Traumatic Brain Injury - Articles
January 22, 2014
A jury in a rural suburb of Philadelphia awarded $32.8 million in damages to a couple whose daughter suffered brain injuries during delivery at a Chester County hospital.
The lawsuit was filed by the parents of Lilly Ciechoski, who sustained brain damage after two nurses at Phoenixville Hospital noticed a drop in her heart rate for 13 minutes during delivery, but failed to alert doctors. Lilly now suffers from several physical disabilities, which include frequent arm and leg spasms and an inability to control her head motions.
The family's attorney argued during the trial that 4-year-old Lilly, who is now confined to a wheelchair, may be able to lead a normal life with the proper medical care, which the family could not afford absent a verdict in their favor.
The verdict marks one of the largest awards of personal injury damages in Chester County's history.
$7.5 Million Awarded in Los Angeles Birth Injury Suit
November 07, 2013
Los Angeles County reached a $7.5 million settlement on Thursday with a formerly homeless woman who filed a lawsuit after her son sustained brain damage during his birth at a county hospital.
The suit was filed by 25-year-old Dyrene Loftis, who claims that the staff at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center acted negligently in failing to treat her in 2012, causing her uterus to rupture and her unborn son to suffer brain damage.
Emergency crews rushed Loftis, who was then 39 weeks pregnant and experiencing severe abdominal pains, to the hospital in April 2012. She was sent home without being evaluated by an obstetrician after spending 14 hours in the medical center's labor and delivery unit.
Twelve hours later, Loftis was again rushed to the hospital after suffering a ruptured uterus and delivered a baby boy, Micah, via Caesarean section in the hospital's emergency room.
Micah suffered irreparable brain damage due to lack of oxygen to his brain during delivery.
Pittsburgh Hospital Must Pay $14.2 Million in Malpractice Case
November 05, 2013
According to a ruling this week by a panel of judges, a Pittsburgh hospital will have to pay $14.2 million to the estate of a man who died of a brain injury resulting from medical malpractice.
A previous judgment was upheld on Monday, ending nearly a decade-long lawsuit against University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Shadyside.
The original lawsuit was filed by the estate of 24-year-old Michael Rettger, who was transferred to Shadyside on November 15, 2003, after doctors at a different hospital discovered he had a large brain tumor which required surgery.
The night before Rettger was scheduled for surgery, a nurse noticed that his pupils were dilated, which indicated that his condition was worsening and that he required immediate emergency treatment.
At 1 a.m., she contacted Rettger's neurosurgeon, Dr. Eugene Bonaroti, but he did not go to the hospital to perform surgery or order any emergency treatment. Rettger died the very next day.
The jury in the first trial awarded $2.5 million to Rettger's estate, but the family appealed the judgment because jurors were not allowed to award damages for Rettger's future earnings. Jurors in the second trial were permitted to consider the future wages that Rettger, who was employed as an accountant, would have earned had he survived.
In 2011, the family received a $10 million damage award which, with interest, rose to $13 million after the hospital filed several post-trial motions. The hospital is now required to pay $14.2 million.
Judgment Overturned in Maryland Medical Malpractice Case
July 11, 2013
A judgment was overturned by the Maryland Special Court of Appeals this week in a case alleging medical malpractice against a Baltimore hospital that led to a birth injury.
The original case was filed by Rebecca Fielding and Enso Martinez against Johns Hopkins Hospital after their baby was born with irreversible brain damage in 2011. The lawsuit claimed that the baby, Enzo, suffered from a lack of oxygen while his mother waited to have a caesarian section at the hospital. He was later diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encepalopathy, which is an irreversible cognitive disorder.
Lawyers for the hospital weren't allowed to introduce evidence that the baby's injuries may have resulted from the negligence of midwife Evelyn Muhlhan, who tried to deliver the baby herself before calling an ambulance.
Judges at the intermediate appellate court sent the case back to the trial court, claiming that evidence concerning the alleged negligence of the midwife should have been presented at trial.
