Listed below are more examples of cases we have been fortunate to be involved with in the past, as well as information as to how they were resolved.
Gollihue v. Conrail
$11.5 million jury verdict against Conrail for the victims of a railroad crossing crash. Plaintiffs received $3.5 million in compensatory damages and $8 million in punitive damages. Larges verdict in history of Union County and also one of the largest punitive damage awards in the State of Ohio.
Doe Plaintiffs v. Bayer Corporation
Settlement for $8,000,000 on behalf of 18 individuals. These 18 individuals were prescribed Baycol, a cholesterol lowering drug. However, each of these individuals developed rhabdomyolysis to varying degrees. Rhabdomyolysis is a disorder involving injury to the kidney caused by the toxic effects of the release of myoglobin. The disorder in turn can cause death, permanent kidney damage, and muscle pain or weakness. Individual suits were filed on behalf of each person against Bayer Corporation and their affiliates.
Southard v. Whetstone Care Facility
Wrongful death and survivorship jury verdict to Diana Southard and two adult daughters, as a result of the death of her 62 year-old husband, who was disabled since 1984 by an aneurysm that left him with severe cognitive deficits, including loss of short term memory and an impaired thirst mechanism. Diana placed her husband in an assisted care facility for two weeks respite care, with explicit instructions concerning his need for monitoring of adequate fluid intake to prevent hypernatremia and dehydration. Her instructions were disregarded and her husband was hospitalized but died shortly after discharge from the facility due to severe dehydration and renal failure.
Dick v. Hardin Memorial Hospital
$6 million jury verdict against emergency room physicians for failure to timely diagnose bilateral blood clots in patient’ s legs. Patient presented to emergency room 3 times one morning with signs and symptoms consistent with vascular occlusion before diagnosis was recognized and transfer for emergency surgery to restore blood supply was arranged. By the time patient arrived at second hospital, window of opportunity to save patient’ s legs had been lost. Emergency room physician-defendants contended diagnosis was not apparent and that her legs could not have been salvaged regardless of when the diagnosis was made.
Lyons v. Clarkston
$5 million dollar verdict obtained on September 3, 1999 on behalf of the family of Joyce Lyons. Mrs. Lyons was returning home from a professional conference when the car in which she was a passenger was involved in a high-speed collision. She sustained a seat belt injury from her lap belt and was transported to Mary Rutan Hospital (a local community hospital) where she was examined by an emergency physician and Dr. Mohammed Salem, a surgeon. She was admitted for observation, but was not seen by Dr. Salem, or any other physician, until the next morning. When Dr. Salem examined her the following morning, he determined she was a surgical emergency. Mrs. Lyons was transferred to OSU Medical Center for emergency surgery to resect 4 feet of necrotic bowel, secondary to torn and devascularized mesentery. Post operatively, Mrs. Lyons developed respiratory failure, sepsis and ARDS, required ventilatory support and re-operation for continued infection, but succumbed 18 days following accident.
Mrs. Lyons was originally from Lesotho, South Africa, and had a son who was 17-years-old at the time of her death. She met and married her husband while he was in the Peace Corps, and they returned to Columbus, Ohio where she was pursuing a PhD in Childhood Development at the time of her death. She was 37-years-old.
Baby Doe v. Hospital
$4.8 million settlement on behalf of a minor child severely injured during birth. Child suffered a profound, acute hypoxic ischemic injury resulting in cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Nurses at the Hospital failed to recognize and appropriately interpret non-reassuring patterns on an electronic fetal monitor and, in turn, did not timely report the overwhelming indications of lack of fetal well-being to the Defendant OB/GYN.
Golamb v. XYZ Hospital
Settlement of $4.5 million during second week of trial, on behalf of the family of a man who died from improperly treated pancreatitis. Mr. Golamb was admitted to a regular hospital floor under care of nurses who were not properly trained to manage patient with pancreatitis. Attending surgeon examined patient, left hospital, and failed to return to re-evaluate him the following morning. Lab values indicating patient’ s condition was worsening were faxed by nurse to doctor’ s office, but were not brought to the attention of attending physician. Despite clear evidence of deterioration in patient’ s condition, no intervention was obtained until Mr. Golamb coded and was unable to be successfully revived.
