Articles Posted in Brain Injury

Joshua Hernandez, 17 and a student, was a passenger in his friend’s car when a tractor-trailer driven by Nathan Harris for Phenix Transportation West Inc. crashed into the Hernandez vehicle in an intersection. Hernandez suffered brain injuries in the crash and now requires full-time care. His medical expenses were approximately $780,000.

Hernandez sued Phenix Transportation West, Inc. Phenix Transportation Inc., and Harris, alleging that Harris chose not to yield or obey a red light. Hernandez offered to settle for insurance policy limits, but the defendants declined. After presenting the case to the jury, they signed a verdict for $52.9 million.

The attorneys successfully handling this tragic case for Hernandez were William D. Shapiro and Brian D. Shapiro.

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Jonathan Miron and Edyerch Ramirez, both 26 at the time, went with friends to the Arts District Brewing Co. in Los Angeles. After leaving the bar, Ramirez asked to re-enter to use the bathroom. The bar personnel refused his request.

Ramirez then walked across the street and stood behind a car, intending to urinate. Two of the bars’ security guards ran toward him, and the parties began having a heated discussion.  Jonathan Miron, seeing what was happening, walked over to Ramirez. The two security guards went back inside the bar and returned with another two or three security guards.

One of the security guards punched Miron in the face, causing him to fall to the ground, hit his head on the concrete and lose consciousness. The security guards also punched and kicked Ramirez in the head, breaking his jaw.

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Aundre Hobbs, 15, was a passenger in a car driven by his friend, another teenager, Armon Jones.  Armon reportedly turned left at a green left-turn signal and crashed into a car driven by James Gorham.

Aundre suffered a traumatic brain injury that required several life-saving surgeries. Aundre is now 17 years old.  He has lost the ability to speak, swallow, or chew solid foods and has severely diminished mobility, requiring a wheelchair and a walker. Aundre’s medical expenses were more than $1.46 million.

Aundre’s parents, on his behalf, sued James Gorham claiming that he chose not to heed a red light at the intersection and was responsible for the crash. The lawsuit also maintained that Gorham was driving 50 mph through the intersection, 10 mph over the speed limit, according to black-box evidence obtained from his vehicle.

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Samuel Kim was riding his skateboard in Cerritos, Calif. As he entered an intersection on a green light and began crossing at the crosswalk, Arsham Baltayan, who was driving a car in the scope and course of his job with a car dealership, turned right into the intersection on a red light. Kim was unable to stop in time and struck the right passenger side of Baltayan’s vehicle.

Kim was just 14 years old at the time and was not wearing a helmet. He was thrown to the pavement and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The brain injury has resulted in personality and behavioral changes.

When he reached the age of majority, he sued Baltayan and the automobile dealership claiming that Baltayan was negligent in choosing not to keep a proper lookout and yield to a skateboarder with the right-of-way in the crosswalk.

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Forrest Buchtel, 74, was riding his bike southbound on Sherman Avenue in Evanston, Ill.  He stopped for a stop sign at Greenleaf Street, which is a four-way stop intersection and then began peddling his bike into the intersection when he was hit by an eastbound car driven by the defendant, Jason Whitaker.

Buchtel testified that he saw the Whitaker SUV about one-half block away as he peddled through the intersection and observed that Whitaker was not looking at the road ahead while talking to a woman in the front passenger seat.  Whitaker ran the stop sign.

The impact between the SUV driven by Whitaker and Buchtel on his bike, knocked him onto the hood of the SUV and then onto the pavement of the street.

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Individual NFL retired players will receive up to $5 million of the $1 billion settlement that was reached with the NFL (National Football League). The NFL has recognized that current and former players are exposed regularly to different forms of brain concussions. Some of these injuries lead to neurocognitive or neuromuscular symptoms. The NFL brand of football is increasingly fast, including extremely talented and bigger players. All participants are subjected to serious injuries, including brain injuries.

The player lawsuits originally accused the NFL of hiding what it knew about the link between concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease found in dozens of former NFL players after their deaths. The settlement avoids the need for a trial and means the NFL may never have to disclose what it knew and when about the risks and treatment of repeated concussions.

The settlement covers more than 20,000 retired NFL players for the next 65 years. The league estimates that 6,000 former players, or nearly 3 in 10, could develop Alzheimer’s disease or moderate dementia. Continue reading

Raymond Berke fell in the vestibule of an apartment building where he and his wife were staying with friends. A doorman heard but did not see him fall. There were no eyewitnesses. He suffered spinal injuries that rendered him a quadriplegic. He has no memory of his fall.

Berke filed a lawsuit against the building owner and the management company claiming that the vestibule area, stairs and doorway, in particular, were improperly designed and maintained and were a direct and proximate cause of his injuries.  His wife brought a loss of consortium claims against both defendants.

