Trucking Accident

Location: Polk County, Florida

Plaintiff: Kendra Lymon
Defendant: Bynum Transport, Inc.
Amount: $65 million verdict
Alleged Injuries: Automobile negligence resulting in traumatic head and brain injuries

Description: The plaintiff, 21-year-old Kendra Lymon was driving through the intersection of State Road 17 and State Road 64 when a Bynum Transport, Inc. tractor-trailer approached the intersection of state roads 17 and 64. There was another tractor-trailer in the opposite turn lane, blocking the Bynum Transport Inc. driver’s view. The truck turned left anyway, and he plowed into Kendra’s car on the driver’s side, crushing it and sending it spinning off the highway. The driver claimed he had a green arrow allowing him to make the left hand turn, but eyewitnesses later stated that was false and that the plaintiff had a green light and was not speeding. 

Kendra had no pulse when emergency personnel arrived at the accident scene. The lack of oxygen to her brain caused parts of it to die, and she suffered brain damage. She was in a coma, and hospitalized for months. Today, she needs around-the-clock care and continued rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy. Wilkes & McHugh represented the family and worked to ensure Kendra would receive the care she needs for the rest of her life. The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

Dogged litigation leads to successful recovery for clients despite bankruptcy

Location: Lafayette, Louisiana

Debtor: New Louisiana Holdings, LLC, et al.
Amount: Confidential settlement

Description: Wilkes & McHugh represented families whose loved ones were injured or died while in the care of the Debtors, which operated a nursing home empire spanning multiple states including Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. After extensive negotiations and vigorous participation on the Unsecured Creditors Committee, Wilkes & McHugh successfully negotiated a compromise with the Debtors to secure a recovery for clients who otherwise may have received nothing as unsecured creditors. 

Nursing home negligence leads to $114 million verdict

Location: Polk County, Florida

Plaintiff: Estate of Juanita Amelia Jackson, by and through Cathy Jackson-Platts f/k/a Catherine Whatley
Defendant: Integrated Health Services at Auburndale, Trans Healthcare and Trans Health Management
Amount: $114 million verdict
Alleged Injuries: Negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful death in a case where a woman suffered a catastrophic fall

Description: The family of Juanita Jackson, a 76-year-old homemaker and mother of four, placed her in nursing home for rehabilitation, expecting that she would regain her strength at IHS of Florida at Auburndale (now known as Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center) so they could resume caring for her at home. But that was not to be.

The nursing home staff knew when Juanita Jackson was admitted that she was at risk for falls, but they did not put proper preventative measures in place. Within two weeks of her admission, they allowed her to fall. It was a catastrophic injury; Jackson suffered a closed head trauma and fractured her upper arm. She never fully recovered from her injuries and became more dependent on the nursing home staff than ever before.

Moreover, the nursing home was chronically short-staffed with overworked employees. Patients suffered. Juanita Jackson suffered. They didn’t turn her enough or elevate her heels to prevent the development of bedsores. She got multiple bedsores, including at least one that rotted to the bone. They didn’t give her enough to eat and drink, causing her to become malnourished and dehydrated. Juanita was also overmedicated during her stay. She was left to lie in bed so long that she developed contractures, where the muscles shrivel up, making movement even more difficult.

Jackson’s family removed her from the nursing home, but she died a short time later. Blair N. Mendes represented Jackson’s family in the case.

Trans Healthcare, Inc. and Trans Healthcare Management operated the nursing home at the time of Jackson’s residency. During that period, the company also operated more than 200 nursing homes in 22 states and was the largest private nursing home chain in the United States.

The lawsuit was originally filed in July 2004, and after six years of litigation, Trans Healthcare, Inc. and Trans Healthcare Management stopped participating in the lawsuit. The companies admitted liability in the case, and a judgment was entered against them on July 7, 2010. The jury was asked to determine the amount of money in damages.

The final judgment in the case was handed down July 22, 2010, for $110 million. Tampa attorneys handling the case on behalf of the family had to decide between monetary damages for Juanita Jackson’s pain and suffering, or that of her children. They opted for pain and suffering of Juanita Jackson.

The verdict is believed to be one of the largest verdicts ever in Polk County, Florida, and the financial news agency Bloomberg confirmed that it was one of the top 10 jury verdict in the United States at that point in 2010.

Disclaimer: The results described on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter. A prospective client may not obtain the same or similar results as those described on this website.

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