Former college football player awarded $500K for injuries caused by Connecticut auto accident

by Jay Pate

A Connecticut jury has awarded a $500,000 verdict to an NFL prospect whose football career was ended due to a broken foot suffered in an auto accident. Former University of Colorado and North Carolina State linebacker Joseph West filed a lawsuit against the driver and owner of the vehicle involved in the accident, alleging that the injuries he sustained during the crash ended his dreams of playing in the NFL.

During his time at the University of Colorado, West was a 2009 selection to the Big 12 all-freshman team, and a 2010 honorable mention for the All-Big 12 team. Following a coaching change at Colorado, West transferred to North Carolina State University, where he played from 2012 to 2013.

According to the lawsuit, West was a passenger in a vehicle that was driven by Caitlin Ross and owned by her father, Peter Ross, when the car crashed on December 27, 2013. West was taken to Hartford’s Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a Lisfranc fracture in his right foot.

After consulting with his college coaches at NC State, West underwent surgery in North Carolina in which he received six screws and a plate to repair the broken joints in his foot. Following the surgery, West was unable to put weight on the foot for weeks, and developed an arthritic condition related to his injuries. As a result of pain caused by his injuries, West was unable to work out for NFL scouts at NC State’s pro day, derailing his chances of playing in the NFL.

West’s negligence lawsuit against Caitlin and Peter Ross did not ask for economic damages related to his aborted football career. Instead, the case focused on “the noneconomic loss of never getting the chance to pursue this dream he had, which for him was a realistic dream”.

After the defendants admitted to liability in the case, the lawsuit proceeded to a damages hearing in Hartford Superior Court. Expert witnesses testified that Ross had suffered a 12% disability in his injured foot, and that the effects of this injury would likely worsen with the passage of time.

After two hours of deliberations, the jury in the case awarded $495,886 in damages to West. These damages included $440,000 for future noneconomic damages and nearly $46,000 for past medical bills.

Auto Accident Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the individuals responsible for your accident or an insurance company. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney who can advise you about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit and the damages that can be pursued in your case.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed lawsuits on behalf of individual who have been injured in an auto accident, as well as numerous other lawsuits involving personal injury and other claims. Our law firm’s success stems from the fact that our attorneys are trial attorneys in the truest sense and have tried hundreds of cases to verdict.

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the financial resources to handle lawsuits involving auto accidents or other personal injury cases from beginning to end. In fact, there are many instances when we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

For a free legal consultation about your case and to find out more about filing a lawsuit involving a car accident, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free consultation form and answering a few simple questions about yourself to get started.

by Jay Pate

John “Jay” Pate is a licensed attorney who focuses his practice on complex tort litigation involving catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and product liability cases.