The original judgment of $55 million against the hospital was later reduced to $28.3 million due to Maryland's cap on punitive damages.
Surgeon Who Operated on Wrong Side of Brain Faces Lawsuit
April 30, 2013
A St. Louis-area surgeon who operated on the wrong side of a woman's brain is now facing a lawsuit, according to court records.
The suit was filed by 53-year-old Regina Turner on Friday against Dr. Armond Levy of St. Clare Health Center in Fenton alleging that he performed a right-sided craniotomy bypass instead of the left-sided craniotomy bypass she was supposed to receive.
Turner had suffered several mini-strokes before the surgery. Now, she is unable to speak intelligibly and needs around-the-clock nursing care for assistance with routine daily activities.
An internal investigation of the incident is underway, according to hospital officials.
The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Trial Against Taser Manufacturer Begins
December 05, 2012
Trial began this week in a suit filed against a taser manufacturer by a man who went into cardiac arrest after police shot him in the chest with a stun gun in 2007.
The product liability lawsuit claims that Taser International, the manufacturer of the stun gun, was aware of the dangers of aiming the taser at a suspect's chest, but failed to warn police of those dangers.
St. Louis police used a Taser International stun gun to subdue the then 17-year-old victim during a 2007 domestic disturbance call.
The man's heart stopped for 30 minutes after being stunned, and he was placed on life support for several weeks after the incident. He now suffers permanent brain damage.
Taser International now routinely warns law enforcement officers that aiming a stun gun at a suspect's chest may interfere with normal heart rhythm.
Shaun Gayle Sues NFL Over Concussion Injuries
July 12, 2012
Shaun Gayle, a former defensive back for the Chicago Bears, filed a lawsuit against the National Football League this week, claiming the league ignored evidence that repeated head injuries and concussions may have long-term effects on players.
According to court documents, Gayle claims that repeated head trauma he suffered during his 12-year career in the NFL resulted in symptoms consistent with a neurodegenerative disorder called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
The suit, which was filed in Cook County Circuit Court, claims the NFL denied that there was any link between multiple brain injuries and long-term brain damage.
Gayle blames the NFL for failing to prevent, diagnose and treat concussions he suffered throughout his career, which spanned from 1983 to 1995.
Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is Riddell Inc. The suit alleges that the football helmet maker failed to manufacture products that provided adequate protection against brain injuries.
Gayle is seeking over $300,000 in damages.
Teen Faces Jail Time Over Texting-While-Driving Death
May 30, 2012
A teen is facing jail time for motor vehicle homicide after killing a man in a crash prosecutors say was caused by texting while driving, the first such case in Massachusetts involving electronic messaging.
Evidence was introduced at trial that the driver, 17-year-old Aaron Deveau, was using his cellphone to send and receive up to 193 text messages in the hours just before he collided head-on with another vehicle.
The driver of the other vehicle, Donald Bowley, Jr., sustained traumatic brain injuries and his passenger, Luz Selena Roman, suffered serious injuries in the February 2011 crash. Bowley died after being taken off life support 18 days later.
Deveau faces up to four years in prison, if convicted.
The NFL Faces Another Concussion Lawsuit
May 10, 2012
A lawsuit was filed on Monday in Pennsylvania against the National Football League by 25 former players, who claim the league failed to take measures to prevent brain injuries, according to court documents.
The lead plaintiff in the case is former offensive tackle Brad Culpepper, who played for the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears between 1992 and 2000. Culpepper now works as a personal injury attorney in Tampa.
The lawsuit is the latest of nearly 70 lawsuits filed against the NFL involving about 1,800 former players who were not informed by the league of the risk of permanent brain injury that may result from concussion and head-to-head contact.
The league allegedly failed to warn players who suffered concussion that continued play may cause permanent and irreversible brain damage, the lawsuit says.
Parade Float Collapse Injures Two
March 19, 2012
Two people were injured after a float collapsed on Saturday during the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Slidell, La., police said.
