Firm obtains $1.2 million settlement for man who suffered catastrophic spinal cord injuries

PROVIDENCE (April 4, 2011) – Matt Plain recently obtained a $1.2 million settlement for a man seriously injured when he was thrown to the floor of a wheelchair van after the driver failed to securely seat him in the vehicle.

Before departing for a medical appointment in the van, the firm’s client, a Korean War veteran, was seated in a three-wheeled scooter that did not have a seat belt. The van driver neglected to secure the man in a more stable seat in the vehicle, and instead fastened the scooter to the inside of the van in an ad hoc, jerry-rigged manner, in violation of his employer’s policy prohibiting the transport of patients in three-wheeled scooters. The transportation company that employed the driver failed to properly train its drivers, and also failed to adequately enforce its safety protocols.

While en route to the medical appointment, the van was jarred when it ran over something on the side of the road in snowy conditions, which predictably caused the jerry-rigged fastening of the scooter to fail. The firm’s client suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident, including fractured vertebrae in his neck, central cord syndrome, cervical stenosis and quadriparesis.

The man, who prior to the accident had led a relatively independent and active life, has limited use of his arms, and is no longer able to care for himself because of his catastrophic neurological injuries.

”Matt Plain did an outstanding job for our client in this case,” noted Frank Connor, a partner in the firm and member of the team that prepared the case for trial. “Not only did Matt pursue the case with tremendous devotion, creativity and determination, he also pushed for a speedy trial and obtained a terrific settlement for the client incredibly quickly, in less than half the time that is typically required to resolve such serious cases.”

About Barton Gilman

Barton Gilman is one of New England’s leading civil litigation law firms with offices in Boston and Providence. Its experienced trial attorneys appear regularly in the federal and state courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Providence Business News has named the firm as one of Rhode Island’s Best Places to Work for three consecutive years (2008-2010).