Legal Memorandum: Verdicts and Settlements for Paraplegic Injuries

Issue: What are recent jury verdicts and settlements for paraplegic or quadriplegic injuries in Minnesota?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure, Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Jury verdicts and settlements; Paraplegic or quadriplegic injuries
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 07/01/2000

An online search through jury verdict and settlement files in several databases and review of published materials for cases concerning paraplegia accidents or falls from scaffolding (or other similar objects) yielded 17 verdicts and settlements reports. One of the reports showed defense verdicts.  Note that additional cases were found that discuss paraplegia injuries in the context of medical malpractice actions, but those verdicts and settlements were not included in this survey.  The sixteen settlements and plaintiffs’ verdicts summarized below ranged from $36,000 to $13,473,588, with an average of $2,003,918.  Dropping the highest verdict and lowest figure, a settlement, the average becomes $1,370,467.

Case valuation information in the Personal Injury Valuation Handbooks coincides with these results.  The Valuation Handbooks indicate that nationwide in 1998 verdicts in personal injury cases resulting in paraplegia for plaintiffs of all age groups ranged from $4,000 to $40,000,000.  The median verdict was $3,070,413 and the average verdict was $6,383,778.[1]  The settlement range was from $9,000 to $12,000,000, with a median settlement of $1,000,000 and an average of $1,771,441.

B.        Defense Verdicts

A 57-year-old male suffered incomplete paraplegia and bowel and bladder dysfunctions after falling through a hole in the floor of the defendant’s under-construction home.  The defendant argued that the hole was an open condition which should have been obvious to the plaintiff, who had just entered that area of the house by coming up through the hole.  The jury returned a defense verdict.  Lynch v. Reed, No. 94C406 (Dist. […]

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