MEDICAL MALPRACTICE/BRAIN INJURY
60 year old man, married with two adult children, underwent heart surgery to replace his mitral valve. Post-surgery, he suffered a devastating anoxic brain injury when he stopped breathing while being placed on a ventilator in the ICU. Medical experts retained to testify at trial were highly critical of both surgical procedures and the post-surgical care. Mediation was conducted at an early point in litigation and the case settled.
DENTAL MALPRACTICE/WRONGFUL DEATH
59 year old man, married with a disabled daughter, underwent invasive dental procedures, including treatment for an abscessed tooth. The dentist failed to take an adequate medical history which would have revealed that the man had a depressed immune system and was at high risk for infection. The dentist also failed to prescribe antibiotics and, days later, the man died from a rapidly spreading cellulitis that was a direct result of his dental care. Suit was filed but the case settled at mediation.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE/PERMANENT SCARRING
Teenage female was experiencing a rash on her legs from shaving and was prescribed a potent topical steroid by her physician. The medication should have only been used with proper physician monitoring and for a short duration. Instead, the physician prescribed it continuously for over two years, resulting in permanent scarring to the teenagers calves and thighs. A confidential settlement was made prior to litigation.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE/HEART TRANSPLANT
A 35 year old woman had a serious heart condition. She married and told her cardiologist that she wanted to have a baby. According to the woman, the cardiologist encouraged her to do so. During the course of the pregnancy, the woman went into congestive heart failure. The infant survived by virtue of an emergency c-section. However, the woman’s condition continued to deteriorate. Her heart was removed and she remained hospitalized on an artificial heart for 16 months until she received a transplant. During the course of litigation, it was discovered that the cardiologist falsified key medical records. Case settled prior to trial.
MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT/WRONGFUL DEATH
35 year old male was traveling westbound on a motorcycle at a very high rate of speed. Defendant was traveling eastbound in a motor vehicle and turned her vehicle in front of the motorcycle in order to make a left turn into a private driveway. Defendant made her turn when she should have known that the motorcycle was in close proximity to her such that her left turn in front of his oncoming motorcycle was dangerous and a hazard to both vehicles. As a result, a collision of the vehicles occurred. The motorcyclist was seriously injured and was air evaced from the collision scene to University Medical Center where he died. He was survived by his mother and three small children. After suit was filed, the case settled for the limits of available insurance.
WRONGFUL DEATH/APARTMENT FIRE
A fire rapidly spread through an apartment resulting in the death of two babies and serious burns and brain injury to their grandmother. All three were heard screaming for help from the apartment kitchen area before succumbing to the fire. During litigation, it was learned that the apartment management had falsified evidence, hiding the fact that the kitchen door lock required a key to exit the apartment, in violation of the fire code. The apartment also had a non-functioning smoke alarm. Demand for settlement was made for $10.5 million. The case settled at private mediation with multiple insurance companies.
FREEWAY WRONGFUL DEATH
A 62 year old man, a father of two adult children, was driving a work truck from Tucson to Phoenix on Interstate 10 when his vehicle was side swiped by a car that was being driven at high speed. The impact caused the man to loose control of his vehicle, cross the highway median and collide with a tanker-truck traveling in the opposite direction. The man was killed instantly. The reckless driver was criminally prosecuted and had only minimum liability insurance. Settlement was made with the insurance companies that provided the deceased father’s under-insurance coverage. Settlement totaled $1,045,000.
SHOPPING MALL MURDER
A 31 year old man was shopping at a mall when he entered a men’s room near the food court. An assailant entered after him and, without provocation, stabbed the man to death. Investigation revealed that the assailant had attacked another person at the same mall a day earlier, but the mall management failed to alert the retail stores of that attack and failed to increase security. Further investigation established that the assailant was a mental patient who was not being properly maintained on his medications. Settlements were separately made with the shopping mall, the mental health facility and the assailant’s homeowner’s insurance company.
SLIP AND FALL
Female, age 38, was entering the Defendant’s restaurant. A light rain had been falling for most of the day. There was one entrance to the Defendant’s restaurant – a curb break with a ramp. On the ramp was painted a large handicap insignia. The paint used was an enamel paint that was a slippery substance. Due to the rain, the insignia was additionally slick. As the woman stepped on the insignia, her right foot buckled under her and she fell hard to the wet ground. It was determined that the entryway had numerous code violations that created a defective ramp walkway. Suit was filed and the case settled at mediation.
