THE OHIO TRIAL REPORTER

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1 Monthly Summaries of Civil Jury Verdicts From Around Ohio Volume 22 Issue 12 THE OHIO TRIAL REPORTER Your Essential Guide To Case Evaluation Since 1987 Overdose Death of Patient Prompts Suit Pain Clinic Was Accused of Negligently Prescribing Narcotics BY LOU MORREN AScioto County jury awarded $500,000 to the estate of a man who died from a drug overdose. The verdict was against a pain management clinic, its owner and a physician who were accused of illegally distributing pain medication to people who traveled hundreds of miles to the clinic to feed their drug habits. Defendants denied all the allegations. Defendant Tri-State Healthcare, LLC was a pain management clinic which purported to offer pain management services to individuals in Portsmouth, OH and South $1.0M $900K $800K $700K $600K $500K $400K $300K $200K $100K 0 Shore, KY. Defendant Denise Huffman was the owner of the healthcare clinic and the dayto-day operations manager. Defendant Paul H. Volkman, M.D. was the doctor at Tri- State Healthcare who was responsible for writing the pain medication prescriptions for patients. Plaintiff's decedent, Steven Heineman, presented to Defendant Tri-State's clinic seeking a prescription for pain medication. Defendant Volkman prescribed Oxycodone and Valium. Heineman overdosed on the medication and died. Plaintiff alleged defendants were negligent in Motor Vehicle Death Cases Ohio Median Verdicts & Settlements (Defense Verdicts Omitted) Source: The Ohio Trial Reporter Since 1987 $506,149 $858,000 $390,000 Cuyahoga County Franklin County Hamilton County prescribing the medication to decedent, both in quantity and combination. Plaintiff argued that defendants' negligence resulted in Heineman's death. During the pendency of this civil case, the United States Department of Justice conducted an investigation of defendants and ultimately indicted Defendants Huffman and Volkman for conspiring to illegally operate pain management clinics and conspiring to distribute a controlled substance. Defendants were not present at the civil trial. They had earlier maintained that they were involved in a legal operation and the drugs were dispensed in a lawful manner. The federal criminal charges were still pending against defendants at the time of editing this case for publication. INJURIES: Drug overdose of prescription pain medications. Decedent was survived by his mother. VERDICT: $500,000. For full details, see page 30. NOTABLE DECISIONS Defense Verdict Jury Says Young Man s Loss of Testicle Was Not Due to Medical Negligence...5 $406,428 Award for Crushing Death of Trucker to be Reduced by 49% Liability...6 $8,678 Man Claiming Gender Discrimination Receives Bench Trial Award...12 $21,000 Hispanic Prep Cook Wins Punitive Damages Against Former Employer...23 $288,000 Motorist Claiming Chronic Pain Syndrome Persuades Jury...23 Defense Verdict McDonald s Drive-Thru Customer Loses Claim for Hot Water Spill...29 CONTENTS Court Index...2 Case Summaries...4 Attorneys...34 Judges...35 Expert Witnesses...35 SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount

2 COURT INDEX COLUMBIANA COUNTY Shoulder Injuries Disputed in Automobile Accident Tracy A. Kissinger v. John W. Hartman CUYAHOGA COUNTY Gaps in Treatment Lead to Dispute Over Causation Brian Trepka v. Tao He Loss of Testicle Triggers Malpractice Claim Michael Koen v. Izold Malament, M.D., et al Admitted Liability Low Impact Crash Results in Defense Verdict Meagan Canfield v. Carol Nastasi Trucker Found 49% Liable for His Own Crushing Death Janet Lynne Stumbo, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of Samuel Eugene Stumbo, Deceased v. Mason Dixon Intermodal, Inc., Nebojsa Gusic, ITS Technologies & Logistics, LLC, et al Motorcyclist Fails to Prove Liability in Auto Dispute Roderick Redwine, et al. v. Doris Bryant, Granite State Insurance Company and AIG Insurance Company Multiple Injury Auto Crash Leads to Causation Dispute Ray F. Copfer v. Pauline Blasko and Aetna Health, Inc Doctor s Failure to Remove Foreign Body from Wound Prompts Lawsuit Alex Panstares, a minor by and through his next friends and parents, George Panstares and Mary Beth Panstares, Individually v. Lakeland Emergency Associates, Inc., Mary Mai-King Wong, M.D., et al Motorcyclist Rear-Ended by Motorist Receives Jury Award Long T. Dang v. Amy Zakarowsky Motorist Claims Rear Impact Crash Caused Soft Tissue Injuries Samuel Rothman v. Joseph Bateman Liability Disputed for Highway Entrance Ramp Accident Aron L. Crenshaw, Jr., v. James Alfred Smith, Jr Male Worker Awarded Damages for Gender Discrimination Renard J. Turner v. Grande Pointe Healthcare Community Citizen Receives Judgment Against Cleveland Police Officer Narlin R. Shadd v. Alvin L. White FRANKLIN COUNTY Preexisting Nature of Injuries Gives Rise to Proximate Cause Dispute Jill Kernan v. Scott Heidrich Driver Passing Turning Vehicle Found 40% Responsible for Crash Richard I. Brown, et al. v. Derek L. Mays Defendants Claim Excessive Medical Treatment in Auto Case Shane C. Breckel v. Melissa D. Shotts and Marjorie D. Hayner Knee Injury Claim Results in Jury Verdict for Plaintiff Jeffrey A. Hiles, et al. v. Kenneth Harper Adjustment of Brain Shunt at Issue in Teen s Death Case Beverly A. Peyton, Administratrix for the Estate of Brittany N. Buckler v. Edward J. Kosnik, M.D., Neurological Associates, Inc. and Children s Hospital, Inc Intersection Crash Prompts Lawsuit for Soft Tissue Injuries Hana Mustafa v. Kimberly M. Queen, Jean Burdsall, John Doe and/or John Doe, Inc HAMILTON COUNTY Motorist Claiming Permanent Neck Injury Awarded Damages Jerry H. McDaniel v. Barry A. Smith, et al SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount

3 Nominal Award for Mother and Son After Defendant is Found Negligent Angela Martin, et al. v. Crystal Hawkins Credibility Factors Into Nominal Plaintiff s Award Daniel Kohler v. Mail Contractors of America LAKE COUNTY Auto Passenger Receives Jury Award for Injuries Charlotte Steerman v. Melissa Jo Petrowski, et al LORAIN COUNTY Causation Dispute Ends Favorably for Defendant Motorist Lorinda Martin and Carla Eagle v. Angeline Hicks LUCAS COUNTY Dog Owner Disputes Extent of Injury to Child Mary McCreary and Gregory McCreary as Parents and Natural Guardians of Sarai McCreary, et al. v. Cheryl Wilson Railroad Conductor Fails to Prove Liability Against CSX Jeffrey A. King v. CSX Transportation, Inc Prep Cook Wins Termination Claim Against Former Employer Anonymous Employee v. Anonymous Restaurant Chronic Pain Syndrome Yields Sizable Award for Motorist Susan Hardy v. D. Carothers Engineer Injured at Rail Yard Loses Claim Against CSX Tory S. Thanisiu v. CSX Transportation, Inc Property Owners Denied Due Process Receive Monetary Award Charles R. Tackett and Linda Tackett v. Village of Carey COURT MONTGOMERY COUNTY Truck Driver Awarded No Damages for Crash Injuries Richard Hundley v. Roberta Lack, Cincinnati Insurance Co., et al...28 McDonald s Patron Burned by Hot Water Fails to Convince Jury of Liability Galvin v. JAC Corp. d/b/a McDonald s Restaurants of Ohio, Inc SCIOTO COUNTY INDEX Jury Apportions Fault Regarding Property Damage Claim Grange Mutual Casualty Company v. Michael E. Greer, et al Indicted Pain Clinic Employees to Pay Damages in Death Case Paula Eastley, Administratrix of Estate of Steven Heineman v. Paul Holland Volkman, M.D. and Tri-State Healthcare, LLC SUMMIT COUNTY Permanency of Injuries Disputed in Auto Case Allen Dubrose, et al. v. Mary A. Toth Jury Says HIV Patient s Death Was Not Due to Medical Negligence Virginia J. Klever, Individually and as Executrix of the Estate of Brenda Klever v. Clinical Hematology and Oncology Services, Esther H. Rehmus, M.D., et al Lab Experiment Gone Awry Results in Severe Burns to Teen Calais Weber, et al. v. Western Reserve Academy SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 3

