Man Struck by Cement Truck Earns $1.5 Million in Brain Injury Damage Settlement

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After being hit in the head by a 50-pound cement chute, John Penner, a normal, hard working married man at age 43, underwent a complete change in character. With the help of Michigan attorney Terry Cochran, the Penner family received $1.5 million in a civil settlement.

John Penner has been granted a $1.5 million settlement as a result of a traumatic brain injury received while working on a road improvement project for the Wayne County Road Commission.

But more important than the settlement is that Penner as a result of the litigation has received the necessary treatment and therapy to restore him to his family and community after living through a nightmare, says attorney Terry Cochran who represented Penner and wife Cindy.

"A traumatic brain injury often is misunderstood by victims, family members, employers and the public," says Cochran, partner in the law firm of Cochran, Foley & Associates, PC of Livonia, MI. "What happened to John Penner is a classic example of how much there is to learn about traumatic brain injuries."

Penner, 43, of Westland was working as a road field engineer on May 3, 2000, on a road improvement project on Grand River between Fenkel and Greenfield. While working Penner was struck on the back of the head by a 50-pound cement chute being lowered by an employee of Koenig Fuel & Supply Co., Inc.

Penner was knocked to the ground, momentarily lost consciousness, felt head pain, and was taken to the hospital where he received five stitches to close the external wound. He returned to work the next day, not to learn until at least a year later that the accident had caused a traumatic brain injury.

In the weeks following the accident CAT scans and MRIs were administered to Penner and the tests showed the brain was normal.

Within six months of the accident, Penner began to show signs of mood swings, behavioral disorder, and personality change in addition to headaches, nausea, ringing in the ears, forgetfulness, and sleeping problems.

After being diagnosed as being manic-depressive, Penner underwent several treatments including electroshock therapy and being admitted to a psychiatric hospital before the traumatic brain injury was diagnosed. The cause of the injury also was traced to the work accident on May 3, 2000.

"Most often CAT scans and MRIs do not detect a traumatic brain injury which is a shearing, bruising or tear done to the brain itself," explains Cochran. "We ordered a Neurological Psychological Evaluation administered over 6-8 hours by a certified neuro-psychologist. That test showed what the injury was, what parts of the brain was not functioning, and what treatment would be effective."

"Today, John Penner is a contributing member of society who has been restored to his wife and two children," says Cochran. "When diagnosed early, traumatic brain injury victims can receive immediate help. Unfortunately, John Penner suffered greatly and went through a lot in two years but today he has a very bright future.

For more information about Cochran, Foley & Associates call 800-322-5543 for a free consultation. Learn more about the law firm by going to

The Law Offices of Cochran, Foley & Associates, P.C. is dedicated to representing individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic losses as a result of injuries, disabilities and death. The firm does not represent insurance companies or corporations but instead bases its practice upon representing individuals and families.

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