Man Awarded $21.5 Million For Getting Hit By Sliding Door
Man gets hit by a door. Man sues and wins $21.5 million?
That was the case of James R. Hausman, a Springfield, Illinois businessman, who won $21.5 million in damages after being hit by a sliding door while on a cruise in 2011 .It is reportedly one of the largest recent sums from a federal court.
Hausman's lawyer said the he has suffered seizures, vertigo and memory loss from his ordeal. The incident was caught on camera - though according to the Seattle Times, Hausman still managed to finish his 280-day world cruise.
Hausman's attorney showed evidence to the jury that dozens of other passengers have been hit by sliding doors on other ships from the cruise company, Holland America Line.
The Seattle Times reports that a doctor on board told Hausman he suffered a facial contusion, and then diagnosed him with “post-concussion” syndrome. However his attorney claims that neurological tests later showed that he suffered a minor brain injury, His attorney says the health problems from the injury persist today.
Holland America claims that Hausman walked into the door and that his injury was an anomaly.The attorney argued, however, that Holland “suppressed” documents for more than 30 other similar sliding-door incidents on its fleet, and that the company had a history of blaming passengers for their own injuries.
Eight jurors unanimously ruled in favor of Hausman. The verdict comprised $16.5 million in punitive damages, and another $5 million for Hausman’s past and future pain and distress.
After the trial, Hausman told the Illinois Times he tried to settle with Holland for $10 million but the company refused.
Holland said it would appeal but did not comment further on the verdict.