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EMINENT DOMAIN: Our client owned over 90 acres of land in Wayne County, West Virginia, that the West Virginia Department of Transportation wanted to purchase for a road project. When our client did not want to sell his land, the WV DOT filed an eminent domain proceeding in court allowing them to take the land. To compensate our client for the land taken, the WV DOT would only value the land for agricultural use. We were able to present substantial evidence that the value of our client’s land, based on its highest and best use, was for commercial or industrial use. The matter was tried to a jury and our client received a record verdict.
INTERSTATE TRUCKING ACCIDENT: In 2007, a tractor-trailer transporting factory-new SUVs slammed into the rear of traffic in a construction zone on the interstate.
The victim’s automobile was crushed and pinned under the weight of the transport trailer. A puncture in the truck’s diesel tank resulted in a massive fire and our client was entrapped in the wreckage for sixty minutes. Other motorists jumped out of their vehicles and heroically held the flames at bay until emergency personnel used the jaws-of-life to rip open an escape. Our client suffered a wrist fracture, left femur fracture, left hip fracture and third degree burns. GREENE KETCHUM was able to settle the claim without filing a lawsuit.
HOSPITAL ACQUIRED INFECTION: Our fourteen year old client contracted a nosocomial, or hospital acquired, infection during an ACL repair surgery. The infection ravaged her knee for four (4) years and resulted in six (6) additional surgeries. The life threatening battle to fight the infection caused significant physical, emotional and psychological trauma and resulted in a three week jury trial.
The jury returned a record breaking verdict which shattered the West Virginia cap on noneconomic damages. The controversial appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court resulted in four written opinions including two dissents.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: Our client was diagnosed at birth with a rare blood disease called spherocytosis wherein otherwise healthy red blood cells are mistaken by the spleen for old or damaged red blood cells. The disease causes the spleen to systematically destroy its own blood supply resulting in chronic health problems. The treatment requires the removal of the spleen. The child underwent a planned laparoscopic splenectomy at the age of five to surgically remove the spleen. A laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery which involves four small incisions. Instruments are inserted in the holes to perform the surgery using a small video camera to visualize the surgical field. A major complication occurred during the surgery when the surgeon attempted to remove the spleen. The surgeon mistakenly removed the child’s colon leaving nothing but a rectal stub. The iatrogenic injury to the splenic flexure and transverse colon required a subtotal colectomy with illeal rectal anastomosis. GREENE KETCHUM reached a settlement for the minor child without filing a lawsuit.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ANESTHESIA: Our 62 year old client underwent an outpatient surgical procedure to implant a single chamber pacemaker by a local cardiologist. No anesthesiology personnel were present during the procedure. The patient was accidentally overdosed causing the onset of respiratory depression resulting in cardiorespiratory arrest. The surgeon failed to detect the emergency condition for over 5 minutes and then failed to timely begin rescue ventilation and cardiac resuscitation. The anesthesia medical errors proximately resulted in a devastating and permanent hypoxic brain injury. Our client remained hospitalized and survived for ten months until complications from the brain injury caused his death. GREENE KETCHUM successfully settled the matter on behalf of the patient’s family without filing a lawsuit.
ILLEGAL TRUCKING OPERATION: Our 28 year old client was killed in a fatal collision caused by an illegal trucking operation in West Virginia. An overweight, over-length tractor trailer operating at night, and without a permit, crossed the double yellow crushing an oncoming car operated by our client. The trucking operators refused to accept responsibility forcing GREENE KETCHUM to file a lawsuit. We were able to reach a confidential settlement on behalf of the family before trial.
Motor Vehicle Accident: Our client was traveling on a rural road with her daughter. A pickup truck coming from the opposite direction struck plaintiff head-on. Plaintiff’s daughter was ejected. Plaintiff and daughter were airlifted to a regional medical center where the plaintiff was hospitalized in intensive care for approximately one month. Plaintiff suffered severe and debilitating injuries and an inability to return to work. GREENE KETCHUM resolved the claim favorably for both mother and daughter.
Coal Truck ACCIDENT: Our client was stopped on a two lane state highway making a left hand turn when she was rear-ended by a coal truck. In the accident, plaintiff struck her head. Plaintiff suffered altered consciousness at the scene and within days began developing seizure-type activity. A neurologist performed an EEG which confirmed seizure activity caused by the impact sustained in the accident with the coal truck. Plaintiff’s yearly cost of medication was substantial, approaching $15,000.00 a year. The future cost of medication over plaintiff’s lifetime was substantial. The case settled days before trial.
Airbag PRODUCT LIABILITY: Decedent was a 51 year old school teacher. She was a passenger in a vehicle operated by her husband. A drunk driver crossed the center line striking the vehicle head-on. During the impact, decedent was thrown forward, striking her head and neck on the dashboard. The airbag failed to deploy. Decedent’s estate asserted claims against the at-fault driver and the vehicle manufacturer. Decedent’s estate recovered the full liability and underinsured motorist coverages available. In addition, plaintiff recovered from the vehicle manufacturer. The family was not required to file suit.
CHEMICAL SPILL: Plaintiffs were 350 residents of the west end of Huntington, West Virginia. Plaintiffs were evacuated as a result of a chemical spill of coal tar light oil (CTLO). Plaintiffs displaced from their homes during the evacuation and environmental remediation. Plaintiffs asserted claims of diminished value to their real property; annoyance, aggravation and inconvenience; and claims for reimbursed of out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the spill. Claims were brought against four different defendants, all of whom settled before trial.