Experience

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.

Family burned in Arkansas trucking accident

Location: Prairie County, Arkansas

Plaintiff: Mark Rogers
Defendant: U.S. Xpress, Inc.
Amount: $10.3 million verdict, plus multiple other confidential settlements
Alleged Injuries: Direct negligence and vicarious liability, loss of consortium and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress after three of four members of a family suffered severe burns in a tractor-trailer accident

Description: Mark Rogers and his family were traveling through Arkansas while on vacation when their car was corralled by several tractor-trailers just outside Biscoe. One of the rigs ignited, and the fire spread, setting Rogers’ car on fire. His was the only door that would open, so the 34-year-old escaped and kicked in the windshield to rescue his wife, daughter and son. In total, six tractor-trailers were involved in the catastrophic accident that left three of the four Rogers family members severely burned. Mark Rogers suffered full thickness burns to more than 60 percent of his body, respiratory insufficiency, pancreatitis and acute renal failure and had to undergo multiple surgeries. 

Three of the tractor trailer drivers involved in the accident were cited for careless driving. They failed to stop for slowed traffic and caused the multi-vehicle collision that trapped the Rogers’ family car. All of the truck drivers violated Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including §392.14 requiring extreme caution and reduced speed when hazardous conditions exist. Wilkes & McHugh represented the Rogers family and took the case to trial, securing a verdict that would help cover the costs of their ongoing care.  

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.

Wife killed, husband injured in Mississippi trucking accident

Location: Desoto County, Mississippi

Plaintiff: A female driver
Defendant: A trucking company and driver
Amount:  Confidential settlement
Alleged Injuries:  Negligence, gross negligence, loss of spousal consortium and wrongful death after a couple was involved in a tractor-trailer crash that left the wife dead and the husband severely injured

Description: A couple married for nearly 60 years were traveling northbound on US 61 on their way to Memphis from a trip to Tunica, Miss., in December of 2014. The wife was driving while her husband was in the passenger seat.

Meanwhile, a tractor-trailer driver traveled on Stateline Road a few miles east of US 61 near Walls, Miss. There is a stop sign at the intersection of Stateline Road and US 61 that required the truck driver to stop his truck and yield the right-of-way to those vehicles traveling north and south on US 61. The driver proceeded to make a grossly negligent left turn at this stop sign. As a result, he blocked the roadway at night with his tractor trailer in a grossly negligent manner.

The married couple had no time to stop and slammed into the back driver’s side portion of the tractor trailer near the tires. The collision killed the wife and severely injured the husband.

The tractor-trailer continued to block US 61, and it did not have on any hazard lights, nor were there any emergency reflective devices placed near the tractor trailer to warn drivers of a stopped commercial vehicle in the roadway. In fact, witnesses recall approaching the cab of the tractor trailer only to find no driver inside the vehicle. Witnesses also state that the driver of the tractor trailer never rendered aid, nor did they ever see him call 911.

The defendants violated numerous Mississippi traffic statutes and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations before, during and after the crash in this case.

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.

Motorcycle Accident

Location: DeSoto County, Florida

Plaintiff: Confidential
Defendant: Confidential
Amount: $1.375 million settlement
Alleged Injuries:  Negligence resulting in serious and permanent bodily injuries, disability, disfigurement, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, and the expense of medical and ongoing nursing care.

Description:  A Canadian man and his girlfriend were visiting Florida and riding their Harley Davidson motorcycle in Arcadia when they were struck by a motorist driving a Chevrolet Suburban. The injured man was airlifted to the hospital and diagnosed with intracranial traumatic hemorrhage and skull fractures, as well as a right distal clavicle fracture. He never fully recovered his cognitive abilities after the crash and needs ongoing skilled nursing care. 

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.

Pennsylvania condo fire leaves young couple dead

Location: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Plaintiff: The parents of a 22-year-old man killed in a fire
Defendant: A ski resort, condominium association, condo owner, fireplace manufacturer, fireplace cleaning company and various other subsidiaries
Amount:  Multiple confidential settlements
Alleged Injuries: Negligence, breach of warranties, strict liability, and wrongful death in a case that left two people dead from asphyxiation from smoke inhalation and severe burns in a condominium fire.  

