Massachusetts Personal Injury Notable Settlements and Jury Verdicts
If defendants and justice-seeking victims agreed then there would never be a need for an injury expert lawyer. They don't. If you're pursuing an injury claim, you need an experienced, expert, dogged attorney. The Law Office of Steven R. Whitman goes the distance. We're informed. We're focused. We're expert. We're relentless. We're successful.
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$560,000.00 Settlement for Employee Disc Herniation Injury
$450,000: Employee sustained L4-5 disc herniation when he attempted to pull a lift off of fellow employee whom the lift had fallen on as they attempted to transport the lift by elevator within a commercial building. The workers' compensation company refused any benefits to the employee. Through intensive discovery and litigation, we were able to prove that the management company was negligent in allowing storage of this particular lift in the building as the elevator was insufficient for moving large equipment. An eventual settlement was reached of $450,000.00 after a full day of mediation. Further, we were successful in winning the employee's workers' compensation claim for weekly benefits and medical bills at the Department of Industrial Accidents. Eventually, an addition lump sum settlement of $110,000.00 was reached on the workers' compensation claim.
$340,000.00: Employee sustained a herniated disc at work. His workers' compensation company initially refused payment. The Law Office of Steven R. Whitman filed a claim at the Department of Industrial Accidents. We were successful in having the employee awarded weekly wage payments as well as all his medical bills covered. Eventually, we were able to obtain a lump sum settlement of $340,000.00 to resolve the matter.
$950,000: The client sustained an injury to his hip when he was struck while crossing the street. The client received minimal treatment initially but finally after almost three years followed up with his doctor and underwent hip replacement surgery. The insurance company argued that any injuries were due to unrelated causes as the client had not sought treatment for almost three years. Five previous attorneys had rejected the client's case. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of the client and were able to demonstrate that the surgery and the accident were related. A settlement of $950,000.00 was reached after a mediation session with the insurance company.
Recently, the office won a major victory against the State of Massachusetts and the State Police. In that case, a veteran Boston school teacher was rear-ended by a State Police vehicle, suffering severe lower back injuries. There was no property damage to either vehicle. Initially, the claim was dismissed by the authorities, arguing that the "older" teacher's injuries were pre-existing, and that a low-speed, low-damage accident could not cause major injuries. As the State and State Police would not accept responsibility for what it had done to this upstanding, longtime grade school teacher, suit was filed in Suffolk Superior Court. After a multi-day trial, Attorney Whitman achieved a $333,000.00 verdict for his client. Unbowed by the aggressive defense, Attorney Whitman prevailed for his client in court when attempts to mediate and settle failed to resolve the case. Due to this success, this case was reported in the Lawyers Weekly news publication for the size of the verdict and the special obstacles overcome in suing the State of Massachusetts.
A woman was traveling to pick up her daughter when another vehicle took a left-hand turn in front of her, causing a collision. The client sustained a partially herniated disc in her neck resulting in surgery. The insurance company's initial offer was $40,000.00 based on pre-existing conditions. We filed suit on the client's behalf shortly after the accident and resolved the case for $150,000.00 through mediation shortly before trial.
After the insurance company argued that a 50-year-old skilled wood worker who lost his hand in a tragic work accident did not deserve the full measure of benefits to which he was entitled, this office filed an action with the Department of Industrial Accidents resulting in a $350,000.00 settlement.
Favorable settlement achieved for lifelong bricklayer who suffered a herniated disc while lifting at work. Insurance company attempted to assert that the client could work in a less strenuous occupation. This office successfully fought the insurance company's vocational and medical opinions, resulting in the $225,000.00, in addition to Social Security and pension benefits.
$150,000.00 settlement in a case of a non-union laborer who fell while descending the graded slope of a foundation, fracturing his ankle. The settlement represented a great victory, as all defendants, including the general contractor, the site owner and the construction contractors, blamed the victim, arguing that the fall was due to his own clumsiness. In addition to the settlement, this office ensured that the laborer was paid workers' compensation and that all medical expenses were paid.
The client was a 14-year-old boy who was struck by a golf ball by a golf course employee who hit a golf ball unannounced behind the client. The client suffered head injuries but eventually made a good recovery. Sporting accidents require a special showing of willful and/or reckless care. On behalf of our client, we sued the golf course and the employee's homeowner's insurance. We were successful in persuading the insurance companies that the employee's conduct could be construed as reckless or willful and were able to come to a mediated settlement of $100,000.00.
We were able to win a $100,000.00 settlement against the insurance company of a woman who housed a dog which had been bred from a German Shepherd and a wolf. The dangerous hybrid animal attacked a small child. The settlement included a structured annuity so that the child would receive a stream of income into her twenties.
Our client stopped to ask a police officer for directions. A utility company employee working overhead dropped a hammer onto our client, causing a tear in the rotator cuff of our client's shoulder. Liability was initially denied but after much negotiation we were successful in convincing the utility company to settle the matter for $112,000.00 without the need for litigation.
We represented an employee who was inadvertently struck with a forklift by a co-employee forklift operator causing injuries to our client's spleen. We were successful in having our client paid his full workers' compensation benefits while negotiating a settlement of $150,000.00. Initially, liability was unclear but after a thorough investigation a claim was brought against the maintenance company of the forklift for improperly maintaining the foot pedal of the forklift.
Our client fell down a set of cement stairs, fracturing his elbow. Liability was denied by the insurance company for the property owner. Through investigation and the hiring of an expert in stair construction, we were able to convince the insurance company that the stairway was defective, which was critical in leading to an eventual settlement.
Recently, the office won a Superior Court jury case against one of the largest automobile insurers in the state in a case where our client had been wrongly accused of fabricating a hit and run accident. While representing our client for a hit and run incident, her own insurance company launched an extremely aggressive lawsuit against her, alleging that she lied about her accident to obtain insurance benefits. The law suit alleged breach of contract and fraud. We fought back for our client, a longtime federal employee, counterclaiming that her company, by its denial of her rightful benefits, violated its side of the insurance contract. After a contentious multi-day trial, the jury declared our client did not breach her policy and rather the insurance company breached its policy. Willing to stand up for our client when her own insurer attacked her, this office won a major victory for our client over an oppressive insurance company.
This office recently achieved rare jury victories in cases of slip and falls in stores. These cases are particularly challenging due to a high degree of proof in order to find a store responsible for substances negligently left on store floors.
In one case, a grandmother slipped and fell on grapes negligently left on the floor of a paper goods aisle of a Shaw's Supermarket. Even though the store admitted that the grapes were on the floor and that the floor was dirty, it contended that the grapes were not on the floor long enough for them to have found it and done something about it. The jury disagreed, finding that the store was negligent in failing to properly clean and police its floors.
In another case, a large national movie theater chain in Lawrence rushed to clean its carpets prior to the first show of the day on the day after schools had closed for the summer - one of the busiest days of the year. The wet carpet caused our client to fall and injure her ankle severely. After she fell and lay on the floor awaiting the ambulance, the movie theater personnel placed "Wet Floor" signs around her body and later testified that the signs were placed prior to her fall. The jury saw through the movie theater's deception and awarded our client more than triple her medical expenses.