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VALPARAISO | A woman who suffered a brain injury when her vehicle was crushed beneath a semi trailer three years ago on Interstate 94 was awarded $5.22 million by a jury following a two-week trial.

Wednesday's $5.22 million verdict is the highest ever reported in Indiana for mild traumatic brain injury unaccompanied by bone fractures, Kenneth J. Allen said. He represented the woman in the case.

"The case was quite complicated to prove because mild brain damage cannot be seen on MRI or CT scans," Allen said.

"Fortunately for Kim, several of her doctors were willing to come to court and testify."

The woman, Kimberly Harty, 30, of Crown Point, was off work for more than a year and incurred more than $123,000 in medical bills as a result of the crash. She returned to work, but her brain injury is permanent, Allen said. Harty, who is married, has memory problems, trouble sleeping and difficulty multitasking as a result of the crash, Allen said.

The crash occurred while Harty was driving on Interstate 94 in Portage on Feb. 17, 2006. Her car was struck by a semi owned by Hummer Transportation, of Ontario, Canada, and driven by Inderjeet Sekhon, 37. The truck was en route to Chicago when it veered into Harty's lane, crushing her car under the trailer.

Allen said the jury "understood the scientific evidence and concluded that Kim's injury, although invisible, is very real and its impact quite severe."

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