Judge Reduces Award In Severed Finger Case

The Virginia Verdict Reporter recently featured a case out of Loudoun County Circuit Court in which the plaintiff was returning a 6800-pound hydraulic hammer to the Defendant company. While an employee of the Defendant company used a fork lift to unload the giant hammer from the plaintiff's truck the hammer slipped causing some loose boards to slam down onto the plaintiff's hand. The plaintiff's left index finger was partially severed by the blow and he was immediately taken to a nearby emergency room where doctors were unable to reattach the finger. The plaintiff claimed a 37% impairment to his left arm as a result of the injury and incurred medical bills around $4,000.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff was careless in placing his hand in a dangerous area during an obviously dangerous procedure. They also argued that the damages were limited as the plaintiff was able to return to work despite his injuries.

After 2 hours of deliberation the jury awarded the plaintiff $375,000. Unfortunately for the plaintiff, the judge, Hon. Thomas D. Horne, felt that there was not enough evidence to support such a large award and remitted the award to $175,000.

The case has now been appealed by both parties. The defense has appealed the liability verdict and damages while the plaintiff has appealed the remittance of the award.

The case is William Woodson v. Alban Tractor Co. Plaintiff's attorney in this case is James Magner of Leiser, Leiser, & Hennessy.
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