Svec et al v. Duke University Medical Center et al
Confidential Settlement for all plaintiffs
A national profile case involving surgical instruments that were negligently washed in waste hydraulic fluid and then used on patients during surgery, exposing them to toxic substances and causing a complex constellation of health conditions and syndromes. Our firm represented a large number of patients who were exposed to these dangerous chemicals.
Brain injury to police officer who was hit by tractor-trailer truck
Our client suffered severe and permanent debilitating brain injury and permanent eye damage after being struck by a tractor-trailer that turned into him without using proper signals. As a part of the settlement, all other terms of the wreck and his injuries were confidential.
As a part of our case, I had experts in the following areas of specialty: accident reconstruction, engineering, police procedures, neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology, ophthalmology, vocational rehabilitation, and economics.
The defendant driver and trucking company had insurance and were represented by defense counsel. Liability was vigorously disputed throughout the duration of the case. The case was settled several weeks before trial was scheduled. The settlement for our client was fully collectible.
Pearce v. Bissette
Motor vehicle wreck resulting in impaired leg circulation and massive permanent swelling. Our client was a passenger in an automobile that was struck by a turning vehicle. Liability was admitted, but our client’s damages and injuries were denied by the insurance company and by the lawyer the insurance company hired for the defendant. After the car wreck, the defendant died from causes unrelated to the accident, so the lawsuit was against the estate of the defendant.
As a result of her accident-related injuries, our client had a permanently swollen ankle that was larger than a football, a condition known as venous stasis insufficiency. Due to the excessive fluid accumulation, her leg was constantly painful, walking was difficult, and running was impossible. Her doctors testified that the only way to minimize the swelling and resulting pain was to continually elevate the leg, not stand or sit for longer than 30 minutes at a time, take diuretic medications, and wear medical compression stockings. They also testified that she would never be able to return to gainful employment because of her injury.
The jury was able to view our client’s leg in open court.
Her doctors also testified that she was at high risk for painful blood vessel disorders, including deep vein thrombosis, thrombophlebitis, cellulitis, and ulcers.
Our client’s medical bills were $8,702, and she was expected to suffer $382,000 in lost wages over the remainder of her expected work life. All of these losses were vigorously disputed by the insurance company, and by the defendant’s defense attorney. Our client’s treating physicians, who testified at trial, included a vascular surgeon, her family medicine and internal medicine doctor, and her chiropractor.
On the first day of trial, the defendants made an offer of $25,000. The defendant only had an insurance policy in the amount of $100,000, and since the defendant died without any additional assets, this is all of the available money that could be recovered from the case.
The jury returned a verdict for $604,620. Our client was ultimately able to recover all of the available liability insurance coverage, plus her trial costs.
Ashby v. Ingram
Ashby was a young woman riding as a passenger in a single car automobile wreck. She suffered a severe shatter fracture to her arm, which required orthopaedic surgery of open-reduction internal fixation. In addition, she had significant laceration with permanent scarring on her face. Her case was won in binding arbitration, before a 3 arbitrator panel. All of the award was collectible.
Estate of John Lantz
Mr. Lantz was hit head-on by a driver who had bald tires and was driving at excessive speed around a corner. Our client was catastrophically injured, and suffered quadriplegic paralysis along with a host of additional injuries. He was able to live for 50 days with round-the-clock medical care, until he and his family decided to remove life support and allow nature to take it's course. In order to demonstrate to the defendants and their insurance company the profound loss that this wreck caused, our firm produced a 20 minute "Day in the Life" video of Mr. Lantz. This documentary highlighted his life story, his dedication to his family, the circumstances and facts of the wreck, and the severe injuries that he suffered, told through family members, nurses, and spinal cord injury physicians. The case was ultimately settled at a voluntary mediation. The family recovered all of the settlement.
Confidential-Tractor Trailer Death Claim
Apr 01, 2013
The decedent was a 47 year old woman
on a metropolitan North Carolina highway, who slowed for traffic ahead
of her. She was rear ended by a tractor trailer that was traveling
approximately 45 miles per hour, and failed to reduce speed.
Immediately after impact, both the tractor trailer and the decedents car
were engulfed in flames. There was conflicting evidence as to whether
the decedent was conscious when the vehicle caught fire. The decedent
was survived by a husband, and three adult children. Decedent was not
working at the time of the wreck, but spent the majority of her time
helping with the care of her grandchildren and family. The plaintiffs
created a detailed settlement documentary video for the defendants,
demonstrating the impact of the loss of decedent to her family. One of
the terms of the settlement agreement, requested by the defendant
corporation, was that the video could be used as a training tool to
improve safety awareness in the tractor trailer fleet. The family
hopes that the video will prevent further similar tragedies in the
The case was defended by multiple defense lawyers and insurance carriers, and was settled after multiple mediated settlement conferences. The plaintiff was successful in recovering the entire amount of the settlement.