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Pregnant Dallas woman loses baby in Mars’ heiress car crash

A defendant or victim’s fame and fortune can draw attention to a criminal or civil case. Wealth can ensure that the most knowledgeable, or at least the most expensive, attorneys support a litigant’s position. Affluence does not change evidence of wrongdoing or negligence in a Texas case.

A high net worth will not influence charges for causing a car accident that injures or kills innocent people. Judges and juries cannot let a defendant’s popularity or bank account size interfere with a just decision. The same evidence that convicts or frees an impoverished individual will convict or free a rich one.

The word "Mars" often conjures up one of two instant images – a planet or a candy bar. Jacqueline Mars is an heir to more than $20 billion of the Mars candy fortune, making her one of the richest women in the country and the world. She is also at the heart of an investigation into a fatal car accident.

Jacqueline Mars was driving an SUV that struck a minivan, driven by a Dallas woman who was in her third term of pregnancy. Five people were injured and hospitalized. Family members told reporters the unborn boy died after his mother suffered multiple, critical injuries. An 86-year-old passenger in the minivan was also killed.

Reports have not shared information about the cause of the accident. The case is under review by the state attorney’s office in Virginia, where the fatality took place in early October.

Mars also was hurt in the collision but was released less than a week later. The heiress has not been charged with any crimes.

Victims may file personal injury or wrongful death claims in Texas civil courts, whether or not a defendant is accused of an accident-related crime. Juries in liability cases award compensation to victims, when evidence confirms a defendant’s passive or purposeful negligence – the disregard of others’ safety.

Source: forbes.com, "Pregnant Victim In Billionaire Jacqueline Mars’ Car Crash Lost 8-Month-Old Unborn Baby" Brian Solomon, Oct. 10, 2013

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