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Teen Driver Obtains New Attorneys in Wrongful-Death Suit, Files for Bankruptcy

The teen driver who hit and killed a pedestrian on Coast Village Road in 2010 and his parents have obtained new attorneys in the pending wrongful death civil lawsuit filed by the victim’s family, and have dismissed the cross-complaints against Smitty’s Towing.

Tyler Fourmy, who was 17 at the time of the collision, was sentenced last October to Juvenile Hall, probation and community service after pleading no contest to vehicular manslaughter.

Fourmy was driving a minivan when he struck and killed 47-year-old Florinda Flores while she was walking to a bus stop near her home on May 27, 2010. She died at the scene, and her husband, Wolfgang Schulz, and other family members are suing Fourmy and his parents — Patrick Fourmy and Susan Granziera — over the deadly accident.

The suit alleges that Fourmy was negligent and his parents were negligent for entrusting an “unsafe driver” with a motor vehicle in “defective condition.”

The 1995 Toyota Previa minivan that Fourmy drove was a big part of the civil case until now. Since the vehicle was mistakenly sold by Smitty’s Towing while being held as evidence, and then destroyed, the Fourmys argued that the destruction left them without a full defense for the wrongful-death lawsuit.

Smitty’s contract with the City of Santa Barbara was suspended for a year because of the incident.

All three Fourmys are now represented by Mullen & Henzell, according to plaintiff attorney Jeffrey Young. Judge Donna Geck continued Wednesday’s case management conference to March 2013, when she plans to set a trial date, Young added.

According to federal Bankruptcy Court records, Tyler Fourmy filed for personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Tuesday and will have a meeting of creditors in January. He lists his creditors as the Santa Barbara County Probation Department — to which he owes $23,500 in restitution — and Schulz, since the pending lawsuit could cause him to owe damages.

His parents paid for his debt attorney, Carissa Horowitz of Beall & Burkhardt, according to court documents.

Some debts are not discharged even with declaring bankruptcy, though, including some criminal fines and restitution, student loans, domestic support, taxes, or debts for death or personal injury caused by operating a motor vehicle, vessel or aircraft while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs, according to court documents.

Young will ask that the damages from the wrongful death civil case — if there are any — not be discharged with declaring bankruptcy, he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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