HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR VERDICTS AND SETTLEMENTS
NOTABLE SETTLEMENTS, ARBITRATION AWARDS, AND VERDICTS:
Mather v. Griffin Hospital – $9,000,000 jury verdict – Medical Malpractice – Severe Brain Damage
Jacobs & Jacobs obtained a record verdict in the case of a boy who sustained severe brain damage at birth due to the negligence of the hospital and its personnel. During the trial, an offer of $2 million was rejected. The hospital appealed the verdict, and the Connecticut Supreme Court upheld the verdict. With post-judgment interest, the hospital’s insurance company paid out over $10.5 million.
As a result of this verdict, the parents were able to afford around-the-clock care for their son, as well as the intensive therapy that he will need for the rest of his life. The boy can live at home and travel with his family.
A.K. v. Obstetricians – $8,000,000 jury verdict - Medical Malpractice – Severe Brain Damage
A baby girl suffered brain damage as the result of her doctor failing to perform a timely Caesarian section. The parents rejected an offer of $750,000. Jacobs & Jacobs retained one of the top experts in the field of labor and delivery to testify as to the negligence of the doctors.
Ryder v. Amtrak – $5,350,000 jury verdict – Railroad Workplace Injury
The jury returned what was then the largest personal injury verdict in Connecticut history as well as the largest verdict in the country against Amtrak. Kevin Ryder, a 30-year-old railroad lineman, was working on power lines after a train derailment, when he suffered severe electrical injuries, resulting in the loss of both hands. The railroad offered $1.8 million to settle the case, which was rejected. A crucial witness in the case was an expert on artificial limbs from Arizona, who testified about the lifetime costs of artificial hands, taking into account future advances in technology.
R.A. v. Wendy’s International – $1,518,000 jury verdict – Premises Liability
A woman was standing in line at a Wendy’s restaurant when a sign fell and struck her on her head. Shortly after the incident she began having seizures. She hired Jacobs & Jacobs. Our investigation uncovered the fact that the sign in question had fallen several times before the incident when it struck our client. Each time, Wendy’s employees failed to properly secure the sign.
Garrison v. Nationwide Insurance Co. – $700,000 jury verdict – Underinsured Motorist Passenger in Auto Accident
The plaintiff, a 38-year-old truck driver and diesel mechanic, was a passenger in a car that went out of control, striking a stone wall. He suffered serious injuries, including a badly crushed foot, requiring surgical reconstruction. The driver of the car carried only $25,000 in liability insurance. As a result, the plaintiff made a claim under his own insurance policy, which provided coverage for injuries causes by someone who was underinsured. Nationwide offered $225,000 to settle the case. Jacobs & Jacobs called upon a vocational expert to demonstrate the effect this injury had on the plaintiff’s ability to earn a living.
Monnes v. Zimmer Corp. – $350,000 jury verdict – Product Liability – Artificial Hip
This product liability case involved a defective artificial hip. The device fractured after it had been implanted in the patient, resulting in a shattering of the femur.
Ruby v. Firelight – $348,000 jury verdict – Premises Liability
The plaintiff, a self-employed beautician, was exiting a restaurant in a strip mall and returning to her car. When she stepped off the curb leading to the parking lot, she was caused to lose her balance and fall, due to the fact that the curb was unreasonably high. She suffered a fractured ankle. Jacobs & Jacobs retained an expert safety engineer to explain the hazards of a 10-inch drop.
Estate of P.D. v. Nursing Home – $325,000 jury verdict – Nursing Home Negligence
The family of an 87-year-old man came to Jacobs & Jacobs after he was left alone in the bathroom of a nursing home by a nurse and fell, fracturing his skull. He died several days later. The nursing home vigorously defended the case, denying negligence and also taking the position that the quality of life of this elderly man before he fell was so poor, that the loss was not that great. They offered $30,000 to settle the case. Our team presented a compelling argument about the value of human life. The jury agreed.
