HONOLULU (KHON2) — Legislators have approved the settlement between Jim and Tina Braddock.
State taxpayers are on the hook to pay $26 million to a man critically injured by a runaway tow truck on the Likelike Highway.
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Legal experts said most of that will likely be used to pay for the man’s lifetime of medical expenses.
In June 2019, a tow truck crashed into 10 cars on the Likelike Highway. According to the lawsuit, the vehicle’s brakes malfunctioned.
Jim Braddock received the worst injuries as his car was crushed like a ball of metal. Some two years after it happened, Braddock’s wife spoke with KHON2 and talked about their struggles as he tries to recover.
“Because he’s never going to fully recover and it’s just so devastating and so catastrophic for my family and it’s now irreversible brain damage. Our lives will never be the same,” said Braddock’s wife.
The Braddocks sued the state saying the state negligently left a critical runaway truck ramp closed and in disrepair for months.
The state attorney general has recommended that state lawmakers approve the $26 million settlement.
“He will require continued treatment and rehabilitation and daily attendant care throughout his life. The range of full damages exposure was estimated to be well in excess of $30,000,000.00,” said Anne E. Lopez.
Legal experts said Braddock will likely need 24-hour care with a nurse who will charge about $50 to $60 an hour.
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“If you project that out to 24-hour days for a year we’re looking at close to $1 million a year a bit less,” said Rick Fried, Personal Injury Attorney.
The state said its insurance company will pay $9 million of the agreed settlement.