City of Albuquerque and University of New Mexico settle wrongful death claim involving a pedestrian death

City of Albuquerque and University of New Mexico settle wrongful death claim involving a pedestrian death
November 22, 2019 John Frank Higgins

City of Albuquerque and University of New Mexico settle wrongful death claim involving pedestrian death


Attorney John Frank Higgins of Higgins Law, in partnership with the Law Office of Rachel Higgins, recently settled a wrongful death claim brought against the city of Albuquerque and University of New Mexico. Our client’s family member, who was a long time APS teacher and wonderful man, was killed tragically at an Albuquerque crosswalk while leaving a UNM lobo basketball game. At the scene, APD found that the neither the driver nor the pedestrian were at fault. Our offices on behalf of his family sued the City Albuquerque and University of New Mexico for negligence. Upon investigation, it was determined that the Albuquerque pedestrian crosswalk where he was killed should never have been put there in the first place as it was too dangerous. Not only did Albuquerque pedestrians get a false sense of security when crossing, the drivers were unable to see anything. The City of Albuquerque conducted a traffic study at this specific pedestrian cross walk near the pit where the Albuquerque wrongful death occurred. The traffic study revealed that the crosswalk was a ticking time bomb – the wrongful death was preventable. The parties have entered into a monetary settlement that also included an agreement that there will be officers at the crosswalk before during and after the game.


The family of our client does not want his death to be in vain, and we will do everything in our power to make sure that his legacy will be honored and remembered. Also of note the Mayor of Albuquerque assured our office during our meeting that he wants to take action on this matter to make all pedestrian cross walks in Albuquerque safer.


Our client did an interview on concerning the settlement on KRQE and it can be viewed by clicking here:


If you have questions about the settlement or have a similar story please call John Frank Higgins at 505-944-5400 or email


Our joint statement with the City of Albuquerque is below:


Joint Statement between Mrs. White and the City of Albuquerque:

The City of Albuquerque and Mrs. Areti Kae White reached a settlement stemming from the lawsuit that Mrs. White filed in relation to the tragic death of her husband, Jay White, who was killed on November 14, 2016.  Mr. White was killed when he was struck by a car while crossing on foot in a crosswalk at the intersection of Avenida Cesar Chavez and Bradbury after he left a Lobo basketball game. Mrs. White pursued this lawsuit in memory of her husband, Jay White, who was many things to many people. He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend. He spent his career teaching middle school aged children, and retired from APS. He was also an avid Men’s Lobo Basketball fan and tried to never miss a game. His death was a needless and tragic loss to the White family and to the many persons whom he taught and mentored.

While the lawsuit was pending, the City agreed to conduct a traffic study of the area of where Mr. White was killed for the purpose of exploring safety enhancements.  The City is evaluating the different options from this study and will seek to obtain funding from the Legislature in partnership with all of the neighboring facilities in the area so that it can strive to implement improvements that best serve the public.  In the interim, starting with the 2019-2020 season, the University of New Mexico will have APD officers or crossing guards posted at the crosswalk located at Avenida Cesar Chavez and Bradbury for 1 hour prior to, during, and 1 hour after all Lobo basketball games.



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Photo by Thomas Hawk on / CC BY-NC