Description: A young man and his girlfriend planned to spend a weekend with friends in a condo at a ski resort but were killed when a fireplace chimney malfunctioned, engulfing the condo in flames.

Attorneys from Wilkes & McHugh represented this young man’s family in an action against multiple parties alleged to have played a role in the fire. The member of the group who started the fire fell asleep and left it unattended. The condominium association failed to take proper steps to inspect the fireplaces in each of the condo units and take action to make them safe despite the fact that there had been a previous fire in another condo.

The chimney cleaning company was aware from its inspections that the condo had a larger degree of creosote (a corrosive substance that forms during the wood-burning process and builds up in chimneys) in the chimney than other units in the same building, yet failed to warn the owners of the increased risk of a fire.

The condo owners were negligent for not ensuring that their fireplace was properly cleaned and maintained and failed to provide sufficient fire extinguishers in case of emergency.

The fireplace manufacturer made and distributed a defective fireplace. The stack’s seams failed, allowing flames to escape and ignite wood around the stack and spread throughout the condo. The distribution and installation company was negligent and breached warranties.

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.

Morphine overdose at California hospital leads to brain damage

Location: Orange County, California

Plaintiff: An injured woman
Defendant: Covenant Care of California
Amount: $3.2 million verdict
Alleged Injuries: Wrongful conduct; Direct and vicarious liability; General negligence; Professional negligence; Lack of informed consent; Reckless neglect and physical abuse; and Intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress among other counts. Plaintiff suffered respiratory depression and anoxic brain injury from a morphine overdose.

Description: When our client entered Covenant Care of California, LLC (doing business as St. Edna’s Subacute and Rehabilitation Center) to recover from tendon surgery. She was prescribed morphine for post-surgical pain whereupon the pharmacy notified St. Edna’s staff that the morphine order was unusually high. Procedure requires that the resident’s attending physician approve medication orders, but facility staff did not obtain the attending physician’s approval to administer the morphine injection.

Our client began to exhibit signs of respiratory depression and was transferred to Garden Grove Emergency Room. She was later seen at UCLA Medical Center, where the neurology team concluded that she had suffered an anoxic brain injury as a result of the morphine overdose at St. Edna’s. This resulted in deficits in coordination, executive function, reduced cognitive function, and impaired judgment. Our client spent more than six months after her discharge relearning how to walk, talk, eat, and groom herself. Since then, she has required 24-hour supervision to assist her with activities of daily living.

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.

Jury awards verdict to family after death of teenager at Florida athletic academy

Location: Manatee County, Florida

Plaintiff: Cristina Chalita-Cisneros, on behalf of the estate of Christian Chalita
Defendant: IMG Academies, Dr. Joseph Soler and nurse Carol Tomlinson
Amount: $1.5 million verdict
Alleged Injuries: Breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful death in a case where an elite sports academy failed to properly screen, assess and evaluate a minor child’s candidacy to enroll and participate in its programs.

Description: A jury found IMG Academies, an internationally-known athletic training facility and school, partially responsible for the death of a 16-year-old student and returned a $1.5 million verdict for his estate. 

Christian Chalita collapsed on a treadmill and died in 2004. His mother, Cristina Chalita-Cisneros, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against IMG Academies, Dr. Joseph Soler and nurse Carol Tomlinson.

Wilkes & McHugh attorneys argued that IMG officials failed to ensure Christian was physically fit enough to endure its rigorous programs, and Soler and Tomlinson failed to properly evaluate him and diagnose his heart condition.

“Had IMGA officials, Dr. Joseph Soler and nurse Carol Yarosz Tomlinson simply fulfilled the basic responsibilities of their positions, Christian Chalita likely still would be alive,” Bennie Lazzara said.

The jury found the defendants 54 percent at fault (18 percent IMG Academies, 18 percent Dr. Joseph Soler, 18 percent Nurse Carol Tomlinson), and found Christian’s mother to be 46 percent at fault.

In an extremely rare occurrence, the jury sent a handwritten note that they had been deeply moved by the facts. They did not want Christian to be forgotten and asked for a scholarship to be setup in Christian’s name.

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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