DBJ Wins $2.2 Billion Verdict for Victim of Diluted Cancer Drug Fraud

DBJ won a $2.2 billion jury verdict for Georgia Hayes, who was given diluted chemotherapy medication by her pharmacist for her cancer treatment.  The verdict was the second largest ever won in Missouri courts.

Investigators found that Robert Courtney had been diluting chemotherapy medications for nearly a decade and pocketing the profits. The defense argued that the diluted drugs did not affect Hayes because her cancer would have been fatal even with the proper medication. The jurors rejected that argument and awarded $2.2 billion to “send a message to the world.”

“If Courtney’s argument had prevailed, it would have been open season on cancer patients,” said Grant L. Davis of DBJ. “People could say, ‘What does it matter? They’re going to die anyway.’”

Davis expects to collect a “sizable portion” of the verdict from the pharmacist’s malpractice insurance policies, which total $71 million. “We’re going to garnish the insurance company and put heavy pressure on them in a lot of ways to do the right thing and own up to their obligations,” Davis said.

Plaintiff’s lawyers will also pursue any money that Courtney has hidden from authorities, or that he may receive in the future from sources such as book or movie deals. “When someone does something this heinous,” Davis said, “I think the financial death penalty is absolutely appropriate.”

The original lawsuit also named Eli Lilly and Bristol-Myers Squibb, two huge drug companies who did nothing after realizing Courtney’s sales figures weren’t adding up. Plaintiff’s attorneys argued that “any reasonable company would have gone to the proper authorities once it learned of the vast discrepancies between the amounts of Gezmar Courtney was buying and the amount he was selling. Lilly did not. Instead, it placed the investigation on the ‘back burner’ and hid all the relevant facts from Dr. Hunter. People died as a result, and others suffered and continue to suffer unimaginable injuries. Punitive damages are appropriate in this case.” The drug companies agreed to a confidential settlement during jury selection.

At trial, Davis called other victims of Courtney’s diluted medicine in order to show his pattern of wrongdoing. “It’s similar to the way I might, in a railroad-crossing case for example, call other people who’ve been hit by trains at the same crossing, if they’re still alive, or people who’ve had near misses.”

After the verdict, Hayes acknowledged that cancer would probably kill her and many of Courtney’s other victims before the case was finally resolved. “Though we will probably never see a dime, I feel justice has been done,” she said.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Instrumental in $750 Million GMO Rice Settlement

Missouri rice farmers earned a measure of payback against Bayer AG for its contamination of US rice supplies that were traded abroad with genetically modified long grain rice.  Bayer agreed to a $750 Million settlement to compensate the farmers for financial damages suffered because of the contaminated rice.

Bayer’s genetically modified Liberty Link rice was experimental and unapproved for human consumption.  Because it became mixed with non-GMO rice stores, all rice traced back to those stores was rejected and massive losses were incurred by innocent US rice growers.

This groundbreaking negotiated settlement ended more than four years of hard-fought litigation.  Grant L. Davis of DBJ was a key attorney in the litigation and settlement of the lawsuit.  For more information, read here.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

 

 

KC Jury Verdict of $160 Million in RR Crossing Accident

A Jackson County, Missouri jury awarded a $160 million verdict against Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak in favor of a 34-year-old woman who was severely injured in a railroad crossing accident. The jury rejected Union Pacific’s defense that it had no duty to install gates and warning lights at the crossing, where a fatal collision had occurred just four months earlier.

The jury awarded $40 million in actual damages and $120 million in punitive damages. The verdict assigned 75% of the blame for the accident to Union Pacific, 25% to Amtrak, and none to the driver of the car. The punitive damages were assessed only against Union Pacific.

Attorney Grant L. Davis, who represented the plaintiff along with Thomas C. Jones, said Union Pacific knew the crossing was dangerous but had done nothing to warn motorists. “This is a company with 65,000 employees and annual revenues of $10 billion, but it doesn’t have a single worker whose job it is to see if crossings are dangerous,” Davis said. “The company never took responsibility and showed no remorse. If Union Pacific would take responsibility, crossings would be safer and fewer people would be killed.”

