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11 Personal Injury Questions Answered

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Sometimes, in the midst of one’s life, unfortunate events happen. You could be driving to work one day and a car could run and red light and hit your vehicle at a high speed. Maybe you are just crossing the street and a vehicle hits you. There are so many scenarios that could happen but it all boils down to one thing: your otherwise peaceful life has changed.

People may want to immediately settle their case. Some victims of car wrecks, distraught and unable to consider the options they have, will not even think about consulting a personal injury lawyer. However, hiring a lawyer is important to make sure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

Have you been a victim of a car wreck?  You may have a lot of questions. Here are 12 common questions:

1.I was in an accident, what should I do?

The most important thing to consider is if you have been physically hurt because of the accident. If you feel that there is injury, seek immediate medical attention. Injuries are not immediately apparent and if these are not treated right away, this may worsen.

Insurance companies will usually settle claims for as low as they can which is why victims often end up with more medical and repair fees t than they can imagine. Never let this happen to you, let an expert look into the case.

2.What if the other party does not have insurance?

In case the other party involved in the accident does not have insurance, you can seek compensation from your own insurance company. Uninsured motorist coverage will pay the damages you would have been able to recover from the other party.

3.Is it worth speaking with an attorney?

Personal injury lawyers are always ready to help you understand the situation and the legal actions that you need to take to make sure that you will get the right compensation. Seeking the help of a lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve.

It simply boils down to the fact that you have been hurt because of someone else’s negligence. You need to make sure the experience you went through, the cost of medical treated you needed, and the repairs cost you have incurred need to pay for.

You may have difficulties proving fault in these instances so you have to consult with a personal injury attorney who can discuss the options that you have.

Insurance companies always attempt to settle a claim far less than its worth. With an expert talking to them, you will not suffer the same fate that others have.

4.How much time do I have to file a case?

Filing of personal injury cases largely depends on the laws of the state. You need to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can so that you will be guided in the filing. There are also instances when filing a lawsuit would have to wait such as if the other party involved is a government entity             or if the injured party is a minor.

5.What is the worth of my case?

It will be difficult to estimate the cost of a case a few days after it happened. There are different factors that will influence the potential settlement. This is where lawyers are most helpful because they will thoroughly go through the case, check on past verdicts of similar cases and               have experience with settling similar cases.

6. What does it mean going to trial?

The good thing about most personal injury cases is these are usually settled even before going to trial. But then again, there are instances when a trial is necessary such as:

  • When the defendant does not offer a settlement
  • When the defendant offers an unreasonable settlement
  • When the plaintiff wants to go to trial
  • When liability or damages are disputed.

Though these instances are rare you may have to prepare for such a scenario.

7. What are some of the questions that I will be asked in a deposition?

A deposition is a question and answer session between you and the defense lawyer. Your lawyer will also be there as well as a court reporter so everything will be documented.

A few of the things they may ask are:

  • Your general background and information such as work history, education, family, and others.
  • Your health condition before the accident happened.
  • Some of the details of the accident
  • The medical treatment you received from the injuries.
  • The way the accident affected your life.

In a few instances, some unfavorable details about you will be dug up. You have to make sure that you are emotionally prepared to answer these questions.

8. How long will the lawsuit take?

The duration of lawsuits depends largely on the specifics of the case.   The length of time you spend on recovering from injuries will prolong the legal process. Your personal injury attorney will see to it that you have fully recovered from the accident before the approaching the                    insurance company about the settlement.

9. What things must I secure for my first meeting with a personal injury attorney?

It is important that during your first meeting with a lawyer you already have pertinent documents with you. You can consider the medical documents that report your injuries as evidence. You may also have to bring the police or traffic report of the accident.

If you have witnesses, you may also want to give their names and contact information.

10. What should I expect when meeting with a lawyer?

For your lawyer to give you a clear course of action, he must first have to understand your case and your injuries. Be as detailed as you can.  Your lawyer may ask about all of the details of the accident and your injury. Make sure not to withhold any vital information because these              may be crucial. Details like medical and employment history lost wages, and other details are vital in fighting for your rights.

