4-year old Breaks Leg while Sledding ($240,000)
A 4-year old boy and his family never expected a day of snow sledding in their friends’ backyard to cause the injuries that occurred on a January day in 2007. Unbeknownst to them, the friends had a tree stump at the bottom of the hill which was low, angled, and concealed in the snow. The family had no way to know of this hazard. As it turned out, the homeowners were aware of the stump. In fact they had carved it out to resemble a seat, but forgot to warn the visiting family of this hidden danger. Unfortunately, on his first sled run down the hill, this young boy struck the tree stump and snapped his left femur. The family created an emergency makeshift splint and board to secure his leg, and immediately took him to the nearest emergency facility.
Care for the fractured femur required in-hospital skeletal traction for several weeks, with external fixators and aerial traction of both legs. He was confined to his hospital bed in traction for three weeks, with IV and catheter in place. He was then moved into a hip spica cast and sent home in a full body cast, extending from the waist down over the hips and over both legs, with the broken leg being cast all the way to the toes, and the other leg to just above the knee, with only an opening in the crotch for diapering or toileting. It wasn’t until 8 weeks after the initial injury that he was finally out of the cast. He then noted leg, hip and back pain, and was treated a few times by a family chiropractor. He was also fitted for arch supports to provide better gait stabilization.
His medical expenses tallied just shy of $60,000. He was able to obtain retroactive Medical Assistance, which processed all of his bills and asserted a lien against the proceeds. Attorney Denise Fullerton was able to resolve the total medical claims utilizing only the $10,000 medical payment portion of the homeowners’ policy. She then resolved the liability claim against the homeowners’ policy with a settlement of $150,000. A portion of the proceeds were used to establish an annuity creating a total payout of over $230,000.