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Motorcycle Passenger Thrown In Accident

Type of action: Personal injury – motorcycle accident
Injuries alleged: Closed head injury with subdural hematoma, fractured sacrum, fractured pelvis and two fractured ribs
Name of case: Confidential
Court: Norfolk Circuit Court
Case no: CL10-2021
Tried before: Mediation
Mediator: Thomas Shadrick
Date: July 15, 2011
Special damages: Medical bills – $134,015; future medical bills – $666,000; wage loss – $1,071,940
Verdict or settlement: Settlement
Amount: $3,817,500
Attorneys for plaintiff: Amberly Hammer and O.L. “Buz” Gilbert, Norfolk
Attorneys for defendant: Andrew Protogyrou, Alan Beasley and Richard Saunders, Norfolk

Plaintiff was a 50-year-old registered nurse. She was riding as a passenger on a motorcycle in Portsmouth when her driver struck a raised manhole cover. The manhole was on a section of a street which was being re-paved.

The re-paving process included milling the old asphalt off the street and then repairing manholes with asphalt before re-paving the entire street with asphalt. The contractor for the city failed to apply asphalt around one manhole cover and it was raised 2-1/4 inches above street level. The motorcycle driver struck the raised manhole cover and the plaintiff was ejected.

Plaintiff’s experts were of the opinion that she could not return to nursing due to her frontal lobe injuries. She also suffers chronic low back and hip pain.