Lisbon woman burned trying to rescue paraplegic son awarded $5.25M

Staff report


A jury has awarded $5.25 million to a woman who was severely burned in a futile attempt to rescue her paraplegic son from a May 2008 house fire.

After a four-day trial, the jury made the award to Barbara Morgan, of Amsterdam, Ohio, on March 2. Judge Ashley Pike of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court presided over the trial.

Morgan rushed to her son, Michael’s, home in Salineville, from which he had called for help because a fire had broken out in his bedroom, according to Atty. David J. Betras, whose Canfield law firm represented her.

Michael Morgan died from smoke inhalation in the blaze, which was attributed to his smoking in bed, a defense expert witness testified.

Braving flames and smoke, Morgan suffered burns so severe that she lost her left hand and now has limited use of her right hand.

The verdict was against the assets and insurance of the estate of Michael Morgan, whose administratrix was Michael Morgan’s widow, Juanita Morgan, of Lisbon.

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