Settlement of $20 Million for Brain Injury

A judge has approved a twenty million dollar settlement in a case where a car crash resulted in a brain injury and permanent disability for a two-year-old girl. Even with the multimillion dollar compensation for the brain injury, the family says there is a long road ahead caring for their daughter.

On October 2nd, 2008, a family’s minivan was hit by a truck hauling several pipes on its roof. A pipe flew off the truck and cut into the van, striking the head of two-year-old Payton Lenhardt. That she survived the injury was nothing short of miraculous.

Payton Lenhardt now lives with severe brain injury, blindness, and traumatic epilepsy.

The Lenhardts recently appeared in a Wisconsin court to finalize a $20 million lawsuit settlement.

The negotiations resulted in a conclusion that the driver of the truck caused the accident, but that it was a faulty pipe rack that caused the injuries to Payton Lenhardt. Some versions of the pipe rack had a front plate to stop objects from escaping if the vehicle decelerated rapidly.

The truck driver was assigned liability equalling one million dollars. The pipe rack manufacturer, Smeal Manufacturing, will pay $300,000, and the distributor, Boat Longyear Company, will pay $18.7 million of the settlement.

The family’s hope is that the settlement will help to ensure that a similar event will not happen in the future.

Source: “Judge Finalizes $20M Settlement for Crash that Severely Disabled a Child” 11/1/2010