An American woman was left with a ‘European accent’ after was hit by a shuttle bus outside a hotel in Los Angeles.
Laura Fettig was struck outside the Hilton Garden Inn hotel near LAX airport in 2014 by the hotel’s shuttle and sued the chain after being left sounding ‘European’ following the collision – in stark difference to her original Jamaican accent.
She won the $85,000 (£68,000) pay-out during her trial, but a new set of lawyers filed a court motion to set aside the settlement, the Daily Mirror reports.
California Second District Court of Appeal told Fettig that she could not back out of the agreement she originally accepted.
A motion put forward claims she was pressured into taking a “low-ball settlement that did not reasonably compensate her for the major injuries and damages she sustained” by her lawyer at the time, Jared Gross, during the trial in February 2020.
It added: “The motion accused Gross of subjecting Fettig to duress to accept the settlement.”
Fettig reportedly said: “Mr. Gross point-blank threatened me at the counsel table by saying ‘the defence will take your house for costs and I will not remain on the case any further’.”
The Court of Appeal however found that her case was plagued by other “weaknesses.”
It said: “When she had agreed to the settlement in open court, Fettig had been neither physically nor mentally incapacitated.
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“The (trial) court found Fettig’s trial theory was enough to get to the jury but was wafer-thin. Fettig’s case had serious problems with respect to liability, causation, and damages.
“Even if Gross had subpoenaed additional witnesses, it is far from clear that Fettig would have achieved a better result than an $85,000 recovery had the case been tried to verdict.”
It added: “Fettig’s accusation against her lawyer does not enable her to rescind a contract with others innocent of the charge.”
Only around 100 people have been diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome since it was first discovered over a century ago.
The condition is classified as when a person speaks with a different accent after suffering a stroke or a traumatic brain injury.