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!
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.
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.
The Plaintiff fell in the vestibule of a restaurant and broke her left knee resulting in four knee surgeries. The Plaintiff’s theory of liability was that the restaurant failed in its duty of ordinary care because the mat in its vestibule did not cover the entire tile floor of this area and that they failed in their duty to warn because it was raining and there was no wet floor sign present in the vestibule.
We defended on the basis that if the vestibule mat was any larger, the entrance and exit doors would make contact with it, causing it to buckle thereby creating a potential trip hazard and that the restaurant had no duty to warn of the obvious condition of rain.
The Plaintiff’s medicals were in excess of $240,000 and she also sought $500,000 in pain and suffering – we had obtained summary judgment on her lost earnings and future impairment prior to trial. The jury deliberated one hour before returning a defense verdict.
Lauren Crosby Thompson and Jessica Droste Simon successfully defended another premises liability personal injury action on behalf of their client, Cascio Enterprises, d/b/a McDonald’s, in Mason Circuit Court. In that action, the Plaintiff claimed she injured her wrist after falling on a wet floor in a McDonald’s restaurant in Maysville. The Plaintiff admitted to seeing wet floor signs in the area and her testimony and surveillance video of the interior of the restaurant confirm that an employee was visible cleaning in the area where Plaintiff fell. Plaintiff’s theory was that McDonald’s was negligent because the employee was mopping outside of the perimeter created by the three wet floor signs. McDonald’s defended by arguing that the Plaintiff had been adequately warned. The jury returned a verdict after less than one hour of deliberations in favor of the Defendant McDonald’s franchise owner.
Jane Higgins and Sarah Noble achieved a defense verdict in Laurel Circuit Court in a personal injury action brought against their client, a London car dealership. The Plaintiff claimed to have sustained a shoulder injury after falling from the bed of a pick-up truck on the dealership lot as he climbed over the tailgate after inspecting the fifth wheel of the vehicle. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged the tailgate had been improperly or partially latched by a dealership employee and spontaneously opened as he crossed over it, throwing him 15 feet onto the ground, where he landed on his shoulder. The Plaintiff claimed that the dealership was negligent for its alleged creation of the hazardous condition and/or its failure to warn the Plaintiff of that condition. No testimony was offered providing that a dealership employee improperly closed the tailgate and testimony from multiple dealership employees confirm that a partially latched tailgate is, at best, an expected condition(if not impossible). The jury deliberated for less than one hour before returning a verdict in favor of the dealership.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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