4 Columbiana County Court of Common Pleas Lisbon Shoulder Injuries Disputed in Automobile Accident Tracy A. Kissinger v. John W. Hartman PIKE, C. ASHLEY $20,128. Breakdown: $6,000 for pain and suffering and $14,128 for medicals. C. Ashley Pike Alleged Injury: Cervical disc bulge at C4-C5, soft tissue neck and back injuries and left shoulder separation of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint which required significant physical therapy, but no surgery. Plaintiff claimed future surgery was possible. She sought $19,500 in medicals and an unspecified amount of damages for pain and suffering. 2 hours Allstate ($20,000 policy limits) Raymond J. Boniface, M.D. Orthopedist Boardman, OH Michael T. Engle, M.D. Physiatrist Poland, OH Date of 2/15/2008 Ilan Wexler, Youngstown Boniface, Raymond J., M.D. Engle, Michael T., M.D. Sterle, Oscar F., M.D. Oscar F. Sterle, M.D. Orthopedist Warren, OH 06CV1035 WEXLER, ILAN MURPHY, KEVIN P. Kevin P. Murphy, Warren Facts: The proximate cause of plaintiff s shoulder injuries was vigorously disputed following an automobile accident. Defendant argued that plaintiff did not complain of injury until months after the accident. The jury awarded plaintiff $20,128 after deliberating 2 hours. Plaintiff Tracy Kissinger was driving west on State Route 14 with the right-of-way when she struck a vehicle driven by Defendant John Hartman. Defendant admitted that he drove out in front of plaintiff s vehicle from a parking lot and struck the driver s side door of her car. Plaintiff alleged she sustained soft tissue neck and back injuries, as well as a separated left shoulder as a direct result of this automobile accident. Plaintiff claimed future shoulder surgery was possible. She denied an intervening event caused her shoulder injury. Defendant admitted liability for causing the accident and acknowledged that plaintiff may have suffered some minor soft tissue neck and back injuries. However, he disputed that plaintiff s shoulder injury was causally related to the accident. Instead, he argued that her complaints did not surface until several months post-accident. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 43 year old married female who was a homemaker. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Gaps in Treatment Lead to Dispute Over Causation Brian Trepka v. Tao He $2,500 SWEENEY, JAMES D. James D. Sweeney Date of 9/26/2007 TAYLOR, JAESON L. BAKER, STACIE L. Jaeson L. Taylor, Cleveland Stacie L. Baker, Cleveland Facts: An arbitration award of $5,000 was appealed by plaintiff and resulted in a $2,500 verdict for plaintiff in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. Defendant admitted liability for the subject auto accident, but denied causation due to gaps in treatment. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 4

5 Plaintiff Brian Trepka was driving on a rainy morning in 2002 when he slowed his vehicle for a yellow traffic light. The road had become slick from the rain. Defendant Tao He s car struck plaintiff s vehicle at approximately 10 mph. Defendant said he thought plaintiff would go through the yellow light and he did not prepare to stop. Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent in failing to maintain an assured clear distance ahead and keep a proper lookout. He claimed he sustained soft tissue cervical injuries as a result of the accident. Plaintiff maintained that, even though there was a gap in his medical treatment, the physical therapy and accident injury were directly related. Plaintiff s medical expert opined that plaintiff sustained a chronic cervical strain. Defendant admitted liability, but denied causation of plaintiff s injuries. Defendant maintained that plaintiff had gaps in treatment and plaintiff s medical expert, who saw plaintiff in 2002, could not conclusively state that plaintiff had a chronic cervical strain as he had not treated plaintiff for 5 years. Defendant asserted that plaintiff s physical therapy 1.5 years after the collision was too far removed from the incident to be related. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 24 year old single male who was a graduate student. Alleged Injury: Chronic cervical strain for which plaintiff claimed permanency. Plaintiff initially claimed finger numbness and shoulder pain which eventually resolved. Immediately after the collision, he treated at a local emergency room and then followed up with a neurologist who performed extensive diagnostic testing. Plaintiff had no treatment for 1.5 years and then underwent physical therapy for 2.5 months hours Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $12,000 Last Offer: $3,800 Tucker, Tarvez, M.D. N/A Progressive Tarvez Tucker, M.D. Neurologist Cleveland, OH N/A Editor s Notes: Per defendant s counsel, the jury did not believe there was a permanent injury. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Loss of Testicle Triggers Malpractice Claim Michael Koen v. Izold Malament, M.D., et al. LAWTHER, ROBERT M. Defense verdict Robert M. Lawther Date of 9/28/2007 GOLD, JOHN W. DELAHUNTY, III, MARTIN S. GANNON, BRIAN T. MEADOWS, WILLIAM A. John W. Gold, Mayfield Heights Martin S. Delahunty, III, Mayfield Heights Brian T. Gannon, Cleveland William A. Meadows, Cleveland Facts: A patient who underwent surgery to correct male infertility brought a malpractice suit against his doctor for allegedly damaging his testicle. A Cuyahoga County jury returned a defense verdict on the man s claim. Plaintiff Michael Koen, age 20, had a varicocelectomy (microsurgery performed to tie off swollen veins around the testes). The operation was performed by Defendant Izold Malament, M.D. Plaintiff subsequently suffered the loss of one of his testicles. Plaintiff alleged that, when defendant performed the surgery, he disrupted blood flow to the testicle. Plaintiff claimed he lost his testicle and suffered emotional distress as a result of defendant s negligence. Defendant denied plaintiff s allegations and contended that the loss of a testicle was a risk of the surgery. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 20 year old single white male who was a student. Alleged Injury: Loss of testicle following varicocelectomy (microsurgery performed to tie off swollen veins around the testes). AP Assurance SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 5

6 N/A Schneider, Howard, M.D. Goodman, Michael S., M.D. N/A Howard Schneider, M.D. Pediatric Urologist Philadelphia, PA Michael S. Goodman, M.D. Urologist Philadelphia, PA Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Admitted Liability Low Impact Crash Results in Defense Verdict Meagan Canfield v. Carol Nastasi PORTER, JAMES M. Defense verdict James M. Porter Date of 2/5/2008 SCHROEDER, MICHAEL S. ROMAN, KIRK E. Michael S. Schroeder, Cleveland Kirk E. Roman, Akron Facts: A dispute over damages was presented to a Cuyahoga County jury in a motor vehicle case. The jury deliberated 1 hour before returning a defense verdict. Plaintiff Meagan Canfield was operating a vehicle that was rearended by an automobile operated by Defendant Carol Nastasi. Defendant admitted liability for the accident. Plaintiff alleged she suffered soft tissue neck and back strains as a direct result of this accident. She maintained that the medical treatment she received was reasonable and necessary. Defendant contended the accident was so minor that it could not have caused the injuries plaintiff claimed. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 38 year old single female employed as a customer service representative. Alleged Injury: Soft tissue neck and back strains necessitating massotherapy and physical therapy. Plaintiff claimed permanent pain and discomfort, but not a total disability. She incurred approximately $18,000 in past medical expenses. 1 hour Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $25,000 Last Offer: $1,000 Zaas, Robert D., M.D. None Nationwide Robert D. Zaas, M.D. Orthopedist Mayfield Heights, OH None Editor s Notes: Per defendant s counsel, the following factors influenced the outcome of the case: (1) the low impact nature of the accident; (2) the fact plaintiff had no medical treatment for 12 days after the accident; (3) there was no police investigation; and (4) the extensive massotherapy and physical therapy. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Trucker Found 49% Liable for His Own Crushing Death Janet Lynne Stumbo, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of Samuel Eugene Stumbo, Deceased v. Mason Dixon Intermodal, Inc., Nebojsa Gusic, ITS Technologies & Logistics, LLC and Kevin Donmoyer MCMONAGLE, TIMOTHY E. Date of 10/22/2007 $406,428 against all defendants. Breakdown: $1,094 for medical expenses; $5,334 for funeral and burial expenses; $170,000 for loss of economic support; $170,000 for loss of services; and $60,000 for mental anguish. See Editor s Note. Timothy E. McMonagle SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 6

