Legal Staff Writer
On June 1, 2014, the plaintiffs—a ten-person maintenance crew—were working on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. During this time the defendant, Efrain Jensen, was allegedly driving a commercial truck 10 to 15 mph over the speed limit and crossed over into the workers’ lane in order to avoid running into car in front of him. According to the plaintiffs’ pre-trial memo, the truck hit two of the workers, William McGuigan and Stephen Rudzik, while the other eight had to “jump out harm’s way and avoid getting struck and run over.” William McGuigan died instantly and Stephen Rudzik was knocked unconscious and injured his shoulder.
The defendant settled the lawsuit with nine of the workers for approximately $2 million. Under the settlement, Rudzik will receive $615,000 and Andrew Phipps, who pulled McGuigan’s body from the road, is expected to obtain a $265,000 award. The remaining seven plaintiffs will receive approximately $160,000 each for their post-traumatic stress disorder-related claims arising from the accident, including anxiety, depression and insomnia. Early next year, the wrongful death lawsuit brought by McGuigan’s estate is expected to go to trial.
According to the attorney for the plaintiffs, Richard Jurewicz, “[i]t’s unusual that you have a personal injury case in which the major component of damages being claimed is emotional distress only… it’s very rare.”
This case is Rudzik et al. v. Jensen et al., No. 141000025, Pa. Comm. Pls., Phila. Co.
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