A late afternoon school group celebration ended badly when a teacher and a parent asked elementary school children to close a large roller style gate. The defense argued that it was the students who decided to close the gate on their own.
Our young client (already having special needs) got two fingers on his dominant hand crushed between the upper metal gate rail and a roller that kept the gate in place as it slid or rolled shut. This understandably caused excruciating pain and he was rushed to a nearby hospital emergency room.
Over the course of several months, doctors performed several surgeries that eventually allowed the young man to regain most – but not all – of his range of motion, feeling, and strength. Unfortunately, he also suffered traumatic stress (flashbacks) which has diminished but persisted over time.
We hired expert witnesses to evaluate the long term effects of these injuries. Andrew B. Clark, M.D. of Portola Valley, California (formerly of Cambridge, Massachusetts and a Board Certified Psychiatrist) evaluated the boy’s stress resulting from this event. A Board Certified Orthopedist, Jerald W. Katz, M.D. of Somerset, Massachusetts, examined the young man’s dominant hand and expressed the opinion that nothing further could be done medically to improve its slightly diminished functioning. After nearly 5 years of litigation, we are pleased to report that the case was mediated by a Judge and settled with payments totaling $575,000 from the municipality’s insurer. Successful resolution of yet another case handled by John Reilly & Associates. (posted November 9, 2017 – names and court withheld).