Cardenas vs. Mixcus – $190,500 jury verdict (inclusive of offer of judgment and appeal interest) – Premises Liability
Client sustained a ruptured left Achilles tendon when stairs onto which he had stepped gave way. As a result of the injury, client was left with a 10% permanent partial impairment to the left ankle.
Perry v. Hospital of St. Raphael – $170,000 jury verdict – Medical Malpractice – Nurse Negligence
The plaintiff was an elderly woman who had just undergone cataract surgery on her left eye and was recuperating in the hospital. That night, she was helped to the bathroom by a nurse, who left her unattended. After waiting for the nurse to return, the plaintiff tried to get up and return to her bed. She became dizzy and fell, damaging the eye that had just been operated on, causing permanent vision problems. The hospital denied negligence and claimed that the damage to her eye was caused during surgery. They offered $25,000 to settle.
Note that many settlements, including almost all malpractice settlements, require confidentiality, so that the names of the parties cannot be used. The amount of any settlement depends on the unique facts of each case. Neither Jacobs & Jacobs nor any other lawyers can guarantee a particular result in your case.
Cole S. v. Obstetrician - $1,750,000 settlement - Medical Malpractice – Birth Forceps Injury
After a lengthy and difficult labor, the defendant, a young obstetrician, attempted a difficult forceps delivery. After failing to engage the baby’s head in his first attempt, he switched to a different type of forceps and was able to deliver the baby, using a good deal of force. The trauma from the delivery resulted in the baby losing the vision in one of his eyes and internal injuries to the mother. At the deposition of the defendant, Jacobs & Jacobs uncovered the fact that this was the first time that this doctor had used the type of forceps with which he delivered the baby, other than during his training on a model. As a result, our expert was able to say that the doctor should have either obtained the assistance of an older physician who was more experienced with the use of forceps (because younger obstetricians are generally better trained in the use of vacuum extraction, a newer form of assisted delivery) or performed a C-Section.
Estate of Joyce B. v. Lauren T. – $1,475,000 settlement – Motor Vehicle Accident – Wrongful Death
Our client, who had just pulled out of a driveway with limited visibility, was struck in the rear by a 16-year-old girl who was on her way to school. Our client suffered a bleed in her brain, resulting in her death approximately a week later. The defense claimed that the plaintiff had just pulled into the road and should have seen the defendant. However, an accident reconstruction determined that the defendant’s vehicle was travelling at a minimum speed of 42 MPH when she struck and snapped a utility pole AFTER the impact with our client’s car, showing that she was likely going at more than twice the 25 MPH speed limit before the first impact.
Santos vs. Watsky – $1,400,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose
Medical malpractice claim for failure to timely diagnose amyloidosis. As a result of the failure to timely diagnosis, client’s heart was destroyed, requiring cardiac transplantation.
Mark S. v. Dr. S. and Hospital - $1,000,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice – Delayed Diagnosis
Our client underwent a nine-hour open heart surgery, successfully performed by the defendant surgeon. In the early morning hours after the surgery, Mark began to develop symptoms of pain, numbness, and swelling in his right hand. The surgeon and the nurses and physician’s assistants at the hospital felt that the symptoms were routine post-surgical symptoms. One of the PAs ordered a consult with a hand specialist at 7:45 AM in order to rule out anything more serious. However, the surgeon cancelled that order because he felt it was unnecessary. During the course of the day, our client’s swelling became worse, to the point where he could not move his hand. Unfortunately, this information was not conveyed to the surgeon. Finally when the surgeon examined Mark in the evening, after he had completed surgery on another patient, he ordered an immediate hand consult. Mark was diagnosed with “compartment syndrome” of the right hand: a rare complication of being on the heart bypass machine during surgery. Despite emergency hand surgery, Mark was left with a permanent partial loss of function of the right hand. The defense contended that the delay in diagnosing the condition had no effect on his ultimate outcome.
