A Massachusetts Superior Court jury awarded a paralyzed woman a record $9.5 million last week stemming from a lawsuit in which her car was rear-ended by a tanker truck. The award is the largest in the state for such an injury, according to the Boston Herald. Marcia, Rhodes, 46, was on her way to an antique shop on Jan. 9, 2002, when a police officer stopped traffic because of some work being done along the side of Rte. 109. Rhodes' was the only car stopped by the officer when a 78,000-pound tanker truck loaded with liquid asphalt crested a hill behind her and crashed into her car. Rhodes, who is paralyzed from the waist down, sued the truck driver, Carlo Zalewski of New Jersey, and the company who owned the asphalt, GAF Materials Corp. Zalewski's lawyer, Lawrence Boyle of Boston, said his client, who was covered by an insurance policy held by GAF, admitted being at fault in the accident. But Boyle said police should have warned drivers better about the temporary stop, according to the Herald report. Zalewski was driving under the speed limit when the accident occurred.
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