Spinal Cord Injury
Life can change in an instant. No one understands this more than someone who has suffered a spinal cord injury. One minute, you are active and capable of enjoying life to the fullest. The next minute, you need help just getting through the basics - putting on clothes or brushing your teeth - for the rest of your life.
No one is safe from a spinal cord injury. It can happen as a result of a motor vehicle crash, a sports injury, a work incident, even an assault. Technological advances in safety don’t always protect us, other people don’t always exercise due caution and, unfortunately, accidents happen.
The spinal cord is the core of our body’s central nervous system. It connects our brain to nerves throughout our body. The brain sends messages through the spinal cord to those nerves with instructions on what to feel, or how to move. Damage to any part of the spinal cord can cause permanent changes in strength, sensation or other body functions. When this type of injury occurs, it can often result in total or partial paralysis.
Beyond the physical tragedy of such an accident, it’s an immense and demoralizing financial burden: this injury can force a future of needing round-the-clock medical care on someone who at the same time has lost the ability to work and earn a living towards that future. Compensation for the accident may be the very thing that makes the difference between a life of hardship and one of physical and emotional support.
Duffy + Fulginiti brings proven experience of handling of these cases with a host of benefits for you:
- A panel of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who can interpret medical documentation into a strong supportive case for you.
- Experts who can establish who is responsible.
- An extensive case development process where we take the time to analyze, document and persuasively illustrate your personal situation.
- The confidence in knowing that if we represent you, it is because we believe we can win. We are very selective in accepting cases, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This means if we are not successful, we receive no payment at all.
- A special level of trust, care and compassion in understanding what you and your family are facing. We have a special bond with each and every one of our past clients, and those relationships remain strong long after the case has been won.
VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS
Here are just a few examples of significant results we have obtained for our clients:
- A young man traveled with his school to an in-service outing where there was little or no adult supervision and suffered a paralyzing injury during that field trip. We filed a lawsuit against the school on his behalf and in a settlement (which precludes us naming the client or the institution) the young man received $36,000,000.
- In Rice, a case that spanned over 10 years, two jury verdicts and several appeals, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a $12,400,000 verdict obtained in addition to a $3,500,000 settlement previously received. Those amounts, combined with interest and delay damages for retrials, secured over $22,500,000 for the firm’s client, a forklift operator who was crushed and partially paralyzed by pallets of frozen food when the warehouse racking he was working near collapsed upon him.
- In Whittlesey, Duffy + Fulginiti obtained a $12,000,000 settlement for client Terry Whittlesey, a young man who, while a passenger in a car on his way to a vacation, was rear-ended by a commercial truck. The trucking company denied all fault associated with the accident and only agreed to the settlement after jury selection was completed and the trial was about to begin. The settlement, which was reported as one of the largest verdicts in the state that year, enabled Mr. Whittlesey to move from a trailer into a home that was specially-constructed to accommodate his ongoing physical needs.
- In a $4,000,000 confidential settlement, we prevailed on behalf of a client against an international hotel company following a slip and fall in Mexico. Our client slipped on water tracked onto a tile floor from a pool area and struck his head on the person in front of him, breaking his neck and resulting in quadriplegia injuries. We were able to establish that the parent hotel, despite its efforts to layer many subsidiaries for insulation, would “push down” policies to its sub-subsidiaries’ hotels, resulting, among other things, in the use of the wrong type of outdoor floor mats. The backing material used on those mats resulted in the mats themselves capturing water, which then caused individuals with dry shoes or feet to track that water onto a previously dry tile surface. Despite defense efforts to remove the case to federal court and then transfer it to Mexico, Duffy + Fulginiti fought successfully to institute and keep the matter in Philadelphia.
- Another client, a young mother in her 30’s, sought care from several successive doctors to correct lower back and related abdominal pain. After following the advice of the doctors and enduring multiple “corrective” surgeries, she received no relief whatsoever. Rib cage-related neuralgia, costochondritis, musculoskeletal pain, failed back surgery syndrome, thoracotomy syndrome, and graft site pain left her unable to return to her full-time responsibilities as a nursing supervisor. Duffy + Fulginiti secured a $3,000,000 settlement to offset her future wage losses and medical care.
- We obtained a confidential settlement against a large Philadelphia hospital and resident physician group after our client, a 51 year old happily married and employed man with two young children and some minor health issues, underwent spinal surgery at the recommendation of the physicians. The surgery left him with complications that involved being the ability to swallow only with difficulty and being at risk for aspiration. Though he died from completely unrelated causes, Duffy + Fulginiti was able to secure $1,000,000 in compensation for his family.