Walter R. vs. E Development Company et al – $1,000,000 settlement – Construction Accident
The client was a 38-year-old man installing heating and air conditioning equipment on a raised platform that had been constructed to hold the equipment. The platform collapsed, causing the equipment and the client to fall ten feet to a concrete floor below. The client landed on his back, and a furnace landed on his chest. The client suffered numerous injuries, including fractured cervical vertebrae, a fractured rib, and a tear in the meniscus of his right knee. Suit was brought against the owner of the property and the builder of the platform. The plaintiff’s expert, a structural engineer, determined that the platform was improperly built and could not support the equipment. In addition, it was discovered that the design and construction plan for the platform had not been submitted to the town’s building department.
Client sustained serious injuries to multiple body parts, resulting in substantial permanent partial impairment, as a result of being run over by an underinsured motorist. The case went to arbitration only after the Connecticut Supreme Court had reversed a decision of the Connecticut Appellate Court affirming the trial court’s judgment as a matter of law in favor of defendant National Indemnity.
Preble v. Norma T. – $595,000 settlement – Motorcycle/Auto Accident
A woman turned left in front of our client who was driving a motorcycle. Defense claimed excessive speed. Injuries to right ankle, left wrist and left knee.
Viviane M. v. B. Johnson – $550,000 settlement – Auto/Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian was struck by a car at a busy intersection at night. The driver of car claimed that she was proceeding through the intersection with a green light when she felt a bump. That ‘bump’ was her car striking our client, who was crossing the street. She suffered serious leg fractures requiring surgery, and a serious head injury, including a skull fracture. Due to the head injuries, she had no recollection of whether she had a walk signal. We located witnesses who, while they did not see the light, were able to testify that our client was clearly visible as she began to cross the street and that the impact occurred in the right-hand lane, despite the driver’s claim that it occurred in the left lane, due to the fact that she intended to turn left at the next intersection.
Dennis R. v. Dr. L. – $480,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice
Our client went to the defendant ophthalmologist who administered a steroid injection in Dennis’s left eye. The procedure resulted in a torn retina which later detached, causing permanent visual damage. The defense contended that the retinal damage is a known risk of the procedure, which our client had undergone on prior occasions. However, our expert felt that the defendant doctor was too quick to choose to do the injection and should have given the less risky treatment (drops) more time to see if the problem resolved.
Linda H. v. Town - $450,000 total settlement – Auto Accident – Passenger Injury
This case involved a high-speed police chase in which our client, a passenger in a van, was injured when a drunk driver being pursued by a police officer crashed into the van at an intersection, resulting in serious injuries to our client. The drunk driver was not insured. After collecting $100,000 from our client’s uninsured motorist insurance, we brought suit against the police officer and the town for negligence in engaging in the high-speed pursuit. The defense claimed governmental immunity for the discretionary decision to engage in the chase. The case settled shortly before trial for an additional $350,000 against the town.
Estate of James Purtell v. Richard Layton Co. – $425,000 arbitration award – Truck/Pedestrian Accident
Our client, a 63-year-old mentally ill homeless man, who was estranged from his family and lived alone in a tent on the Housatonic River in New Milford, Connecticut, was walking along a road with no sidewalk when an oil truck pulled out of a driveway and ran him over, killing him instantly. The defense claimed that our client should have noticed that the truck was stopped to pull out of the driveway and that he walked directly into its path. The driver claimed that he could not see our client over the hood of his cab. Finally, the defense claimed that our client’s life had little financial value because he was not employed and had no material possessions. They offered $75,000 to settle, before their insurance company filed for bankruptcy. As a result, the Connecticut Guarantee Fund took over. Their liability was limited to $300,000. Prior to the arbitration, the Fund offered $175,000. Our client’s family demanded $225,000. We presented the case, arguing that our client had the right-of-way and that, because the driver saw him before he started to accelerate, he had to account for our client before he pulled out. We also argued that simply because our client had an unorthodox lifestyle, did not mean that he did not enjoy life as much as any one of us. We presented testimonials from people in New Milford who knew James and spoke about what a wonderful person he was. The case was resolved after the award for the $300,000 maximum liability of the Guarantee Fund.
