Her attorneys report that a woman who was injured when her wheelchair overturned has settled her case against the medical transport company for $2.5 million.
Kenneth Berger and Brad Lanford of the Law Office of Kenneth Berger and Brett Woron of Woron & Dhillon, both of Columbia, report that on Sept. 10, 2020, their 51-year-old client was being taken to a medical appointment when the incident occurred. The attorneys said that the transport driver was on her cell phone during the ride and as she wheeled the plaintiff, a leg amputee, down the van ramp.
Berger said that as the driver talked on her phone, the wheelchair picked up speed and flipped back onto the pavement.
“When the wheelchair flipped backward, the plaintiff’s right hand got crushed between the wheel itself and the chair,” Berger said. “Only after the incident did the medical transport driver get off her cell phone. The plaintiff lay helpless on the pavement. She was embarrassed and in pain.”
Many details of the case, including the parties’ names, venue, and defense counsel, were withheld due to a confidentiality agreement.
Orthopedic specialists performed minor surgery on the woman’s middle finger, which later became infected and required two debridement procedures. The woman underwent occupational therapy but has not regained full function of her hand and finger.
“Her prior leg amputation had never stopped this woman from being the mom, grandma, and person she wanted to be,” Berger said. “She had learned to live with it. Unfortunately, having full use of her hand taken away—when coupled with the prior amputation—made the most meaningful parts of her life difficult, if not impossible.”
Berger said that the plaintiff was a proud woman and head of her household who lost her ability to dress herself and cook for the family. Most frustrating, Berger said, was knowing that someone valued a phone call more than her safety.
“The same medical transport company that caused the plaintiff harm also chose not to answer the lawsuit,” Berger said.
“At the damages hearing, the plaintiff gave heartfelt and at times heartbreaking testimony that highlighted her physical pain, mental anguish, and lost enjoyment of life,” Berger said. “Medical bills, which were the least meaningful of the woman’s damages, were not sought. Instead, she was able to speak to the most valuable asset in her life – family – and we were able to demonstrate how that greatest of all assets had been damaged.”
SETTLEMENT REPORT — NEGLIGENCE
Amount: $2.5 million
Injuries alleged: Crushed hand with multiple debridements
Case name: Withheld
Mediator: Karl Folkens of Florence
Date of settlement: May 31
Attorney(s) for plaintiff: Kenneth Berger and Brad Lanford of the Law Office of Kenneth Berger and Brett Woron of Woron & Dhillon, both of Columbia
Attorney(s) for defendant: Withheld