MyPhillyLawyer | When Winning Matters Most
Get Your Case Evaluated Today for FREE. EMAIL US OFFICES
In Philadelphia: 215-789-9346
Toll Free: 866-920-0352

MyPhillyLawyer Blog

$165.5M Verdict Upheld Against FedEx in Crash Deaths of Mother, Child

A district court judge in New Mexico has upheld a $165.5 million jury verdict that was awarded in January to the survivors of a 2011 crash that killed a 22-year-old mother and her 4-year-old daughter when a FedEx tractor-trailer smashed into their vehicle.

The crash, which occurred on June 22, 2011 on Interstate 10 near Las Cruces, N.M., killed Marialy Venegas Morga, who was driving her GMC pickup on the highway, as well as her daughter, Ylairam Morga, according to a July 22 story in The Albuquerque Journal. Morga’s one-year-old son survived the collision.

In the latest legal action, FedEx had asked the court for a reduction in the jury’s award or for a retrial, but those requests were rejected by Judge Francis Mathew, the story reported.

Stock image of an ambulance responding to a crash on a highway. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

In the original trial, FedEx had been found 95 percent responsible in the crash, which occurred about 1:30 a.m. as Morga, of El Paso, Texas, drove the pickup at a slow speed with its emergency flashers on at or near the edge of the highway, according to a July 23 story by The Las Cruces Sun-News. The driver of the contracted FedEx truck, Elizabeth Quintana, was also killed in the crash.

The deceased woman, Marialy Venegas Morga, was found by the jury to be five percent responsible for the crash, so FedEx, its driver and contractors were ordered to pay the bulk of the jury’s award – or about $157,256,350 of the $165.5 million verdict, the Sun-News reported. FedEx had stipulated earlier in the proceedings that it would pay all defense damages if it were held liable in the case, the story stated.

FedEx, which can still appeal the latest court decision, was ordered in April by the judge to also pay a 5 percent per-year, pre-trial interest rate on the $157,256,350 award, bringing the latest damage total to about $178 million, the story reported. Also assessed by the judge was a post-trial interest of 15 percent a year until the case is resolved.

A FedEx spokesman said that the company extends its sympathies to the victims and their family but that it will again appeal the latest court decision before the state Court of Appeals, the story reported.

The family sued FedEx after the crash, alleging that the company had contracted out its services to a driver who “had emotional problems and was on medication for sleeping problems,” according to the story.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

$2.7M Settlement in N.Y. Minivan Crash that Killed 7

A $2.7 million settlement has been reached for the sole survivor and the estates of seven victims who were killed when a runaway truck trailer struck the minivan they were riding in on a New York state highway in 2013.

The crash, which happened May 29, 2013, killed seven people, including four children, when the trailer of a tractor-trailer separated from the truck’s tractor and veered into the path of a Dodge minivan that was traveling on Route 13 in Cortland County, N.Y., according to a July 15 story on Syracuse.com.

Shawn Mead, who survived the crash, was in the front passenger seat of the minivan when the runaway truck trailer careened across the road and struck the vehicle, the story reported. Killed in the crash were his two children, Alyssa Mead, 7, and Tyler Mead, 4, as well as his girlfriend, Teresa Bush, and her two children, Alexis Bush, 4, and Jasmine Bush, 5. Also killed in the minivan were Teresa Bush’s cousin, Lena Beckwith, and Beckwith’s fiancé, Carino VanOrden, who was driving the minivan when it was struck, the story reported.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/Svenler

After an investigation, Cortland County sheriff’s investigators determined that a broken locking mechanism on the tractor part of the rig caused the crash, according to the story. Evidence from the crash scene showed that VanOrden “tried to avoid the unhinged trailer at the last second,” according to a Cortland County accident-reconstruction report that was reviewed by the paper.

The loaded tractor-trailer was carrying 78,000 pounds of crushed vehicles, the story reported.

Mead, 33, of Cortland, suffered two fractured ribs, a ruptured spleen, multiple injuries to his legs, glass in his eyes, multiple cuts and bruises and other medical and psychological issues due to the crash, according to the story. He has been unable to return to work since the crash.

