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$847K Jury Award to Woman for Serious Injury Due to Fall on Ice

A woman who slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk in front of her Philadelphia apartment building as she was leaving her building on Feb. 1, 2011, has been awarded an $847,362 jury verdict to compensate her for severe injuries and a bone dislocation from the icy fall.

The victim, Angelit Barnes, was leaving her building at the Campus Apartments in Philadelphia early that morning when she fell and suffered a severe fracture and dislocation of her right ankle that caused a bone to go through her skin, according to a Dec. 23 story in The Legal Intelligencer. The sidewalk was covered in ice at the time of her fall, the story reported.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

The negligence case was heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

“As a result of her injury, Barnes had to get surgery, including the placement of pins and screws into her bone” and a cast for three months, according to a plaintiff’s memo. “During rehabilitation of her ankle, the memo said, she began to develop left knee pain and an altered gait.”

She was still experiencing pain and discomfort in her ankle on her last visit to her orthopedic surgeon, the story reported. “According to the memo, she is unable to stand and walk more than three hours per day, and her surgeon said she will continue to need annual medical visits and anti-inflammatory medication as a result of the injury.”

Based on the testimony and facts in the case, the jury awarded Barnes $762,200 for pain and suffering, $47,362 for medical expenses and $37,800 for lost earnings, the story reported.

These kinds of legal cases occur every day when innocent victims slip and fall or 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.

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$400,000 Settlement to Woman Who Fell From Backyard Deck

As she relaxed on the backyard deck of her rental home on in Rossville, N.Y., on July 21, 2011, Lorraine Gallo leaned on the deck’s railing and was severely injured when the railing broke and she fell to the ground below.

Gallo, now 55, suffered neck, back and knee injuries from the fall, which occurred at home she rented on Barry Street in Rossville, according to an Oct. 28 story in the Staten Island Advance newspaper.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/courtneyk

Gallo’s lawsuit against her landlords, Z & F Realty Estate LLC and David Fogel, alleged that the property owners were liable for her injuries because they allowed an unsafe condition to exist, the story reported.

Prior to Gallo’s fall from the deck that summer, the property owners “had the railing installed and later repaired at some point before the episode,” the paper reported.

Gallo’s serious neck injuries from the deck fall required fusion surgery, according to court papers reviewed by the newspaper.

Personal injury cases like this one occur every day when innocent victims are hurt or killed in a wide variety of incidents through no fault of their own due to the actions 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 an incident or vehicle 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.

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$850,000 Settlement To Brain Injury Victim in Armored Truck Crash

An $850,000 settlement has been reached in the case of a driver whose suffers from a traumatic brain injury caused when his car was struck hard by an armored truck that ran a red light in April 2012 in Bensalem, Pa.

The victim, Frank Jazlovietcki, was 29 at the time of the crash, which happened when an armored truck owned by Garda CL Atlantic Inc., smashed into his car, according to an Aug. 19 story in The Legal Intelligencer. The case was being heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The seven-ton armored truck, which was being driven by Garda employee Kevin Moss, struck the victim’s car on the passenger side, and then pushed the car into another vehicle and onto a grassy area, the story reported. Jazlovietcki was trapped in his car after the crash. Jazlovietcki was driving northbound on Brookwood Drive at Street Road in Bensalem on April 21, 2012, when the crash occurred.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/sshepherd

“At the hospital, Jazlovietcki was diagnosed with a radial shaft fracture of the left arm, and closed head injury,” the story reported. “The CT scan showed a laceration of the scalp over the right posterior frontal parietal region, as well as a subcutaneous hematoma.” His left arm was also splinted after the crash.

Several days later, Jazlovietcki returned to the hospital on April 23, 2012, “complaining of difficulty breathing, increased neck, head, jaw, left arm and right hand pain.” Tests were conducted including X-rays, as well as EKG and CT scans, the story said.

Jazlovietcki continued to have other health difficulties after the crash, including vertigo, blurred and double vision and memory loss, the story reported. He also experienced radiating pain down his legs and arms, severe wrist pain, and ongoing headaches, back pain, rib cage pain and pain in his left arm, according to the report. An orthopedist later diagnosed Jazlovietcki with a cerebral concussion, cervical, thoracic and lumbosacral pain and strain and myofasical syndrome, the report said. He continued to have ongoing medical issues.

Another doctor, a neuropsychologist, later diagnosed the victim with concentration, speech and short-term memory problems, according to the story. The doctor also diagnosed him as suffering from anxiety and depression and unable to resume work, as well as from a traumatic brain disorder. He had been employed as a material handler in a K-mart store.

On July 28, the case was settled for $850,000.

These kinds of injury cases occur every day when innocent victims are hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions 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.

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Judge Awards N.J. Woman $1.4 Million for Injuries Caused By Stage-Diving Performer at Rock Concert

A Vorhees, N.J., woman has been awarded $1.4 million in damages by a U.S. District Court judge in Philadelphia for serious injuries that she suffered when she was struck by a stage-diving singer while attending a rock concert at the WXPN’s World Café Live music venue on Feb. 23, 2010.

