March 2018 – Auto negligence verdict for the defense. The Defendant lost control of his vehicle and struck plaintiff, a cab driver at 65 MPH on I-95. Plaintiff underwent spinal injections and a two level cervical discectomy. Plaintiff sustained a forehead laceration over his eye that required stitches. Negligence and Causation for EMS and ER treatment was admitted. Because the plaintiff was a cab driver he was exempt from the permanency threshold requirement. He also did not have any PIP or collateral sources. Plaintiff had no prior accidents, complaints or medical treatment. Plaintiff incurred medical expenses in excess of $85,000. The insurance carrier offered $65,000 in the form of a PFS before trial due to the hard impact and lack of prior medical history. At trial plaintiff demanded damages in excess of the policy limits of $100,000; asking the jury for over $300,000 in damages. The jury returned a verdict for $37,000, which did not include the surgery. $24,000 in past medical treatment and $13,000 in past pain and suffering. The defense PFS was triggered and the insurance carrier will seek attorney’s fees for this case.
February 2018 – Plaintiff was the 28 year old girl driving the third vehicle in a four vehicle collision. Liability was admitted as the Defendant struck the rear of the vehicle that struck Plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff was treated at the accident scene by emergency medical services and transported to the emergency room. She treated conservatively with a Chiropractor and underwent a discogram with the doctor. After the discogram did not reveal leakage or concordant pain, Plaintiff was treated by the doctor for facet injuries. She underwent facet injections and rhizotomies. Plaintiff’s medical expenses were approximately $96,000. She was recommended a lumbar discectomy in the future at a cost of $80,000 – $100,000. She also alleged lost wages, as well as a loss of future earning capacity. Despite the admission of liability, the jury returned a jury award of $12,208.00. After collateral source set-off, the verdict is $2,208.00. We will be entitled to attorney’s fees after triggering a proposal for settlement.
February 2018 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability case for a hospital client. The Plaintiff, who was delivering medical supplies to the hospital in the early morning hours, alleged that he tripped and fell on uneven asphalt as he exited his vehicle. The back of the hospital was equipped with a loading dock for drivers to park and make their deliveries but Plaintiff chose to park in an unlit, no parking zone instead. Plaintiff fractured his ankle during the fall, which required three surgeries. Plaintiff alleged that the hospital breached the standard of care owed to the Plaintiff by allowing the unsafe condition of uneven asphalt to exist on the premises. Defendant argued that the premises were maintained in a reasonably safe condition because the hospital had provided plaintiff with a well maintained loading dock to make his deliveries and that Plaintiff was comparatively negligent for choosing to park in a no parking zone instead. After a four day trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict in approximately one hour.
January 2018 – Our Defendant ran a stop sign and T-Boned the Plaintiff’s vehicle causing it to spin 180 degrees. Liability was admitted. Plaintiff alleged sustaining injuries to his low back, neck, knees and shoulders, as well as a traumatic brain injury. Plaintiff underwent an L4-5 lumbar microdiscectomy that was performed by the doctor. Plaintiff was recommended a future lumbar fusion, as well as cognitive therapy for his brain injury. Plaintiff asked the jury for damages totaling $680,000. Despite the admission of liability, the jury returned a verdict of no legal cause and awarded the Plaintiff no damages. As a prevailing party, we triggered a Proposal for Settlement and were granted entitlement to attorney’s fees and taxable costs.
December 2017 – Jaime Baca and Robert O’Malley received a defense verdict when their client was making deliveries for a popular furniture retailor and rear ended plaintiff on the turnpike at 60 mph. The property damage showed a very heavy impact. Plaintiff’s vehicle stalled on the turnpike in a through lane and was unable to pull over. Plaintiff claimed she had her hazards on. Our driver claims he was unable to stop in time and was faced with a sudden emergency. Plaintiff also claimed that the delivery company was not in fact an independent contractor but was an agent/employee of the furniture company due to the signage on the truck and control by the furniture company on its delivery process. The judge had denied summary judgment and directed verdicts on this issue. The jury found our driver only 20% at fault and not an employee or agent of the furniture company. Plaintiff was a 61 year old who underwent a two level lumbar fusion with instrumentation. Her past medical expenses exceeded $331,000.Plaintiff asked for 1.9mm in damages. They contested liability and causation. The jury gave plaintiff her initial treatment and did not find a permanent injury or award the surgery. Her net award will be $6,924, less $10,000 PIP which would equal zero. Our PFS of $50,000. Plaintiff’s last demand was $900,000.
