Civil Action No. 11-cv-02953-WYD-CBS — James Nelson and Elizabeth Varney v. United States of America
June 21, 2017 (Denver, CO) – In an opinion issued June 9, 2017, Senior Judge Wiley Y. Daniel of The United States District Court for the District of Colorado found that the United States acted willfully in failing to warn or guard against a known dangerous condition on a paved bike path located on the United States Air Force Academy property. That failure caused Colorado Springs resident Jim Nelson to crash on his bicycle and sustain severe, permanent injuries. The judge awarded Mr. Nelson and his wife, Elizabeth Varney, a total of $7.3 million in damages, plus attorney’s fees and costs. Burg Simpson attorneys David Hersh and Steven Greenlee represented Mr. Nelson and Ms. Varney in the proceedings.
The case arises from injuries Mr. Nelson received on the evening of September 3, 2008. While riding his bicycle on the Academy bike path, Mr. Nelson encountered an unmarked washout/sinkhole that spanned the width of the path—a condition the United States knew about but did nothing to warn bike path users of, or guard against, the danger. Mr. Nelson crashed into the hole, causing him to be flung onto the path. Mr. Nelson suffered severe, multi-system permanent injuries, including a life-changing brain injury.
About Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine
One of America’s foremost plaintiff trial firms, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine has a reputation for fighting relentlessly and successfully for victims of negligence, malfeasance, malpractice and abuse. Specializing in mass torts and class action litigation, Burg Simpson has secured more than $1 billion in verdicts, settlements and judgments in practice areas spanning dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and devices, medical malpractice, personal injury, commercial litigation and whistleblowers, construction defects, workers’ compensation and product liability, including more than 100 recoveries in excess of $1 million. The firm has been named one of America’s 25 Most Influential Law Firms of 2016 by The Trial Lawyer magazine.
The firm was founded in 1976 by distinguished American trial lawyer Michael Burg, an inductee in the Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame who has been named to the 2016 RoundTable: America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers by The Trial Lawyer magazine; Barrister’s Best 2016 “Best Civil Litigator”; one of “America’s 50 Leading Trial Lawyers” by The U.S. Legal 500; and recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award. In 1999, Burg merged his firm with former Wyoming Republican Senator Alan K. Simpson’s firm. Senator Simpson is a former Republican whip and Smithsonian Institute regent who was appointed co-chair of the National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform by President Obama. Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine has offices in five U.S. cities, with more than 60 top-tier attorneys dedicated to fighting for legal outcomes that change people’s lives.
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