Lavender v. Gaines
$3.8 million jury verdict to 9 year old girl who suffered a compartment syndrome following application of a fiberglass cast to treat a supracondylar fracture. Case successfully challenged routine use of circular casts for such injuries because of the unnecessary danger of compromised blood supply.
Riggenbach v. The Ashland Hospital Association
On February 2, 2007 a jury in Mansfield, Ohio awarded Joanne Riggenbach and her husband $3,250,000 in compensation for injuries to Joanne caused by her attending physician’s failure to diagnose and treat a spinal epidural abscess during her hospitalization. A radiologist identified the mass on a chest x-ray, called the attending physician to alert her about it, and noted it in the radiology report, but the attending physician failed to follow up on the finding. The attending physician denied the radiologist verbally reported the mass to her, and claimed she was under no obligation to review the formal radiology report which noted the mass, once the radiologist reported the results of the study to her verbally. Because of the delay in diagnosis and treatment, the abscess continued to expand and compress the spinal cord, until Joanne suffered permanent paralysis from her chest down. The verdict is believed to be the first in excess of $1 million in the history of Richland County.
Myers v. Hessler
L&V represented eight victims and their families in claims arising out of the shootings and mass murders perpetrated by convicted killer Jerry Hessler. The actions filed included claims for wrongful death, personal injuries from the shootings and post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by survivors who, in some cases, witnessed the terrifying massacre of family members. Hessler was obsessed with and stalked one of his female co-workers, and was briefly hospitalized at the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital shortly before the murders. Despite overwhelming evidence of Hessler being at high risk of committing aggressive acts of violence against identified individuals after discharge, he was released from the hospital with minimal supervision and follow-up care.
Litigation was successfully pursued against several mental health professionals and agencies, as well as the former employer of Hessler and several of his victims. Theories of liability included a failure to identify the risk of, and prevent, workplace-related violence, negligent assessment of the propensity for violence in mental health patients, and inadequate supervision and monitoring in outpatient mental health treatment programs. To date, settlements totaling $3.2 million have been paid on behalf of the victims of the shootings.
Vargo v. Motorists Mutual Insurance Co.
The family of Jackie Vargo received $3.1 million in damages and interest in a binding arbitration against Motorists Mutual Insurance Co. seeking underinsurance coverage for damages arising out of her death in an automobile accident in April 1996. In addition to the wrongful death award of $2.8 million, the Vargo family will receive $300,000 in interest. Prior to the arbitration, Motorists highest offer was $900,000.
Ms. Vargo was killed when a Dodge Viper being driven at speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h. struck the car she was driving. Both occupants of the Viper (who were brothers) denied being the driver, and an expert in biomechanical engineering and injury pattern analysis was utilized as an expert to establish which of the brothers was driving.
Griffith v. Booher
Family of 20-year-old boy sued son’s friend who accidentally shot him in chest with .45 caliber handgun, as well as Mt. Carmel East Hospital and its physicians for medical malpractice in treatment of wound. Jason Griffith went into shock and nearly bled to death after admission to the hospital before he was taken to surgery, as a result of which he suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest and brain damage. Jason lived for 13 months before dying of pneumonia.
Pretrial settlement demand was $2,250,000 and offer from medical defendants was $300,000. Case was settled on third day of trial for $2,500,000, with medical defendants paying $1,150,000.
Park National Bank v. Conrail
$2 million settlement paid by Conrail for deaths caused by defective railroad crossing. Action was on behalf of a 14-year-old teenager who lost her parents as a result of the crash.
Dr. John Doe v. Doe, M.D.
$2 million settlement on behalf of family of obstetrician-gynecologist who died as a result of alleged 7-month delay in diagnosis of colon cancer. Physician-patient was operated on for acute appendicitis with pre-operative CT scan abnormality of large bowel. Continued abdominal pain post-operatively prompted repeat CT scan that did not show resolution of abnormality, as would be expected following successful appendectomy. Radiologists and surgeon failed to appreciate and adequately communicate the potential significance of the CT scan abnormality.
