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$2,935,855.00 settlement reached in drug-related head-on collision resulting in death of 59-year-old single woman.


Rocky Mountain Verdicts and Settlements

February 2011


The Estate of Maxine K. Andersen,




Western Chemical Specialties, Inc.


U.S. District Court

District of Wyoming

Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal

Case No. 10 CV 221


Plaintiff’s Attorney: James E. Fitzgerald, FITZGERALD LAW FIRM.

Defendant’s Attorney: Judy Studer, SCHWARTZ, BON, ET AL.

Plaintiff’s Experts: KWA Constructors, Engineering & Exhibits (W. Fargo, ND); William “Bill” Mael, Crash Science Technology (Ft. Collins, CO).

Defendant’s Experts: None disclosed.

Decedent’s Age: Female, 59. Work: Dietician.


Facts: Decedent Maxine Andersen, a resident of Spokane, Washington, was driving to a high school reunion in Wyoming, on June 10, 2010.  Andersen was traveling on U.S. Highway 20 in Hot Springs, Wyoming, when Ross Kesterson, a co-owner of Defendant’s company, hit a semi-trailer and then crashed into Andersen’s vehicle head-on.  Both Andersen and Kesterson were killed in the accident.  Kesterson was driving a company truck and was alleged to be under the influence of methamphetamines at the time of the accident.  Defendant filed a third-party complaint against Kesterson’s estate in which it acknowledged being aware of Kesterson’s alcohol and substance abuse problems and alleged trying to buy out Kesterson’s interest in the company.  Defendant alleged Kesterson was not on company business and was in violation of company policy in operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.  Andersen was a single woman who had apparently never married.  She left six siblings and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Medical Bills: Funeral expenses.

Lost Wages: None.

Settlement: This case settled for $2,935,854.95.