$3 million work comp award could be highest in nation

By Michael P. Tremoglie | Nov 21, 2011

A Philadelphia law firm obtained a record $3 million workers’ compensation settlement last week,  on behalf of a union construction worker injured on a highway construction project.

Joseph Tusci, 31, who at the time was working for Liberty Construction as a flagman, was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic. His injuries left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Sam Pond, managing partner of Pond, Lehocky, Stern, and Giordano, who represented Tusci, said he believes it to be the largest workers’ compensation settlement ever seen in the state of Pennsylvania - possibly the United States.

A number of factors influenced the award, Pond said, including Tusci's future medical needs and financial security. Because he was Medicare eligible, a Medicare Set Aside (MSA) in the amount of $1,516,537.00 was established.

Tusci also had settled a third party case. He received an award of $38 million and later an additional $20 million. As a result of settling the third party case, Tusci was then obligated to fund almost half of his medical expenses, totaling approximately $30,000 per month due, in part, to the need for extensive nursing care.  His workers’ compensation benefits were also reduced by more than 40 percent.

Tusci had stopped several cars the day he was injured. The driver of the last car in line, Michael Petacchio, ignored the order to stop. He sped around a line of vehicles striking  Tusci, who witnesses say was thrown 15 feet into the air and about 60 feet from the point of impact.

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