The woman, Kimberly Myers, now 46, suffered a cracked skull and other injuries when Angelo “Dr. Madd Vibe” Moore, the lead singer of the band, Fishbone, dove from the stage during a song and jumped into the crowd below, falling on top of Myers and other concert-goers at the West Philadelphia venue, according to a Feb. 25 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

Myers “has had severe and persistent medical problems from the injuries she suffered,” according to the report.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/dwphotos

The judge in the case, Judge Jan E. DuBois, ruled in favor of Myers after hearing testimony in the trial and ordered Moore and the band’s bassist, John Norwood Fisher, to pay $1.1 million in compensatory damages, the story reported. Moore was also ordered to pay Myers $250,000 in punitive damages.

“Moore, who refused to answer questions at his deposition regarding his use of illicit drugs on the date of the incident in question, intentionally dove from an elevated stage despite knowing that stage diving in and of itself poses a serious risk of harm to audience members,” DuBois wrote in his opinion, according to The Legal Intelligencer. “Further, Moore exhibits little remorse or impetus to change his conduct,” DuBois said. “Moore continues to stage dive at almost every performance and exhibits nothing but apathy … towards his victims, whom he repeatedly characterized, during his deposition, as ‘predators’ out to steal his money.”

The band, Fishbone, “continued to perform as if nothing had happened” just after Myers was injured by Moore’s stage-dive, DuBois wrote in his ruling, according to a Feb. 13 story in The (Camden) Courier-Post.

Myer had previously received injury settlements from another band that played that night, Silverback, and from the University of Pennsylvania, which operates World Café Live, the story reported.

Similar injuries have been received by other concert-goers in the past, and had been sued at least once before over similar conduct, the judge told the court, according to The Courier-Post story.

“Moore testified that every couple of months an ambulance is called to the concert venue,” DuBois wrote in his ruling, the paper reported. “Moore and Fisher also use stage-diving to publicize the band, such as by including stage-diving images on album covers and promotional T-shirts.”

DuBois wrote in his ruling that “Moore’s primary concern when he is stage diving is with own safety and with the potential for what Moore believes to be frivolous lawsuits filed by ‘predators’” who seek money for false injuries, the judge wrote, according to the paper.

Since the incident, Myers now suffers from memory problems, shoulder pain, and autoimmune problems that led to lupus, the paper reported.

In her lawsuit against the band, Myers alleged that Moore jumped off the stage on the night of the concert “without any warning” and dove into the audience near where she was standing, causing her injuries, according to a March 3, 2010 story published by on Philly.com. “The lawsuit charges that Moore did not apologize to Myers and that instead, the band ‘continued its performance as if nothing had happened.’”

Myers’ lawsuit acknowledged that the band had a history of stage-diving, but added that she was not familiar with the band or its performances. “The suit said that World Cafe, however, should have been aware of Moore’s stage-diving past and was liable for Myers’ injuries because the venue should have warned the audience that diving might occur,” the Philly.com story reported.

The incident that left Myers seriously injured is certainly an unusual one when compared to vehicle crashes, workplace injuries and medical malpractice injuries suffered by plaintiffs in typical personal injury cases. But the case underscores the fact that innocent victims are hurt due to the actions or indifference of others in a wide range of incidents in every kind of situation imaginable. And that’s where having a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award is key.

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 personal injury case 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.

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Family of Western Pa. Driver Killed by Tractor-Trailer Awarded $5.5M in Wrongful Death Case

As he drove his Chevrolet Cobalt in Mahoning Township, north of Pittsburgh, on Aug. 18, 2008, 22-year-old Mark McConnell II was tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time. As he drove, a tractor-trailer parked on the side of the road pulled into his path without warning, causing a heavy collision that killed McConnell.

Now, more than five years later, his family has been awarded $5.5 million in damages by a Lawrence County, Pa., jury, which finally brings an end to the family’s wrongful death lawsuit that was filed in the matter, according to a Jan. 14 story in The Legal Intelligencer.

The verdict on behalf of McConnell’s parents, Vickie and Mark A. McConnell, came after the jury found the tractor-trailer driver, Andrew V. Johnson, 30 percent negligent and his employer, Guru Global Logistics LLC, 70 percent negligent, the story reported.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

Johnson’s truck “was idling on an on-ramp leading into an intersection while he waited inside for instructions from one of his joint-employers as to where he would be traveling,” just as the crash developed, the story reported. “At the time Johnson began moving toward the intersection, court papers said, Mark McConnell II was driving on a perpendicular route in his car. The plaintiffs alleged that Johnson, in crossing the intersection, failed to heed a stop sign and flashing red lights as he crashed into McConnell’s vehicle. The force of the impact forced McConnell’s car across the intersection where the front driver’s side of the vehicle collided with two utility poles.”

McConnell was trapped in his vehicle following the crash and was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, where he went into cardiac arrest and died, the story reported.

“Johnson’s court papers claimed that Johnson had come to a stop at the intersection and had looked both ways before crossing,” the report stated. “Johnson’s papers also alleged that McConnell did not heed the flashing yellow lights in his lane of traffic, and was speeding when the two vehicles collided.”

