Verdicts and Settlements

Many of the following cases were settled after trial for amounts less than the actual verdict listed below, in some cases, substantially less. The reasons for settlement after a trail verdict are many, including the length of time a case might be on appeal, the likelihood of losing on appeal, limitations in insurance coverage and sometimes a client’s desire to simply put their traumatic and painful experience behind them.

GAS EXPLOSION - $270,050,323.57

FACTS: Plaintiff was in his pump house when a gas explosion erupted from his water well, causing Plaintiff to suffer burns to his face and arm area. Suit was filed against the gas company for drilling wells in a manner which allowed natural gas to escape into the water table, thereby causing the explosion. During trial, it was revealed that not only was the gas well next to Plaintiff's house drilled this way, but gas wells all over Eastern Kentucky.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $20,050,323.57 in compensatory damages and $250,000,000.00 in punitive damages. It is believed to be the largest single Plaintiff verdict in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The case was subsequently settled prior to appeal for a confidential amount substanitally less than the verdict.

Medical Malpractice - $8,063,000.00

FACTS: Medical malpractice action against hospital and OB/GYN involving a twenty year old obstetric patient who developed pseudomembranous colitis caused by antibiotics prescribed by her OB/GYN doctor. The OB/GYN physician failed to diagnose her condition, failed to prescribe proper treatment, and failed to seek a timely consultation with a gastroenterologist. The untreated pseudomembranous colitis advanced to a condition known as toxic megacolon, resulting in permanent removal of plaintiff’s large intestine and a part of the small intestine.

RESULT: Trial regarding these claims resulted in a jury verdict of $8,063,000.00 with 75% of the fault being placed on the OB/GYN. Case was eventually settled post-trial for the amount of the doctor’s insurance coverage, which was $1,000,000.00.

Automobile Collision/Utility Company - $6,222,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiff was severely injured when a utility truck came crashing through a parking lot and struck her parked car. Defendant stated that immediately prior to the collision, he had a severe asthma attack and he was unconscious at the time of the wreck. Evidence was presented at trial that Defendant knew or should have known that he had the potential to black out while driving on the road in the large utility truck.

RESULT: Trial regarding these claims resulted in a jury award of compensatory damages in excess of $2,222,000.00 and punitive damages in the amount of $4,000,000.00 against the driver and his employer, the utility company. Subsequent to trial, this case settled for a confidential amount within the verdict for compensatory damages.

Railroad Negligence/Wrongful Death - $5,000,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiff was killed when he attempted to cross a railroad crossing in his motor vehicle and was struck by a train. Evidence was presented that Plaintiff was unable to see the train coming due to the railroad’s practice of parking cars near the crossing which obstructed motorist’s view of oncoming trains. It was proven at trial that the railroad had been warned of the unsafe condition numerous times prior to Plaintiff’s death and had taken no action to correct the problem.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $5,000,000.00 in punitive damages against the railroad. The case was subsequently settled after trial for a confidential amount substantially less than the verdict.

Faulty Construction/Negligence - $3,700,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiff was working at his job as a mining supervisor when he was severely injured due to the faulty construction of a water tower which had been recently moved from a prior location. As part of Plaintiff’s job, he was required to climb up a 65 foot water tower to make sure that it was being filled with water properly. However, due to the faulty construction of the tower, it collapsed while he was at the top, causing Plaintiff to fall to the ground and have debris come crashing down over him. It was determined that the construction company who had moved the water tower from its former location to the site of the incident had failed to consult structural engineers, failed to erect the tower properly, and raised the water tower six feet without adding sufficient support to account for the added height. As a result of this negligence, Plaintiff was disabled and suffered permanent injuries, including brain damage. Plaintiff’s wife also joined in the suit for her loss of consortium.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $3,700,000.00 against the Construction Company in compensatory damages to Plaintiff and his wife. The case was subsequently settled after trial for a confidential amount substantially less than the verdict.

Automobile Collision/Wrongful Death - $1,700,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiffs were parents of a 9 year old boy who was killed when he was struck by a pickup truck just after he had gotten off a school bus. The pickup truck driver was convicted of reckless homicide as a result of the wreck. Suit was filed against the pickup truck driver and the bus driver who allowed the boy to get off the bus and cross the road without first making sure it was safe.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $1,700,000.00 against both the pickup truck driver and the bus driver. The case was subsequently settled after judgment for the amount of the available insurance coverage, which was $1,125,000.00.

Mining Company Negligence - $1,500,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiff, an 11 year old boy, was playing in his yard when a 12 ton rock came flying down the mountain behind his family's home. The rock crashed into Plaintiff’s home, his family’s pickup truck and barreled toward Plaintiff, bouncing over him and showering him with glass and debris. It was proven that this rock was dislodged by blasting performed by a mining company near Plaintiff’s home. As a result of this traumatic experience, Plaintiff suffered extreme psychological disturbance, including post traumatic stress disorder and major depression to the point it was disabling.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $1,500,000.00 in compensatory damages against the mining company. The case was settled subsequent to trial for the amount of liability insurance of the mining company, which was $1,000,000.00

Automobile Collision/Federal Court - $1,000,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiff was injured when he turned a curve and a tractor trailer truck driven by the Defendant crossed the center line, striking the Plaintiff’s car and pinning the car with Plaintiff inside between the trailer and a cliff. The truck driver admitted that he was in Plaintiff’s lane but refused to acknowledge the severity of Plaintiff’s injuries. As a result of this wreck and his injuries, Plaintiff was forced to quit work and lose a substantial portion of his future income.

