$26.550 Million Record Philadelphia County Settlement

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 6, 2016) – $26.550 million is being provided to former landscape service worker David Williams, 32, because those responsible for maintaining his company truck allegedly wouldn’t spend a few hundred dollars to replace bald, dangerous tires linked to the sudden November 2011 rollover that rendered the father of three young sons a quadriplegic, attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi and his team at Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, P.C. announced today. The settlement amount is the largest ever in a Philadelphia County personal injury case.

“The defendants were alleged to have knowingly and recklessly permitted a dangerous and potentially lethal bald tire on Mr. Williams’ 2005 Ford-350 TruGreen truck to continue in service after it failed their own inspection,” stated Mr. Mongeluzzi, following the case (November Term – 2013 002420)settlement approved today by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina. “We would have demonstrated at trial how easy it would have been for the defendants – including ServiceMaster, TruGreen (owned at the time by ServiceMaster), and Dickinson Fleet Services, LLC, to just do the right thing; remove the truck from service until the hazardous tires were replaced. Tragically, no amount of damages can restore a semblance of normalcy in the shattered life of David Williams.” Jaimi Williams, Mr. Williams’ wife, was a co-plaintiff in the Complaint filed in October 2015.

ServiceMaster and TruGreen combined will pay $16.75 million of the total settlement amount, with the balance paid by the other defendants in the case. As a result of his accident along the highway in Clinton County, Mr. Williams suffered a devastating fractured spinal chord, requiring several surgeries. His post-accident care included spending several months at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, and experts estimate his lifetime medical expenses in the millions of dollars. He requires around-the-clock nursing supervision for activities of daily life, including the need to be awakened and repositioned in bed several times during the night.

“David was the picture of vitality and energy when his life was violently turned upside down in that totally preventable rollover,” stated David Kwass, of SMB and a member of the legal team. “While he has very limited use of his hands and arms, he has no feeling below the chest, so he will never again kick a soccer ball, walk on the beach, or hike a trail with his boys.”

Benjamin Baer, another SMB attorney who worked on the case added, “David hopes that in some way this settlement sends a message to all those who own, operate and/or service fleet vehicles; remember David when you do an inspection, never look the other way when you see a defective tire, worn brakes, or some other hazardous condition that can ultimately cost someone their life. ”

Mr. Mongeluzzi said the Court is to be commended for its diligence and supervision in handling the complex litigation.

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