The defense also claimed that the collision between the two vehicles caused McConnell’s car to rotate clockwise and effectively bounce off of Johnson’s truck into the utility poles.

After hearing the facts of the case, the jury awarded the McConnell family $2.1 million for the loss of their late son’s future earning capacity; as well as $3 million for loss of services, society and comfort; and $365,000 for conscious pain and suffering, the story reported.

McConnell lived in Edinburg when he was killed, according to a 2008 story about the crash in the New Castle News in New Castle, Pa.

McConnell’s tragic death potentially could have been prevented had the defendant made a better effort to safely check for traffic before pulling his rig back on to the roadway.

At the same time, there’s something else notable about this large verdict compared to what are usually smaller wrongful death awards from juries in more conservative parts of Pennsylvania away from the Philadelphia area.

“This is the largest Lawrence County verdict to have been reported by The Legal over the past 20 years, according to information compiled in The Legal’s annual magazine, PaLaw,” The Legal Intelligencer report continued. “According to PaLaw, Lombardo v. Gardner, a $2.79 million medical malpractice verdict in 2006, was formerly the top Lawrence County verdict.”

This is a very interesting development for prospective plaintiffs who are seeking damages in clear wrongful death cases in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In the past, large verdicts like these were typically only awarded by juries in Philadelphia, where such amounts don’t cause juries to balk, but this and other recent cases are showing that those old patterns are changing. For plaintiffs, this is a positive sign across Pennsylvania in recent years.

It’s a trend that we’re seeing locally and it is evidence that victims of accidents, wrongful death and also medical malpractice who have suffered catastrophic injuries are able to win significant and fair verdicts when the evidence is clear and convincing – no matter where in the Commonwealth that the case is heard.  It means that plaintiffs can now go to court with the facts on their side anywhere and receive substantial and deserved awards for their serious injuries caused by the unfortunate actions of others.

These kinds of cases occur every day when innocent victims are hurt or killed in vehicle accidents through no fault of their own due to the actions 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.

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Paraplegic Man Receives $6.6 Million Settlement from Two Bars That Served Him Alcohol

An East Stroudsburg, Pa., man has received a $6.6 million settlement from two bars that served him alcohol before he drove drunk and crashed his vehicle into a tree.

The man, Jason Mercado, had played team softball before the crash in May of 2010 and went drinking with his friends after the game, according to a Dec. 11 story in The Legal Intelligencer. Mercado had filed a dram shop action against the two bars, alleging that they should not have continued to serve him after he became visibly intoxicated.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/tillsonburg

One of the servers at the first bar, Pub 570 of East Stroudsburg, Pa., was his friend, however, and “gave him free drinks and served him and his friends several beers and shots, according to court documents,” the story reported. “A hostess and another bartender testified Mercado appeared drunk,” according to a memorandum filed by the plaintiffs.

The bartender continued to serve Mercado alcohol even after he told her that he was very drunk, and she told him that she would give him a ride home, the story reported. The bartender then later drove him to a second bar where he appeared “visibly intoxicated, according to court documents, but he was served another one or two beers anyway.”

Mercado later fell asleep at the second bar, Sticks N Stones Bar & Grill of East Stroudsburg, but awakened later and was unable to find his friends, the report stated. He found his car keys on a table nearby and began to drive home, the story reported. Soon after, he crashed his Jeep into a tree, causing a neck fracture that left him a paraplegic.

Mercado received $5.65 million from Pub 570 and $950,000 from Sticks N Stones Bar & Grill to settle his claims. The plaintiff alleged in his damages claim that the owners of both bars had told the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board when applying for liquor licenses that they would be managing the bars but that on the night of the incident, neither own was present, the story reported. Instead, “allegedly inexperienced bartenders and staff were running the operations,” the story said.

The case is an unusual one certainly, because the plaintiff injured himself by driving drunk. But at the same time, under dram shop laws, bar owners and other people who make a profit selling alcohol are responsible for the consequences of continuing to serve alcohol to someone who is over the limit. Dram laws also apply if the person who is served alcohol is underage. By serving additional drinks to someone and then allowing them to leave the establishment in that condition, tavern owners can be held responsible for injuries to others. If a person is visibly intoxicated, the law says that a tavern owner should cease serving alcohol at that point.

Pennsylvania’s Dram shop liability law is named for a “dram shop,” which is a 1700’s term for a tavern that sold alcoholic drinks by the then-popular dram, which is a small unit of measure. The dram laws are there to help victims and their families when they are hugely impacted through the deaths of loved ones at the hands of drunk drivers whose drinking binges are not halted by the keen observations of restaurant and bar staff members in a moment’s notice. Dram shop rules exist to protect society as a whole and to punish bars and restaurants that continue to serve alcohol to customers who are already intoxicated.

Tavern owners must know that continuing to serve patrons once they are intoxicated is not acceptable, and that they will be held accountable. In this case, under these very unusual conditions, the dram shop laws were upheld.

With the holidays here, this case is a stark reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving as well.

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. It is critical to have an excellent legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.

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.

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