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Delaware County Jury awards injured paramedic $1.8 million


Posted on Nov 18, 2005

A Delaware County Jury awarded an injured paramedic nearly 1.8 million dollars A Delaware County Jury awarded an injured paramedic nearly 1.8 million dollars in a lawsuit resulting from injuries he sustained when an ambulance in which he was riding collided with a tractor trailer in July, 1999. The jury award followed a two-week trial in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. George G. Rassias of the law firm of Curran & Rassias, LLP, represented the injured paramedic. On July 22, 1999, the paramedic was working for Riddle Memorial Hospital when he responded to an accident scene in his Riddle Ambulance at Elwyn Road near Baltimore Pike. The victims of the Elwyn scene accident, a mother and her infant child, were placed in a Lima Fire Company Ambulance for transfer to Crozer Chester Medical Center. Mr. Rassias' client was treating the victims in the rear of the Lima Fire Company Ambulance as they traveled to Crozer Chester Medical Center when the ambulance entered the intersection of Route 352 and Knowlton Road against the red light and collided with the tractor trailer. The force of the accident separated the tractor from its trailer and resulted in extensive damage to the ambulance. The impact caused the woman in the back of the ambulance, still strapped in her stretcher, to fall on Mr. Rassias' client and a second paramedic to be rendered unconscious and then fall on top of her, according to the lawsuit. Despite his pain, he reported the accident from his position on the floor and treated the woman and fellow paramedic as best he could, according to Mr. Rassias. The paramedic was then taken to Crozer Chester Medical Center where he was treated for a dislocated hip. He also suffered a herniated disk, several fractured ribs, and a fractured sternum in the accident. He endured three months of physical therapy and ultimately returned to work as a paramedic by January 2000. Citing lost wages, past and future medical expenses, and pain and suffering, a lawsuit was initiated against the driver of the ambulance, the fire company, Middletown Township, and the driver of the tractor trailer and his employer. The driver of the tractor trailer also filed a lawsuit against the driver the ambulance, the fire company, and the township, alleging that he was permanently disabled because of the accident. The jury deliberated for several hours over a two-day period prior to rendering a verdict. The jury found the driver of the ambulance and the fire company 95 percent negligent and the driver of the tractor trailer and his employer 5 percent negligent. The driver of the tractor trailer and his wife were awarded approximately $800,000 while Mr. Rassias' client was awarded $1,774,900. "It is very rewarding to see a Delaware County jury render an award and compensate a victim when appropriate," Rassias said. "My client is anxious to move on with his life and it was indeed a privilege representing and assisting him in this matter."

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