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Space Gravy
01-26-2009, 04:42 PM
Merritt Island man, paralyzed after dare, wins $76.6M award

A Merritt Island man who was paralyzed when he answered a dare to do a belly flop in the Indian River has been awarded $76.6 million by a Brevard County jury.

Timothy D. Hoffman, who was 20 at the time of the accident on Jan. 16, 2003, broke his neck when he sprinted down a dock in Port St. John and slammed headfirst into the bottom of the shallow river.

The former construction worker is unable to move his legs or arms but has limited movement in his shoulders, said his attorney, Donald Van Dingenen of Winter Park.

Hoffman's mother quit her job to take care of him. He lives in his parents' converted garage, requires assistance to eat and dress, and cannot use the bathroom normally, Van Dingenen said. His father is a construction worker who has to travel out of state to take jobs to support the family during the recession.

A jury late Wednesday in Viera decided that Hoffman should receive $1.5 million for past medical expenses, $89,000 for lost earnings, $21.7 million for future medical expenses, $583,000 for loss of future earnings, and a whopping $52.8 million for pain and suffering. The judgment is one of the largest in Brevard history, Van Dingenen said.

Whether Hoffman will collect, however, is questionable.

The defendant, C&D Dock Works, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May because of the incident, said its former owner, Charles Brunty. A judge in November 2007 ruled that the company was negligent.

Link (http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/state/orl-lawsuit2309jan23,0,1704148.story)

I'm not even going to make a Florida joke.

MrsSmith
01-26-2009, 08:41 PM
Since when is it an accident when someone deliberately does something stupid? :rolleyes::mad:

Jumpy
01-26-2009, 08:51 PM
Wait.. he sued the person who dared him??? Oh for cripes sakes!!!! I dare you all to run naked around your neighborhood tomorrow. Will you sue me when you get arrested??

Phillygirl
01-26-2009, 08:55 PM
Wait.. he sued the person who dared him??? Oh for cripes sakes!!!! I dare you all to run naked around your neighborhood tomorrow. Will you sue me when you get arrested??

He sued the company that he was working for. Some of them may have put up money for him to jump.

Regardless, I think it's ridiculous. But the defendant also didn't have an attorney, as the company went bankrupt.

Celtic Rose
01-26-2009, 08:57 PM
Wait.. he sued the person who dared him??? Oh for cripes sakes!!!! I dare you all to run naked around your neighborhood tomorrow. Will you sue me when you get arrested??

Yes, I will, and I'll use this case as precedent for my multi-million dollar lawsuit :p

Jumpy
01-26-2009, 08:59 PM
Yes, I will, and I'll use this case as precedent for my multi-million dollar lawsuit :p

haha.. good luck with collecting. :D

wilbur
01-26-2009, 09:14 PM
He hit his head? I think he missed the point of a belly flop

AmPat
01-26-2009, 10:26 PM
Yes, I will, and I'll use this case as precedent for my multi-million dollar lawsuit :p

I'd do it too but for the fear of a counter suit. It really would be indecent exposure if I got naked. I puke at my own reflection.:eek::D

Shannon
01-27-2009, 09:32 AM
I have an uncle who has been paralyzed since he was 16 for doing pretty much the same thing. Of course the family never even considered suing someone else for his stupidity.:rolleyes:

noonwitch
01-27-2009, 10:36 AM
I had a roommate who broke her neck when she dived in the pool at WMU and hit the bottom, head-first. She didn't dislocate anything and wasn't paralyzed, because her coach saw that her head was bleeding and got her to the er immediately. But she was a swim team champ and knew that she could break her neck if she dove into shallow water-no one sued WMU over it, and they actually could have, because the coach had the team diving through rings to improve their form.


A kid did the same thing at my high school, and broke his skull. He had to wear his head in a plaster cast for a few months, but, again, no one sued the school because they had a big sign up that said "no diving in the shallow end".

I feel badly for this guy, because he's young and one stupid thing cost him everything. That's what SSI is for-that, and paying for vocational training to help him get skills to get a job despite his handicap. There are lots of quads and paraplegics who have good jobs. The skier from that heart-breaking movie I saw as a kid went on to be a teacher. Joni Erikson draws pictures with a pen in her mouth, and has a successful ministry for the disabled.

Space Gravy
01-27-2009, 11:20 AM
What gets me about this whole thing is because of this guys stupidity one person has lost his business and who knows how many employees he had that lost their jobs.

I hope the guy doesn't get a nickle of this award.