Saturday, 21 May, 2011
A minister´s wife and parent counsellor from Iowa, who suffered extensive brain damage in a road traffic accident in 2004, has been awarded 11 million dollars by an Illinois judge.
Carla Link (56) of Burlington, Iowa, was returning home from a family Labor Day excursion in June 2004, when the van in which she was travelling was struck by a trailer which had become detached from the pick-up driven by Clovis Crane (31) of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
Mr Crane had fallen asleep of the wheel of his vehicle, and his consequently erratic driving had caused the trailer to become detached. It collided with the Link´s van and caused it to crash into guardrail – after which it rolled over three times.
Carla was thrown through the passenger window as her seatbelt snapped due to the force of the impact, and suffered a broken vertebrae, ribs, collarbone and forearm. She also sustained damage to her spine, pelvic area and legs, and was diagnosed with brain trauma and damage to her nervous system on arrival at hospital. Carla´s husband and daughter also suffered minor injuries.
Although having healed from many of her injuries, Judge Jeff Ford at the Champagne County Court heard that Carla is confined to a wheelchair and still suffers a skin sensation akin to being on fire because of the nerve damage. This exceptionally painful condition will remain with her for the rest of her life.
Liability was not contested and, making his announcement of the 11 million dollar award, the judge stated that it represented Carla´s medical bills (which amounted to 699,000 dollars), the loss of a normal life, physical disfigurement and her pain and suffering.
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