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Case of the Month April 2022

Parties Reach $39.5K Settlement in Negligence Suit Involving Minor Suffering Burns After Touching Hot Coals

In the Matter of A.B., a minor

Case Type:

Specific Liability:
A two-year-old child suffered burns on his hand and feet after touching hot coals

General Injury:
Second degree burns on right hand, resulting in scarring on a finger; burns on feet and toes; medical expenses

State: Wisconsin
Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Fifth Judicial District, Rock County.

Related Court Documents:
Plaintiff's petition for approval of minor settlement: 2021 WL 7159857
Order approving minor settlement: 2021 WL 7162255

Case Name:
In the Matter of the Approval of the Minor Settlement of A.B., a minor

Docket/File Number:

Result Amount:

Result Date:
March 02, 2021

Daniel T. Dillon

Plaintiffs: Steven T. Caya, Janesville, WI
Defendant (American Family Mutual Insurance): Megan L. McKenzie, Madison, WI

Result Type:

Plaintiff: Not Reported
Defendant: Not Reported

Breakdown of Award:
$3,660.92 to plaintiff Elisha Brown for lost wages
$2,013.95 to plaintiffs for payment of out-of-pocket expenses on behalf of minor A.B.
$7,778.00 to plaintiffs for payment to Blue Cross Blue Shield in full settlement of a subrogation claim on behalf of minor A.B.
$26,000.00 to plaintiffs to be deposited in a restricted, interest-bearing account for the future use and benefit of minor A.B.

Summary of Facts:
A.B., age two, was reportedly attending a family gathering with his mother, Elisha Brown, at the home of Brown's parents and A.B.'s grandparents, Annette and Gary Millard, in Janesville, Wis. According to Brown, the Millards had set up an outdoor grill with coals encased in a wood or metal frame in order to grill food.

After they had completed grilling food, the Millards allegedly removed the casing around the coals. As a result, the hot coals remained on the ground and were fully exposed.

Brown said that while A.B. was playing in the yard, he noticed the hot coals on the ground. A.B. apparently proceeded to pick up a hot coal with his right hand and stepped on the coals. As a result, Brown said that A.B. suffered burns on his right hand and left foot.

Brown said that she immediately took A.B. to the hospital, and A.B. was subsequently diagnosed with second degree burns on his right hand and burns on both feet and on the tips of his toes.

According to court documents, A.B.'s burns subsequently healed, but he suffered a slight scar on one of his fingers on his right hand.

A.B., by his attorney and guardian ad litem, Steven Caya, and A.B.'s parents, Elisha and Wayne Brown, filed a petition in January 2021, asserting that a settlement agreement had been reached with Annette and Gary Millard's reported insurance provider, American Family Mutual Insurance Company, in which American Family agreed to pay the sum of $39,452.87 in exchange for settlement of A.B.'s claims asserted against it and the Millards.

In an order approving minor settlement dated March 3, 2021, the court approved the parties' settlement agreement and entered judgment in Elisha and Wayne Brown's favors on behalf of A.B. and against American Family in the total amount of $39,452.87.

In its order, the court noted that Steven Caya's attorney fees would be paid directly by American Family.

Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Fifth Judicial District, Rock County.

Westlaw Citation:
2021 WL 7186244

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