At the Law Offices of Kelly R. Reed, we have successfully litigated cases under the West Virginia Medical Professional Liability Act against West Virginia University Hospital (also known as Ruby Memorial Hospital); Fairmont General Hospital; United Hospital Center; and Davis Memorial Hospital; as well as private practice doctors who have privileges at these and other facilities.
Our clients were the proud parents of their third child, a son, who was born two months prematurely. Although premature, the baby progressed normally and was about ready to be discharged home when the doctors discovered an inguinal hernia. The baby was scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the hernia before being discharged home. Unfortunately, the anesthesia providers were not qualified as pediatric anesthesiologists and administered the baby's anesthesia in an utterly improper manner. The significant anesthesia mistakes caused the baby to go into arrest. To make matters worse, the anesthesia team and other medical care providers did not conduct a proper resuscitation. Although the baby was revived after several hours of resuscitation, he suffered severe hypoxic brain injury and tragically died within a few weeks. We filed a medical malpractice action on behalf of our clients against the medical care providers. This is one of the most heart-wrenching cases we have ever handled. We assembled a team of excellent experts from across the United States and achieved a substantial settlement for our clients in mediation soon after filing suit.
Motor Vehicle Wrecks
Our client was the Estate of a woman who was killed in a head on-collision when a drunk driver crossed over the center line and crashed into her. The deceased, a treasure to all who knew her, left behind many family members. Not only was the drunk driver's blood alcohol content more than 3 times the legal limit, but the alcohol had been served to the drunk driver over the several hours before the wreck by a restaurant/bar. Most people know that it is illegal to drive under the influence, but, in West Virginia, it is also illegal for a business that sells or serves alcohol to continue to serve a patron who is intoxicated. We filed a wrongful death suit against the drunk driver and the restaurant/bar. Through our investigation and our work with exceptional experts in this case, we achieved a significant settlement on behalf of our client. Although no amount of compensation can replace the life that was taken, those left behind saw justice accomplished through both the criminal case handled by the State and the wrongful death case we handled.
Our client was driving her teenage daughter to a doctor's appointment on a rainy afternoon in 2001. As she waited for on-coming traffic to clear so she could make the turn into the doctor's parking lot, she was struck from behind by another vehicle. Our client suffered a severe injury to her brachial plexus in the collision. In addition to all of her medical bills, our client was unable to continue working. Despite clear liability on the other driver and significant damages, the defendants made very low-ball offers of settlement prior to trial. In May 2005 we tried this case to a jury in Monongalia County. The jury awarded a significant verdict and our client ultimately recovered a substantial sum. We were especially happy about this case because before the trial our client was on the brink of bankruptcy because she could no longer work and because the defendants had caused significant delay in the case going to trial.
Our client was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a driver who crossed the center line. The other driver was cited for failure to maintain control. Our client sustained significant injury to her ankle that ultimately required surgery, and although liability was clear, the at-fault party's insurance company challenged medical costs because of prior injuries to the same foot/ankle. This was the typical "egg-shell" plaintiff case. Despite our good faith efforts to settle this matter pre-suit, the insurance company did not respond in any meaningful way until we filed suit on behalf of our client. However, once suit was filed, a significant settlement was quickly reached. The end result was a settlement for our client in an amount more than 3 times the medical costs she sustained.
Work Place Injuries - Deliberate Intent
Our client was a construction worker who was setting steel joists on a building in Morgantown. This work required our client to work at heights of over twenty feet. The joists were 75 feet long and had to be set with a crane. The employer ignored numerous OSHA safety standards that directly apply to setting and securing steel. While setting the very first 75 foot joist, failure to follow these safety standards caused the joist to roll and our client to fall to the ground. He sustained a severe back injury which left him with significant impairment to his legs and no bowel or bladder function. We filed suit on his behalf against his employer for deliberate intent and against the crane company and property owner for negligence. Our team of experts included an excellent steel safety expert, with whose help we revealed the significant OSHA violations of the employer, as well as the negligence of the other defendants. We achieved a substantial settlement for our client prior to trial.
In 2003, our client was a laborer using an overhead crane with a c-hook to pick up and move steel coils when his hand was crushed between the c-hook and another steel coil. The c-hook our client was using did not have a safety handle on the back of it to protect worker's hands from getting crushed between the c-hook and other steel coils. The employer had placed safety handles on its other c-hooks prior to our client's injury, but following another employee's hand being crushed in the same manner. We filed suit on behalf of our client against both the employer for deliberate intent and the crane manufacturer for negligent design. This case settled prior to trial.