Suh’s lawyer admits that compensation is owed to passenger


One thing quickly has become clear in the lawsuit against Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh:  The question isn’t whether he owns Saadia Van Winkle compensation for her injuries, but how much.

“Mr. Suh acknowledges Ms. Van Winkle should receive fair compensation for any injury she sustained or medical expense or wage loss she incurred and Mr. Suh has attempted to resolve the matter fairly with her,” Mike Lehner said in a written statement, according to the Detroit Free Press.  “She has rejected those attempts and has now filed a lawsuit against Mr. Suh asking for more than $1,000,000.  According to that lawsuit, she has incurred approximately $4,000 in medical expenses, and lost wages in the amount of $2500.  Mr. Suh denies many of the allegations in the complaint, but now it appears a jury will have to decide how to fairly compensate Ms. Van Winkle for her injury.”

Typically, a personal-injury case has a settlement value in the range of three times the amount of the so-called “out-of-pocket” or “special” damages.  The thinking is that, by using a specials-times-three formula, the bills get paid, the plaintiff gets an equivalent amount for pain and suffering, and the lawyer gets his/her cut.

Of course, a jury can award whatever it wants, subject to modification by the judge if the jury gives too much or too little.  Still, in this case, the settlement value would be in the range of $20,000, if Van Winkle’s injuries are fully resolved.

So, yes, a $1 million demand is excessive.  It therefore makes sense to take it to trial, especially since the legal fees and the settlement/verdict ultimately will be covered by Suh’s insurance policy — assuming that he had one that was paid up and in place.

For his part, Suh declined to address the situation on Friday, referring all questions to his lawyers.  That’s the smart approach, because anything he says now can be used against him in court later.

18 responses to “Suh’s lawyer admits that compensation is owed to passenger

  1. Mr. Florio is correct in his evaluation. They are entitled to the rangs suggested of $20k but due to his visibility as a Football star he will pay more just to end it unless she happens to have scarring on her face or in a visible place. It will also depend on her career! Is she a model, work in a public position with visibility that a scar could allegedly become a hindrance or embarrassment to her! Cut the drinking and driving Suh, hire a friggin limousine!

  2. I ain’t one of them there law-men with one of those there fancy college dee-grees but I seen a lot of Matlock over the years with both Tyler and Conrad so I be thinkin’ that the high salary of Mr. Ndamukong Suh will launch a settlement high up there into that there stratosphere say into the realms of near a quarter of a million dollars which is chump change to a star pigskin player and the powers that be will want to send messages to these rich celebrity dorkus mallorkuses that in you funk up you gotta pay. One sentence is all it took.

  3. Suh’s lawyer should file a 998 for $25,000. The plaintiff’s attorney will make sure his client changes her tune in a hurry about that settlement demand.

  4. What is it about participation in professional football that seems to eradicate any sense of forethought, impulse control, evidence of, much less utilization of common sense in so many situations with so many players? I realize that there are workshops and speakers provided for rookies, however it is clear that veterans have their share of behavioral, financial and domestic problems as well. I wonder if the NFL and The Comish, in conjunction with all the individual teams could have legal/law enforcement, medical, financial professionals, along with respected HOF alumni booked to talk about how lucky these young men are, how brief their careers are and how crucial it is to guard their reputations for their future lives when their playing days are over. Many of the current players can’t seem to project themselves forward in life. Their concept of the future seems to go no deeper than ” Now and NOT Now.”

  5. Want to bet that her head injuries are in line with banging it against the steering wheel? How, you ask would she have banged her head against the steering wheel when she was not driving? Hmmm…..

  6. If someone is legitimately hurt as a result of the negligence of another, they deserve compensation. They do NOT deserve to hit the lottery. A demand such that has been reported is akin to extortion. Here in NC, the ratio [standard] is more like twice the meds in an admitted liability case, which this seems to be. I’m assuming that her 4k in medicals consists of diagnostic and (likely) chiropractic, so I would be hesitant to offer anything more than 1 1/2. $12k-$15k sounds about right. My 2 cents.

  7. Is court going to be in Oregon I assume? It should be hard to find a jury that dislikes Suh over there.

  8. Suh is a ticking time bomb who can explode at any time. If he gets frustrated, he tries to rip helmets off opposing players. Ask Andy Dalton. Ask Packer offensive linemen.

  9. If they are able to prove that he prevented her from getting immediate/timely medical care by lying to the 911 operator and police as she claims, you can bet the jury will automatically add at least $100,000 to the settlement because that is a crime and could easily be life threatening.

  10. From incidents like this, and his subsequent lies…going all the way back to his negative [according to teammates] behavior in college…I find it really hard to like this guy!

  11. So, if Suh initially told the police there were no injuries, then his lawyer turns around and says, yes there definitely were injuries significant enough to warrant compensation, than didn’t Suh lie to the authorities? Isn’t that a prosecutable offense? Or at the very least, something that the NFL could fine and suspend him for? Especially a player with a track record like Suh?

  12. “I seen a lot of Matlock”

    lawyers are grateful for people like you.

    “Hiring a lawyer is declaring yourself legally imcompetant. Lawyers are wards of the court.” -William Cooper

    “The man who hires a laywer is a fool” -Eustace Mullins

    Learn your god given rights people! Not that they would help this beast of a football player/clown of a man

  13. “I seen a lot of Matlock”

    lawyers are grateful for people like you.

    “Hiring a lawyer is declaring yourself legally imcompetant. Lawyers are wards of the court.” -William Cooper

    “The man who hires a laywer is a fool” -Eustace Mullins

    Learn your god given rights people! Not that they would help this beast of a football player/clown of a man

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