Settlements & Verdicts

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Traumatic Brain Injury newsletterIt started out like any other day on the water for Elgin “Eddie” Stodghill, a 39 year old tankerman aboard a barge heading up the James River to unload fuel at a Richmond Terminal.  Pulling alongside the dock that August day, Eddie could never have imagined how drastically his life was about to change.

During offloading operations on the vessel, Eddie was required to adjust fuel lines, which were suspended by cables raised and lowered by a boom and winch. Due to a series of management and maintenance errors, the equipment had become extremely dangerous, although not in a manner that would be obvious to the naked eye. During the operations, the winch failed dropping the heavy equipment on Eddie, fracturing his skull and causing a severe brain injury.

Eddie was taken via ambulance to the Medical College of Virginia for an emergency craniotomy and was diagnosed with a fractured wrist, comminuted skull fracture, and intraparanchymal hemorrhage (bleeding in his brain.)

Due to Eddie’s traumatic brain injury, he faced a very long road toward recovery, and sought help in holding the companies responsible for his life altering injury accountable for their negligence.  The insurance companies refused for four long years to pay Eddie just compensation, despite his devastating injuries.

Eddie was considered a longshoreman, and faced special challenges in bringing a claim against the vessel owner. Maritime law presents unique procedures and substantive law that requires substantial experience to undertake. Richard Serpe obtained an advanced degree in maritime law (after graduating from law school) to enable him to assist maritime victims.

After years of negotiating with multiple insurance carriers to exhaust all available polices available to Eddie, his attorneys were able to secure a $3,500,000.00 settlement for him.

Facing long-term significant physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges, our firm assisted Eddie in setting up a financial plan that would carry him through the rest of his life, assuring he would live comfortably and have access to the best care going forward to treat his traumatic brain injury.

*Please understand that all cases are different and the results of one case cannot be used as an indication of what our firm may obtain for a similar case.