$350,000 Settlement for Shopper Who Suffered “Minor” Traumatic Brain Injury When Hit on Head by Falling Merchandise

Type of action:

Negligence (Automobile Accident)

Injuries alleged:

Closed head injuries, right knee effusion and right quadriceps tendon tear, neck and back pain

Amount of settlement:

Structured settlement with a present value of $403,000 (immediate lump-sum payment of $285,000, plus $750 per month, guarantees for 15 years and an additional lump-sum payment of $100,000 on Oct. 23, 2009)

Other useful information:

Plaintiff was injured when his vehicle was struck by another vehicle which was travelling at an excessive rate of speed and crossed into plaintiff’s lane of travel. The operator of the other vehicle was subsequently convicted of operating under the influence and various other motor vehicle offenses. His insurance company paid the full policy limits of $20,000.

Plaintiff claimed underinsured benefits under his own insurance policy. He was admitted overnight to the hospital for observation, but discharged the next day with a diagnosis of closed-head injury. Plaintiff continued to experience headaches, anxiety, confusion and other cognitive and physical problems. Plaintiff had a neurologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist and a vocational expert prepared to testify about plaintiff’s impaired cognitive, intellectual, behavioral, emotional and vocational functioning. The insurance company’s total exposure was $480,000 ($500,000 underinsurance coverage less the $20,000 paid by the tortfeasor’s liability insurer). The case settled with a structured settlement (present value $403,000).

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