Articles Posted in Verdicts and Settlements

On September 17, 2007, Barbara Lefforge entered St. Edna Nursing home for rehabilitation purposes. Barbara had just had surgery to repair tendon damage in her foot. Barbara’s surgeon mistakenly prescribed 50mg of Morphine when he had intended to prescribe her 50mg of Demerol.

The improper prescription was noticed by the pharmacist from which the medication was to be received, but nevertheless St. Edna administered all of the morphine they had in stock (a total of 30 mg). Upon the drug administration, Barbara suffered an overdose. St. Edna failed to monitor her and failed to bring her to the hospital until the next morning. Consequently, Barbara suffered a significant brain injury. This injury led Barbara to file a medical malpractice action against both her original surgeon and St. Edna.

The jury found St. Edna 90% at fault and her original surgeon 10% at fault. Sadly, Barbara was only at St. Edna a little over five hours when the negligence that caused her injury occurred. This was an injury that could have easily been avoided, and one that happens all too often in both hospital and nursing home settings.

According to PRWeb, a jury verdict awarded $12.2 million in damages to Emily Liou, a San Mateo County 17 year old who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car-pedestrian accident. The accident occurred on March 28, 2006, as Emily was walking home. She had just left her friends after singing Karaoke. As she was crossing El Camino Real in a marked crosswalk, a woman with her child driving a Toyota sedan, struck Emily knocking her to the ground. The resulting injuries left Emily in a permanent vegetative state.

According to her attorney, “Emily was struck in a marked crosswalk located at the crest of a rise in the road, which does not come into view until a driver is about 100 feet away. Additionally, the crosswalk is located at an ‘uncontrolled’ intersection, meaning that there are no lights or stop signs controlling vehicular traffic. El Camino Real, which Caltrans (the California Department of Transportation) calls State Route 82, is among the busiest roads on the peninsula.”

Discovery during the case produced the following information — within the past 15 years, three other pedestrians had been killed in the same crosswalk. The trial lasted four weeks. The jury found that the California Department of Transportation was 50% at fault and divided the remaining fault between the driver (30%) and Emily (20%).

According to, brain injuries 20% of traumatic brain injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents. In addition, 15-24 year olds face the highest risk of traumatic brain injuries due to vehicle accidents.
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The Chicago City Council approved a $3 million settlement on behalf of a woman seriously injured when the car she was riding in was hit by a stolen vehicle during an unauthorized police chase, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The stolen vehicle was driven in excess of more than twice the speed limit when it slammed into the woman’s vehicle, and the collision was so strong that her body was thrown from the car and landed on the ground forty feet away. Doctors had to place the Chicago woman in an induced coma for two days and she was in the hospital for over two weeks. The woman suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the crash.

Mayo Clinic reports that half of all traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of car, motorcycle and bicycle collisions. When the head is struck too strongly, such as can occur in a collision, the brain can slam against the inside of the skull and cause bruising of the brain, bleeding, and torn nerve fibers. Sudden braking or stopping as a result of a car collision can also cause this to happen. A traumatic brain injury can be fatal. When serious brain injuries are not fatal, the consequences can still be severe. Traumatic brain injury can cause cognitive impairment, affecting a person’s thinking and reasoning skills, memory, and multitasking ability.

To help prevent against serious brain trauma, always wear a seatbelt while driving in a car. Motor vehicle collisions are sometimes unpreventable, but by taking the extra precaution of wearing something as simple as a seatbelt or child booster seat, lives can be saved and people can take steps toward recovery, whether by medical intervention, lawsuits, or both.

23-year-old Preston Plevretes, a former college football player, reached a settlement with LaSalle University, four years after he suffered a serious brain injury during a football game. The personal injury settlement was reached for $7.5 million and will cover the young man’s ongoing medical care and treatments for life. In 2005, Plevretes was knocked unconscious and fell into a coma after a hit during a game. Doctors performed emergency surgery to reduce swelling in the brain, however they could not repair all of the damage and today he has difficulty walking and communicating. According to the lawsuit, Plevretes suffered a concussion several days before the game during practice. The plaintiff’s injury attorney contended that because the university did not treat the concussion, it left Plevretes’ brain in a vulnerable state. Plevretes’ attorney noted that when someone’s brain is already swollen, it can quickly swell up and can easily lead to a herniation. This is likely what caused his life-changing injury. To read the full report on this brain injury settlement, click on the hyperlinked text.

