Diner injured when patio umbrella hits her in head

On or about June 12, 2018, the 71-year-old plaintiff was dining outdoors with her husband when a patio umbrella (not from her table) came loose and flew into her head.

The plaintiff suffered a head injury, concussion, neck pain, vertigo, vestibular dizziness, post-traumatic headaches, memory problems and fatigue. 

The plaintiff was transported to the emergency room via ambulance and was diagnosed with a small subgaleal hematoma at the vertex. 

Upon returning to her home state, the plaintiff was treated by her primary care physician for (1) traumatic injury of the head, (2) concussion, (3) new onset headaches, (4) nausea and (5) episodic memory loss, and was referred to a neurologist. 

The plaintiff subsequently underwent physical therapy, returning for a second round a year following the incident due to ongoing complaints of neck pain, vertigo, vestibular dizziness, headaches, memory problems and fatigue.

Nine months after the insurer for the restaurant failed to respond to the plaintiff’s demand for settlement, a demand was sent pursuant to G.L.c. 176D, §3(9). The insurer assigned counsel to respond to the plaintiff’s 93A/176D demand, and counsel for the defendant extended an initial offer of settlement. The parties negotiated, ultimately agreeing to mediation, and the case settled prior to litigation.

Action: Negligence and tort
Injuries alleged: Concussion, neck pain, vertigo, dizziness, memory problems, fatigue
Case name: Withheld
Court/case no.: Withheld
Jury and/or judge: N/A (mediated)
Name of mediator: William Mulvey
Special damages: $31,462.15 in medical bills
Highest offer: $85,000, plus $10,000 medical payments
Amount: $95,000
Date: April 23, 2021
Attorneys: Joseph M. Orlando Jr. and Valerie Montoya, of Orlando & Associates, Gloucester, (for the plaintiff)

Source: Mass Lawyers Weekly