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Verdicts & Settlements

Review Our Past Results

Medical Malpractice

  • A 2008 jury verdict in excess of $9.8 million in Satterwhite v. Dr. Sekela which is more than 5 times the amount of any prior medical malpractice verdict in the history of Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky and one of the top 10 largest medical malpractice verdicts in the state. The $3,050,000 judgment (i.e., amount judge ordered to be paid) entered against Dr. Sekela and his group is nearly twice the size of the previously reported largest Lexington medical malpractice verdict (i.e., amount jury awards in damages) where on two prior occasions juries had valued a medical malpractice victim's damages at $1.7 million. The jury assessed 31% of the fault against the heart surgeon, Dr. Sekela, resulting in the $3,050,000 judgment to be collected (i.e., $9.8 million x 31%). The remaining 69% of the fault was apportioned to the anesthesiologist and perfusionist who elected to settle for confidential amounts prior to trial. Immediately after closing arguments Dr. Sekela approached Ms. Satterwhite and apologized.

    Below is a narrative of the jury trial, the verdict, the judgment, and a sampling of the trial exhibits that were crafted to simplify the evidence for the jury. Below that are links to various internet reports of this result.

  • A 2005 jury verdict in excess of $3 million in Vaughn v. Dr. Tuckson, et. al. where Mr. Vaughn was incorrectly diagnosed with a cancer-causing condition, and his colon was unnecessarily removed. Bo assembled a phalanx of internationally renowned expert doctors. These experts included the leading geneticist in the field of inherited colon cancer, Dr. Henry Lynch. The case was tried in Jefferson County against the Louisville colon rectal surgeon to the tune of a jury verdict in excess of $3 million. The client was awarded more than $600,000. The jury apportioned 80% of the total fault against the gastroenterologist from Elizabethtown, who was sued in Hardin County and settled (confidential).

  • A 1997 jury verdict in excess of $1.7 million in Brown v. Dr. Ross, et al. where during one of three surgeries, a large sponge was left inside Mrs. Brown's abdomen. She required yet another invasive surgery to remove the sponge and faces potentially life-threatening intestinal problems for the rest of her life. The jury apportioned 88% of the fault against the hospital, which settled (confidential) with Mrs. Brown before trial.

  • A jury verdict of $700,000 in Hill v. James C. Woodiel, M.D., a case where a 23 year old man died after his family practice doctor failed to recognize he was experiencing a medical emergency called sepsis (i.e. a whole body infection). Instead, the doctor diagnosed the Plaintiff with back pain and told him to return in two days. Unfortunately, the Plaintiff ultimately died about 24 hours later of the sepsis that the doctor failed to recognize.

    At trial, three expert physicians - two family practice doctors and an infectious disease doctor - testified on behalf of the Plaintiff. These three experts agreed that Dr. Woodiel failed to recognize the severity of the Plaintiff’s condition, and that the Plaintiff would have lived had Dr. Woodiel sent him to the hospital. In response, Dr. Woodiel retained two expert witnesses to testify that he acted appropriately in recommending followup in the office, and that any errors in care were made in Kentucky. However, upon cross examination at trial, one of Dr. Woodiel’s experts actually agreed with the Plaintiff’s theory of the case that Dr. Woodiel breached the standard of care in caring for the Plaintiff during the office visit.

    Bo Bolus and Nick Naiser tried this case for 6 days in front of a Clark County, Indiana jury. After six hours of deliberation, the jury unanimously found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded her $690,000 in damages for her loss of consortium and $10,000 in damages for funeral expenses.

  • A jury verdict in excess of $509,000 in King v. Anesthesiology of Paducah P.S.C., where a 22-year-old maternity patient suffered a permanent nerve injury after a nurse anesthetist mistakenly placed a spinal needle too high up the spinal column causing contact with her spinal cord. The goal of the spinal block procedure is to inject anesthesia into the spinal canal, but to inject it low enough to avoid the spinal cord. The maternity patient was undergoing the spinal block procedure at the hospital immediately prior to the scheduled c-section delivery of her first child.

    The case was defended with five expert witnesses who testified that the accidental placement of the spinal block at the L1-L2 vertebrae, which is two interspaces too high, met the standard of care because the patient had a congenital tethered cord which caused her spinal column to extend beyond that of a normal spinal column. However, on cross-examination it was learned that over 20% of the population has a spinal cord that extends beyond that of a normal patient and, regardless of the cord's length, the spinal block was inserted not one interspace too high, but two interspaces too high. As a result, the patient suffered a permanent nerve injury. Fortunately, the baby was born healthy and, following extensive rehabilitation, the mother can walk on her own with an affected gait.

