The award reflects lost wages, past medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost future earning capacity, lost enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.
Dallas W. Hartman represented Thomas and Roxana Altman in a suit against Bobcat Co., a business unit of Clark Equipment Co. and Leppo Inc.
According to federal court papers, Thomas Altman was employed by FirstEnergy in July 2003, when he sustained a severe closed-head injury. Altman, then 47, was walking near a Bobcat backhoe/loader at Lake Wilhelm in Mercer County when the operator inadvertently pushed the hydraulic control. This made the backhoe boom swing around and strike Altman in the head, causing severe and permanent injuries. Hartman argued the accident was the result of Bobcat's negligent design.
Other earth-mover manufacturers provide safeguards in the form of boxes or rails around the controls so they can not be inadvertently hit by operators.
Hartman noted five doctors, including two representing the defendants, testified that Altman suffered "horrific brain injury that caused permanent and catastrophic injury."
Piper v. Piper
Mar 15, 2007
$15.6 Million Verdict
On Feb. 22, 2003, Steven Piper, then 15, was a passenger in the car driven by his brother, Kyle, then 17. Kyle lost control of the car on icy Route 422. The car hit a steel pole and split in two on impact.
Kyle suffered minor injuries, while Steven sustained traumatic brain injury. He spent weeks in intensive care, months in rehabilitation and requires around-the-clock attention. Although he is now 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds, Steven functions at the level of a 3- to-5-year-old, Hartman said.
Joyce and Dave Piper, parents of Steven, 20, sued their other son, Kyle, 22, for funds necessary to provide Steven's medical care.
Damages were awarded for Stephen Piper's future care. Jurors specified that $8.3 million of the damages were for future medical care. While severely injured, Stephen Piper is expected to have a normal life expectancy. He will likely outlive his parents by three decades.
It was one of the largest jury awards in Lawrence County.
Mar 31, 2010
Multi-million dollar settlement
A 16 year old girl was catastrophically injured in a one car accident. The driver's insurance company refused to pay policy limit within a reasonable time thus exposing the driver to a lawsuit. A settlement was reached for the underlying bodily injury claim and the bad faith claim.