Stewart Casper Verdict & Settlement Cases
$5.1 MILLION SETTLEMENT AFTER EVIDENCE FOR MILD TRAUMATIC BRAN INJURY (February 2016)
- On May 24, 2011, April Taylor (pseudonym) stopped at the defendant supermarket to purchase some oats to make cookies. As she entered the store and with her first step across the threshold of the automatic door, she slipped with both feet going out from under her. She crashed to the floor, striking her left arm and entire left side including her head. The fall was captured on the store’s entry surveillance tape, although one cannot discern the head strike because it was obscured by the door frame. April fell with her first step into the store because the floor was wet and store personnel failed to place a rubber safety in that precise location.At the scene of the fall, April’s primary complaint was regarding her left arm, and denied that she struck her head to the paramedics. However, at the hospital she gave a history of a head injury as well as an injury to her arm and neck. April was diagnosed with a minor concussion, a contusion of the left elbow and a slight whiplash injury to her neck. The next day April saw an orthopedist for her arm and her PCP. The following day she consulted with a neurologist. Everyone diagnosed April with some for of head injury (Several terms are used interchangeably for a mild traumatic brain injury or mTBI – concussion, mild concussion, minor concussion, minor head injury, acquired head injury.) Notwithstanding her injuries, April continued to do her sales job for a large corporation. She called on customers and worked out of her home office. She adjusted the way she performed her job and managed to succeed for over three years before her employer realized that April’s injuries prevented her from performing the job as it was described. April’s brain injury impacted several cognitive functions, the most obvious of which was her speech, which was apparent within a matter of a few days. She developed word-finding difficulties, as well as difficulty maintaining her train of thought. Also, her processing speed was slowed significantly. April found that performing her job as well as normal activities of daily living took much longer than before the accident. Compounding her difficulties was that she experienced overwhelming fatigue, a common symptom of traumatic brain injury. In addition to her brain injury, April’s left arm injury did not heal. Instead, she developed a chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS.) CRPS is an autonomic condition that can develop after an injury or surgery. It usually involves a dysregulation of pain, temperature and color in an extremity. April’s CRPS was helped only by periodic courses of physical therapy. Sadly, the insurance company for the supermarket attempted to exploit a fairly predictable series of myths about TBI, including the fact that April did not lose consciousness, was considered to be alert and oriented when brought to the hospital, and had a normal clinical MRI. None of these factors can rule out a brain injury. It was also true that April held onto her job for over three years before her superiors pressured her to do more than she was physically and mentally capable of doing. When her employer declined to provide her with any job accommodations, April applied for and was granted short term and then long term disability. Still, insurance companies will be insurance companies. The jury trial commenced in January in Stamford Superior Court. When the trial began, the insurance company offer for settlement was $1 million. After three weeks of trial and when the evidence was completed on a Friday afternoon close to 5 P.M., the defense was given one last chance to settle the case before it went to the jury. Having rejected offers of $1 million, $3 million and $4 million – with the encouragement and guidance of her lawyers, Stewart Casper, the plaintiff indicated that $5.1 million would resolve the case if the insurance company agreed to that sum that very evening. And that’s how the case resolved.
$2.6 Million Settlement for Brain Injury & CRPS after Casper Solves the Mystery
- (This case is subject to a confidentiality agreement so the names have been changed) In February 2013, Natasha Abrimov and her husband Boris came to see Stewart Casper. Natasha had slipped on a wet floor in a retail store two years earlier, slamming the back of her head on the floor and wrenching her left shoulder. She had been diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury and a torn labrum. She had chronic headaches. She had shoulder surgery, but it did not resolve the problem. Instead, it made it worse because she developed a chronic regional pain syndrome that made her entire left arm swell, turn shades of blue and caused even more pain. She fell into a major depression. She was unable to return to her job. The Abrimovs had already retained a lawyer who placed the case into suit. The retail store filed sworn responses to standard discovery and claimed the floor was not wet and there had been no prior complaints of similar problems. The store also provided a 2 ½ page floor maintenance directory as its sole written policy and procedure relating to the claim. The first lawyer recommended that the Abrimovs settle the case for $100,000. Dissatisfied with the advice they received, the Abrimovs sought Casper’s input. Casper’s assessment involved two principles: 1) People shopping in retail stores generally don’t fall and injure themselves unless there is a cause; and 2) The value of Natasha’s injuries, damages and losses far exceeded $100,000, assuming liability could be established. Casper advised the Abrimovs that they were entitled to change lawyers and that there were ethical rules that governed the way that compensation of the first lawyer would be resolved. Once in the case, Casper assembled a discovery plan. First, the store manager was deposed and testified that the floor was not wet when Natasha fell. She reviewed the accident report that she had given to a claim service and testified that there was no problem with the nearby refrigeration equipment. She also gave ambiguous testimony about where the store’s policies and procedures were maintained, alternating between hard copy and electronically stored materials. That testimony set in motion an effort to clarify company policies by requiring the director of safety and the service manager to appear for depositions at which they were required to produce pertinent documents including all service records for the retail store and all electronically stored policies and procedures that related to store maintenance and accident investigation. At those depositions, Casper learned that the company had been deceptive. The floor was almost certainly wet, and the store manager had not been honest. The morning that Natasha fell, the refrigeration equipment had been leaking in the area of the fall; the dairy manager notified the store manager, and the store manager had called for repairs. These complaints were documented in the company’s records. Despite this knowledge, no safety measures were taken to warn and protect customers. Because Casper is active in the American Association for Justice, he also learned through list serve activity that the company had not only been using the same deceptive discovery technique in Connecticut but also in other states where it has retail stores.
