Recent Notable Personal Injury Settlements May 2012

 Being involved in a serious accident can be a frightening and traumatic experience. If you’re injured in the accident, it’s even worse. Recent notable personal injury settlements also show that when that accident is not your fault, you should not be expected to bear medical expenses, lost income and the cost of ongoing treatment, and in some cases, people or companies that have been proven to be negligent can be made to pay significant sums in damages.

Firestone Tire Defect

When Montana man Bryan Mizenko was left paralyzed after a crash, he filed a lawsuit that involved both a Ford used car dealer and Firestone, the tire manufacturer. Mizenko included the used car dealer who sold him his Ford Bronco II in the suit, saying the dealer was at least partly responsible for his injuries.

The lawsuit maintained that:

  • Defects in a Firestone tire were a factor in the 2003 crash that left Mizenko paralyzed.
  • Mizenko also claimed through a personal injury attorney that he had been left with cognitive impairment.
  • The tread belt separation that caused the crash was one of several reported incidents with this type of Firestone tire, so Ford and the used car dealer should have known not to install them on his vehicle.

For their part, the used car dealer argued that Mizenko’s car crashed because the tire was 14 years old, and Firestone maintained the tire had been damaged prior to the accident, but a jury voted 11 to 1 that Firestone and the used car dealer were responsible.

After the verdict was issued, both Firestone and the car dealer elected to settle out of court, and details of the settlement amount have been sealed but are reportedly quite substantial.

Construction Accident

Another notable personal injury settlement came in the case brought by Jairo DaSilva-Viero, a   construction worker who suffered a fractured spinal cord and multiple leg fractures when a wall collapsed on him. To win his case, DaSilva-Viero’s personal injury attorney had to prove liability on the part of:

  • Mega Construction Corp., a carpentry and subcontractor at the site where DaSilva-Viero was injured
  • Tocci Commercial, the general contractor
  • Dobson Mills Apartments and Winther Investments, co-owners of the construction site

DaSilva-Viero said the wall that fell on him was supposed to have been braced by Mega Construction, and when they failed to do so, the wall collapsed and hit him so hard, it broke his hard hat, causing his horrific injuries. He said Tocci Commercial had hired Mega Construction, and DaSilva-Viero also maintained that Tocci was unable to maintain site safety.

Rather than deal with the problems, the injured man said the collective defendants merely ignored them, and the court agreed. DaSilva-Viero was awarded $2.6 million for his lost earnings and estimated future medical costs.

Two students die in boating accident

When a tug boat pushed a barge directly over a duck boat being used by two students from Hungary, the students didn’t stand a chance. They were both killed in the accident that happened in Philadelphia, and in a notable personal injury settlement made earlier this month, their two families were awarded a combined $15 million.

Vehicular Homicide

In one of the most notable personal injury settlements ever witnessed in the state of Minnesota, a former Minnesota Viking tight end and his wife settled out of court after an accident in which a Thai restaurant chef was killed while pouring gas into his stalled vehicle on freeway exit ramp.

Amy Senser, 45, the wife of former Viking Joe Senser, had already been convicted of two counts of vehicular homicide, for her part in the death of Anousone Phanthavong, 38, who came to the U.S. from Laos 23 years ago. The chef’s car had run out of gas, and he was pouring gas into the tank last August 23rd when he was hit and killed by a Mercedes SUV that didn’t stop.

A day after the accident, the Senser’s attorney called authorities to tell them they could pick up the car, and a week later, they said Amy Senser had been driving at the time of the accident. This led to speculation as to who was really driving the car at the time of the accident and whether alcohol was involved. In court, Senser claimed she had no idea she’d struck a person; she thought she had hit a pothole or an orange construction barrel. She will be sentenced in July and could face four years in prison for each of the two homicide counts.

The details of the settlement were not announced, but the attorney for the Phanthavong family said the amount was significantly higher than the more than $50,000 claimed in the lawsuit. In Minnesota personal injury settlements, claimants must state whether their claim will be for more or less than $50,000.

The Real Outcome

Notable personal injury settlements often draw the public’s attention due to the large amounts awarded in cases of traumatic or catastrophic injuries. Sadly, the dollar figures often deflect attention from the horrible pain and suffering to which the victim is subjected, the income they can no longer provide to their family and their ongoing medical costs, which could continue for the rest of their lives.

If you’ve been injured in an Oregon accident that wasn’t your fault, it’s very important that you start by getting the medical treatment you need. After that, contact a highly respected, experienced Portland personal injury attorney to help you get the settlement you and your family deserve, and one that will help you begin the healing process, without financial worries hanging over you.