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Passenger Injured In Truck Crash Receives $1.6M in Bench Trial

Lizzy McLellan, The Legal Intelligencer

July 21, 2016

An elderly woman injured when her vehicle was hit from behind by a U-Haul truck was awarded $1.56 million after a one-day bench trial in Philadelphia before Judge Ellen Ceisler.

On Sept. 30, 2012, Lillian Parola was a rear passenger in a car on Easton Road in Warrington, near the intersection of Titus Avenue, when a vehicle driven by Steven Inlander collided with the rear of her stopped vehicle, according to the plaintiff’s pretrial memorandum. Inlander was operating a vehicle rented that day by his mother, Jill Inlander, the defense pretrial memo said.

The plaintiff’s memo said Parola suffered “life-altering injuries.” She was cut from the vehicle with the jaws of life and taken to Abington Memorial Hospital, where she remained over a month.

Parola sustained fractures to her jaw, ribs, right femoral neck and pelvis, as well as a C7 spinal fracture, left hip dislocation and lung contusion with right hemothorax, the memo said. She has required a permanent caretaker since the crash, walks with a walker, and has memory issues, in addition to constant pain, the memo said.

The memo said Parola has incurred more than $810,000 in medical expenses and has ongoing home care costs of $147 per day.

Steven Inlander’s insurance carrier tendered the $50,000 policy limit, and U-Haul tendered its $15,000 policy limit pertaining to Inlander. Jill Inlander’s carrier denied that its policy applied. Parola demanded $5 million, the memos said.

The judgment entered June 20 included $1 million for noneconomic damages, $348,000 for past medical expenses and $214,620 for future medical expenses.

Plaintiffs counsel Thomas F. Sacchetta said the verdict was a fair number. Defense counsel John A. Livingood Jr. did not return a call for comment.

Steven Inlander’s insurance carrier tendered the $50,000 policy limit, and U-Haul tendered its $15,000 policy limit pertaining to Inlander. Jill Inlander’s carrier denied that its policy applied. Parola demanded $5 million, the memos said.

The judgment entered June 20 included $1 million for noneconomic damages, $348,000 for past medical expenses and $214,620 for future medical expenses.

Plaintiffs counsel Thomas F. Sacchetta said the verdict was a fair number. Defense counsel John A. Livingood Jr. did not return a call for comment.

Reprinted with permission from the “ISSUE DATE” edition of the “PUBLICATION.” © “2016” ALM Properties, LLC. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.

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