After a nine day trial in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, a nine-member jury returned a $35 million verdict in favor of a northwest Indiana couple, Barbara and Anton Kaiser, for the injuries Barbara incurred from a Johnson & Johnson product, the Prolift transvaginal mesh. The jurors found that Johnson & Johnson, and its sub-division Ethicon, negligently designed the Prolift and failed to adequately warn of the device’s risks. The jury awarded the Kaisers $10 million in compensation for their injuries, and $25 million in punitive damages as punishment to Johnson & Johnson for its willful and wanton disregard for patient safety. The case is Barbara Kaiser et al v. Ethicon, Inc. et al., Case Number 2:17-cv-00114, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. Jeff Kuntz was Co-Lead Counsel with Tom Plouff and Ed Wallace. Andy Faes of Wagstaff and Cartmell helped second chair the case.
Thomas Preuss and David McMaster settled for a confidential amount in a product liability lawsuit on behalf of an 8-year-old child against the manufacturer of the child’s cochlear ear implant and a component manufacturer.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. It alleged that the cochlear ear implant device failed after only one and a half years of use due to the loss of the device’s hermetic seal. While in the child’s ear, water leaked into the device when it was intended to be water proof, resulting in electrical failure of the ear implant. Two months after implantation, the manufacturer of the child’s cochlear ear implant issued a nationwide recall of all, same, un-implanted cochlear ear implant devices due to an elevated risk of moisture-related device failures.
Tom and David successfully argued that as a result of the child’s device failing, the child suffered injuries including but not limited to numerous open-head surgical procedures to explant the defective device and re-implant properly functioning devices.
Brandon Henry and Tom Rottinghaus successfully defended our clients, a local surgeon and medical group, in a jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri, in which the plaintiffs asserted claims of medical malpractice and wrongful death and sought damages in the amount of $2,465,347.24.
Plaintiffs claimed that our clients were negligent for failing to fully repair the patient’s long-standing, giant paraesophageal hernia during a surgical procedure in July 2013. Further, Plaintiffs contended that our clients were negligent for failing to place a nasogastric tube or gastrostomy tube during or following surgery for purposes of reducing the risk and effects of gastroparesis (dysmotility of the stomach) and aspiration. Lastly, Plaintiffs claimed our clients departed from the standard of care by advancing the patient’s diet post-operatively and that such further increased the risk of aspiration and related problems. Plaintiffs claimed that the actions and decisions of our clients lead to the patient experiencing post-operative vomiting, aspiration, aspiration pneumonia, sepsis and death.
We successfully argued that the surgical procedure selected for the patient was the most appropriate option for him due to his age and overall medical condition and that it was reasonable for our clients not to place tubes during or following surgery and to advance the patient’s diet after surgery because the absence of tubing and advancement of the diet can promote gastric and intestinal motility and reduce complications. Further, we were able to convince the jury that the patient’s post-operative course and death occurred despite appropriate care by our clients and likely still would have occurred if a different treatment course had been selected for the patient.
After a seven-day trial, a Jackson County, Missouri jury returned a verdict in favor of our clients in this case in which the plaintiffs’ final pretrial demand was $1.95 million.
At the conclusion of trial, Jon Kieffer, Vanessa Gross, and Adam Davis obtained a $6,723,021.00 damages award on behalf of the family of a young woman who had been killed in a two-vehicle collision. The case was filed by the surviving husband on behalf of himself and their three young children. The defendants in the case were the driver of the other vehicle, as well as the driver’s parents and their oil company. We argued, successfully, that the other driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle at the time of the collision. We prevailed on our assertion that the other driver’s parents, who owned the vehicle, were negligent for allowing him to drive their car because they knew or should have known of his horrendous driving record. We succeeded on our claim that the parents’ oil company should be held liable because the accident occurred while the driver was in the course and scope of work for the oil company. We also prevailed on our claim of alter ego. As a result, we succeeded on all claims: negligence, negligent entrustment, agency, and alter ego. Survival, wrongful death, and Wentling damages were awarded. The $6,723,021.00 award is believed to be the largest reported compensatory damages award in a wrongful death case tried in Kansas, the largest reported negligent entrustment award in Kansas, and the largest reported “alter-ego” damages award in the state of Kansas.
T.J. Preuss, with the legal briefing assistance of Adam Davis, reached a $3,587,500 settlement on behalf of the family of a detainee of a County Department of Corrections. The main defendants in the case were the County and its private correctional healthcare provider. The case involved allegations of excessive force and deliberate indifference to the medical needs of the detainee. The detainee, a 35 year old man, entered the County jail physically healthy but with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder that was confirmed by a local mental health facility hours prior to his arrest. We claimed that he did not receive the psychiatric or medical care that he required, and officers used force on him as a result of his mental condition as opposed to initiating medical care. On his eighth day of detention, he was urgently released to a state mental hospital. The mental hospital was unable to treat his physical deterioration, and he was emergently rushed to a trauma center where he died approximately 24 hours later. The decedent left a wife and two young children.