Federal Judge Lynne A. Sitarski recommended the court increase the amount that Randall Duchesneau ’09, the losing plaintiff in a negligence case against Cornell, owes in taxes to the University, according to court documents. The court originally awarded Cornell $104,000 in May, but this amount was increased to $125,000 last week.
Duchesneau became confined to a wheelchair at the age of 21 when, on Oct. 12, 2006, he botched an attempt to perform a standing backflip at the Teagle Hall Gymnasium. Then a member of the Cornell Gymnastics Club, he suffered permanent spinal injuries that rendered him a quadriplegic.
After his accident, Duchesneau filed a $75 million negligence lawsuit against Cornell but was ultimately denied compensatory damages after a jury determined that the University was not legally responsible for the accident. After Duchesneau filed to retry the case, a federal judge denied the motion to appeal the verdict in early 2013.