The defendants moved for summary judgment. The trial judge entered judgment in their favor. The Berkes argued that they presented sufficient admissible evidence to support their prima facie case of premises liability that would preclude summary judgment. They also contended that the trial court erred in striking parts of their expert witness affidavits, submitted in support of their response to defendants’ summary judgment motion and that the court should have granted their motion to cite supplemental authority.

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Lizeth Pimentel, age 24, approached a bridge in Long Beach, Calif., while driving her SUV. The bridge was undergoing a seismic retrofit, which necessitated lane closures and led to traffic backups. As she drove onto the bridge, several vehicles in front of her stopped without warning. She lost control of her SUV, crossed several lanes of traffic and struck the bridge’s handrail, plummeting with her vehicle into the Los Angeles River 40 feet below. Pimentel was submerged in her vehicle for about 30 minutes, was in a coma for 8 months and sustained anoxic brain damage as a result of the incident.

Pimentel, who had been a clerk earning about $10 an hour, now suffers from permanent tetraplegia. Tetraplegia is also known as quadriplegia where there is a total loss of use of all four limbs and the torso. Compared to paraplegia, although similar, it does not affect the arms.

Pimentel and her husband filed a lawsuit against the general contractor for the project, Riverside Construction Co., the subcontractor that designed the project’s traffic control plan, FPL & Associates Inc., the City of Long Beach and the subcontractor resident engineer, TCM Group Inc.

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An Illinois jury evaluated a bicycle accident lawsuit to determine not only whether the defendant driver was liable, but also whether her employer was liable in Cedric Bacon v. City of Joliet, Sgt. Cordelia Dunn , 08L-859. The personal injury lawsuit arose out of a bicycle accident in which the defendant, Sgt. Cordelia Dunn, struck the plaintiff’s bicycle while driving 50 mph through an intersection. Sgt. Dunn was responding to a call under her duty as a Joliet Police Officer, thereby making her employer, the Joliet Police Department, liable as well.

Cedric Bacon, the injured bicyclist who brought the personal injury claim against Sgt. Dunn for the injuries he sustained from the Joliet bicycle accident. Bacon required an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) surgery to repair the broken bones in his right leg; the breaks were so severe that the surgeons needed to place screws and plates to try to stabilize the bones. Despite the surgery, injuries to the surrounding artery and nerves caused Bacon to develop a severe foot drop. In addition, Bacon suffered a severe brain injury and developed subsequent anxiety.

At the personal injury trial, the bulk of the testimony centered on what happened at the intersection accident and whether Sgt. Dunn was acting within the scope of her employment. In an unusual turn of events, Sgt. Dunn refused to testify for her discovery deposition. As a result, the judge barred her from testifying at trial, forcing the defense to find an alternative way to represent Dunn’s versions of the events. To do so, the City of Joliet hired two accident reconstruction experts to reconstruct the intersection accident and testify before the jury at trial.

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A Chicago jury awarded $850,000 to a Chicago construction employee who suffered severe injuries after falling from his work on elevated train tracks. The personal injury verdict in Raul Luna et al. v. Chicago Transit Authority, Kiewit Western Co., Divane Brothers Electric Co., et al., No. 07 L 12550, came despite evidence that suggested the employee was injured because he violated some of the construction site’s safety requirements.

Raul Luna was an industrial painter employed by SCI Coatings, LLC. At the time of his construction site accident, Luna was working on Chicago Transit Authority’s (CTA) elevated railroad tracks as part of the CTA’s Chicago Loop renovation project. Luna was brought in to help sandblast and paint columns on the Van Buren St. train tracks between State St. and Wabash Ave. Because the train tracks were elevated, workers were using a manlift to reach the above ground areas. This essentially involved workers securing themselves using a harness-like device in order to prevent them from falling in the event that they slipped while working above ground.

In addition to his painting duties, Luna was also responsible of removing the construction site’s containment structure, which was constructed of tarps and wood two-by-fours. In order to reach the top of containment structure, Luna used the manlift as required by the job’s safety requirements. Luna proceeded to remove the nails from the two-by-fours in order to break down the containment structure. However, at some point Luna untied himself from the manlift, exited its basket area, and began to crawl across the elevated tracks.

It was while crawly unprotected across the tracks that Luna fell; one of the two-by-fours broke as Luna was removing a nail, sending him falling to the street below. Luna sustained an epidural hematoma, a comminuted displaced wrist fracture, and a comminuted fibula fracture. The fibula fracture required an internal fixation surgery so that Luna’s bones would heal properly. In addition, Luna suffered from a traumatic brain injury, which left him with cognitive, psychological, and behavioral deficits following his construction site injury.

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