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Matthew Bergmann
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Paralyzed Kansas Teen Awarded $16 Million

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A northeast kansas teenager who was left a quadriplegic after a diving accident has been awarded $16 million by a jury.

In August 2005, Bradley Hudspeth, was injured while diving with friends at Lake Quivira. Lake Quivira is a private residential community that stretches the Wyandotte-Johnson county line in the Kansas City metro-area.

Rather than jumping at the end of the dock, Hudspeth dove from the side, unaware that the water there was less than 4 feet deep. He broke his neck and has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic. Although he does have some use of his arms, Hudspeth will be required to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Hudspeth’s family sued Quivira Inc., the corporation that owns the common areas of Lake Quivira, as well as a company that had been hired to provide lifeguard services. Late last week, a Wyandotte County District Court jury awarded Hudspeth $20 million in compensatory damages. However, the award found that Hudspeth 20 percent at fault for his injuries, thus the verdict was reduced to $16 million.