Personal Injury News: Pick of Last Month: Apr-2019

Monday, Mar 25, 2019
 verdict

A Cook County jury ordered Chicago's Amita Health Saint Hospital to pay $23.6 million to a 4-year-old who suffered brain damage during birth as the doctors failed to perform a cesarean section quickly enough to deliver her in a healthy condition.

After two days of deliberation, the jury awarded the toddler, and her family, for loss of a normal life, pain and suffering, and future medical expenses among other things.

According to the lawsuit filed in 2015, the girl's mother was taken to the emergency room during her pregnancy after she suffered a fall. After conducting certain tests and observation, she was discharged. On December 19, she returned to the hospital after she was kicked in her stomach by a patient she was attending to at her job as a nursing assistant. It was discovered that there was some issue with the baby's heart functioning.

The lawsuit stated, after three hours of arriving in the ER, the woman underwent a c-section. It was later discovered that her daughter, did not receive adequate oxygen and blood for a certain period of time, which caused brain dysfunction. She had extensive mental and motoric deficits, for which a lifetime of ongoing treatment and supervision will be required. 

The family blamed the hospital and the doctors for their negligence. The jury found the hospital responsible for the infant's condition. The award was placed in a fund which will help the kid's family to cope with the cost of lifelong medical treatment and day-to-day care.


Wednesday, Mar 13, 2019
 verdict

Monmouth Jury recently awarded $3.2M to a slip and fall victim who suffered a hip injury after slipping on an icy walkway at the Jackson Premium Outlets.

According to the case records, the defendants had ignored a leaky soffit which required an immediate fix; this caused the plaintiff a hip fracture with three screws to set the bone in place. Treating medical professionals removed the screws later and performed hip replacement surgery as the plaintiff experienced continuous pain. However, the surgery was not helpful, and the plaintiff was unable to return to work.

The trial, held before Judge Lucas, concluded with the jury agreeing with plaintiff attorney's arguments. The jury awarded $3.2 million to the plaintiff, which included $2.75 million for pain and suffering, $373,580 for lost income, and $100,000 for loss of consortium. The damages awarded by the jury totaled $3,223,580 which will be reduced by 15% due to the plaintiff's comparative negligence. To include the medical lien, which totals $186,865.40, a post-judgment hearing will be conducted.


Tuesday, Mar 12, 2019
 verdict

A Trinidad and Tobago resident survived a heart attack onboard NCL's Norwegian Pearl vessel in 2016; however, his lawyers said he suffered unnecessary additional damages since he was kept on the ship for two days after the incident until the ship docked. His lawyers stated in a court document that the victim was assured by the ship personnel that the attack was a minor one, and it was okay to remain on the vessel till the ship docked; however, the ship did not speed up to get him there faster.

The ship docked in Miami on November 17, and the victim was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was diagnosed with cardiogenic shock. He was implanted with four stents and kept on life support for five days. A jury found the NCL negligent and awarded the man $1.2 million for pain and suffering, loss of capacity for enjoyment; an additional $800,00 for future hospital and medical expenses; $84,000 for loss of past and future services.


Friday, Mar 8, 2019
 verdict

On March 7, a federal jury in Miami ordered Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to pay $3.38 million to the estate of a passenger who died of cardiac arrest in 2016, while on board an Alaskan cruise.

According to court records, the victim was on the Explorer of the Seas, with his family members to celebrate his 70th birthday when the incident happened. The lawsuit filed by the victim's estate stated, he arrived at the ship's clinic at 10 a.m. on July 31, with a complaint of shortness of breath. The ship's doctor, conducted an EKG, diagnosed a septal infarction, age undetermined, gave him medicines and indicated that the patient had in the past suffered a heart attack. The victim was then asked to go back to his room by the doctor. His family argued that the doctor could have contacted the family members and kept him for further testing or taken him to the nearest hospital on shore. The victim collapsed in his room about a half hour later. After much delay, he was taken to a hospital in Juneau and later airlifted to an intensive care unit in Anchorage, where he breathed his last on August 4, 2016.

