Sunday, February 10, 2008

Trailer breaks loose from crane truck and strikes girl: Inadequate securing of trailer: Head injuries: Structured settlement

Trailer breaks loose from crane truck and strikes girl: Inadequate securing of trailer: Head injuries: Structured settlement

Leavesley v. Doe, Fla., St. Lucie County Cir. Ct., No. 99107 CA-10, Aug. 30, 2000.

Leavesley, 4, was in her front yard when a mobile crane truck pulling a trailer with two large funnels passed by. The trailer broke loose, rolled into the yard, and struck her, throwing her about 70 feet.

Leavesley was in a coma for almost two weeks. Her injuries included three skull fractures, multiple facial lacerations, and a fractured pelvis. She also had a brain disorder known as left-sided hemiparesis. Leavesley had difficulty speaking for some time after the accident and had to relearn many tasks she had previously mastered. Her family incurred medical expenses exceeding $600,000. Because of her diminished capacity, she had to repeat her year in kindergarten. Her treating physician stated that Leavesley will probably not be employable except in a structured setting, and that she will not be able to live on her own. An economist estimated the present value cost of her life care plan to be about $6.6 million.

Leavesley and her parents sued the owner of the crane truck, alleging negligence in the securing of the trailer.

Defendant contended that with therapy and tutoring, Leavesley would eventually be able to function as an adult with no restrictions.

After mediation, the parties reached a structured settlement with a present value of $950,000. Plaintiffs' counsel estimates that if Leaves(ey lives to her full life expectancy the total payout will exceed $25 million.

Plaintiffs' experts were Theodore Wasserman, neuropsychology, West Palm Beach, Fla; Robert G. Kamholtz, neuroradiology, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Sharon Griffin, vocational rehabilitation, Stuart, Fla.; and Bernard F. Pettingill, economics, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Defendant's experts were John M. Williams, vocational rehabilitation, Coral Springs, Fla.; Anthony J. Dorto, physiatry, Miami, Fla.; and Michael S. Duchowny, neurology, Miami, Fla.

Plaintiffs' Counsel

*Robert E. Gordon, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

*Adam S. Doner, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

An asterisk (*) appearing beside the name of plaintiff's counsel indicates that the attorney is an ATLA member. To obtain additional information about a case report, contact counsel through your ATLA membership directory.

Copyright Association of Trial Lawyers of America Feb 2001
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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