Two sisters from New Jersey have been awarded $9.5 million compensation for boat accident injuries following a hearing at Bergen County Superior Court.
Gina and Jamie Franzino claimed compensation for boat accident injuries after the boat they were passengers in was hit by a much larger boat in the Manasquan Inlet in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Such was the force of the impact that the two women had to be cut from the wreckage of the boat, put into a coma, and airlifted to Jersey Shore Medical Center.
As a result of the accident, Gina (23) suffered a shattered pelvis, multiple spleen lacerations, a broken hip and broken ribs. She underwent a splenectomy – due to which her immune system has been compromised – and high dose radiation treatment after the surgery on her hip. Due to being exposed to radiation, Gina fears that she will never be able to have children.
Jamie (19) was treated for a collapsed right lung, three fractures of her pelvis, nerve damage to her left foot and an injury to her right shoulder. After her discharge from the medical center, Jamie also developed anosmia – the loss of her sense of smell. She attended the outpatients department of her local hospital and attended physiotherapy sessions for more than a year.
Along with several other passengers that had been injured in the incident, Gina and Jamie claimed compensation boat accident injuries against the Edward McCarthy – who had been in command of the boat that hit them – and his marine sales business. For the purpose of establishing liability, the claims were consolidated. In January 2016, McCarthy was found negligent in the operation of his vessel.
Once liability was determined, the claims for compensation for boat accident injuries were treated separately – with the exception of Jamie and Gina´s claims, which were heard recently by a jury at the Bergen County Superior Court before Judge Charles Powers Jr. At the hearing, the extent of the sisters´ injuries and their subsequent PTSD diagnoses were explained to the jury by an expert witness.
Lawyers represented McCarthy tried to play down the extent and the consequences of the women´s alleged injuries. They argued that both sisters had made full recoveries from the accident. However, after five hours of deliberations, the jury awarded Gina $5.1 million compensation for boat accident injuries and Jamie $3.9 million compensation. The jury also awarded Gina $500,000 towards her future medical costs.