Philadelphia Jury Awards $2.3 Million Verdict in Fatal Three-Car Accident Case

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Philadelphia personal injury law firm Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller helped the family of a woman who died in a three-car collision obtain $2.3 million in survival and wrongful death damages.

A Philadelphia jury recently awarded a $2.3 million verdict to the surviving family members of Dewey Book, a woman who was killed in a three-car accident on December 18th, 2009. The verdict for the case (Estate of Book v. Degler-Whiting, C.P. Philadelphia No. 100504693) included $1.5 million in survival damages, and $750,000 in wrongful death damages.

According to the defense pretrial memorandum, an accident reconstruction performed by Officer Richard Craig confirmed that Book was making a left-hand turn in Honey Brook, Chester County, when the defendant – John Antonini – struck her vehicle from behind in his truck. As a result of the impact, the woman’s car spun into oncoming lanes of traffic, where it was T-boned by another car at somewhere between 42 to 49 miles per hour.

The defendants admitted to their liability on the first day of the trial, said attorney Steven G. Wigrizer. Since then, Wigrizer and attorney Samuel A. Anyan have worked to help the family recover the damages they were owed. According to Wigrizer, the family’s economic losses were estimated at around $900,000, but the defense argued for a lesser amount: between $300,000 to $400,000. When Wigrizer spoke to the jury about the damages, the jurors considered several factors in their ruling: that the victim’s survivors were all currently employed, that the children were all grown, that they lived in the Philadelphia suburbs and seemed to be doing well overall.

“The jurors said because they seemed to be doing well, they were ultimately awarded less than they would have if [the jurors] felt they needed the money more,” said Wigrizer. As he pointed out, the flipside is that Philadelphians often perceive suburbanites to be more well-off than some of them really are. "Book was making $22,000 a year before she died," Wigrizer said.

About Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher, & Miller
The experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller are committed to bringing high-caliber, personalized legal services to people throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have been seriously injured because of another person’s negligence.

Each of the attorneys at WNWBM specializes in a unique area of law, helping clients benefit from a large pool of knowledge and experience. For more than 30 years, the attorneys have handled a wide range of personal injury cases, including auto accidents, medical malpractice, brain injury, construction accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and Workers’ Compensation.

Learn more about Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller by visiting the law firm’s website at or calling 1-800-LAW-6600.


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Marc G. Brecher, Esq.
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