7 Kenneth S. Blumenthal, Columbus Death was within a few seconds. Decedent was survived by his wife, mother, two grown daughters and an adult son. BLUMENTHAL, KENNETH S. TUREK, JAMES J. CARDENAS, RICARDO J. WEISS, GARY A. WRIGHT, BRADLEY A. James J. Turek, Cleveland (Mason Dixon & Gusic) Ricardo J. Cardenas, Cleveland (ITS & Donmoyer) Gary A. Weiss, Cleveland (ITS & Donmoyer) Bradley A. Wright, Akron (ITS & Donmoyer) Facts: A truck driver was crushed to death within a few seconds by a tractor-trailer while he walked in a railway yard. The jury awarded $406,428 to decedent s estate, but found decedent 49% comparatively negligent. The award was reduced accordingly. Plaintiff s decedent, Samuel Eugene Stumbo, was a truck driver who was picking up a load at a railroad yard. He was driving a semi with a box on top that is removable and gets downloaded onto railroad cars. This was decedent s first time at Defendant ITS Technologies and Logistics, LLC, the company that managed the property for Norfolk Southern Corporation. Decedent planned to get paperwork inside and had parked his truck. He was walking with Defendant Kevin C. Donmoyer, an employee of ITS, to get the papers. Defendant Nebojsa Gusic, an employee of Defendant Mason Dixon Intermodal, Inc., was driving a tractor-trailer that he had just parked beside decedent s semi. When Gusic restarted his vehicle, decedent s ankle got caught in the right rear tire and caused him to fall. Plaintiff s decedent was run over from his ankle to his shoulders, rupturing all major vessels in his chest and having a conscious survival time of just a few seconds, per the coroner. The accident happened on November 10, Plaintiff alleged Defendant Gusic was negligent in failing to look to the rear before moving, thereby crushing decedent to death. Plaintiff alleged Defendant Mason Dixon negligently hired and entrusted Gusic with its vehicle. Plaintiff asserted that Defendant Donmoyer and ITS were negligent in that Donmoyer never should have had decedent walking in the yard, a violation of the yard safety rules. Defendants Mason Dixon and Gusic contended that it was decedent s own fault for being so near to the rear wheels. Defendants Donmoyer and ITS contended that Donmoyer owed no duty to decedent for safeguarding him while on the property. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff s decedent was a 59 year old married male employed as a truck driver. Alleged Injury: Crush injury to the chest that ruptured all the vessels from decedent s ankle to his shoulders after being run over by the rear wheels of a semi tractor-trailer with a 40 foot chassis. Daecher, Carmen Uhrich, David L., Ph.D. Doyle, Shawn, P.E. 9 hours Carmen Daecher Truck Safety Pittsburgh, PA David L. Uhrich, Ph.D. Accident Reconstruction Kent, OH Shawn Doyle, P.E. Accident Reconstruction Stow, OH CV Editor s Notes: Plaintiff s decedent was found 49% comparatively negligent. The judgment was reduced to $65,028 against Defendants ITS and Donmoyer and $142,250 against Defendants Mason Dixon and Gusic. The jury found Mason Dixon and Gusic to be 35% liable and Defendants ITS and Donmoyer were 16% liable. Per Mr. Blumenthal, the jury was troubled by Mr. Stumbo being near the rear tires and believed he should have known better. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Motorcyclist Fails to Prove Liability in Auto Dispute Roderick Redwine, et al. v. Doris Bryant, Granite State Insurance Company and AIG Insurance Company SWEENEY, JAMES D. Defense verdict James D. Sweeney Date of 12/7/2007 GOLDSTEIN, MICHAEL D. CAMPBELL, REBECCA L. BURNS, JAMES Michael D. Goldstein, Cleveland Rebecca L. Campbell, Cleveland James E. Burns, Cleveland SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 7

8 Facts: A liability dispute was presented to a Cuyahoga County jury after a motorcyclist was injured in a collision with an automobile. The jury returned a defense verdict. On May 18, 2005, Plaintiff Roderick Redwine was operating a motorcycle. He was traveling east in the curb lane. Defendant Doris Bryant was operating a motor vehicle in the lane to plaintiff s left. There was contact between the vehicles. Plaintiff lost control of his motorcycle. He went off the roadway and onto a sidewalk, where he laid down his bike. Plaintiff initially pursued a claim against his own insurance carriers, Defendants Granite State Insurance Company and AIG Insurance Company, but they were dismissed prior to trial. Plaintiff alleged Defendant Bryant moved from the left lane to the right lane and struck his leg with the rear passenger side of her auto, causing him to lose control. Plaintiff claimed he sustained a left bicondylar tibial plateau fracture in the accident. Defendant Bryant denied the accident happened as described by plaintiff. Defendant Bryant contended she was stopped in her auto on the street waiting to turn left with her left turn signal activated. She claimed plaintiff struck her auto in the rear and was the sole cause of the collision. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 48 year old married male. Alleged Injury: Left bicondylar tibial plateau fracture. Plaintiff claimed a permanent injury as a result of this accident. Patterson, Brendan M., M.D. N/A Brendan M. Patterson, M.D. Orthopedist Cleveland, OH N/A Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Multiple Injury Auto Crash Leads to Causation Dispute SWEENEY, JAMES D. James D. Sweeney Date of 12/18/2007 DOBRONOS, MICHAEL G. ISAKOFF, ANDREW H. Michael G. Dobronos, Brecksville Andrew H. Isakoff, Brooklyn Facts: A motorist claiming injuries following an intersection accident was awarded $15,000 by a Cuyahoga County jury. The issues at trial were damages and proximate cause. On March 6, 2006, Plaintiff Ray F. Copfer was operating a vehicle northbound. At an intersection, he attempted to make a left turn and was struck by a vehicle driven by Defendant Pauline Blasko. Plaintiff s vehicle then spun 180 degrees and struck a utility pole. Defendant Aetna Health, Inc. was plaintiff s health insurance carrier and was named to protect its subrogated interest with regard to medical bills paid on plaintiff s behalf. Plaintiff alleged Defendant Blasko ran a red light and failed to yield the right-of-way to plaintiff s vehicle. Plaintiff claimed numerous injuries that he said resulted in pain, suffering, disability, mental anguish and permanent lost enjoyment of life. Defendant Blasko admitted negligence, but disputed damages and proximate cause. Defendant Blasko argued that plaintiff did not sustain a a fracture of the left navicular bone in the collision and the rupture of the left peroneal longus tendon was due to degenerative tearing. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was an 80 year old male. Alleged Injury: Fractured left navicular bone; rupture of the left peroneal longus tendon; aggravation of preexisting degenerative conditions in the neck and left foot; left leg contusion; soft tissue sprains of the cervical and lumbar spines, right shoulder and left ankle; and post-traumatic anxiety. Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $41,250 Last Offer: $20, Ray F. Copfer v. Pauline Blasko and Aetna Health, Inc. $15,000 SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 8

