Large Workers’ Compensation Settlement in Virginia


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Brain Injury Claimant obtains largest known Workers’ Compensation Settlement in Virginia

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission on September 4, 2012 approved a settlement for the benefit of Jacob Steele in the amount of $6,234,989.00.  Mr. Steele suffered a severe traumatic brain injury after being struck in the head by a bilge pump on September 21, 2000.  Mr. Steele’s accident occurred while he was working his first job after graduating high school and only a few months before he was set to begin community college. Mr. Steele has been represented by Craig B. Davis at Emroch & Kilduff since 2005.

After initially being rendered comatose, Mr. Steele spent approximately a month in the Intensive Care Unit at Mary Washington Hospital and an additional six weeks for inpatient rehabilitation at The Children’s Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.  Mr. Steele’s parents were named as his co-guardians and co-conservators after he was determined to be incompetent.  Mr. Steele received the full 500 weeks of workers’ compensation benefits available in most claims.  A Permanent and Total Disability claim thereafter filed on behalf of Mr. Steele with the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission entitled him to receive weekly benefits for the remainder of his life.

After the success of that claim, Mr. Davis engaged in negotiations with the insurance carrier that extended more than 18 months.  The result was a settlement of $6,234,989.00 following a mediation conducted by Deputy Commissioner Brooke Anne C. Hunter.

From this settlement amount, an annuity will provide $234,989.00 to fund a Medicare Set-Aside approved by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.  The remaining $6,000,000.00 was paid in cash and will be used to fund a Special Needs Trust for the benefit of Mr. Steele.  Fredericksburg attorney Walter J. Sheffield was named as Mr. Steele’s conservator and Trustee of the Special Needs Trust, while his parents remain his co-guardians.  The result obtained on behalf of Mr. Steele is believed to be the largest cash settlement of a workers’ compensation claim in Virginia.

This result would not have been possible without the efforts of a team of consultants and experts, who collaborated with Mr. Davis on the case.  For more information, contact Kathy Seim at 804.358.1568 or kseim@emrochandkilduff.com