Partner Mark J. Semeraro and associate Scott Fahrney secured a $4.9 million-dollar settlement for their client, Michael Guerrero, who sustained serious personal injuries and paralysis, evolving out of a single car, motor vehicle/dram shop accident, in the matter of Michael Guerrero vs. Andrew Roe, et al, Docket No. ESX-L-2763-16.
While defendant, Andrew Roe, who was an intoxicated driver, only had $100,000 of available insurance, Semeraro successfully secured abundant evidence that a South Jersey restaurant/bar, (which was also a defendant in the same lawsuit and whose identity was agreed to remain confidential, pursuant to the terms of a settlement agreement) was negligent in overserving Mr. Roe alcohol, well past the point of noticeable intoxication.
Through the course of protracted discovery, it was proven, that Roe consumed approximately a dozen drinks within the span of an hour, was boisterous, loud, and (through video surveillance) walking unbalanced. It was also proven that Roe passed out while driving his Ford Explorer within minutes of leaving the restaurant/bar, causing the truck to flip several times and permanently injuring Mr. Guerrero.
However, the case was not over yet. Even after securing the evidence of negligent over-service of alcohol, the defendant argued that Guerrero, was not entitled to recovery, due to his failure to wear a seatbelt at the time of the accident. While Semeraro and Fahrney argued that Mr. Guerrero was in fact, wearing a seatbelt, they also proved through a toxicologist, that even if he wasn’t, it would only have been because the same restaurant/bar, also overserved Mr. Guerrero alcohol, to the point where it impaired his judgment so badly, that he could not appreciate the risk in failing to wear a seatbelt and/or that he mistakenly believed that he actually put one on. In either event, they successfully argued that Mr. Guerrero could not be held accountable for not having one on.
As a result of these persuasive arguments, Kaufman, Semeraro & Leibman was successful in negotiating an amicable multi-million dollar settlement.
“Cases such as these, are never anything to celebrate” said Semeraro. “I would much prefer that Michael be completely healed from these catastrophic and permanent injuries, but unfortunately that is outside of our control. At least with this settlement, Mr. Guerrero will have ‘the ability to pay for his future medical and supportive needs” continued Semeraro.
If you or someone you know has sustained serious personal injuries due to the fault of another, please contact Mark Semeraro.
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