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After Girl Falls 60 Feet from Bridge, Friend Who Pushed Her May Be Liable for Damages

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Personal Injury on August 28, 2018

Teenagers face intense pressure to fit in among peers, which can cause them to make poor decisions. This was the case recently when local girls set off to jump from the Moulton Falls Bridge. When one of the group balked, a ‘friend’ forcefully pushed her, causing her to plummet 60 feet. She suffered serious personal injuries. As her family struggles with her medical bills and other costs, the girl responsible faces legal charges and could be held liable for damages.

Moultrie Falls ‘Accident’ Leaves 16-Year-Old with Life-Threatening Injuries

On August 7, 2018, 16-year-old Jordan Holgerson and 18-year-old Taylor Smith, along with several other friends, made the questionable choice to climb to the top of the Moultrie Falls Bridge with the intent of jumping off and into the water below. Located outside Vancouver, the bridge has clearly posted signs prohibiting such activities.

According to ABC News, Holgerson balked at the last minute. Videotape footage taken by one of the other girls shows Smith forcefully pushing Holgerson over the side. As a result of the fall, she suffered serious and potentially life-threatening personal injuries, including five broken ribs and a punctured lung. She will require ongoing care and could end up with permanent disabilities, while her mother has had to take unpaid time off work to provide for her daily care. A family member set up a Go Fund Me page to help out with expenses, but many are saying that Smith should be held liable for the costs.

When the Reckless Actions of Another Result in Serious Personal Injuries

Smith was officially charged by the police on August 17. She faces one count of reckless endangerment, which is a gross misdemeanor that could result in fines of up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail. These charges are additional grounds for filing a civil lawsuit, seeking damages on the basis that Smith’s actions were a direct cause of the personal injuries suffered by Holgerson.

Under the Washington Revised Code, the victim’s family has up to two years in which to file a claim. Compensation they may be entitled to includes:

  • Current and future medical expenses: This includes diagnostic testing, treatments, medications, and physical therapy the girl may require, both now and in the years to come.
  • Lost wages and future losses in earnings: This may include the lost wages the mother incurs in providing for her daughter, along with future losses in income the girl eventually suffers as the result of any disabilities.
  • Pain and suffering: Holgerson may also be entitled to compensation for the pain, suffering, and mental anguish she endured as the result of the incident and her injuries.

Contact Us Today for Help

When someone’s reckless actions leave you suffering and in pain, the Johnston Law Firm acts as a strong legal advocate on your behalf. Contact our Vancouver personal injury attorneys or call (503) 546-3167 today and request a consultation to discuss how we can help you get the compensation you need to recover.  

Marc Johnston
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