Latest News

  • Lawyer of the Year 2015

    Congratulations Skip Jewett for being selected as the single best “Lawyer of the Year” for Orlando by Best Lawyers in America.

  • Florida Super Lawyers Business Edition

    Congratulations Bucky Hurt, Dick Womble, Skip Jewett, and Richard Mangan for being recognized by their peers for inclusion in the 2014 business edition of Florida Super Lawyers.

  • Best Lawyers in America 2015

    Congratulations Steve Rissman, Bob Barrett, Bob Donahue, Bucky Hurt, Dick Womble, Skip Jewett, Richard Mangan, Art Young, Vance Dawson, Nicole Ruocco, John Daly and Ted Copeland for their inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America” 2015. The firm has 12 attorneys recognized by their peers as Best Lawyers for 2015.

  • Martindale Hubbell AV-Rated Attorneys

    Congratulations to Ted Copeland, Karissa Owens, Richard Robbins, and Nicolette Tsambis for receiving the prestigious AV- rating from Martindale Hubbell.

    More than 70% of the firms attorneys are now AV- rated.

  • Lawyer of the Year

    Bob Barrett was named “Lawyer of the Year” in workers’ compensation law. For over thirty years, a publication called “The Best Lawyers in America” has peer review rated the legal profession. Each year, only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year” making this accolade particularly noteworthy. This year, that spectacular honor goes to Bob Barrett. Significantly, this honor was awarded last year to another workers’ compensation partner, Nicole Ruocco.

  • 2014 Florida Super Lawyers

    Congratulations Steve Rissman, Bob Barrett, Bucky Hurt, Dick Womble, Skip Jewett, and Richard Mangan for being recognized by their peers for inclusion in the 2014 edition of Florida Super Lawyers. Congratulations are also in order for Eric Ochotorena who has been named as one of the Florida Rising Stars.

  • Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorneys

    Congratulations Bucky Hurt, Skip Jewett, Art Young, Vance Dawson, Richard Mangan, David Kuhn, Cliff Acord, Will Lazenby, Juan Ruiz, and Laura Lytle for being recognized by American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell as Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorneys.

  • Liford v. Granados

    Congratulations John Daly and Sean Crocker for obtaining an outstanding result for the defendant driver in the case of Liford v. Granados. Defense admitted Mr. Granados’ negligence had caused the crash but denied liability for plaintiff’s injuries arguing they were attributable to preexisting arthritis and also that plaintiff had been negligent for failing to use her seat belt.

    The jury returned a defense verdict which represented a small portion of plaintiff’s total past medical bills. The jury also accepted the seat belt defense and assigned 40 % comparative negligence reducing the award, which will further be reduced by collateral source set offs and ultimately result in a final judgment of zero dollars. Allstate Insurance Company insured Mr. Granados for this accident and is very pleased with the outcome.

  • Tibbs v. Dr. Sondra Shields

    Congratulations Richard Mangan and Cliff Acord for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Sondra Shields in behalf of The Doctors Company. In this 7 day medical malpractice case, plaintiff alleged that he suffered brain damage as a result of respiratory and cardiac arrest during a LESI procedure. Plaintiff further alleged that Dr. Shields, an anesthesiologist, performed an improper and inadequate pre-anesthesia evaluation, failed to develop and communicate a proper plan of care to the CRNA , negligently supervised the CRNA during the administration of propofol, and allowed the procedure to go forward without end tidal CO2 monitoring as required by written policies.

    Dr. Shields, who was filing in on the day of the LESI and was responsible for directing anesthesia care, cleared Mr. Tibbs for MAC anesthesia with propofol to be administered by a CRNA. She had very little knowledge of CRNA and did not speak with her regarding plaintiffs needs as an ASA III patient with sleep apnea. The CRNA gave propofol and lost the airway. Plaintiff coded and experienced respiratory and cardiac arrest caused by both the rapid administration of the large dose of propofol and the absence of end tidal CO2 monitoring. Dr. Shields was called to the room. She intubated Mr. Tibbs and he was transferred to Brandon Hospital for further care. Mr. Tibbs developed memory loss and PTSD as a result of an alleged anoxic and/or hypoxic brain injury. He ultimately had to resign his position as a LPN because due difficulty remembering verbal orders and stress reactions when patients would code. He was subsequently fired from four other jobs as a result of his inability to perform his duties.

    Plaintiffs argued that Dr. Shields had the overall responsibility for all aspects of anesthesia care and that end tidal CO2 monitoring was required but not utilized. Plaintiffs’ opined that Dr. Shields was ultimately responsible for the negligence of the CRNA and that Dr. Shields should have made sure that end tidal CO2 monitoring occurred. The jury returned a defense verdict in 1 hour and 10 minutes.

