Below you’ll find a list of recent case results for Kentucky personal injury attorney Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices:
Railroad Car Explosion
Tad Thomas, serving as local counsel for Clifford Law Offices of Chicago, recently settled a lawsuit against several parties involved in a train derailment that took place in 2013. Plaintiffs Leonard Carrillo and Gregory Powers, were severely burned in flash fires that occurred during a train derailment cleanup. A derailed train car spilled butadiene, a chemical used in synthetic rubber production. The plaintiffs were instructed to use a cutting torch in order to separate two train cars. A worker for one of the defendants inspected the area and gave the plaintiffs a thumbs up to separate the train cars, failing to notice a chemical leak. One of the train cars was carrying the hazardous chemical, butadiene and instantly started two flash fires.
Both men were severely burned, Carrillo suffered second and third degree burns to 80 percent of his body, also a shoulder injury that inhibits him from performing most manual labor. Powers also had second and third degree burns on 50 percent of his body and suffers from neuropathy in his hands. The case was mediated several times before reaching a settlement on December 12, 2016 for $18.5 million.
On December 22, 2015, a Circuit Court Judge in Louisville, Kentucky, entered an Agreed Judgment and Consent Degree between the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General and Janssen Pharmaceuticals resolving the litigation between the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the maker of the drug. (Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Janssen et. al. 13-CI-002488, Jefferson County Circuit Court Division 3). Thomas Law Offices served as co-counsel to the Office of the Attorney General in representing the Commonwealth. To resolve the claims, Janssen will be making a payment to the Commonwealth of $15.5 million dollars and has agreed to cease its promotion of Risperdal for non-FDA approved uses. In addition, the company has agreed to adequately disclose known risks associated with the use of the drug. For more information see our blog entry here.
A salesman was traveling the roads of Bullitt County, Kentucky when an oncoming car crossed the centerline hitting him virtually head-on. Suffering two herniated discs in his neck and nerve damage the Plaintiff was forced to undergo a difficult surgery to relieve his pain. Mr. Thomas was hired to pursue compensation for his client’s pain, suffering and lost income. After settling for the policy limits of the opposing driver, Mr. Thomas filed suit in federal court against the Plaintiff’s own insurance company whose policy contained “underinsured coverage.” After some litigation the case was resolved at mediation in a confidential settlement.
A couple out on their Harley for a summer’s drive were shocked when a car turned directly in front of them. Both suffered broken bones and were off work for several weeks after they collided with the car and were thrown from the bike. The couple hired Mr. Thomas to pursue compensation for their injuries and their lost wages. Early in the case Mr. Thomas was able to help arrange for insurance to pay for many of their medical bills and recover some of their lost wages. After filing suit the case was settled against both the opposing driver’s insurance as well as the couple’s own policy which had “underinsured motorists coverage.”
On her way to sell her motorcycle a young lady was killed while changing lanes on the Gene Snyder Expressway in Louisville, Kentucky. Because the road had settled unevenly there was a break in the pavement between the fast and slow lanes. In some places the fast lane was three to six inches higher than the slow lane. Mr. Thomas was hired to represent the cyclist’s estate after she was killed attempting to change lanes. A claim was filed on behalf of the estate against the Commonwealth of Kentucky which settled for the $200,000 maximum under state law.
Dump Truck v. Pedestrian
A young child was riding her bike in west Louisville when she started to cross the street. The driver of a dump truck turned into her path despite the fact he had a red light. The young girl was seriously injured when the wheels of the truck ran over her pelvic area. After months of recovery the insurance carrier for the company settled the case. Because the Plaintiff was a young child Mr. Thomas was able to work with Forge Consulting, an expert in structured settlements, to spread the payments out over time and earn money for the young girl. She will now have the money to pay for her own college.
Only a few blocks away from his home a high school senior suffered severe injuries in a head-on collision when the opposing vehicle crossed the center-line. As a result of his injuries he lost an entire year of sports and a substantial amount of school. Mr. Thomas was again able to secure a confidential settlement which will make payments to the young man at the same time bills for college tuition are due and another lump sum near the time of his graduation.