Just before 1:30 p.m., a tractor trailer pulling Float 43 toppled over due to two flat tires, thereby injuring two of the 35 people aboard the float.
One woman was rushed to the hospital for treatment of a deep cut on the head, while the other person suffered only minor injuries. The names of the injured were not released.
The damaged float was cleared from the route, and the parade resumed at about 2 p.m.
Lawsuit Filed Over Museum Death
March 16, 2012
A wrongful death lawsuit was filed this week by the estate of an 81-year-old man who died at the Jell-O Museum in Le Roy, New York, in 2010, according to court documents.
The suit was filed Monday in Rochester County by Sophia LaMont, the daughter of Frank P. LaMont Jr., whose scooter fell nearly 3 feet from a lift at the museum in October 2010, causing him to hit his head on the concrete floor. LaMont was pronounced dead later that day.
Defendants named in the lawsuit are the United States; the Le Roy Historical Society,the museum's owner; The Safety and Access Co. Inc., which maintained the lift, and Ikeco Inc., the company that installed the lift.
The lawsuit alleges that LaMont's death resulted from negligence of the Veterans Affairs employees who were supervising him and defective design and maintenance of the lift.
LaMont was a Marine Corps veteran who had been a VA hospice resident since August 2010.
Lawsuit Filed Over Alleged School Beating
November 15, 2011
A school district in Indiana has been sued by the parents of a boy who sustained traumatic brain injury after allegedly being beaten by fellow students during an act of bullying.
The lawsuit was filed by the parents of David Osama Haddad, a student of Middle Eastern descent, who was bullied and beaten by fellow students at Lake Central High School in St. John.
According to court documents, Haddad was bullied for over a year before he was allegedly attacked in a hallway at the school on November 8, causing him to suffer a brain injury.
The parents allege that district officials were aware of the physical and verbal abuse against their son, but did nothing to stop it.
The suit claims Haddad was targeted because of his Middle Eastern background.
Jury Awards $144M in Birth Injury Suit
October 19, 2011
A jury in Michigan awarded $144 million to a mother whose daughter will require life-long care after doctors refused to perform a Caesarean section 15 years ago.
The lawsuit was filed by Kimberly VanSlembrouck against Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, and the doctors who delivered her daughter, Markell VanSlembrouck.
The jury found the hospital and doctor Andrew J. Halperin negligent for forcing 10-pound, 12-ounce Markell to be delivered naturally, which caused her to suffer brain hemorrhaging and severe brain trauma.
Attorneys for the hospital say they plan to appeal the verdict.
Family of Giants Fan Beaten at Dodger Stadium Files Suit
May 25, 2011
The family of a man who was severely beaten at Dodger Stadium filed a lawsuit against the Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt on Tuesday, according to court documents.
Bryan Stow, a 42-year-old San Francisco Giants fan and father of two, was attending Opening Day at Dodger Stadium on March 31 when he sustained a fractured skull and brain damage during an attack in the stadium's parking lot after the game.
The lawsuit alleges that ineffective security at the stadium is responsible for the assault that caused Stow's injuries.
The family claims McCourt and stadium officials failed to address or discourage intimidating and aggressive behavior by Dodger fans in the past, and was negligent in providing adequate security for the Opening Day event.
Police have arrested one of the three suspects in the assault, 31-year-old Giovanni Ramirez, who prosecutors say has two previous felony convictions on his record.
Boy, 2, Injured in Fall Down Elevator Shaft
January 24, 2011
A 2 year old was critically injured when he fell 30 feet down an elevator shaft at a hotel in Joliet, Illinois, police said.
The boy, whose identity was not released, had wandered alone from his mother's room at the Plaza Hotel when he fell into the shaft after apparently playing with the buttons on the elevator.
