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Cedrick Makara and His $2 Million Thumb

High-value personal injury awards often triggers calls for tort reform or misguided public ridicule. But this is unfair because some of these cases actually demonstrate how compensation works. An example is shown in the case of Cedrick Makara’s injured thumb.

It Started with a Broken Bathroom Door

In 1999, Cedrick Makara worked as a city claims examiner. Inside the building where he worked, was a bathroom door without a doorknob. To exit the door of the bathroom, Makara reached his hand through the hole where the knob should have been to pull the door open. However, another person simultaneously pushed the door open to enter the bathroom.

The door was pushed into Makara’s hand while his hand was stuck in it, injuring the tendons in his thumb. Makara needed reparative surgery and was out of work for 6 months.

Makara sued the building manager and the building owner for negligence. According to Makara’s lawyers, these parties neglected to repair the door for an unreasonable period of time. They permitted a dangerous condition to eventually cause his injury. A jury agreed and awarded Makara $200,000 for future medical costs, and also $2 million for past and future pain and suffering.

The Reason for Non-Economic Damages

Many have criticized the award for pain and suffering because it is ten times greater than future medical costs. But that fails to understand how Makara’s injury needed to be compensated. His surgery was likely expensive, and the jury agreed he likely needed future treatment.

But Makara’s personal and professional life drastically changed the moment he lost full use of his thumb. A functioning thumb allows you to write, grab, play sports, among many other things. No reasonable person would give up all of that for only $200,000 to cover medical costs. That is why personal injury claims include compensation for noneconomic damages.

You Deserve Great Lawyers

If an accident injures you, your compensation should be complete. That’s why you should hire the diligent and experienced lawyers at Sam & Ash. When we take your case, we will help manage your treatment so we can build a claim that gets you what you deserve. Call our 24-hour number at 1 (800) 304-2000 and we will begin your recovery today. Getting you back to normal is what’s right, so don’t delay.

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