Jury rules against man who broke neck on his honeymoon

clifftrialWe rarely hear about cases that are lost.  When people think of lawsuits, they remember the outrageous headlines that make the news.

It is tough to bring a lawsuit particularly against corporations or the government.  They have armies of lawyers on staff to defend them.  Their budgets are enormous.  On the other hand, the plaintiff lawyers don’t get paid unless the lawsuit is successful.

Ten years ago, Simcha Berman and his wife were on their honeymoon.  They were walking on Seaside Walk, a popular tourist attraction in Rhode Island.  Berman’s then wife testified  the ground he was standing on crumbled causing him to fall 29 feet over the cliff.  Berman is now a quadriplegic.   The area is now fenced but the jury probably never learned this (“subsequent remedial measurers” are often supressed at trial).

Berman could not sue the owner of the land (The Preservation Society of Newport County) as the court found them to be immune from suit. (The jury probably wasn’t told this either).  Earlier this month, trial finally began against the City and State.  The City settled the second day of trial for $2M.  The case continueed against the State.  But the jury found it was not negligent.

The medical and life care expenses of a young quadriplegic is greater than $10 Million.  Even though the state was cleared by the jury, the taxpayers will be paying for the care of this young man.

Berman’s wife divorced him two years afer the fall.  She had not spoken to him in five years.  The divorce rate following quadriplegia is much higher than the norm.

Photo:  Plaintiff’s ex-wife testifying.  AP Photo/Providence Journal, Frieda Squires


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About Karen
Karen Koehler, partner at the nationally recognized law firm of SKW, blogs about all things related to spinal cord injuries...More
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Can I see a falling tear.
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