Claggett & Sykes Law Firm recently won one of the largest verdicts against an HOA for negligence in Nevada. On Feb. 15, a Clark County Nevada jury awarded $20 million to their client Carl Thompson, which includes $10 million in punitive damages, in a lawsuit filed against the Lamplight Village at Centennial Springs Homeowners’ Association. The plaintiff was represented by senior partner Sean Claggett.
The lawsuit was filed by Thompson in 2014 after suffering a traumatic brain injury due to the HOA not adequately inspecting and maintaining their playground equipment. Thompson claimed a swing set’s metal cross bar broke and landed on his head, causing him constant headaches, memory loss, movement problems with his right arm, and an increased risk of developing dementia. During the trial it was also learned that the HOA opted out of a $150 monthly safety and inspection plan offered by the swing set’s installer.
“We hope this verdict will force homeowners’ associations to obtain proper maintenance and inspections to ensure their playgrounds are safe and not putting children or others at risk,” said Claggett. “Every single HOA needs to be proactive and get a maintenance and inspection plan for their equipment, before someone gets hurt.”
This verdict was significant for many reasons, including because the plaintiff did not ask for any damages other than pain and suffering. “This case was unique because we did not present any tangible damages, life care plan, loss of earning capacity or lost earnings, and past medical bills,” noted Claggett. “It was just pain and suffering, which required us to explain to the jury just how devastating a brain injury is to a person now and into the future.”
The case was Carl Thompson vs Lamplight Village @ Centennial Springs Homeowners Association
District Court Clark County, Nevada. Case No. A-14697688-C.