Salsbury v. Griffin Road 345 Homeowners Association involved the determination of damages suffered by obstetrician Helen Salsbury, who was struck at her home five years earlier, on October 31, 2005, by a 4-wheel ATV traveling approximately 30 miles per hour.
Dr. Salsbury sustained severe leg injuries. According to Crane Johnstone, of the Schlesinger Law Firm, Dr. Salsbury “lay like a rag-doll, twisted, in a grotesque form on the ground.” The ATV, a “mechanical monster,” broke both of Dr. Salisbury’s legs. Her left femur was completely shattered below the hip, and the tibia and fibula in her right leg were completely shattered in shards below the knee.
Dr. Salsbury was taken by helicopter to Memorial Regional hospital for surgery to reconstruct her legs. However, her legs did not heal correctly (malunion and nonunion of the fibula and tibia), and a subsequent surgery was required a few months later to remove the hardware and re-set her leg using an external fixation device. During the subsequent surgery, she contracted an antibiotic resistant infection, which involved additional treatment and risk.
According to Mr. Johnstone, Dr. Salisbury ended up with permanent injury to her legs and back, as well as permanent nerve damage in her right leg — it was, said Mr. Johnstone, a “monstrous, life-changing injury.”
Representing the defendant homeowners association, Griffin Road 345, John Hoffman, of the law firm Hoffman Morris, told the jury that the case was primarily about Dr. Salsbury’s miraculous recovery, including both her medical and vocational recovery.
Mr. Hoffman conceded that Dr. Salsbury and her family suffered during “the acute period.” But on January 9, 2008, a treating physician declared that Dr. Salsbury was quite fortunate considering the severity and multiplicity of her injuries, and had recovered without chronic problems. Mr. Hoffman noted that Dr. Salsbury walked without a limp, had no significant degenerative arthritis, was able to practice medicine and do surgeries, and was able to take vacations with her family.
As a result, said Mr. Hoffman, the parties disagreed not as to whether compensation was warranted, but only as to the amount that was fair and reasonable.
Watch CVN’s live webcast of Salsbury v. Griffin Road 345.