NEW YORK, May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hungarian citizen Agnes Matyekne will never forget her first and last ride on Philadelphia's PHLASH 'historic' tourist shuttle bus on September 5, 2011. As a result of the driver's admitted careless conduct, she was thrown up and down onto the vehicle's hard wooden seat with such force that she suffered multiple injuries, requiring back surgery. While the 62-year-old just settled her negligence complaint (Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, March 2012-0945) against trolley owner-operator 76 Carriage Company, Inc., she and her legal team, headed by Hungarian-American attorney Peter Ronai, Esq., of Ronai & Ronai, LLP, are hopeful that the resolution will mean a long overdue, safer and more comfortable ride for all PHLASH riders.
Mr. Ronai, whose co-counsel in the lawsuit was Philadelphia-based firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C., said that it appeared that the litigation was the catalyst for the private transit operator to take action to protect the safety and welfare of its passengers, including visitors from overseas, such as Mrs. Matyekne.
"We are very pleased that through our efforts we were able to obtain just compensation for Mrs. Matyekne's injuries, and that the tour-bus operator has agreed to make those vehicles safer for all future riders," said Mr. Ronai. He is fluent in Hungarian, maintains a law office in Budapest, and frequently represents Hungarians in major civil litigation in the U.S. and abroad.
The defendant agreed to settle the case for $450,000 just before closing arguments as the new PHLASH season is about to start. At trial, the trolley driver testified that he knew the intersection of 9th and Market Sts., where the incident occurred, was uneven and dangerous. He admitted for the first time from the witness stand that he failed to slow down or avoid the depression in the road causing Mrs. Matyekne to be ejected from her seat.
Mr. Ronai's law partner, Holly Ostrov Ronai, added, "This case is yet another example of where language and culture are no barrier to obtaining justice in America." The Ronai firm also represented two Hungarian tourists who were tragically killed in the Philadelphia Duck Boat disaster, resulting in a $17 million settlement.
SOURCE Ronai & Ronai, LLP