Pennsylvania’s 5 Largest Personal Injury Verdicts

Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuits encompass a wide spectrum of cases, ranging from incidents of product liability – where defective products cause harm – to premises liability – where injuries occur due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property.

What Affects The Verdict in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Additionally, accidents resulting from another party’s negligence, such as car collisions or medical malpractice, often lead to personal injury lawsuits. The outcomes of these cases can vary significantly and are influenced by a myriad of factors, including the severity of the injury, the extent of liability, the venue, the credibility of evidence presented, and the personal injury lawyer’s expertise and skills. Verdicts may hinge on elements such as the demonstrated negligence of the defendant, the plaintiff’s degree of fault, the economic and non-economic damages incurred, and the effectiveness of personal injury attorney. Ultimately, the resolution of a Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuit is a complex interplay of legal strategies, evidentiary support, and judicial interpretation, wherein justice is sought for the aggrieved party amidst the intricacies of the legal process.

Top 5 Personal Injury Lawsuits in Pennsylvania

In this article, we delve into five of the larger Pennsylvania personal injury verdicts, each representing a unique facet of the legal system’s response to egregious harms. These verdicts not only stand as testaments to the resilience of those who seek justice but also highlight the evolving nature of legal proceedings in the face of changing societal norms and precedents. From multimillion-dollar compensations to groundbreaking legal precedents, these cases have left an indelible mark on Pennsylvania’s legal history and continue to reverberate within the corridors of justice. Join us as we examine these notable cases and unravel the narratives that have shaped Pennsylvania’s personal injury jurisprudence.

Five of the Largest Personal Injury Verdicts in Pennsylvania:

1. Pennsylvania Jury Awards $976 million in Mitsubishi defective car belt personal injury claim.

In a significant legal case, a Philadelphia jury granted a staggering $976 million in damages in a lawsuit revolving around a faulty seatbelt that left an individual paralyzed from the neck down. The incident transpired when the seat belt in a 1992 Mitsubishi 3000GT malfunctioned during a rollover accident at 45 miles per hour in Buckingham Township, Pennsylvania, leading to severe spinal cord injuries that incapacitated the driver. This verdict, comprising $176 million in compensatory damages and an astounding $800 million in punitive damages, marks a significant milestone as one of the largest crashworthiness verdicts ever recorded in Pennsylvania and stands out nationally in litigation against Mitsubishi.

The product liability lawsuit contended that Mitsubishi exhibited recklessness in the design of the seat belt, which failed to adequately restrain the driver, potentially subjecting them to ejection or crushing in such an event, despite correct usage. Specifically, the seat belt in question was a “rip-stitch” mechanism intended to elongate slightly upon impact to manage crash forces.

However, in this tragic occurrence, the belt’s failure resulted in the driver’s head striking the car’s roof, resulting in a severe neck injury. Notably, the driver’s son, also present in the vehicle with his seatbelt secured, sustained minor injuries during the crash. This verdict not only delivers justice for the victim but also underscores the critical significance of stringent safety standards in the realm of automotive design and manufacturing.

2. Against “Kids-for-Cash” Judges – $206 million.

Almost topping The Legal’s list of highest 2022 verdicts and settlements is the landmark $206 million judgment against two former judges implicated in the Luzerne County “kids-for-cash” scandal. U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner of the Middle District of Pennsylvania, on August 16, mandated defendants Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan to pay $106 million in compensatory damages and an additional $100 million in punitive damages to affected juveniles and their parents.

Ciavarella and Conahan had previously faced criminal convictions for their roles in sending numerous children to juvenile detention centers in exchange for substantial kickbacks from the facilities’ developers. Guiding the civil trial proceedings was Sol Weiss, a partner at Anapol Weiss, who spearheaded the legal pursuit that commenced in 2009.

3. The Roundup Class Action – Verdict $175 million.

The inaugural trial within Philadelphia’s Roundup mass tort program culminated in a notable $175 million verdict favoring the plaintiff. This October 2023 ruling comprised $25 million in compensatory damages and a substantial $150 million in punitive damages levied against Monsanto. Representing plaintiff Ernest Caranci, Kline & Specter and Arnold & Itkin presented allegations attributing his non-Hodgkin lymphoma to regular, unprotected use of Roundup over two decades. In response, attorneys from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Wilkinson Stekloff, acting on behalf of Monsanto, vehemently denied any causal link between the weedkiller and cancer.

This verdict marks the second triumph in a sequence of plaintiffs’ victories in Roundup cancer lawsuits, with the latest stemming from Philadelphia as well, as of mid-December. The legal team behind Caranci v. Monsanto is poised for another courtroom confrontation with the corporation in a January trial.

