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SJC Man Gets $15 Mil Settlement for Bicycle Accident that Left Him Paralyzed

Vince Colarossi alleged that contractors failed to properly resurface a public roadway.

Vince Colarossi will get the lion's share of a settlement in a lawsuit he and four others brought. Patch file photo.
Vince Colarossi will get the lion's share of a settlement in a lawsuit he and four others brought. Patch file photo.

A three-judge arbitration panel awarded an Orange County man more than $15 million for the injuries he suffered in a 2009 bicycle accident that left him a paraplegic, his attorney said today.

Vince Colarossi, 58, of San Juan Capistrano, and four other plaintiffs settled their action against contractors that allegedly failed to properly resurface a public roadway in Malibu, according to plaintiff's lawyer Daniel Callahan.

The action filed by Colarossi and four other plaintiffs was settled for $16.9 million in November, Callahan said.

After the settlement, the five plaintiffs entered an allocation agreement and arbitration hearing, Callahan said. Three plaintiffs settled for a combined $400,000, he said.

Last month, Colarossi through his attorneys arbitrated before a three- judge panel the issue of how the remaining $16.5 million should be divided, Callahan said. Colarossi's lawyers presented evidence that he suffered broken vertebrae leading to paraplegia as well as a broken collar bone and separated shoulder and the panel awarded him $15.5 million and the fifth plaintiff $988,000, Callahan said.

"'Mr. Colarossi suffered a terrible accident with horrific injuries that totally changed his life," Callahan said. "He went from a strong, active, virile man to a person in constant pain, relegated to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. We are pleased for Vince that he now has ample funds to take care of his needs indefinitely into the future."

--City News Service

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