Our Success: Read About Our Past Cases
Listed below are examples of past cases that we were fortunate to be involved with as well as information regarding how they were resolved.
Bradley Metts v. Athens Medical Laboratory
Franklin County | $44.5 Million Jury Verdict
Nine-year-old Bradley Metts was brought to his pediatrician’s office multiple times with complaints of ear pain, headache and numerous other concerning symptoms. Bradley had an infection, but it was not treated with antibiotics. As a result, his infection spread into his brain and ultimately caused a brain stem herniation, due to severe increased intracranial pressure. This injury caused catastrophic brain damage, leaving Bradley permanently “locked in”: He is completely paralyzed and only able to move his eyes, through which he has learned to communicate using assisted communication devices.
Athens Medical Laboratory was also named as a defendant because it lost critical abnormal blood test results indicating the presence of infection. This contributed to the failure of the pediatrician’s office to diagnose and treat the infection in a timely manner. The hospital where Bradley was eventually taken for surgery to treat his infection was also a party to the case for failing to properly monitor him following neurosurgery. The pediatrician’s office and hospital defendants settled the claims against them, and the case went to trial against Athens Medical Lab only.
Estate of Jake Doe v. XYZ Transportation
Trumbull County | $1.8 Million Settlement
Jake Doe was a 34-year-old unmarried father working on a tree-trimming crew along a state highway. A semi truck failed to yield to the flag person attempting to control traffic around the crew and drove right past the flag person’s stop sign. The truck veered off the side of the roadway and crashed into the crew’s trucks and crew members. Jake’s injuries were significant, and though he survived briefly, his injuries were fatal. Jake’s daughter was able to recover not only this settlement from the trucking company but also a very significant amount from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for the many injuries he suffered before his death.
Estate of Jessica Doe v. ZYX Laboratory
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio | $2.1 Million Settlement
Jessica Doe was 46 years old when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Despite treatment, her cancer quickly recurred, and she died within a year of diagnosis. Upon investigation, attorneys at Leeseberg & Valentine were able to determine that Jessica’s Pap smear slides from years earlier were misread and, in fact, showed developing cancer at very early stages. ZYX Laboratory had misread the Pap smear slides, causing a significant delay in the diagnosis of Jessica’s cancer. There were issues in the case regarding Jessica’s failure to obtain more frequent Pap smears, but those issues were overcome. Ultimately, Jessica’s husband and three daughters (one of whom was a minor child at the time) agreed to a settlement for the loss of their beloved wife and mother, who passed at the age of only 47.
John Doe v. United States Secretary of Health & Human Services (Influenza Vaccine Injury)
United States Court of Federal Claims | $6.15 Million Judgment
A man in his 50s saw his physician for a routine flu shot but suffered horrible and rare adverse reactions. He developed a condition known as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, rendering the patient disabled, often significantly. There is no cure for Guillain-Barre, but the condition can be treated and managed. In this case, the court awarded over $5 million for future care expenses, as well as nearly $1 million for lost wages, past medical expenses, and pain and suffering. This federal vaccine program is often the only source of potential recovery for patients who suffer rare and severe reactions to routine vaccinations.
Estate of Jim Doe v. ABC Hospital
Montgomery County | $300,000 Settlement
Jim Doe, a single male with adult children, was admitted to the hospital for management of severe chest pain. He was prescribed multiple opiate pain medications, in very large doses, by the hospital doctor. The doctor continued increasing the opiate pain medications, including the addition of a Fentanyl patch. The Fentanyl dose was increased after one day and caused Mr. Doe to die from an overdose of opiate medication. The doctor did not properly prescribe the opiates, nor did he properly monitor the patient for signs of overdose.
