Beaver County Man Awarded 2.3 Million for Neck Injuries from a 2003 Car Accident

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On Thursday July 15, 2010 a Beaver County civil jury awarded Brian Murphy, Sr. of Fombell, PA, more than $2.3 Million dollars for injuries he suffered in a 2003 car crash. The defense argued that Murphy's injuries were not caused by the accident because he had a fifteen year history of neck pain. Attorney Doug Olcott from Dallas W. Hartman, PC called Murphy's former employer to the stand who testified that Murphy had an outstanding work record and that the pain had never stopped or interfered with Murphy's work before.

pleased with the verdict and impressed with the compassion and understanding of the jury.

On Thursday July 15, 2010, nearly seven (7) years after a disabling auto accident, a jury awarded a Fombell man 2.3 million dollars in damages (Case no11685 of 2005 In the Court of Common Pleas Beaver County Pennsylvania Civil Division). With delay damages, the award will exceed 2.8 million dollars.

According to court records, Brian Murphy, Sr. was stopped at an intersection in Beaver County on October 16, 2003 waiting to make a left turn when Harvey Marenic, Sr. hit his vehicle from behind sending him into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer. As a result of the accident, Murphy suffered an injury to his neck. He did not seek medical treatment on the day of the accident but went to the emergency room the next morning complaining of neck pain unlike any neck pain he had ever felt before and tingling in his left arm. His family doctor thereafter sent him for a cervical MRI and on November 20, 2003, Murphy underwent a cervical discectomy.

Before trial the defense had admitted liability for the accident, but denied that the accident caused Mr. Murphy’s injuries or his resultant disability. Mr. Murphy was 41 at the time of the accident. For 15 years prior to the accident, Murphy had suffered from chronic neck pain and had been treated by his primary care physician for the neck pain on and off. In fact, just over a week before the October 16, 2003 accident, Murphy had visited with a chiropractor and his primary care physician with complaints of neck pain.

Murphy’s attorney, Douglas J. Olcott of Dallas W. Hartman, PC, had Murphy’s former employer testify to his previous work record showing that he had an outstanding seventeen year work history and even though he suffered from neck pain, he never missed work or allowed his neck pain to interfere with his work performance.

Attorney Olcott called Dr. Michael Cozza who testified that he treated Murphy after his neck surgery and was of the opinion that Murphy could never return to his job as a sander operator at Armstrong World Industries.

Attorney Olcott also called Murphy’s three children to testify how the accident has affected Murphy’s life. They all agreed that they wanted “their Dad back.”

Murphy’s wife, Tina, also pursued a claim for loss of consortium and testified in the case

It only took the jury two hours to return the largest verdict in recent history for lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of consortium. One of the jurors said “I just hope this helps.”

After the verdict Attorney Olcott said that he was “pleased with the verdict and impressed with the compassion and understanding of the jury.” He said “they (the jury members) were able to see that this was a hard working guy, who loved his wife and children, and who just wanted to get back to work and live his life. He may have had neck pain over the years, but for 17 years he went to work every day, had an outstanding work record and was an active part of his children’s lives. He was sitting at an intersection one day and the next he was unable to work and his whole life changed. They were able to see that he deserved fair compensation for the effect the accident had on his life.”

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