Experience

Years of tough litigation leads to multi-million bankruptcy settlement

Location: Tampa, Florida

Debtor: Fundamental Long Term Care, Inc.
Amount: $23.7 million

Description:  Judgment creditors represented by Wilkes & McHugh initiated involuntary Chapter 7 proceedings against Debtor Fundamental Long Term Care, Inc. to recover state court judgments following jury verdicts in excess of $2 billion. A decade of protracted litigation revealed a bust-out scheme involving a dozen real-parties-in-interest that devised a scheme to ditch a liability-ridden shell company by selling it to the Debtor using an elderly strawman. After a two-week trial, the parties reached a multi-million dollar compromise.

Two tractor-trailers involved in crash that injures woman

Location: Crittenden County, Arkansas

Plaintiff: A female motorist
Defendant: A large trucking company
Amount: Confidential settlement 
Alleged Injuries: Negligence and vicarious liability that lead to a multi-vehicle accident and caused a woman severe injuries

Description:  The defendant was driving a tractor-trailer on I-55 in Memphis, Tenn., heading north toward Arkansas. He was in the right lane and tried to move into the left lane when he hit another driver, who then struck the retaining wall. The defendant crossed the bridge and pulled over to the side of the road, while the other driver’s car was disabled in the left lane.

Meanwhile, the victim was traveling that same route in the right lane behind another tractor-trailer.  Both were heading into Arkansas, crossing the Mississippi River on I-55 north.  The victim proceeded to enter the left lane, while the tractor-trailer remained in the right lane of the interstate. Once on the bridge, the victim collided with the disabled car in the left lane. The violent impact caused her to ricochet to the right lane where she struck the tractor-trailer. The victim's Honda spun around and slammed into the retaining wall before skidding back to the right lane.

The victim suffered a fracture to her left femur and underwent surgery to have a metal rod and screws placed in her leg. After surgery, she developed anemia that required a blood transfusion; developed hypoxemia (low blood oxygen); developed a fat emboli, which is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by globules of fat released by the bone that travel to the brain or lungs; became tachycardic and required oxygen for two days; and was placed on heavy narcotics, including Dilaudid and oxycodone, for pain and when that was not sufficient she was given Morphine injections.  She had extensive medical bills and missed six weeks of work.

The defendant driver was negligent, made poor decisions, and started the sequence of events that put the victim and other drivers in danger that day. Arkansas State Police cited the defendant driver for an improper lane change in causing the accident, and a trucking expert determined that the defendant's reckless move was the catalyst for the victim’s crash.

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 nursing home resident beaten to death by roomate

Location: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

Plaintiff: A Pennsylvania man
Defendant: A nursing home
Amount: Confidential
Alleged Injuries: Negligence per se for Violations of Neglect of Care-Dependent Person and Violations of the Pennsylvania Older Adults Protective Services Act after a nursing home resident’s roommate beat him to death. His death was deemed a homicide.

Description: The plaintiff was being screamed at by his male roommate one evening during dinner service. A nurse came in, calmed the plaintiff’s roommate down, then left the two men alone again. Moments later, a commotion was heard. When the staff re-entered the room, they found the plaintiff on the floor, being repeatedly beaten by his roommate. The plaintiff died from his injuries. His roommate was deemed incompetent to stand trial and was committed to a state hospital.

The plaintiff was dependent upon the nursing home and its staff for all of his daily care and personal needs. The defendants failed to evaluate residents to determine if they were appropriately placed in the facility and failed to transfer the roommate, who should not have been a resident there. The defendant deprived the plaintiff of adequate care and safety, resulting in his death.

Product Liability

Location: Chester County, Pennsylvania

Plaintiff: Confidential 
Defendant: Confidential
Amount: Confidential settlement
Alleged Injuries:  A defective mechanical patient lift in a nursing home led to multiple injuries (including skin tears and bruising) and ultimately an 84-year-old woman was dropped 3-4 feet onto the floor. She died as a result of her injuries.

Description:  The mechanical lift was about 14 years old. The arm was held in place by only one screw that became unscrewed over time and fell out. The main bolt tread depth was not sufficient, and the bolt was free to rotate such that it was reasonable to expect the cradle would come loose from the lift arm. The facility also failed to regularly inspect the lift despite its age. As a result of the fall, the woman suffered rib cage injuries that lead to respiratory compromise and death. Wilkes & McHugh secured a settlement for the woman’s family.

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.

