What this Virginia Injury and Accident list is all about
The results published on this page are examples of cases in Virginia. This list is obviously not exhaustive. The results published here by Virginia personal injury attorney Ben Glass are compiled from various sources. The Virginia State Bar requires that I tell you that this list is intended to be interesting but it is not intended to represent what may be recovered in any given case. (But you already knew that anyway!) Each case is different but the more informed you are the better off you will be--always.
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$1.6 Million Dollar Settlement
Frank Hraczo v. Seneca Excavating & Landscaping, Inc.; Furnace Associates, Inc., d/b/a Lorton Landfill; Bradley Breeden; Weldon Cox
Congratulations to attorney David Marks (of counsel to BenGlassLaw) for this settlement.
Fairfax County Circuit Court At Law No. 2008-2092
On May 1, 2006, the plaintiff was operating a Roll-Off truck and entered Lorton landfill to dispose of the load of construction debris in his truck. Upon entering the landfill, he was directed by a Lorton employee to a specific location to park and unload his waste. At the same time that the Plaintiff was about to unload his debris, a Kenworth demolition tractor trailer operated by Bradley Breeden, an employee of Seneca, was also preparing to unload. Breeden was directed by Weldon Cox, an employee of Lorton as to where to park and unload. While the Seneca tractor trailer bed was elevated at its highest point, the debris became stuck and unable to flow out of the tail end. The tractor trailer became top-heavy and tipped over directly onto the cab of Plaintiff's vehicle where the Plaintiff was seated.
Plaintiff alleged that Breeden failed to keep a proper lookout and did not operate his truck properly to avoid injuries to others. Plaintiff alleged that Cox failed to direct the two trucks a proper distance apart and failed to warn Breeden or Plaintiff of a dangerous condition.
As a result of the negligence of the defendants, Plaintiff sustained crush injuries to his right foot with open fractures, multiple left sided rib fractures and a fracture of the pubic bone. After being pinned inside the cab for two hours, the Plaintiff was extracted and transported to Fairfax Hospital where he remained for three weeks. As a result of the incident and injuries, Plaintiff has undergone more than fifteen surgeries to repair his right heel and foot. It took more than two years for the physicians to successfully obtain wound closure on the right heel. Despite all these surgeries, plaintiff still cannot walk normally and never will again. He uses a cane to walk and to sit and stand. He uses prosthetic shoes designed specifically for his feet and to assist him with the constant nerve pain that he has to the foot.
Plaintiff has approximately $475,000.00 in medical expenses. Peder Meldberg, Ph.D., a vocation rehabilitation expert, stated that the Plaintiff's physical limitations, his pain, his medications and his limited education makes him unemployable. His lost earnings capacity is $922,134.00.
A mediation was held with the Honorable Joanna Fitzpatrick on November 21. 2008. A week after the mediation, a settlement was agreed to in the amount of $1.6 million with each defendant paying 50%. Trial was set for December 15, 2008.
High-Intensity Workout Results in Rhabdomyolysis
Plaintiff, a 25-year-old male on active duty in the U.S. Navy and in reasonably good physical condition. He was entreated at a gym to engage in a session of CrossFit exercises. He was assigned a personal trainer. After a 20-to-30-minute CrossFit session, focusing on his legs, he was unstable walking and sore.
Two days later he was in considerable pain and passing dark, discolored urine. He was hospitalized for a week on morphine at Andrews AFB with a diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis due to acute overexertion leading to hospitalization and some limited disability in both legs. This condition is due to the breakdown of muscle protein, which spills into the bloodstream, and can block up the kidneys leading to coma and death if not treated in a timely manner. The breakdown of muscle protein continues after the exercise ceases.
Plaintiff was awarded a $300,000 verdict. Plaintiff's attorney was Philip J. Walsh of Mclean.
