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Man to Receive Compensation for Losing Leg in Car Accident

A Philadelphia man is to receive $19.1 million compensation for losing a leg in a car crash after a judge denied one of the defendants a new trial.

Patrick Hennessey (24) from Philadelphia in Pennsylvania was a passenger in a car driven by his friend Ryan Caruso, when – on 26th July 2009 – Caruso accidently rear-ended another vehicle driven by Bruce Reikow on Roosevelt Boulevard in Bensalem.

Caruso´s car would not start after the rear-end accident, so he and Patrick Hennessy started to push the car off the roadway – shepherded by Reikow, who had the hazard lights flashing on his vehicle to warn other motorists of the danger.

However, the flashing hazard lights failed to prevent a third car – driven by Shawn Robertson – driving into the back of Reikow´s vehicle. Robertson´s car then spun to the side of the road and into Patrick Hennessey – causing Hennessey to suffer a severe leg injury which ultimately resulted in the amputation of the leg above the knee.

Patrick claimed compensation for losing a leg in the car accident against Caruso, Reikow and Robertson; but, at the subsequent court case, the claim against Bruce Reikow was dismissed and the jury found both Caruso and Robertson liable for Patrick´s injuries – awarding Patrick $19.1 million compensation for losing a leg in an accident and attributing 45% of the liability to Caruso.

Caruso appealed the decision, and requested a new trial, claiming that although he had caused the initial accident, he was not responsible for the sequence of events which resulted in Patrick losing his leg.

However, at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Judge John Milton Younge found against the appeal – stating that the second accident would not have happened if it had not been for Caruso´s negligent driving which caused the first accident, and therefore the extent of Patrick´s injuries after the first accident was irrelevant.