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Settlement favors Massachusetts head trauma victim


 Most Boston parents would go to any lengths to make sure their children receive needed medical care. The parents of a Massachusetts teen have been doing just that since March 2011, when their 13-year-old son was hit in the head by a ball during baseball practice at a Northfield school.

The boy’s parents were called to take the student home. School officials apparently didn’t recognize how serious the teen’s condition was. The teen later was airlifted to a Worcester medical facility, where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.

The seventh grader underwent several surgeries during a two-month hospital stay, including emergency surgery to release pressure on his swollen brain. The teen suffered a brain aneurysm and, later, a stroke that robbed him of the ability to talk and use the limbs on his right side.

A year and a half after the accident, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported the teen had regained some speaking ability. Movement was possible in the stroke-affected limbs. The boy was cleared to participate in a basketball game, while wearing a helmet, but lasted just one game before bone flap surgery was needed.

The sizeable medical costs associated with the teen’s TBI were covered partially by insurance. The boy’s parents, both jobless and disabled, were dependent upon donations to pay the bills. The family sold three vehicles and contemplated selling their home at the time of the report.

The parents filed a brain injury lawsuit against the boy’s school district and recently agreed to settle the case for $50,000. The family will receive about half the proceeds. The rest will go toward medical bills and lawsuit-related expenses.

Liability claims for head injuries are based upon negligent behavior. A defendant may be heldaccountable for acting carelessly or failing to act. Damage awards help TBI victims pay medical expenses, including future costs associated with an injury.

Source: The Recorder, “Injured student reaches settlement with Pioneer” David Rainville, Jan. 02, 2015

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