9 Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Doctor s Failure to Remove Foreign Body from Wound Prompts Lawsuit Alex Panstares, a minor by and through his next friends and parents, George Panstares and Mary Beth Panstares, Individually v. Lakeland Emergency Associates, Inc., Mary Mai-King Wong, M.D., et al. O DONNELL, JOHN P. Defense verdict John P. O Donnell Date of 12/7/2007 PETERSEN, SUSAN E. HESS, ERIN S. Susan E. Petersen, Chardon Erin S. Hess, Cleveland Facts: A 9 year old boy who injured his knee developed an infection after his treating physician allegedly left part of the wood that caused the injury in the boy s wound. The boy, through his parents, sued the physician and her affiliates. The case was presented to a Cuyahoga County jury, who returned a defense verdict after deliberating 2 hours. Plaintiff Alex Panstares was on a picnic on July 30, 2005, near the Chagrin River with his parents, Plaintiffs George and Mary Beth Panstares. His two siblings were also in attendance. As Alex was beginning to fish in the Chagrin, he slipped while standing in the water. He sustained a 3 cm to 4 cm laceration just below his left knee. His parents transported him to Meridia Health System d/b/a Hillcrest Hospital s Pediatric Emergency Department. Defendant Mary Mai-King Wong, M.D. treated plaintiff by numbing the wound and ordering that it be irrigated with saline solution. Defendant Wong was employed by Defendant Lakeland Emergency Associates, Inc. Defendant doctor then stitched the wound closed. Plaintiff developed a low grade fever the next day. Plaintiff parents drove Alex to Fairview Hospital that same day, where he was seen in their emergency department and administered intravenous antibiotics. This course proved ineffective and it was recommended the boy be transported to the Cleveland Clinic, where infectious disease specialists were consulted. An exploratory surgery was performed and a 2 cm by 8 mm piece of wood was found and removed at the base of the wound. Alex remained at the Cleveland Clinic through August 4, The wound had to remain open and packed daily until August 16, when the wound was surgically closed. Plaintiff was required to wear a leg immobilizer 24 hours a day for approximately three weeks. The wound did heal approximately five weeks after the August 16 surgery, leaving a Z shaped scar below the left knee at least the size of the original laceration. Hillcrest was originally named as a defendant, but was dismissed from the case prior to trial. Plaintiffs alleged defendant doctor was negligent in failing to diligently inspect the wound for foreign bodies before suturing it closed, including a failure to probe the base of the wound with an instrument to feel for a foreign object. Plaintiffs further asserted that Alex suffered pain, suffering, disability, fear of doctors and hospitals and experienced interrupted recreational activities as a result of defendants negligence. Defendant Lakeland denied that Dr. Wong was negligent and argued that the standard of care was met at all times. Defendant contended that nothing Wong did or failed to do caused the child s injury. However, Defendant Wong admitted she did not probe inside the wound with any instruments. Defendants expert witness testified that wound infections can occur in the best of conditions and are a risk associated with all wounds. Furthermore, the expert testified that foreign bodies can be very difficult to discover. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff Alex was a 9 year old male. Alleged Injury: Failure to remove 2 cm by 8 mm piece of wood from knee wound, resulting in an infection. Plaintiff child required treatment by an infectious disease specialist and a second exploratory surgery to discover the foreign body. He remained in a leg immobilizer 24 hours a day for three weeks and missed numerous recreational activities, including a summer vacation that had been previously scheduled. Alex was left with a permanent Z shaped scar. Leavy, Jr., Philip G., M.D. Krug, Stephen E., M.D. 2 hours Philip G. Leavy, Jr., M.D. Emergency Medicine Virginia Beach, VA Stephen E. Krug, M.D. Pediatric Emergency Medicine Chicago, IL Editor s Notes: Per plaintiff s counsel, at trial the experts agreed that, if the foreign object had been removed on July 30, 2005, the wound infection and all the complications could have been avoided. Counsel further stated that the experts also agreed the standard SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 9

10 of care required exploration with an instrument inside the wound as there was an increased suspicion of a foreign object in Alex s wound. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Motorcyclist Rear-Ended by Motorist Receives Jury Award Long T. Dang v. Amy Zakarowsky KELLY, TOM $25,754. Breakdown: $8,000 for past medicals; $4,000 for past wage loss; and $13,754 for pain and suffering. Tom Kelly Date of 2/25/2008 Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 37 year old single male employed as a police officer. Alleged Injury: Left sided fracture of the 10th rib, left-sided first degree abrasion burn from the muffler, multiple contusions to the left flank and a neck sprain. All injuries were resolved by the time of trial. Plaintiff claimed $8,000 in past medicals and $4,000 in lost wages. 1.5 hours Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $40,000 Last Offer: $10,000 Moss, Kenneth S., M.D. None Allstate Kenneth S. Moss, M.D. Pain Management Bedford Heights, OH None CV CAVANAUGH, RYAN BURLEY, DAN BURNS, JAMES E. Ryan Cavanaugh, Cleveland Dan Burley, Cleveland James E. Burns, Cleveland Facts: An off-duty police officer was ejected from his motorcycle in a rear-end collision and sought damages for injuries he sustained. A Cuyahoga County jury awarded plaintiff $25,754 after deliberating 1.5 hours. Plaintiff Long T. Dang was traveling along Memphis Avenue in Brooklyn on May 13, He stopped on his motorcycle behind a motorist who was turning left into a private driveway. Defendant Amy Zakarowsky, who was approaching plaintiff from behind, rear-ended the stopped motorcycle. The accident occurred on a clear, dry day during daylight hours. The vehicle Defendant Amy was operating was owned by her mother, Defendant Linda Zakarowsky. A negligent entrustment claim against Linda was dropped just before the start of trial. Plaintiff alleged he sustained one fractured rib from the impact when he was thrown straight up in the air and landed back on the muffler side of his bike. He also claimed he sustained a first degree abrasion burn on his left side as a result of the contact with the muffler. Defendant admitted liability, but contended that plaintiff was exaggerating the extent of his damages. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Motorist Claims Rear Impact Crash Caused Soft Tissue Injuries Samuel Rothman v. Joseph Bateman $7,500 PORTER, JAMES M. James M. Porter Date of 2/11/2008 REED, TYRONE E. ANTEL, JOHN L. Tyrone E. Reed, Cleveland John L. Antel, Fairview Park Facts: A Cuyahoga County jury deliberated 2 hours before awarding a motorist $7,500 for soft tissue injuries allegedly sustained in a rear-end collision. SUBSCRIBE NOW! GO TO Jury Verdict Review & Analysis

