Mrs. Jennifer Welch* was sitting on her front porch swing, enjoying the August breeze, when her life changed forever. Reportedly, Jules Tree Service was nearby on Mrs. Welch’s street that day. Across the road from her house, one of their employees was trimming trees from the power lines and clearing brush. To help paint a more precise visual, this service was taking place less than 200 feet from her front porch.
To perform the brush clearance, this Jules Tree Service employee was using a 320 Series Bushhog. Our team was informed that this Bushhog was equipped with two rotating blades made from Falcon Steel— one of which fractured during the clearing that day and flew more than 105 feet across the road and struck Mrs. Welch in the lower left leg.
Her injuries were substantial and included a left distal tibia/fibula fracture that required open reduction internal fixation and acute hypoxic respiratory insufficiency. This injury exacerbated her pre-existing COPD and Mrs. Welch was flown by LifeStar to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where a trauma alert was activated.
According to statements from witnesses at the scene, her left leg was nearly amputated by the force of the blade striking her. In addition to physical and mental pain and suffering, Mrs. Welch also sustained permanent immobility.
Today, Mrs. Welch is unable to do many of the activities she once loved due to her immobility. Before the accident-at-issue herein, she enjoyed fishing in the creeks and rivers around her home, which often required her to be able to climb up and down the banks in search of the “perfect spot.” Now, she is confined to fishing from a chair atop only flat areas and has trouble standing for any even slightly prolonged length of time.
While it has physically impacted her daily life in many ways, her immobility also affects her emotionally. For example, around the holidays, she is unable to decorate her home or yard the way she used to enjoy. Once an avid woodworker and craftswoman, Mrs. Welch often made her own seasonal decorations and says she’ll “really miss those hobbies and the joy they brought [her].”
A simple Google search led Mrs. Welch to G3 Help Me, where she found the information and help she needed. She decided G3 was the right fit for her after reading through countless online reviews and reputation testimonies from past clients.
Mrs. Welch made an informed decision to meet with Mr. Vande Brake, Attorney at Law, and Mrs. Christine Griffin, who went above and beyond to ensure she got what she deserved. Mrs. Griffin involved several industry specialists in this case, including Warren Forensics. Her extensive research on the type of metal and procedures related to this incident was invaluable during mediation between the client, steel manufacturer, and tree company.
This strict liability case was particularly complicated due to violations of numerous OSHA and other safety guidelines, so many weeks were spent preparing for the mediation in order to obtain the best possible result for Mrs. Welch.
After 8 hours of mediation, Attorney Vande Brake and Mrs. Griffin reached a fair settlement for Mrs. Welch. Because court is not always the best option for our clients, everyone was thrilled. Mrs. Welch received a settlement of $300,000 without incurring extra expenses for things like doctor’s depositions and accident reconstructions. In court, these things are often necessary to prove guilt and can greatly diminish the net proceeds of a client’s settlement. Then, in a worse case scenario, after incurring all that extra cost, time, and stress, a jury could find your claim is worth less than what you were first offered to settle.
In Mrs. Welch’s case, all of that was avoided and a fair, significantly-sized settlement was earned for our well-deserving client. Our hope is that the settlement provides Mrs. Welch the time she needs to heal from this traumatic incident without the difficult financial burden of injury-related monetary losses.
*In order to ensure our clients receive the highest level of privacy and respect, we do not disclose their personal information. The name provided for this case study is a pseudonym.