Sean Ragland named Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year

Sean Ragland was named the 2020 Defense Trial Lawyer of Year by The Kentucky Trial Court Review for his back-to-back medical malpractice trial victories in the Spring of 2020. Congratulations, Sean!

Medical Malpractice Case Against Two Hospitalists

Sean Ragland and Jack Phillips successfully defended two hospitalists and their practice after an in-patient, 64, suddenly lost vision and seized. After transfer to a higher acuity hospital, neurologists ultimately diagnosed her with Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome, a rare neurological condition that was only discovered in the last 25 years. The PRES did reverse, and the patient recovered her sight but claimed ongoing memory loss and nerve damage. The Plaintiff alleged that untreated acute increased blood pressure during her two-day hospitalization caused the PRES. The hospitalists argued, through expert proof, that their monitoring of the Plaintiff’s blood pressure and clinical judgment not to treat it with medication was appropriate. A defense neurology expert also opined that, in retrospect, the blood pressures were not the cause of the PRES, but it was a mounting pneumonia infection, instead. The Plaintiff claimed over $1 million dollars in damages. A Carroll County, Kentucky jury returned a defense verdict in less than an hour.

Medical Malpractice Case Against a Pediatrician

Sean Ragland and Jack Phillips successfully defended a pediatrician and her practice after a four-year-old patient’s mother alleged that she failed to diagnose emerging appendicitis. The Plaintiff alleged that an earlier diagnosis would have avoided a subsequent rupture of the appendix, a surgical complication during repair, multiple other abdominal surgeries, and a difficult hospital course. The Plaintiff claimed over $4.7 million dollars in damages. A Floyd County, Kentucky jury returned a defense verdict in 20 minutes.

Porter v. Allen

Case Summary

Bill Orberson and David Giesel successfully defended a personal injury action brought against their client in Jefferson Circuit Court. Plaintiff claimed significant damages as a result of a three-car motor vehicle accident which took place on 11/06/14. The initial impact between the defendant’s vehicle and the center car was significant and caused the center vehicle to rear end the plaintiff’s car. The severity of the impact between the center car and the plaintiff’s vehicle was contested. The defendant conceded fault and the case was tried solely on the issue of damages. Plaintiff claimed cervical disc bulges/protrusions and a shoulder injury. She sought medical expenses in the amount of $16,500, lost income in the amount of $3,600, and pain and suffering in the amount of $300,000. The case was tried over three days and the jury awarded $3,249.25 for medical expenses and nothing for lost wages or for pain and suffering. Because of the “set off” provided in the Kentucky Motor Vehicle Reparations Act, judgment in the defendant’s favor was granted.

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.

Hospital Client Nursing Staff Accused of Failure to Follow Bed Rest Admonition Resulting in Multiple Falls

Sean Ragland successfully defended a hospital client after a patient alleged that nurses failed to follow a strict bed rest admonition, causing the patient to fall multiple times. The Plaintiff alleged that the falls caused him serious injury including paralysis, incontinence and compression on his spinal cord. The Plaintiff claimed over $4.9 million dollars in damages. A Breathitt County, Kentucky jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in 45 minutes.

Medical Malpractice Case Against a Podiatric Physician

John Parker and Nick Hart successfully defended a medical malpractice case against a podiatric physician. The Plaintiff claimed that the physician improperly inserted a compression screw into the plaintiff’s great toe joint space as interpreted by a subsequent treating radiologist and orthopedic surgeon following CT scan. The Plaintiff also claimed a nerve injury, permanent disability and inability to return to her employment as a fork lift operator. The Plaintiff sought over 1.6 million dollars in damages. A Jefferson County, Kentucky jury returned a unanimous defense verdict after brief deliberations.

Personal Injury Action Wherein the Plaintiff Sought Tort Damages and Benefits

Joe Effinger successfully defended a personal injury action wherein the Plaintiff sought tort damages and underinsured motorist benefits following an accident in Hardin County. After less than twenty minutes of deliberations, the jury returned with a threshold verdict.

Hospital Client Nursing Staff Accused of Inappropriate Fall Risk Assessment and Monitoring

Tera Rehmel successfully represented a hospital client in a case wherein the Plaintiff alleged that the nursing staff inappropriately assessed her falls risk and inappropriately monitored her, resulting in a fall. The Plaintiff claimed a permanent injury to her left arm which rendered her left arm essentially useless. The Plaintiff was seeking over $489,000 in damages.

Hospital Client in Significant Medical Malpractice Claim

Susan Phillips and David Thompson received a defense verdict for their hospital client in a significant medical malpractice claim arising out of the neurological impairment of a newborn. The Plaintiffs contended that their daughter suffered neurological impairment, which resulted in profound cerebral palsy, during labor and delivery. The Plaintiffs claimed the nursing staff was negligent in failing to identify the critical nature of the baby’s status, and failing to contact the physicians to ensure their timely arrival at the hospital. Ms. Phillips and Mr. Thompson presented two leading authorities in neonatology and nursing care as expert witnesses, both of whom strongly defended the care of the nursing staff and supported the defense theory that the injury occurred prior to the Plaintiffs’ presentation to the hospital. After four and one-half weeks of trial, the jury deliberated for a little over an hour before returning a unanimous defense verdict in favor of the hospital.