11 Plaintiff Samuel Rothman was stopped in traffic. His vehicle was struck from behind by an automobile driven by Defendant Joseph Bateman. There was minor property damage to the back of plaintiff s vehicle.neither party received any medical treatment immediately following the collision and plaintiff continued on to a scheduled sales call immediately following the accident. Plaintiff alleged defendant failed to maintain an assured clear distance ahead and failed to maintain control of his vehicle. Plaintiff claimed that, as a result of the accident, he sustained moderate soft tissue injuries that required chiropractic care and follow-up treatment. Defendant admitted liability for the collision, but disputed the severity and proximate cause of plaintiff s cervical and lumbar complaints. Defendant argued that the minor impact was not sufficient to have resulted in a significant injury and noted that plaintiff received no emergent care and returned to work after the collision. Defendant also claimed plaintiff s injuries were preexisting. Defendant introduced chiropractic records indicating a history of back and neck pain in support of this claim. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 45 year old single male employed as a salesman. Alleged Injury: Cervical and lumbar soft tissue injuries. Plaintiff submitted $2,992 in chiropractic expenses. 2 hours Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $7,500 Last Offer: $3,500 Qureshi, Omar, D.C. None Allstate Omar Qureshi, D.C. Chiropractor Bedford Heights, OH None CV Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Cleveland Liability Disputed for Highway Entrance Ramp Accident Aron L. Crenshaw, Jr., v. James Alfred Smith, Jr. STRICKLAND-SAFFOLD, SHIRLEY Defense verdict Date of 2/5/2008 WILLS, NATHAN J. WILLIAMS, ROGER H. Shirley Strickland-Saffold Nathan J. Wills, Cleveland Roger H. Williams, Twinsburg Facts: A Cuyahoga County jury returned a defense verdict in an auto case in which liability was disputed. On November 27, 2004, Plaintiff Aron L. Crenshaw, Jr. and Defendant James Alfred Smith, Jr. were operating their vehicles on a highway entrance ramp. Defendant reportedly sideswiped plaintiff s vehicle on the passenger side. Plaintiff alleged defendant, who was traveling to plaintiff s right, negligently changed lanes, unlawfully entered plaintiff s lane and caused the collision. Plaintiff claimed neck, back and hand injuries as a direct result of this accident. Defendant denied negligence and contended plaintiff caused the collision. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a male who was about 60 years old. Alleged Injury: Cervical, thoracic and lumbar sprains, cervical and lumbar radiculitis and a left hand sprain. Plaintiff claimed approximately $19,000 in medical expenses. Gabelman, Edward H., M.D. N/A Edward H. Gabelman, M.D. Orthopedist Cleveland, OH N/A SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 11

12 Cuyahoga County United States District Court Cleveland Male Worker Awarded Damages for Gender Discrimination Renard J. Turner v. Grande Pointe Healthcare Community OLIVER, SOLOMON JR. Bench trial resulting in a plaintiff s verdict of $8,678. Breakdown: $5,000 for emotional distress and $3,678 for lost wages. Solomon Oliver Jr. Date of 12/12/2007 NORTON, ERIC KELLY, BRIAN J. Eric Norton, Cleveland Brian J. Kelly, Cleveland Facts: A man filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against his employer in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. The judge awarded plaintiff $8,678 in damages for emotional distress and lost wages. The court rejected a claim for punitive damages, stating that plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof with regard to that issue. Plaintiff Renard J. Turner was employed for several years at Defendant Grande Pointe Healthcare Community, a residential care facility that offers both nursing services and assisted living accommodations. Defendant s management and employees were predominantly female. Plaintiff, a male, was the Activities Leader in the nursing home department. Plaintiff consistently earned good and excellent performance reviews and won employee of the month twice during his employment. In 2005, plaintiff applied and interviewed for a promotion to Assistant Activities Director. Instead, the job was given to a female co-worker, Sanita Phillips. Plaintiff involuntarily left his employment with defendant on July 11, Plaintiff alleged that his boss, Rosalind Turnage, was friendly and socialized with Phillips. He claimed Phillips had less seniority in the Activities Department, fewer years of experience as an Activities Leader and no outside work experience as a supervisor or director of an activities department. Plaintiff, who had a prior history as Activities Director with other senior nursing facilities, argued that he was much more suitable and qualified for the position. Furthermore, plaintiff claimed his interview with Turnage was perfunctory and he was given no consideration to his prior work experience outside defendant facility. He alleged the job was given to a female on the basis of gender. Plaintiff alleged that he suffered emotional damages as a result of this incident, specifically that he isolated himself from his wife and family, became depressed and short-tempered, suffered from insomnia, gained weight and suffered from anxiety. His wife corroborated his testimony with regard to these damages. Plaintiff further alleged that defendant withheld documents helpful to his case in a deliberate effort to thwart his case. Defendant denied the decision to hire Phillips was based on gender and contended that the position had been offered to an outside male candidate, a claim the court later dismissed in its Findings of Fact. Also, defendant stated that plaintiff was unprofessional in the interview and refused to demonstrate his computer skills, although, per the court s Findings of Fact, Turnage admitted in court that she did not specifically ask plaintiff to take a computer test. Defendant further presented testimony that Phillips was more qualified for the job. Lastly, defendant denied withholding documents from plaintiff. The court previously entered summary judgment in favor of defendant on other claims asserted by plaintiff. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 50 year old male employed at a retirement home. Alleged Injury: Gender discrimination and emotional distress. 1:05-CV Editor s Notes: Per plaintiff s counsel, the judge dismissed another claim by plaintiff alleging he was paid less than similarly situated workers. There were other unspecified higher value claims dismissed due to a lack of evidence. Cuyahoga County United States District Court Cleveland Citizen Receives Judgment Against Cleveland Police Officer Narlin R. Shadd v. Alvin L. White $50,000. Breakdown: $10,000 for excessive force; $10,000 for malicious prosecution; and $30,000 for false imprisonment. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 12

13 GAUGHAN, PATRICIA A. Date of 3/5/2008 SAKS, WILLIAM M. FRIEDMAN, GORDON S. SCOTT, JOSEPH F. COSGROVE, MICHAEL F. Patricia A. Gaughan William M. Saks, Cleveland Heights Gordon S. Friedman, Cleveland Joseph F. Scott, Cleveland Michael F. Cosgrove, Cleveland Facts: A man who claimed he was assaulted by a City of Cleveland police officer and incarcerated for a weekend sought damages for civil rights violations in the United States District Court. A federal jury awarded plaintiff $50,000 for excessive force, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment. Plaintiff Narlin R. Shadd was making a right turn at a traffic light at an intersection when Defendant Alvin L. White, a City of Cleveland police officer, approached him. Plaintiff alleged the officer assaulted him for disobeying a traffic signal. Plaintiff was arrested on Friday, September 15, He was released on the afternoon of the following Monday. According to plaintiff, defendant made outlandish claims against him in a report that was eventually presented to the local prosecutor. For example, defendant claimed plaintiff assaulted him, failed to comply with lawful orders of a police office and resisted arrest. All charges against plaintiff were dropped after a grand jury refused to indict. Plaintiff alleged excessive force, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution against defendant. According to plaintiff, defendant said he (plaintiff) had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath at the time of his booking, but there was no breathalyzer or blood alcohol testing completed. The police supervisor s report stated that the officers were too busy to do the testing. Plaintiff claimed that, at the end of his lockup, he was told the charges against him were nothing. In addition, plaintiff maintained that blood was found in his SUV and plaintiff had photographs of his injuries to present to the jury. Plaintiff had suffered two previous massive rotator cuff tears to his right shoulder and his left shoulder was paralyzed in a 1972 traffic accident, resulting in an inability to fully move his hands behind his back. As a result, plaintiff s right arm had to be handcuffed to the left door of the squad car. Defendant contended that he acted appropriately in response to the situation. He denied using excessive force. He also denied the malicious prosecution and false imprisonment claims. Defendant officer maintained that he believed plaintiff was intoxicated, but did not charge him with DUI or conduct a field sobriety test because plaintiff was being arrested for assault and resisting arrest. Therefore, defendant officer testified there was no need for the DUI charge. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 55 year old male employed as a special education teacher for the Children s Aid Society. Alleged Injury: Sprained right shoulder; soft tissue swelling at the right elbow; contusions on the right shoulder, elbow and wrist; hematoma on the back of the right calf; left shoulder soreness; lacerations on the outer and inner upper lip; and two small chips on each front tooth. Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $8,200 (per plaintiff s counsel); $120,000 (per defense counsel) Last Offer: $7,500 (per plaintiff s counsel); $20,000 (per defense counsel) 1:06-CV PAG Editor s Notes: Per plaintiff s counsel Saks, there were discrepancies between defendant s witnesses testimony, with defendant saying that plaintiff twice wrestled with him, while the other officer at the scene reporting only minimal physical resistance (i.e., that plaintiff had to be turned around and stumbled as he was being escorted back to the zone car). Mr. Saks further reported that defendant claimed in his deposition that plaintiff hit him with his SUV, but could only say there was contact with his back part. Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Columbus Preexisting Nature of Injuries Gives Rise to Proximate Cause Dispute Jill Kernan v. Scott Heidrich SHEERAN, PATRICK E. $35,000 plus prejudgment interest of $12,929. Breakdown: $13,000 for past medicals and $22,000 for pain and suffering. See Editor s Note. Patrick E. Sheeran Date of 6/19/2007 SMITH, SCOTT SPRIGGS, CLAUDIA L. Scott Smith, Columbus Claudia L. Spriggs, Columbus SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 13