11. Will I have to spend a lot for a lawyer to defend me?

No.  Hiring a personal injury lawyer should not cost you anything.  Any personal injury lawyer who has experience will handle the case on a contingency fee basis and will pay all the up-front costs to handle your case.  You will pay nothing unless you recover.

No one expects to be in an accident, but if you are, if it important that you hire an attorney to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

like medical and employment history, lost wages, and other details are vital in fighting for your rights.

Nobody wants to meet an accident but then again, these things could happen. It would be very helpful to meet with legal experts who have the knowledge and experience in handling personal injury cases so proper and fair settlements are made.

What Went Wrong With The Attune Knee Replacement?

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Components of the Attune Knee Replacement System

The Attune Knee Replacement System attempts to mimic the natural movement of the knee. Do achieve this, the device is made up of several components:

  • Attune Gradius Curve – This component is designed to work with the femur and tibia where they connect at the knee joint. The smooth operation of the Gradius Curve allows patients to perform regular motions like walking.
  • Glideright Articulation – The Glideright Articulation sits where the femur and the patella (or kneecap) connect, interacting with both bone and soft tissue. This particular area of the knee varies greatly in size from patient to patient, so an optimal fit is crucial for a successful recovery.
  • Sofcam Contact – This curved component helps stabilize the knee when bent in deep flexion or bent all the way back.
  • Logiclock Tibial Base – The tibial base is an insert into the tibia where the femur meets the tibia. This component is very important for comfort and stability and it comes in different sizes to best meet patient needs.
  • AOX Polyethylene – Polyethylene is a plastic material. In the Attune Knee System, it is used as a spacer between the tibia and the femur. The polyethylene spacer replaces cartilage in the knee joint.

Where The Attune Knee Replacement Went Wrong

Many patients have experienced a loosening in their Attune Knee Replacement that causes swelling, pain, and decreased mobility. The Attune Knee Replacement is prone to loosening because of its smooth surfaces. Surgeons use a type of medical glue to attach the components to the leg bones. However, because the surface of the device is so smooth, the glue cannot hold the implant to the tibia bone.

In June 2017, a study published in The Journal of Knee Surgery explained surgeons were encountering a high number of early failures in the Attune Knee Replacement System due to tibial loosening. Not only has the FDA received reports of device failure, but scores of reports have been made to the Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience Database (MAUDE).

Newer Versions Fix Debonding Issue

Although Attune’s manufacturer, DePuy Synthes, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, has denied claims that the device is defective, the company did create a new version of the tibial base component. The underside of the new tibial base plate is not smooth, which allows better adhesion. The updated design of the Attune Knee Replacement is an indicator the manufacturer is aware of the issues and side effects caused by the knee implant.

Patients Demanding Answers

The loosening of the Attune Knee Replacement System is extremely painful for patients. Patients can suffer permanent damage to the knee joint and will require replacement surgeries to relieve pain and regain mobility. All patients have a right to know all risks associated with medical devices, and many Attune Knee Replacement patients feel the manufacturer did not warn them of the increased rate of failure. Demanding answers, the first lawsuit against DePuy Synthes and Johnson & Johnson regarding the Attune Knee Replacement was filed last September. It is likely many other lawsuits will be filed in the coming months as patients try to understand how such a dangerous device made it onto the market and into operating rooms.


Three nurses arrested after unsealed video reveals they ignored resident’s pleas

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Three nursing home employees accused of ignoring the pleas of a World War II veteran in respiratory distress have been charged in his 2014 death, a Georgia prosecutor announced this week.

A grand jury indicted Loyce Pickquet Agyeman, Wanda Nuckles and Mable Turman four years after James Dempsey was found dead in his room at the Northeast Atlanta Rehabilitation Center, DeKalb County district attorney spokeswoman Yvette Jones said in a statement.