  • Sheridan v. State Farm

    Congratulations Dean Hewitt and Jeremy Palma for obtaining a defense verdict for State Farm this UM claim. The accident occurred in Orange County on a clear morning. Plaintiff claimed that he was at a complete stop in a median when the accident occurred and that the defendant veered from the right lane across the left lane and into the median causing the impact. Defendant claimed that his vehicle remained in the right lane until Plaintiff drove directly into his path while attempting to cross the intersection.
    This was a bifurcated trial on the issue of negligence only. The jury deliberated 38 before returning a defense verdict finding no negligence on the part the Defendant. State Farm will be entitled to attorney’s fees and taxable costs.

  • Pierre v. State Farm Fire and Casualty

    Congratulations Paul Tipton for obtaining a Final Judgment of Dismissal for Fraud in the Pierre v.  State Farm Fire and Casualty UM matter on behalf of State Farm.  Plaintiff fraudulently testified that he had been in no prior or subsequent accidents, had not received treatment for injuries sustained in prior or subsequent accidents, had never been arrested, and had stopped working as a result of a job ending when he had been terminated.  This is the third lawsuit in which Paul has successfully moved for dismissal on behalf of State Farm or its insureds based on the claimant having committed fraud on the court.  The initial facts of these claims had been suspicious; however, St. Farm had not been able to deny the claims for clear policy violations.

  • Donahue v. Decade Gulfcoast Hotel Partners

    Congratulations Karissa Owens and Amy Baker for obtaining a defense verdict on behalf of Decade Gulfcoast Hotel Partners (and Amtrust/AIX). The Plaintiff sustained an ankle fracture necessitating two surgeries after an alleged slip and fall on a pool step at the Clearwater Beach Holiday Inn. Plaintiff alleged that she slipped on the step of the hotel’s pool entrance and that various conditions at the entrance way were not code compliant. The trial court precluded the defense’s engineering expert and other witnesses, such as DOH inspectors, from testifying. Defendant’s expert podiatrist explained that the fracture pattern revealed an external rotation pronation injury that could not have been caused by a slip and fall.

    The jury returned a defense verdict in just 90 minutes.

  • Starner v. Dr. Hussein

    Congratulations Art Young and Dick Womble for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Maen Hussein and The Doctors Company.

    Plaintiff alleged Dr. Hussein ordered an unnecessary arterial blood gas analysis and contended the respiratory technician negligently performed the test causing damage to nerves causing her to develop reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Defense demonstrated that the procedure was necessary and that plaintiff did not present convincing proof of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. After six days of trial, the jury deliberated 70 minutes before returning a defense verdict.

     

  • Best Lawyers in America 2014

    Congratulations Steve Rissman, Bob Barrett, Bob Donahue, Bucky Hurt, Dick Womble, Skip Jewett, Richard Mangan, Art Young, Vance Dawson, John McLain, Nicole Ruocco, and John Daly for their inclusion in “Best Lawyers in America” 2014. The firm now has 12 attorneys recognized by their peers as Best Lawyers.

  • Bostwick v. Dr. Bashore

    Congratulations Dick Womble and Juan Ruiz for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Robert Bashore and The Doctors Company. Plaintiff alleged that three doctors failed to diagnose breast cancer. Defendants proved Plaintiff had a benign fibroadenoma which was later invaded by an uncommon lobular carcinoma, which is undetectable on diagnostic tests, and that with treatment the plaintiff has an 85% chance of no recurrence and a normal life expectancy. The trial lasted 13 days. The jury deliberated for 9 1/2 hours over two days.

  • What to Expect from Malpractice Litigation

    The first video in the series, released by The Doctors Company, features the first-hand account of Dr. Darlene M. Go along with claims specialist, Lisette Fernandez, and firm defense attorney, Dick Womble.

    Please click the link below to view this informative video.

    http://youtu.be/Ppd7CC9GtFU

  • Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference: Breakout for Risk Managers

    Click below to read this informative article, part of a series written by Steve Rissman for the Workers’ Compensation Institute.

    Read More
  • Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference: National Trends in Workers’ Compensation

    Click below to read this informative article, part of a series written by Steve Rissman for the Workers’ Compensation Institute.

    Read More
  • Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference: Two-Day Mini-Med School for Lawyers & Adjusters

    Click below to read this informative article, part of a series written by Steve Rissman for the Workers’ Compensation Institute.

    Read More
  • Jarvis v. Cleanevent USA, Inc.

    Congratulations Art Young for obtaining summary judgment in Jarvis v. Cleanevent USA, Inc. This case involves a slip and fall occurring in the concession area of the Amway Arena. Plaintiff alleged that he slipped and fell on a pickle on the floor causing injury to the ACL of both knees as well as separation of the AC joint in both shoulders and injury to the ligament and bone in one shoulder.

    The court granted summary judgment and found that there was no contractual duty for Cleanevent to clean this area of the arena and that there was not constructive notice of this transitory foreign substance.

