Orlando Personal Injury Cases
In this website the viewer is presented with a sampling of recent cases successfully handled by Vaughan Law Group. Among those cases is a car/pedestrian accident that occurred on February 2005 in Volusia County. The injured party was Jay Ramsey and Vaughan Law Group represented Jay through his mother Joyce Ston. The case was settled in 2006 for the $1 million dollar policy limit that was available from the tortfeasors Canadian insurance company. Jay who suffered some brain and orthopaedic injuries, was fortunate to have a mother who stuck by him and went to all lengths to get him the assistance he required. Mrs. Ston recently sent us a letter updating us on Jay’s ongoing recovery and providing us with some pictures of Jay throughout the course of his ordeal. We found the letter to be touching and, with Mrs. Ston’s permission, have reprinted it below. To comply with The Florida Bar Ethics Rules, we have only altered those portions that could be viewed as “testimonial”.
Letter updating us on Jay’s ongoing recovery
Dear Mr. Vaughan,
On February 27, 2005 Jay was hit by a car while walking. This left him with multiple injuries. He spent a year in the hospital, part of it while he was in a coma. He was hooked up to life supporting machines that whole year.
I was not able to receive or make any medical decisions for Jay because of the PRIVACY ACT so I hired an attorney in Daytona. After many phone calls and trips to his office I was not able to ever speak to him. I dismissed him after he failed to fulfill the promises made to me through his secretary.
After my first visit with my new attorneys, I was given temporary guardianship of Jay. At that time I was able to talk to doctors and hospital staff.
Jay was not able to recognize anyone for months after coming out of the coma. With the help of his brothers and myself we would go daily to encourage him and talk to him about things that might bring back memories.
In October of 2005 a doctor that was caring for Jay came to see him in the hospital. After examining him, the doctor told me that there was little hope for Jay’s recovery. I told the doctor I no longer needed her services if she felt Jay had no hopes. I needed to find someone that believed he had potential for recovery. I was told by the doctor that I had false hopes and was setting myself up for a great disappointment.
I didn’t know if Jay would ever regain recovery, but I did want him to gain what was possible. Jay remained at the hospital until February 14, 2006. At that time he was removed from the breathing machine. He was still hooked up to the feeding tube.
Leaving the hospital on February 14, 2006, Jay was transported to a nursing home in Sarasota, Florida. His condition at that time was poor. He was not able to speak, his only movement was with the help of the nursing staff. He still did not recognize anyone.
I requested the therapist to work with him. They said Jay’s level was so low that he would not be able to function, therefore they would not accept him in their program. Jay spent everyday in bed for months.
With the approval of my attorneys I was able to hire a private aid who played a big part in Jay’s recovery. The aid got Jay out of bed and exercised his arms and legs. I went everyday to assist and showed Jay cue cards of objects to identify and pictures of family members to help him. Little by little he was able to recognize his family and simple objects. It was a struggle for Jay to remember from day to day.
On August 8, 2006 I took Jay to a chiropractor to be examined. Our first visit took three people to put Jay in the car. Soon, Jay was able to stand with help and get into the car. He was able to use his right hand that he was not able to do since the day of his accident. He was able to sit in a wheel chair without being propped up with pillows and was able to hold his head up. Again, with the approval of the attorneys Jay was able to continue with the care he needed.
Jay’s progress was unbelievable since our trip to the chiropractor. Jay was able to walk a few steps more each day. He was able to talk with confusion. In March 2007, I took Jay to a nose and throat doctor to have the trachea area closed and remove the feeding tube. Once that was completed, Jay was able to eat food after being tube fed since the accident. He was also requesting to leave the nursing home. On April 2007 Jay was transferred to a rehab hospital for some more needed therapy. Jay came home to live with his brother on the east coast of Florida in May 2007. He continued therapy with the help of BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD PROGRAM.
Jay continues to improve.
Jay is now walking without any support. He still needs daily supervision and is confused at times. He also needs continuing therapy on the right side of his body. From the distance he has come, I know he will try to conquer anything that’s possible for him to do.
Recent Orlando Workers Compensation Settlement
The Orlando workers compensation lawyers and Orlando Personal Injury lawyers at Vaughan Law Group, recently obtained a multi million dollar settlement for a former Red Cross worker injured a number of years ago. The worker sustained multiple disk herniations in both the cervical and lumbar regions of his back. Over a period of years, these conditions required multiple surgical procedures. Unfortunately, the injured worker subsequently suffered from paraplegia and became wheelchair confined.
