$15.8 Million Jury Verdict to Bride-to-be’s Mother Hurt in Car Crash
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on September 26th, 2014
A Pittsburgh-area woman was awarded $15.8 million in damages by a jury to compensate her after she suffered severe brain injuries in a 2010 car crash that happened as she was heading to the rehearsal dinner for her daughter’s wedding.
The victim, Brenda Gump-Schragl, who was 52 at the time of the collision, was in a coma for five weeks after the June 11, 2010, crash, which occurred in a road construction zone, according to a Sept. 16 story in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The crash happened the day before the wedding of the victim’s daughter’, the paper reported. The incident occurred on Route 51 in Pleasant Hills near Pittsburgh, as Gump-Schragl’s son, Daniel Gump, “tried to turn left from northbound Route 51 into Primanti Bros. restaurant, where a rehearsal dinner was scheduled for his sister, Dana Gump. Oncoming traffic was backed up in the left lane as drivers merged from two lanes to one for the construction area.”
When a driver in the left lane allowed Daniel Gump to turn his car toward his destination, he didn’t see a pickup truck that was approaching and his vehicle was struck by the pickup, the story stated.
Gump-Schragl’s lawsuit “contended that the construction zone was dangerous and no improvements were made after several earlier collisions in the same area,” the paper reported.
The plaintiff settled earlier related cases with PennDOT, which managed the work zone, and with Adam Mains, the driver of the pickup truck, the story reported. In 2010, Mains was found guilty of speeding, driving too fast for conditions and careless driving near a work zone, in connection with the crash, the story stated.
The verdict by the Allegheny County jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, ordering the remaining defendant, Lane Construction, a PennDOT contractor, to pay the entire $15.8 million award. Lane Construction is based in Connecticut.
The construction company is planning an appeal of the verdict.
The victim’s future medical and care expenses total an estimated $4.8 million, the story reported. She is still unable to use her left hand and had to relearn how to walk, the story stated.
Gump-Schragl’s daughter’s wedding was postponed for one year due to the crash.
At least five other crashes had previously occurred in the construction zone—two of which were on the same day as Gump’s accident, according to a Sept. 17 story in The Legal Intelligencer.
The victim suffered a closed head injury from the crash and had to be resuscitated on the scene by a relative who was an EMT, the story reported. At a hospital, she underwent a partial temporal lobectomy to relieve pressure from brain swelling, and she was diagnosed with an acute subdural hematoma and hemorrhagic brain contusions, the story stated. She also suffered torso injuries, including multiple fractured ribs and a pneumothorax, and had a tracheostomy and gastric feeding tube installed.
Her treatment continued with physical and occupational therapy, but she continues to “suffer from cognitive deficits, including memory loss and poor judgment, and continued to have left-sided paralysis,” the story reported.
These kinds of injury cases occur every day when innocent victims are hurt or killed in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own due to the actions or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured in a vehicle incident or accident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
Call MyPhillyLawyer at 215-227-2727 or toll-free at 1-(866) 352-4572 anytime and our experienced, compassionate, aggressive team of attorneys and support staff will be there for you and your family every step of the way as we manage your case through the legal system.