    Mike Augustus tried this case for 4 days in front of a Paducah jury of 12 that unanimously found in favor of the Plaintiff and awarded her $500,000 in damages for her physical and mental pain and suffering as well as the full requested amount of medical bills of $9,152.00. That jury verdict is the third highest recorded medical negligence verdict in the history of Paducah, Kentucky.

  • A $328,199 jury verdict in Burris v. Daniel Young, Robert Young, and Robert Young and Daniel Young DMD, where a patient's general dentists missed her gum disease for 4 years. As a result of the missed diagnosis, Ms. Burris had fourteen teeth pulled and replaced with painful and unsightly dental implants. The defendants mounted a vigorous defense at trial, arguing that Ms. Burris' lifestyle choices led to the loss of her teeth, that she did not have gum disease, and that even if they did miss the gum disease it did not cause Jennifer to lose her teeth. After lengthy deliberations, the jury ultimately found in favor of Ms. Burris, awarding her what is the largest recorded dental malpractice jury verdict in Kentucky.

Automobile

  • A $1,020,000 settlement for two Indiana clients who were severely injured in an automobile accident where they were passengers in a vehicle driven by a friend. One client suffered a broken hand and the other suffered a brain injury and broken leg.
  • A $1,000,000 settlement for a client who suffered a brain injury and pelvis fracture when the motor vehicle in which she was a passenger was t-boned at an intersection by a vehicle whose driver was disregarding pertinent traffic laws.
  • A $750,000 settlement for a police officer who suffered a mild traumatic injury when he was rear-ended on the expressway while on duty. The occurrence of a brain injury was hotly disputed by the defendant. Since the injury occurred while the officer was at work, a workers compensation claim was also litigated on behalf of the client and a permanent total disability award was achieved.
  • A $737,500 settlement for a client who suffered debilitating rib, neck and shoulder injuries in a head on collision on a rural highway in Indiana. Causation was disputed relative to the shoulder injury. The client was required to remain off work due to a shoulder surgery 10 months after the accident for a condition that existed prior to the accident. The client had been released back to work after his neck fusion surgery which occurred 5 months after the accident. He was released back to work from his neck surgery and then required shoulder surgery.
  • A $650,000 settlement for a client who suffered a fracture subluxation injury to her neck in an accident where liability was disputed by the defendant company who employed the driver of the company van that caused the accident.
  • A $400,000 settlement for two clients in an intersection collision. A driver of an F250 with trailer ran a red light and crashed into a vehicle containing an elderly couple. The driver husband suffered the more serious injuries including fractured ribs and a collapsed lung followed by complications including a bleeding ulcer and a deep vein thrombosis in his left leg. The passenger wife suffered soft tissue injuries. There were no wage claims.
  • A $260,000 settlement for a pedestrian who was struck by a passing car on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville. The evidence was the client may have been trying to beat the car in crossing the street. He had just parked his car and was crossing the street to have dinner with a friend. The client suffered orthopedic injuries to his leg, back pelvis, shoulder and ribs.
  • A $240,000 settlement for a client. The client required hip and elbow surgeries due to an accident where liability was disputed by the defendant company who employed the driver of the tractor-trailer rig that caused the accident. In addition, the defendant company paid $50,000 to the worker's compensation lien holder which had paid medical bills for, and wages to, the client. According to the Kentucky Trial Court Review the only reported verdict in Jessamine County that was higher for pain and suffering in an auto accident jury trial was $265,000 for a young lady with disfiguring facial scars from an auto accident. In that case the jury awarded $200,000 for past pain and suffering and $65,000 for future pain and suffering. In this case the hip surgeon and elbow surgeon both testified the client was fully recovered from her injuries.
  • A $173,000 jury verdict in Hardin v. USF Holland where Mr. Hardin was sitting at a stoplight when he was rear ended by a USF Holland tractor-trailer. He suffered back and shoulder injuries. The case was tried to a $173,000 jury verdict.

