Different Outcomes in Two Similar Quadriplegia Cases

Different Outcomes in Two Similar Quadriplegia Cases

Two women lost their independence on separate occasions due to car accidents; however, for one, justice was served, while the other has not received any compensation for her losses.

Similar Accidents

Elaine Gorski, 52, was in a Chevrolet Blazer in 1997 when the car rolled severing her spinal cord and leaving her with only partial feeling in her arms and legs, which causes her to feel constant pain.

Jennifer Mitchell, 33, is paralyzed from her chest down and has limited use of her hands after her 1995 Isuzu Rodeo rolled in 1997.

Both women claim they lost a piece of themselves and their identity on the days of the tragic car accidents.

On being a quadriplegic Gorski explains, “It impacts all of your social interactions and everything that you normally do in a day.”

Gorski was a previous financial analyst as Duke Family Medicine Center who loved her job, worked out five days a week and cared for her children and husband before the accident, now she is confined to a wheelchair and others must care for her.

“It’s an awful feeling to know that you can’t do simple daily tasks,” says Mitchell “You have enough taken away from you. That little bit of independence means the world to you.”

Different Outcomes

In North Carolina, where the women are both from, a law sets a six-year limit on defective products. Under this law, Mitchell could sue the manufacturers of the vehicle.

Mitchell’s lawsuit claimed the Isuzu’s roof was defective and was the cause for her quadriplegia. Her financial settlement has helped her and her husband buy a new home and pay for the medical costs, which are “astronomical.”

“It’s nice to know that when the time comes, I’ll be able to afford the nursing care that I need,” Mitchell explains.

On the other hand, in Gorski’s case, the law was not as forgiving. Since her car accident happened six years and four months after her Chevrolet Blazer was bought, she was unable to sue.

A bill is currently pending in North Carolina that would give consumers the right to sue 15 years after the product was sold, as opposed to the current six years.

“One got justice in North Carolina. One did not,” comments Raleigh lawyer Jay Trehy.

(Source: The Charlotte Observer)

Have you or someone you know suffered from being a quadriplegic? Contact us today to speak with a licensed attorney who can advise you on your legal rights and options.

Find a Lawyer Now

Search for a Personal Injury lawyer in your state or province by using the forms to the right.