Burke Street Pizza in Winston-Salem, North Carolina has settled a lawsuit for $300,000 with a woman whose daughter was severely injured after being struck by a delivery driver in 2014.
The plaintiff, Marilyn Mittleman, filed the lawsuit in August 2017 on behalf of her daughter Ashley Wodhanil. Wodhanil suffered a catastrophic brain injury in the accident, which took place on September 20, 2014.
Wodhanil, who was 29 at the time, was exiting Carlisle’s Pub and attempted to cross the street when she was struck by Phibbs’ car. The impact pushed her 94 feet. She suffered a catastrophic brain injury.
Wodhanil has been declared illegally incompetent. She is confined to a wheelchair and cannot speak. Court documents reveal that she is currently living in a nursing facility.
The lawsuit alleges that the driver, Darrell Franklin Phibbs, 54 at the time of the accident, was working as a delivery driver for Burke Street Pizza at the time of the accident. The collision occurred at 1:44 a.m.
Forsyth Superior Court Judge Patrice Hinnant approved the settlement on Tuesday, which totaled $278,500. The driver, who was named a defendant in a separate case, agreed to pay $30,000 through his insurance company.
The majority of the money will be used to cover medical bills from Medicaid, Medicare, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and other facilities. Approximately $51,000 will be used to purchase a handicapped-accessible van that the mother will use to transport her daughter to family outings, doctors’ appointments and other places.
“A catastrophic injury is one that has significant long-term or permanent effects on the injured person’s life,” says personal injury attorney Howard Ankin. “Often the true cost of catastrophic injuries is not immediately apparent.”
“It was a case that needed to be settled,” said Mittleman’s attorney. “She is now going to be able to purchase a handicapped-accessible van that will no doubt improve her daughter’s quality of life.”
Phibbs was not charged criminally in the incident. The lawsuit alleges that Phibbs was driving for Burke Street at the time of the accident. Burke Street Pizza and Phibbs denied the allegations in the court documents.
The defendants alleged that Wodhanil was partly at fault in the accident, claiming that she was crossing the street outside of the marked crosswalk. They also claim that she was impaired by alcohol.
Witnesses claim that Phibbs was traveling at an excessive speed at the time of the collision. According to the lawsuit, the vehicle was traveling at 25 mph.
The lawsuit was filed against Burke Street Pizza, Inc.; Broadway Pizza, Inc.; and Burke Street III, Inc. The company’s main location is on 1140 Burke St., but they also have two other locations on Fleming Road in Greensboro and Robinhood Road in Winston-Salem.
Mittleman has also filed a lawsuit against Yanceyville’s Brian Center Health and Rehabilitation Center. The lawsuit alleges that one of the facility’s employees raped Wodhanil while she was staying at the center. She also claims that other employees knew about the incident and tried to cover it up.