A traffic-accident victim in 2011 was paid by the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) a hefty sum of $10 million as a settlement which is the main highlight of DRPA’s audit this month.

The recipient of the $10 million insurance settlement was Gary Pettet, age 55 who filed a lawsuit against the authority. This huge amount resulted from that lawsuit he filed after his accident. The plaintiff was a victim of a 2007 vehicular mishap who works as cement mason and comes from Berlin, Camden County. While operating a truck, he was hit by a vehicle truck owned by the Port Authority Transit Corporation as its driver was trying to evade the red light installed at Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin Bridge.

PATCO is a transportation system which is an auxiliary of DRPA, carrying commuters all over Philadelphia and its neighboring cities. Last August, 20122, at the hearing of the case, both parties agreed on a settlement of $10 million after a deliberation.

During the trial, one juror lost consciousness while she was hearing the appalling medical description of Pettet’s injury. Plaintiff’s lawyer narrated that after a dozen surgeries, Pettet’s legs were hanging like a pair of rotting flesh and bone so the doctors decided to amputate one leg to keep the infection from spreading.

After the fainting juror who was a teacher from the neighboring city of Chestnut Hill recovered from her ordeal, the defendants immediately agreed to pay the $10 million settlement, although they have proposed earlier a much lower sum.

It might have been the reaction of the jurors to the fainting incidence which delayed the trial for a while but quickly brought forth a $10 million settlement.

Plaintiff’s lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi gave a 20-minuite opening statement and this was the time he started describing vividly Pettet’s rotting flesh which led the juror-teacher to pitch forward and faint.

The doctors in court checked on the juror who lost consciousness and found her to be fine, although utterly embarrassed. The attorney for the defense, Jack Snyder stated that the fainting spectacle did not affect in any way his client’s position.

Even before the trial commenced, the defendants, already admitted the liability of their truck driver in the crash. A video camera at the bridge caught Stephen Cassidy who is the driver of PATCO evading the red light before the mishap.

On July 3, 2007, Pettet, age 55 & a cement mason from Camden County, was reporting for  work; and as he was about to cross a bridge into Philadelphia, he was hit by the PATCO truck and pushed towards the median strip. The collision shattered his right ankle and broke several bones in his leg.

Mongeluzzi gave a brilliant opening statement where he described a debriding procedure performed in the surgery when doctors have to amputate a leg to prevent a serious infection. The surgeon had to cut out the infected, rotting flesh from the ankle. The process includes the skin, the subcutaneous muscle, and the dead, rotting, infected bone.

It was at this moment that co-counsel Andrew Duffy saw that the juror-teacher from Chestnut Hill winched before passing out.

Snyder was not convinced that the juror fainted because of the horrible description but it was primarily due to the hot and uncomfortable temperature of the courtroom.

Mongeluzzi mentioned that the $10 million settlement agreed upon was twice the amount offered by PATCO before the trial started.

But Snyder added that both sides had lessened the difference to about $4 million since PATCO was already offering $8.5 million while Mongeluzzi was seeking $12.5 million; so they are now meeting near the middle.

Accident victims have rights. Let an injury lawyer assist you. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, wage loss and medical bills. Contact an experienced injury lawyer now for a free consultation

Source: Philly Com Philly News
(http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130123__10_million_to_2011_accident_victim_topped_list_of_DRPA_payouts.html)

Source: Fox News Com
(http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/08/11/pa-juror-faints-parties-settle-grisly-case/)