Paraplegia cases are among the very worst types of cases our attorneys handle. You don’t forget these cases. Our lawyers are often star-struck, for lack of a better term, by the strength our paraplegic clients demonstrate as they weather this storm.
For accident victims who suffer from paraplegia, this almost invariably life altering condition always comes out of left field, leaving them unprepared for a life that may alter their ability to work and care for their families. Our law firm provides compassionate, experienced representation for the victims of paraplegia.
Jury Verdicts and Settlements of Paraplegia Personal Injury Cases
Nationally, the average verdict in a paraplegia case is $13,854,040. The average verdict for spastic or incomplete paraplegia is $5,325,000. Of course, the key from the victim’s standpoint is not necessarily how much the verdict is but how much can be collected from the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company. The settlement value of a paraplegia case is going to depend in no small measure on the amount of available insurance and the assets of the defendant(s). Our law firm has the necessary experience to handle catastrophic injury cases and the insurance issues that come with them (one of our lawyers is an insurance law professor).
Paraplegia Verdicts & Settlements
- Vanderventer v. Hyundai (Wisconsin 2020) $38.1 million: This is a product defect claim. A man in his 60s was rear-ended. He suffered spinal cord injuries that left him a paraplegic. Of course, his injuries were caused by the driver that negligently hit him. But the man also alleged that his Hyundai Elantra had a defective seat caused his permanent injuries. He claimed that the seat’s design failed to protect its occupants from serious injuries. Hyundai denied liability and also argued the man suffered from a pre-existing spinal condition. The jury saw it very differently, obviously.
- Ramirez v. Multicare Health Systems (Washington 2020) $10 million: A baby with leukemia underwent chemotherapy. The procedure involved a lumbar puncture. During the procedure, the physician negligently hit her spinal nerve. As a result, the infant suffered a spinal cord injury, causing paraplegia. The doctor and hospital denied liability but offer $10 million to settle before trial.
- Barsuli v. Virtual Radiologic Corporation (Wisconsin 2019) $14.5 million: A man was admitted to the hospital with a fever, left arm numbness, and sensation loss. He was given a cervical CT scan. The radiologist interpreted its results as normal. This delayed the treatment of his epidural abscess, resulting in paraplegia. The man alleged that the the radiologist’s negligence caused his permanent injuries, along with the ER doctors who failed to order additional tests to confirm his condition. The radiologist and the hospital physicians pointed to each other. So the jury believed them both. If found the the radiologist was 40 percent liable and the other physicians were 60 percent responsible.
- Zhou v. City & County of San Francisco (California 2018) $14.5 million: A 6-year old housewife was with her toddler at a park in San Francisco when a massive 100 pound tree branch broke off and fell on top of her. The tree branch struck her in the back and severed her spinal cord resulting in permanent paraplegia. She sued the City and the maintenance company for the park alleging that they negligently failed to trim and maintain the trees in the park to guard against falling branches. Following the first day of trial the parties agreed to mediation and settled the case for $14.5 million.
- Mendez v. Northeast Capital Group (Massachusetts 2019) $6.1 million: An 18-year-old laborer was helping with roof repairs. While carrying a heavy bundle of shingles, he fell 30 feet off a ladder. The man suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him a paraplegic. He also suffered a closed head injury, a traumatic brain injury, and partial vision loss. The man sustained cognitive impairments and concentration difficulties. He claimed he now required lifelong neuro-rehabilitative and nursing care. The man alleged that the general contractor failed to maintain safe work conditions. The defense denied liability, arguing comparative negligence. A jury found the general contractor 75 percent liable and the man 25 percent responsible.
- Liciaga v. New York City Transit Authority (New York 2019) $110 million: A 23-year-old man biked through a subway work zone’s barricade. His path took him through a drop zone. While biking through it, workers accidentally dropped a railroad tie that struck the man. He suffered thoracic spinal fractures. The man underwent a T9-10 laminectomy, bilateral facetectomies, and an allograft. Despite undergoing these procedures, he lost the use of his legs. He alleged that the New York City Transit Authority failed to adopt proper safety measures. The NYCTA did what defendants do: it blamed the victim. The jury obviously did not buy it.
- Boatman v. Uniflight (Arizona 2018) $24.1 million: A man was involved in a helicopter crash. He suffered a broken spine that left him paraplegic. The man alleged that the helicopter manufacturer’s defective transmission caused the crash and his permanent injuries. He claimed it improperly inspected and tested the transmission and misrepresented the engine’s airworthiness. The defense denied liability. They argued that the man should have followed the operator’s manual. A jury awarded a $24.1 million verdict.
- Ackerschott v. Mountain View Hosp. (Idaho 2018) $7.9 million: plaintiff went to defendant hospital for treatment after hurting his back lifting something at work. Plaintiff alleged that doctors and staff at the hospital negligently failed to recognize the serious nature of his injury and had him perform movements and tests instead of immediately immobilizing him. Plaintiff claimed that this medical error caused him to suffer compression on his spinal cord due to spinal cord disruption which left him with permanent paraplegia from the waist down. Defendants contended that plaintiff was at fault because he refused to be sent to the emergency room upon admission. After a 7 day trial a jury in Boneville County awarded plaintiff $7.9 million in damages.
- Simmons v. Candler Hospital Inc. (Georgia 2018) $18 million: plaintiff, a 58 year old accountant, went to defendant hospital for treatment of severe back pain. She was diagnosed with a bloodstream infection and treated with antibiotics, but sometime later she lost movement in her legs. It was later discovered that her infection had migrated to her spine, a complication called vertebral osteomyelitis, which led to a dangerous abscess in her spine. The spinal abscess ultimate left plaintiff with permanent paraplegia. She sued the hospital for negligently failing to diagnose the spinal infection and abscess which caused her paralysis. After a 6 day trial, a jury in Chattam County awarded plaintiff $18 million in damages.
- Plaintiff v. Travel Company (Massachusetts 2018) $2.5 million: plaintiff in this case was a 17-year old on a class graduation trip. The defendant travel company organized the trip and provided adult supervision for the students. At some point during the trip supervisors from the travel company allowed the students to drink alcohol and many became intoxicated. Plaintiff and some of his friends attempted to throw a 17-year old female classmate into the air while in the pool. The female classmate landed on the plaintiff’s head and fractured his neck. The fracture left plaintiff with paraplegia. In defense the travel company denied giving the students alcohol and insisted that the student’s actions were solely to blame. The case settled fairly quickly for $2.5 million.
- Crillo v. Clarke Developers Inc. (New Jersey 2018) $8.2 million: a 40-year construction worker suffered permanent paraplegia after falling 20 feet off a scaffold. He sued the general contractor of the construction site for negligently failing to provide fall protection and other safety measures required by OSHA. The case settled for $8.2 million.
Our Law Firm
Our lawyers are based in Maryland. Our lawyers have handled cases in most states in this country and handle paraplegia cases anywhere in the United States. Our practice is focused on serious personal injury cases. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, call our attorneys at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.
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