Estate of Baby Doe v. OB-GYN Physician
Franklin County | $478,000 Settlement
The mother of Baby Doe presented to a Columbus hospital in labor with her first child. Labor progressed without issue. The OB-GYN decided, prematurely, to attempt to deliver the baby using a vacuum and forceps. These were unsuccessful but caused great distress and injury to the baby, who was ultimately delivered by C-section. As a result of the vacuum, the baby suffered a massive subgaleal hemorrhage (bleeding in the head) and had to be transferred to a children’s hospital for care. Unfortunately, after about a week, it was clear Baby Doe was not going to survive, and life support was withdrawn. The doctor claimed Baby Doe was having trouble and needed to be delivered, but all signs were reassuring at that point, and a vacuum should not have been used, especially without proper consent from the parents.
Estate of Jane Doe v. Dr. Doe
Hardin County | $875,000 Settlement
Jane Doe, 72 years old, was admitted to the hospital for a fractured pelvis. After a few days in the hospital, she became dehydrated, her abdomen was painful and she began to suffer from a systemic infection. Dr. Doe failed to properly respond to the dehydration or abdominal pain and failed to diagnose a loss of blood flow to the bowels. Jane ultimately suffered cardiac arrest and could not be successfully revived. Upon the onset of the abdominal pain, Dr. Doe should have performed X-rays or other imaging to evaluate the new and severe pain. Had this been done, it would have revealed mesenteric ischemia and/or bowel obstruction. Jane then would have been transferred to a higher-level facility for surgery and recovery.
Estate of Dorothy Miller v. Maple Drive Farms, Et Al.
Crawford County | $410,000 Settlement
The decedent was riding her bicycle when a semi truck attempted to pass her while speeding and without verbally signaling his intent to pass. The bike rider, unaware of the truck’s presence, began a U-turn to head the other direction. During this U-turn, she was struck by the semi truck, suffering fatal injuries. The bike rider was retired with adult children and a spouse, but economic damages were limited. There were significant disputes as to liability for the crash and death, and ultimately the case was settled by the parties.
Mijajlovic v. State Farm Insurance Company
Allen County | $420,000 Pre-suit Settlement
This was a pre-suit settlement for a 22-year-old female traveling home to Columbus after visiting her grandmother in Chicago. She was critically injured when an oncoming vehicle suddenly drove left of center and struck her car head-on. Leeseberg & Valentine not only secured the policy limits from the driver’s insurance company but was able to uncover additional insurance coverage through an umbrella policy to ensure that Ms. Mijajlovic was properly and adequately compensated for her injuries, lost wages and emotional damages.
Doe v. Dr. Jane
Franklin County | $1.9 Million Settlement
John Doe died at the age of 43 from liver cancer that went undiagnosed for almost two years. Mr. Doe underwent a CT scan in 2013, which showed a suspicious mass in his liver. Cancer could not be ruled out by the radiologist, and an MRI was recommended. Mr. Doe’s family doctor, Dr. Jane, received this result and recommendation but never took any action to follow up with Mr. Doe. As a result of Dr. Jane’s negligence, Mr. Doe’s cancer grew and was not diagnosed until late 2014, at which point his illness was terminal.
Root v. Westfield Insurance
Franklin County | $280,000 Million Settlement
The plaintiffs in this case suffered injuries when another driver, Leslie Anderson, drove her car left of center and into the plaintiff’s lane of travel, crashing into the plaintiff. Ms. Anderson had inadequate insurance to cover the injuries, and the plaintiff had to file suit against their own insurance company, Westfield Insurance. In order to avoid liability, Westfield tried to argue that Ms. Anderson had a stroke, which was the reason she crashed into the plaintiff’s car. Leeseberg & Valentine successfully obtained summary judgment on the “sudden medical emergency” defense, and Westfield ultimately agreed to a settlement of the claims.