“Video surveillance shows the patient suffering in respiratory distress and repeatedly calling out for help,” Jones said. “Soon after his distress calls, the victim became unresponsive.”

Agyeman, Nuckles and Turman were on duty and caring for Dempsey, 89, on the day of his death in February 2014.

In a statement, the facility noted leadership had changed and improved since Dempsey died, according to CBS News.

The family settled a lawsuit against the facility, using as evidence video from a camera they’d hidden in Dempsey’s room. The video shows the man repeatedly calling for help, saying he can’t breathe. It also shows the nurses laughing as they try to start an oxygen machine.

Two of the nurses later lost their licenses after a television station persuaded courts to unseal that video. Atlanta affiliate WXIA-TV said the nurses didn’t surrender their licenses until this September, after it sent the Georgia Board of Nursing a link to the video. The nursing home had fought for three years to keep it sealed, according to the television station.

Agyeman, a former licensed nurse, is now charged with murder and neglect to an elder person, Jones said. Nuckles, also a former licensed nurse, is charged with depriving an elder person of essential services. Turman, a certified nurse assistant, was charged with neglect to an elder person. All of them face charges of concealing a death.

Jones said the lawsuit — and the video released in November — prompted law enforcement to open an investigation.


NTL member settles construction injury case for $1M

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National Trial Lawyers member Roger Booth of Booth & Koskoff in Torrence, California has settled a construction injury lawsuit for more than $1 million over a worker left paralyzed when he fell off a roof after tripping on a protruding nail.

On October 3, 2013, plaintiff was working as a roofer on a residential construction site when he tripped and fell off the roof, suffering a catastrophic spinal cord injury. In January 2015, plaintiff sued Mora Construction, the framing subcontractor, and Eldorado Construction, the general contractor.

Plaintiff’s Contentions: 

Plaintiff alleged that his injuries occurred because he tripped on a nail which had been left sticking up on the roof by defendant Mora Construction. According to plaintiff, Mora utilized “cleats” to install the plywood on the roof, which is a method where nails are partially driven into the roof in order to hold plywood in place while it is cut. Plaintiff alleged that Mora Construction had negligently left one of these nails protruding from the roof when it completed its work. Plaintiff also alleged that defendant Eldorado Construction had been negligent because, as general contractor, it had exercised and maintained control of the safety conditions on the construction site, but had nonetheless failed to ensure safe working conditions.

Defendants’ Contentions: 

Both defendants denied all liability for plaintiff’s injury. Defendant Eldorado Construction claimed to have no knowledge as to how plaintiff’s fall occurred, but argued that, as the general contractor, it had no liability for plaintiff’s injuries under the Privette line of cases.

Defendant Mora Construction claimed that plaintiff’s fall was caused purely by his own negligence, and the negligence of his employer. Mora Construction denied leaving any nails protruding from the roof, claiming that it never utilized “cleats” when installing plywood on roofs. A city inspector had examined the roof after Mora Construction completed its work and had approved it. Additionally, Mora claimed that one of its employees had witnessed plaintiff’s fall, and that he had not tripped on a nail at all, but rather had slipped on roofing paper while walking backwards. Mora also argued that regardless of what had caused plaintiff to fall, plaintiff and his employer were primarily responsible for plaintiff’s injuries because plaintiff had failed to secure himself to the roof with a harness, as was required by plaintiff’s employer’s own rules.

Dispute Regarding Applicable Insurance: 

Early in the litigation, Defendant Eldorado Construction revealed that it had no applicable insurance coverage. Defendant Mora Construction initially did not file an answer and ignored plaintiff’s counsel’s attempts to contact him. After plaintiff initiated default proceedings, defendant Mora finally filed an answer, but then failed to respond to written discovery requests and ignored plaintiff’s counsel’s requests for information about insurance coverage.

