Closing statements were heard Friday during a non-jury trial involving a resident at the Greens At Norman who sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2013.
Representing the resident, Francis MacCarthy, was attorney James Dunn. The attorney filed a petition against Lindsey Management and two of its management personnel following his 28-year-old client’s brain injury that put him in assisted living with 80-year-olds and “stuck in the confines of his own mind,” Dunn said.
MacCarthy moved from Guana to Oklahoma into Greens At Norman, managed by Lindsey Management, where he met the defendants and became friends with them and several others who were with him the night he was injured.
Dunn claimed MacCarthy was ejected from the manager’s shuttle cart when his client and five other men were out at the Greens golf course putting that night, at which point MacCarthy’s head struck the concrete golf path Sept. 8, 2013.
An amended petition filed in the case states the defendants Travis and Ashley Farasyn, management personnel at the apartment complex and adjoining golf course, utilized The Greens at Norman and the Links Golf and Country Club facilities and equipment, “to frolic around the complex in a drunken negligent manner.”
The petition further claims the managers attempted to cover up their negligence by failing to immediately call emergency personnel to the scene of the accident. They also attempted to cover up the events and made false and deceitful misstatements to emergency personnel which hampered in McCarthy’s immediate medical treatment, the document claims.
None of the five people out on the golf course that night saw MacCarthy’s fall on the golf cart path and no one knew what he was doing prior to the fall, defense attorney Larry Cassil said during closing.
None of the witnesses could recall if MacCarthy was even on the cart that night prior to his fall, either, he said.
Kenny Woolpert, who was with the group that night, was called to testify by the defense Friday morning.
Woolpert said he couldn’t recall any kind of erratic driving behavior or any abrupt stops during the course of their time on the course that night. With all of the men in their late 20s, he said the times of horseplay had sort of passed.
He rode on the back of the cart with his friend, Justin Robinson, for most of the night, sometimes walking between holes to the greens to putt, he said.
When asked by Dunn if all six men were riding on the shuttle cart at one point during the night, Woolpert said it was possible, but he didn’t recall. When asked if he ever saw two golfers walking behind the cart while he was sitting backwards on it, he said he couldn’t recall.
Woolpert also gave his account of finding MacCarthy on the golf path that night.
He said he remembered they were traveling around the corner, they stopped, he started to make his way to the green to putt when someone yelled, “Francis.” When he went back to help, MacCarthy was laying about three to five feet in front of the golf cart on his back.
“He was kind of moaning a little bit. Then he rolled to his front, pushed himself up and got up,” Woolpert said. “He did look somewhat dazed.”
At that point, Woolpert said MacCarthy was staggering a little. Some of them encouraged MacCarthy to be careful and then he sat back down. He also remembers MacCarthy acknowledging them with a head nod as they checked on him.
When the men realized MacCarthy’s injury was serious enough that he needed to be taken to the hospital, Woolpert said Travis and Chris Jorgensen helped MacCarthy onto the golf cart, set him between themselves and drove off to take him to the hospital.
“I knew his head had hit the ground and we needed to get him to the hospital, but I did not believe he was in any imminent danger,” Farasyn said when he testified Friday.
Defense attorneys previously said they were not disputing the fact MacCarthy was injured, but that his clients did not do anything that directly caused injuries to their friend.
According to the petition, as a result of negligence, gross negligence, deceit and negligent entrustment by each of the defendants, MacCarthy has suffered and will continue to suffer severe mental and physical pain, psychological stress, medical expense in an amount in excess of $14 million. The figure was determined from a Catastrophic Life Care Plan.
The document also states MacCarthy sustained the loss of capacity, loss of earnings and permanent bodily injury all to his detriment in an amount in excess of $1 million, plus punitive damages in an amount equal to and/or in excess of MacCarthy’s economic and non-economic damages.
“You’ve been handed the fate of Francis MacCarthy,” Dunn told District Judge Thad Balkman in closing. “I ask you to determine his fate.”
The attorneys have 30 days to submit findings of fact and conclusions of law, after which Balkman will make his ruling on the issue.
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