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Verdict of $4,000,000 In Union County, Pennsylvania

A Judge in Union County awarded our clients $4,034,000 following a bench trial yesterday.

Just outside Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, our client was hunting with his son.  It was spring gobbler season and that means you can only shoot a male turkey.  In order to help identify a male turkey, you first have to recognize that it is a bird.  Then, it is likely to have prominent red coloring on its head.  Finally, every spring gobbler hunter is looking for a beard on a bird.  That is  thin straw-feeling feathers that come out of the chest of the bird and are part of distinguishing a “trophy.”  In hunter education (which is required for all new hunters in PA), the most important rule of hunting safety is to identify your target.  The defendant in this case never saw a turkey.

 He didn’t see a red head.  He didn’t see a beard.  He saw movement in the woods. He pulled the trigger.  Worse than simply failing to follow the most fundamental rule in hunting, he should never have been in the woods with a gun.  The defendant had previously been convicted of a crime, and was prohibited by law from possessing a weapon.  

The metal pellets from a 12 gauge shot gun slammed into the side of our client’s face and neck.  He suffered injuries to his eyes which left him blind in both eyes.  He developed cerebral aneurysms, and he was left with nerve palsy resulting in facial droop.  

If you have been injured in a hunting accident contact the leading personal injury attorneys in Harrisburg for a free legal consultation. 

Our client, before he was shot, was a hard working employee of a machine shop, offensive coordinator for the local high school football team, and most importantly, a husband and father.  He continued as husband and father, though his abilities to enjoy each were dramatically inhibited.  He could not continue working, when part of his job was inspecting for quality control.  He lost more than 14 years of earned income.  He was unable to continue as a football coach and lost the opportunity to develop character in the lives of the youth who came through the program.  

On the other hand, this guy, our Plaintiff, was not the type to give up.  He runs with his daughter, and they each hold a side of his outstretched cane, but he has to trust her to not run him into a stop sign.  He runs a 5k with a buddy on his elbow to make sure he stays on course.  He goes to hunter education classes, and talks to kids about the importance of safety in hunting.  His wife works with him to make the most out of the assistive devices that they are learning to use.  She, also, keeps the furniture in the same places, so that he can maneuver through the house by memory.  

It was very rewarding to work with these clients, and I count it a privilege to have known them. Additionally, the witnesses who testified…Shawn McGlaughlin, M.D., Dirk Remensnyder (Game Commission Officer), and David Powers-from the client’s employer all gave freely of their time and deserve a lot of credit for bringing together a story that the Judge would hear and understand.

In Harrisburg, the Personal Injury attorneys at Schmidt Kramer lookout for the best interests of our car accident, nursing home, or premises liability clients.  If you or a loved one needs help with an injury that someone else caused, we may be able to help.

Joe Chapman

January 18, 2013