Mead will receive a $1.4 million settlement in the case, while the remaining $1.3 million will go to the estates of the seven people who were killed, the story reported. The estates of the three adults will get $208,000 each, while the estates of the four children will get $164,000 each under the terms of the settlement.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, then-26-year-old Ryan C. Dorward, had made safety checks of the rig before driving it that day, the story reported. Insurance carriers for Dorward and for the owner of the truck’s tractor, Duane Newton, who was a passenger in the rig at the time of the crash, will pay $1 million of the settlement. Several insurers for the owners of the trailer, Ben Weitsman and Son, are paying a combined $1.5 million of the settlement. Five other defendants will pay about $222,000, the story reported, while another $28,000 will be paid by insurance companies for VanOrden and for Shawn Mead, who owned the minivan.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

Get MyPhillyLawyer’s Free Mobile App for Legal Help Anywhere

MyPhillyLawyer now offers a free mobile app for your smartphone or tablet that provides basic legal information, contact details in an emergency and a helpful accident report capability so you can collect and fill in all the important information that’s needed  if you are ever involved in a vehicle accident.

The MyPhillyLawyer app is available immediately for Android devices through the Google Play Store and for Apple iPhones and iPads through the Apple App Store to assist clients and prospective clients with basic legal information when they need it.

Using the app, clients can find clickable icons that lead to basic legal descriptions of cases involving vehicle crashes, personal injury incidents, medical malpractice situations and workplace injuries, as well as a two-click process to reach an attorney from MyPhillyLawyer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Personal biographies of our compassionate and talented attorneys are also built into the app, giving clients details about the background and insights of the lawyers they are interested in retaining.

This is the main screen of the MyPhillyLawyer app, which clients can use to find out more about our law firm.

Also included is a handy podcast library of recent and past MyPhillyLawyer Court Radio broadcasts, which are aired every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on Philadelphia’s Old School 100.3 WRNB, Boom 107.9 WPHI and on Praise 103.9 WPPZ. Court Radio, which has been airing since January 2009, highlights topical legal issues every Sunday morning on a wide range of legal topics, from personal injury questions to insurance, estates and wills, vehicle crashes, surgical errors, divorce, family law and much more. Using the app, you can listen to the informative podcasts anytime from anywhere, just like our 18,000 listeners who are hearing the broadcasts live each week.

Through the app, clients can also quickly reach our law firm to schedule a free consultation about any legal issues they may be facing.

So why in the world did MyPhillyLawyer create this app?

That’s easy. We built the app to give clients and prospective clients a straight-forward and quick way for them to find out more about our law firm, our attorneys and for the way that we approach our clients, their cases and their legal needs.

I think we’re one of the early adopters in bringing legal help to clients through an easy-to-use and always-available app on their mobile devices. Clearly, the world is going to all things mobile and we want to be in the forefront by giving our clients the tools they need when they want to contact us for help and advice in a critical moment.

The built-in accident reporting form is a key example of the app’s usefulness. A client can click the “Accident Checklist” icon on the main app screen to access the fillable form where you can type in all of the relevant information that is needed if you are involved in a vehicle crash. The details include names and address of all involved drivers, insurance company and vehicle information, descriptions of the crash scene and road names, weather details and more, all laid out so that victims can collect all of the pertinent details which will be needed by their attorneys to represent a client and protect them following an accident.

Using this app, you won’t have to think about all of the details on your own that you need to obtain while you are at the accident scene. This way, MyPhillyLawyer can help you by providing an app that already identifies the needed information and guides you to fill it in and collect it easily during a stressful time.

Providing this professionally prepared app for our clients to help them process their claims is a good thing and it’s exciting to do it. The Android app, which was released July 5, is an 8.6MB download and requires Android 4.0 and up for installation and use on Android devices. The iOS app, which was released July 8, is a 26.2MB file and works with iOS 6.0 or later. It works with iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices, and is optimized for iPhone5, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices.

I invite you to download our new Android or iOS apps so that we can introduce ourselves to you and your family in more detail and make it easy for you to reach us when you are seeking legal services.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive. We are also there to handle cases involving medical malpractice, workplace injuries, personal injuries, family law, wills and estates, criminal cases and more. It is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award, and that’s what we do best.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

It’s the Fourth of July Weekend: Let’s be Careful Out There

The deadliest holiday on America roads each year isn’t New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day, both of which are typically tied to drinking and celebrating. Instead, the deadliest holiday on roadways in the United States by far is July Fourth, according to government statistics.

With that in mind, we here at MyPhillyLawyer want to take a few minutes to remind everyone that we all need to take care as we travel, celebrate and enjoy the upcoming four-day July 4th holiday weekend.

In a sobering safety advisory on its Website, the non-profit National Safety Council announced June 29 that an estimated 409 people will die on American roads this holiday weekend between 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2 through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 5, all due to drinking and driving, inattentive or distracted driving, excessive speeds and other hazards. That death toll estimate is the highest made by the group for the holiday since 2008. Some 49,500 injuries requiring medical attention are also expected to occur this holiday weekend, the group said.