The size of the verdict was a result of the jury’s grasp of the “big picture,” according to Davis. “This is the largest railroad in the country, and it doesn’t even have a single employee whose job it is to figure out which crossings are dangerous,” Davis said. “They say it’s the government’s deal, but that’s just bull. This is a verdict that says, ‘We want you to change the way you do business, to quit denying your duty and quit trying to push it into someone else’s lap.’”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Corporate Negligence Suit Ends in $48 Million Verdict for DBJ Business Client

DBJ secured the largest verdict ever in St. Louis County when a jury awarded $48.4 million to an energy company that sued Chicago Title Insurance Co. for negligence. The award was also the largest plaintiff verdict in Missouri that year.

Abengoa Bioenergy planned to build an ethanol plant in Kansas and was required to notify affected residents of its plan. Abengoa hired Chicago Title to identify the residents so they could be notified.

Abengoa alleged Chicago Title provided an incomplete list of residents, allowing opposed residents to challenge the plan. Abengoa had to build in Illinois instead, leading to lost profits, increased labor and construction costs, and other damages.

“If you don’t give notice correctly, then everything afterwards is void,” said lead counsel Grant L. Davis of DBJ.

Chicago Title acknowledged it had made a mistake, but argued it wasn’t negligent and damages were less than $50,000. Instead the jury awarded Abengoa the $48 million damage figure calculated by Michael Lewis, the economics expert retained by DBJ.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Jury Verdict of $30 Million for Carpenter After Electric Shock

A Jackson County, Missouri jury awarded $30 million to a DBJ-client carpenter who received a 277-volt electric shock at a construction site. Virgil McCormack claimed that an electrical sub-contractor was negligent in failing to turn off the electricity while he was working. The defense argued that McCormack was to blame because he touched an uncapped wire.

According to attorney Grant L. Davis, of DBJ, the case hinged on the “frivolous, hurtful defense” argued by the sub-contractor. “Despite all evidence to the contrary, they accused him of being a malingerer, that he was faking,” Davis said. “They said Virgil, his wife, and all of the treating doctors were lying.”

Electrical shocks can cause progressive injuries that worsen over time. A PET scan on McCormack showed abnormal brain activity similar to that of a person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

“Virgil was a journeyman carpenter, he coached his daughter’s softball team, he was an avid outdoorsman,” Davis said. “After high school, he was recruited to play minor league baseball. That was all taken away. He can’t drive, can’t follow TV shows. His IQ dropped from normal to borderline retarded. He volunteers at the hospital to give him something to do.”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

$37.5 Million Settlement in Fatal Railroad Crossing Accident

DBJ negotiated a $37.5 million settlement from Kansas City Southern Railway Co. on behalf of a family whose car was struck by a train at a railroad crossing. A 5-year-old girl was killed and her mother and three sisters were severely injured. A Jackson County jury deliberated for two days after eight weeks of trial before the settlement was reached.

The railroad had installed lights and gates at the crossing, but took the gates down and placed black plastic bags over the lights. “The evidence of fault against KCS was overwhelming,” said the family’s lead attorney, Grant L. Davis of DBJ. “KCS should have installed lights and gates years before the wreck and they absolutely should not have turned off the lights and gates after they had them up.”

DBJ rejected the railroad’s $25 million settlement offer and proceeded to trial. Kansas City trial attorney and mediator Hollis H. Hanover called the settlement “stunning and unprecedented” and said that turning down a $25 million offer and taking the case to trial showed “an icy fearlessness” on the part of the attorneys, as well as an unusual amount of trust earned from their clients.

The accident occurred at an intersection that “needed the protection of lights and gates to be safe,” Davis said. “It was listed as one of the most dangerous crossings in Louisiana.”

The railroad also failed to follow the federal code regarding active lights and non-working gates. “The rules regarding activation failure are that the railroad must bring its train to a complete stop and have someone flag the crossing when lights and gates are up but not working,” said DBJ’s Thomas C. Jones.

“KCS has a duty to maintain safe crossings on its own tracks,” added Scott S. Bethune, also of DBJ. “KCS’ policies and practice ignore the fact that KCS is supposed to maintain safe crossings.”

The railroad had recently raised the speed limit on the track at the crossing. Increased speed raises the likelihood of train collisions and deaths dramatically, but also leads to an increase in revenue for the railroad. “KCS increased its revenues at the expense of public safety,” Jones said.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $25 Million Jury Verdict for Girl Injured in Truck Accident

DBJ won a $25 million Jackson County, Missouri jury verdict for a 7-year-old girl who suffered a skull fracture and brain injury when her family’s minivan was rear-ended by a truck.

