Missouri wrongful death case ends in $325,000 award to family of deceased teenager

air duster.jpgThe Missouri family of a deceased teenager were awarded $325,000 in a Missouri wrongful death case that stemmed from a car accident on June 22, 2007 in Carthage, Missouri.

The family of McKenzie Kisling, 14, of Carthage, brought a wrongful death suit against Chelsea Huffman, 16, also of Carthage, who was the driver of the car. McKenzie and Kayla Story, 16, were killed in a car accident allegedly caused by Huffman, the driver. The jury found that Huffman had difluoroethane in her blood at the time she was driving the car. Difluoroethane is a subsance found in spray paint cans and “canned air” which is often used to clean computer keyboards. People often “huff” the substance in an attempt to get high. The Missouri State Highway Patrol found through its investigation that the girls had gotten the canned air merely 10 minutes before the accident.

The Missouri Highway Patrol does not know if the other girls used the air duster prior to the accident, as only Huffman’s blood was tested due to the cost of the testing. Accident reconstruction showed that Huffman’s car ran off the road and hit a telephone pole. There is no indication she swerved beforehand. The Kisling family is now advocating awareness of the dangers of inhalants.