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Plaintiff Seeks Previous Years’ Deficiency In Attendant Care Sums (continued)

Construction of handicapped accessible home factored in deal


Plaintiff, an 18 year old young man, sought attendant care benefit payments, and a handicapped-accessible home and van from defendants Unitrin Direct Insurance Co. and Unitrin Direct Property & Casualty Co.

Plaintiff was involved in a single-vehicle automobile accident in August 2007. His injuries included a severe traumatic brain injury, intracranial hemorrhage, spastic quadriplegia, and facial, rib and clavicle fractures.

After being discharged from the hospital, he moved in with his mother. Modifications to her modular home were required, but they could not be accomplished based on the structure of the home.

Plaintiff also required 24 hour, seven day per week attendant care services, which were performed by family members who were trained to meet his care needs. However, plaintiffs contended Unitrin’s rates for attendant care, $11 per hour, was considered too low for the specialized care Goins needed.

His catastrophic injuries also meant having a specially equipped van. Unitrin provided a van on a rental basis, but plaintiffs asserted that a permanent van was needed.

A lawsuit was filed in Oakland County Circuit Court in November 2010, seeking a higher attendant care rate; a new, accessible home to be constructed; and a permanent van. Unitrin requested the case be moved to federal court, and it was filed there in December 2010.

The case was settled for $1,483,396. The total value of the settlement of the attendant care issues included the amount paid by the insurance company for the previous years’ deficiency in attendant care payments, the value of the claim during the pendency of the agreement between the parties, and an agreement to pay $840 per day for attendant care through 2014. The settlement value also included a permanent van, and for a new, fully accessible home to be built.

Type of action: Automobile no-fault
Type of injuries: Traumatic brain injury, intracranial hemorrhage, spastic quadriplegia, facial, rib and clavicle fractures.
Court/Case no.: U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division; 10-15091
Name of judge: Nancy Edmunds
Settlement amount: $1,483,396