Verdicts & Settlements
The following summaries are from cases handled by Attorney John LaCava. Every personal injury case is unique and there are many variables that need to be taken into account. Because of this, recoveries in a case may be greater or lesser than recoveries made in similar type cases.
Slip and Fall Accident – Jury Verdict
Injuries: Head injury requiring surgery
Facts: The plaintiff was renting a room on the second floor of a multi-family house. The landlord had removed a handrail on the common stairway leading from the plaintiff’s room to the ground floor. The plaintiff fell on the stairway and suffered a severe head injury requiring surgery and extended hospitalization.
Auto Accident -Verdict
Injuries: Herniated lumbar disc with operation; chronic pain syndrome.
Facts: The Plaintiff was a fifty (50) year old female who worked in the sales department of a Stamford electrical supplier. She was rear ended by the Defendant in a moderate impact collision. The Plaintiff had physical therapy and then a disc operation on the lumbar spine. Subsequent to the surgery, she had chronic, documented pain which rendered her incapable of further work.
Bicycle Accident – Structured Settlement
Injury: Traumatic brain injury to child.
Recovery: $1,020,000.00 (structured settlement present value)
Facts: The Plaintiff, a 10 year- old boy, was injured in a bicycle accident in Norwalk when struck by Defendants car. The evidence showed that the Defendant was traveling at a high rate of speed through a park and had clear sight lines. The evidence also showed that the boy failed to slow or stop prior to crossing the street.
Motorcycle Accident – Pre Judgment Attachment
Injury: Multiple Fractures and Death of Spouse
Judgment: $1,000,000.00 Pre-judgment attachment granted
Facts: A husband and wife were riding on a motorcycle in Shelton when the defendant made a sudden left turning front of them, causing a direct impact with the bike. The actual accident was not witnessed, and liability had to be established from skid mark analysis and an accident reconstruction expert. Hearings were held over six days with plaintiff co-counsel representing the husband’s estate.
Automobile Accident- Mediation
Injury: Nerve impairment syndrome resulting in substantial disability to the right arm.
Facts: The Plaintiff, a secretary in her 30’s, was rear ended while stopped at a red light. There was substantial property damage to the Plaintiff’s automobile. After an operation by a vascular surgeon was unsuccessful, the Plaintiff was left with a substantial impairment to her right arm, preventing her from returning to her previous employment. The Plaintiff also received social security disability in addition to the above recovery.
Construction Accident – Mediation
Injuries: Construction Accident – multiple fractures of the hip and nerve damage.
Facts: The plaintiff was a construction worker building a stone wall on a residential jobsite in Weston, CT. The defendant was the operator of a Caterpillar excavator, who didn’t see the plaintiff and pinned him between the excavator and a stone wall, causing severe crushing injuries to the pelvis, as well as traumatic injuries to the internal organs. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the operator of the Caterpillar, the owner of the Caterpillar, the general contractor and the homeowner. Two of the defendant insurance companies disclaimed coverage and filed declaratory judgment actions. The case was settled after mediation for the sum of $750,000.00, with contribution being made by all parties.
Pedestrian Accident -Verdict
Injuries: Multiple fractures of right side, including humerus, pelvis, rib and tibia.
Facts: The Plaintiff was a sixty two (62) year old retired telephone repairman. He was a pedestrian crossing a street in Stamford at approximately 8:00 p.m. in the evening when he was struck by the Defendant’s car, suffering multiple injuries. The Defendant claimed the Plaintiff was at fault since he was legally intoxicated when hit. The Defendant, however, admitted that he never saw the Plaintiff prior to striking him even though the area was well lit with street lights.
Apartment Fire with Fire Code Violations – PJR Attachment
Injuries: Wrong death claims resulting from apartment fire.
Settlement: $630,000.00, after PJR hearing
Facts: The plaintiffs were a mother and three children who died in an apartment fire in Bridgeport, CT in the early morning hours. The plaintiffs all died from smoke inhalation or fire-related causes. Subsequent investigation by the Fire Marshal’s office showed that there were numerous fire code violations at the premises, including a lack of smoke detectors, lack of proper exits and improperly fire rated doors. The defendant landlord’s insurance policy had a limit of $500,000.00. The case settled for the full value of the insurance policy, plus an additional contribution from the landlord.
Drunk Driver Accident
Injuries: Fracture of ankle with surgery and hardware (ORIF)
Facts: The Plaintiff, a woman in her early 40’s, was driving in Norwalk and was hit head on by an intoxicated driver who was arrested. She suffered a severe fracture to her ankle requiring surgery. Her ankle never regained full range of motion and there was medical opinion that future surgery might be necessary.
Workers Compensation Settlement after Formal Hearings, Award and Appeal
Injuries: Impairment of both lower extremities
Facts: Employee was in a single truck accident on Long Ridge Rd. in Stamford after leaving a job site. The employer contested liability on the basis that the employee had left the job for the day. The truck, however, was full of the employer’s tools and the employee testified that he was heading back to the employer’s garage to unload before going home. The commissioner determined that the injuries arose “in and out of the course of employment.”
