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Case Story: Defective Auto Parts Cause TBI

In this video, attorney John Romano explains a case he handled where the seatbacks in a car failed, leading to a brain injury for one of the passengers. When the victim eventually received her Master's degree, the defense tried to use this as evidence against the severity of the injury.

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Video Transcript:

So back in 2013 I went to verdict in a case with a team of lawyers and we were in trial for four or five weeks in a case called Robinson vs. Ford Motor Company. It was a traumatic brain injury case where the underlying liability facts dealt with a defective seat back or seating system so that a Ford Explorer was driving on that was moving along the highway. Dad was driving, Mom was in the back seat next to one of her children.

Mom was a schoolteacher as well as a mom and a wife and the car fish tailed after it hit some water, and when it hit the median rail, it swung around at a high speed.

The seatback failed. Mom submarined right out from underneath the back seat seatbelts system and was catapulted right out the back window so that an eyewitness said it looked like a torpedo coming out of a submarine and she went right down on the concrete. She suffered a brain injury was of course Medevaced immediately to a major hospital there in the Central Florida area and the rest of the case dealt with putting together the liability case and the damages case. One very important issue in the case that we focused a lot of attention on was this.

After she went through a period of recovery there came a time when she actually went and earned a Master's degree in teaching after the brain injury. And the defense pounded on this, trying to at least imply the brain injury could not be that severe if a brain injury victim went out and got a Master's degree. The doctors came forward and said, "When we have a brain injury patient, the more we get that patient to exercise his or her brain, the better it will be in terms of trying to get a healing." What also came out is it's not like she could get up and just walk off and go off to a university.

She got her Master's degree from her home through the University of Phoenix after her husband who is a computer specialist rigged an entire teaching and learning center at their house because she couldn't even read anymore due to eye problems caused by this brain injury. So all of it was done by her husband helping her, professors at the University of Phoenix helping her, and everyone reading these lessons to her. It is true. You can even have a brain injury and get a Master's degree. She did it. The jury loved her and there was a tremendous verdict in favor of her and her husband.

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