Family of Indiana Couple Settle Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Seattle for $13M


The family of a central Indiana couple who died after a repeat drunk driver struck them in Seattle has settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the West Coast city for $13 million.

The family of Dennis and Judy Schulte settled the lawsuit with Seattle in April after an appeals court denied the city’s motion for summary judgment. The lawsuit filed by the family in October 2013 alleged that Mark Mullan wouldn’t have been driving the day he fatally struck the elderly couple if he’d been under proper supervision after violating his probation from a recent drunken driving case, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

The Schultes had just moved to Seattle from Kokomo, Indiana, to be closer to their children and grandchildren when Mullan hit them as they crossed a street in March 2013. Their daughter-in-law and her 10-day-old son were injured but survived.

Mullan, who has five prior drunken driving arrests, had a blood-alcohol content about three times the legal limit at the time of the crash. He was on probation from a recent case, his license was suspended and he was supposed to have installed an ignition interlock device in his truck.

The family filed a $45 million claim against Seattle before following with the wrongful death suit, alleging gross negligence by the probation officer for failing to supervise Mullan more closely.

The city said it believed its probation counselors acted appropriately in supervising Mullan, but the lawsuit presented significant risk to the city, leading officials to choose a settlement.

Mullan was sentenced to 18 years in prison for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.

The lawsuit called for drastic drunk driving lawsuits in Washington, and Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law in 2013 that required a second suspected vehicle to face a mandatory arrest and required a compulsory locker within five days of the charging of a locking device attached to the vehicle. .

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