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Michael Phelan
Michael Phelan
Attorney • (866) 249-3164

$3.5 Million Settlement in Brain Damage Case

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I am so proud to represent, along with co-counsel Yvonne Griffin, one of the finest people I’ve ever met. Our client taught third grade to inner-city kids for 33 years and also worked a second job in order to put three of her own children through college. Last year, a truck crashed into her car and she suffered a fractured femur. She stopped breathing at the ER, and a CT scan revealed that she suffered a subdural hematoma in the frontal lobe of her brain. My client underwent emergency brain surgery to address the brain bleed and evacuate the hemorrhage. She had thigh surgery to install metal rods and screws in her leg. On November 13, 2007, with the assistance of mediator Robert L. Harris, Sr., we settled our client’s case for $3.5 million. Thanks also to my partner, Irv Cantor, for his insight during the mediation.

Like so many victims of severe frontal lobe brain damage, our client is not the same person she was before the crash. She used to be an outgoing, high-energy, articulate person. After the crash, she suffered memory loss, word finding problems, paranoia, depression, and extreme fatigue. She turned into an introvert who is uncomfortable around other people. The defense blamed all of her problems on pre-existing intra-cranial hypotension, wine drinking, tobacco use, obesity, and coronary artery disease. The key to our case was fabulous lay witnesses (friends, ex-husband, family, and employer) who painted a brilliant picture of our client before and after the crash. The defense neuropsychologist actually tried to portray our hard-working client as a malingerer and exaggerator. This “expert” relied upon a controversial malingering scale called the Fake Bad Scale, which has been rejected by the authors of the MMPI-2 and which has been shown to have a strong gender bias against women. The Fake Bad Scale is very controversial and should not have been used in this case. More to follow.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Head and Brain Injury.