25 Jan Virginia: Brain Injury – a Lawyer’s Damages
On January 25, 2010, dailypress.com headlined, “Judge’s ruling may mean smaller damages in Gloucester lawsuit,” and subtitled “Decision expected to head to the Supreme Court”. It covered hearing that day in the brain injury case of Gagnon v. Burns, No. CL08-572 in Circuit Court for Gloucester County, Virginia.
In August, 2009, a Gloucester jury in Gagnon awarded the permanent brain injury victim $1,250,000.00 against Assistant Principal Travis Burns; $3,250,000.00 against the assailant; $500,000.00 against his encouraging sister; and $1,100,000.00 in pre-judgment interest on all of those principal amounts collectively. Plaintiff unsuccessfully argued that he was entitled to collect all amounts against the Assistant Principal, who enjoys $6,000,000.00 of insurance coverage, versus the impecunious brother and sister student tortfeasors, both of whom have filed for Bankruptcy.
At hearing on January 25th, the Judge noted that Plaintiff’s authority of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Apportionment of Liability §14 was compelling; but ruled that there was no “joint and several liability” between the Defendants to the brain injury victim. Both litigants in Gagnon intend to appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court, the Assistant Principal about him being liable at all and Plaintiff about joint and several liability.