Employment Cases

  • A $2,000,000 jury verdict in Wilson v. Phillip Morris where Mrs. Wilson, a supervisor, suffered a mental breakdown and was unable to return to her job after being exposed to sexual harassment and retaliation by her subordinates. The case was tried to a $2,000,000 jury verdict. After a successful appeal, Phillip Morris paid Ms. Wilson well in excess of $3,000,000 due to the 12% appellate interest rate.
    • Wilson Trial Narrative
  • A $427,000 jury verdict in Harper v. University of Louisville, where an employee of the University's Marketing Department was terminated five days after complaining about overspending in the department. In this "whistleblower" case, the jury found 11-1 that Ms. Harper was retaliated against for voicing her concerns over taxpayer spending. After the verdict, the Court ordered that U of L pay court costs and awarded Ms. Harper an additional $131,000 in attorney fees, for a total judgment of $560,000.
  • A $15,000.00 jury verdict in Spayd v. PNC Bank, where a bank teller at the PNC Oxmoor Branch was fired days after complaining of age discrimination. Ms. Spayd had applied for 31 different jobs within PNC Bank which all went to younger employees. A week after the H.R. department at PNC Bank decided that there was no age discrimination, an internal investigation was launched to determine if Ms. Spayd was dishonest on her PNC job application she had filled out five years prior. A Louisville jury determined that PNC Bank retaliated against Ms. Spayd for voicing her complaint of age discrimination. After the verdict, the Court ordered that PNC pay $4,284 in court costs and an additional $130,979 in attorney's fees for a total judgment in excess of $150,000.
  • A $225,000 settlement in Jones v. City of Louisville where an undercover African-American police officer was shot three times by a Caucasian police officer who was pursuing the same suspect. Officer Jones lost a finger and missed a year of work. A $225,000 settlement was achieved.
  • A $195,000 settlement in James v. F.B.I. where after reporting misconduct and discrimination, Ms. James, an FBI agent, was reassigned and her previously high job assessments fell. Further, the plaintiff reported that her male counterparts consistently received better job assignments and evaluations. A $195,000 settlement was achieved.
  • A $100,000 settlement in Hancock v. Kentucky State Police where a female cadet alleged discrimination and retaliation during her cadet-training program. A $100,000 settlement was achieved.
  • A $58,000 jury verdict in Holston v. Kentucky Fair Board. Mr. Holston was a maintenance worker for 2 months at the Fairgrounds when he was fired by the Director of Human Resources in retaliation for complaining about being sexually propositioned, in graphic terms, by a male co-worker. The 12 member jury was unanimous on all three counts, i.e., harassment, retaliation, and damages, in finding for Mr. Holston. In addition the 2 alternate jurors indicated they would have found for Mr. Holston as well. The damages award consisted of $23,000 for back pay representing roughly 1 year of lost wages and $35,000 for emotional damages. This award does not include front pay or attorney's fee which are to be determined by the judge.

Other Recent Results

  • A $314,000 jury verdict in Beasey v. Abel Construction, Ford Motor Company and C-Logic. Bo Bolus tried this premises liability case for 2 weeks with his co-counsel, Bobby Heuke. Dewane Beasey was 58 year old security guard/fire officer employed by Allied Barton with which Ford had contracted security. As a fire officer he was assigned to respond to emergencies, including the fire suppression system, as a 1st responder. During the day he worked as a medical sales rep. At night he worked at the Kentucky Truck Plant for Allied Barton.

    Monday night, January 11, 2016 Dewane was working his night shift when he responded to a water loss emergency at 7:30pm at the Abel Construction MPL expansion at KTP. Ford had contracted with Abel for the construction project. Ford had also contracted with C-Logic for 3rd party safety to make sure Abel complied with Ford safety rules and OSHA on the project.

    Abel had torn down an existing plant wall for the expansion in December 2015. A combination sprinkler system/fire hose standpipe was exposed. Abel claimed the pipe was wrapped in a concrete blanket specked to handle temperatures down to 14 degrees F. On January 10 and 11 the temp got down to 10 degrees and then rose to 32 degrees at 5pm on the 11th. The pipe's valve burst open due to freezing around 7:00pm. Ford pipefitters got to the site first and traced the pipe to its shut off valve and turned the water off at its source. They returned and started capping the pipe. The pipefitters testified the pipe was wrapped in plastic only that had no insulation properties. The pipefitters testified the pipe froze, thawed, and burst open.

    Part of Dewane's job was to turn off the water. He arrived at the site from the other side of the plant and did not realize the water was turned off. He walked by the pipefitters who were already trying to cap the pipe. Water was still coming out as the pipe drained. Dewane tried to trace the pipe to its source, like the pipefitters had done, to turn off the water. The pipefitters, however, had traced the pipe without stepping onto the construction site. Dewane stepped onto the construction site to trace the pipe. He stepped into what he thought was a puddle of muddy water, which was in reality concealing a 2 and 1Ž2 to 3 foot hole with muddy water. He tore his right patella tendon and sprained his right shoulder.