Eventually, Mora’s attorney- who had not been hired by an insurance company but by Mr. Mora himself – provided plaintiff with two insurance certificates, neither of which covered the date of plaintiff’s injury. However, upon subpoenaing Mora’s insurance broker directly, plaintiff’s counsel learned that there was a $1,000,000 liability policy that covered the date of plaintiff’s injury. Plaintiff’s counsel then tendered the claim to the carrier, more than three years after plaintiff sustained his injuries. The insurance carrier hired a coverage lawyer and initially took the position that, even though the declarations page of its policy listed policy limits of

$1,000,000, there was a “sub-limit” in the policy that limited coverage for construction accidents to $10,000.

Settlement Negotiations: 

On May 11, 2017, plaintiff served a CCP 998 offer to compromise on defendant Mora Construction for the $1,000,000 policy limit. Plaintiff served a subsequent 998 on November 2, 2017, after having resolved the workers’ comp lien.


The parties agreed to settle the lawsuit for $1,010,000, with defendant Mora Construction paying its $1,000,000 policy limit and Defendant Eldorado Construction paying $10,000 out of pocket. Additionally, plaintiff negotiated a deal with the workers’ comp carrier, which had asserted a lien of over $1,500,000, to settle the lien for $200,000, including a waiver of any right to a credit against future workers’ comp benefits.



Nursing home settles with fertilizer suppliers whose products exploded, leveling building

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A Texas nursing home has settled a lawsuit filed in the wake of a 2013 fertilizer explosion that leveled the facility and forced residents to evacuate.

Details of the settlement with fertilizer manufacturers CF Industries, El Dorado Chemical Company and the International Chemical Company were not disclosed. Those companies stored their chemicals at West Fertilizer Company, where an explosion killed 15 people, flattened 500 homes in the community near Waco and injured more than 200 people.

The blast ignited 270 tons of ammonium nitrate and displaced all 133 residents at West Rest Haven, a 145-bed, 55,000-square-foot facility just 200 yards away.

Some residents were injured, and one died the night of the explosion.

Afterward, survivors moved to a dozen different facilities across Central Texas. Then-administrator Rose Ann Morris and others involved in their care questioned whether the tragedy might have hastened the deaths of 14 others over the next two months.

In 2015, West Rest Haven opened a new 120-bed facility.

“We will continue our mission to serve the community’s senior population and take care of our residents with love and compassion, putting their needs first to the best of our ability,” Robby Payne, president of the board of directors at West Rest Haven, said in a press release.

West Rest Haven was represented by Harrison Davis Steakley Morrison Jones, the same law firm representing 10 victims’ families and 75 of the injured.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ruled the explosion a criminal act, but no one has ever been charged with setting the fire that ignited it. Total insurance losses were estimated at $100 million.

The force felt was equivalent to that of a magnitude-2.1 earthquake, and investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board later said the explosion was preventable.


Lanzo Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Toxic Tort Trial Opens in New Jersey

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Plaintiffs say J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower caused mesothelioma

New Brunswick, NJNext week the New Jersey Superior Court will hear opening arguments in Lanzo v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co, the second Johnson & Johnson talcum powder mesothelioma case to go to trial. The first toxic tort lawsuit to allege a link between J&J’s talcum powder products and mesothelioma ended in a win for J&J. Another case involving Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder settled. There’s a lot riding on the outcome of Lanzo .

What Lanzo claims

The complaint in Lanzo alleges that Stephen Lanzo regularly and frequently used and was exposed to asbestos-containing J & J talc powder products, that the use of these products generated dust and exposed him to respirable asbestos fibers, which caused his mesothelioma. The link between exposure to asbestos fibers and mesothelioma is well established.

The challenge his lawyers face is to show that the specific talc products he used contained asbestos and that this exposure, not something else, caused his disease. Enough doubt is all it takes to sink a plaintiff’s case. The recent California decision in Herford et al v. AT&T Corp et al makes that harder.

Similar claims, different facts

Herford is a California state court decision and although it may be persuasive to a New Jersey court, it is not binding precedent. A different jurisdiction and a different jury may produce a very different result.

