A Glendale man crippled in a car crash caused by a tire blowout won a settlement Wednesday that will give him $10.1 million over the course of his life.
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. agreed to pay the money to Sam Madik, 31, an electrician at the Burbank Studios until he was paralyzed from the mid-back down in a July 19, 1980, roll-over accident.
The settlement package consists of a $1.5-million cash payment and monthly payments totaling $60,000 a year for life, according to Madik's attorney, R. Browne Greene. The present cash value of the settlement was estimated at $2.25 million
Also Gets $25,000
Madik will also receive $25,000 from the former owner of the car, Ronald Marsden of San Fernando, according to Marsden's attorney, Norman C. Macdonald.
Madik was returning to Glendale from San Francisco with four friends when the left rear tire blew out and caused the car to overturn on California 152 near Fresno, Greene said.
The driver and the other three passengers escaped with minor injuries. They settled lawsuits earlier, Macdonald said.
Greene said the tire was an early version of the steel-belted Firestone 721, which Marsden had put on the car to replace four Firestone 500 tires that had been the subject of a nationwide recall.
He claimed that the tire came apart because of improper bonding of the steel belts to the tread. Firestone claimed that the tire hit an unknown object at an unknown speed, causing the tear and eventual blow-out.
Marsden was accused of being partly to blame for failing to maintain the tires on the car while he owned it.
The settlement was reached during negotiations with Superior Court Judge Richard N. Parslow in Orange County, where the suit was filed.
Neither defendant admited any liability as part of the settlement, Macdonald said.
Greene said Madik faces more surgery, including a back operation in the near future. The lawyer said the settlement will be used to pay $120,000 in past medical expenses. The settlement will also be used to repay a bank loan Madik arranged to help support himself since the accident, Greene said.
"And future medical costs are estimated at $2.6 million at present value," Greene said.