Pennsylvania Record

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Phila. jury awards $19.1 million to man who lost leg after being struck by vehicle

By Jon Campisi | May 28, 2013

A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury has rendered a $19.1 million

plaintiff’s verdict in a civil case involving a man who lost his leg as a result of a 2009 incident in which he was struck by a vehicle while he and the car’s driver were pushing their vehicle to the side of the road following a previous rear-end collision.

The multi-million-dollar award given to Patrick Hennessy came at the end of a three-day trial at Common Pleas Court, according to court records and the law firm representing the plaintiff, Philadelphia-based Ross Feller Casey LLP.

According to the firm, Hennessy was a passenger in a car being operated by his friend, Ryan Caruso, at about 2 in the morning on July 26, 2009, when their vehicle rear-ended another vehicle traveling northbound on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia.

Caruso’s vehicle wouldn’t start as a result of the accident, so he and Hennessy, both of whom reside in Bensalem, Bucks County, began pushing the disabled vehicle to the side of the road, with the driver of the vehicle they struck following behind them with its flashers on, records show.

It was at this point that Philadelphia resident Shawn Robertson, Jr. struck the vehicle Caruso had struck, a domino effect that sent that vehicle soaring into Hennessy, according to the plaintiff’s firm.

Hennessy, who was 24 years old at the time, sustained severe injuries that eventually led to him having to undergo an above-the-knee amputation of his right leg.

Court records show that attorney Matthew Casey, of Ross Feller Casey, filed suit in early February 2011 against both Caruso and Robertson.

At trial, the jurors found that the negligent actions of both Caruso, the plaintiff’s friend, and Robertson, the driver who hit Hennessy, ultimately led to Hennessy’s injuries.

“It is our hope that the verdict, once it is paid, will help Mr. Hennessy deal with the long, challenging road ahead of him,” Casey said in a statement.

A spokesman for the plaintiff’s law firm said that ultimately, Allstate, Caruso’s insurance carrier, will be responsible for paying the entire award due to the fact that Robertson had no automobile insurance at the time of the accident.

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