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  4.  » Dangers of Brain Injury Highlighted by Death of Duchess Camilla’s Brother

Dangers of Brain Injury Highlighted by Death of Duchess Camilla’s Brother

The New York brain injury lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP, are following the sad report involving Mark Shand, the 62-year-old brother of the Duchess of York, Camilla Parker Bowles, who died Wednesday from a brain injury suffered when he slipped and fell outside The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Hotel in Manhattan. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Shand’s family, and commend him for the charity work that he tirelessly performed as a conservationist, the very work that brought him to New York City for his ultimately tragic visit.

We imagine that many learning of this fatal accident are stunned by the fact that someone could die from slipping and falling on a sidewalk, especially given the reports that Mr. Shand was alert after the accident, complaining of head pain to first responders and taken to the excellent trauma center that is Bellevue Hospital. In our work at Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP handling serious personal injury and wrongful death cases, we have represented a number of brain injury victims and have seen first-hand how delicate the human brain is, and just how devastating and confounding a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be.

We were honored to represent a Good Samaritan in a Suffolk County case, who was struck by a car while he was coming to the aid of an unrelated car accident victim. He suffered a skull fracture and hemorrhaging in his brain and, despite the emergency craniotomy surgery and subsequent therapy he received, was left with a permanent brain injury that changed a once vibrant and capable man into someone who required help with every day activities and had difficulty even communicating with his loved ones. Partner Stephen J. Murphy obtained a nearly $33 Million verdict for the client, a record-setting Suffolk County result, some of which was utilized to provide the client the significant ongoing accommodations and medical care his brain injury necessitated.

Our firm also obtained an $8.8 Million settlement for a Queens woman whose brain was injured when she was walking on a City sidewalk and struck by a van that had jumped the curb. The client also received life-saving immediate medical care in the form of a surgery where fracture fragments were removed from her brain. Despite the best efforts of her doctors and cognitive therapists, however, she was left with a permanent brain injury manifested by certain classic TBI symptoms: limited short term memory, difficulty controlling her emotions and frequent disorientation and confusion.

Another brain injury case handled and settled by Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP for $5.5 Million involved an electrician who fell from a ladder and struck his head on the floor of a warehouse. The client was also coherent and alert shortly after the accident, but subsequent swelling of his brain caused permanent damage to his memory and cognitive acuity. Many of the scans of this client’s brain actually came back as normal, but one of the confounding aspects of traumatic brain injuries is that not all of them can easily be identified on tests such as CT scans or EEGs. Certain so-called diffuse axonal injuries to the brain, for example, can completely escape detection on CT scan, and often have a delayed onset such that a patient who seems fine at first may deteriorate as time goes on. This type of brain injury can be sustained without a direct blow to the head, if the head is rapidly accelerated or decelerated, which can occur in a car accident or fall.

The lesson is of course first to be as safe as possible, and be aware that accidents can and do happen every day. Also, if you or someone you know has an accident with any involvement of the head whatsoever, even an accident that seems minor at the time, that person should immediately seek and receive medical attention. When it comes to brain injuries, delays in treatment can be devastating and even fatal.

Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP, is a New York personal injury law firm that exclusively handles significant personal injury cases. Our team of experienced injury lawyers understands how to explain a serious injury to a jury, whether it be a traumatic brain injury, spine injury, fracture or anything else. Our devotion to our clients, our dedication to employing the best and brightest attorneys and our hard work has led us to recover well over $750 Million for our clients in verdicts and settlements, and to our recognition as one of the top personal injury law firms in New York.

To get a free consultation, you can call Block O’Toole & Murphy, LLP at 212-736-5300 or visit our website at:



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