Two Settlements and a Case-in-the-Making – Aronberg and Aronberg

Oct. 17th, 2012   /   , ,

 

What’s the point of filing a personal injury lawsuit—to get rich? To retire early? To avoid working hard for income? No, of course not. The point of filing a lawsuit is to correct a wrong; with personal injury lawsuits, the goal is to recover damages from the individual or entity that wronged you and caused you damage.

Often times, that type of compensation for your losses comes in the form of money which covers emotional damage, lost income from work, financial losses from a car accident, etc. As mentioned above, not all financial losses cost money at the time of the damage—there are ways of determining the financial cost of covering an emotional loss, and emotional losses are often highly-prioritized when determining what fair compensation might be. Below are two instances of personal injury cases that resulted in awards for the victims and one instance in which a woman and her family were the victims of medical malpractice.

In a truly horrible case, an 18-year-old-boy was shot and killed by police in Oregon in front of his house. The boy was going through some sort of emotional episode when his mother called the police, telling them that her son had threatened to kill himself. When the police arrived, there was a dispute on the lawn between the police and the boy and the result was the police shooting the boy and killing him as his parents watched from the front steps and his friends watched from across the street. A federal jury recently ordered that the county pay the family of the boy $2.5 million for their loss—this figure most likely based on a number of factors, including what he might have made over his lifetime, the emotional loss for the family, etc. This type of case is doubly important: it serves to show that justice can be served and it also confirms that you have rights in any incident in which you are wronged, even if the people who wronged you are in a position of power.

The next personal injury case is probably better known. Last year, on the University of California Davis campus, students involved in an Occupy Movement encampment who were, at the time, protesting hikes in tuition as well as the privatization of their school. To contain the crowd, a police officer unleashed pepper-spray onto multiple students. The students, and their attorneys, felt that the use of pepper-spray was a violation of their civil rights and the manner in which the deterrent was used was “objectively unreasonable.” The University of California system has offered each of the 21 students $30,000 in a proposed settlement offer. Among other offerings in the proposed settlement, the University has agreed to pay $250,000 in attorneys’ fees. The settlement could bring about an end to the lawsuit as well as bringing justice to the victims of what was, by almost all accounts, an example of police brutality.

Now we’d like to identify a horrible series of events that could very well lead to a lawsuit. A woman (and mother of four) recently died from cervical cancer—after, according to her family, doctors failed 30 times to notice the disease! Despite the woman’s constant complaints of pain, medical professionals at various hospitals assured her that she was merely experiencing discomfort due to nerve pain and anxiety. By the time the cancer was discovered, it was too late—she died shortly thereafter. This is a clear case of medical malpractice that led to the death of a woman and a profound loss to a family and a community. This could have—and should have—been avoided.

If you have questions or comments regarding any of these incidents, or any others, please contact us at 561-266-9191 or at daronberg@aronberglaw.com.

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