A July 4th fireworks display. Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/PapaBear

“Drivers always need to be vigilant, but this weekend, focus on the safety of your family,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, said in a statement. ”A few precautions can help ensure a memorable weekend. Spending the holiday with family is preferable to spending time in the ER.”

To protect yourself and your friends and family members, be sure to buckle your seat belts in every vehicle you travel in to add a layer of security. At least 155 lives will be saved during this holiday weekend due to the wearing of seat belts, the group said, while another 99 lives could be saved if everyone buckled up.

Drivers should also reduce their vehicle’s speed for safety since more speed-related fatalities occur during the summer months than any other time of year, the group added. Drivers should also ditch their cell phones while driving, even if they are hands-free, since drivers talking on cell phones are up to four times as likely to crash, the group said.

A huge reminder by the group is that all drivers should be sure not to drink alcohol when they know they will have to operate a motor vehicle. If a driver wants to drink, they should designate a non-drinking person who will operate the vehicle or arrange for a taxi or other safe alternative form of transportation. You are literally putting yourself and others in danger if you drive while intoxicated and creating huge liability risks for yourself and your family if you hurt someone else when you are drinking and driving.

And, of course, there’s more to July 4th safety than vehicle crashes and drunk driving. There’s also the potential for serious accidents and injuries and personal liability issues involving fireworks, cookouts, swimming and other recreational hazards when people are not using common sense.

Cookout safety:

Even barbecue grills can cause injuries if they are used improperly or mixed with the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Improper equipment, poor safety rules, carelessness and other factors can cause injuries to adults and children who come near hot grills and outdoor cooking areas. Be sure to check your gas grill’s propane tank and hoses for leaks, dents, cracks or corrosion, and never use a grill indoors or under any structures that may catch fire, such as patio covers. Avoid loose clothing while grilling, especially long sleeves, to prevent burn injuries and be sure to keep all children away from the grill while it is being used and still hot.

And don’t forget about the potential dangers of food poisoning when dining outdoors in the heat of summer. Be extra careful to make sure that foods made with mayonnaise, including coleslaw and potato salad, are kept chilled and out of direct sunlight so they don’t spoil and cause illnesses to guests, and don’t leave uncooked meats out in the summer heat for long periods of time before that are cooked. Many a holiday has been ruined at private parties, restaurants and other facilities due to food that has spoiled and caused serious illnesses for guests, while raising serious legal claims that you certainly want to avoid.

Fireworks safety:

Children and adults love to watch fireworks on the July 4th holiday, but the serious dangers of these holiday traditions cannot be stressed enough. Every year, thousands of people are injured and several people die from fireworks accidents in the days before and after July 4, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The latest annual report from the CPSC report found that there were 11 fireworks-related deaths and an estimated 10.500 hospital emergency room treated injuries across the nation during all of 2014. In 2009, the CPSC reported two deaths and an estimated 8,800 injuries.

For safer fireworks activities, consumers should never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, while fireworks that are packaged in brown paper should be avoided because this is often a sign that they were made for professional displays and could pose serious dangers to consumers, according to recommendations from the CPSC. Adults should always supervise fireworks activities, including the use of sparklers, the commission also recommends. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals, the group said.

When using fireworks, you should never place any part of your body directly over the fireworks when lighting the fuse, and users should quickly back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks, the group recommends. Users should also never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully or point or throw fireworks at another person. And for safety, a bucket of water or a garden hose should be kept handy in case of fire or other mishap while fireworks are being launched. .

Swimming pool safety:

Swimming pool safety and your rights and responsibilities as a pool owner or guest is also important to keep in mind this holiday weekend. Here are five key swimming pool safety tips for you to remember this holiday weekend:

*Completely fence the perimeter around your pool to prevent accidental drownings and protect yourself from liability if someone would wander into your yard and fall into the pool.

*Be sure that all young children playing near a pool on your property are wearing life vests so they are protected if they should accidentally fall in.

*Never leave children unsupervised near a pool. If children are to be around or in a pool, they MUST be properly and adequately supervised by an adult who can swim and is trained in rescue techniques.

*Keep rescue equipment by the pool at all times, including a life ring and rope, a first aid kit and flotation devices, so that any emergency can be handled if needed.

*Homeowners should learn CPR so that in the event of an emergency they can protect their guests and themselves before rescue workers ever arrive.

