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Shapiro & Appleton

Restaurant Ornament Falls on Customer, Causes Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

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Do not just watch what you eat, but watch where you eat. A 46-year-old man was enjoying a meal at a restaurant when a four-pound ornament made of hemp fell from the ceiling and hit him in the head.

Immediately following the incident, the man seemed okay, even joking about what happened. However, the subtle effects of the head injury he suffered were slowly starting to surface. A few days after the accident, he started feeling dizzy, sick to his stomach, he suffered headaches, confusion, and had memory loss. He decided to go to the hospital and that's when he was officially diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury.

The man decided to consult with an attorney and a personal injury lawsuit was filed against the restaurant. An engineer testified that the ornament was not safe and the twine used to hang the item was not rated for any load, according to allbusiness.com. A medical expert testified that the head injury, including damage to the right frontal lobe and left parieto-occipital region of the brain was caused by the ornament falling on his head.

The defense put forth by the restaurant was weak - they argued that the symptoms displayed by the victim were due to a preexisting battle with depression. They also argued that the ornament fell on his shoulder, and not on his head (even though there were MRI scans indicating brain damage).

A jury sided with the victim and awarded him $1,200,000. This award will go to cover $23,000 in medical bills and $170,000 for future medications and treatment.

Our firm handled a similar case where a CSX locomotive engineer suffered a mild traumatic brain injury after a valve suddenly exploded on an engine hitting him right in the head. We were able to convince a jury to award his rail worker a substantial sum in order to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and future treatment.

If you get hit in the head with an object, be safe and consult with a doctor immediately. Mild head injuries can quickly become serious if left untreated. Do not make that mistake.

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