The biggest problem Stephen Lanzo may face is in convincing a jury that the specific talc products he used contained asbestos. Federal environmental law has required the testing of talcum powder for asbestos since the mid-1970s.The defense will likely argue that Lanzo’s potential exposure was very brief, if it occurred at all. Tina Herford, on the other hand, began to use J&J talc products many years before rigorous testing was required.

Other factual differences may work in Lanzo’s favor. Tina Herford had also received radiation therapy for treatment of breast cancer, which an expert witness called by the defense linked to her later mesothelioma diagnosis. There is no indication, so far, that J&J has uncovered a potential intervening cause in Stephen Lanzo’s situation.

Why it matters

It certainly matters for Stephen Lanzo and his wife, but even beyond them, the case is important for two reasons.

First, many more trials could occur in New Jersey, since that is where J&J has its corporate headquarters. An adverse decision in Lanzo might affect far more plaintiffs than a bad ruling in California. Second, another win for J&J might depress the settlement value of the hundreds of talcum powder mesothelioma cases estimated to be still in the pipeline. All eyes are on Lanzo , which is expected to be on trial through February.

$2.6 Million Settlement for Woman Hit by Cement Truck

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The husband of a California woman who was killed by a speeding cement truck without brakes recovered a $2,592,090 settlement from the cement company and equipment rental company.

San Francisco attorneys Thomas Brandi and Brian J. Malloy of The Brandi Law Firm, represented the plaintiff.  Brandi is a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Attorneys and Malloy is a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and NTL Top 40 under 40.

The case is Peter Callaham v. Hanford Ready-Mix, Inc., Hanford Sand and Gravel, Inc., Garston Equipment Rental, Inc., Preston Hanford III and James Ennenga, case number 34-2015-00186933 in Sacramento County Superior Court.

No brakes

On Monday September 22, 2014, at about 4:12 p.m., Theresa Vargo, the wife of Peter Callaham, was making a left turn onto Rough and Ready Road across California State Route 20 in Nevada County, California.

At the same time, a 2003 Kenworth cement truck operated by James Ennenga of Hanford Ready-Mix, Inc., Hanford Sand and Gravel, Inc., and Garston Equipment Rental, Inc. came flying down the hill on State Route 20, its brakes no longer working.

According to the driver James Ennenga about one week before, the same thing happened: he was driving the same cement truck down the same hill, when the brakes stopped working.  That earlier time, however, Ennenga, unable to stop the cement truck as it came down the hill, had a green light and made it through the intersection without impact.

This time, as he came down the hill without any functioning brakes, he entered the intersection on a red light and destroyed the Vargo vehicle, resulting in her death.  Ms. Vargo, the longtime partner of and newly married to plaintiff Peter Callaham and mother of three.

Plaintiff Callaham brought an action for the wrongful death of his longtime partner and wife. During discovery, defendants admitted that at the time of the accident James Ennenga was driving within the course and scope of his employment with Hanford Sand and Gravel Inc. and that the negligence of defendants were the substantial contributing factors to Ms. Vargo’s death.  Defendants successfully precluded the plaintiff’s claim for punitive damages as the court found there was an insufficient basis to find malice.

The total available insurance was $3 million from which funds were expended for the toxic scene clean up costs and related expenses. The matter resolved for Plaintiff Callaham for $2,592,090.73, the available policy limits after payment to the three adult children and remedial clean-up costs.

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Xarelto Bellwether Score is 3-1 for the Defendants: MDL to Map out Strategy

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Both federal, and state cases combine to total 20,000 Xarelto Lawsuits. While the MDL conducts status analysis this month, pundits wonder about the potential for settling.

New Orleans, LA – With three federal bellwether cases having gone to the defendant and a fourth in state court favoring the plaintiff, the judge heading up the 18,500 consolidated cases in federal court has signaled he is looking for guidance from the various parties involved, with oral arguments on the docket for the end of the month following a status report. The Xarelto Lawsuit MDL is under the guidance and management of US District Judge Eldon Fallon in US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

Xarelto Bellwether Score is 3-1 for the Defendants: MDL to Map out StrategyThe stakes are high. According to (12/08/17) there are in excess of 18,500 cases consolidated in federal court, with a further 1,500 cases pending in Philadelphia. Combined, that’s 20,000 lawsuits alleging Xarelto bleeding complications and other adverse events.