14 Facts: A Franklin County Court of Common Pleas jury awarded $35,000 to a woman claiming injuries following a rear-end crash. The primary dispute in the case was proximate cause. On February 21, 2002, Plaintiff Jill Kernan was operating her vehicle in Worthington. She came to a complete stop prior to making a left turn. While stopped, she was rear-ended by a van driven by Defendant Scott Heidrich. Defendant Heidrich, who traveled from office to office cleaning aquariums, was operating the van in the course and scope of his employment with Defendant Randy s Aquarium. Defendant Randy s Aquarium was dismissed prior to trial. The court found defendant tortfeasor liable pursuant to plaintiff s motion for summary judgment and the case was tried on damages and proximate cause. Plaintiff alleged her preexisting degenerative disc disease and arthritic condition in her low back were exacerbated by the accident, resulting in daily pain. An orthopedic expert testified that plaintiff needed low back surgery that would cost in the range of $50,000 to $100,000. Plaintiff s treating physician testified as to plaintiff s significant pain and agreed that surgical intervention was warranted. Defendant Heidrich denied proximate cause with regard to plaintiff s injuries. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 40 year old married female employed as a sales representative. Alleged Injury: Soft tissue injury to the lumbar spine. Plaintiff had preexisting conditions of degenerative disc disease and arthritis, which were exacerbated by the accident. She claimed she experienced daily back pain. Future surgery was recommended. All MRIs were normal, with the exception of an MRI taken a month before trial which showed an unspecified change. Plaintiff claimed $13,000 in past medical expenses for diagnostics and physical therapy the first year after the accident only. Plaintiff also claimed $50,000 to $100,000 in future medicals for the recommended low back surgery. Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $60,000 Last Offer: $3, CV Editor s Notes: Per defendant s counsel, the medicals were high and the jury s award of about $4,400 per year for pain and suffering was fair. Per plaintiff s counsel, the court awarded plaintiff $12,929 in prejudgment interest, which was paid by Allstate. Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Columbus Driver Passing Turning Vehicle Found 40% Responsible for Crash Richard I. Brown, et al. v. Derek L. Mays $8,900 (stipulated damages) less 40% comparative negligence for a net award of $5,340. SCHNEIDER, CHARLES A. Date of 7/30/2007 TODARO, FRANK E. FEATHERSTONE, JAMES F. Charles A. Schneider Frank E. Todaro, Columbus James F. Featherstone, Columbus Facts: A Franklin County jury was charged with determining liability only in this motor vehicle dispute. After 2 hours of deliberation, the jury assigned 40% liability to the plaintiff and 60% liability to the defendant. The parties had previously stipulated to damages of $8,900 ($4,500 for medical specials, $3,500 for pain and suffering and $900 for property damage). After reducing that amount by plaintiff s comparative negligence, judgment in the amount of $5,340 was entered for the plaintiff. Gramann, William, M.D. Herceg, Milan, M.D. Kumler, III, Karl W., M.D. Allstate William Gramann, M.D. General Practitioner Columbus, OH Milan Herceg, M.D. Orthopedic Surgeon Columbus, OH Karl W. Kumler, III, M.D. Orthopedic Surgeon Columbus, OH On September 27, 2005, Plaintiff Richard I. Brown and Defendant Derek L. Mays were operating their respective vehicles. Defendant, who was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck, attempted to make a right turn into a driveway when his truck s right front end collided with the left front end of plaintiff s vehicle. Plaintiff s vehicle, which was a compact car, sustained moderate property damage. Plaintiff alleged defendant made an improper right turn without signaling and, in fact, it appeared as though defendant was going to enter the left turn lane because of the position of his truck. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 14

15 Plaintiff claimed defendant s negligence was the proximate cause of his soft tissue neck and back injuries. Defendant denied liability and causation. Defendant contended plaintiff improperly passed him on the right and was comparatively negligent. Defendant maintained that plaintiff drove a very small vehicle and was driving in the blind spot of his large F-150 truck. Defendant maintained that he looked into the rearview mirror prior to making his turn, but was unable to see plaintiff s car. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a married male in his 40 s employed in the printing industry. Alleged Injury: Soft tissue neck and back injuries which resolved with physical therapy. Plaintiff incurred approximately $4,500 in medical specials. 2 hours Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $14,000 Last Offer: $3,000 Grange 06-CV Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Columbus Defendants Claim Excessive Medical Treatment in Auto Case On July 29, 2004, Defendant Melissa D. Shotts, age 16, was driving a vehicle owned by her grandmother, Defendant Marjorie D. Hayner. Defendant Shotts rear-ended a vehicle operated by Plaintiff Shane C. Breckel, who had come to a stop prior to making a left turn. Plaintiff s vehicle sustained moderate to severe property damage. Plaintiff alleged he sustained soft tissue cervical, thoracic and lumbar sprains as a direct result of this accident. Plaintiff claimed his medical treatment, which consisted of 27 physical therapy sessions, was reasonable and necessary. Plaintiff continued to complain of residual pain. Defendants admitted liability, but denied the extent of injuries and the value of plaintiff s damages. Defendant Shotts stated she saw that plaintiff was turning left and she estimated he would execute his turn before she came upon him. However, by the time she realized he was not going to complete the turn, it was too late for her to stop. Defendants maintained that plaintiff s medical bills and treatment were excessive and the general valuation of pain and suffering was extravagant for what occurred. Defendants orthopedic expert testified that plaintiff s treatment was excessive. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a single male in his 30 s employed by the American Cancer Society. Alleged Injury: Cervical, thoracic and lumbar sprains. Plaintiff was transported to the emergency room immediately after the incident and missed six days of work. He followed up with a physiatrist for 27 physical therapy sessions. Plaintiff complained of residual pain after treatment concluded. 2 hours Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $20,000 Last Offer: $7,787 Shane C. Breckel v. Melissa D. Shotts and Marjorie D. Hayner $10,000 HARILDSTAD, TIMOTHY N. Date of 8/20/2007 Timothy N. Harildstad Seeder, Lewis, M.D. Schlonsky, Joseph, M.D. Allstate Lewis Seeder, M.D. Physiatrist Westerville, OH Joseph Schlonsky, M.D. Orthopedist Columbus, OH Frank E. Todaro, Columbus 06-CV TODARO, FRANK E. RITTERSPACH, BENJAMIN E. Benjamin E. Ritterspach, Columbus Facts: After 2 hours of deliberation, a Franklin County jury awarded $10,000 to a man claiming continuing pain following a rear-end crash. The defendants had disputed damages and questioned the reasonableness of plaintiff s treatment. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 15