Anna Berthelsen and her family were stopped in traffic in a construction zone in the Grandview Triangle, a Kansas City highway interchange notorious for accidents, undergoing a long-term construction project. A URS Corporation truck slammed into the rear of the vehicle, where Anna was sitting. The truck was traveling 65 mph in a 45 mph zone.

The defense argued that the truck’s driver did not have time to react when the Berthelsens’ minivan stopped suddenly. But plaintiffs’ attorneys prepared an exhibit featuring an aerial photo overlaid with 15 signs warning motorists of the upcoming construction. “When I put this exhibit up in opening statement,” said attorney Scott S. Bethune of  DBJ, “several of the jurors reacted physically and some even verbally sighed.”

This case, involving devastating injuries to a 7-year-old girl, was particularly difficult emotionally for the family’s attorneys. “We have young kids and we see some of the things this family is going through and it’s easy to see this happening to us,” Bethune said.

DBJ’s Grant L. Davis agreed. “Anna had no control over this,” Davis said. “She was sitting in the back of the minivan holding one of her stuffed animals and the corporation smashed into her and she has to live the rest of her life like that.”

Davis also noted that injuries to children can be deceptive. “Children won’t appear as injured as they are sometimes,” he said. “As they grow older their injuries become more apparent.”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins Family $21 Million Verdict in Fatal Helicopter Crash Case

DBJ won a verdict of $21 million from a St. Louis jury for two U.S. Army reservists who died when their helicopter crashed after hitting unmarked power lines. Three Rivers Electric Cooperative was found responsible because the lines and their supporting structures were almost impossible to see and Three Rivers knew aircraft flew at low levels in the area.

A previous verdict of $5.25 million was overturned after the defense appealed. “We’re happy this utility corporation has once again been held accountable for its negligent actions,” said attorney Grant L. Davis, of DBJ.

The jury found that the defendant violated the industry standard of care when it failed to put marker balls on the power lines. The helicopter crashed after striking wires owned by Three Rivers 100 feet above the Osage River. Trees and vegetation obscured the supports and there were no marker balls on the lines. In addition, the power lines had oxidized to a color that blended in with the trees and the water. “One of our witnesses testified that if you were trying to camouflage the wires, you couldn’t do a better job,” said Davis.

Plaintiff’s attorneys also found evidence of a previous crash and numerous near misses. “We had a couple of eyewitnesses who not only saw the helicopter crash, but also saw a fixed wing plane strike the power lines in the same location,” Davis said.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Helicopter Crash $21 Million Verdict Upheld on Appeal

The Missouri Court of Appeals’ Eastern District upheld a $21 million verdict for the victims of a helicopter crash caused by unmarked power lines. The Court found that the fact that the jury forewoman said during voir dire that she had sympathy for the plaintiffs and would find it difficult to set aside her emotions was not grounds for reversal of the case.

The court relied on the fact that the forewoman had also said, “I think I can be fair” in deciding the case. “The critical question in reviewing the exercise of discretion is whether the challenged venire persons indicated unequivocally their ability to evaluate the evidence fairly and impartially,” wrote Judge Paul J. Simon on behalf of the Court.

“The trial judge was there and heard the inflection in her voice,” said plaintiff’s counsel Grant L. Davis of DBJ. “The appeals court deferred to the trial judge under the abuse of discretion standard. She was as nice and straightforward as you’re going to get, totally believable.”

The defense’s request that the verdict be reduced was also rejected by the Court. “This court has reaffirmed the belief that human life has a great value,” Davis said. “Missouri courts have always held that juries have a wide discretion in deciding on wrongful death verdicts.”

Davis noted that in addition to the $21 million verdict, the plaintiffs were also entitled to $9 million in prejudgment interest.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $17M Verdict in Cape Girardeau County Railroad Crossing Case

A Missouri jury awarded DBJ client E.H.S. $17 million for major injuries sustained in a collision that occurred in 2016.  The accident occurred at a concrete traffic barrier at a BNSF railroad crossing on Route AB in rural Cape Girardeau County.

DBJ represents those who have been seriously injured at railroad crossings and through other negligence of railroad companies. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of railway companies, please contact DBJ today.

Download PDF Version

DBJ Wins $13.19M Verdict in North Dakota Railroad Crossing Case

A North Dakota jury awarded DBJ client David Rentz $13.19 million for major injuries sustained in a railroad crossing collision that occurred in 2012.  The accident occurred at a public crossing that was controlled and required to be maintained by BNSF Railway in McHenry County, North Dakota.

