expenses, and loss of companionship for Linda, who was married to her husband for 33 years according to the suit, and her family.
Jerome Barson died nearly two weeks after the Friday, June 9, crash on his widow’s 68th birthday, June 22.