The Supreme Court Case That Helped Utah Families with Injured Children

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It was a lawsuit that made its way to the Utah Supreme Court and ultimately opened up a new path for families hurt by the death or severe injury of a child.

It began in a high school theater. A 14-year-old student was told to change the lightbulbs on the ceiling of the auditorium. These bulbs were roughly 30 feet above the ground. The student was on top of a lift that other students were moving on the ground, rolling from bulb to bulb.

The lift fell over, and the teenager fell. He sustained a traumatic brain injury in the fall.

The case eventually made its way to the Utah Supreme Court. With the help of John Romano and the Romano Law Group, the Supreme Court ultimately sided with the family. They obtained compensation for the financial, physical, and emotional costs of the injury.

How do you compensate for emotional trauma and personal tragedy?

Personal injury lawsuits can recover two types of compensation: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are easier to calculate. They include things like:

  • Medical costs (surgery, hospital stays, medication, physical therapy), including estimates for lifetime medical care
  • Lost wages if you are unable to work
  • Future lost wages if you cannot perform the same job anymore
  • Vehicle repair or replacement costs
  • Costs for home modifications

This is only part of the story, however. To say that an accident like this takes an emotional toll on the victims is a massive understatement. The victims and their family members must adapt to a whole new way of life as they come to terms with the fact that something has been taken from them.

This is where non-economic damages come in. They offer some recompense for the emotional trauma that victims and their families have gone through. They are harder to put a price on, but they need to be addressed. Common examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of limb
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship or consortium

It’s this last bullet point where this case made history.

Why was this a historic case?

Loss of companionship, or as loss of consortium, is usually awarded to the spouses of victims. It’s meant to compensate for the fact that their romantic partner is either no longer around or not the same person they used to be.

What John Romano successfully argued in this case is that parents of injured or killed children also deserve to have loss of consortium charges awarded to them in certain cases. If a child dies or sustains a life altering injury, the family has lost who the child used to be.

Now, thanks to this ruling by the Utah Supreme Court, other families who have gone through similar challenges can be helped in the same way.

To learn more, contact the Romano Law Group by calling 888-981-1050 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge to discuss a potential case.

Video Transcript:

I'm Rob Rosenthal and this is an AskTheLawyers.com Legal brief. A 14-year-old student at one Diego Catholic high school was working on a theater production at the school by using a lift to replace light bulbs on the ceiling of the auditorium 30 feet in the air. Other students were instructed to roll the lift along as the student replaced the bulbs. Unfortunately the lift fell over and the boy was thrown, causing serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury.

Thanks to the work of Attorney John Romano of the West Palm Beach, Florida based Romano Law Group, not only will this family be compensated for the tragic loss of filial consortium, but other families who suffered through similar tragedies in the future will be able to recover these types of losses and damages as well. Attorney Romano argued that families should be entitled to damages for loss of filial consortium when a child is severely injured or killed, and the Utah Supreme Court agreed. Loss of filial consortium is the loss of love and affection and family that a person suffers through after the death or serious injury of a family member. In most places, loss of consortium statutes apply only to spouses but thanks to this landmark case brought forth by Romano, families will now be able to seek damages for loss of filial consortium.

Attorney Romano says: "It was a long road to recovery for this entire family after their son sustained a traumatic brain injury. We are grateful for this court decision and we find comfort in the fact that this case will have a positive effect on families facing similar hardships in the future."

If you've been injured in an accident and want the best information or you're ready to choose a lawyer that lawyers choose, visit AskTheLawyers.com™. I'm Rob Rosenthal and this has been an AskTheLawyers.com™ legal brief.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

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