Firm-Wide

Burg Simpson Wins Award of Attorney Fees in Bicycle Crash Case

Burg Simpson Wins Award of Attorney Fees in Bicycle Crash Case

By Burg Simpson
June 24, 2020
3 min read
Burg Simpson recently obtained a multi-million dollar attorney fee award against the United States arising from a serious bicycle crash case occurring on U.S. Air Force Academy grounds. This award brings the total Burg Simpson has recovered for its clients, James Nelson and his wife, Elizabeth Varney, during their 10-year battle with the government to over $9 million. Nelson v. U.S. is a traumatic brain injury case that Burg Simpson shareholder, David P. Hersh, has handled for more than a decade. The client, Mr. James Nelson, suffered multiple serious and permanent injuries, including a severe traumatic brain injury, facial fractures, loss of vision, scarring, and endocrine system damage, when he and his bike were swallowed by a massive sinkhole on the grounds of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, in September of 2008. Mr. Hersh, who has significant experience litigating traumatic brain injury cases, represented Mr. Nelson and Ms. Varney.
This highly complex case with two trials and two appeals took more than 11 years to win, but on February 12, 2019, following the second appeal by the United States, a panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the $7.3 million judgment entered by Judge Wiley Daniel, determining the United States had acted willfully and was responsible for the damages sustained by Mr. Nelson.
On May 27, 2020, following this second appeal, the Court entered an order awarding Mr. Nelson and Ms. Varney over $1.8 million in attorney fees under the Colorado Recreational Use Statute. Mr. Hersh was ably assisted in this case by his teammates at Burg Simpson, including paralegal Autumn Goes who worked with Mr. Hersh on this case from the very start.
Pictured from left are Mr. Nelson and his wife Ms. Varney, Burg Simpson paralegal Autumn Goes, and shareholder David P. Hersh.
Burg Simpson shareholder David P. Hersh is admitted to practice before the United States, Colorado, and Wyoming Supreme Courts, as well as numerous Federal Courts, Mr. Hersh is a highly skilled and experienced trial lawyer who excels in the courtroom. He expertly handles all aspects of litigation through his creative problem solving, persuasive communication, and outstanding analytical skills. He believes that the benchmark of his success comes from his passion for the law and steadfast mission to be the best advocate possible for his clients. Consistently recognized by his peers, Mr. Hersh has been selected by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, The National Trial Lawyers, 5280 Colorado Top Lawyers, Law Week Colorado’s Barrister’s Best, and the American Board of Trial Advocates. In 2015, David P. Hersh also attained the “Top Ten” status by Colorado Super Lawyers and is one of only 15 Colorado attorneys who has received this distinction.

Free case evaluation form