In July of 2007, two employees of a contractor were working at a lead battery plant in Richmond, Kentucky when they were exposed to large doses of toxic lead particulate which is used in the battery manufacturing process. In the 1970’s the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (“NIOSH”) estimated that more that one million workers were occupationally exposed to lead and the some of the highest exposures come from lead battery operations. It has long been known that over-exposure to lead can result in accumulation in the body resulting in high blood lead levels. This hazardous condition, diagnosed by blood testing, may cause permanent damage to an individual’s nervous, renal, reproductive and cardiovascular systems and may even cause death. Individuals with lead poisoning may see symptoms such as loss of appetite, a metallic taste in their mouth, constipation, anemia, malaise, weakness, insomnia, headaches, nervous irritability and muscle and joint pains.
Both of Mr. Thomas’ clients claimed in their suit that they suffered severe adverse health affects as a result of this exposure which left them permanently disabled and unable to work. They also claimed that their exposure was partially the result of the failure of their employer and the battery manufacturing plant to train them properly as required by OSHA. Because lead is inherently ultra-hazardous in nature it is specifically covered under federal Occupational and Safety and Health laws. 29 CFR § 1910.1025. In 1979 NIOSH expanded the code to provide for medical monitoring, record keeping, employee education and training, medical removal protection, hygiene facilities and practices, respiratory protection, protective clothing and equipment.
The workers filed suit in 2008, but after two years of little activity to move the case forward, Mr. Thomas was asked to join the suit in 2010. Once involved, he aggressively litigated the case for less than a year resolved the matter in a confidential settlement.
At age 78 a gentleman with back pain was admitted to the hospital for several nights. The hospital’s policies and procedures required that any admitted patient be evaluated to determine whether or not they were at risk of falling. Once assessed, it was determined that the Plaintiff was a high fall risk and required the placement of a bed alarm which warns staff when a patient is trying to get out of bed. The night before he was scheduled to be discharged the Plaintiff fell at 4:50 a.m. and broke his hip. The hospital defended the case arguing that the patient had disabled the bed alarm himself and even admitted as much to his doctor. However, at trial it was proven that this statement was unreliable because it was made while the patient was under the influence of pain medications and that it was impossible for the alarm to be disabled if it was properly installed. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff for $134,000 including medical expenses and pain and suffering.
On August 27, 2006, Comair Flight 5191 crashed in Lexington, Kentucky taking the lives of 47 passengers and two crew members. The aircraft was given permission to taxi and take off from the only runway open to commercial jets. Unfortunately, the pilots attempted to take off from a second, unlit runway intended for only small, general aviation aircraft. The runway was too short for the Bombardier Canadair Regional Jet and the pilots were unable to get the jet airborne before it crashed into a tree line just past the airfield. Tad Thomas was hired to represent the estate of a young lady killed in the crash while on her way to get married. This case resulted in a confidential settlement with the airline.
Accounting and Auditing Malpractice
Most anyone would know that the CEO of a business should not use the company’s money for personal purchases without permission. Unfortunately, a small, rapidly growing company suffered at the hands of a CEO who chose to pay for his daily living with the company’s credit card. The card was used to pay for trips and flowers for his girlfriend and even day care for his pets. Tad Thomas was hired by this Fast 50 company to file suit against the accounting and auditing firms who failed to detect and prevent this malfeasance. The company was able to recover a substantial portion of its losses in a confidential settlement with the accounting firms.
A man in his thirties, who had recently suffered catastrophic injuries rendering him paraplegic, entered a nursing home in southern Kentucky. When the man was admitted to the nursing home, he was already suffering from a small pressure sore on his lower back and was completely unable to control his bowel movements or turn and reposition himself. Despite, knowing the condition of the man, the nursing home failed to care for his wounds, allowed a separate stage four pressure sore to develop, and failed to change his bandages. The man subsequently developed an E-coli infection as a result of the nursing home’s failure to properly care for his wounds. The care was so poor at the nursing home that the man was worried he would die in their care and called his family to remove him from the nursing home. After taking the case, Mr. Thomas discovered that, along with failing to care for its patients, the nursing home improperly charting the medical records of its patients and lied to the federal government in its Medicare and Medicaid reports. After early stages in the litigation process, the case was settled in a confidential agreement.