Driver Ejected and Dies In Rollover Accident
The plaintiff was traveling on Route 7 in Fairfax County when his vehicle was struck by the defendant at a high rate of speed. The impact caused the plaintiff's vehicle to roll, and he was ejected from the vehicle and died from blunt force trauma to the head. The decedent left behind a wife of 24 years and two children, ages 18 and 24.
The case was mediated by Robert L. Harris Sr. The initial offer was $1.2 million and was eventually settled for $2.5 million.
Teen Awarded Punitives from Drunk Driver
Plaintiff a 16-year-old female high school cheerleader was driving home at night when her vehicle was hit head on by the defendant's vehicle. The defendant's vehicle had traveled 495 feet through the median and then into oncoming traffic.
The defendant driver's blood alcohol content was 0.32 percent, and this was his third DUI. He said he had been driving Wild Irish Rose all weekend. Defendant, after being asked by the investigating trooper if he had anything to drink, responded "Oh, hell yeah."
Plaintiff had minimal medical bills from the accident but her chiropractor testified that her pre-existing scoliosis had been made significantly worse. There was also testimony from friends and family members of the mental impact on plaintiff, including fear of driving at night and the impact on plaintiff's ability to participate in cheerleading and track at her high school .
Liability was admitted and defendant presented no expert witnesses. Defendant argued that plaintiff's scoliosis would have gotten worse anyway and that defendant had already been punished adequately by the criminal justice system.
Plaintiff was awarded $80,764.98 in compensatory damages and $200,000 in punitives.
Plaintiff's attorney was Brian K. Brake of Harrisonburg.
Retirement Benefits Considered in Damages from Accident
Plaintiff, a US Naval Officer was traveling south on Ocean Highway in Somerset County, Md., on his way to Norfolk Naval Base when a tractor-trailer attempted to make a left turn into the southbound lanes in front of him.
According to an eyewitness, the tractor-trailer crossed over the north-bound lanes without stopping at the stop sign, crossed over the median and turned directly into the southbound lanes without yielding to traffic.
Plaintiff was too close to the intersection when the tractor-trailer entered the roadway to avoid a collision with the rear wheels of the trailer, as the trailer straddled both southbound lanes in the midst of its turn. Plaintiff's car hit the trailer's tire and was knocked into a water-filled ditch on the side of the highway.
Within a year of the crash, plaintiff was medically discharged from the Navy because he could no longer meet the military's physical readiness standards.
In addition to reimbursement of medical expenses, plaintiff sued for the lost retirement benefits he would have been eligible for had he been allowed to retire from the Navy.
Plaintiff designated economist William E. Cobb of Charleston, W.Va., to testify to the present value of plaintiff's lost retirement benefits from his eligible military retirement age until the end of his estimated life expectancy.
Defendant's insurance company defended on the basis of contributory negligence, arguing that plaintiff was either speeding and/or simply not paying attention, The case settled at a court-mandated settlement conference for $300,000.
Woman Suffers Leg Fracture in Danville Collision
On the evening of Sept. 21, 2007, LaWanda Townes was driving at the intersection of Westover and Piedmont drives in Danville, Va. Traffic flow through the intersection was controlled by a traffic signal. Plaintiff claimed she had a green light as she proceeded straight through the intersection.
Defendant also had a green light but neglected to yield the right of way to plaintiff as she attempted a left turn onto Westover Drive. Defendant told the officer that she did not see the plaintiff coming towards her. Defendant also alleged that the plaintiff's head lights were not operating.
Plaintiff was taken to Danville Regional Medical Center. She was transferred to the University of Virginia Medical Center where she remained hospitalized for four days. During her hospital stay, she underwent a closed reduction and application of an external fixator. Due to malunion of the bones at the fracture sites, plaintiff required open reduction of her fractures months later. She made a good but not complete recovery.
Case settled for $250,000. Plaintiff was represented by attorney John C. Shea of Richmond, Va.