Estate Of Jane Doe v. XYZ Hospital
Logan County | $2 Million Settlement
Jane Doe experienced severe headaches and high blood pressure throughout the final month of her pregnancy. Laboratory testing revealed that she was suffering from a condition known as preeclampsia, which can be dangerous to the life of the mother and the baby. Jane’s medical providers failed to order induction of delivery, despite Jane being considered “full term” and delivery at that stage being appropriate. Jane presented to XYZ Hospital for emergent delivery after experiencing extreme headaches, dizziness and vision problems. Delivery was induced and the baby was successfully delivered. Unfortunately, during this process, Jane suffered a stroke as a result of her severe preeclampsia. She was transferred to another facility for treatment but ultimately could not be saved. Jane died of complications from preeclampsia and stroke.
Doe v. EFG Hospital
Franklin County | $850,000 Settlement
After experiencing severe back pain for a few days, Jane Doe developed altered mental status and was transported to EFG Hospital’s emergency room in very serious condition. After admission to the hospital, Ms. Doe was experiencing neurologic dysfunction in her arms and legs, but those findings were not evaluated properly. Ultimately, an MRI showed that Ms. Doe had developed a large spinal infection or abscess that was causing permanent damage to her spinal cord. She was treated with surgery and antibiotics but was unable to regain the use of her extremities. She remains partially paralyzed and will never work again.
Dr. Jane Doe v. ABC Hospital, Et Al.
$2.8 Million Settlement
After experiencing severe back pain and nausea for a few days, Dr. Jane Doe presented to the emergency room of ABC Hospital. Blood tests were positive for a bacterial infection but were misinterpreted and ignored. Dr. Doe was told by her doctors that she had a possible urinary tract infection and was discharged. Dr. Doe’s symptoms persisted and worsened over time, and she eventually sought further care. Her doctors eventually diagnosed a spinal infection after a two-month delay, resulting in permanent damage to her spine. Injuries included motor deficits, the need for additional surgeries and daily pain, as well as restrictions in Dr. Doe’s ability to practice medicine, which she now can only do on a part-time basis.
Haxton v. Riverside Hospital, Et Al.
Franklin County | Confidential Settlement
In 2009, Blake Haxton – a high school senior and co-captain of his high school crew team with scholarship offers to several universities – had both legs amputated due to his doctors’ alleged failures to timely diagnose and treat necrotizing fasciitis (commonly referred to as “flesh-eating bacteria”). Blake presented to the emergency room with an extremely painful, red, swollen area on his calf. His medical care providers diagnosed him with a superficial skin infection and did not consider necrotizing fasciitis until the following day, when it was nearly too late to save Blake’s life. Blake ultimately underwent multiple surgeries resulting in the amputation of both of his legs. A lawsuit filed against Riverside Hospital and several medical care providers was settled shortly prior to trial.
Dr. John Doe And Dr. Jane Doe v. XYZ Hospital
Franklin County | $2 Million Settlement
This was a confidential settlement on behalf of the parents of a 16-year-old boy, both physicians, who brought suit against a local hospital that provided cardiac care and treatment for their son’s abnormal heart condition. The son was cleared to play in competitive athletics and collapsed and died while playing basketball at a summer camp. It was determined that the previous attempts at cardiac ablation to correct the irregular electrical activity in the heart had failed, and he was still at high risk for sudden cardiac failure. The defendants unsuccessfully claimed that the boy died from the “sickling” of red blood cells because of a sickle cell trait.
Dr. John Doe v. XYZ Hospital
Cuyahoga County | $625,000 Settlement
The physician-patient was required to undergo surgery for the removal of a benign tumor on his adrenal gland. Preoperative testing revealed the tumor was a rare pheochromocytoma, which can cause volatile effects on the production of hormones and necessitates preoperative precautions. The preoperative testing was overlooked, and the physician-patient suffered a severe hypertensive crisis as anesthesia was being administered. Surgery was aborted, but the physician-patient had suffered a neurologic injury and cognitive deficits affecting his ability to continue practicing medicine. The defendants unsuccessfully argued that the standard of care did not require preoperative precautions, but physicians on the staff of that hospital had published about the necessity of such precautions. There was a confidential settlement.