DBJ attorneys Grant Davis, Tom Jones, Tim Gaarder and John Carroll successfully proved to the jury that BNSF held the vast majority of fault for the accident due to its lack of maintenance of the crossing – vegetation overgrowth seriously limited visibility to the oncoming train – as well the train’s horn being inaudible to Mr. Rentz until immediately prior to the collision.

DBJ represents those who have been seriously injured at railroad crossings and through other negligence of railroad companies. If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of railway companies, please contact DBJ today.

 

DBJ Secures $20 Million Verdict for Surgery Error

An Arkansas jury awarded a $20 million judgment to the family of a 15-year-old boy whose doctor operated on the wrong side of his brain. The jury found that Arkansas Children’s Hospital was negligent for the surgery.

“It is so apparent there’s negligence that it boggles the mind we had to go through this,” family attorney Grant Davis of DBJ said in his closing argument.

During an operation to remove faulty brain tissue believed to be the source of a seizure disorder, Dr. Badih Adada, chief of pediatric neurosurgery at the hospital, removed matter from the wrong side of Cody Metheny’s brain before then performing the procedure on the correct side. As a result of the mistake, Cody has experienced psychotic delusions, continuing seizures, and deteriorating intelligence. “The surgery sucked the life out of him,” Davis said. “He has just become a different person.”

The hospital could not be found liable under Arkansas law if the jury determined the surgeon was solely responsible for the error. Despite continuing to employ him for three years after the botched operation, the hospital was “on a kick of blaming Dr. Adada,” Davis said. The family countered that hospital nurses were not adequately prepared and administrators did not thoroughly investigate the surgical errors and promptly disclose them to the family, who were not informed of the mistake for months.

Davis told the jury that Cody’s mind will continue to deteriorate as a result of the hospital’s negligence. The jury’s award compensates him for his pain and suffering, future earnings, and the costs of lifetime treatment, estimated as another 55 years.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Settles Railroad Crossing Case for Record $12.5 Million

DBJ negotiated a $12.5 million settlement with Union Pacific Railroad on behalf of a motorist hit by a train at a railroad crossing. It was the largest railroad crossing settlement in the history of the state of Arkansas.

As a result of the collision, Lee Johnson, 44, suffered permanent brain injuries, orthopedic injuries, and is permanently disabled from working. His wife of 23 years and 15-year-old daughter were killed in the crash.

“Union Pacific refuses to evaluate crossings and spend its own money to install lights and automatic gates,” said attorney Thomas C. Jones of DBJ. “Their policy is that it’s always the motorist’s fault.”

A review of the accident history at the crossing showed at least 28 serious crashes over the last 40 years. Union Pacific was aware of the previous accidents and dangers motorists faced at the crossing, yet chose to do nothing. Trees still blocked the view at the crossing and flashing lights did not provide enough warning.

“This was one of the worst crossings I’ve ever seen, which never should’ve been left in the condition it was,” Jones said.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Improper Patient Transfer Results in $10.25 Million Wrongful Death Verdict

Shawn Foster of DBJ won a $10.25 million wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the parents of a man who died at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.

Brandon Jacques, 20, was being treated for alcohol addiction and bulimia at a facility in Arizona. The facility recommended a transfer to Morningside Recovery in California. Unbeknownst to the parents, the facility received a kickback for sending Brandon to Morningside. Despite representations to the contrary, Morningside was not legally allowed to treat eating disorders because it was not a medical facility.

Brandon was eventually transferred to another detox center, where he suffered a cardiac arrest and died. The internal emails and the practices of the various facilities “illustrated illegal kickbacks and referral agreements to induce facilities to refer clients,” Foster said.

The jury awarded Brandon’s parents $10.25 million in non-economic damages and $40,622.50 for funeral and burial expenses. “I believe the verdict is going to change the way these free-standing rehab facilities operate,” Foster said. “It is important to the Jacques family that other families do not get taken advantage of by these facilities.”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Jury Verdict of $9.6 Million Against BNSF for Railroad Crossing Accident

An Oklahoma jury awarded $9.6 million to the family of a man killed at a BNSF Railway railroad crossing.  BNSF’s negligence led to the dangerous conditions that directly caused the accident.

The BNSF train failed to blow its horn to warn drivers of its approach to the crossing. BNSF was also responsible for overgrown vegetation at the crossing, impeding motorists’ views of oncoming trains, and should have installed flashing lights and gates.

