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Tow-Truck Company Pays $830,000 For Injuries to Gas Attendant

Sarno v. Dan Ray Corp.: A gas station attendant hit by a tow truck accepted an $830,00 settlement of his suit in Middlesex County last Monday.

John Sarno was standing in the Mobil Station on Route 27 and Vineyard Road in Edison on June 18, 2003 when a truck owned by Dan Ray Corp. of Colonia struck him. His lawyer, Harold Parra of Edison's Cahn & Parra, gathered evidence - some from the station's surveillance video - that the driver was negligent because he turned his head to look at the vehicle he was towing and didn't see Sarno in front of him.

Sarno, now 62, spent four months in a hospital recuperating from a fractured tibia, a torn rotator cuff, cartilage damage and a head injury, and will never work again, Parra says.

Defense counsel Louis DeMille Jr. of Hamilton's Romando, Astorino and DeMille did not return a call, but Parra says the defense gathered evidence that the plaintiff, who worked at the station for ten years, contributed to the accident by being in the path of the truck. The defense also prepared to argue that Sarno's inability to work was anxiety-related, not just orthopedic-related, Parra says.

Former Middlesex County Judges Douglas Wolfson of Woodbridge's Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis and Edward Seaman, of Edison, mediated. The settlement will fund a worker's compensation lien; the plaintiff's legal fees and costs; a $150,000 cash payment to Sarno; and an annuity providing the plaintiff with $30,000 a year for life.

New Jersey Law Journal
by Henry Gottlieb - March 21,2005

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