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Crane Operator Wins $8 Million for Severe Brain Injury

A Baltimore City Circuit Court jury awarded an $8 million verdict this week to Matthew F. McGeady, a crane operator who suffered a severe brain injury while working on a barge in 2016. The verdict, which falls outside Maryland’s cap on noneconomic damages due to being brought under maritime law, grants $5 million to Matthew McGeady and $3 million to his wife, Kimberly McGeady, for the loss of companionship.

According to the lawsuit, negligence led to Matthew McGeady’s injury when a sealing plug dislodged from a pressurized pipe on a crane barge in the York River, Virginia. The forceful explosion from the 54-inch diameter pipe resulted in a skull fracture and a serious brain injury, leaving lasting effects on Matthew’s health. Physical recovery was achieved, but the traumatic brain injury caused personality changes, including volatility, difficulty concentrating, and rambling speech.

As a result of the brain injury, Matthew was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with manic features. His condition worsened over time, leading to increasingly manic and psychotic behavior, rendering him unlikely to be employable in the future. The lawsuit alleged that Corman Marine Construction Inc., the contracted company responsible for the project, failed to create a safe work environment, leading to the accident.

Under the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, Matthew McGeady pursued a negligence claim against the owner/operator of the ship. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed serious violations of workplace safety regulations related to the incident.

The jury awarded Matthew McGeady approximately $127,000 brain injury settlement for past lost wages, $433,000 for future lost wages, $126,000 for medical expenses, $5 million for physical and emotional pain, and $3 million for loss of consortium.

If you or someone you know has experienced a traumatic brain injury and requires medical and legal assistance in filing a claim, reach out to the Brain Injury Help Center for guidance and support.

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