By: Allan M. Siegel
In December of 2008, Maria Alcantara, a 60 year old native of the Dominican Republic living in New York City, suffered a fall that would catastrophically alter the rest of her life. On the day of her injury, she left work at a factory in Williamsburg and took the subway to meet her husband, Manuel Alcantara. As she exited the train and headed toward the stairs, she tripped on a gouge in the platform. She fell violently down a flight of stairs, broke her hip, and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. She was immediately hospitalized and over the next several weeks her condition continued to worsen.
The brain injury caused her to suffer multiple seizures. Each seizure slowly diminishing her brain function, most significantly her ability to speak. She has now completely lost her ability to communicate through speech, and can now only communicate through a few weak hand gestures. Maria Alcantara may have been 69 years old, but she led a full and active life prior to this accident. She worked five or six days a week in the factory position she steadily held for 18 years. She went from a busy working commuter to invalid who requires constant care for every single daily activity. Her lawyer shares that she has "moments of cognition" and cries when she understands what her life has become.
During the trial, Manuel Alcantara testified about his wife's condition. He said that he and his family would provide all of Maria's around-the-clock care. He also devotedly said that a nursing facility might be able to properly provide her healthcare needs, but they could give her love. A $16 million dollar award may seem on its face, to some critics of the legal system, to be a large amount, but in the blink of an eye Maria Alcantara was robbed of the rest of her life. No amount of money can ever compensate for such a loss.
Cases involving traumatic brain injuries can be utterly devastating, family members may feel helpless, and the complexities of TBI litigation must be handled appropriately. If you have questions about a case involving a traumatic brain injury, please contact the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at our firm.