In February of 2015, plaintiff was driving on a divided highway in Cole County, Missouri when a commercial motor vehicle crossed over the median in front of him. Plaintiff was unable to stop in time to avoid “T-boning” the commercial motor vehicle. Plaintiff was taken to University Hospital where he had surgery to repair multiple lower extremity fractures. As plaintiff was recovering from surgery, he suffered a “fat embolism” which traveled to his brain and caused a stroke and permanent brain damage.
Fat embolisms are a process by which fat tissue passes into the bloodstream and lodges within a blood vessel. 90% of cases are associated with trauma, and fracture of or surgery on a large bone, such as the femur bone of the thigh. As a result of the broken bone, the bone marrow fat escapes into the bloodstream and can travel to the brain before it lodges. Typically, fat embolisms occur suddenly 12- 36 hours after an injury.
The parties were able to settle the case in mediation.