May 2, 2019

By: Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff

The plaintiff was traveling on an on ramp to gain access to the highway when he slowed and then stopped to avoid oncoming traffic. While at a complete stop, he was struck from behind by the defendant’s box truck. Damage to both vehicles was minor and both parties refused treatment.

Shortly after the collision, the plaintiff began to feel ill and became confused. He contacted his daughter, who immediately called 911. He was subsequently taken by ambulance to the local hospital. A CT scan showed that he had sustained a subdural hematoma. A decision was made to immediately transfer him via med flight to a Boston hospital.

The plaintiff was an inpatient for nearly a month, during which time he underwent two surgeries as well as extensive diagnostic testing. He suffered continued confusion and lethargy. Ultimately, scans demonstrated partial resolution and he was released to a rehab facility.

The plaintiff then began a downward slide, which necessitated extensive medical, rehabilitative and nursing services at various rehabs, hospitals and nursing homes, eventually culminating in hospice care.

During that period, the plaintiff was noted as suffering from persistent changes in mental status, behavioral problems associated with post-TBI encephalopathy, a fractured hip and seizures. The plaintiff died six months after incident. The cause of death was listed as a failure to thrive due to a traumatic brain injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

Despite being 80 at the time of the incident, the plaintiff was independently functioning and still very active in his community, and he continued to work as a maintenance man five days a week at his local church.

Action: Motor vehicle negligence

Injuries alleged: Subdural hematoma, traumatic brain injury, hip fracture, death

Case name: Withheld

Court/case no.: Withheld

Jury and/or judge: N/A (settled)

Most helpful expert’s name: Dr. Walter Panis, neurologist

Amount: $1.875 million

Date: Feb. 5, 2019

Attorneys: David J. Hoey and Richard T. Bromby, of the Law Office of David J. Hoey, North Reading (for the plaintiff)


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