16 Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Columbus Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $25,000 (policy limits) Last Offer: $4,000 Allstate Knee Injury Claim Results in Jury Verdict for Plaintiff Jeffrey A. Hiles, et al. v. Kenneth Harper CAIN, DAVID E. $10,900. Breakdown: $8,900 to plaintiff and $2,000 to plaintiff s wife for loss of consortium. David E. Cain Date of 2/9/2007 R. Craig McLaughlin, Mayfield Heights Hollingsworth, Keith A., M.D. Schlonsky, Joseph, M.D. Keith A. Hollingsworth, M.D. Orthopedist Lancaster, OH Joseph Schlonsky, M.D. Orthopedist Columbus, OH 05-CVC Editor s Notes: Per plaintiff s counsel, the Court granted plaintiff s motion to tax the cost of videotaping plaintiff s expert witness and playing the video at trial. Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Columbus MCLAUGHLIN, R. CRAIG RITTERSPACH, BENJAMIN E. Benjamin E. Ritterspach, Columbus Facts: A motorist and his wife were awarded $10,900 in damages by a Franklin County jury for an early morning motor vehicle accident. The plaintiff had claimed a serious knee injury as a result of the crash. Around 4:15 a.m. on December 30, 2004, Plaintiff Jeffrey Hiles was operating his vehicle north on Lithopolis Road on his way to work. Defendant Kenneth Harper was operating his own vehicle westbound toward the same road on which plaintiff was traveling. As defendant reached the intersection with Lithopolis Road, he reportedly made a left turn in front of plaintiff s oncoming vehicle and caused a broadside collision. Plaintiff alleged that defendant failed to stop at a red light and did not yield when he turned left at the intersection. Plaintiff alleged that he suffered a severe kneecap injury from smashing his left knee into the dashboard. Defendant admitted fault for the accident at trial, but claimed plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages. Defendant further disputed the extent of plaintiff s injury. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 28 year old married male who was employed by FedEx as a dock worker. Alleged Injury: Left patellar contusion and patellar tendonitis. Any limitations claimed by plaintiff were unavailable for publication. Plaintiff claimed $3,745 in medicals and $1,114 in lost income. His wife claimed loss of consortium. Adjustment of Brain Shunt at Issue in Teen s Death Case Beverly A. Peyton, Administratrix for the Estate of Brittany N. Buckler v. Edward J. Kosnik, M.D., Neurological Associates, Inc. and Children s Hospital, Inc. Defense verdict Richard A. Frye SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 16 FRYE, RICHARD A. Date of 5/21/2007 TOPPER JR., RICHARD D. DILLON, THOMAS A. RADNOR, ALAN T. Richard D. Topper Jr., Columbus Thomas A. Dillon, Columbus Alan T. Radnor, Columbus Facts: A mentally retarded teenager with hydrocephalus died, allegedly as a result of defendants failure to fix her shunt and help her spinal fluid drain correctly. Suit was brought against her doctor and the hospital that treated her. A Franklin County jury returned a defense verdict. In March 2004, 16 year old plaintiff s decedent, Brittany N. Buckler, was taken to Defendant Edward J. Kosnik, M.D. Dr.

17 Kosnik was her treating physician. Decedent had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt to drain her cerebral spinal fluid. She went to the doctor with complaints of headache, fever and vomiting and a concern that they might be related to a shunt that had become disconnected. It was concluded that the symptoms were not related to the shunt. Decedent was treated for an infection and the symptoms resolved. One month later, she was admitted to Defendant Columbus Children s Hospital, where she died. Her death was attributed to the amount of pressure on her brain from the cerebral spinal fluid. Plaintiff alleged defendants did not diagnose decedent correctly and should have performed surgery to fix the shunt in her brain. Plaintiffs sought damages for funeral expenses and loss of consortium resulting from the girl s wrongful death. Defendants denied plaintiff s allegations. Defendant Kosnik contended he was never notified by Defendant Children s Hospital that decedent showed symptoms of her shunt not properly draining. Defendant hospital resolved its portion of the case prior to trial and the case proceeded solely against Dr. Kosnik. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff s decedent was a 16 year old female. Alleged Injury: Death from malfunctioning brain shunt. OLAWALE, EMMANUEL O. MALEK, EDWIN L. MALEK, JAMES E. MARSH, RICK E. BILLS, JOSHUA R. Rick E. Marsh, Columbus Joshua R. Bills, Columbus Facts: A woman injured in an intersection collision brought suit against the other driver and car owner for her injuries. She alleged defendant driver was negligent for the crash and responsible for her injuries. A Franklin County jury awarded plaintiff $6,129 against the defendant driver. On October 12, 2003, Plaintiff Hana Mustafa and Defendant Kimberly Queen were driving near the intersection of Knightsbridge Road and Henderson Road. Their vehicles collided in the intersection, which was controlled by a flashing yellow light. Defendant Jean Burdsall owned the vehicle driven by Defendant Queen. Plaintiff alleged Defendant Queen was negligent in failing to grant the right-of-way when she was turning left at an intersection. Plaintiff claimed she suffered lumbar, thoracic and cervical strains as a direct result of this accident. Plaintiff asserted that Defendant Burdsall negligently entrusted her vehicle to Defendant Queen. Defendants denied plaintiff s allegations and contended plaintiff was contributorily negligent. Defendants argued that plaintiff did not exercise caution at the intersection. 05-CVA Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a female in her 40 s. Franklin County Alleged Injury: Cervical, lumbar and thoracic sprains. Plaintiff sought an unspecified amount of damages for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Court of Common Pleas Columbus 05CVD Intersection Crash Prompts Lawsuit for Soft Tissue Injuries Hana Mustafa v. Kimberly M. Queen, Jean Burdsall, John Doe and/or John Doe, Inc. SHEWARD, RICHARD S. $6,129 against Defendant Queen. Richard S. Sheward Date of 8/21/2007 Emmanuel O. Olawale, Columbus Edwin L. Malek, Columbus James E. Malek, Columbus Editor s Notes: Information for this summary was obtained from another published source. Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Cincinnati Motorist Claiming Permanent Neck Injury Awarded Damages Jerry H. McDaniel v. Barry A. Smith, et al. SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 17

18 $37,431. Breakdown: $11,500 for pain and suffering; $7,431 for past medicals; $6,000 for future medicals; and $12,500 for permanency. Shockley, Thomas E., M.D. Haverkos, Stephen D., M.D. Stephen D. Haverkos, M.D. Orthopedist Cincinnati, OH A GORMAN, ROBERT H. Robert H. Gorman Date of 1/10/2007 NUCKOLS, GERALD L. KALEDA, JEFFERY A. Gerald L. Nuckols, Cincinnati Jeffery A. Kaleda, Cincinnati Facts: A Hamilton County jury awarded $37,431 to a pediatrician who claimed he suffered a permanent neck injury in a motor vehicle accident. The jury deliberated 4.5 hours before returning the verdict. Plaintiff Jerry H. McDaniel was operating a vehicle. He was involved in a collision with a vehicle driven by Defendant Barry A. Smith. Liability was admitted. Plaintiff alleged he sustained an aggravation of previously asymptomatic cervical spondylosis as a direct result of this accident. Following the accident, plaintiff received treatment from his family doctor and physical therapy. The family doctor reported that plaintiff had recovered, but plaintiff saw an orthopedic doctor eight months later with continuing complaints of neck pain. Defendant contended plaintiff had soft tissue injuries that resolved, as evidenced by the family doctor s report. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 56 year old married male employed as a pediatrician. Alleged Injury: Aggravation of cervical spondylosis with permanent neck pain. Plaintiff sought treatment from his family doctor and a physical therapist and achieved good results, but claimed continuing neck pain. He sought treatment from an orthopedic doctor eight months after being released from his family physician. Plaintiff claimed $7,431 in past medicals and $6,000 in future medicals. 4.5 hours Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $50,000 Last Offer: $10,000 Westfield Thomas E. Shockley, M.D. Orthopedist Cincinnati, OH Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Cincinnati Nominal Award for Mother and Son After Defendant is Found Negligent Angela Martin, et al. v. Crystal Hawkins NELSON, FRED $1,740. Breakdown: $1,240 to Plaintiff Angela and $500 to Plaintiff Nigel. Fred Nelson Date of 2/13/2008 LAITE, DAVID A. WILLIAMS, JOHN M. David A. Laite, Cincinnati John M. Williams, Cincinnati Facts: A mother and son claimed injuries from a disputed liability auto accident. Both drivers involved in the crash claimed to have had the right-of-way. A Hamilton County jury found for the plaintiffs and awarded them a total of $1,740 in damages. Plaintiff Angela Martin was driving a vehicle with her son, Plaintiff Nigel Cooper, as a passenger. They were involved in a T- bone accident with a vehicle operated by Defendant Crystal Hawkins. The impact resulted in moderate to severe property damage to both vehicles. The facts of the case were disputed. Plaintiff Martin claimed she had a green light allowing her to go forward and Defendant Hawkins claimed she had a green left turn arrow allowing her to turn. Plaintiffs alleged defendant was negligent in failing to yield the right-of-way and keep a proper lookout. An independent witness testified that defendant had a red light when she turned into plaintiffs path. Plaintiff Angela claimed she had soft tissue neck and back injuries, while Plaintiff Nigel claimed a left knee injury. All injuries were resolved at the conclusion of treatment. Defendant denied liability and contended that she had the rightof-way because she had the green arrow. Defendant also argued SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 18

