Jury: Give him $11M for injuryThursday, April 12, 2007
A Hudson County jury awarded a Hoboken man $11.6 million this week for personal injury damages sustained in a 2004 accident.
Michael Brady, who has suffered from a severe chronic pain syndrome called reflex sympathetic dystrophy since breaking his foot in 1999, saw his condition worsen substantially when the driver of an ambulance transporting him to physical therapy swung the vehicle's door into his crutches, causing him to fall down and break his foot again.
"It went from real bad to real worse," Brady's lawyer, William L. Gold, summarized.
Before the exacerbation, Brady was on crutches, but since then he has been wheelchair bound and "is now severely impaired in all activities of daily living," according to Gold.
"He requires a full-time home health aide to assist him in all activities of daily living, which was not required prior to the incident," Gold said.
Under the verdict, Multicare Ambulance, a Phoenix-based company, was held responsible for the injury.
"The sad part was that the driver testified that he received no training, that there was no protocol about how to pick up patients," Gold said.
Formerly a sales manager for a company that sells ultrasonic water purifiers, Brady has been receiving workman's compensation since breaking his foot in an accident on a New York City subway in 1999.
From this injury, which while serious is usually not permanently debilitating, Brady developed RSD, a degenerative condition that causes severe pain in the area around an injury. RSD often spreads beyond the immediate area of the injury, and Brady's exacerbation has caused this to happen.
"It has spread to his arms, and virtually all over his body," said Gold. "He can't walk. He's wheelchair bound, and he has a hand he can't use. His left hand has basically turned into a claw."
Gregory Irwin, the attorney representing Multicare Ambulance, said that his client had prohibited him from commenting.
According to a press release issued by Gold's office, an eight-person jury returned a verdict of $14.5 million in favor of Brady: $5 million for his pain and suffering; $7 million for future care costs; and $2.5 million to Brady's wife. However, the total amount was reduced by 20 percent, to $11.6 million, for comparative negligence.