The truth is that most people don’t want to enact Colorado law and sue.
Though there can be enormous payoffs for some plaintiffs, the reality is that those payouts are compensation — compensation for losses: physical, mental, emotional, and financial.
The reality is that your average person wants to remain untangled with the misfortune that so often spearheads a lawsuit. However, some cases are tragically unavoidable, and others are merely worth defending to prevent others from impeding the free rights of Americans.
Though such cases in Colorado law are no match for “Florida Man”, it’s essential to keep track of what kinds of lawsuits are making headway in the state.
1) Woman Sues After Rocks From Arvada Railroad Bridge Fall Through Car’s Sunroof
Holly Gould is suing Union Pacific Railroad Company for serious, permanent physical and emotional injuries after her Cadillac XT5 was allegedly pummeled with rocks falling from a railroad bridge.
Gould is seeking more than $75,000 to cover medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation expenses, according to a lawsuit filed in Denver U.S. District Court.
According to the lawsuit, Gould was driving her 2017 Cadillac on July 20, 2017, when Union Pacific employees used heavy machinery to push a pile of rocks off a railroad bridge, sending them cascading down on her car and through her car’s sunroof on top of her.
2) Woman Trapped For Days Following Car Crash Sues GM
GM has one more person putting them between the crosshairs as it continues to be entangled in high-profile legal trouble over the recall of the 2009 Chevy Malibu. The Chevy Malibu has been blamed for almost 170 deaths following evidence emerging about a defective ignition switch.
According to The Denver Post, the scandal could cost the company more than 5.3 billion in fines and victim compensation.
Kristin Hopkins was among those suing GM after receiving a recall notice for her 2009 Chevy Malibu in 2015.
Hopkins survived the near-fatal crash that left her trapped for days in her Malibu in late April the year before.
In her case, Hopkins claimed that the vehicle’s electronic stability control “failed to engage,” and the car’s electronic power steering “gave out”, depriving her “of these crash avoidance systems at the moment she needed them most”.
Following being rescued from the crash site, 140 feet down an embankment into a grove of trees, both of her legs needed to be amputated.
“My life is completely changed because of all this,” Hopkins told the Denver Post about a year and a half after the incident.
“Could I have changed what happened? No. Could (GM) have changed what happened? Yes.”
3) Paralyzed Man Awarded $3M in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
A 66-year-old man, who is now permanently paralyzed, was awarded $3 million after a jury found the medical staff at Pueblo’s Parkview Medical Center negligent in their treatment of the man.
Samuel Chifalo went to the emergency room for treatment after he struck his face on a piece of furniture, according to The Denver Post. However, the staff reportedly failed to recognize his spinal injury, discharging him without addressing the issue that later left him paralyzed.
If the injury had been treated properly, it was possible that the damage could have been reversed rather than amplified.
“This case, like all medical malpractice cases, was incredibly sad because Mr. Chifalo will never fully recover what he lost,” Chifalo’s lawyer said.
4) Doctor Sued for Alleged Medical Fraud
Dr. Paul Jones of Grand Junction, Colorado, is being sued after allegedly using his own sperm to help impregnate patients.
Maia Emmons-Boring along with her parents and sister are taking Jones to court seeking damages for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, medical negligence, lack of informed consent, breach of contract, battery, and extreme and outrageous conduct according to Above The Law.
The case got rolling when Maia used a home DNA kit only to reveal that the man who raised her was not her biological father. Instead, she and her sister were biologically related to their family doctor and had many half-siblings.
Jones reportedly had told Maia’s parents when they were unable to conceive that he would use “fresh sperm” from an anonymous donor who was “either a medical student or law student.”
The Emmons-Boring’s attorney said that he alerted the Attorney General of Colorado and that Jones voluntarily gave up his medical license.
However, the Emmons-Boring are reportedly frustrated that Colorado law does not clearly define Jones’ alleged actions as a crime. However, such Colorado laws are reportedly set to possibly change in the near future.
5) Loveland Settles for $50K, Lifts Topless Ban
A woman won a $50,000 settlement in a suit against the City of Loveland following police giving her a citation for being topless in a home’s front yard, according to the Coloradoan.
By settling the case, the city was able to prevent a federal lawsuit claiming that it had violated the woman’s 14th and Fourth Amendment rights. It was unlikely that the city would have won the case in court, as both the district court and 10th Circuit Court of Appeals had recently ruled against the City of Fort Collins for its topless ban.
In 2016, Fort Collins City Council was sued over its topless ban by Free the Nipples, an organization that argued the law was unconstitutional as it only applied to women.
This last instance of Colorado law provides a bit of a reprieve from others shared earlier with a reminder that not all justified lawsuits are necessarily tragic.
Final Thoughts: Top 5 Lawsuits Backed by Colorado Law — Mostly
In all of these cases, it could be argued that the plaintiffs would be vastly happier if they weren’t forced to go to court to protect their rights or seek compensation for a tragedy. However, when hardships are unavoidable, knowing that the Colorado laws are there to protect you can be comforting.
Share your stories of Colorado laws protecting those facing adversity in the comment section below!