Saturday, March 25, 2006

Paul Esposito Gets $9m

For those of you that didn't go to Wagner, or don't remember, we went to high school with Paul Esposito.

From the Daily News:
"More than two years after the Staten Island ferry crash took both his legs, Paul Esposito won the second largest legal settlement in city history yesterday - nearly $9 million.
As part of the deal, the city agreed to pay the money directly into an annuity fund that, over the next 50 years, will pay the 26-year-old Esposito $25.6 million.
"The only thing Paulie wanted out of this lawsuit was to make sure his medical needs and his lifetime needs were covered," said his attorney, Derek Sells of The Cochran Group, the firm founded by the late Johnnie Cochran.
"Once we reached that number, Paulie just wanted to move on," Sells said. "He is focused on living and he feels wonderful."
Esposito lost both his legs above the knee when the Andrew J. Barberi ferry crashed into the St. George Terminal on Staten Island on Oct. 15, 2003, killing 11 passengers and injuring more than 70.
He owes his life to a quick-thinking British tourist who stemmed his loss of blood.
The ferry crash spawned 191 claims against the city, of which 100 have now been settled. Esposito's payment is roughly eight times greater than the next largest.
"The city continues to express its deep regret for this tragic accident and hopes that this settlement will in some measure bring closure to Mr. Esposito and his family," said Lawrence Kahn, the city's chief litigating assistant.
The deal comes three days after Esposito's lawyers mistakenly broadcast plans for a press conference to announce a deal - an event they were forced to cancel after city officials insisted the deal was not done.
Esposito, who has learned to walk on prosthetic legs and is planning to go back to college, was not expected to talk publicly until a Monday press conference.
"This will pay out for his whole life," Sells said of the settlement. "And that's what is significant."

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