He was rushed to a local hospital in Joliet with severe head injuries, and later flown to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
Haunted House Sued Over Teen's Death
December 10, 2010
The father of a teenager who died after exposure to a mixture of artificial fog and various scents at a haunted house in St. Louis triggered an asthma attack, according to court documents.
The lawsuit alleges that 15-year-old Brittney Holmes died on November 12, 2010 after spending a year in a vegetative state following a visit to 'The Darkness' haunted house on Halloween 2009.
Her father, Durand Tyler of Anchorage, Alaska, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in St. Louis Circuit Court against Halloween Productions Inc., the operator of the haunted house.
Brittney experienced problems breathing on the way home from the haunted house, but by the time she arrived at the hospital, she had already suffered brain damage. Her brain had been deprived of oxygen for over 7 minutes upon arrival, according to hospital records.
Halloween Productions said in a response to the lawsuit that it had posted signs warning that people with respiratory ailments should not enter the attraction.
Parents Sue Baseball Bat Manufacturer
December 08, 2010
A manufacturer of baseball bats has been sued by the parents of a boy who suffered brain damage after being by a baseball while pitching a game in Illinois in May.
The lawsuit, filed by Robert and Cheryl Schutter, alleges that Easton-Bell Sports Inc. makes aluminum bats that are inherently dangerous because they are capable of hitting baseballs at very high speeds.
They claim that their 11-year-old son, Jake, was pitching a game in Hecht Park when he was hit in the head with a line drive that was hit with an aluminum bat.
As a result, Jake suffered permanent brain damage and hearing loss in his left ear.
The suit seeks unspecified damages against the company, which supplies the official equipment to Little League Baseball and Softball.
Wife Sues Boeing Over Husband's Death in Kuwait
December 07, 2010
An Illinois woman is suing Boeing Co. claiming the company failed to equip her husband with protective gear while unloading a jet in Kuwait.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in the Cook County Circuit Court by Patty Bruce alleging her husband, John Bruce, fell from atop a mobile belt loader while unloading cargo after an operator became distracted and began moving the vehicle without any warning.
He sustained traumatic brain injuries and died six days after the incident.
John had worked as a United Airlines ramp serviceman for over 20 years before accompanying a U.S. military flight from the United States to a Kuwaiti air base.
According to the lawsuit, Boeing and NMC-Wollard Inc., the manufacturer of the loader, failed to provide safety equipment to Bruce to protect him in the event of a fall.
The suit also names the U.S. government contractor CAV International Inc., which employed the operator of the loader.
Bruce says her husband was extremely safety conscious when performing his job.
Country Club Employee Killed by Golf Ball
November 29, 2010
An employee at a Florida country club died after he was hit by a golf ball the day before Thanksgiving, police said.
The family of 42-year-old Maurice Hayden took him off life support on Thanksgiving Day, the day after he was struck in the head by a golf ball at the Mayfair Country Club in Sanford.
Hayden was performing maintenance on the second hole when he was hit by a tee shot.
The golfer responsible did not see Hayden and will not be charged in the incident.
Hayden was a Jamaican immigrant who began working for the country club after moving to Sanford three years ago.
Military Order May Prevent Brain Damage, Doctors Say
October 28, 2010
A new military order that requires troops who have been exposed to a bomb blast to remain off the battlefield for at least 24 hours may prevent permanent brain damage, military doctors in Afghanistan say.
The 24-hour waiting period will allow doctors to observe soldiers who were within 165 feet of an explosion long enough to diagnose possible concussion. Permanent brain damage can result when a soldier experiences a second concession before the first one has fully healed.
Since the order was issued, the number of concussions diagnosed in U.S. troops increased from 62 in June to 370 in July, according to the U.S. Central Command.
According to military statistics, concussions actually occur much more often in combat than doctors had previously believed, suggesting that thousands of soldiers may have suffered brain damage as a result of a second concussion earlier in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Soldiers with concussion may experience loss of consciousness, dizziness, and headaches. It often takes weeks for a concussion to heal, but most troops make a full recovery and are able to return to combat.