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Injured Ambulance Passengers Awarded $6.4 Million

SOMERVILLE, Mass. — An ambulance carrying two people from the scene of a motor vehicle accident crashed into the back of a disabled motor vehicle on Route 93 South in Somerville, flipping onto its side and injuring the two passengers strapped down in the back of the ambulance.

One victim, Sary Seang, suffered a broken radius and ulna in her right arm, as well as multiple mesenteric tears, requiring emergency surgery and resection of 20 inches of small bowel. The other victim, Mark McKinnon, suffered multiple spinal fractures and disk injuries. The plaintiffs’ cases were consolidated for trial.

After a seven-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Seang for $3.2 million, and in favor of McKinnon for $3.2 million. With interest, the awards total more than $8 million.

Type of action: Motor vehicle negligence

Injuries alleged: Broken radius and ulna, abdominal injuries requiring surgery, multiple spinal fractures

Name of case: Seang, et al. and McKinnon, et al. v. Armstrong Ambulance Service

Court/case no.: Suffolk Superior Court, No. 05-1091

Tried before judge or jury: Jury

Name of judge: D. Lloyd Macdonald

Amount of verdict: $6.4 million ($3.2 million for each plaintiff)

Date: June 29, 2007

Demand: $2.9 million (Seang); $1.2 million (McKinnon)

Highest offer: $25,000 (for Seang); $15,000 (for McKinnon)

Most helpful experts: Jesus Sosa, M.D., Fall River; Bruce Leslie, M.D., orthopedic surgeon (arm), Newton; Brian Awbrey, M.D., orthopedic surgeon (spine), Boston

Attorneys: Michael C. Shepard and Erika Olson, The Shepard Law Firm, Boston (for the plaintiff Seang) and Paul K. Healey, Amabile & Burkly, Brockton (for the plaintiff McKinnon)