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John J. “Jack” Delany, III, Delany McBride, Philadelphia, PA, received a unanimous defense verdict in a wrongful death/survival action tried in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in November and December 2014. Jack represented JBC Associates, a sub consultant and limited construction manager on the 3-year Platt Bridge project. Plaintiff died when he hit an aerial man lift in a construction zone. The two workers in the lift were injured as well, sending one person flying out of the lift, dangling from his safety lanyard over the bridge.

The Plaintiff was survived by his widow, 4 daughters, and his son who was born a month after his death. Plaintiff’s economic damages alone were in excess of $2.5 million. Plaintiff alleged that on February 6, 2012, after a Super Bowl party, her husband entered the Platt Bridge after a construction worker removed road closure signs. At the apex of the bridge, which Plaintiff claims was poorly lit with low visibility, the deceased driver sideswiped a JLG manlift with two workers on it, then sideswiped the median barrier until he came to a stop in a front impact with a Genie aerial lift. The two workers in the Genie lift where injured when the force of the impact broke the turret pin and sent the boom swinging around like a second hand on a clock. One worker was ejected from the lift but was saved by his safety lanyard. The two workers’ suits were resolved prior to trial. The Plaintiff settled with the other Defendants prior to trial and tried the case solely against JBC Associates, one of the PennDOT inspection companies on the project. Plaintiff also alleged JBC had construction management responsibilities. 

Jack argued that the driver was legally impaired and violated the road closure signs and entered the bridge. Once he entered the bridge he was traveling well in excess of the speed limit, when he first applied his brakes (per the onboard data recorder, 2.5 seconds prior to impact) he was traveling 80 mph. Defense experts asserted that had the driver been traveling the speed limit the accident would not have occurred because he would have been able to stop short of the aerial lift. Plaintiff countered that the toxicology results were tainted and unreliable due to re-aspiration of blood ante-mortem that effected the postmortem BAC results. Plaintiff also presented numerous witnesses who stated the driver was not impaired at the Super Bowl party or when he drove other guests home. [Verdict Announcement]

Congratulations, Jack!

Do you have a triumph to share? Send a brief summary and a recent photograph to David Fuqua at dfuqua@fc-lawyers.com


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