TSR Partners Rich Ruohonen and Jenny Olson represented the family of a young man who was killed when a professional truck driver recklessly pulled out in front of him. When the truck driver’s insurance company tried to deny fault, Rich and Jenny retained the best experts across the country and started a lawsuit. The insurance company quickly settled for a confidential amount after seeing all of the evidence. Our hearts go out to the family of the young man who was killed.
Maria was seriously injured when she was stopped at a light and a garbage truck caused a crash in which it deflected off another vehicle and hit her stopped vehicle. Her vehicle was destroyed in the crash. The crash resulted in injuries including a broken leg requiring open reduction fixation surgery and a severe hematoma to the leg which required surgery to drain the hematoma. Partner Rich Ruohonen obtained a $875,000 settlement for Maria.
Partner Rich Ruohonen obtained a $4 million settlement for a woman who suffered a dominant arm injury caused by a crash with a commercial semi-truck.
Laurie was a passenger in her daughter’s car as they drove down the highway to the airport. A few moments earlier, a garbage truck was driving on the highway and a roller caster fell off of the truck and landed in the middle of the highway. The driver of the garbage truck did not alert authorities to the problem, nor did he remove it from the roadway.
Laurie’s daughter was unable to avoid the caster in the roadway and her vehicle flipped and slid on its roof down the highway. Lori sustained compression fractures to her spine, which gave her considerable trouble and pain.
Laurie’s daughter was also injured and had hired another lawyer to handle her case. That lawyer brought that case to trial and a jury determined that Laurie’s daughter was 100% liable for failing to avoid the caster in the roadway.
We then sued both Laurie’s daughter and the garbage truck company. Attorney Chuck Slane was able to settle the claim against Laurie’s daughter’s insurance company based on the earlier verdict. The case was then submitted to a jury trial to determine the responsibility of the garbage truck company. The jury found, in this second trial, that the garbage truck company was 95% responsible for the crash and awarded significant compensation to Laurie.
Rick was stopped in traffic when he was rear-ended by a large, commercial van, which pushed him into the car in front of him. His vehicle then deflected off the vehicle in front of him, sending him into oncoming traffic where he was hit head-on by another vehicle.
Rick suffered a mid-shaft femur fracture which required open reduction internal fixation with an intramedullary rod and nailing. He also suffered from breathing difficulties and was sent home with oxygen for one month following his initial hospital stay, but that condition cleared up. The fracture did not fill-in well and took months to fully heal, requiring extended use of a bone stimulator. His medical bills were approximately $70,000 and he was out of work for about one month, losing approximately $8,000 in wages. Rich Ruohonen got this case settled for $265,000.
Virginia was a 53-year old nurse who was rear-ended by a semi-truck on highway 94 at highway speeds. She was hit so hard that her vehicle was pushed into a truck in front of her which pushed into another car, thereby totaling all three vehicles.
At the scene Virginia was disoriented but it is unknown whether she lost consciousness. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital. She had significant treatment over the next several months for a mild traumatic brain injury and neck and back injuries. She now has trigger point injections every three months for ongoing neck and back pain along with occipital nerve blocks for intense headaches resulting after the traumatic brain injury. She takes significant medications for pain, headaches and other complications form the mild traumatic brain injury. Her home life and relationships were affected considerably. While she is able to work, it requires an heightened level of attention and focus resulting in worsening fatigue and requiring significant rest on her off days. She also suffered from PTSD and anxiety as a result of the crash and her injuries. She also has some vision loss in one eye in the lower right quadrant.
Virginia was just starting a second job as a nurse where she anticipated working substantially more than full time between the two jobs. Following her recovery from this crash, she was out of work for almost 10 months and could only get back to 24 hours a week, which is a permanent restriction requiring a day off between shifts due to her traumatic brain injury and significant fatigue. Her wage loss was substantial. Three coworkers and supervisors testified as to her significant problems at work and changes in her previous abilities as a nurse before she was injured in this crash. Her husband and daughter also testified as to her changes in personality, home life and cognitive deficiencies. Her husband suffered significant damages for loss of consortium as well, due to his wife’s changes in personalities and abilities.
Virginia’s neurologist, psychologist, and internist all wrote reports confirming the ongoing and permanent nature of her brain injury, PTSD and anxiety condition, fatigue, and neck and back injuries.
The trucking company admitted the crash was the fault of its driver, but refused to agree that her injuries were as significant as alleged or that she had a significant wage loss. They hired a neuropsychologist who stated that Virginia did not have an ongoing cognitive injury from her traumatic brain injury. They also argued the ongoing damages in the case were fairly minimal and that she had fully recovered from the injuries she suffered in the crash.
Partner, Rich Ruohonen, represented Virginia from the beginning of the case and worked on the case for four years. The parties agreed to enter binding arbitration on the case with a three-attorney panel to make the decision regarding the amount of damages in this case. The case was tried to this panel of arbitrators in a full-day hearing and resulted in an significant award for Virginia and her husband. The following amounts were awarded:
Past Medical Expenses: $116,784.10
Past loss of earnings: $400,000
Future earning capacity loss: $550,000
Future medical expenses: $100,000
Past pain, disability, emotional distress and embarrassment: $500,000
Future pain, disability, emotional distress and embarrassment: $750,000
Past Loss of Consortium: $225,000
Future Loss of Consortium: $400,000
Total Award in this case was $3,041,784.10, which will compensate Virginia for her significant loss resulting from being hit by this semi-truck. Virginia now recovered a significant portion of her lost wages and future losses, which will help her go on her with her life. This was a four-year battle with the trucking company, which finally resulted in a tremendous and deserving award for Virginia and her husband.
As Bruce stood by the road after being hit by a woman who had lost control of her vehicle, he was run over by a semi-truck. He sustained a number of fractures and internal injuries, including a severely broken and dislocated ankle. While he did experience a good recovery from his injuries under the circumstances, he continued to experience significant leg and ankle pain, which disturbed his gait. Attorney Rich Ruohonen was able to settle the case for a total of $1,700,000.
Kevin was a 36-year-old man whose wheelchair was struck in a crosswalk by a garbage truck as the man tried to cross a busy road. He used a motorized chair due to pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis. The crash resulted in a hip fracture that required surgery and caused the man to lose additional function. Partner Rich Ruohonen tried the case to a jury in Ramsey County and resulted in a $1,536,921 verdict.
Partner Rich Ruohonen handled a tragic wrongful death case against the State of Minnesota. M.G., an 18 year-old wonderful young woman with a very promising future was killed when she drove down the highway and entered a dust cloud. The dust cloud was being kicked up by a road grader and a significant wind making it almost impossible to see. When she entered the dust cloud, she was unable to see the road grader which was over halfway into her lane. She hit the back side of the road grader and was sent head on into a semi-truck. The driver of the semi-truck confirmed it was impossible to see due to the action of the road grader. The road grader was supposed to use signage and a warning vehicle to advise traffic of work being done ahead. No such methods were employed. Numerous witnesses were located and they confirmed that the dust could being kicked up with the road grader made it difficult to see. A claim was made against the State of Minnesota for M.G.‘s wrongful death. M.G. was a musician and had a brother with disabilities that she was close to and helped care for. The case was settled for a total $550,000, which involved $450,000 out of the possible statutory cap of $500,000 from the State of Minnesota and $100,000 in underinsured motorist benefits.