Notable Spinal Cord Injury Settlements
The following settlements and jury awards are examples of compensation that victims of spinal cord injuries have been able to recover in the past. Each spinal cord injury case is unique, however, and should be reviewed by an experienced spinal cord injury attorney who can determine the best course of legal action to take.
Plaintiff Awarded $18M after Falling through Manhole
In February 2008, Trigen-Philadelphia Energy Corporation was ordered to pay a 26-year-old plaintiff $18 million after he fell 18 feet through one of the company’s manholes and suffered severe spinal cord injuries. Trigen, which owned and operated Philadelphia’s underground steam system, failed to properly secure the manhole cover after a homeless man pried it open. Had the plaintiff not agreed to a high-low deal before the trial – which capped any potential settlement award at $18 million – Trigen would have had to pay him the $85 million that the jury awarded him.
Nine-Year-Old Quadriplegic Receives $54M
In September 2007, a judge awarded Leilani Gutierrez, a 9-year-old quadriplegic, $54 million for medical bills and compensatory damages stemming from a 2002 car crash in Costa Mesa, California. Gutierrez, who is dependent on a ventilator and 24-hour nurse, was injured by a federal employee who ran a red light and crashed into her family’s Suburban. She spent 250 days in the hospital and underwent 24 surgeries, including spinal cord stabilization.
Former College Linebacker Settles with School for $800,000
Marc Buoniconti, paralyzed in 1985 while playing in a college football game for the Citadel, settled for $800,000 during his trial three years later. He made a tackle during the game and crushed his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down. After suing the school, former trainer, and team doctor in 1988, he accepted their out-of-court offer. Buoniconti has since formed the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis with his father, former NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti. As spokesman, Marc has helped raise over $200 million for spinal injury research.
Call an Attorney in Your Area
If you or a member of your family has suffered a spinal cord injury during a sporting activity, car crash, or dangerous fall that can be attributed to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive damages. Contact a personal injury lawyer for more information, using LawyerShop’s directory of experienced lawyers in your area.