November 2017 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers received their third defense verdict in five weeks following a five day medical malpractice / wrongful death trial. The patient was admitted to the Defendant hospital in September of 2014 following neck surgery. Following the surgery, he developed complications including hospital based delirium that resulted in a lengthy hospitalization. In early October of 2014, he experienced an abrupt syncopal episode causing him to fall backwards and strike his head on the floor. The patient ultimately expired from a skull fracture and subdural hematoma. At trial, the Plaintiff argued that the nurses fell below the standard of care by not obtaining a sitter (also known as a patient safety technician) for an impulsive patient with delirium. Plaintiff argued that the presence of a sitter would have prevented the syncopal event. At trial, the defense argued that the nurses complied with the standard of care by appropriately assessing the patient’s condition and keeping close watch over a patient exhibiting mental status changes. The defense further argued the Plaintiff failed to present evidence of proximate cause because the patient’s syncope was an unforeseeable and unpreventable event. After deliberating for less than two hours, the jury returned a defense verdict.
October 2017 – Following a medical malpractice/wrongful death trial that lasted almost two weeks, Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers secured a defense verdict for a hospital client. The patient was admitted to the Defendant hospital’s telemetry unit following a four vessel coronary artery by-pass graft procedure. On post-op day 2, he went into cardiac arrest and suffered an anoxic brain injury, resulting in death three weeks later. The estate alleged that nurses at the Defendant hospital failed to report signs and symptoms of respiratory distress to the surgeon and further failed to timely and appropriately respond to the Code Blue. Prior to trial, the Defense was successful in striking the estate’s multi-million dollar loss of income and earnings claim by presenting evidence that the Deceased’s income had been earned through an illegal Ponzi scheme. At trial, the Defense presented evidence that the nurses met the standard of care by timely and appropriately assessing the patient’s condition and responding to the Code Blue. The defense further argued that the patient’s cardiac arrest was not caused by respiratory distress but rather was an unforeseen and unpreventable complication of the cardiac surgery. Ultimately, the jury agreed with Attorneys Crews and Withers and returned a defense verdict.
October 2017 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers obtained a defense verdict in a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff alleged that nurses employed by the Defendant hospital were negligent in accidently overdosing the patient with narcotic pain medication resulting in respiratory distress and the need for a Code Blue to be called. The defense argued that the patient was not overdosed on pain medication and that the care and treatment provided to the patient met the standard of care. The defense further argued that the respiratory distress was caused by the patient’s underlying sepsis and not narcotic pain medication. After a 5 day trial, the jury returned a verdict finding there was not negligence on the part of the hospital that was a legal cause of the patient’s injuries.
September 2017 – Kurt Spengler and Raychel Garcia represented a large theme park in a premises liability trial in front of Circuit Court Judge Keith White in Orange County, Florida. The Plaintiff was a 12-year-old girl, who was injured on the Defendant’s premises when her leg broke after her foot was caught on the ground. Plaintiff and her family alleged that the park was negligent in its choice to use pavers as a walking surface and presented an expert, who opined that the pavers violated applicable building codes. Evidence was presented that Plaintiff’s leg broke because her bones were very brittle as Plaintiff was suffering from bone cancer and she had previously broken the same bone twice before. Further Plaintiff’s parents had removed the footrests from her wheelchair so that Plaintiff’s feet dragged on the ground when she was being pushed in her wheelchair. Plaintiff requested compensation for multiple surgeries that she alleged were related to the subject incident, as well as pain and suffering. The jury returned a defense verdict.
March 2017 – Kevin Crews and Ashley Withers obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability case for a hospital client. The Plaintiff, who was 6’ 6” tall, alleged that he struck his head on a soffit while exiting the hospital premises. Plaintiff alleged that the construction of the premises violated the building code because the soffit did not provide for sufficient headroom clearance and there were no warning signs posted. Plaintiff claimed that this event resulted in post-traumatic seizures and memory loss. The defense argued that the soffit was in compliance with the building code and presented evidence of the number of visitors to the hospital who passed under the soffit every day. The defense argued that the lack of similar prior events proved that the condition was reasonably safe for business invitees. The defense further argued that the condition was open and obvious to anyone exercising reasonable care for their own safety. After a four day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in less than fifteen minutes.