$2.75M Settlement to Man Seriously Injured by Falling Streetlight Pole
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on February 2nd, 2018
A man who suffered serious head injuries when he was struck by a falling streetlight as he walked through Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood in 2015 has reached a $2.75 million settlement with two defendants in the case.
The victim, Xue Ping Gao, was hurt on April 23, 2015, as he walked at 10th and Apple streets in Chinatown just as a tractor-trailer was backing up to drop off musical equipment to the nearby Trocadero Theater, according to a Jan. 25 story by The Legal Intelligencer. As the loaded truck backed up, it knocked over the streetlight that fell onto Gao.
The truck’s driver, William Everette, who worked for Janco Ltd., was making the delivery and had asked an employee of the Trocadero, Graham Noel, to stop traffic on 10th Street so he could park his tractor-trailer. As he was attempting to park the truck, Everette’s truck struck the pole, knocking it over.
Gao suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when he was struck by the streetlight, as well as subarachnoid hemorrhage and post-concussive syndrome, according to a plaintiff’s memo in the case. Gao also suffered a herniation in his cervical spine and compression fractures in his thoracic spine, as well as cognitive impairments and mood disturbances due to the incident, the memo continued.
The victim sued the City of Philadelphia, the Trocadero and the trucking company, alleging negligence, negligent hiring and improper placement of the streetlight fixture in a manner that was too close to the curb.
Attorneys for the plaintiff were able to obtain surveillance footage of the incident from video cameras in several nearby stores, which provided video images of the incident, the story reported.
The Trocadero contributed $375,000 to the settlement, while the trucking company contributed $2,375,000. About $500,000 of that award will go the plaintiff in the form of an annuity with a 10-year payout. The City of Philadelphia did not contribute to the settlement, the report continued.
The case was heard in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
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