Jim Boyle Jul. 24, 2014, 1:29pm


After more than a week of trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Verizon has

agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the injured victim of a crash caused by a distracted Verizon bucket truck driver.

"I'm glad to see the company taking responsibility for the injuries its employee caused to an innocent woman.” said Joseph Messa, attorney for Patricia Pinkerton, “My clients and I are happy that medical expenses - past, present, and future - will all be taken care of.”

On Feb. 27, 2012, Pinkerton was stopped on Garrett Road in Upper Darby, Pa., when the driver of the bucket truck, Richard McCollick, rear-ended Pinkerton’s vehicle, seriously injuring her, the lawsuit alleged.

According to testimony given during the trial, at the time of the crash, McCollick was on hold with a Verizon employee on his personal cell phone while simultaneously looking at his business cell phone.

Pinkerton sustained a mild traumatic brain injury, resulting in cognitive deficits and memory loss. She also suffered disc herniation in her neck and back for which doctors have recommended surgery.  Pinkerton’s and Verizon’s physicians and neuropsychologists all agreed that the crash caused her brain injury and ended her 32-year career as a nurse.

The plaintiff was represented by Messa and Thomas Sweeney in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

"Cell phones are involved in over a million car crashes a year, killing almost 6,000 people a year," said Sweeney. "No text message is worth a life and our client is lucky to have hers.”

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