Dr. Jane Doe v. ABC Hospital
Tampa, Florida | $875,000 Partial Settlement
This was a wrongful death case against the hospital on behalf of a physician-husband and adult children, arising out of the death of Dr. Jane Doe, a retired physician, age 70, following a cardiac ablation procedure that resulted in the perforation of a cardiac artery. Alleged delay in recognition, diagnosis and treatment of the perforation led to death from hypovolemia and shock. The case remains pending in Tampa, Florida, against the remaining defendant physicians.
Gollihue v. Conrail
Union County | $11.5 Million Jury Verdict
This case resulted in a $11.5 million jury verdict against Conrail for the victims of a railroad crossing crash. The plaintiffs received $3.5 million in compensatory damages and $8 million in punitive damages. It was the largest verdict in the history of Union County and also one of the largest punitive damage awards in the state of Ohio.
Doe Plaintiffs v. Bayer Corporation
$8 Million Settlement
This case resulted in a settlement for $8 million 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 its affiliates.
Southard v. Whetstone Care Facility
Franklin County | $6.5 Million Jury Verdict
A wrongful death and survivorship jury verdict was granted to Diana Southard and two adult daughters as a result of the death of her 62-year-old husband. He had been 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 of 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
Franklin County | $6 Million Jury Verdict
This was a $6 million jury verdict against emergency room (ER) physicians for failure to timely diagnose bilateral blood clots in a patient’s legs. The patient presented to the ER three times one morning with signs and symptoms consistent with vascular occlusion before the diagnosis was recognized and the transfer for emergency surgery to restore blood supply was arranged. By the time the patient arrived at the second hospital, the window of opportunity to save the patient’s legs had been lost. ER physician-defendants contended that the diagnosis was not apparent and that her legs could not have been salvaged regardless of when the diagnosis was made.
Lyons v. Clarkston
Franklin County | $5 Million Jury Verdict
A $5 million verdict was 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 The Ohio State University Medical Center for emergency surgery to resect 4 feet of necrotic bowel, secondary to a torn and devascularized mesentery. Postoperatively, Mrs. Lyons developed respiratory failure, sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and required ventilatory support and re-operation for continued infection, but she succumbed 18 days following the 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 Ph.D. in childhood development at the time of her death. She was 37 years old.
Baby Doe v. Hospital
Franklin County | $4.8 Million Settlement
This was a $4.8 million settlement on behalf of a minor child severely injured during birth. The 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 nonreassuring 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
Franklin County | $4.5 Million Settlement
Leeseberg & Valentine obtained a settlement of $4.5 million during the 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 the care of nurses who were not properly trained to manage patients with pancreatitis. The attending surgeon examined the patient, left the hospital and failed to return to reevaluate him the following morning. Lab values indicating the patient’s condition was worsening were faxed by the nurse to the doctor’s office but were not brought to the attention of the attending physician. Despite clear evidence of deterioration in the patient’s condition, no intervention was obtained until Mr. Golamb coded and was unable to be successfully revived.
Lavender v. Gaines
Franklin County | $3.8 Million Jury Verdict
A $3.8 million jury verdict went to a nine-year-old girl who suffered a compartment syndrome following the application of a fiberglass cast to treat a supracondylar fracture. The case successfully challenged the routine use of circular casts for such injuries because of the unnecessary danger of compromised blood supply.
Riggenbach v. The Ashland Hospital Association
Richland County | $3.25 Million Jury Verdict
On February 2, 2007, a jury in Mansfield, Ohio, awarded Joanne Riggenbach and her husband $3.25 million 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 that the radiologist verbally reported the mass to her and claimed she was under no obligation to review the formal radiology report that 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
Franklin County | $3.2 Million Settlement
Leeseberg & Valentine 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 he was briefly hospitalized at the Central Ohio Psychiatric Hospital shortly before committing 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 and prevention of 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.
DISCLAIMER: The results obtained are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of each of the client’s cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client’s case.