Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner attorney Dean Brett’s client Armando was an Elite Master’s runner who trained 5 to 20 miles a day, 6 days a week, and averaging 75 miles a week. He ran the Boston Marathon in 3:03.
Armando began a three-week vacation from his job as a millwright. He planned to camp in the San Juan Islands, running each morning, kayaking in the midday, and then running again in the afternoon, in preparation for the upcoming racing season. He drove to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal, and began a five-mile run to Anacortes and back to kill time while waiting for the ferry.
17-year old Todd Zentner apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drove the right front wheel off the vehicle lane, over the biking/jogging lane, and into the gravel shoulder. He crashed directly into Armando.
Armando received serious orthopedic and head injuries including tibia/fibula fractures, ligament injuries, ankle and foot injuries, traumatic strain to the back muscles, and post-concussive head injuries including situational depression, memory dysfunction, olfactory disturbance, headaches and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
Armando’s courage and attitude, born of long-distance running, served him well in his uphill recovery, and also so impressed the insurance representatives that they had little question about the reality of the impact of the orthopedic and concussive injuries.
Although Armando was initially unable to return to competitive running, during the period of his recuperation he served as President of the Greater Bellingham Running Club, and also volunteered to coach novice runners who participated in charity events, as a way to stay involved in running, to practice his organizational skills and to avoid depression caused by withdrawal from his core activity.
Ultimately, character and grit allowed Armando to resume his marathon career, although he will probably never again compete at the top of the Masters level.
The claim was settled for the policy limits of $490,000.