Annett v. Dlesk Supply Co.
$1.2 million settlement on behalf of a 42-year-old man who was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck in the rear and pushed into oncoming traffic. The collision resulted in a traumatic brain injury that left him with permanent long and short-term memory impairment but no physical injuries.
Ewing v. Abc Delivery Co.
$1.2 million settlement on behalf of family of 6 year old girl who was crushed by a home delivery truck that backed over the girl while on her bike. Defense contended that her death was unavoidable accident on the part of the driver because girl rode her bike too close to the rear of the truck after it had stopped, thus putting her in “blind spot” of rear view mirrors. Defense also contended that absence of audible back-up alarm on fleet delivery truck was not proximate cause of accident since audible alarm would not have provided sufficient warning to girl to permit her escape from harm’s way.
Plaintiff contended that failure to have available rear mounted convex mirrors on back of truck to eliminate blind spot created zone of danger for which defendant’s driver was responsible.
Smillie v. Schwartz, M.D.
Jury verdict in Toledo, Ohio, on behalf of adult children of Sherrie Smillie, who died as a result of a failure by her primary care physician to diagnose and obtain treatment for chronic pulmonary embolism of approximately four months duration, and misdiagnosis of her condition as asthma and anemia.
Dorsey v. Campbell Hauling
Settlement for $1,025,000; $850,000 from the tortfeasor and $175,000 from the underinsured motorist insurance company. Beth Dorsey was operating her automobile southbound on I-270 when a dump truck traveling northbound on I-270, crossed the median and continued northbound in the southbound lanes before crashing head-on into Ms. Dorsey’s car. Ms. Dorsey suffered severe and permanent injuries including, but not limited to, fracture of C4 vertebra (which required her to be placed in halo traction for three months), three broken ribs, a concussion, open and compound fractures of her right foot, ankle, and hand, additional fractures in the right leg and arm, and paralysis of the right thoracic nerve.
The driver of the dump truck was declared dead at the scene of the accident. His autopsy revealed that he did not die from any injuries sustained in the accident. Rather, his death was determined to have been due to pseudoephedrine intoxication associated with cardiomegaly.
Defendants asserted the affirmative defense of sudden emergency in an attempt to avoid liability. They alleged that Mr. Campbell, who had a preexisting heart condition, suffered health problems of a sudden onset that caused his death prior to the collision with Ms. Dorsey. However, it was undisputed the amount of pseudoephedrine (a known drug of abuse) found in the truck driver’s body was greater than the recommended dose. In fact, experts testified that the amount found in the driver’s system would require seven times the therapeutic dosage of the drug, or 17.5 tablets of 30 mg strength.
Wagner v. the City of Columbus
Pre-suit settlement with the City of Columbus for $1,000,000. This settlement occurred despite assertions by the city that it was immune pursuant to the Political Subdivision Tort Act.
Nine year old Willie Wagner, Jr. was electrocuted and died after coming into contact with an energized light pole while walking across the Town Street bridge with a friend and his father. It was proven that, with the amperage presumably involved in this case, Willie’s heart did not go into ventricular fibrillation until five seconds after coming in contact with the electricity. It then took fifteen seconds to one minute for Willie to lose consciousness as a result of the fibrillation. During that entire time, Willie was most likely aware of his environment and experienced the pain and anguish of electrocution.
Shoe v. Shrader
$1 million jury verdict on behalf of family of 14-year-old girl killed in car accident. $250,000 awarded for survivorship claim based on evidence that girl survived for 15 – 20 minutes. Pretrial offer by insurance company of $500,000 rejected. (Note: This is one of the only four wrongful death verdicts of $1 million or more in Franklin County in the last ten years. $2.4 million award obtained by Gerald Leeseberg in Lambert v. Shearer in 1991.)
