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EMINENT DOMAIN: Our client owned property 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 the land, the WV DOT filed an eminent domain proceeding in court allowing them to take the land. To compensate our client, the WV DOT would only value the land for agricultural use. Greene Ketchum was 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 and judgment.
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.
PREMISES LIABILITY: Our elderly client was shopping at a major grocery store when she stepped on a grape causing her to lose her footing, fall and break her hip. After surgery to repair her hip, our client developed necrosis requiring her to get a total hip replacement. Greene Ketchum was able to show the grocery store chain had been on notice of serious problems with its grapes falling around the grape bins and that customers had been slipping and falling on the loose produce. Greene Ketchum also showed that despite the grocery store’s actual knowledge of the problem, it did not put down mats or taken any other precautions to prevent customers from slipping and falling. The jury returned a verdict finding the grocery store negligent and awarded substantial compensation to our client.
ATV ACCIDENT: Our client was a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle when the driver began operating the ATV irresponsibly and wrecked. Our client sustaining a severe right acromioclavicular injury. Surgery was not able to repair the damage, resulting in a permanent injury and disabilities. The jury returned a verdict finding the driver of the ATV negligent and awarded substantial compensation to our client.
EMINENT DOMAIN: Our client owned property in Wayne County, West Virginia that the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Public Port Authority, took by eminent domain for the Heartland Intermodal Gateway Facility. The property, consisting mainly of fields, enabled the WV DOT to value the land for agricultural use. Given the property’s size and location, Greene Ketchum was 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 and judgment.
GOVERNMENTAL LIABILITY: Our client’s house began smoldering around the chimney one winter evening while his family in the home and he was at work in the coal mines. The house was still smoldering when the fire department arrived. However, the fire hydrant directly outside of the house had frozen and failed to work. Before pump trucks could arrive, flames spread throughout the house and burned it to the ground. The local public service district, a political subdivision responsible for maintaining the fire hydrant, claimed that it was immune from liability and that the hydrant was properly maintained. Greene Ketchum was able to show that the public service district was not immune from liability; that the public service district negligently maintained the fire hydrant prior to the fire; and that public service district’s negligence caused the hydrant to freeze and become inoperable. The jury found the public service district liable and awarded damages to our client.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT – DRAM SHOP: We represented the family of a man who went to a restaurant for dinner after work where he was over-served alcohol and became visibly intoxicated. After leaving the restaurant in his car, the man got lost, drove the wrong way down one-way road and eventually wrecked, causing him to lose his life. At trial, Greene Ketchum was able to show the restaurant’s employees knew the man was being over-served alcohol, continued to serve him alcohol despite his condition, knew he was intoxicated when they let him leave the restaurant alone and knew he was going to drive himself home. Greene Ketchum was able to secure a settlement for the family before jury deliberation.
COAL MINE ACCIDENT: Our client operated a roof bolter for large coal company. The roof bolter had a history of losing hydraulic pressure. The coal company had actual knowledge of the roof bolter’s hydraulic problems which subjected our client to specific unsafe working conditions. While operating the roof bolter underground, it again lost hydraulic pressure causing the roof bolter’s automatic temporary roof support system to fail. As a result, the coal mine’s roof fell in on top of our client resulting in serious and permanent injuries. Greene Ketchum was able to secure a settlement for our client before jury deliberation.
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – BED SORE: We represented the family of a retired Veteran who had gone to a health care facility for a mild case of the flu. During the Veteran’s stay in the health care facility, he suffered a deep tissue injury as the result of the medical treatment and care provided. The Veteran later developed sepsis because of the deep tissue injury and passed away. Greene Ketchum was able to show the health care facility deviated from the acceptable standards of care while treating the Veteran which resulted in him developing a deep tissue injury, contracting sepsis and passing away. Greene Ketchum was able to reach a settlement on behalf of the Veteran’s family before trial.
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 was able to settle the claim without filing a lawsuit.
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.
ELECTROCUTION: We represented the family of a teenager who was swimming behind a rental houseboat docked in the lake of a large resort. As the teenager attempted to get out of the lake, he grabbed the houseboat’s swim ladder and was electrocuted. Greene Ketchum was able to show that the resort was installing a new electric shore plug on the end of a power chord that was used for the rental houseboat. The plug was wired incorrectly by the resort’s employee who then plugged the power chord into a power pedestal on the dock. Because the plug was incorrectly wired, the hull of the houseboat became energized when the power chord was plugged-in which resulted in electrocution. Greene Ketchum was able to reach a confidential settlement on behalf of the family before trial.
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.
PRODUCT LIABILITY – AIRBAG: 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.