Large Jury Award In TBI Case
A drinking establishment in Neptune must pay $18.74 million to a victim who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a 2012 bar scuffle.
The victim claimed that inadequate security caused the fight. According to evidence presented at trial, the owner did not have enough security personnel on hand, and the ones on duty actually encouraged the fight involving the man and another patron. The man was in a coma for two months and now suffers from aphasia, a sensory impairment that makes it difficult to talk and communicate; he is also partially paralyzed and requires constant care.
The man recently met with a national aphasia expert and his prognosis is somewhat hopeful at this time.
It may seem unusual, or even unfair, that a business that seemingly had very little to do with the victim’s damages should be legally responsible for paying them. But the fact is that most businesses put profits ahead of almost everything else, and they are willing to bend the law, or even break it, to maximize revenue and minimize expenses. If that means cutting a few corners when it comes to something like a patron’s security, many owners will make such decisions until it is no longer cost effective for them to do so. And that is why we file negligence cases.
Another fundamental rule of life is that we all make mistakes and we must all accept the consequences of those mistakes, however harsh they may or may not be. The incident described above has all the basic features of a standard owner negligence case:
- Duty: The victim was an invitee (a guest who conferred an economic benefit on the owner) and therefore the bar owner had a duty to keep the victim safe.
- Breach: The jury concluded that the owner provided inadequate security.
- Cause-in-Fact: Similarly, the jury obviously concluded that the incident would not have occurred if the owner had provided adequate security.
- Foreseeability: In many jurisdictions, an independent intervening cause, like a fistfight, absolves a person of liability. But under Florida law, property owners can be responsible in such instances if the injury was a reasonably foreseeable consequence, and bar fights happen in bars.
- Damages: The victim sustained both economic and noneconomic damages, which are detailed below.
Bear in mind that the insurance company bears the financial risk in cases like these, and the tortfeasor (negligent actor) only sees a premium increase and some other indirect consequences.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
An estimated 138 Americans die every day as the result of a TBI. Sports-related brain injuries receive lots of media attention, but most of these wounds arise from:
- Motor vehicle crashes,
- Falls, and
- Workplace injuries.
Unlike damaged skin or bone tissue, damaged brain tissue normally does not regenerate, so the injuries are often permanent. As a matter of fact, TBIs are progressive, and without very aggressive medical treatment and physical therapy, the symptoms get worse almost every day. The good news is that other parts of the brain often assume at least part of the lost function, so long-term treatment regimens are often quite successful.
Rely on Experienced Attorneys
For prompt assistance from an aggressive personal injury lawyer in Port St. Lucie, contact Eighmie Law Firm, PA today, because you have a limited amount of time to act.