PPOA Welcomes Three New Associates

John “Jack” C. Phillips, Matthew J. Wheatley, and Ryan D. Nafziger have recently been hired as new associates in the Louisville office. Jack graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2015 and spent a year as a clerk for The Kentucky Supreme Court before joining the firm this summer. He is the son of partners, John W. and Susan Phillips. Matthew J. Wheatley joins the firm after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 2016. Matt started as a clerk at PPOA during the summer of 2015. Ryan D. Nafziger joins after graduating from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law in 2016.

PPOA Attorneys Selected as SuperLawyers

William Orberson and Joseph M. Effinger were selected as SuperLawyer® in Civil Litigation Defense; John W. Phillips, Susan D. Phillips, and John F. Parker were selected in Medical Malpractice Defense; and Patricia Le Meur, M. David Thompson and Nicholas R. Hart were chosen as Rising Stars for 2015.

Louisville Magazine’s Top Lawyers

Founding partners, John Phillips and Susan Phillips, were recognized in Louisville Magazine’s 2014 list of “Top Lawyers.” John was recognized as a top lawyer in the fields of Medical Malpractice Law – Defense and Professional Malpractice Law – Defense. Susan was recognized as a top lawyer in the fields of Medical Malpractice Law – Defense and Personal Injury Law – Defense. Congratulations to John and Susan!

Trial Attorney Client in a Legal Malpractice Case

John Phillips and Katie Watts successfully defended a local plaintiff’s trial attorney in a legal malpractice case. The case involved the trial attorney’s preparation and presentation of his client’s personal injury trial. Although the client received a jury verdict in his favor, his dissatisfaction with the result prompted him to blame his attorney for nearly every aspect of the representation. Phillips and Tipton defended the case by establishing that the attorney used reasonable professional skill and judgment in his presentation of the personal injury case. The legal malpractice case was bifurcated into liability and damages phases, and the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in the liability phase after only 30 minutes of deliberation.

Louisville Attorney Accused of Malpractice by His Former Client and Her Mother

John Phillips and Matt Piekarski received a unanimous defense verdict for a prominent Louisville attorney accused of malpractice by his former client and her mother. The Plaintiffs claimed that the Defendant-Attorney committed an array of breaches of the standard of care involving the settlement of a divorce case at mediation. Mr. Phillips argued that the Defendant-Attorney adequately prepared for mediation, sufficiently informed the Plaintiffs about the mediation, and gained a successful result for the Plaintiffs at mediation. It was further argued that any damages incurred by Plaintiffs were the result of the Plaintiffs’ later decision to repudiate the settlement agreement and not any fault of the Defendant-Attorney. The Plaintiffs had asked the jury for over $40,000 in compensatory damages and sought punitive damages in the amount of $350,000.

Bowling Green Ophthalmologist Accused of Medical Malpractice

John Phillips and Katie Watts received a unanimous defense verdict in Paducah for a Bowling Green ophthalmologist accused of medical malpractice by his former cataract patient. The Plaintiff claimed that the Defendant-Doctor committed an array of breaches of the standard of care involving the evaluation, performance and follow-up of a complicated cataract extraction. Mr. Phillips argued that the Defendant-Doctor adequately evaluated the patient for surgery, properly reacted to unforeseen conditions intra-operatively that complicated the surgery, and was appropriately assessing and treating the patient’s complications in follow-up until the patient elected to discontinue his treatment. The Plaintiff had asked the jury for over $3,000,000 in compensatory damages.

Surgeon in Glasgow, Kentucky Accused of Medical Malpractice

John Parker and Tricia Le Meur successfully defended a local surgeon in Glasgow, Kentucky who was accused of medical malpractice by a former patient who had undergone laparoscopic cholecystectomy (surgical removal of the gallbladder). The right hepatic duct had been inadvertently clipped during surgery, which was not discovered until 12 months after the surgery and resulted in the Plaintiff losing approximately 40% of her liver. The Plaintiff claimed that the surgeon breached the standard of care, and she sought over $2,000,000.00 in damages. The defense demonstrated that the Plaintiff had a rare congenital anomaly of her hepatic anatomy, which, together with her unusual post-surgical presentation, masked the ductal occlusion and precluded the surgeon and the other treating physicians from discovering her condition earlier. After a brief deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the surgeon.

Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Action

John Phillips and Katie Watts, assisted by summer associate Sarah Lawson, successfully defended a neurosurgeon in a medical malpractice wrongful death action.

The Plaintiff claimed that the neurosurgeon failed to see the 23-year-old patient in a timely fashion upon the patient’s transfer from an outside facility and failed to order proper radiology studies, resulting in the patient’s death. The patient’s widow sought over $7 million in damages for the death of her husband. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of the neurosurgeon.