A $26.5 million settlement was reached in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas this past week for the victim of a tragic auto-accident. Judge M. Teresa Sarmina approved the record-high amount, which will be divided amongst the parties found responsible for victim, David Williams' accident.
Williams, a 32-year-old lawn maintenance worker, was ejected from his company vehicle after rolling off the highway during a storm. According to Williams' attorneys, the incident could have easily been prevented, as the vehicle had failed to meet inspection standards the previous month. Specifically, the vehicle's right rear tire was found to have insufficient treads, which rendered the car unfit for driving. This discovery was made by a technician from Dickinson Fleet Services, a car maintenance provider contracted by TruGreen, Williams' employer. Unfortunately, despite the telling results of the inspection, Dickinson employees failed to tag the car for service removal, leading Williams to falsely believe the vehicle was safe to drive.
Williams' lead attorney, Robert Mongeluzzi also identified a previously hired car company as responsible. A year prior to the accident, TruGreen hired Brooks Auto Repair to conduct vehicle maintenance. After their inspection, Brooks technicians elected to change the two front tires of Williams' pickup, at which time the worn down rear tire should also have been replaced, according to Mongeluzzi. In failing to do so, employees of Brooks Auto Repair also contributed to Williams' accident, which fractured his spinal cord and left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Mongeluzzi emphasized the severity of these injuries in order to illustrate how this highly preventable accident has completely changed Williams' life; his disabilities have sharply limited his ability to interact with his three young children. Although no amount of money will enable Williams to return to living a normal life, he and his attorneys hope the outcome will help to prevent similar accidents from occurring.
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