Even more unfortunately, the injured worker found himself being evicted when the city of Daytona Beach condemned the home in which he was living for a cityscape project. Since the injured worker required attendant care while living at home on a full time basis, the workers compensation lawyers at Vaughan Law Group secured an assisted living facility in which the injured worker was placed at the expense of the insurance company. Shortly thereafter, the Orlando Personal Injury attorneys and Orlando workers compensation attorneys at Vaughan Law Group negotiated a $2,000,000.00 cash settlement on their client’s behalf. Those two million dollars were in part annuitized to provide the injured worker well over $ 3,000,000.00 in cash benefits for his life expectancy. This form of structured settlement is one that will provide not only for the injured worker through his life time but will also be available upon death to those family members he chooses to provide for.
CURRENT TRENDS AND CASES AFFECTING CONSUMERS
Allstate vs. The Sunshine State-The Florida office of Insurance Regulation recently suspended Allstate from writing new insurance in the State of Florida. Florida courts have upheld this suspension. Unfortunately, Allstate’s reluctance to comply with the insurance regulations request will devastate many honest and hard working Allstate agents. The FOIR has suspended Allstate for refusing to produce certain documents during an investigation of the company. After an adverse court ruling, Allstate posted certain documents on its website. However, the FOIR alleges that the documents are not as detailed as they should be and that information relating as to just how Allstate handles catastrophic claims is sorely lacking.
Jury finds school liable for alcohol-related injuries and death- A jury in south Florida found the ARCH DIOCESES liable for 14 million dollars for an automobile accident that left one child paralyzed and brain damaged and another child dead. This accident happened following a year end party at the home of two students.
The jury found the school negligent because it failed to notify authorities of under age drinking, even though school officials knew in advance that such drinking would take place. The party was held in a private home on the last day of school. Student organizers had issued invitations with a picture of CROWN ROYAL WHISKY and a request to “come end the school year the right way”. The school principal was found to have made remarks concerning the event over the public address system. The jury further heard testimony that the principal even stopped by the party, observed students in a drunken state, but failed to call authorities. The jury also found that the parents were 20% negligent.
$40 Million jury award for faulty heart monitor-A gentleman in Washington State was awarded $40.1 million due to severe injuries he sustained when placed upon a heart monitoring machine. This gentleman was hospitalized due to a minor heart attack but during a by-pass procedure doctors could not get his heart to beat voluntarily nor could they determine what was causing the problem. Eventually it was learned that a Vigilante cardiac catheter designed to monitor blood flow overheated in excess of 500 degrees and melted into the heart. The patient was subsequently placed on life support and remained in a coma until a replacement heart was found and transplanted approximately 3 months later. It was shown that the manufacturer had known about the defect but had simply repaired machines one by one as they were sent back for maintenance. The safer and more effective course of action-a recall- was never instituted. Neither the hospitals that used the monitors nor the FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION were ever informed of a defect or the companies ineffective response.
U-Haul loses $84 million jury verdict-A Texas man won an $84 million verdict against U-Haul as a result of a truck he rented running him over. This was in turn due to a failed emergency break. The gentleman’s pelvis was crushed leaving him unable to walk and with loss of bowel function. Evidence adduced at trial showed that the trucks parking brake did not work at all. Of the $84 million, $63 million was punitive in nature. This was in large part due to the realization that this company does not routinely service its vehicles after being used by renters.
PaceMaker/Defibrillator Nationwide Recall- Medtronic Incorporated, a huge provider and a distributor of medical components, announced a recall in October of 2007 due to a defect in its Sprint Fidelis cardiac leads. These leads are thin wires used to connect a defibrillator or pace maker directly to the heart. The day after Medtronic’s recall, the press reported that this flaw in the lead wire caused failures and malfunctions of the device. Patients have died as a result of this malfunction. Since the Sprint Fidelis was placed into the stream of commerce in 2004, there have been approximately 2,000 recipients of this device in the United States. There are specific models of the Sprint Fidelis that are subject to the recall and, consequently, potentially defective and dangerous. They are: #6930, #6931, #6948, #6949. If you and/or an acquaintance have had a defibrillator or a pacemaker lead implanted since the year 2004, your identification card and/or your medical records should be checked to determine if one of the above model numbers was utilized. Obviously it is important that anyone experiencing symptoms (including syncope, light headedness, palpitations, or shocks) should contact their physician immediately. As of recent, Medtronic has refused to pay for the replacement of Sprint Fidelis leads that are functioning properly even though those leads are on their list of recalled items.
The Orlando product liability attorneys at Vaughan & Maxwell are reviewing and accepting cases that involve the above mentioned Sprint Fidelis lead even if a malfunction has yet to occur. Any readers of this newsletter (and acquaintances) can contact Vaughan & Maxwell immediately to discuss the viability of a claim.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.