$1,350,000 Settlement for 21 -Year-Old Injured in School Bus Accident
At 5 p.m. on May 10, 2005, 21-year-old plaintiff Markus Johnson was severely injured when a school bus turned left directly in front of him and struck his small vehicle head-on. At the time of the accident, a mechanic employee of the school board was operating the bus after it had undergone service at the garage.
Plaintiff was air-lifted to Norfolk Sentara Hospital. His injuries include a comminuted, displaced fracture of the right hip (including both the acetabulum and femoral head), a fracture dislocation of the left great toe and a full-thickness laceration of the right forehead.
Plaintiff underwent an open reduction and internal fixation surgical procedure performed by orthopedic surgeon, Dr. John Williamson. Plaintiff developed traumatic arthritis and aseptic necrosis of the hip joint over time. Dr. Williamson opined that, within the next three to five years, plaintiff would need a hip replacement operation. Dr. Williamson was also of the opinion that a hip replacement lasts between 12 and 15 years before it wears out and needs replacement again. Therefore, plaintiff is likely to undergo four hip replacements during his lifetime.
Plaintiff allegedly suffered a comminuted acetabular fracture/dislocation of right hip; dislocated left great toe; laceration to right forehead with surgical repair; traumatic arthritis of the right hip; aseptic necrosis for the right hip; permanent facial and hip scarring; impairment.
Dr. Williamson gave plaintiff a present day 50 percent impairment of the use of his right leg and 37 percent after the hip replacement surgery. He indicated plaintiff would be restricted to sedentary employment over his life.
At the time of the accident, plaintiff lived with his elderly grandparents and worked as their caretaker in exchange for room and board. He performed tasks such as yard work, house cleaning, assistance with grocery shopping and driving.
A vocational expert, Peder Melberg, opined that, given plaintiff's medical restriction to sedentary or seated light work, he had lost access to over 75% of the labor market for which he was qualified. This loss of work capacity resulted in a lost future earning capacity of approximately $10,000 a year. Reduced to present value, this future income loss was $245,801. The admissibility of exhibits, evidence and testimony by Melberg regarding lost earning capacity was hotly contested upon the basis that plaintiff had never been employed and that the necessary foundation for evidence of and testimony on lost earning capacity had not been laid.
The case settled the day before trial for $1,350,000.
Pedestrian Hit by Car in Parking Lot Accepts Settlement
An elderly woman was hit by a car in a shopping center parking lot, resulting in hip injuries that required surgical repair. Defendant driver's primary insurer and the woman's underinsured carrier contributed to a $275,000 settlement to resolve all claims arising from the incident.
Plaintiff Ruth Altheim was standing near the rear of her vehicle. She was loading items into her trunk when she was struck by a vehicle driven by Defendant Robert Stephens.
Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent in failing to maintain a proper lookout. She also served notice of the claim to her underinsured motorist carrier and maintained that defendant driver had insufficient coverage to compensate for her damages.
Defendant admitted liability and his primary carrier tendered its limits. Plaintiff's UIM carrier also contributed to the settlement.
Plaintiff allegedly suffered from a dislocation of recently revised hip replacement resulting in additional surgeries. Plaintiff claimed approximately $100,000 in past medical expenses and no lost wages.
Breast Implant Damage After Tractor-Trailer Accident
A woman who suffered leaking breast implants after an accident with a tractor-trailer settled her case for $200,000.
Plaintiff, a female in her late 30's, was driving on Interstate 95 when she slowed for traffic. Defendant Tony Bass, who was driving a tractor-trailer at approximately 50 mph, rear-ended another vehicle and then rear-ended plaintiff's truck. As a result, plaintiff's truck was pushed into the vehicle in front of her at an angle. Plaintiff's truck was totaled in the collision.
Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent in failing to maintain a clear distance ahead and driving too fast for conditions. Plaintiff claimed to suffer chest trauma resulting in damage to breast implants with leaking from the implants and asymmetry of plaintiff's breasts. The implants were surgically removed and new implants were inserted. Plaintiff also sustained lacerations to the head that required sutures and resulted in minor scarring. Plaintiff also alleged to suffer headaches, dizziness and short term memory loss; bruising to both knees, head and chest; pain in the left elbow; and neck and lower back strains requiring physical therapy. Plaintiff claimed $46,861 in medical specials. Plaintiff also claimed some physical limitations as to her ability to exercise particularly weight lifting.