The jury awarded $14.8 million to the family to compensate them for their loss, and determined that BNSF was 65% at fault for the accident, resulting in a final award of $9.6 million.

“The Nye family brought this lawsuit to hold the railroad accountable for its actions and inactions,” DBJ attorney Grant L. Davis said. “The Nye family does not want this to happen to another family and hopes the verdict will make the company make safer choices at grade crossings.”

“We’re happy the jury held BNSF responsible for their actions by awarding this verdict,” Tom Jones, also of DBJ, said in a statement.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Tractor-Trailer Crash Settlement of $9.5 Million

DBJ achieved a $9.5 million settlement for the parents of a 15-year-old girl who was killed in an accident with a tractor-trailer. The girl was a passenger in a pickup truck on westbound Interstate 70 when a tractor-trailer driving east crossed the median and hit the pickup head-on, killing her and four others.

The trucking company argued that its driver lost consciousness from a lack of blood flow to the brain during a violent coughing spell. The plaintiffs, led by Grant L. Davis and Scott S. Bethune of DBJ, contended that the accident was caused by driver fatigue because the driver was ill and taking cold medication.

The plaintiffs planned testimony from trucking experts regarding federal hours of service regulation, a scientist and author on sleep patterns and fatigue, and a toxicologist on impairment caused by cold medicine.

The plaintiffs subpoenaed records from the driver’s debit card, which allowed them to track his movements and show that he exceeded the federally mandated hours of service regulations by over 20 hours during the previous week. The plaintiffs argued that it was the trucking company’s policy of paying drivers by the load that encouraged him to exceed federal mandates.

The case was settled for $9.5 million before trial.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Double Amputation After Truck Accident Results in $6.7 Million Settlement

DBJ negotiated a $6.7 million settlement on behalf of a woman whose right arm and leg had to be amputated after a truck in which she was riding drove off an entrance ramp. As the truck entered the ramp, the driver lost control and the trailer being pulled by the truck swung back and forth, causing the truck to flip over the retaining wall and falling 15 feet onto I-70. The plaintiff received severe injuries to her arm and leg, which were later amputated.

Plaintiff’s attorneys argued that the driver had worked excessive hours, suffered from driver fatigue, and was driving too fast as he approached the ramp. They also claimed the cargo was improperly loaded, causing it to shift and contribute to the driver’s loss of control, and the maintenance companies failed to maintain and service the trailer’s brakes.

The insurer for the driver and owner of the truck contributed $1 million, the insurer for the company that loaded the cargo contributed $200,000, and the insurers for the maintenance companies contributed $5.5 million.

The plaintiff was represented by Scott S. Bethune and Timothy L. Brake of DBJ.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Iowa Jury Awards Injured Railroad Conductor $3.5 Million

A DBJ-represented railroad conductor received a jury-verdict judgment of $3.5 million in a negligence case against Union Pacific Railway. Franklin David Barker, of Ankeny, Iowa, developed kidney failure after a rigorous shift in near-zero weather conditions.

Barker asked his dispatcher for additional help but was denied. After the shift, he went to the emergency room, where it was determined he was suffering from rhabdomyolysis, the breakdown of muscle tissue leading to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood, causing renal failure. The suit alleged that defective equipment contributed to unsafe working conditions, violating federal railroad work safety laws.

Barker “sustained life threatening, severe and permanent injuries,” his lawyers, including Wes Shumate and Scott S. Bethune of DBJ, alleged. “On account of these injuries plaintiff has undergone extensive medical care and treatment and plaintiff will be required to seek medical treatment and life care in the future.”

There were no pretrial settlement discussions because Union Pacific refused to negotiate. Instead, they were required by the jury to pay $400,000 for past pain and suffering, $1.25 million for future pain and suffering, $24,975 in past lost earnings, $178,050 in future lost earnings, $1.38 million for future medical expenses, and $313,000 for loss of household services.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Fatal Head-On Tractor-Trailer Collision Ends with $3.3 Million Settlement

DBJ secured a $3.3 million settlement for the family of a Missouri man killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer. Moark Egg Corp. and its subsidiary, Premier Farms, are responsible for over $3 million of the settlement on behalf of their employee, the driver of the truck.

Donald Keller, 57, was killed when the tractor-trailer veered into his lane and struck his pickup truck head-on. A Missouri State Highway Patrol accident report cited the driver of the tractor-trailer as inattentive, and he was unable to brake in time when a car stopped for a left turn in front of him.