19 comparatively negligence because Plaintiff Nigel was not wearing a seat belt. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff Angela was a 40 year old single female employed as a systems analyst. Plaintiff Nigel was a 12 year old male. Alleged Injury: Plaintiff Angela suffered from soft tissue neck and back injuries. She was treated by her family doctor and underwent physical therapy. Plaintiff Nigel suffered from a left knee injury and was initially seen in the local emergency room. He went to at least two orthopedic appointments and was told to perform certain exercises at home. Plaintiffs injuries were resolved at the conclusion of treatment. Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $6,600 Last Offer: $4,900 ($3,500 for Angela and $1,400 for Nigel) Burger, Robert R., M.D. Fris, Myera, M.D. N/A Allstate Robert R. Burger, M.D. Orthopedist Cincinnati, OH Myera Fris, M.D. Internist Cincinnati, OH N/A A Editor s Notes: Per plaintiffs counsel, the seat belt issue affected the outcome of the case. The jury was of the opinion that Plaintiff Nigel was not wearing a seat belt. Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Cincinnati Credibility Factors Into Nominal Plaintiff s Award Daniel Kohler v. Mail Contractors of America O CONNER, JOHN John O Conner Date of 3/19/2008 POSEY, WILLIAM A. WEIL, RICK L. BUSAM, LUKE William A. Posey, Cincinnati Rick L. Weil, Cincinnati Luke Busam, Cincinnati Facts: A motorist was awarded $23,588 for injuries arising from an intersection accident with a semi tractor-trailer. Defendant admitted liability, but disputed the extent of the injuries claimed by the plaintiff. Attorneys involved in the case reported that plaintiff lacked credibility with the jury, which affected the outcome of the case. James Perkins, an employee of Defendant Mail Contractors of America, was driving a tractor-trailer. He was traveling north when he reportedly ran a red light at an intersection and hit Plaintiff Daniel Kohler s vehicle. Plaintiff was westbound at the time of the accident. The crash occurred on July 4, Plaintiff alleged defendant was negligent in failing to yield the right-of-way and keep a proper lookout. Plaintiff claimed the accident was the proximate cause of his neck and back injuries, resulting in generalized low back pain and radicular pain into the upper extremities. Two of plaintiff s treating physicians opined that plaintiff s injuries were related to the accident and were permanent in nature. Defendant admitted liability, but disputed the extent of the injuries. Defendant contended that plaintiff suffered soft tissue injuries that resolved within three months of the accident. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 35 year old single male employed as a bar manager. Alleged Injury: Ligament strains to the cervical and thoracic regions of the spine with facet arthropathy (joint disease). Plaintiff treated with two pain specialists and an orthopedic surgeon. He also underwent extensive physical therapy, epidurals and multiple trigger point injections, with no relief. Plaintiff claimed a permanent disability and was assigned a 3% permanent impairment rating. His past medical expenses were $13,463. He also claimed future medicals of $25,000. Settlement Efforts: Last Demand: $150,000 Last Offer: $45,000 $23,588. Breakdown: $4,975 for pain and suffering; $13,463 for past medicals; and $5,150 for future medicals. AIG SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 19

20 Ann A. Tuttle, M.D. Pain Management Cincinnati, OH Gary L. Reasor, M.D. Pain Management Louisville, KY Gildersleeve. A collision occurred between Gildersleeve s vehicle and a vehicle operated by Defendant Melissa Jo Petrowski. Defendant Petrowski was driving a vehicle owned by Defendants Douglas Emch and Emch Enterprises, Inc. Plaintiff also pursued this claim against his underinsured motorist carrier, Defendant State Farm Insurance Company. Tuttle, Ann A., M.D. Reasor, Gary L., M.D. Lee, Arthur F., M.D. Arthur F. Lee, M.D. Orthopedist Cincinnati, OH A Editor s Notes: Per plaintiff s counsel, plaintiff s credibility was an important factor in the case because his testimony was inconsistent with previous statements. Defense counsel Weil concurred that plaintiff s lack of credibility affected the verdict. Mr. Weil also stated the jury believed plaintiff was a malingerer. Lake County Court of Common Pleas Painesville Auto Passenger Receives Jury Award for Injuries Charlotte Steerman v. Melissa Jo Petrowski, Douglas Emch, Emch Enterprises, Inc. and State Farm Insurance Company v. Curtis Gildersleeve MITROVICH, PAUL H. $84,500 against Third Party Defendant Gildersleeve. Paul H. Mitrovich Date of 8/29/2007 Plaintiff alleged Defendant Petrowski was negligent and caused the collision. Plaintiff also claimed Defendants Emch and Emch Enterprises negligently entrusted their vehicle to Petrowski, who was operating the vehicle in the scope of her employment with Defendants Emch and Emch Enterprises. Plaintiff claimed she sustained cervical, thoracic and shoulder sprains, as well as cervical disc herniations, as a direct result of this accident. Defendants Petrowski, Emch and Emch Enterprises denied negligence and filed a third party claim against Gildersleeve alleging that Gildersleeve caused the accident. Third Party Defendant Gildersleeve denied negligence and claimed Defendant Petrowski was solely responsible for the accident. Plaintiff Profile: Plaintiff was a 25 year old female. Alleged Injury: Cervical strain, herniated discs at C5-C6 and C6- C7, concussion, right shoulder strain and upper thoracic strain. Plaintiff sought an unspecified amount of damages for medical bills and lost earnings and claimed a permanent disability. Sailors, Frank G., M.D. Demangone, David, M.D. Frank G. Sailors, M.D. Family Medicine Madison, OH David Demangone, M.D. Pain Management Willoughby, OH 2006CV Lorain County POWERS, MARTIN T. ZUCCO, GEORGE C. WANTZ, JOSEPH H. Martin T. Powers, Cleveland George C. Zucco, Cleveland Joseph H. Wantz, Twinsburg Facts: A Lake County jury awarded $84,500 to a passenger claiming multiple injuries following a motor vehicle collision. The verdict was against the plaintiff s driver, who was named as a third party defendant. The other defendants in this case received defense verdicts. On January 23, 2003, Plaintiff Charlotte Steerman was a passenger in a vehicle operated by Third Party Defendant Curtis Court of Common Pleas Elyria Causation Dispute Ends Favorably for Defendant Motorist Lorinda Martin and Carla Eagle v. Angeline Hicks $11,251 for Plaintiff Martin and $0 for Plaintiff Eagle. James Miraldi SUBSCRIBE NOW! Click Here for Hard Copy + PDF + Article Discount 20 MIRALDI, JAMES

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