Student Collects $1.2 Million Following Head Injury
A plastic helmet was put on to protect the area where the bone had been removed. The removed bone was kept frozen in a sterile environment and was later re-placed during a follow-up surgery after the swelling subsided.
Pollock remained in a coma for roughly 21 days after the crash. On June 13, 2011 he was transferred to Gaylord Hospital, a rehabilitation facility in Wallingford. Except for a brief period in Hartford Hospital for his second surgery, he was at Gaylord until August 11, 2011, when he finally came home.
"I think back to the first time I met him at Gaylord before he had surgery to replace the bone that was taken from his skull," recalled Jainchill. "He couldn't speak, his arms were tightly wrapped around his chest, wearing a plastic helmet. I knew he could understand what was going on but he really had difficulty communicating."
Jainchill said Pollock has no recollection of the accident.
"His first recollection after the accident is being in Hartford Hospital in June surrounded by friends and family," according to court documents. "He has described his recollection of the scene as a 'death vigil' and, at his deposition, he became emotional remembering his friends and family 'standing over me, not knowing…if I was still in there. Everyone was so sad.'"
Jainchill said even as Pollock began to recover, he had trouble speaking and walking, and he developed a problem with seizures. He now takes medicine daily to prevent seizures and has otherwise made great strides.
"He had a pretty serious traumatic brain injury but made a miraculous recovery," said Jainchill. "You can tell he has some deficits… memory, speech and language — he still has word-finding problems — and headaches. But if you were to meet him today, and I didn't tell you this was the young man who had this kind of traumatic brain injury, I guarantee you wouldn't guess it."
Pollock was a good student through his junior year at Granby High School, but his grades suffered after the accident. Still, with the help of special education efforts, Pollock was able to graduate in June 2012 and is currently attending Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, where he wants to pursue a career in prosthetic engineering. Still, his condition requires him to take a reduced classload.
Pollock sued his Grancy classmate, Lambert, for negligence and recklessness. The case went to mediation before Judge Antonio C. Robaina. Lambert was represented by Peter J. Ponziani, of Litchfield Cavo in Simsbury. Ponziani was hired by Travelers Insurance. Ponziani did not return repeated calls for comment last week.
Pollock had amassed medical bills exceeding $600,000. The two sides agreed to settle the case for $1.2 million. Jainchill praised the way Ponziani handled the case, leading to the settlement.