Motor Vehicle Collision
A 50 year old man was driving on Interstate 10 to his home near Tucson, having left his job in Phoenix late at night. An 18 wheeler was being driven at high speed on the wrong side of the freeway and struck the man’s vehicle head-on. Miraculously, he was not seriously hurt. Evidence established that the truck driver was disoriented due to having consumed multiple prescription drugs, believing he was in Savannah, Georgia, driving to a Piggly Wiggly store. During litigation, it was discovered that the trucking company failed to follow federal law when hiring the trucker. Case settled for insurance policy limits.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT/INSURANCE BAD FAITH
71 year old female retiree was driving her car when she was struck by another vehicle that turned in front of her. The woman required lower back surgery. Although she had a history of back problems, the insurance company for the responsible driver paid policy limits. ($250,000) The woman’s own insurance company refused to pay any additional amount under her under-insurance coverage, claiming that New Mexico law applied and precluded coverage, even though the woman had moved to Arizona 6 years earlier. Suit was filed against her insurance company for bad faith. The insurance company settled by paying an additional $350,000.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
44 year old male, a computer consultant, was traveling through an intersection when the defendant turned her vehicle in front of his, causing a collision. The defendant claimed she had a green arrow. The computer consultant underwent back surgery and suffered loss of income. With thorough investigative efforts, additional witnesses were found who testified at depositions that the light was green for the computer consultant, not a green arrow for the defendant. Defendant was also forced to produce her medical records that showed she was ordered by her doctor not to drive because of a knee injury. Case settled prior to trial for $550,000.
A 21 year old man was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle when an SUV entered the roadway in front of him, causing a t-bone collision. The man was seriously injured and required multiple surgeries and lengthy hospitalization. Private mediation was held and the case settled for $2,950,000.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT/INSURANCE BAD FAITH
A 45 Year old man was riding his motorcycle at night when he was struck from behind by a car that fled the scene and was abandoned a mile away. The man suffered serious injuries. Police suspected that the car owner was the driver, but the owner claimed his car was stolen and he wasn’t driving at the time of the collision. Suit was filed against the car owner, but his insurance company refused to pay the minimum limits of liability coverage. The car owner assigned his rights under his policy to the injured client and suit was filed for insurance bad faith. The court found that the insurance company was wrong by refusing to pay the limits of coverage. A judgment against the insurance company of $3.3 million was satisfied by the company.
Grandparents were babysitting their grandchildren, ages 2 and 4. A door from the house to the backyard and the gate into the pool area were mistakenly left unsecured and both children fell into a backyard pool and drowned. The homeowner’s insurance company refused to acknowledge that the drownings were two “occurrences.” The insurance issue was litigated and the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in our favor. The insurance company paid double its policy limits, a total of $1 million.
Female client was sexually assaulted at the age of 8, and again at the age of 14. Although sexual assault is typically excluded from insurance coverage, multiple insurance companies agreed to compensate the victim for a total of $1.1 million.
57 year old realtor was doing a morning bicycle ride in his residential area. The roadway appeared clear behind him and he left the bicycle lane to cross-over into the left turn lane at the upcoming intersection. The defendant was driving his car at more than twice the speed limit and rapidly approached the bicyclist, striking him from behind. The realtor suffered serious injury to his back and hip and required several surgeries. During litigation, it was determined that the defendant was talking on his cell phone at the time of the collision. The case settled during private mediation.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT/INSURANCE BAD FAITH
48 year old fireman was on his way home from a work shift. As he slowed to avoid a collision with an on-coming vehicle that was approaching on the wrong side of the roadway, he was rear-ended by another vehicle. The driver of the on-coming vehicle was never identified. The fireman required neck surgery. Settlement was made with the insurance carrier for the vehicle driver who collided with the fireman’s vehicle for the limits of liability coverage ($25,000). The fireman was insured by the same company and a claim was made for the limits of both his uninsured and under-insured coverage. The insurance company offered $12,000 to settle. Suit was filed, claiming the company was in bad faith. Case settled prior to trial for $200,000.