  • Lederman v. Valadie

    Congratulations Bryan R. Snyder for obtaining a dismissal of a federal lawsuit filed against a physician who performed total hip replacement surgery on the plaintiff utilizing allegedly defective hip replacement components. The plaintiff, Paul Lederman, asserted strict product liability claims against Dr. Valadie alleging that Dr. Valadie had acted as an agent of Howmedica Osteonics Corp. (“Howmedica”), the entity that had designed, manufactured, distributed and sold the allegedly defective hip replacement components.

    The federal court concluded that Dr. Valadie was not a properly joined defendant, plaintiff’s claims against Dr. Valadie related to medical negligence, and that plaintiff had impermissibly circumvented the requirements and restrictions of the medical malpractice statute.

  • Magwood v. ValleyCrest

    Congratulations Dean Hewitt and Jeremy Palma for obtaining a defense verdict for ValleyCrest Landscape Development in the Magwood matter. This case involves a rear-end motor vehicle accident that occurred at dusk in clear weather.

    Mrs. Magwood was traveling in the left lane when a school bus in the right lane stopped to drop off children.  Mrs. Magwood brought her vehicle to a complete stop in the left lane.  An employee of ValleyCrest brought his vehicle to a complete stop behind her.  The ValleyCrest vehicle was then rear-ended by a phantom vehicle, which fled the scene, and pushed it into the rear of the Magwood vehicle. 

    Plaintiff claimed to have sustained a herniation at C4-5 which required an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion, incurring $187,000 in medical expenses.  Plaintiff only brought suit against ValleyCrest. 

    The trial lasted two days. The jury deliberated for 15 minutes before returning a defense verdict finding no negligence on the part of the driver of the ValleyCrest vehicle.  Defendant will be entitled to attorney’s fees and taxable costs.

     

  • Bates v. Ackerman

    Congratulations Vance Dawson and Juan Ruiz for obtaining a defense verdict for Susan Ackerman in behalf of State Farm.  Defendant rear-ended a car which was pushed into a car driven by the Plaintiff, Gary Bates. Plaintiff claimed as a result of the accident that he had to undergo a two level cervical fusion and incurred medical expenses in the amount of $115,000.

    Plaintiff’s demand in closing was $355,000. The trial lasted 5 days. After 59 minutes of deliberation (including lunch) the jury returned a zero verdict.

  • Denardo v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc.

    Congratulations Meredith Stephens for obtaining a dismissal with prejudice for Publix based upon Plaintiff’s fraud upon the court. The basis for the motion was that Plaintiff provided false and misleading testimony regarding the facts of a slip and fall incident.

    Plaintiff claimed injuries to her back and knee and incurred medical expenses in excess of $65,000. During her deposition, she denied knowledge of a leak in a soda pack in her cart and also denied being in the aisle where the incident occurred prior to the fall.  This testimony was contrary to the surveillance video. Defense argued that the false testimony was a clear attempt to cover up the fact that Plaintiff caused a spill in the aisle where the fall occurred and then returned to the area, where she slipped and fell in the spill she had created.

    Despite Plaintiff counsel’s argument that issues regarding the dynamics of the incident could be addressed during cross-examination and were not grounds for dismissal the court disagreed and found that the discrepancies between testimony and surveillance were evidence of Plaintiff’s attempt to defraud the court.

  • Rounds v. Jurbala

    Congratulations Dick Womble and Will Lazenby for obtaining a defense verdict for Dr. Brian Jurbala in the Rounds case on behalf of The Doctors Company.

    Plaintiffs sued Dr. Jurbala for medical malpractice alleging that he improperly performed a cartilage repair procedure on both knees of Ms. Rounds, with insufficient experience, and that Plaintiff had arthritis in her knees which contraindicated the procedure. Plaintiffs claimed that as a result, her condition deteriorated and she was forced to undergo bilateral knee replacements.

    Defense demonstrated Dr. Jurbala did have sufficient training and that the procedure was not contraindicated.  Ms. Rounds’ present pain and disability would have been the same even if Dr. Jurbala had chosen to proceed with bilateral knee replacements instead of the cartilage repair. Defense also pointed out that Plaintiff’s expert had been suspended by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons for unethical conduct in prior expert testimony.

    The case was tried for five days with a jury deliberating for just 42 minutes before returning a defense verdict in favor of Dr. Jurbala.

  • Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference (WCEC)

    The Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference is scheduled at the Orlando World Marriott from August 17 – 20, 2014.  It is the biggest educational program of the year for claims’ people and risk managers. For more information, please visit our Education Seminars page.

Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue & McLain, P.A.

Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue & McLain, P.A. is an AV-rated law firm by Martindale-Hubbell(R) Law Directory offering top quality legal services to its clients throughout Florida. The firm provides legal services in  all areas of insurance defense litigation from Workers’ Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Automobile Negligence, Premises Liability and Construction Litigation.

The firm was founded in 1972 and has grown from a small firm to one of the larger Insurance Defense firms in the state of Florida.  The firm’s attorneys bring diverse educational and professional backgrounds and experiences to aggressively meet the continuing challenges presented by its clients. 

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