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Hard-Fought Cases: Justice Through Insight

By: Larry E. Coben, Anapol Weiss Shareholder

Multi-Million Dollar Settlement for Blinded Bicyclist in Pennsylvania

A multiple-million-dollar settlement was reached for a Western  Pennsylvania bicyclist who collided with a car that pulled out in front of him, causing him to suffer massive brain injury and leaving him blind. Unfortunately,  the driver had minimal insurance, but we were able to prove that this tragedy  happened because signage placed along the roadway by a real estate developer had  blocked the view of the bicyclist and the offending driver, making this an accident  waiting to happen.

Using the fact that the offending driver stated that he never saw the bicyclist  when he believed it was clear to cross the roadway, we studied the conditions at the  scene and developed a winning theory of liability. After performing a detailed  scene investigation—before we filed suit—we reenacted this tragedy in this  fashion:

Computer simulations were performed to establish the timing of this collision  working with the calculated speeds of the bicyclist and the SUV to show the  following:

After the lawsuit was filed, depositions of the party responsible for installing the  sign were taken and we established that no traffic safety study was performed to  determine whether the position and size of this sign created a hazard. A team of  experts, including an accident reconstructionist, roadway design engineer and  human factors engineer provided the essential story to explain why this tragedy  happened for one reason: the careless installation of a sign.

[For lawyers: a “pro  tanto” release was signed with the insurance carrier for the driver so that the  defendant builder’s liability would not be reduced when a jury found the builder  liable.] We were so proud to have helped this deserving client and his family  obtain a financial recovery providing the funds they will need to live their lives as  well as can be hoped for given this client’s permanent disability.