About six weeks prior to the accident, another Premier Farms driver had alerted the company to safety concerns about this particular tractor-trailer, but nothing was done. After the accident, the Highway Patrol’s commercial vehicle enforcement unit found problems with the tractor-trailer’s brakes.

The family was represented by Scott S. Bethune and Wes Shumate of DBJ.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $3.25 Million Premises Liability Verdict

DBJ attorney Scott S. Bethune successfully earned a jury verdict on behalf of client Amie Wieland against Grain Valley truck insurance provider Owner-Operator Services, Inc. (OOIDA)  Wieland survived being shot in the head by her abusive ex-boyfriend after he waited for over an hour in ambush for Wieland in her car after work.  The Jackson County, Missouri jury found that OOIDA had a duty to follow its own domestic violence protocol, and that it did not follow that protocol when it allowed Wieland to park in a lot farther away from the building and in not notifying its security of the threat, leaving Wieland vulnerable.

Bethune noted, “It’s something that the defendant had experience with these type of issues in the past and they had a protocol in place, and they just didn’t follow the protocol.”  DBJ asked for $2.75 million in settlement prior to trial and defendants offered $520,000.  The jury sided with Wieland and awarded her $3.25 million.

FELA Award of $3.2 Million After Railroad Worker Falls from Ladder

A Union Pacific Railroad employee represented by DBJ received a $3.2 million jury verdict as a result of a fall from a crane ladder. Mark Larsen, 54, missed a rung on the ladder and fell twelve feet onto the train tracks, suffering neck and back injuries.

Against the recommendation of his supervisor, Larsen filed a personal safety injury with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Once he was ready to return to work, he was fired for alleged personal use of a company truck.

Larsen sued Union Pacific for negligence under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), alleging the company provided an unsafe workplace, failed to inspect its work processes for safety, and did not warn employees of dangers.

Larson’s attorneys, including Wes Shumate and Scott Bethune of DBJ, offered to settle the case for $3.2 million. Union Pacific responded with a lowball offer of a mere $25,000. The jury resoundingly affirmed the fairness of the plaintiff’s pre-trial offer, awarding exactly the settlement amount in damages.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Client Wins $2.75 Million Verdict and $2 Million Settlement in Med Mal Case

A Buchanan County, Missouri jury returned a verdict of $2.75 million against a hospital who provided below-standard care for a woman who was treated for injuries from a minor car accident.  She ended up paralyzed from her injuries.  DBJ also earned the woman $2 million in settlement from the neurosurgeon who failed to perform emergency surgery when doing so could have saved her from paralysis.

When the plaintiff arrived at the hospital, it was determined that she had a broken vertebra that was pressing against her spinal cord. She had feeling in and could move her legs, feet, and toes.

The attending neurosurgeon decided to delay the operation to relieve pressure on the spinal canal until the following Monday, when another neurosurgeon was returning from vacation. The nurses were supposed to monitor her for signs of neurological deterioration. Emergency surgery would be performed if necessary.

The plaintiff’s condition worsened and no surgery was performed. As a result, she is a paraplegic. Plaintiff claimed the nurses were negligent in not noticing her neurological deterioration, the doctor was negligent in failing to perform immediate surgery or transfer her, and the hospital was negligent because the doctor was acting as its agent.

Prior to trial, plaintiff’s attorneys, Grant L. Davis and Scott S. Bethune of DBJ negotiated a settlement of $2 million with the attending neurosurgeon. At trial, the jury apportioned 50% of the fault to the neurosurgeon and 50% to the hospital. Because both defendants were found to be at fault, joint and several liability applies and the hospital is responsible for the entire $2.75 million verdict.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Jury Verdict of $2.7 Million For Failure To Perform Surgery

DBJ earned a big result for a woman who became a paraplegic after a minor car accident when a neurosurgeon failed to perform emergency surgery was awarded $2.75 million by a Buchanan County, Missouri jury.

Despite a broken vertebra that was pressing against her spinal cord, the woman could move her legs, feet, and toes after the accident. The neurosurgeon decided to delay surgery until his partner returned from vacation.

The nurses were supposed to test the woman for neurological function on an hourly basis and inform him of any changes. Emergency surgery would be performed if her condition deteriorated. The plaintiff’s condition worsened, no surgery was performed, and she is now a paraplegic.

