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Video: Injured model gets settlement from plane accident

  1. Closed captioning of: Injured model gets settlement from plane accident

    >>> there are some new details this morning in the case of a texas model seriously injured last december when she walked into the still spinning propel propeller of an airplane. "today" national correspondent amy robach has details on that. good morning to you.

    >> matt, good morning to you. lauren scrugs has made a remarkable recovery over the last few months and now nbc news has learned that she has reached a settlement with the pilot's insurance company . once an aspiring model and fashion blogger, lauren skruggs has been waging the fight of her life, following a tragic propel propeller accident that severed her left hand and caused her to lose her left eye . for the pass several months she's been solely focused on her recovery. now she can breathe a sigh of relief as she has reached a settlement for her injuries. according to court papers, the company that insures the plane and its pilot, kurt richmond, originally offered scruggs $200,000 in damages. at first, news reports stated that she had rejected the offer. but her attorney says the two sides have now come to an agreement, tuesday night he told nbc news, attorneys for miss scruggs and aggressive insurance service llc jointly announce that they have resolved the issues raised in the declaratory judgment action. back in december, scruggs flew over dallas in a single-engine plane with a friend to see christmas lights around the city, but as she exited the plane she accidentally walked into the still-spinning propeller. according to the ntsb report, the pilot, a family friend of scruggs , said he told her to walk away from the propeller as she exited but it's unclear whether she heard him over the roar of the engine. scruggs suffered critical injuries that have taken their toll. despite numerous hurdles she has made a remarkable recovery. tweeting pictures from a trip to steamboat springs , colorado, last month. such a fun weekend with family and friends , lauren tweeted. scruggs also uploaded this picture of herself with her twin brittany. the twins wearing sunglasses that hid from view lauren 's prosthetic eye . the ntsb determined the pilot was not ultimately responsible for the accident though they said he should have shut down the engine sooner. the family said they don't blame him and neither the attorneys nor the family has commented on the terms of the settlement. matt?

    >> all right, amy, thank you

Image: Lauren Scruggs
Stern/DoubleVisionMedia
Lauren Scruggs, 23-year-old model, was injured by a moving airplane propeller.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 3/28/2012 10:20:44 AM ET 2012-03-28T14:20:44

As she continues to recover from the injuries she sustained after accidentally walking into a spinning plane propeller, Lauren Scruggs is one step closer to putting the incident behind her.

Scruggs’ attorney told NBC News on Tuesday night that a settlement has been reached with Aggressive Insurance Services, the insurer of the plane and pilot involved in Scruggs’ accident. Earlier on Tuesday, reports had surfaced that she had rejected a $200,000 insurance settlement.

Video: Injured model gets settlement from plane accident (on this page)

She was asking the court to define whether she was considered a “passenger’’ under the terms set forth by the insurance company, which would determine the maximum payout for her injuries, according to court papers.

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The Scruggs family and their attorney have declined to comment on the terms of the settlement, and the insurance company has yet to confirm the agreement. The two sides did jointly announce that they have resolved the issues raised in the declaratory judgment action.

Lauren Scruggs takes first vacation, tweets photos

On Dec. 3, 2011, the 23-year-old model and fashion blogger from Plano, Texas, lost her left eye and left hand from the injuries she sustained when she walked into a spinning plane propeller in the dark. The National Transportation Safety Board determined the pilot, family friend Curt Richmond, was not responsible, although the board acknowledged he should have shut down the engine sooner.

Richmond told Scruggs to walk away from the propeller as she exited the plane, but it’s unclear whether she was able to hear him over the roar of the engine, according to the NTSB report. The family has said publicly that they do not blame Richmond for the accident.

In court documents, Scruggs had disputed her status as a “passenger’’ in the eyes of the insurance company. The policies define a “passenger” as “any person, other than the pilot, who is in the aircraft or getting in or out of it," according to her complaint. Scruggs claims she was not a passenger because “she was not in the aircraft or getting in or out of it at the time of the incident.’’

Lauren Scruggs returns to blogging, looks for jeans

According to her complaint, Scruggs said “she had completed her exit from the aircraft prior to the time of the incident and was physically located on the tarmac when the incident happened. Until struck by the propeller, she was not in physical contact with the aircraft after her exit."

Scruggs has since received a prosthetic left eye in her remarkable recovery from her injuries and the physical and emotional toll they have taken. She tweeted photos from a family trip to Steamboat Springs, Colo., last month, adding that it was “such a fun weekend with sweet family and friends.’’

She also has returned to writing her fashion blog, “Lolo,’’ and has been tweeting about fashion trends and topics.

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