State Found Not Liable in Cliff Walk Accident After City Settles Lawsuit

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The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, is a picturesque walk along the sea and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in New England. In August 2000, Simcha Berman and his new wife were visiting Cliff Walk on their honeymoon when tragedy struck. A portion of the walk gave way and Mr. Berman fell 29 feet to the rocks below. His injuries left him paralyzed from the neck down. Berman sued the City of Newport and the State of Rhode Island for negligence in failing to safely maintain the walk.

When injured parties like Mr. Berman seek money damages for negligence, most are entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, as well as future medical expenses. In addition to proving how a negligent party breached the duty of care that led to the injury, injured plaintiffs must articulate the costs of future care and rehabilitation, especially when they have severe injuries that will lead to long-term disability or require years of treatment.

Seeking Compensation After An Accident Causing Quadriplegia

The costs of caring for individuals with quadriplegia are significant. Analysts estimate that such costs can exceed $1 million over a lifetime. There are continuing treatments and multiple surgical procedures. Individuals with quadriplegia must also endure a lengthy hospital stay and rehabilitation period, and make specific repairs or improvements to their homes or cars. Insurance usually does not cover these costs. Only by bringing a personal injury lawsuit can an injured individual receive compensation for these future expenses.

At trial, the City of Newport settled its lawsuit with Mr. Berman for $2 million. However, a jury found the State of Rhode Island was not liable for the accident. Mr. Berman's attorney, Ronald Resmini, called the jury verdict "disappointing." Nevertheless, Mr. Berman is entitled to some type of compensation for his injuries.

If you have been paralyzed or otherwise injured in an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can counsel you on the value of your case.