Auto accident: Underinsured Motorist claim – Litigation settlement
Injuries: Fracture of the wrist requiring open reduction and internal fixation
Facts: The plaintiff was a 58-year-old male, driving a pickup truck while working for his employer, a landscape company. He was hit broadside by the defendant driver, suffering a fracture of the right wrist. The negligent driver only had a $20,000.00 automobile insurance policy which was quickly paid. The case was settled as an underinsured motorist claim against the insurance company insuring the employer’s truck. There was also a Workers Compensation component to this case which was also successfully resolved.
Slip and Fall Accident – Litigation Settlement after mediation
Injuries: Comminuted fracture of the patella (knee) requiring surgery
Facts: The plaintiff was a 40-year-old female, and the mother of two small children. She slipped and fell on ice while purchasing fuel at a gas station. The service station employees had failed to put any ice melt or sand by the pumps during a period of freeze and thaw. The fall was captured on video.
Workers Compensation – Final Settlement (Stipulation) after mediation
Injuries: Lumbar spinal fusion
Facts: The Claimant was a 46 year old male who suffered a compensable low back injury while in the course of employment. He underwent a lumbar fusion with instrumentation a year after the accident, and then had a second revision surgery. In addition to the $450,000.00 settlement, the Claimant had previously received years of total disability payments, an award for 308(a) permanent partial disability benefits, and payment of all medical bills.
Automobile Accident – Settled during Trial
Injuries: Injury to abdomen resulting in loss of eighteen (18) centimeters of colon.
Settlement in the course of trial: $450,000.00
Facts: Plaintiff, a thirty two (32) old female, was in an automobile accident in Westport which caused a perforation of the colon. The Plaintiff lost approximately six (6) months of work due to the injury and had continued complaints of gastric problems following the surgery. Prior to trial, the Defendant’s highest offer was approximately $175,000.00. After two days of trial, which included testimony from the Plaintiff herself, the case was settled for $450,000.00.
Automobile Accident- Passenger
Injury: Disfigurement and scars to the thighs, buttocks and lower back caused by a broken glass.
Facts: The Plaintiff, a 40 year- old woman, was a passenger in an automobile stuck by the Defendant. Broken glass from the passenger window became embedded in Plaintiff’s skin, in extremely small pieces, and caused sores and scarring, over a 3 year period.
Automobile Accident- Settled during Trial
Injuries: Herniated cervical discs requiring fusion with bone graft.
Settlement in the course of trial: $300,000.00
Facts: The Plaintiff, a fifty two (52) year old female, was a passenger in a car that was struck from behind by the Defendant in Norwalk. The Plaintiff’s neck pain grew increasingly worse during the following year, finally resulting in surgery for a herniated cervical disc. The Defendant claimed that the automobile collision was not the cause of the Plaintiff’s neck problem, as the Plaintiff had a prior medical history of neck problems. The $300,000.00 settlement during trial was in addition to payment of all medical bills.
Slip on Ice – Shopping Center
Injuries: Fracture of leg, torn tendons.
Facts: Plaintiff was walking with his son from the shopping center parking lot onto the store sidewalk when he slipped and fell on a large patch of ice on the sidewalk near the store entrance. It had snowed the day before and there had been a melting and a refreezing. The defendants were the store owner, the shopping center owner, and the maintenance company who had not properly sanded or salted the entrance.
Fall on Stairs – Private House – Settlement
Injuries: Fall on stairs – Fracture of the ankle, with surgery and hardware.
Facts: The plaintiff was a 40 year-old woman who was leaving her aunt’s apartment house, a two family home in Norwalk, CT. As she walked out of the front door, she was caused to fall by a set of defective stairs. The plaintiff was able to show that there was inadequate lighting for the stairs, and that the stairs did not comply with the applicable safety codes. There was no handrail on the stairs, and the risers and treads on the stairs did not conform to building code or fire code standards.
Force and Run Automobile Accident – Verdict and Appeal
Injury: 15% impairment of the right shoulder.
Verdict: $100,000.00 (reduced by $38,000.00 due to Plaintiff’s negligence).
Facts: The Plaintiff, a bank manager in his 30’s, was injured when he struck the back of a parked oil truck making an oil delivery on High Ridge Rd. in Stamford. The Plaintiff testified, at trial, that he had been cut off by a city bus and was forced to turn into the oil truck. Defendant’s witnesses claimed that the Plaintiff attempted to pass the bus on the right, immediately before striking the oil truck. Both the oil company and the bus company were found liable. On appeal, the Appellate Court of the State of Connecticut upheld the verdict against the bus company. (Bauer v. Pounds)
Pedestrian Accident – Settlement after lawsuit
Injury: Fracture of the right leg and ankle resulting in 5% impairment to the lower extremity.
Facts: The Plaintiff, a pedestrian, was injured while crossing the street outside of the marked crosswalk on East Main St. in Stamford. The Defendant claimed that the Plaintiff “walked right out in front of my car.” A reconstruction expert hired by Attorney John LaCava was able to show that the Defendant was exceeding the speed limit, and had limited visibility due to the position of the sun.