Defendant admitted liability and agreed to a settlement.
Carpenter Injured in Bus Crash Receives Jury Award for Lost Work
A carpenter injured when his bus flipped over claimed he would not be able to return to work as a result of his injuries. Plaintiff's wife was also injured, but settled her claim at the beginning of trial. Defendant contended that plaintiff's injuries were the result of a previous accident. The case was presented to a Fairfax County jury, who awarded plaintiff $70,000 in damages.
Plaintiff Facundo Alvares was operating a church bus on an interstate. Defendant Kevin Burrell was driving on the same interstate and in the same direction as plaintiff. Defendant reportedly passed in front of the bus and cut off its lane of travel. Plaintiff swerved quickly in an attempt to avoid a collision and the bus overturned. Plaintiff and his wife, Maria Alvarez, were injured in the accident. Maria suffered soft tissue injuries as a direct result of the collision. She settled her claim for $17,500 just after the jury was impaneled.
Plaintiff alleged he suffered soft tissue back and shoulder injuries and a herniated lumbar disc that required surgery. Plaintiff further alleged he would not be able to return to work due to his injuries.
Defendant admitted liability, but disputed the proximate cause of plaintiff's injuries. Defendant contended that plaintiff had a prior workers' compensation claim for the same type of injuries.
Plaintiff was a married Hispanic male in his 50's employed as a carpenter and brick layer.
Soft tissue back and shoulder injuries, as well as a herniated disc at L4-L5 requiring surgery and resulting in some permanent disability. Plaintiff claimed he could not work again. He sought $100,000 in past medicals and $300,000 in future wage loss.
Foot Amputated After Bunion Surgery
A Roanoke City Circuit Court jury awarded $3,500,000 to 63-year-old podiatry patient who alleged a partial amputation of her foot was necessary after the defendant podiatrist improperly removed a bunion.
Plaintiff Donita Franklin a local factory worker in Roanoke, had bunion removal surgery in March 2003. The procedure, an osteotomy, was performed by Defendant Jennifer Keller Feeny, M.D. of Shenandoah Podiatry Associates. Following the osteotomy, plaintiff suffered from severe pain and ultimately she required partial amputation of the right foot.
Plaintiff alleged defendant did not cut her bone straight and did not properly place the screws, which caused the bone to bend and separate and made it unable to properly heal. She claimed the misalignment caused the foot bones to rub together and resulted in excruciating pain and the need for a partial foot amputation. Plaintiff claimed she was unable to get around without the use of a wheelchair or crutches, not was she able to do the fun and active things she used to do. She also alleged defendant did not inform her of the complication she could expect with the surgery. In her complaint plaintiff asked for $3,000,000 in damages.
Defendants denied plaintiff's allegations and contended that Feeny was not negligent in performing surgery on the bunion. Defendants also contended that plaintiff suffered from a rare surgical complication known as complex regional pain syndrome which could not have been prevented and has no known cause. Defendants argued that nothing Feeny did or failed to do contributed to plaintiff's problems. Plaintiff suffered from improper bunion removal and lack of informed consent, resulting in permanent foot pain and the need for a partial right foot amputation.
Stay-at-home Mom Killed in Nelson County Accident
Plaintiff was the executrix of her 48-year-old sister's estate. Decedent was a married mother of two young girls, ages 9 and 12. The decedent and her two daughters died in a car accident in Nelson County in 2007.
The now deceased mother was not employed at the time of the accident but was planning to begin a part-time job when the children went back to school in the fall. There were no appreciable special damages in this case. The case settled in mediation for $1,250,000.
Plaintiff's attorneys were J. Gregory