Essential to the case was establishing that the doctor was the hospital’s agent. “A hospital is not ordinarily liable for the negligent acts of its doctors,” said plaintiff’s attorney Grant L. Davis of DBJ. “We had to show an agency relationship existed between the neurosurgeon and hospital.”

The nurses were shown to be negligent in not noticing the plaintiff’s neurological deterioration because they were recording medical conclusions rather than data on her chart. “A phrase like ‘Neuro’s unchanged’ doesn’t tell the doctor anything,” Davis said. “He needs data from the tests so he can decide if her condition has changed in a significant way.”

The $2.75 million verdict included $1 million in non-economic damages. The jury apportioned 50% of the fault to the doctor and 50% to the nurses.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $2.5 Million Verdict for Car Crash Victim

DBJ earned a $2.5 million verdict from a Jackson County, Missouri jury for a woman injured in a car accident. Adrienne Garrison Wayman, of Grain Valley, Missouri, suffered back, hip, and neck injuries when her car was rear-ended, forcing her vehicle into the car in front of her.  She subsequently required a cervical fusion for a herniated disk.

After rejecting a $350,000 settlement offer, Grant L. Davis of DBJ took the case to trial. “Over the last 20 years, there’s been such a move toward alternative dispute resolution. It’s almost a religion,” Davis said. “Law students are taught in law school that ADR is good. And the truth of the matter is, sometimes it’s better for your client to have a jury trial.”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Welder Awarded $2.4 Million for Amputated Fingers

A welder who lost parts of his fingers while operating a hydraulic press was awarded $2.4 million by a Missouri judge. The plaintiff was represented by Scott Bethune and Wes Shumate of DBJ.

Dylan Harris was told by his supervisor to operate a 9-ton hydraulic press used to bend and shape large pieces of angle iron, despite the fact that Harris had never used the machine before and had received no training or instruction. The hydraulic press had no guard, safety, or kill switch. Harris’ hand was smashed in the machine, resulting in the partial loss of his fingers.

The lawsuit alleged that the injuries were the result of “an extremely dangerous work environment” and the judge agreed. Harris received damages for his medical bills, lost earnings, transportation costs, and pain and suffering, said Shumate.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Exploding Battery Case Results in $2.25 Million DBJ Verdit

A Jackson County jury awarded a 37-year-old mechanic $2.25 in a product liability case. Kevin Knifong was blinded in one eye when a battery exploded as he was trying to fix a stalled front-loader.

“This explosion occurred because of a very poor design,” said attorney Grant L. Davis, of DBJ. “Even their expert agreed it was a design he had never seen before, and he had been in the industry forever.”

The explosion was likely caused by a spark from the battery terminals igniting the hydrogen gas produced as a natural result of the chemical reactions in the battery. “It doesn’t really matter where it came from,” Davis said. “It could have been from a guy on the tractor turning a key. The point is, it’s a reasonably anticipated use for the battery to be around sparks. It’s supposed to be able to survive sparks without exploding.”

Although Knifong suffered a loss in future wages as a result of his injuries, the damages in the case centered on his loss of quality of life. “This is a guy who, if you toss him his keys, he can’t even catch them. He certainly can’t hunt anymore, or rope horses, or pass and shoot in basketball. And he’s become a poor driver, too. He runs off the road, and he can’t pass a Department of Transportation physical for his commercial driver’s license. This case has profoundly changed his life.”

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Family of Man Killed in Railroad Crossing Accident Receives $1.9 Million Settlement

Thomas C. Jones of DBJ secured a $1.9 million settlement for the family of a 22-year-old man who was killed in a railroad crossing accident. The man was traveling near Warrensburg, Missouri when his pickup truck was struck by a high-speed Amtrak train at an uncontrolled rural grade crossing.

The plaintiffs claimed that Union Pacific, which owned the crossing, knew it was dangerous, but failed to warn the public or change their safety procedures. Despite receiving a recommendation seven months earlier that lights and gates were needed because of a 90 percent sight-distance obstruction, the only warning device Union Pacific employed at the crossing consisted of faded crossbucks.

Amtrak trains routinely ran 70 mph around a nearby curve, although both the curve and the terrain obstructed the view. Motorists traveling north had less than three seconds’ visual notice of approaching trains. Local residents testified that the crossing was dangerous, and employees of a nearby plant testified they had informed Union Pacific of near misses involving their trucks.

