Student Collects $1.2 Million Following Head Injury
Tyler Pollock, PPA v. Michael Lambert, et al.: A high school student who suffered a severe head injury after he was struck by a car driven by a classmate recovered $1.2 million in a recent settlement.
On Saturday, May 7, 2011, Tyler Pollock, then 17, took the SAT tests at Simsbury High School, though he was a student at Granby High School. After the tests, Pollock went to the home of his friend, Nicholas McGarrahan, in Granby. But McGarrahan had mistakenly left his backpack at Simsbury High School and his father, Roger McGarrahan, was going to drive him back to retrieve it.
On the way, Roger McGarrahan dropped Pollock off in the parking area of Salmon Brook Park in Granby. It was 2:15 p.m. and Pollock was going to meet up with another friend.
Pollock's lawyer, Michael Jainchill, of RisCassi & Davis in Hartford, explained that Pollock walked a short distance along Salmon Brook Street, then entered a crosswalk leading to the park. It was a busy spring Saturday at the park, and there was a great deal of traffic in the area.
One of the motorists was Michael Lambert, also a Granby High student, who was driving a 2000 Subaru Outback wagon. Jainchill said Lambert was talking on his cell phone with his father as he was driving along Salmon Brook Street as Pollock began to cross the road. Lambert did not see Pollock and drove right into him.
Jainchill said Pollock was in the clearly-marked, white-painted crosswalk. He said there were pedestrian crossing signs posted north and south of the crosswalk.
Witnesses observed Lambert looking down as he struck Pollock and then saw his head pop up after impact. Lambert and his parents acknowledged during depositions that he was talking to his father on his cell phone at the time. Initially, because Lambert had been looking down, Jainchill thought he might be texting.
Lambert was charged criminally with second-degree reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor, and ticketed for driving with a cell phone and not giving a pedestrian the right of way at a crosswalk. Lambert was granted accelerated rehabilitation.
After getting hit by the Subaru, Pollock lay in the roadway unconscious. Bystanders tried to support the area around his spine in case it had been injured. Paramedics arrived, and took Pollock to Hartford Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. A CT scan of his head revealed multiple areas of bleeding. While he had no spinal fractures, he did have a broken left arm.
Jainchill said that Pollock was rushed into surgery to treat the bleeding near his brain and skull. A portion of Pollock's skull needed to be removed in order to ease the pressure on his brain.