Monroe County December 22 2019
A Monroe County jury has awarded $1 million to a father and son who were struck by a speeding vehicle in a parking lot.
The verdict was reached in Kanyuck v. Progressive. Progressive Northern Insurance Co. will pay $1 million to the plaintiffs Stephen and Stanley Kanyuck, who settled with the driver, Agnes Hamilton, prior to the trial, according to the firm representing the plaintiffs.
Hamilton, who has since moved to Scotland, had a policy with Liberty Mutual for $250,000 to $500,000 in coverage. Progressive is the automobile insurer for the Kanyucks.
According to the plaintiffs’ pretrial memorandum, on April 4, 2017, Hamilton, then 80, was speeding in her Nissan Rogue SUV through the parking lot of Ahart’s Market where Stephen Kanyuck, a security guard, then 72, and Stanley Kanyuck, then 43, were walking. Hamilton allegedly hit the accelerator instead of the brake, crashing into a shopping cart corral and other vehicles, pinning the pair.
Stephen Kanyuck’s injuries included multiple leg fractures and contusions. Stanley Kanyuck also suffered multiple fractures as well as leg and ankle injuries, according to court papers. Stanley Kanyuck, formerly a security guard until the accident, is permanently disabled and forced to walk with a cane, the plaintiffs’ court papers said. He requested approximately $702,000 in future lost income.
Since Stephen Kanyuck, a retiree, did not assert lost wages claims, Progressive focused on Stanley Kanyuck’s lost wage claims, arguing that he could perform non-strenuous labor.
“Mr. Kanyuck could perform jobs of clerks and receptionists with annual earnings of $27,550; a teller with annual earnings of $28,210; customer service representatives with annual earnings of $34,140; and billing and posting clerks with annual earnings of $36,000,” Progressive’s pretrial memorandum said. “Mr. Kanyuck acknowledged at his deposition that he earned about $21,000 to $22,000 per year in the years 2014 through 2016 working as a security guard.”
The defendant also noted vocational expert witness John Dieckman’s assessment that Stanley Kanyuck’s associate’s degree in computers and his understanding of technology were factors in favor of gaining new employment.
“It was also noted that Mr. Kanyuck has experience with Microsoft Office and acknowledged no deficits with regards to aptitudes of reading and writing in[sic] math,” the defendant’s papers said. “Mr. Dieckman opined that Mr. Kanyunck clearly has an aptitude for computers and electronic communications which would suggest he has the ability to work in a wide range of sedentary positions.”
Scranton-based Thomas Foley III represents the Kanyucks.
In an email, Foley said, “Progressive’s offer was $100,000 of $325,000 in coverage. The verdict was $1,050,000. The case was tried by both Thomas J. Foley III and Michael J. Foley. Additionally, Kevin P. Foley secured a verdict of $800,000 on November 13, 2019 also in Monroe County against State Farm. The offer was $40,000 on $100,000 policy.”
- Christopher Parrish of Forry Ullman represents Progressive and did not respond to a request for comment.