Intrieri vs. A&A Exercise Repair, et al – $390,000 settlement – Premises Liability
Claim of negligent repair to treadmill which malfunctioned while being used by client, causing client to suffer serious neck injuries resulting in a 20% permanent partial impairment to her cervical spine.
Clinton M. v. State of Connecticut – $350,000 settlement plus waiver of $200,000 state incarceration lien – Medical Malpractice – Failure to Diagnose
Our client was a prisoner at Osborn Correctional Center. He went to the prison infirmary complaining of severe pain in both shins and inability to bear weight on his right foot after playing basketball. Despite progressive symptoms, including swelling and tightening of the skin in his right foot, the inability to move his foot, increasing pain and fever, which were classic signs of a surgical emergency known as compartment syndrome, the doctors at the infirmary failed to get him to a hospital that had the ability to make the diagnosis. By the time our client arrived at the hospital, his condition had deteriorated to the point where he lost significant leg muscle.
Jan L. v. Dr. S. – $350,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice – Chiropracter
Our client, a woman in her 40s, was being treated by a chiropractor for neck pain. During an adjustment of her neck she felt a sharp pain. Despite complaints of nausea, dizziness, and severe headache over the next week, the defendant failed to refer her for medical care. Finally, her family doctor insisted that she go to the hospital, where it was determined that she had a dissected vertebral artery, which resulted in a stroke. Our client worked extremely hard at her rehabilitation and made an amazing recovery. The defense argued that the injury was not caused by chiropractic manipulation and even if it were, such injury is an extremely rare consequence of neck manipulation (the consent form signed by our client mentioned stroke as a potential complication). Our expert testified that, given the fact that our client’s neck pain was improving as a result of less risky treatment (massage, ultrasound, and heat), there was no reason to subject her to the risk of spinal manipulation.
Jessica V. v. T Construction Co. – $337,500 settlement plus medical bills – Pedestrian Premises Injury
Our client was walking in the area of a construction site. Because of the construction, there was no sidewalk. The company had put up a temporary wooden walkway for pedestrians to use. As a result of several cycles of rain and drying, the wood had become rotted. As a result, there were large splinters on the walkway. Our client, who was wearing open-toed sandals, stepped near one of the splinters which went deep into her foot. Despite cleaning the wound immediately, she later suffered a bone infection in her foot, requiring surgery. In addition to the settlement, the defendant’s insurance company paid all of our client’s medical bills. She did not have medical insurance.
Consiglio vs. Levitan – $329,000 arbitration award – Motor Vehicle Accident
Client sustained a cervical sprain with neuralgia, radiculopathy, neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, post traumatic headache syndrome, tempormandibular joint disorder, right shoulder sprain, impingement, right knee sprain, and a disc herniation at L4-5, resulting in a 15 percent permanent partial impairment of the lumbar spine as a result of a motor vehicle collision.
Lewis vs. Edelin – $250,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice – Incorrect prescription
Medical malpractice claim for cardiac arrest and cognitive impairment resulting from wrongful prescription of Aricept.
Chiapetta vs. Ruth - $250,000 settlement – Personal Injury
Client suffered, among other injuries, post-concussion syndrome and vertigo resulting in a 15% permanent partial impairment of the brain.
Adams v. Sansone – $240,000 settlement – Auto/Pedestrian Accident
Our client, an elderly man, was crossing the street in a crosswalk. However, the crossing signal in his direction read “Don’t Walk.” The defendant made a left-hand turn and struck Mr. Adams, causing him injuries including a fracture of the cervical spine. The defendant fled the scene, but was apprehended after a witness gave the police his license number. The defense paid almost all of the $250,000 insurance policy limits.
Clyma vs. Waterbury Hospital, Et Al – $240,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice – Delayed Diagnosis
Medical malpractice for delayed diagnosis of mesenteric ischemia, causing massive infection, extended hospitalization, and disfiguring scars.
Allen vs. Hutchison - $240,000 settlement – Truck Accident
Motor vehicle collision, client’s service vehicle from behind by a tractor-trailer. Client sustained multiple herniations and bulges in the cervical and lumbar spines resulting in 25% permanent partial impairment to the cervical spine and 10% permanent partial impairment to the lumbar spine.
