Jury Awards Woman $15.8 Million Compensation for Brain Injury in Car Crash

An Allegheny County jury has awarded a Pennsylvania woman $15.8 million compensation for a brain injury in a car crash.

Brenda Gump (52) was being driven by her son to her daughter´s rehearsal dinner in June 2010 when their car was hit by a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Adam Mains as they were turning into the Primanti Brothers Restaurant off of State Route 51.

Brenda suffered a severe brain injury as a result of the collision and was resuscitated at the scene by a member of her family who was also attending the rehearsal dinner. Brenda was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center and then transferred to UPMC Mercy to undergo an emergency lobotomy.

Brenda was subsequently diagnosed with an acute subdural hematoma and hemorrhagic brain injury. She had to undergo a tracheotomy and have a gastric feeding tube installed, and now suffers from permanent left-sided paralysis, epilepsy, an eating disorder, and emotional instability.

An investigation into the accident found that fault for the accident was shared between the driver of the Chevrolet – Adam Mains, who had admitted to police that he had been speeding – and persons responsible for a bridge re-construction site that had obscured Daniel Gump´s vision as he made the turn into the restaurant.

Subsequent to the investigation also revealing that the blind spot created by the bridge re-construction work had been responsible for five other auto accidents on the same stretch of road, Brenda´s family claimed compensation for a brain injury in a car crash against Mains, Lanes Construction – the company overseeing the bridge re-construction – and PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

In their action against Lanes Construction and PennDOT it was alleged that they failed to notice the lack of visibility caused by the bridge re-construction or mitigate the problem. Both defendants denied their liability for Brenda´s injuries and argued that the lane closures and merging points on the site were necessary, that the building work had not impaired visibility, and that the pattern of work was consistent with accepted engineering practices.

With no negotiated resolution to the family´s claim for compensation, the case proceeded to Allegheny County Court where it was heard by a jury. After arguments had been presented by both sides, the jury found in Brenda´s favor and awarded her $15.8 million in compensation for a brain injury in a car crash.

The settlement was broken down as $4.8 million for medical expenses, $7 million for pain and suffering and $4 million for loss of enjoyment of life. The jury found Adam Mains 42% liable for Brenda´s injuries, PennDOT 40% liable and Lane Construction 18% liable.