Cook v. United States
29 year old woman suffered an above the knee amputation due to the Defendant’s failure to timely recognize the signs and symptoms of a blood clot in the leg. The failure to recognized the signs of the clot resulted in a delay in diagnosis and treatment and an inability to salvage the leg.
Ali v. Bavarian Motor Transport
Non-English speaking, Somali refugee was driving his vehicle on I-71 eastbound near Cooper Stadium in Columbus, when Defendant’s tractor trailer came left of center across the concrete “Jersey barrier” and into Plaintiff’s lane of travel. Plaintiff suffered a comminuted fracture of the femur (thigh) and radius (wrist). Defendant contended Plaintiff was contributorily negligent for failing to take reasonable action to avoid the collision. Plaintiff’s testimony was presented entirely through a court-approved interpreter.
Garcia v. ABC Hospital and Jane Doe, M.D.
Plaintiff suffered an injury to his calf while playing soccer. He presented to his family physician and was eventually referred to emergency room of local hospital. Physician’s request for diagnostic tests was inaccurately communicated to attending radiologist, resulting in a failure to have proper tests performed to rule out compartment syndrome. Plaintiff went on to develop compartment syndrome, and leg was amputated. Defense contended that Plaintiff did not develop compartment syndrome, but rather bacterial necrotizing fasciitis, which would have resulted in amputation of leg in any event to save the Plaintiff’s life.
Doe v. Doe, M.D.
Confidential settlement of $860,000 to patient who underwent a knee surgery performed by oral surgeons. Patient suffered permanent and debilitating injuries as a result of the procedure.
Cook v. Bethesda Hospital
$850,000 partial settlement for minor injured during resuscitation for neonatal distress. Evidence established that attempts to oxygenate were inadequate, that UAC catheter had been misplaced, and that improper medications were administered through the catheter.
Cutshall v. Childrens Hospital
$850,000 partial settlement for minor injured during resuscitation for neonatal distress. Evidence established that attempts to oxygenate were inadequate, that UAC catheter had been misplaced, and that improper medications were administered through the catheter.
Cornell v. Drew
Settled for $800,000. Gary Cornell went to a dermatologist for treatment of a spot on his forehead that seeped fluid and would not heal. The physician took a biopsy and the sample was sent to defendant pathologist to interpret. The defendant misread the slide as containing no cancerous cells. Mr. Cornell was not diagnosed with cancer until almost seven months later.
Experts retained on behalf of Mr. Cornell testified that he had a greater than 50% chance of survival if the cancer had the pathology slides been properly read and the cancer timely treated. Mr. Cornell’s chance of survival has been greatly decreased as a result of the delay in diagnosis.
Milum v. ODRC
Inmate in Pickaway County Correctional Institute who suffered a forequarter amputation (the shoulder, arm, shoulder blade and part of the chest wall disarticulated from body) due to a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of an infected hair follicle. There was a delay in the recognition of the severity and nature of the infection which developed into necrotizing fasciitis and resulted in the radical surgery.
Pavlides v. Niles Gun Show
“Landmark case” received national media attention. Plaintiff was shot by a 14-year-old boy who earlier that day stole a handgun and purchased ammunition at a gun show sponsored by the Defendant. “The $760,000 jury award is believed to be the first such verdict against a gun merchant in the country — and the latest in a series of legal developments stressing gun merchants’ responsibility to ensure that firearms don’t fall into the wrong hands.” Wall Street Journal
Stapleton v. Alum Creek Friends Church
Ten year old Chairadra Stapleton spent the night at a friend’s home. In the middle of the night, a fire was accidentally started in the basement by a candle. Despite the fact there were smoke detectors in the house, they were not operational; no alarms sounded and none of the adults in the house were timely alerted of the fire. Chairadra and another child were not able to escape the fire and died.
A negligence claim was brought against the defendants alleging, in part, that they failed to use ordinary care in maintaining and inspecting the smoke detectors located in the house so as to ensure that they were in working condition, and otherwise failed to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition. The case was settled for $700,000.