Seccia v. Trowbridge - $225,000 settlement – Motorcycle/Auto Accident
Our client was operating a motorcycle, when an elderly woman turned left in front of him, resulting in serious lacerations and an ankle injury. Case was resolved for 90 percent of the insurance coverage.
Leandres vs. Mark IV Construction, Inc. – $210,000 settlement – Workers’ Compensation Claim
Workers’ compensation claim for construction worker who underwent bilateral knee replacement as a result of repetitive trauma.
David E. v. Richard K. – $200,000 settlement – Auto Accident
The defendant made a left-hand turn in front of our client. There was minor property damage at the scene and no injuries reported at the time. Our client developed neck and arm pain and headaches requiring ongoing pain management. The defense claimed that because none of the diagnostic tests showed any injury, that the injury was a simple neck sprain. However, Jacobs & Jacobs elicited testimony at the deposition of the treating orthopedic surgeon that the tests for nerve injury have a 25 percent false negative rate. As a result, he rendered the opinion that our client suffered nerve damage based upon the nature of his symptoms and complaints.
Randi v. Goldstein - $191,400 net arbitration award – Auto Accident
Our client was struck from behind by another driver, sustaining what appeared to be typical whiplash (neck sprain) injuries. However, despite treatment, his pain did not subside. Our client did not lose any time from work, but testified that in order to continue working as the head of a culinary arts department at a local community college, he needed to have physical therapy on average once a week. We presented live testimony from a neurologist and a naturopath and convinced the arbitrator that if he was not compensated for this necessary ongoing treatment, the loss of income would far exceed that expense. The arbitrator agreed, and awarded the future medical costs through our client’s expected working years. Prior to the arbitration, we had demanded $125,000 and the insurance company had offered $90,000.
Muto-Thompson vs. Yale-New Haven Hospital – $185,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice – Unnecessary Surgery
Client underwent unnecessary surgery, resulting in scarring and disfigurement. The decision to operate was based on a report of a biopsy taken from another patient.
Dario M. v. Hospital – $172,000 settlement – Medical Malpractice
Our client, a 65-year-old cabinet maker, suffered severe lacerations of his hand while working on a table saw. He went to the emergency room where a resident cleaned, stitched, and wrapped his hand. He instructed our client not to remove the bandages until he followed up with an orthopedic surgeon one week later. When the bandages were removed, it was determined that the resident had failed to remove the tourniquet from our client’s middle finger, preventing the circulation of blood to it. As a result, the finger had to be amputated. Our client did not lose any income, but as not able to work at the same speed as he previously had. The hospital admitted liability and the case was settled at a mediation in court.
Fetto vs. Robyn – $153,814 arbitration award – Motor Vehicle Accident
Motor vehicle collision, contested liability. Client sustained injuries to her lumbar and cervical spines and both knees resulting in a 12% permanent partial disability of my lumbar spine; a 22% permanent partial disability of my cervical spine; and a 2% permanent partial disability of each knee.
Josephine D. v. Hospital - $150,000 settlement – Premises Liability
Our client, an 83-year-old woman who was working as a volunteer at the reception desk of the defendant hospital, was caused to fall when her foot was caught in computer and phone wires that were on the floor below the desk. She sustained a fractured pelvis. The hospital contended that it had no knowledge of the loose wires.
Wilber v. Chelst – $135,000 settlement with only $100,000 of insurance coverage - Auto Accident – Passenger Injury
Our client, a 65-year old man, was a passenger in a car that was struck from behind on the highway. At the time of the impact, he was reaching for an item in the back seat. Upon impact, his left elbow was dislocated, resulting in permanent impairment of the arm. Jacobs & Jacobs filed a demand for the $100,000 policy, giving the insurance company 30 days to pay it. The company failed to respond. Six months later the insurance company settled the case for more than the insurance policy paid more than the limit of its policy, to avoid a higher verdict and the prospect of a bad faith claim by their driver.