The Summer 2011 issue of The Safety Report featured article “Brain Injury – Recognizing a ‘Hidden Disability’”. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) estimates that annually there are 1,700,000 traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) victims in the United States, causing 1,370,000 emergency room visits, 255,000 hospitalizations, and 52,000 deaths. Id. at 42.
The CDC identifies the following most common causes of TBI: falls (35.2%), motor vehicle accidents (17.3%), assaults (10%), and other impact events (16.5%). The Brain Injury Association of America notes that TBI can have permanent physical, mental, emotional and psychological components, including personality changes. Id. at 42-43.
The crime victim represented by Mr. Waterman in Gagnon v. Burns, No. CL08-572 in Circuit Court for Gloucester County, Virginia, on appeal before the Supreme Court of Virginia, No. 110767 c/w No. 110754, suffered such a multi-faceted TBI. That brain injury victim was assaulted on school premises and was awarded over $6,000,000.00 against his student assailant, another instigating student, and an Assistant Principal who did absolutely nothing after being forewarned and assuring he would notify school security.