Medical Malpractice Defense Verdict for Hospital

Joe Effinger and Matt Piekarski obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a hospital in a patient fall medical negligence case tried in Jefferson Circuit Court (Louisville). The Plaintiff’s decedent was hospitalized after she fell at home and fractured her hip. Following hip replacement surgery the patient was documented as being confused and a “high fall risk,” but also had significant mobility limitations. Fall precautions were taken, but the patient unexpectedly got up in the middle of the night without assistance, fell, and fractured her arm. The Plaintiff claimed the hospital nursing staff failed to implement and/or ensure that appropriate fall precaution measures were in place. Joe and Matt established that the hospital nursing staff appropriately cared for the patient, had all necessary fall precaution measures in place, and that the patient’s fall was not reasonably foreseeable. The case was tried over four days and the jury returned defense verdict for our client hospital. No appeal was taken.

Summary Judgment in Favor of Police Officer Obtained

Matt Piekarski secured summary judgment in favor of a police officer accused of civil rights violations and state-law torts related to his use of a taser on a fleeing subject resulting in the subject’s death.

Defense Verdict in Premises Liability Case Against Restaurant

Matt Piekarski and Bobby Whitmer obtained a zero-liability defense verdict on behalf of a restaurant in a premises liability case in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky at Lexington. The Plaintiff, a recently retired kindergarten teacher and customer of the restaurant, slipped on engine oil spilled in the parking lot by another customer, who hit the curb upon entry to the restaurant parking lot and did report the oil spill to restaurant management before the Plaintiff’s fall. The fall caused both a fracture and dislocation of the Plaintiff’s elbow. The Plaintiff claimed that the restaurant negligently failed to warn or remedy the oil spill, resulting in the Plaintiff’s injuries. The Plaintiff and driver (who was also sued) settled before trial, leaving only the Plaintiff’s claims against PPOA’s client-restaurant. The case was tried over three days. Matt and Bobby successfully established to the jury that the restaurant did not have sufficient time to warn or remedy of the spill following notification, and that the restaurant bore no responsibility for the Plaintiff’s injuries. A defense verdict was entered in favor of our client-restaurant, and no appeal will be taken.

Katherine T. Watts and Matthew A. Piekarski are now Partners

Phillips Parker Orberson & Arnett is pleased to announce that Katherine T. Watts and Matthew A. Piekarski are now Partners with the firm. Watts has had an active trial and litigation practice throughout Kentucky since joining the firm in 2009. Her practice is primarily focused in the areas of medical malpractice defense, professional liability defense, employment/discrimination defense, and premises liability defense. Watts attended the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. Piekarski has also maintained an active trial and litigation practice since joining the firm in 2009. His practice is focused on defending claims of medical and dental malpractice, claims against municipalities and law enforcement, premises liability claims, and motor vehicle accident claims. Piekarski is a graduate of Marquette University and the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

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.

Motor Vehicle Accident Case Against Meat Delivery Company and Driver

Joe Effinger and Matt Piekarski successfully defended a motor vehicle accident case brought by a husband and wife against a meat delivery company and their truck driver, which was tried on damages only.The Plaintiffs were rear-ended by the meat delivery truck while stopped at a red light. Following the accident, the Plaintiffs called a medical/legal referral line, “1-800-ASK-GARY,” and retained counsel. The Plaintiffs jointly claimed nearly $180,000 for medical treatment, including three surgeries, related to neck, back and shoulder injuries allegedly caused by the accident. At trial, they asked the jury for over $500,000 in total damages. Liability for the accident was admitted. The case was tried with no Defendant present, as the Defendant driver had passed away (unrelated to the accident), and the meat delivery company had long since been dissolved. In accordance with the defense’s theory and argument, the Jefferson County jury rejected the Plaintiffs’ claims that their neck, back and shoulder surgeries were necessary and related to the accident. They awarded the Plaintiffs just $16,500 in recoverable damages