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Garbage truck crash results in $12M settlement

A newspaper carrier who was left a quadriplegic after a garbage truck collided with this 1990 Jeep Cherokee in Fairfax County has settled his claim for $12 million.

Jerome Stewart has medical bills of more than $1 million and has endured every possible complication related to the quadriplegia, according to Richmond attorney John C. Shea, who represented Stewart along with his colleague Roger T. Creager and Joseph M. Caturano Jr. of Manassas.

Stewart suffered a fracture of his neck at the C5-C6 level and has no use at all of his arms or legs.

Shea said the case was “a very highly contested and expensively waged war” that focused on just how the collision occurred. Stewart said the garbage truck backed suddenly into a street as he was driving at about 20 mile per hour on his newspaper route. The driver contended that he had backed slowly into the street and stopped a few seconds before the collision so that Stewart had every opportunity to stop.

The case was mediated by retired Judge Robert L. Harris Sr., who continued to work with the parties for more than a month after the initial session failed to produce a settlement, Shea said.

Read a full account of the case in Monday’s edition of Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

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