Plaintiffs suffer permanent injuries in Arkansas tractor-trailer crash

Location: Sharp County, Arkansas

Plaintiff: Two sawmill workers
Defendant: Trucking company and driver
Amount: Confidential settlement
Alleged Injuries:  Negligence and vicarious liability in a tractor-trailer accident that left two men with multiple, severe injuries

Description:  In February 2009, two coworkers were passengers in a pickup truck heading back to work at a sawmill just after lunch. A tractor-trailer driver was heading in the opposite direction on that same road. Both vehicles were approaching a sharp, dangerous curve known for accidents.

The truck driver sped around the curve, causing his trailer full of coal to break free, crash to its side and careen into oncoming traffic. Another car in front of the pickup truck had to swerve off the road to avoid being plowed by the runaway trailer, but the driver of the pickup truck did not have time to react. He and his passengers had to be rescued with the Jaws of Life and taken to the hospital. 

Passenger 1 suffered multiple fractures. He had surgery on his hip and had to use a wheelchair for more than five months. He can walk, but with significant pain. The limitations imposed by his injuries make it nearly impossible for him to find full-time, competitive work.

Passenger 2 injured his leg and needed surgery, as well as skin grafts and wound treatment. He now walks with a cane. Before the accident, he enjoyed hiking, rappelling, fishing and hunting, but he is unable to do any of that now. His difficulty walking long distances or standing for long periods without the cane prevent him from returning to the work he used to do.

Our investigation determined that the truck driver was dismissed from his previous job and not eligible for rehire. When he applied for a job with the new company, they ignored that and hired the driver based on an off-the-record comment that he was a “good guy.” The driver failed to disclose previous accidents when he applied for a job.  He did not accurately log his hours of driving, as required by federal law, and was not properly trained by the trucking company.

The driver and the company exhibited a reckless disregard for Department of Transportation regulations, as well as their own company safety policy. Their actions reflected a complete indifference to the safety of the victims, leaving the plaintiffs with permanent injuries.

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.

Tennessee Court of Appeals upholds nursing home verdict

Location: Warren County, Tennessee

Plaintiff: Cheatum Myers
Defendant: National Healthcare Corporation, McMinnville
Amount: $4.1 million
Alleged Injuries: Negligence, gross negligence, medical malpractice, and violation of the Tennessee Adult Protection Act that caused the plaintiff to suffer multiple falls with fractures, a Stage IV pressure sore, leg contractures and infection.

Description: The Tennessee Court of Appeals allowed the original decision on Myers vs. National Healthcare Corporation to stand. While the $4.1 million verdict for compensatory damages was upheld, it was reduced by $75,000. During the original trial in 2007, the trial judge dismissed the punitive claim after the jury had awarded $29.8 million in punitive damages. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that the trial judge erred in doing so and granted a retrial for punitive damages. The Tennessee Supreme Court denied Defendants' request to appeal. The case later settled out of court for a confidential sum.

Toddler killed, woman and other children injured in crash

Location: Union County, Arkansas

Plaintiff: Confidential
Defendant: Confidential 
Amount: Confidential settlement 
Alleged Injuries: Negligence and wrongful death in an auto accident that killed a toddler and injured members of her family.

Description: The plaintiff, a woman in her 30s, was driving with her three children westbound on a two-lane highway outside of Strong, Arkansas, on a sunny July afternoon. The defendant was driving eastbound in an F-150 pickup truck owned by his employer when he fell asleep while driving, veered across the center line, and collided head-on with the plaintiff’s SUV. The plaintiff’s vehicle came to rest with the front end crushed in a drainage ditch.

The plaintiff’s 20-month-old daughter was killed in the accident despite being in a child safety seat, and her 5-year-old son was seriously injured. The plaintiff also suffered serious injuries and endured multiple surgeries. In addition to long-term physical pain and injuries, she and her surviving children suffered ongoing mental and emotional trauma as a result of the crash and the death of the youngest child.

The defendant had been on his way home from work when the accident happened. According to his deposition testimony, he had gotten only about six hours of sleep total in the two nights prior to the crash. Wilkes & McHugh attorneys argued that the defendant’s employer was liable in the accident as well as the driver because the truck had been provided as part of the employee’s compensation, it was maintained by the employer, and all of the expenses related to the truck (gas, insurance, etc.) were covered by the employer. The driver possessed and drove that vehicle for the benefit of his employer, and on the date of this accident he was driving that vehicle home from work for the benefit of his employer, our attorneys argued.

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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