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$21.5M verdict follows man's brain injury on cruise ship

In Maryland, when an individual suffers a brain injury due to another party's negligence, he or she may be legally entitled to file a claim against that party for damages incurred as a result of the injury. A jury sitting in a U.S. District Court recently awarded a man $21.5 million in damages for a brain injury he suffered in November 2011, according to court documents and the man's attorney. The out-of-state businessman apparently suffered a brain injury due to being hit in the head by an automatic sliding glass door on a cruise ship.

This verdict is considered one of the biggest to have come out of the federal court in the state. Of the $21.5 million awarded to the 61-year-old man, $16.5 million accounted for punitive damages against the cruise line, and $5 million was awarded for past, as well as future pain, as well as emotional distress and suffering. At trial, attorneys for the man produced evidence showing that dozens of others had been injured due to being struck by the sliding doors of the Holland America fleet. Faulty sensor settings led to the injuries, court documents say.

Surveillance video shows the man walking through two sets of sliding-glass doors and being struck in the face and head as the doors suddenly closed on him. Although he was originally diagnosed with a concussion, as well as "post-concussion" syndrome by the ship's doctor, neurological tests later showed the man had actually suffered a minor traumatic brain injury. As a result of the injury, the man now suffers vertigo, memory loss and seizures.

Unfortunately, brain injuries are frequently not diagnosed until it is too late. Because this area of the body is so sensitive, it is crucial that any potential injury receives immediate attention from medical professionals. When these injuries occur, long-term care may sometimes be necessary, and a victim may not be able to return to his or her normal life. Additionally, a victim may suffer from a loss of income. If a Maryland resident suffers a brain injury due to another party's negligence, the victim may consider taking legal action in order to recover damages.   

Source: consumerist.com, "Jury Awards $21.5M To Cruise Passenger Struck In The Head By Ship's Sliding-Glass Doors", Mary Beth Quirk, Nov. 11, 2015

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