The Amtrak train was on a demonstration tour of the United States. It had limited sight lines and was not intended to be run on tracks with unprotected crossings. In addition, the emergency brake lever could not easily be reached and the engineers were not instructed on the proper operation of the train on Missouri tracks, where many of the crossings have no lights or gates.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Wins $1.66 Million Verdict for Victim of Tractor-Trailer Accident

DBJ’s Grant L. Davis and Thomas C. Jones won a $1.66 million verdict from a St. Louis jury for a 49-year-old man who was injured when his car was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer.

The plaintiff was stopped at a red light when the tractor-trailer slammed into the rear of his vehicle, causing soft-tissue back injuries and a closed head injury. As a result of his injuries, the plaintiff can no longer lift, bend, dance, or play sports. He also cannot think clearly and has constant ringing in his ears.

The defendant claimed that a car swerved in front of the plaintiff, causing an abrupt stop resulting in the accident. The defendant also claimed the plaintiff suffered only minor injuries that healed within three months of the accident. The jury did not agree.

The last offer by the defense was $85,000 and the plaintiff countered with $325,000. At trial, the defense requested an award of only $36,000, but the jury came back with a figure of $1.66 million.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

Tractor-Trailer Accident Case Settles for $1.02 Million and More

DBJ negotiated a $1,002,500 settlement on behalf of the family of a man who was killed in an accident with a tractor-trailer. A man driving a four-door sedan was sideswiped by a tractor-trailer owned by ABC Trucking Company, causing it to cross the median and roll over twice. The man died from head injuries suffered in the accident. The case with ABC Trucking was settled before trial.

A lawsuit against the automobile manufacturer proceeded to trial. Plaintiffs argued that the roof of the man’s car featured a defective design, which caused the roof over the driver’s side to collapse. On the fourth day of trial, a confidential settlement was reached.

Scott S. Bethune and Randall W. Brown of DBJ represented the plaintiffs.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Settles $1 Million MODOT Negligence Car Crash Case

An arbitration panel found the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) partially to blame for a highway accident that killed two people. The driver was held to be 80% at fault, with the Department of Transportation responsible for the other 20%. Total damages exceeded $1 million.

The lawsuit alleged the scene of the accident was a dangerous intersection, improperly designed by MODOT. The plaintiffs argued that the intersection had inadequate sight lines and the speed limit was too high. The family’s attorney, Wes Shumate of DBJ, noted that the speed limit was lowered from 65 mph to 55 mph after the accident.

State law allows lawsuits against MODOT to be taken to arbitration instead of a trial. The family chose arbitration in order to speed up the case’s outcome and gain some closure, Shumate said.

Please call Davis, Bethune & Jones today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Earns Relief for Woman Wrongfully Denied Medical Procedure

DBJ secured a permanent injunction in Jackson County Circuit Court against an HMO that denied a Kansas City woman an “experimental” treatment.

Karen Moses needed a gastric stimulator after her body rejected a pancreas transplant. Her health plan denied coverage for the treatment as “experimental,” despite a letter from her doctor, the leading expert in the field. “The credentials of the treating doctor were so impressive,” said attorney Scott S. Bethune of DBJ, who handled the case without charging a fee. “He was in fact an expert in this area.”

The court found that “while it is reasonable and necessary for an insurer to have an experimental exclusion so members do not have to pay for procedures which are purely experimental or requested by a scientist stirring a magic potion in some laboratory at the top of a mountain with lightning flashing about, it was clear and beyond dispute that the requested procedure had been standard treatment, and indeed the only treatment available for patients with the discussed medical condition.”

In denying coverage, the HMO actually attempted to rely on two articles written by Moses’ doctor himself. In ruling against the HMO, the court noted that other insurers provide coverage for the exact procedure requested in this case.

Please call DBJ today at 1-800-875-5972 for a free consultation.

DBJ Earns $550k Verdict for Ward Parkway Auto Crash

DBJ successfully represented Lauren Riley following a terrible accident during which she unnecessarily suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a negligent driver.  Grant Davis tried the motor vehicle accident case to plaintiff’s verdict of $550,000 in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.

As reported in Missouri Lawyers Weekly (read more here), Davis underscores the importance of plaintiffs lawyers taking cases to full jury verdicts.  “Too many times, insurance companies offer settlements below the true value of a client’s injuries and lawyers take it,” he said.  DBJ is proud to take cases “all the way” to best represent their clients and maximize the value of cases and hold wrongdoers accountable.

If you or a love one has been injured through the negligence of others, please contact DBJ for a free consultation.