The three bellwether Xarelto side effects cases tried in federal court in Louisiana went to the defendant. However, the most recent case that went to trial in Philadelphia saw a jury award of nearly $28 million for the plaintiffs.

Now, according to court documents Judge Fallon is keen on gathering information in order to best decide next steps and direction on how the consolidated litigation should proceed, given the apparent conflicting outcomes associated with the bellwether trials.

Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is the new-age blood thinner introduced with great fanfare as an easier, less-cumbersome anticoagulant pathway for thinning blood without the constant monitoring of diet and blood levels that is the bastion of warfarin (marketed as Coumadin, and the gold standard for over 50 years). Unlike warfarin, however Xarelto – and Pradaxa before it – were approved for market by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) without a reversing agent in place. The anti-coagulation properties of warfarin, in contrast, can usually be reversed fairly quickly with an infusion of Vitamin K.

Xarelto does not respond to Vitamin K in the same fashion. Plaintiffs assert they were not aware that rivaroxaban lacked an antidote, and some have asserted that defendants were negligent in marketing Xarelto as requiring less monitoring than warfarin, given the lack of a reversing agent., meanwhile recently speculated on how the Xarelto file might proceed from here, given the $28 million jury award for two Indiana plaintiffs in Philadelphia. Forbes looked at how Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of Pradaxa, handled the combined 4,000 cases in federal and state court over its blood thinner. The German pharmaceutical, as it turned out, settled the 4,000 cases in 2014 through a settlement fund totaling $650 million.

Bayer AG is the manufacturer of Xarelto, while pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is licensed to market Xarelto in the US through their subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Janssen). According to Forbes revenue for J&J from Xarelto stood at nearly $2.3 billion for the last full year for which complete information is available, representing about 7 per cent of J&J’s overall revenues for its pharmaceutical division for 2016.

Forbes opined that were Bayer and J&J/Janssen to follow a similar path travelled by Boehringer to settle 4,000 Pradaxa lawsuits, the cost for the former to settle a combined 20,000 Xarelto cases utilizing the same formula could nudge $3.25 billion.

Forbes then compared that forecast against another peak over the horizon – used as a calculator only – that assumes a 10 percent loss rate for Xarelto bleedout lawsuits, and basing future awards using the Philadelphia decision for the plaintiffs ($1.8 million compensatory, $26 million punitive). That cost, assuming a 10 percent rate of loss amidst 20,000 cases, could go as high as $3.6 billion.

Forbes stressed that such figures are submitted for illustrative purposes only, “and we believe that these draconian results are fairly unlikely,” the report said.

For the time being Judge Fallon – in a document issued on December 18 of last year – called for briefs to be submitted by January 15, with the deadline for responses identified as January 25. A status conference is set for January 30, after which oral arguments would be considered.

The Xarelto side effects MDL is IN RE: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2592 in the US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

The Xarelto lawsuit in Philadelphia is Hartman v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., Case No. 160503416, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

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Texas Driver with TBI from Auto Crash Recovers $26 Million Settlement

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A 30-year old house painter who suffered a traumatic brain injury and aortic injury when his car was struck at a Texas intersection by another vehicle that negligently ran a red light has recovered a $26 million settlement.

Bessy Rodriguez filed suit on behalf of herself, her incapacitated husband Jose Lara Sanchez and their two children in connection with the 2010 crash in Mt. Pleasant, TX. The defendants are Jonathan Cunningham, driver of a pickup truck, and his employer Troy Construction, LLC, which owned the truck. It is Case No. 38,742 in 276th Judicial District Court of Titus County, TX.

