Second Circuit Upholds Jury Verdict of $41.5 M Verdict To High School Student

On February 6, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (which handles appeals from federal court trials in Connecticut and New York) upheld a jury verdict of $41.5 million to a then 15 year old female high student. The student's parents sued their daughter's private boarding High School for failing to warn of the dangers of being exposed to ticks during a class trip to China. There was evidence that the school's travel coordinator was made aware of the dangers presented by ticks in the remote mountainous area they were travelling to, including information from the U.S. government.

The young lady contracted a tick borne viral encephalitis (injury to the brain) after hiking up a forested mountain which resulted in numerous insect bites to her arm. No warnings or bug spray were given out to the students. She became itchy with swelling during the hike and days later was taken to a local hospital and then transferred to a Beijing hospital where she developed severe illness and partial paralysis. As a result the student suffered permanent brain damage affecting both cognition and motor control. Her condition is expected to worsen over the balance of her life.

Based on the opinion of Connecticut's highest state Court that there is a duty to warn about the risk of a serious tick borne disease imposed on the organizer of a trip; that an award of $41.5 million fell within the range of a just verdict; and,that the injury was foreseeable the Second Circuit refused to overturn the jury verdict. The award allocated $10M for a lifetime of lost wages and medical expenses and $31.5M for pain and suffering. Munn v The Hotchkiss School, 2018 WL 722474

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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