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Mentally retarded woman injured when cab strikes van – $957,250 Settlement

In July 2008, Tawanda Howard was injured when a Black and White Cab operated by defendant Jorge Roberto Rodriguez struck a van on Military Highway in Chesapeake.

Tawanda suffered from mental retardation and cerebral palsy and was disabled before the accident. She suffered gastrointestinal injuries requiring a month of hospitalization and two surgeries, including a colostomy. Past medical specials were in excess of $500,000. She has been wheelchair bound since the accident.

Just prior to suit, defendant Rodriguez declared bankruptcy which temporarily discharged Tawanda as a creditor until leave was sought and obtained from U.S. Bankruptcy Court to proceed against Rodriguez within the limits of available insurance coverage.

A pretrial settlement was reached for the $1,000,000 in available insurance coverage minus defense attorney’s fees, for a total settlement amount of $957,250.

A special needs trust and possibly a Medicare Set-Aside will be created for Tawanda’s future long-term care.

[10-T-173]

Type of Action: Automobile accident – personal injury
Injuries Alleged: Gastro-intestinal
Name of case: Cynthia Howard, in her Capacity as Guardian and Conservator for Tawanda Denise Howard, incapacitated v. Black and White Cars Incorporated d/b/a Black and White Cabs; Jorge Roberto Rodriquez and Hampton Roads Transportation
Court: Norfolk Circuit Court
Case no.: CL10-4599
Verdict or Settlement: Settlement
Amount: $957,250
Date: Oct. 27, 2010
Demand: $1,000,000
Offer: $957,250 – Black and White Cars Incorporated was self-insured for $50,000. Paratransit Insurance Company provided $950,000 in excess coverage. The excess coverage policy allowed for the deduction of attorney’s fees, so the $957,250 amounted to a policy limit offer.
Insurance Carrier: Paratransit Insurance Company for Black and White Cars Inc.
Attorneys for Plaintiff: Andrew M. Sacks, Stanley E. Sacks and William F. O’Mara Jr., Norfolk
Attorneys for Defendants: John E. Holloway, Norfolk; Reed Mayo, Virginia Beach

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