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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Yellow Cab Files Bankruptcy Hours after $26 Million Verdict against Company

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The Yellow Cab Company filed for bankruptcy just hours after it was ordered to pay $26 million for a 2005 accident that left a man with permanent brain damage.

The victim was a backseat passenger in the cab on his way home from a client dinner when the cab driver lost control exiting the highway. The taxi careened off the exit, vaulted 32 feet through the air and slammed into a concrete barrier. After many surgeries and long-term rehabilitation, the once successful real estate partner in a law firm is unable to return to work.  According to his attorney, the man “suffers from insomnia, anxiety, slurred speech. His voice is no longer the same. His ability to live a normal life has been permanently altered.”

The lawsuit named Yellow Cab Affiliation Inc., as well as the owner of the cab. Despite all Yellow Cab drivers being independent contractors, the jury found the driver and Yellow Cab to be at fault. An appeal is planned.

The bankruptcy was filed within hours of the verdict. The plaintiff’s attorney said he believed the filing was a “long-planned strategy to avoid accountability and responsibility” because it was done so soon after the jury verdict. They use Yellow Cab branding to generate customers, but when something goes wrong, the company says – This guy is not our employee and his negligent driving is not our responsibility.  He is just some random guy who licensed the brand from us.  This sounds like an organizational structure set up with the express purpose of avoiding liability.

Despite filing for bankruptcy, Yellow Cab will continue operating. In the meantime, the couple will wait for justice – justice which they may never receive because the bankruptcy ultimately shields Yellow Cab against the settlement. While Yellow Cab may emerge from bankruptcy and continue doing business, this couple is facing a lifetime of disability for the husband with no compensation from those responsible, their claim discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding.

Rights are being limited and sacrificed on the altar of corporate profit in all areas of tort litigation, all over the country. And because most of us are not personally affected, we ignore efforts to trample on our rights. Someday, it may you or your loved ones who needs access to our civil justice system and find it “closed.” We all need to stand up to corporations that have put profits over safety; those that devastate families nation-wide due to negligence and then try to circumvent justice and avoid responsibility.

Corporate bailouts not only hurt victims, they result in a taxpayer funded “tab” for the wrongdoer’s – in this case, Yellow Cab’s negligence.  Will this family be forced to pay its medical bills with taxpayer funded programs like Medicare and Medicaid?  Will it pay for groceries with food stamps and for housing with public assistance?  Why should the wrongdoer get a government bailout while the taxpayers get stuck with the bill?  Why do we elect people who allow this scenario to occur, over and over again?

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.

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