A 59-year-old woman was awarded a $6.3 million verdict after a hospital’s negligence caused her to suffer irreversible brain damage. The treating physician and hospital’s negligence caused the woman to lose most of her short-term memory and her ability to speak. According to the medical malpractice lawyer who represented the victim, she must now live with her grown son and requires help with everyday activities such as eating and even chewing.

The woman went into the hospital for back surgery. The brain damage occurred after the surgery when hospital staff administered a dangerous mix of medications, creating serious respiratory problems. The hospital staff failed to intubate the victim in a timely manner, causing a lack of oxygen to the brain. The verdict included future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and loss of the ability to perform daily tasks. To access the full article on this medical malpractice verdict follow the link.

A city council has agreed to pay $2.2 million to the family of a 14-year-old girl who was chocked by playground equipment. The 11-year-old girl was found unconscious hanging by the neck from a rope tied to a playground ride. She suffered an irreversible brain injury and remains in a vegetative state. The girls sued the police department because its officer who responded to the incident concluded that the victim was dead and did not attempt to resuscitate her or remove her from the rope. Instead the officer, after determining the girl had no pulse, began taking pictures of her as she was hanging by her neck. He then directed medical first responders not to disturb what he thought was a crime scene. The girl’s lawyers argued that these actions prevented her from being resuscitated for six to eight minutes until the paramedics arrived at the apartment. The delay made her brain injury much worse than it might have been. The parents will receive part of the brain injury settlement, but the largest portion will go to the victim’s special needs trust. The girl had suffered permanent brain damage and requires 24-hour medical care and lives in a skilled nursing facility. Her doctor estimated that she will live about 16 more years. To read more about the brain injury settlement, please click the link.

A school district has settled a brain injury lawsuit filed by a former student who was injured when he leaped from a file cabinet at the teacher’s request. The district will pay $700,000 to the injured student. The brain injury lawsuit alleges that the student jumped from atop the cabinet to grab an exposed beam in the ceiling at the encouragement of his teacher. The student jumped to get something from an exposed I-beam, missed and hit his head on the ground. He suffered a concussive brain injury and now suffers chronic headaches that affect his short-term memory and ability to concentrate. The brain injury lawsuit contended that the victim suffered permanent damage and required an individualized education plan to continue his schooling. To read more about the brain injury settlement, please click the link.

A brain injury lawsuit alleged that the victim will suffer millions of dollars in lost earnings due to a brain injury. The brain injury was incurred after an automobile crash. The man was hit by a 17-year-old driver who went off the intersection and landed on the driver’s side of the sport utility. Brain injuries are common results of automobile crashes. To read more about the jury verdict, please click the link.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, a nine-year-old boy received an $11.1 million jury verdict for the brain damage he sustained as a result of medical malpractice by a hospital. When the boy was 3 months old, his mother took him to the hospital several days after he began vomiting and was having diarrhea. Hospital staff sent the mother and child home, but the following day she rushed him back to the hospital because he was barely breathing. During his first visit, the hospital failed to diagnose or treat his severe dehydration and as a result the boy suffered significant brain damage. To read more about this brain injury verdict, follow the link.

Target Corporation has agreed to pay $7 million to an 81-year old woman who suffered a severe brain injury when an automatic door at a Target store in Rosemont, Illinois, malfunctioned. This is a record settlement in Cook County for a brain injury to a woman over the age of 60.

A glitch caused the door to close on the plaintiff, Claire Putman, as she was walking through the store’s entrance. This knocked her to the ground, causing her to hit her head. She was than hit in the head again by the door itself as it continued to open and close. Ms. Putman was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma and, despite undergoing surgery to repair her injury, she suffered permanent brain damage and cognitive defects that have required her to move into a nursing home.

Click on the following link to to read more about this record brain injury settlement.

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