Our 50 year old client fell from a moving King Limousine driven Mercedes Executive Sprinter Limousine Bus onto a roadway in Philadelphia.
Our client, his wife, and a group of six other couples were passengers in a limousine bus being driven home from a party. All of the couples had been drinking alcohol expecting that they would not need to drive home from the party and would be safe inside the limousine bus.
King Limousine actually promotes itself on its website as a catering to customers who will be attending weddings, nights on the town and many other social events. In fact, the website, in discussing its special events service, advertises its service by stating: “When you have a special event planned, driving can be more of a hassle than its worth. Whether you are concerned about safety, parking, or the stress of city driving, King Limousine can eliminate the headaches and deliver you to your destination in style.”
The driver of the limousine bus, knew that the passengers had been consuming alcohol. The driver knew and allowed our client, and two other passengers, to stand while the bus was moving. Despite the fact that the driver knew that these people had been drinking alcohol at a party for many hours, and in fact had brought alcohol onto the bus for the ride home, he made the conscious choice to move the bus knowing that passengers were standing next to the exit door.
A few minutes after leaving the party, while the three passengers were standing by the exit door, the limousine made a slight movement to navigate a bend in the road. Our client, who was still standing by the exit door, was thrown off balance into the exit doors which then opened expelling him to the street.
Our client lost consciousness for several minutes and was bleeding from his head. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital. A CT scan revealed a petechial hemorrhage (blood escaping from a blood vessel in the brain)and a scalp laceration which was stapled. He remained overnight for observation. A follow up CT scan revealed that the hemorrhage was decreasing in size and he was discharged.
He returned to his position as the CEO of a brass hardware manufacturer that Monday morning following the accident and never missed a day of work. However, he continued to suffer attention, memory and concentration difficulties. He treated with a neurologist who prescribed Vyvance, a psycho-stimulant, which helped improve his concentration level. However, despite the medication, he continued with fatigue, inattention, poor organization and poor efficiency in his work.
Also, his employees noticed that he was less patient, prone to fits of frustration that at times erupted into shouting matches with them. He stopped having regular meetings with his employees. He feared that he was not able to effectively perform his job and that, if he did not get better, he could lose it.
Neuropscyhological testing revealed that he had suffered and continued to suffer from mild neuropsychological deficits given that he demonstrated problems with both verbal and visual memory. These deficits were determined to be permanent.
Since the problems were affecting his work, and our client wanted to maintain his career, arrangements were made to have a neuropsychologist evaluate his workplace, watch our client in it, interview employees, all with the intent to design a program which would allow our client to modify the way he performed his work to accommodate his deficiencies. As a result of these efforts, a neuropsychologist from the Moss Drucker Brain Injury Program recommended, and the treating neurologist prescribed, a job coach, a psychotherapist and neuropsychiatric consultation to monitor medication usage. All of these services had been put into place at the time the case was ready for trial request.
Result: The case settled for $500,000 after a Pre-Trial Conference with Judge Mark Bernstein.
Attorney: Anthony J. Baratta of Baratta, Russell & Baratta