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$21 Million Settlement for Child’s Brain Injury Caused When Truck Rear-Ended Virginia Beach Family’s Car

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Randall E. Appleton and James C. Lewis of Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton, P.C.

Type of action: Personal Injury - Trucking Accident

Injuries alleged: Skull Fractures; Subdural Hematoma; Traumatic Brain Injury

Name of Case: Confidential

Court/Case No.: Norfolk Circuit Court

Verdict or Settlement: Settlement Date - February 1, 2012

Special Damages: - Past $142,000.00

Present Value: Plaintiff’s Life Care Plan $3,000,000.00 to $7,000,000.00

Present Value: Defense Life Care Plan $215,000.00

Settlement Amount - Present Value $5,500,000.00 - Total Payout Including Structured Settlement $21,000,000.00

Defense Damage Experts:  Eileen Ryan, D.O.; Michael Duchowny, M.D.; Scott Sautter, Ph.D. and Mona Yudkoff, R.N.

Plaintiff Damage Experts: Gregory O’Shanick, M.D.; Ronald Savage, Ed.D.; Pamela Waaland, Ph.D. and Sharon Reavis, RN, MS

Facts of the Case:

Plaintiff was a three year old child seated in the back of her family’s automobile at a stop light on a four lane highway in the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.  Her automobile was stopped waiting for the light to turn green.

The defendant was operating a tractor-trailer that failed to stop at the intersection and rear-ended plaintiff’s vehicle traveling approximately 40 mph.  The impact was severe enough to collapse both front seats into the back seat and to push the trunk of the car into the area where the plaintiff was seated.

Plaintiff was transported to a local hospital where imaging studies revealed several skull fractures with subdural hematoma.  Plaintiff remained in an induced coma for approximately five days.  Plaintiff did not require surgical intervention.

Sequential imaging studies demonstrated bilateral permanent frontal lobe damage to the infant plaintiff’s brain.  Plaintiff was evaluated by numerous specialists who opined that she would suffer significantly impaired executive function as she matured into adolescence and adulthood.  This contention was hotly contested by experts retained by the defense.

Plaintiff’s life care plan had a present value of between $3 and $7 million depending upon which of the supportive assets the jury believed the child would need as she went through her adult life.

The defense life care plan had a present value of approximately $215,700.00.

The case was settled at mediation for $5.5 million.  A structured annuity was designed and put in place that will pay the child approximately $21 million over the course of her life.

For more information about Shapiro, Lewis, Appleton & Favaloro, please visit, or the International Society of Primerus Law Firms.

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