Earlier last month, a Maryland jury awarded a man over $21 million after he was severely injured and permanently paralyzed in a workplace accident at a Pepco plant in Montgomery County. According to a report by the Washington Post, the man was working high up in the air on some scaffolding when he was struck by a transformer. The force of the collision sent the man eight feet into the air.
Upon landing, the man snapped his spine, paralyzing him from the neck down. In addition to his paralysis, the man also received burns over 10% of his body because the transformer—which the worker had been told was discharged – was still powered on. The man sued Pepco for negligence.
The trial was not focused around whether Pepco was negligent. In fact, Pepco admitted its negligence. The only trial issue for the jury to determine was the amount of damages that would be appropriate for Pepco to pay out.
After the trial, the jury determined that Pepco was indeed negligent and awarded the man a total of $35.9 million in combined economic and non-economic damages. However, since Maryland caps all non-economic damages at $770,000, the man’s total award was reduced by the court to a total of $21.7 million. The damages are designed to compensate the man for his past and present pain and suffering, his lost wages, and the cost of the future medical care that he will require as a result of the accident.
Damages Caps on Non-Economic Damages
Damages in a personal injury case are broken down into two main categories, economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that can be objectively determined, such as lost wages, medical expenses, and so forth. These damages are not limited by statute, and a jury can return any amount of economic damages it deems reasonable, as long as it is supported by the evidence.
Non-economic damages are those damages that are more subjective in nature, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and so forth. And as you can see from reading about the above described accident, Maryland has a cap on all non-economic damages. This acts to significantly reduce many Maryland accident plaintiffs’ awards, so it is important that an attorney gather all information necessary to put together the most complete picture of economic damages possible.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland accident, regardless of where it occurred, you may be entitled to monetary damages based on the other party’s negligence. To learn more about how to recover in a negligence action, and to better understand what kinds of damages you may be entitled to, you should speak with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC have years of experience bringing cases on behalf of Maryland accident victims and know what it takes to recover for their clients. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney .
More Blog Posts:
Doctor Allegedly Sexually Assaults Second Patient, Maryland Accident Law Blog, September 2, 2014.
Baltimore Boy Awarded Over $2 Million in Lead-Exposure Case, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 8, 2014.