The plaintiff’s attorney is Brent Goudarzi of Goudarzi & Young, LLP in Gilmer, TX. The case involved 34 depositions taken all over the US as well as more than 20 highly contested court hearings prior to the insurance company Berkshire-Hathaway offered is $26 million insurance policy limit, about five weeks before a jury trial.

Extensive injuries

Mr. Lara was transported by ambulance to a local emergency room, with a Glasgow Coma Score of 3 and from there, airlifted to a second hospital for more comprehensive evaluation and care.  A CT scan revealed a fracture of the right temporal bone and right-sided epidural hematoma, with underlying subarachnoid hemorrhage.

He underwent an emergent right triple craniotomy, and two days later, underwent endovascular repair of a traumatic transection of the descending thoracic aorta.  For the next three weeks, Lara was weaned off sedation and managed for rib fractures, scapula fracture, left acetabular fracture, bilateral pulmonary contusions and pneumonia.

He was discharged to a skilled nursing facility, where he got aggressive physical, occupational and speech therapies for five months before being discharged home to his family.  Lara continued to receive physical and speech therapies through outpatient rehabilitation. Altogether, he incurred $1.3 million in medical expenses.

While the plaintiffs alleged the need for lifetime medical care and the inability to return to any level of employment, the defendants alleged that a short course of appropriate outpatient therapy at an accredited rehabilitation facility would provide Lara with independence, including the potential to return to driving and return to working. This allegation was supported by surveillance video conducted over the course of multiple days, which showed Mr. Lara walking unassisted and unsupervised outside of his home, engaging in family outings, communicating with neighbors and even assisting with automotive maintenance.

The defendants also claimed contributory negligence on the part of Lara for the alleged failure to use a seatbelt, which caused his ejection and the right temporal bone fracture, hematoma and hemorrhage and most, if not all, of his residual physical symptoms, which were primarily left-sided (and controlled by the right side of the brain). Had Lara not been ejected, defendants alleged, he would have sustained no brain injury.

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Family of Construction Worker Killed in Fall from Balcony Recovers $7.5 Million

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The family an Illinois electrician obtained a $7.5 million settlement after he was killed while installing lighting on a balcony at an apartment complex, and fell after another worker left a guardrail unsecured.

Scott Liszkiewicz, age 50, was installing light fixtures on a second-floor balcony of a maintenance building of the Prairie View Apartments in Bellwood, Illinois, which were undergoing renovations on Nov. 18, 2014, when another construction worker removed the balcony’s rail in order to install siding.  The worker went to lunch instead of immediately reattaching the rail, which appeared to be secured.

Liszkiewicz suffered head and spinal cord injuries in the two-story fall and died three weeks later.

“It was obvious from the beginning that Scott’s wife Angie was determined to do what she could do to ease his excruciating pain of his catastrophic injuries all the while knowing it was only matter of time until he would pass in the hospital and not in his home.  My heart went out to her and their son Nicholas. We were determined to make sure the two of them would be taken care of to the best of our abilities,” said Philip Corboy, Jr., a Partner at Corboy & Demetrio in Chicago, which represents the estate.

The lawsuit named as defendants, CRG Residential, LLC, a Carmel, Indiana subcontractor; and CRG’s subcontractor RC Schwartz, which was hired to remove and replace siding.  In addition, Urban Innovations owned the project site and retained CRG Residential as its general contractor.

“This senseless tragedy, exemplified by a triad of construction site blunders, took away the life of a loving husband, father and breadwinner.  Miscommunications and sloppy work practices between the two defendants produced this fatality, which was clearly avoidable,” said Corboy & Demetrio Partner Edward G. Willer, who along with William T. Gibbs, also represented the estate.

The case is Angela Liszkiewicz, Administrator of Estate of Scott Liszkiewicz v. CRG Residential, LLC, Chris R.C. Schwartz doing business as RC Construction, Case No. 15C4088, in U.S. Northern District Court. Judge John J. Tharp, Jr. approved the settlement on Dec. 12, 2017.

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