Our client, a twenty-two year old male, had been visiting friends at a multi-family residence at night. Upon leaving, as he was approaching his car, the client stepped into a hole that had been cut into a storm sewer grate. The client’s right leg was deeply lacerated, and he sustained a significant injury to his right knee. He required suturing for the lacerations and surgery for the torn cartilage in his knee. He was eventually diagnosed with a chronic, disabling pain condition in his right leg.
In working up the case, we took a statement from the property manager who admitted that she had known of the dangerous condition posed by the damaged sewer grate for a period of two months but had failed to arrange for any repairs. We also obtained documentation confirming the property manager’s awareness of the dangerous condition and failure to take remedial action.
Unfortunately, MRI scans, CT scans and an EMG had failed to confirm the client’s pain and some of the client’s treating doctors raised questions about the true extent of his pain. Nevertheless, recorded statements we obtained from friends and acquaintances who described the client’s leg as “dead” were persuasive. Other evidence also confirmed the severity of the client’s right leg pain. The client underwent two trials of a neurostimulator that was surgically implanted in his spine for the purpose of diminishing his pain. Both trials did not accomplish any pain relief, but the willingness of the client to undergo this major surgical procedure provided compelling evidence of the reality and severity of his pain condition.
We arranged for a life care plan from a certified life care planning team that calculated the life time cost of medical care that the client would require. We also arranged for a vocational evaluation to determine the future impact of the client’s injury on his earning ability.
The case settled at mediation for $1 million.