Have Fun and Be Safe:

Remember this holiday weekend to enjoy yourself with friends and family, but also use caution to prevent tragedies and legal liability from accidents and injuries that can occur in a wide variety of ways.

Don’t drink and drive, be sure to drive safely, use caution when cooking out, watch your children and guests in your swimming pool and be extra careful around fireworks.

From all of us here at MyPhillyLawyer, we send you our best wishes for a safe and happy holiday. We stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

Florida Motorcyclist Receives $900K Settlement in Trash Truck Crash

As he headed to work in Tallahassee, Fla., on Oct. 2, 2009 on his motorcycle, Mark Sawicki was run over by a garbage truck that was making a right turn at Call and Monroe streets. The garbage truck had made a right turn in the spot where he was waiting at a stoplight, crushing him and breaking more than 20 bones in Sawicki’s body, according to a June 12 story by WCTV Channel 2 television in Tallahassee.

Now Sawicki is getting an additional $700,000 settlement in connection with the crash after the state Legislature approved a measure that increased the amount of money being paid to the plaintiff over the state’s liability limits, the story reported. He previously had received an initial $200,000 settlement back in February 2012 with the stipulation that another $700,000 would also be paid to him following eventual approval from the state Legislature. The two payments total $900,000 in damages he is receiving.

A hospital emergency room sign sits outside a hospital. Image credit © iStockphoto.com/sshephard

Sawicki, a state engineer who formerly ran marathons and was a competitive cyclist and triathlete before being struck, had to re-learn how to walk, run and ride his bicycle after being seriously injured in the crash, the story reported. “Running is very difficult and very, very, very slow, and I do it seldom anymore, but I still do it,” he told the television station.

The City of Tallahassee allegedly admitted responsibility for the crash, according to a June 11 report by The Famuan, a student newspaper at Florida A&M University. The crash victim suffered severe injuries due to the incident, including a crushed pelvis, a broken right leg and internal injuries, and has faced more than $250,000 in medical expenses so far, the story reported.

It took some five-and-a-half years for Sawicki to be fully compensated for his serious injuries from the crash, and meanwhile his pain and suffering are ongoing as his healing and recovery continue. The legal fight for his compensation was only completed after the Florida Legislature completed its work in approving the full settlement in the case.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.

$3.97M Settlement Reached in Death of N.Y. Trucker Killed in Crash

The family of an Albany, N.Y., truck driver who died in January 2011 when his tractor-trailer rig smashed into the rear of another tractor-trailer that had crashed in front of him on a snowy highway has reached a $3.97 million settlement with the defendants in the case.

The settlement in the wrongful death case was reached on May 13 in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, according to a June 16 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

The driver who was killed, Mark Kowalski, was driving a 2011 Freightliner with a double trailer east on Interstate 80 in South Centre Township in Lackawanna County, Pa., when a 2002 Peterbilt truck and its trailer being driven ahead of him by Patrick L. Webb, 41, of Marshall, Texas, went out of control on the snow-covered highway, according to a Jan. 21, 2011 story from The (Sunbury, Pa.) Daily Item newspaper.

Image credit © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

Allison Kowalski, the widow of truck driver Mark Kowalski, sued Webb, his employer, PBM Logistics LLC and Republic National Industries, which leased the truck to PBM, The Legal Intelligencer story reported. The settlement was reached just before the case was set to go to trial.

As Mark Kowalski drove his truck behind Webb’s truck, the trailer of Webb’s crashed vehicle blocked the left and right lanes of the highway, according to the complaint. “On or about the same time and place, Mark Kowalski, who was traveling behind the vehicle driven by Patrick L. Webb in the right lane of traffic, through no negligence of his own, could not avoid the trailer of the tractor-trailer rig driven by defendant Webb, which was blocking the lanes of traffic,” the complaint said.

Kowalski’s truck cab was ripped from the tractor by the impact of the crash and the truck cab rolled into the guide rail, broke through the rail and came to rest off the shoulder of the road, according to The Legal Intelligencer story. Kowalski was trapped in the wreckage for about 45 minutes and died soon after rescue workers were able to remove him from the vehicle, the story continued.

After an investigation into the crash, Webb was ticketed by police for driving too fast, careless driving, false report and driver’s record of duty status, driving more than 11 hours in a 14-hour period and driving more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period, according to The Legal Intelligencer.

These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.

Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-866-920-0352 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.

When Winning Matters Most, Call MyPhillyLawyer.

Bookmark and Share

Comments are closed.