SAINTIL v. WALKER et al
MEMORANDUM SIGNED BY MAGISTRATE JUDGE CAROL SANDRA MOORE WELLS ON 10/16/17. 10/17/17 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED TO UNREP, E-MAILED. (va, ) (Main Document 39 replaced on 10/17/2017) (va, ).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
GERMAINE WALKER, et al.
CAROL SANDRA MOORE WELLS
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
October 16, 2017
On June 1, 2014, Daniel Saintil (“Plaintiff”), while driving his car on Oxford Avenue in
Philadelphia, was struck by a car driven by Germaine Walker (“Defendant Walker”). Defendant
Walker was speeding and drove through a red traffic light before causing the impact. Plaintiff’s
car was totaled and he suffered neck and back injuries as a result of the collision. Plaintiff sued
Defendant Walker and several others, including the City of Philadelphia. Defendant Walker failed
to answer the complaint and, on September 22, 2016, default was entered against him. In April
2017, Plaintiff settled his claims against the City of Philadelphia; the other defendants, besides
Walker, were dismissed from this action. Next, on June 8, 2017, Plaintiff testified at a damages
hearing so that the court could enter a default judgment against Defendant Walker.
consideration of Plaintiff’s testimony and exhibits he submitted at the hearing, this court finds that
Judgment in the amount of $50,000 is appropriate.
Plaintiff was the sole witness at the hearing. He did not request damages for the loss of his
car, unpaid medical expenses, wage loss, or diminished earnings capacity. Plaintiff’s only claims
were for pain and suffering and loss of life’s enjoyment. (N.T. 6/8/17 at 29). Plaintiff testified
that, as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident, he can no longer shovel snow, lift any
weight at the supermarket, or lift and play with his grandchildren. Additionally, climbing stairs
and driving long distances cause him pain. Id. at 25-26.
To support his damages testimony, Plaintiff submitted medical records concerning his
treatment after the accident. His treating physician, Ronald Gruzin, D.O., stated in a March 18,
2017 letter that Plaintiff sustained spinal trauma and lumbar disc herniations as a result of the
accident; these injuries are documented in a July 7, 2014 MRI scan. Dr. Gruzin opined that the
disc herniations constitute permanent injuries which would cause “varying degrees of symptoms
into the indefinite future.” The doctor further noted that Plaintiff had pre-existing degenerative
changes. A July 7, 2014 MRI report confirmed L3-4, “disc bulge with a very small left paracentral
disc herniation.” The 2014 report also documents degenerative changes in Plaintiff’s lumbar spine
at levels L3-4 and L5-S1.
Without cavil, Plaintiff was injured during the June 1, 2014 accident. However, he has not
documented any quantifiable economic losses. Plaintiff did not miss any work and he only treated
with Dr. Gruzin for three months from June 16, 2016 to September 8, 2016. Significantly, Plaintiff
identifies very few tasks he can no longer perform, an inability to play with his grandchildren, and
some level of ongoing pain, for which he goes untreated. This court finds that an award of $50,000
will adequately compensate Plaintiff for any damages he suffered as a result of the June 1, 2014
accident that Defendant Walker caused.
A separate Order of Judgment will be entered.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?