Premises Liability Case – School Yard Shooting – PTSD – $5 Million Settlement

September 22nd, 2016

Janice Jones was the lone survivor of a 2007 school yard shooting during which she witnessed the killing of three of her friends and her brother, resulting in a severe psychiatric impairment.

Ms. Jones was a college sophomore on spring break at the time of the shootings. She was sexually assaulted, shot in the face, and slashed with a knife by gang members. The attack resulted in her sustaining a hearing loss, drooping of her face, and a psychiatric impairment which was diagnosed as PTSD.

Due to the trauma of the incident, Ms. Jones had missed one semester of college but was able to graduate with a degree in psychology. However, her severe emotional condition negatively affected her ability to be employed and a special part-time job was created for her with a beneficent employer.

Ms. Jones had been evaluated by a Vocational Expert who administered a battery of vocational tests. In addition, a board certified psychiatrist evaluated Ms. Jones and completed a Residual Functional Capacity Form – Mental. At trial, the psychiatrist testified that Ms. Jones had a severe disability which negatively affected her ability concentrate, as well as resulted in a restriction in her ability to respond to supervision and customary work pressures and a severe restriction in her ability to meet production, quality, and attendance standards.

At trial, the Vocational Expert testified that due to Ms. Jones’ severe psychiatric disability, she would sustain a 50% diminution of earning capacity over her lifetime. In describing the trauma Ms. Jones sustained, the Vocational Expert noted that the psychiatric effects were due to a “horrific incident” and that it “was not as if she had tripped and fell and stubbed her toe.”

After the Vocational Expert’s testimony was completed, the case settled for $5,000,000.

Occupational Assessment Services has been involved as Vocational Experts and Life Care Planners in some of the largest verdicts in the United States, including Escobar vs the State of New Jersey which received a verdict of $166,000,000 and Verni vs Armark which received a $105,000,000 verdict. With the use of the OAS Vocational and Life Care Plan Experts’ comprehensive reports and services, these large verdicts may not have been achieved.

OAS is a Nationwide Vocational Expert service with offices in NJ, NY, PA, FL, TX, CT, and CA.  To see how the OAS Vocational Expert/Life Care Plans can assist you in documenting the damages in your Personal Injury cases, consult www.oasinc.org or call 800-292-1919 for a proposal containing the experts’ professional qualifications, fee schedule, and a sample life care plan report.