RESULT: Trial in the United States Federal Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, resulted in a verdict in excess of $1,000,000.00 by the truck driver and trucking company he was working for. This verdict was paid by the trucking company’s insurance company.

Medical Malpractice - $1,000,000.00

FACTS: Counsel represented seven Plaintiffs who had been operated on by an orthopedic surgeon at a local hospital during a period of time. Each of these patients suffered staph infections post surgery which required follow up treatment and varying degrees of complications. One patient lost his leg due to the infection and the surgeon’s delay in treating the infection. It was discovered that this particular surgeon had an alarming rate of infection during this period and had a bacterial lesion on his arm which should have forced him to stop doing surgery while it healed. Evidence revealed that the infections suffered by the Plaintiffs came from the surgeon and further, that the surgeon delayed treatment of the infection in some patients. Prior to trial, the surgeon resigned privileges at the hospital and moved to another town. Plaintiffs settled with the hospital prior to trial. However, despite the evidence, the surgeon refused to settle with the Plaintiffs, making trial necessary.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $1,000,000.00 combined for all seven Plaintiffs. This verdict was paid by the doctor’s insurance company.

Motorcycle Wreck/Utility Company Negligence - $1,100,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiff, a 14 year old boy, was thrown from a motorcycle on which he was a passenger. Plaintiff landed on an unprotected guy wire which had been placed by the utility company and suffered severe injuries as a result of landing on the guy wire. Counsel sued the utility company for failure to adequately mark and maintain their wires adjacent to the highway.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $1,100,000.00. The case was subsequently appealed and the Court of Appeals directed that a new trial be held. The utility company chose to settle rather than retry the case. The amount of settlement is confidential.

Natural Gas Explosion of Home - $1,084,000.00

FACTS: Family was renting a home from the father’s employer, a coal company. During the night, the home exploded from a natural gas explosion causing injuries to family members. The natural gas came from a natural gas leak in the yard of the home that had been covered with lateral fill from a sewage system. The sewage caused the line to corrode and subsequently leak.

RESULT: Suit was filed against the gas company and the owner of the home, the coal company. Subsequently settled with gas company for a confidential amount and was tried against the coal company. Verdict resulted against the gas company for $1,084,000.00. Case was settled for a confidential amount within the policy limits of the coal company, and no appeal was taken.

Medical Malpractice - $992,000.00

FACTS: A botched medical malpractice tonsillectomy resulted in bleeding for a few days and caused the death of the plaintiff. Plaintiff was disabled prior to the tonsillectomy, and the pain and suffering for the few days resulted in compensatory damages of $792,000.00.

$200,000.00 was for the wife’s consortium claim for watching her husband’s suffering for the few days leading up to his death.

RESULT: Resulted in a verdict of $992,000.00.

Wrong Prescription Drug - $1,400,000.00

FACTS: Plaintiff was given the wrong seizure medication by a pharmacy. Resulted in serious injury to the plaintiff.

RESULT: Trial regarding this claim resulted in a jury verdict of $1,400,000.00. Settled within the policy limits of the pharmacy after the trial. No appeal was taken.

Malpractice of Methadone Clinic - $1,800,000.00

FACTS: Methadone clinic failed to properly monitor the amount of methadone in the plaintiff’s system. Plaintiff died in his sleep because of methadone overdose.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a verdict of $1,800,000.00 against the Methadone Clinic. Case was settled pursuant to High-Low Agreement that had been entered into while the jury was deliberating.

Automobile Negligence - $1,126,051.41

FACTS: Plaintiff was driving down the road when she encountered an 18-wheel truck used for hauling heavy equipment in the oncoming lane. As she approached the truck, an extremely heavy wheel and axle assembly from the truck came loose and bounced into the Plaintiff’s lane, striking her vehicle and totaling it. Plaintiff suffered severe soft tissue injuries as a result of this crash. Although Plaintiff tried to continue working, her injuries severely affected the amount of time and quality of her work. Suit was brought against the driver and his company regarding this failure to properly maintain the 18-wheel truck.

RESULT: Trial resulted in a jury award of compensatory damages in the excess of $1,000,000.00 against the company. The case was subsequently settled after trial for a confidential amount for less than the verdict.

Automobile collision/Underinsured Motorist

FACTS: Personal injury and underinsured motorist claim involving a forty-seven year olds single mother who suffered a herniated disc in her neck after being rear-ended at a low impact with no visible damage to her vehicle. Defense medical examiner testified that Plaintiff was exaggerating her injuries. Plaintiff had approximately $11,000.00 in medical expenses.

RESULT: Trial resulted in $238,000.00 verdict in favor of Plaintiff. On appeal, case settled favorably for a confidential amount.

PLAINTIFF'S COUNSEL: Ryan Turner and Dustin Williams.

The above cases show actual jury verdicts received by Gary C. Johnson’s clients, with Gary C. Johnson serving as the trial lawyer for his clients. For many years, about 98% of Gary C. Johnson’s cases have settled prior to trial. Over the years, Gary C. Johnson has obtained millions of dollars worth of settlements for his clients. The specifics of these settlements cannot be divulged because of confidentially agreements that were required by the defendants.