Cronkleton v. Doe Corporation
Settlement for $750,000. Nathan Cronkleton — 24 years old at the time of the incident — was injured after the corn head on a combine was inadvertently activated by the combine operator. Nathan, who was standing on the corn head snouts, was knocked off balance and fell into the chains of the corn head. He was subsequently drawn into the combine. Due to the severity of his injuries, Nathan’s left leg was later amputated below the knee.
Defendants argued that the Cronkletons did not operate the combine in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and that Nathan’s injuries were the proximate cause of the negligence of a third party. Plaintiffs contended that they followed standard field practices and the injury occurred because — in contrast with combines by other manufacturers that require multiple steps to activate the corn head — the subject combine was designed so that the corn head “ON” button could be depressed too easily.
Penn v. Malaya
$750,000 settlement on the second day of trial. Medical negligence / wrongful death of a 74 year old retired man. Surviving spouse of 10 yr. marriage. No children. Failure to timely diagnose and treat post operative bleed following laprascopic gallbladder surgery resulted in death.
Doe v. Doe, M.D. and Doe Medical Center
$750,000 confidential settlement. Defendant surgeon encountered complications during routine laminectomy and requested neurosurgical assistance. Surgeons who had privileges at the hospital refused to come to physician’s aid. Plaintiff later developed permanent sequela from the procedure. Despite peer review statutory immunity, Plaintiff established that Defendant hospital had questioned the surgeon’s competence two months before procedure but took no action. Settlement included contribution by the hospital.
Smith v. Motorists Insurance Company
$609,000 jury verdict in underinsured motorist claim affirmed on appeal. Plaintiff, manager of service station, was pinned between frame and bed of dump truck at garage for service when bed closed on her as she began repairs. Tortfeasor, owner of truck, failed to advise Plaintiff of need to prop bed up when doing repairs.
John Doe v. John Doe Physicians
$675,000 settlement on behalf of 45-year-old patient against Defendant physicians who failed to timely diagnose a spinal epidural abscess. The unchecked abscess developed into meningitis, resulting in permanent neurologic damage. Patient suffers from short-term memory loss, cannot walk without the assistance of a walker, and undergoes rigorous physical therapy to maintain mobility.
Rehn v. Baytion
$665,000 settlement. Malpractice action on behalf of 39-year-old man diagnosed in 1989 with testicular seminoma. Patient was improperly diagnosed as Stage I rather than Stage II based on CT scan abnormality. Inadequate radiation dosage and field employed, resulting in eventual recurrence of seminoma as pelvic mass. Mass was improperly resected rather than treated with radiation / chemotherapy, leaving patient with orthopedic disability in left leg.
Garwood v. Kirian
Pre-suit settlement for $600,000 total; $200,000 from tortfeasor and $400,000 from the underinsured motorist insurance company. Bud and Goldie Garwood suffered severe injuries after the defendant backed out of a private drive directly into their path. While trying to avoid the collision, the Garwoods’ vehicle lost control and struck an embankment at a high rate of speed.
Mrs. Garwood suffered the following injuries: a partially severed right foot, fracture of her left foot, torn rotator cuff, and multiple cuts and bruises. Mr. Garwood severely fractured his right forearm, which required surgery. The fracture, unfortunately, developed nonunion.
Babamova v. John Doe Defendant
Settlement on behalf of Victor Babamov, surviving adult brother, arising out of the death of his 66 year-old sister due to an alleged delay in radiologic identification and treatment of a retroperitoneal sarcoma, which are extremely rare tumors with poor prognosis, typically asymptomatic and not diagnosed until unresectable.
Harrington v. Shamrock
Carl Harrington fell approximately 20 feet at a building site where he was working as a subcontractor. Upon the direction of the general contractor, another subcontractor had cut an opening in the floor and covered it with a piece of opaque plastic. No barricades or warning signs were placed around the opening. As a result of his fall, Mr. Harrington sustained a brain injury that caused profound personality changes, a depressed skull fracture, blunt abdominal trauma, and multiple musculoskeletal contusions. Mr. Harrington was initially in a coma and underwent multiple surgeries to repair the skull fracture.
