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Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards

Defendant Tenders $1.5M Policy Limit After Motorcycle Crash


Dretzel v. Hudacek
$1.525 Million Settlement

Date of Settlement:
June 15, 2007.

Court and Case No.:
C.P. Luzerne No. 12377-C of 2006.

Michael T. Conahan.

Type of Settlement:
Motor Vehicle Crash.

Open fracture of right distal tibia and fibula, scarring, possible fracture of calcaneus, post-traumatic stress disorder, exacerbation of depression.

Plaintiffs' Attorneys:
Joseph A. Quinn Jr., Michelle M. Quinn, HKQ Law, Kingston, PA.

Plaintiffs' Experts:
Richard Fischbein, M.D., psychiatry, Kingston, PA; Kenneth Gentilezza, M.D., psychiatry, Scranton, PA; Walter P. Kilareski, engineering consultant, State College, PA; Scot R. McKenna, M.D., reconstructive surgeon, Dunmore, PA; Michael D. Pope, collision analysis, Indianapolis; Andrew C. Verzilli, economist, Landsdale, PA.

Defense Counsel:
Zygmunt Bialkowski Jr., Margolis Edelstein, Scranton, PA.

Defense Experts:
Marc Scinico, M.D., phsyiatrist, Wilkes-Barre, PA; William E. Walker, vocational counselor, Fleetville, PA.

Joseph George Dretzel was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with his 15-year-old stepson Julian Rasmovicz as a passenger.

While Dretzel's vehicle was traveling on Main Street in Plymouth, PA, the defendant, Michael J. Hudacek Jr., pulled out of a driveway and struck the motorcycle. Both Dretzel and Rasmovicz were thrown from the motorcycle and suffered injuries.

Dretzel suffered open fractures of the right distal tibia and fibula, which resulted in the scarring of his lower leg. Rasmovicz suffered a possilbe Salter-Harris fracture of the medial malleolar area of the calcaneus, the largest bone in the foot.

As a result of his injuries, Dretzel was unable to return to his job at an electrical supply company until March 19 and then only on trial basis, plaintiffs's council said. Dretzel's injuries left him with a limited ability to walk, lift, squat, and sit for extended periods.

After the crash, Rasmovicz called his mother, Rikki Dretzel, at home and asker her to come to the scene of the crash. He did not tell his mother that he or Joseph Dretzel had sustained injuries.

Rikki Dretzel arrived at the scene to find her husband lying on the ground with an obvious lower extremity injury. She claimed negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Defense counsel filed a motion to dismiss regarding Nikki Dretzel's claim that was denied. A settlement conference yielded an agreement under which the defendant tendered $1.425 million of his $1.5 million policy limit.

Of that amount, $1.25 million was attributed to Joseph Dretzel's injury claim and his wife's loss of consortium claim. The remaining $175,000 was attributed to Rikki Dretzel's negligent infliction of emotional distress claim and her claim as Rasmovicz's parent and natural guardian.

After the third party claim was settled, the plaintiffs' UIM carrier, GEICO Indemnity Insurance Co., its $50,000/$100,000 policy limit to settle Joseph Dretzel's claim, Rikki Dretzel's loss of consortium claim, her negligent infliction claim, and the claim regarding Rasmovicz's injury.

The total amount the plaintiffs' received is $1.525 million.

Plaintiffs' counsel are pursuing a second layer of underinsured motorist coverage through Progressive Direct Insurance Co., from the family's automobile policy.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



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