4. Irwin Family Awarded $109 million in power line wrongful death

Irwin resident emerged victorious in a wrongful death lawsuit against West Penn Power Company, securing a monumental $109 million judgment. Plaintiff, accompanied by his two young daughters, received the verdict after a mere two hours of jury deliberation, which notably included $61 million in punitive damages.

The lawsuit, filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, stemmed from the tragic electrocution of his wife in June 2009, when a power line catastrophically fell into the family’s yard. Plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyer, Shanin Specter, argued that the line’s collapse was a result of West Penn employees’ negligence in adhering to installation protocols. Despite manufacturer instructions mandating wire brushing to remove oxidation before installation, the attorney contended that such practices were routinely neglected by the utility company’s personnel.

Alarmingly, the fallen line had previously malfunctioned twice before the fatal incident. Tragically, the deceased woman, 39, was inside her home with her daughters and mother-in-law when the power outage occurred on that fateful June afternoon. Upon noticing flames engulfing trees in her yard, she rushed to call 911 but was fatally electrocuted when the line struck her.

Despite her mother-in-law’s valiant efforts to assist, both sustained severe burns. It took a harrowing 20 minutes for emergency crews to arrive and deactivate the power. The severely injured woman ultimately succumbed to her injuries three days later, having suffered extensive burns covering 80 percent of her body. The Judge remarked that this verdict stands as the largest personal injury judgment ever awarded in Allegheny County.

5. $43.5M for Ex-Eagles Team Captain

Former Philadelphia Eagles team captain, Christopher Maragos, was awarded a significant $43.5 million verdict by a Philadelphia jury in February. Maragos, represented by the Beasley Firm and Meyer & Flowers, asserted that medical treatment he received prematurely terminated his promising career in the National Football League.
The plaintiff alleged that Rothman Orthopedic Associates and Dr. James Bradley of UPMC mishandled a knee injury sustained during a 2017 game, resulting in complications that ended his career. In the case titled Maragos v. Bradley, the jury assigned 67% liability to Bradley and 33% to Rothman.

Legal representation for Rothman Orthopedic and Bradley was provided by O’Brien & Ryan and Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, respectively. Despite Rothman Orthopedics’ challenge to the verdict, the trial judge denied its post-trial motion. Rothman subsequently appealed to the Superior Court, where the case remains pending.

Pennsylvania Personal Injury Laws

In the article above, we delved into Pennsylvania’s legal landscape, spotlighting five of the largest personal injury verdicts within the state. The article underscores the intricate nature of personal injury law, where victims seek justice and restitution for their suffering. Plaintiffs, represented by diligent personal injury attorneys, navigate the complexities of the legal system to protect their rights and secure favorable outcomes. The Trapani Law Firm exemplifies this commitment, operating on a contingency fee basis, ensuring clients only pay upon successful resolution of their case. This approach empowers individuals to pursue justice without financial barriers. As Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers, we would like to invite you to explore our personal injury blog on the ltlaw.com website, promising engaging insights into the highest Pennsylvania injury and medical malpractice claims, Pennsylvania wrongful death suits, and other legal proceedings on the horizon soon. Don’t forget to track our next articles! Stay tuned with law news and useful advice.

Contact a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney

In addition to providing legal knowledge on our website, we offer free initial consultation for you and your loved ones! We serve the entire state of Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Bethlehem, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Pottstown, Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton among many others. Feel free to call and discuss the details of your Pennsylvania personal injury case. Our Philadelphia and Allentown personal injury offices are accessible and open for you. At the Trapani Law Firm we work diligently to stay trustworthy and build client-lawyer relationships based on mutual trust and honesty. The Trapani Law Firm offers lawyers’ expertise, experience and the most recent and relevant knowledge. We handle Pennsylvania class actions and single lawsuits, Pennsylvania medical malpractice cases, Philadelpohia wrongful death lawsuits, car accidents, truck accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, stroke misdiagnosis cases, cancer misdiagnosis cases, industrial pollution and contaminations lawsuits, child abuse accidents and many more personal injury cases. To speak with a personal injury attorney and get your initial free consultation call us 24/7 at (610) 351-2330 or contact us through our website.

 

 

 

Matthew C. Trapani

The injury lawyers at the Trapani Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients injured in catastrophic car accidents and other personal injury accidents. Additionally, our personal injury law firm has handled wrongful death claims for families of victims killed or injured in tragic accidents. There is no cost to our clients until our experienced attorneys have won your case. The Trapani Law Firm would like our visitors to be aware that we obtain our information through secondary sources so it is entirely possible that our news blog posts may contain data that is not 100% accurate. If we have improper information posted on our blog please feel free to email us so we can make the necessary adjustments. Our law firm has posted this news blog for informative purposes, in order to help keep our local community safer. The Trapani Law Firm handles these types of injury cases, however whether or not attorney representation is needed is a very private decision that we honor. DISCLAIMER: The information above is not intended to express or constitute legal or medical advice.