Recent Jury Verdicts and Settlements
As an attorney who practices trial law, I must always be knowledgeable of recent jury verdicts and settlements. A person who is involved in any type of business must always be keenly aware of the going price for the product he is selling. To be able to advise my clients as to whether a settlement is fair, I must know what other cases have settled for or been awarded by a jury. The following is a brief synopsis of cases from around the State of Connecticut. These are not cases that have been settled by me. These cases are submitted only to educate people about what some jury awards and settlements are.
1. $1.1 Million settlement after a teacher’s death. In this case, the teacher in Hebron, Connecticut was walking through a school parking lot on her way to work. The defendant had wrongly gotten into the school bus lane, and when the defendant backed up to get out of this lane, the defendant hit the teacher. The teacher died two weeks later of a brain injury. According to the Hartford Courant, the defendant had alcohol in her system at the time of the injury.
2. $4.25 Million Verdict. A woman sued St. Vincent’s Hospital of Bridgeport, Connecticut for an errant spinal injection. The woman was in the hospital giving birth, when she asked for an epidural injection to ease the labor pains. The doctor who performed the epidural was 78 years old and allegedly had been working for 24 hours straight prior to the incident. Allegedly, the doctor put the needle in once causing extreme pain for the woman. He put the needle in the second time in the same spot and the same thing happened. The third time he moved the needle lower and it eased her pain.
The first day she couldn’t even have a blanket on her legs without extreme pain. Later an MRI showed a hole in her spinal cord from the needle that was permanent. Today the woman leads a sedentary life. She rarely leaves the house and has to sit most of the time.
3. $3.5 Million settlement by motorcyclist. The State of Connecticut had contracted with the defendant to pave a road. The defendant had undertaken milling of the road or removing the lop layer of asphalt which left grooves. The plaintiff was driving his motorcycle at night, and struck a manhole cover which had been left raised by the milling. The motorcyclist went airborne and hit his head. He suffered significant impairment of his cognitive, speech and motor functions. A Neurologist said the plaintiff’s ability to speak and comprehend was forever altered.
4. Arbitration Award of $185,000. An artist was awarded $185,000 after an auto collision on Interstate 95 where he was rear-ended. He was holding a coffee cup which went all over the dashboard. His neck went forward and back. His vehicle sustained only $837 of damage. The plaintiff didn’t even call the police or seek medical attention until the next day. Later the plaintiff was found to have a central disc protrusion at C-2/3, C-5/6 and spinal cord impingement at C-6/7. The plaintiff was an artist whose passion was painting and sculpting. However, he now complained that all of these things caused him pain and he had to limit himself from these activities.
5. Verdict of $770,357.63 against Town of West Hartford. The plaintiff was a woman who claimed she was caused to turn her ankle and fall due to a one and half inch height difference between a paver and the sidewalk. In the fall, the plaintiff sustained a complex fracture of her right wrist that required multiple surgeries and approximately $95,000 in medical expenses. She was unable to return to her work as a dental hygienist. The attorneys for the Town of West Hartford never accepted liability for the injury.
6. Verdict of $87,000 against landlord for defective stairs. A Bridgeport jury recently returned this verdict against a landlord for defective stairs. The landlord had leased out a building to a restaurant. The plaintiff was an employee of the restaurant. The plaintiff claimed that the defective stairs caused him to fall and break a bone in his right hand. After the incident, the restaurant/tenant placed a non-slip strip on the stairs that were defective. The issue in the case was whether the landlord had control of the premises. Although the restaurant claimed that they had control and not the landlord, the plaintiff was able to convince the jury that the landlord still had control.
7. Double Six Figure Verdicts. Two Verdicts were returned in Hartford in May, 2015. The plaintiffs were both occupants of an automobile that was traveling on I-84. The vehicle was sideswiped, struck a jersey barrier and went airborne. The driver of the automobile suffered only a soft tissue injury for physical injury which required only four weeks of treatment. However she also claimed to suffer anxiety, depression and PTSD as a result of the collision. The verdict for her was $236, 828.
In the second case, a 27 year old female suffered a bulging disc, and a 5% lumbar and a 5% cervical permanent partial disability rating. Her total medical expenses were $12,516. The verdict for her was $263, 310.
8. Verdict $74,898 in Bridgeport. The plaintiff was a 36 year old police officer who was driving his pregnant wife and daughter to the pediatrician’s office. The defendant ran two red lights and collided with his vehicle. His wife and daughter had minor injuries. He did not ask for treatment at the scene of the accident. He took over the counter medicine for ten days before going to see an Orthopedist. After an MRI was ordered, it was discovered that he had two rotator cuff tears in the same shoulder. The Orthopedist prescribed steroidal injections and physical therapy. The plaintiff delayed further treatment for then months. At that time the Orthopedist recommended surgery. At the time of trial the plaintiff had not had surgery, and was not sure if he would have it.
The above cases were reported in major news publications or privately to me through other attorneys. All allegations made above are based on the plaintiff’s allegations.