The family accused Royal Caribbean of failing to provide immediate and appropriate medical care at the clinic. The jury found the cruise 70% liable for the man’s death and ordered it to pay $3.384 million. The verdict included medical expenses and damages totaling to $4.834 million.

The plaintiff's lawyer argued that the ship's doctor was careless in treating the victim. The doctor should have ordered to offboard the victim and admit him to a hospital. Contrary to this the doctor prescribed metoprolol, a drug used to treat several heart-related conditions including high blood pressure and chest pain. He even stated that the cruise-line industry needs to make long-overdue and necessary changes, as many families suffer life-changing tragedies because of such incidents.

It is not the first time that such an incident happened. Earlier a couple claimed that they were left behind due to illness by the Royal Caribbean crew on the advice of their medical staff. In another incident, the medical staff of Holland America cruise failed to provide adequate medical attention for 17 hours to a passenger who suffered a stroke.

 


Thursday, Mar 7, 2019
 verdict

Lackawanna County Judge Terrence Nealon ruled in favor of the plaintiff in a lawsuit awarding $2.3 million to his estate.

As per court papers, on August 28, 2016, the defendant was in a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe driving on South Main Avenue in the northern direction, when suddenly, he crossed over the southbound lane onto the western sidewalk, hitting the decedent's bicycle and dragging him ahead.

The settlement resolved personal injury claims filed against the driver and the vehicle owner. Since the defendants failed to respond to the lawsuit, a default judgment was entered against them. The plaintiff's pretrial memorandum stated that at the time of the crash, the driver had consumed drugs, alcohol, and some other substances which made him incapable to drive a motor vehicle. As a result of his negligent and reckless driving, the plaintiff was injured and left with permanent injuries which caused his death.The attorneys also blamed the driver for neglecting the plaintiff's condition and allowing him to operate the vehicle.

The driver was imprisoned at Lackawanna County Prison. Plaintiff's estate also sought to get insurance coverage from the defendant's insurer, CSAA General Insurance Co.; however, the company claimed it was not their duty to insure the defendants.


Wednesday, Mar 6, 2019
Verdict

The jury at a Broward County, Florida, awarded $37 million to the family of a smoker who died as a result of lung cancer and COPD, in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Philip Morris USA Inc.

The lawsuit was filed by the victim's family, who claimed that she died from complications caused due to her addiction to R.J. Reynolds' cigarettes, which she started smoking in her teenage years. Her attorney told, she was hooked to the nicotine in cigarettes and blamed the company's advertising campaigns for her addiction. The campaigns promoted cigarettes as a safer and healthier option since it was sold under a filtered brand. She had quit smoking when diagnosed with cancer and removed a lung seven years prior to her death.

The family was awarded $12 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages by the jury. R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris USA were held 90% liable for the woman's cancer and death.

There are thousands of such "Engle progeny" cases from the Florida Supreme Court overturning a $145 billion verdict against the companies. The count of the plaintiffs is close to 700,000.


Saturday, Mar 2, 2019
 verdict

In a landmark judgment on March 1, the Quebec appeals court ordered three tobacco companies to pay more than $11 billion to Canadian smokers who claimed in two class action lawsuits that they were never informed about the risks of smoking.

This judgment upholds a lower court's 2015 ruling that subsidiaries of Philip Morris International Inc., Japan Tobacco Inc., and British American Tobacco PLC are liable for CA$15.6 billion ($11.27 billion) with interest to Quebecois smokers and former smokers who developed smoking-related disease or addiction. The subsidiary companies, Imperial Tobacco, JTI-Macdonald and Rothmans, and Benson & Hedges had appealed the lower court's ruling that found them choosing personal profits over customers' health.

A lawyer representing the smokers who filed the class action called the verdict as a complete victory for the victims. The appeals court concluded that the tobacco companies handled not disclosing adequate information about their cigarettes since the 1950s and promoted a campaign of disinformation by revolting to the warnings others made about cigarette smoking. The non-profit Quebec Council on Tobacco and Health indicated the total amount to be paid would be nearly $17 million in Canadian dollars ($12.24 billion USD), including interest added since 2015.


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