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Jury Verdicts

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 trial 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.
$270,050,323.57 Gas Explosion
Facts

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

Result

Trial resulted in a verdict of $20,050,323.57 in compensatory damages and $250,000,000 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 substantially less than the verdict.

$6,222,000 automobile collision/utility company
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 blackout while driving on the road in the large utility truck.

Result

The trial regarding these claims resulted in a jury award of compensatory damages in excess of $2,222,000 and punitive damages in the amount of $4,000,000 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.

$3,700,000 Faulty Construction/Negligence
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 that had been recently moved from a prior location. As part of the 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 the 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, the plaintiff was disabled and suffered permanent injuries, including brain damage. Plaintiff’s wife also joined in the suit for her loss of consortium.

Result

The trial resulted in a verdict of $3,700,000 against the construction company in compensatory damages to the plaintiff and his wife. The case was subsequently settled after trial for a confidential amount substantially less than the verdict.

$1,800,000 Malpractice Of Methadone Clinic
Facts

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

Result

The trial resulted in a verdict of $1,800,000 against the Methadone Clinic. The case was settled pursuant to a high-low agreement that had been entered into while the jury was deliberating.

$1,500,000 Mining Company Negligence
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 the 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 the plaintiff’s home. As a result of this traumatic experience, the plaintiff suffered extreme psychological disturbance, including post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression to the point it was disabling.

Result

The trial resulted in a verdict of $1,500,000 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.

$1,126,051.41 Automobile Negligence
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 the plaintiff tried to continue working, her injuries severely affected the amount of time and quality of her work. A suit was brought against the driver and his company regarding this failure to properly maintain the 18-wheel truck.

Result

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

$1,084,000 Natural Gas Explosion Of Home
Facts

A 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

A suit was filed against the gas company and the owner of the home, the coal company. Subsequently settled with the gas company for a confidential amount and was tried against the coal company. The verdict resulted against the gas company for $1,084,000. The case was settled for a confidential amount within the policy limits of the coal company, and no appeal was taken.

$1,000,000 Medical Malpractice
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 that 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 that 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

The trial resulted in a verdict of $1,000,000 combined for all seven plaintiffs. This verdict was paid by the doctor’s insurance company.

$8,063,000 medical malpractice
Facts

Medical malpractice action against a hospital and OB/GYN involving a 20-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

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

$5,000,000 railroad negligence / wrongful death
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 that 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 the plaintiff’s death and had taken no action to correct the problem.

Result

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

$1,700,000 Automobile Collision/Wrongful Death
Facts

Plaintiffs were parents of a nine-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. A 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

The trial resulted in a verdict of $1,700,000 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.

$1,400,000 Wrong Prescription Drug
Facts

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

Result

The trial regarding this claim resulted in a jury verdict of $1,400,000. Settled within the policy limits of the pharmacy after the trial. No appeal was taken.

$1,100,000 Motorcycle Wreck/Utility Company Negligence
Facts

The plaintiff, a 14-year-old boy, was thrown from a motorcycle on which he was a passenger. The plaintiff landed on an unprotected guy wire that 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

The trial resulted in a verdict of $1,100,000. 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.

$1,000,000 Automobile Collision/Federal Court
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, the plaintiff was forced to quit work and lose a substantial portion of his future income.

Result

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

$992,000 Medical Malpractice
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.

$200,000 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.

$238,000 Automobile Collision/Underinsured Motorist
Facts

Personal injury and underinsured motorist claim involving a 47-year-old 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 in medical expenses.

Result

The trial resulted in a $238,000 verdict in favor of the plaintiff. On appeal, the case settled favorably for a confidential amount.