    Ford in its investigation concluded the pipe failing and the hole not being properly barricaded and lit were the root causes of Dewane's injuries. Failing to properly barricade the hole was a violation of Ford's own safety rules. If the pipe failed due to freezing that was a violation of OSHA and National Fire Protection Association standards both of which require sprinkler system pipes to be protected from freezing. Ford did not conclude the pipe froze due to freezing, listing that as a possibility along with another possibility being Abel's theory that the valve was shook loose due to vibrations from nearby construction. During discovery and at trial Ford tried valiantly to back off its root cause findings in favor of their contractors. Bolus and Heuke argued C-Logic should have caught the safety hazards Abel had created of an unbarricaded hole and uninsulated pipe.

    Dewane's safety expert and mechanical engineer expert both testified the improper insulation of the pipe was a violation of OSHA and the NFPA which had been adopted by the KBC. Ford/Abel hired a safety expert and C-Logic hired a forensic architect expert, both of whom begged out of the pipe freezing discussion though they were qualified to comment on such and one admitted he had done so in the past. The defense safety expert from KY testified the pipe was beyond his expertise (he is an NFPA member). The architect said it was beyond the scope of what he was asked to comment on. The defense experts testified Ford got it wrong as to the hole which only needed to be barricaded if it was 6 foot deep per OSHA.

    The jury found for Dewane on the negligence per se instruction against Abel. The jury found for Abel, C-Logic, Ford, and Allied Barton (not a party) on their separate duty instructions. The jury found against Dewane on his duty instruction. Turning to apportionment the jury placed 60% of the fault on Abel and 40% on Dewane, who they awarded $64k for past medicals, $250,000 for pain and suffering, and nothing for future medicals or lost wages. The judgment totaled $188,552 against Abel Construction only.

    Interestingly, before jury selection Ford and Abel claimed they had antagonistic interests and, therefore, were each granted 3 strikes. Abel struck a security guard from the pool but Ford did not. No antagonism was shown during the Tuesday openings, and no antagonism was shown during the proof on Wednesday and Thursday. Before the Ford Risk manager took the stand Friday Abel was asked if it had assumed Ford's defense and Abel admitted it had. The Court chose to not inform the jury of this secret Mary Carter agreement which Bolus and Heuke argued went to the bias of the Ford witnesses and the bias of their overall trial strategy of defending Abel which Ford had found at fault in its pre-litigation investigation. The Ford Risk manager was planning on skipping the 1st trial in September 2017 in favor of a fishing trip when Abel had not yet assumed Ford's defense. The Risk Manager sat through the entire 2 week trial in March after Abel had assumed Ford's defense."

  • A jury verdict in excess of $10.5 million in Klosterman v. Falling Rock Park, which is nearly 10 times the amount of any prior verdict in the history of Oldham County, Kentucky. That case involved a Falling Rock Park, a rock quarry turned community swimming pool that allowed patrons to drink alcohol with no supervision. A man drove out of the quarry after drinking for much of the day, and struck a motorcycle driven by Charley Klosterman. Falling Rock Park denied that they allowed anyone to drink at the quarry. Significant evidence to the contrary was presented, including several police officers who witnessed drinking at the quarry, and the drunk driver who admitted that himself and the majority of the other patrons that day were drinking alcohol. By finding in favor of the Klostermans and including in their verdict an award of $2.5 million in punitive damages, the jury recognized the significant community safety hazard posed by Falling Rock Park, and sent the message that unsafe and reckless behavior is not tolerated by Kentucky juries.
  • A $950,000 settlement in a premises liability case. A four (4) year old boy in Lawrenceburg, Anderson County, placed his hand in a meat grinder that his father had left running at his Chinese restaurant. The child's hand was ground down to his wrist. The defense argued pre-litigation that the doctrine of "parental immunity" applied and the father and restaurant could not be held liable because the father was the one who was negligent. Legal research revealed that this doctrine was abolished in the 1970s except for two limited circumstances which did not apply to this case of negligent supervision. A life care planner and vocational expert were retained and the case settled at mediation. A substantial portion of the settlement was structured with the largest payment being $1,055,195 to the child when he reaches the age of 25 and may be a candidate for a potential hand transplant. At present, hand transplantation is still in its experimental stages.