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Sullivan & Brill Recovers $3,000,000 Wrongful Death Settlement

Posted By Sullivan & Brill, LLP || 21-Sep-2016

Sullivan Brill recently recovered $3,000,000 on behalf of the children of a 44-year-old man killed in a head on collision. The settlement amount represented 100% of the insurance policy limits of the responsible driver and his employer, an amount Sullivan Brill demanded before the lawsuit was filed and adhered to throughout three years of litigation. “Although the settlement will not take away the children’s grief, through a structured settlement, a trust and lump sum payments, the settlement will provide financial stability to them” said attorney Joseph F. Sullivan.

The result was the culmination of a team effort lead by Sullivan, who conducted eight video-taped depositions and developed expert witness testimony in four different disciplines to put together a powerful case. Attorney James Healy authored motions to compel punitive damages discovery and opposed defense motions to dismiss punitive damages claims that played a key role in the settlement. Paralegal, Brittni Guarino, took on a central role in the investigation and pre-trial discovery, as well as the coordination of the clients and numerous other players involved in the case. Guidance on local Pennsylvania rules and practices was provided by Attorney Robert Levant from Philadelphia, and the family’s Puerto Rico lawyer, Jorge Gerena-Mendez, and a lawyer from Columbia South America provided counsel on the complicated estate issues raised by the numerous jurisdictions involved in the case. The clients’ father was originally from Puerto Rico, but was living in Columbia, South America at the time of the car accident, which took place in Pennsylvania.

The accident occurred on October 14, 2011, at approximately 1:45 pm, when a young man was operating a Ford F250 pickup truck and towing a piece of construction equipment. Although he denied it during the litigation, Sullivan Brill was able to prove that the young man was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the accident. The F250 was owned and registered to a local construction company and was being operated by the young man in the course of his employment. As he approached an intersection, an elderly women traveling in the same direction stopped ahead of him waiting to make a left hand turn. At the same time, Sullivan Brill’s clients’ father was approaching the same intersection from the opposite direction. At the last minute, the young man attempted to break and swerved to avoid the elderly lady that stopped in front of him. He was unable to and crashed into the rear end of the vehicle. He then crossed over into the oncoming traffic and hit Sullivan Brill’s clients’ father’s car head on.

The family was devastated by the loss and sought experienced counsel to obtain some measure of justice. They were referred to Sullivan Brill by their family attorney in Puerto Rico, Jorge Gerena-Mendez. Through professional acquaintances, Attorney Gerena-Mendez was aware of Sullivan Brill’s reputation for obtaining exceptional results. Reviewing Sullivan Brill’s performance at the conclusion of the case, Gerena-Mendez said “I recommended Mr. Sullivan and his law firm to some of my clients for a wrongful death action. I highly recommend attorney Joseph Sullivan and his law firm. They did a great job helping the clients in every step of the wrongful death suit. Mr. Sullivan personally handled the case with great professionalism and always keeping the clients informed of every important incident. The legal assistants were efficient and friendly. Counsel Sullivan always provided sound and intelligent advice to our clients. We all are happy and very satisfied with the positive outcome of the case thanks to the excellent performance of Counsel Sullivan and his partners.”