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Thread: $ 75.6 Million Liquor Liability verdict to go to Quadriplegic Man

  1. #1
    Banned Faye's Avatar
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    $ 75.6 Million Liquor Liability verdict to go to Quadriplegic Man

    Posted on Wed, Jan. 14, 2004

    Disabled flagman wins jury award
    Struck by a drunk driver in 2001, he was awarded $75.6 million. The verdict may be mainly symbolic.

    By L. Stuart Ditzen
    Inquirer Staff Writer

    A Philadelphia jury yesterday awarded $75.6 million to a road flagman who was rendered quadriplegic when a drunk driver ran into him on Mearns Road in Warminster, Bucks County, in January 2001.

    Joseph Tuski, 34, of Pottstown, who was thrown more than 100 feet after being hit by a car driven by Michael Petaccio, was awarded $50.6 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

    Petaccio, 39, listed in court records as living in Warminster, drove away from the accident and later was arrested in Camden County. He pleaded no contest in Bucks County in 2001 to a charge of aggravated assault while driving under the influence. He was sentenced to 11/2 to three years in prison but was permitted to serve the sentence while on work release.

    Petaccio could not be reached yesterday. His lawyer, Christine Boyle, declined comment on the verdict.

    Yesterday's verdict came at the end of a weeklong civil trial in Common Pleas Court. The jury ordered Petaccio and a bar owned by his family, the Ivyland Cafe on Bristol Road in Warminster, to pay the award. Petaccio had been drinking at the bar before the accident.

    Petaccio's father, Victor Petaccio, the principal owner of the cafe, was dismissed as a defendant by Judge John Milton Younge during the trial.

    Robert J. Mongeluzzi, lawyer for Tuski, said he believed $75.6 million was the highest liquor liability verdict ever awarded in Pennsylvania.

    "It sends a powerful message that we will not tolerate drunk drivers and the bars that serve them," Mongeluzzi said.

    The huge award may be largely symbolic, however, because the defendants' insurance policies carry comparatively low liability limits.

    Mongeluzzi said Petaccio had $100,000 in liability insurance and the Ivyland Cafe, $1 million.

    Mongeluzzi said Tuski's medical bills, to date, have been $1.6 million and are expected to total $12 million more.


    http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/n...ia/7703577.htm

  2. #2
    to bad its manly symbolic , due to lack of funds and insurance coverage, but I guess if the defendants ever hit the lottery or had an inheritance it would be taken. as a person who has flagged when working in the telephone industry , its amazing how people would actually not follow the flagmen direction , I guess due to their self importance..
    in some states such as Connecticut police are assigned to all flagging operations. but the drunks run down and kill police quite commonly too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Very sad that this man cannot collect from defendants what they owe him

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