Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Quadriplegic settles after years of fighting with comp carrier — $2.4 million settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//February 1, 2021

Quadriplegic settles after years of fighting with comp carrier — $2.4 million settlement

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//February 1, 2021

The injured worker is a Canadian citizen who lives in British Columbia. He was a competitive professional ice skater prior to his accident. On April 2, 1990, he was working for Disney On Ice and supplemented his skating salary by driving the Disney trucks between locations and performances. He was injured when his truck was struck by another vehicle in icy road conditions. He is a C5 quadriplegic. He has no use of his triceps nor can he raise his arms above shoulder level. He does have some use of elbow and wrist extension/flexion. His hands are permanently clenched and he uses gross arm movements to pick up items by grasping with his thumb and fisted hand. He lives alone and has care givers attend to him for approximately 12 hours a day. 

The insurance carrier had paid prior to the settlement $936,376.22 in compensation and $2,580,697.52 in past medical treatment. However, claimant was very adamant about not having an annuity as part of his settlement since he had suffered a lot of financial abuse and stress from the insurance carrier from 2009 until 2016. Prior to representation, the carrier for years was late with his checks (months of not paying), did not pay him for cost of living adjustments and refused to timely reimburse him for wheelchair repairs and home health care.  The situation was so dire that he had to get a home equity line of credit to pay the personal aides and at one point, he had reached the maximum credit on his line of credit. Routinely the insurance carrier would go months without paying him, usually owing him $50,000 to $60,000 before they would reimburse him. This occurred several times when he was in the hospital with kidney infections and wound care issues. Also, I want to emphasize that his claims and medical requests were very basic with no overreaching. He was a quadriplegic, living alone, and several time zones away and in another country and the carrier actually forced a hearing to get his years of cost of living adjustments, late payment penalties and home health care reimbursed which at that time was over $119,000.00. After their loss at the hearing, the carrier changed counsel and matters improved. However, it took several more years before a lump-sum settlement was reached.

Type of Action: Workers’ compensation

Injuries alleged: C5 quadriplegic

Name of Case: Grant Maclean v. Feld Entertainment Inc.

Court: Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission

Case No.: JCN: 1454561

Date resolved: July 15, 2020

Verdict or Settlement: Settlement

Amount: $2,400,000 lump sum

Attorney for claimant: Michele S. Lewane, Richmond

Attorney for defendant: Brian Sykes, Norfolk

Insurance Carrier: National Union Fire Ins. Co of Pittsburgh / Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.


Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements

Opinion Digests

See All Digests