Man who lost arm, both legs settles case

A Howard County man who lost both his legs and an arm in a 1989 electrical accident received $4.59 million in an out-of-court settlement finalized Friday with four defendants named in a $20 million lawsuit.

Baltimore Gas and Electric and a Bethesda-based developer, Winchester Homes, have agreed to pay $3.75 million to Bryan M. Nixon, 31, who suffered severe burns and injuries when he crashed into a fallen utility pole on Hall Shop Road in Clarksville, said Mr. Nixon's lawyer, Dean Kasian.


The other defendants in the lawsuit, W. F. Lee Inc./Stanley Martin Cos. and Development Consultants Group Inc., will pay $750,000 and $90,000, respectively, to Mr. Nixon.

The case was scheduled to go to trial in Howard County Circuit Court on Monday.


John Metzger, a spokesman for BG&E;, said he was unable to find the appropriate records to comment on the lawsuit. The other defendants could not be reached for comment.

The accident occurred three years ago on Nov. 16 when Mr. Nixon crashed into the overturned utility pole while he was driving to his job as a postal worker.

The transformer wires came to rest on the roof of the car. When Mr. Nixon tried to exit through the car's right rear window, the electric shock nearly burned off both his legs and right arm.

The lawsuit states that the utility pole was insufficiently buried during grading work around Ashleigh Greene subdivision, a 100-lot housing project along Hall Shop Road. Bethesda-based Winchester Homes was the developer of the project.

W. F. Lee Inc. of Frederick was the subcontractor who handled the grading work, and Development Consultants Group of Olney was the engineer on the project.

County police said the accident was one of the worst they had ever seen.

Doctors at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center saved Mr. Nixon's life but had to amputate his arm and both his legs at the hips.

Mr. Nixon continues to undergo extensive therapy and plastic surgery to treat his burns and scar tissues. To date, his medical bills have totaled $700,000, Mr. Kasian said.