A jury awarded a Vernon, NJ couple $19.3 million for the injuries the husband suffered after a motorcycle accident that occurred in 2010.
After hours of deliberations at the New Jersey Supreme Court, the jury elected to give out the highest monetary award in Sussex County for a personal injury case, according to MotorcycleAccidnt.org.
Court documents show that Steven Visaggio, 62, was riding his motorcycle along Route 23 in Sussex County when he was hit from behind by a driver. The accident left Steven Visaggio with permanent spinal cord, lower back, and shoulder and neck injuries, according to MotorcylcleAccident.org.
Steven Visaggio’s wife, Barbara Ann Visaggio, was not involved in the accident, but the jury factored in her emotional pain and suffering into their decision. The verdict also orders that the driver’s insurance company, Geico, must pay $15.5 million to Steven Visaggio and an additional $3.8 million to his wife.
The driver who hit Visaggio pled guilty to reckless driving.
Steven Visaggio, a father of eight children, was the owner of AB&S Home Improvements before suffering his injuries. The accident left him unable to run his business for several months. His inability to bring in income greatly affected the entire family, MotorcycleAccidnent.org reported. Court documents claim he will likely require additional spinal cord surgery in the future.
The lawyer for Visaggio said the case was an example of “an insurance company deciding to roll the dice, to gamble that a Sussex County jury would not award damages for these injuries, and they guessed wrong,” motorcycleaccient.org reported.
The verdict could have lasting implications as Visaggio’s lawyer believes when the next person is seriously injured in Sussex County, insurance companies will know the serious financial repercussions a trial can produce.