Defendants argued that the opening in the floor was an open and obvious hazard and/or Mr. Harrington was contributorily negligent. The case was settled for $542,500.
Hilderbrand v. Dilgard
Wrongful death settlement from limited insurance coverage, arising out of vehicular collision in Ashland County. 50 year-old decedent survived by her husband and adult children.
Harrison v. Busic
Settlement for insurance policy limits of $500,000. Kenneth Harrison — a licensed motorcycle operator for the past 26 years — was riding a motorcycle on a residential street when the defendant negligently reversed from a driveway directly into his path of travel. Mr. Harrison was severely injured in the impact. His injuries included segmented and dislocated fractures on the right leg and ankle, a dislocated hip, fracture of the right pinkie finger, and compartment syndrome that required skin grafts. His recovery was further complicated by delayed union of the tibia fracture, which required him to undergo three additional surgical procedures.
Bookshar v. Kay
$475,000 settlement on behalf of 50-year-old laborer against Defendant surgeon who permanently damaged Plaintiff’ s radial nerve during surgery to repair a right elbow fracture. Defendant surgeon admitted the technique he employed during surgery was not a proper means of fixation, and in fact, left a ten-centimeter segment of nerve missing. Plaintiff did not return to work for fifteen months, has had to undergo six surgeries, and has endured extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation.
Treadway v. Jones
$425,000 settlement on behalf of family of deceased hunter who was accidentally shot by 14-year-old boy who was turkey hunting with his father. Evidence established that boy and father failed to follow established “rules” for turkey hunting, including identification of male turkey by visually spotting the male turkey’s red “beard.”
Weigand v. Barnesville Hospital
$400,000 settlement. Medical negligence/wrongful death. Failure to timely diagnose and treat infective endocarditis in a 40 year old single woman. No dependents. No economic loss.
Shardell v. Grant/Riverside Meth. Hospitals, Et Al.
A still birth of a healthy term baby due to a failure by the Ob/Gyn to timely respond to fetal distress and timely deliver the baby.
Randall v. Padgett
Plaintiff, an alcoholic, was riding a motorcycle that collided with Defendant’s vehicle when Defendant made a U-turn. Defense presented testimony that Plaintiff’s consumption of alcohol was the cause of the collision. Case was bifurcated for trial and the jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff on liability, despite evidence of Plaintiff’s blood alcohol content of .12. Case was settled for policy limits of $300,000.
Roach v. Abc Corp.
$275,000 settlement reached in August 2002 on behalf of patron of restaurant complex who suffered fractured pelvis as a result of floor collapse. Hospitalization, but no surgery, was required. Client incurred $28,410 in medical expenses and lost wages, and required physical therapy for several months. Theory of recovery was premises liability predicated on negligence and notice of structural defects.
Diederich v. PHC., INC.
$200,000 settlement demand paid on morning of trial for death of newborn, despite testimony of eight local obstetricians that the care of the defendants complied with acceptable medical practice. Plaintiffs established that refusal of obstetricians to criticize local colleagues was a “conspiracy of silence”, and that Plaintiff had not been informed of a safer way to manage her pregnancy, which would have avoided the death of her child.
Filius v. Mossberg
$145,000 partial settlement against shotgun manufacturer and shell distributor, alleging defects in design and manufacture of gun, and overpowering of shells due to inadequate quality control by foreign manufacturer. Shell exploded resulting in loss of partial vision in one eye.
DOE v. CRTC
$101,000 settlement for 14-year-old girl who was a resident at a treatment center for troubled youth. She and another resident engaged in one incident of sexual relations, which the girl claimed was non-consensual despite flirtatious notes sent to the boy. Case was pursued on theory of assault due to inadequate supervision, and statutory inability of minor to consent to sexual relations as a matter of law.
Doe v. Bishopp
Judgment in the amount of $100,000, including a punitive damage award of $50,000, for college student who contracted a sexually transmitted disease from a male acquaintance. Student had made numerous inquiries concerning acquaintance’s health history and past sexual encounters. The court awarded punitive damages based upon the defendant’s misrepresentations of his health.