Documents filed in suit against City of Luverne
Justine Wettschreck Worthington Daily Globe
Published Wednesday, May 07, 2008
LUVERNE — An amended complaint and other documents were filed recently in federal court regarding the civil suit against the City of Luverne.
Clinton Morgan of Vermillion, S.D., filed the suit against the city after being injured in September 2006 through his employment with O’Day Equipment while working at the city’s municipal power plant. He was working on a diesel storage tank when a wooden staircase collapsed, injuring Morgan, the complaint states.
While the injury was not severe enough to warrant calling emergency medical personnel to the scene, Morgan claims he was injured “in body and mind so that he has, in the past and will in the future, suffer great bodily injury, mental pain and anguish,” the complaint states.
The amended complaint adds Morgan’s wife to the suit and claims she will suffer the loss of her husband’s services and companionship because of his injuries. The complaint asks for a judgment in excess of $50,000, but Morgan’s attorney said in January he believed the city’s cap of $300,000 applies in this case.
A document filed by the attorney in late April describes the injuries as a right ankle sprain, a right thigh abrasion, trauma to the right leg and shoulder with an unknown bone injury, a subtle non-displaces fracture, a right ankle injury with severe pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and more.
The medical records filed on Morgan start one week after the accident and state he was in a Sioux Falls, S.D., emergency room after the fall. It states he has a history of superficial thrombophlebitis, which is vein inflammation related to blood clots.
More than 60 pages of medical notes from a variety of doctors were filed, all of which note Morgan’s severe pain. Several steps were taken to manage the pain, including medications, acupuncture, a lumbar block and a neurostimulator implant.
Two pages of a medical evaluation report are included in the document, although the person’s name who wrote the evaluation is not included. That report states Morgan’s prognosis is guarded and suggests he is in need of psychotherapy, not related to the work injury, but “related to intrinsic personality factors that were identified years before and are now influencing his ability to recover.”
An affidavit of expert review by plaintiff lawyer Harry Seiben Jr. says his damage evaluation of the case for verdict/settlement potential purposes is $4,204,714.65.
A memorandum by Morgan’s attorney states the Morgans will never be fully compensated for the pain, suffering, impairment of earning capacity and emotional distress they have suffered.
“Accordingly, the Morgans request that the court allocate to them a significant proportion of the $300,000 settlement funds to provide at least partial compensation for their damages,” the memorandum states.