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Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Car went airborne after striking dislodged manhole cover — $3,850,000 settlement

Car went airborne after striking dislodged manhole cover — $3,850,000 settlement

Type of action: Personal injury

Injuries alleged: Traumatic brain injury, multiple orthopedic and internal injuries

Date resolved: 5/2/2022

Verdict or settlement: Settlement

Amount: $3,850,000

Attorney for plaintiff (and city): Julie H. Heiden and Peter C. DePaolis, Fairfax

Description of case: The plaintiff was a 46-year-old married woman with two children who was seriously injured when her vehicle struck a dislodged manhole cover in a traffic lane of a major interstate, went airborne and struck another vehicle upon landing on the shoulder of the roadway. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, a bicondylar Schatzker type VI tibial plateau fracture that required immediate ORIF surgery, multiple internal injuries including a lacerated liver, grade II lacerated kidney and a grade II lacerated spleen, significant facial lacerations and multiple rib fractures. Medical bills totaled more than $550,000 after four years of treatment with future care approximated as an additional $1.2 million including surgery. The plaintiff has a 32% permanent partial impairment of the left leg. Plaintiff’s experts were Dr. Ruben Cintron (neurology), Dr. David Hebda (neuropsychology), Dr. Norman Stone (orthopedic surgery), Dr. Carlos Kennedy (orthopedic surgery), Dr. Merhad Malek (orthopedic and impairment evaluation), Dr. Anu Patel (internal medicine), Dr. John Dresely (neuro-ophthalmology), Dr. Bruce Freedman (plastic surgery), Dr. Ranjit Pullarkat, (abdominal surgery), Dr. Rajesh Bhojwani (neuroradiology), Dr. Thomas Borzilleri, (economist), Dr. Marianne Talbot (life care planner), Ted Kalriess (liability) and John Nawn (liability). Discovery revealed multiple prior incidents at the same location and little effort made to fix a repetitive problem despite proper notice. An early mediation was held in 2020 and failed. A focus group assisted in identifying both medical and liability issues to consider. The plaintiff agreed to a settlement three weeks before trial for a total of $3,850,000.

Plaintiff’s attorneys provided case information.