When someone suffers a traumatic brain injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, it is not uncommon for the case to wind up in court. In such instances, many people find it difficult to believe that not every victim gets justice and wins the financial settlement they need to get on with their lives.
Five Brain Injury Cases Awarded Millions
The court proceedings for any type of traumatic brain injury case can be complicated. However, when someone is injured due to negligence, then that can change the victim’s life forever. To help recoup the unexpected and significant costs that the victim and their family incur due to the accident, most families turn to court proceedings to get the financial settlement they feel they deserve. Below are five cases that were able to get financial justice in awards worth millions of dollars.
1. $45.93 Million Verdict Against Norfolk Southern Railway
In 2000, Donald French was managing a gas station when a Norfolk Southern rail car ran off the tracks and hit French and his gas station. After an investigation, it was determined that the accident occurred due to negligence on the part of the Norfolk yard workers. A switch was left open at a junction point, and the rail car left the tracks when it reached that junction. Mr. French was eventually awarded a settlement of $45.93 million for the injuries he suffered.
2. $26 Million To Montana Missionary
In 2009, 21-year-old Jeremy Vangsnes was part of a trip sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention when he was involved in an accident that led to a traumatic brain injury. Initially, the insurance company tried to say that the driver of the vehicle was not acting on behalf of the Southern Baptist Convention because the trip was not an approved part of the church’s activities. However, the judge saw differently and Jeremy Vangsnes was awarded $26 million for his pain and suffering.
3. $7.5 Million Worth Of Neglect At A Women’s Correctional Facility
In 2014, Amy Rolon was an inmate at the York Correctional Institution for women in Niantic, Connecticut where she was waiting to go on trial. Ms. Rolon had been confined to a wheelchair, and she began to go through heroin withdrawals that caused her body to react violently and eventually led to her throwing herself from her wheelchair. For 20 minutes she suffered and thrashed around on the floor. By the time it was over, she was hospitalized for internal bleeding that caused brain damage.
A security video clearly shows four guards walking past Mr. Rolon and doing nothing to help her. After she was stabilized in a hospital, Rolon contacted an attorney and filed a $7.5 million lawsuit against the correctional facility and the four guards. Although this case is still pending a settlement agreement it presents a strong case of negligence that caused the inmate to suffer brain injuries.
4. Unjoo Paek’s $5 Million Dollar Settlement
Unjoo Paek was on her way to a promising career one morning in New York City when she tripped over a “No Parking” sign that was knocked over by careless sanitation workers. She was a young professional who also had dreams of starting a family someday, but it all came to an end when she fell and hit her head on a concrete parking barrier.
Ms. Paek was initially awarded $9 million for loss of future wages, future medical expenses and pain, and suffering. In one of the more emotional moments, Ms. Paek indicated that her inability to take care of herself anymore due to her injuries meant that she would also be unable to realize her dream of having a child.
When the court first heard the case, Ms. Paek was in line to get a $150,000 per year job. Based on that income, the court originally awarded her $9 million. But in an appeals ruling, it was decided that she did not get the job so her income potential was reduced to the $75,000 per year she was making when she was injured. That income change lowered her final settlement to $5 million.
5. The $1 Million FedEx Delivery
Federal Express drivers are busy people, but they should still be responsible for what is going on around them. Elizabeth Roness was walking in New York when she was struck by a Federal Express delivery truck and suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result. At the time of the trial, Federal Express attorneys maintained that Ms. Roness was intoxicated and she caused the accident on her own. Fortunately, the court did not see it that way and wound up awarding her $1 million for her injuries.
When an accident due to negligence causes a traumatic brain injury, the victim’s life will change forever. When the insurance company or the defendant will not offer the proper financial settlement to allow the victim to live the highest possible quality of life, then it is up to the courts to help victims get the justice they deserve.