Rissman Trial Results

  • Gilchrist v. Allen
    Congratulations Jeremy Palma and Michael Woodard for obtaining a favorable verdict after a seven day trial on behalf of State Farm.   The case stemmed from a motor vehicle accident where the defendant ran a red light and T-boned plaintiff on the driver side door resulting in significant damage. Plaintiff was transported to ORMC complaining of head, neck and shoulder pain and was diagnosed with a sprain strain injury.  Plaintiff was 22 years old  at the time and had no prior medical history.  In the following years, Plaintiff accumulated $525,000 in medical expenses and underwent four surgeries, including a shoulder repair, a cervical disc replacement and a lumbar fusion. The defense admitted negligence and contested medical causation by presenting evidence that plaintiff sustained a soft tissue injury which would have resolved within 3 months as her doctors had diagnosed before she started treating under letters of protection. Defense focused on her years of treatment with only pain management as well as significant gaps in treatment before the shoulder surgery. The defense also presented records from non-LOP providers who documented normal exams without pain during the same time frame Plaintiff complained of extreme pain to her LOP providers. Plaintiff counsel asked for $2.45 million to compensate for past and future medical expenses, wages, and earning capacity.   The jury deliberated 2 hours, 36 minutes before returning a verdict in the amount of $165,788. The defense will be entitled to a $75,000 set-off so the net verdict is $90,788, below the $100,000 policy limit.        
    Verdict Date: March 13, 2018
  • Henderson v. Reid
    Congratulating Juan Ruiz and Aaron Eagan for obtaining a favorable verdict in Henderson v. Reid for State Farm.   The case arose out of an automobile accident in which the vehicle driven by Ms. Henderson was rear ended by Mr. Reid’s vehicle and pushed into the vehicle in front of her. There were no injuries reported at the scene. Four days after the accident, Ms. Henderson presented to her chiropractor, Dr. Fadem, with complaints of neck and back pain. One week later  she began complaining of shoulder pain. Dr. Fadem ordered MRIs which demonstrated herniated discs at C4-5, C5-6 and C6-7, bulges at L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1, and a  labral tear and  as well as incomplete tear of rotator cuff. Ms. Henderson underwent labral repair  and then began treating with Dr. Razack, a neurosurgeon, who performed epidural steroid injections. Ms. Henderson was released in 2013 but returned  in 2015 complaining of new symptoms. Dr. Razack then performed an ACDF at C5-6 and C6-7. Ms. Henderson had pre-existing neck, back and shoulder complaints dating as far back as 1982 and had previously been diagnosed with herniated discs and  undergone a shoulder arthroscopy following a 2004 accident. Plaintiff argued that the need for both shoulder and neck surgeries were related to the 2013 accident. Ms. Henderson had past medical expenses of $236,000.  The defense’s theory was that the need for Ms. Henderson‘s neck surgery was related to a new injury and the need for shoulder surgery was due to continued degeneration following her prior arthroscopic surgery. In closing, plaintiff requested the jury award Ms. Henderson more than $750, 000. Defense suggested the jury award Ms. Henderson $22,800, the cost of the palliative chiropractic care and initial MRIs.   After 3.5 hours of deliberation, the jury awarded $106,000 in past medical expenses.
    Verdict Date: February 16, 2018
    Rissman Attorney: Juan A. Ruiz Aaron E. Eagan
  • Mullen v. King
    Congratulations  Art Young and Bowie Kuhn for obtaining a defense verdict TDC insured.   Dr. King was sued by a former patient, Maria Mullen, regarding surgical complications which occurred during right total knee revision surgery.  In 1994, Dr. King had implanted the original artificial knee; however, over the next 17 years normal wear and tear caused the knee component  parts to breakdown, necessitating the revision. During the revision surgery, Dr. King cut Ms. Mullen’s popliteal artery and vein.  He immediately recognized the injury, stopped his procedure and summoned a vascular surgeon who successfully completed the repair.  Post-operatively, she was noted to have foot-drop and subsequent physicians believed this to be the result of an intra-operative ischemic event which damaged the peroneal nerve. Ms. Mullen alleged a lack of informed consent, which was dropped the first day of trial,  and negligence. The defense denied the vascular injury constituted any negligence arguing it was a known complication of  the surgery.   The trial lasted 7 days.  The jury deliberated 55 minutes before reaching a defense verdict.  
    Verdict Date: February 06, 2018
    Rissman Attorney: Art C. Young David R. Kuhn
  • Pagan v. Saranita
    Congratulations Dick Womble and Christine Zharova for obtaining a defense verdict in this 12 day trial. Plaintiff claimed that Dr. Saranita inappropriately prescribed an excessive dose of an opioid medication resulting in respiratory depression and death. The defense concentrated on the lack of evidence of the amount taken and when. The amount prescribed was safe and appropriate in a patient who had not previously taken the medication. Plaintiff counsel requested the jury to return an award of $22 million. The jury deliberated for 2 hours, 30 minutes before returning a verdict in favor of Dr. Saranita.
    Verdict Date: January 30, 2018
  • Mead v. Latham
    Congratulations Juan Ruiz and Aaron Eagan for obtaining a defense verdict in Mead v. Latham. The case arose from a motor vehicle accident in which the defendant collided with Mr. Mead’s vehicle while stopped in traffic. The force of the impact pushed Mr. Mead’s vehicle into another car and caused extensive rear and frontal property damage. Mr. Mead testified that he was wearing his seatbelt and did not brace for the impact. Defendant, Peter Latham, admitted negligence. Mr. Mead was 47 at the time of the collision and alleged permanent injuries that included a C7-T1 foraminal herniation, which he claimed caused ongoing neck pain radiating into his arm and a separate  arm ulnar nerve , and thoracic outlet “double crush” injury causing intermittent left arm pain and numbness. Four years after the accident,  Mr. Mead began treating for his neck and arm complaints was referred a hand and arm surgeon.  An ulnar nerve entrapment was diagnosed and ulnar nerve decompression surgery was performed. Plaintiff’s medical witnesses related the herniation and all treatment to the accident but also admitted that the herniation was not present in any of the  post-accident MRIs and that the ulnar decompression surgery was also unrelated to the accident. The defense presented the testimony that opined that Mr. Mead had not sustained any permanent injury resulting from the accident and that at most, he had sustained a temporary soft tissue injury based upon his subjective reporting of pain. The defense also called a radiology expert who showed the jury Mr. Mead’s films and testified that the C7-T1 left foraminal pathway was patent in both studies.  The defense’s closing focused on Mr. Mead’s contradictory post-accident medical records that ruled out permanent symptoms and his years of participation in physically intense, injury-prone activities. The jury deliberated for 2 hours, 45 minutes before returning a verdict awarding Mr. Mead $15,600 for past medical bills only. Collateral source setoffs for PIP and adjustments will reduce net recovery to zero. The defense should also be entitled to attorney’s fees.    
    Verdict Date: January 29, 2018
    Rissman Attorney: Juan A. Ruiz Aaron E. Eagan