$2.6 Million Jury Verdict for Darien, CT Woman Injured by Large Dog
- On July 9, 2014, a Stamford jury returned a verdict in favor of Sally Muehring of Darien, CT that totaled approximately $2.6 million for injuries she sustained to her leg when a large dog crashed into her in a dog park. Ms. Muehring suffered a comminuted fracture of her tibia and fibula that required the use of plates and screws to repair. The healing of the fractures was delayed, and she developed complex regional pain syndrome as well as a neuroma of her saphenous nerve. She underwent four separate surgeries and lost various opportunities in the interior design where she has displayed enormous talents working for an array of well-heeled clients. This case was the basis for induction into the Connecticut Law Tribune “Personal Injury Hall of Fame” in 2015.
Severe Spinal Cord Injury – Quadriplegia – $8 Million Present Value to Yield $20 Million in Payments
- Following a highly complex analysis of a catastrophic spinal cord injury suffered by a young woman in a municipal park in Waterbury, CT, Stewart Casper assembled a team of experts to prove that Waterbury had failed to not only engage in fundamental risk management assessment on its winter sliding hill in Fulton Park, but that it also failed to follow its own unwritten policy of removing obstructions within the “run out” for snow sledders and snow tubers. On February 15, 2007, Rose Marie Deschesnes had crashed into a fixed players bench at the base of the hill and suffered a fracture of the 5th cervical vertebrae, with resulting spinal cord injury together with other less severe injuries but nonetheless serious injuries. The spinal cord injury left Ms. Deschesnes without the ability to move her body below her neck and confined to bed or wheel chair for the balance of her life, requiring 24/7 attendant care. After other lawyers had turned down her case, Stewart Casper saw the path to success and uncovered key evidence that would overcome the “qualified immunity” that often unjustly protect municipalities from their own incompetence. Having “cracked the code” for overcoming governmental immunity in this case, Casper set out a strategy for getting the case resolved so that he could quickly provide his client with desperately needed health care and upgraded living conditions, and thus avoid years of potential litigation including appeals. The result was an agreed upon settlement with the City of Waterbury and its excess insurer Chartis that exhausted all available insurance coverage. The commitment of $8 million to resolve the claim will result in a lifetime of non-taxable structured settlement payments for Ms. Deschesnes that could reach $20 Million. See the story from the Connecticut Law Tribune for more details.
Moderate Acquired Brain Injury Claim Settles for $1,850,000
- What should have been the “best of times” turned into the worst of times for two suburban young men preparing to leave for college in the summer of 2008. At an end of the summer party at the home of some friends, whose parents were not home, a deck railing gave way and the two college- bound men fell head first to the driveway below. Stewart Casper was asked by the family lawyer of the most seriously injured man to take the lead in pursuing a claim for personal injuries. Casper quickly learned that the value of the devastating nature of his client’s injuries would vastly eclipse all conceivable limits of insurance coverage that would be divided between the two boys. These injuries included a left temporal epidural hematoma; a right frontal temporal intracerebral hemorrhage; a right frontal temporal parietal subdural hematoma; and a right frontal temporal intracerebral hemorrhage; and required a hemicraniectomy with bone flap stored in right abdominal subcutaneous compartment; and left the client with a seizure disorder, a blood disorder known as a coagulopathy, with numerous cognitive deficits documented on neuropsychological testing. Early on it was learned that the homeowners had insured their home for liability purposes for only $500,000. In addition, one parent of the hosts ran his construction business from the home and the business had a $2,000,000 excess policy. Casper carefully marshaled the evidence and made a presentation to the defense lawyers and insurance companies that argued that liability for the defective deck railing rested with the parties in control of the premises. In this case, both the home owners and the construction company exercised dual control over the premises. Thus the home owners and the construction company were concurrently responsible for the condition of the deck. The argument was enough to convince the excess carrier for the construction company that with significant exposure for damages that easily exceeded all of the insurance coverage, Connecticut law imposed upon it a huge risk if it exposed its insured (the construction company) to a potential verdict in excess of the coverage. Accordingly, the excess carrier added its $2 million in coverage to funds that could be divided by the two young men. The next hurdle became the other young man and his lawyers. One of the goals was to attempt to preserve the insurance funds and avoid filing a lawsuit. A lawsuit would have made available various compulsory tools to conduct traditional discovery, but it also would have added significant expenses to the claims, thus diminishing the resources available for distribution at the end of the case. The goal was to reach an agreement, either directly or in mediation, to resolve the division of the insurance proceeds. It was not difficult for Casper to assemble a credible assessment of his client’s damages, as the medical and neuropsychological evidence was very compelling. With such significant injuries, Casper was also able to draw from the full assessments that had been performed on other moderate brain injury clients to assemble a comparative profile for a life care plan, vocational evaluation, loss of earning capacity and economic appraisal. In contrast, the lawyers representing the other young man revealed next to nothing. They were either operating in a vacuum without the benefit of a “library” of similarly situated clients or set as their strategy a refusal to actually share specific information on their client. Fortunately, Casper had the benefit of the other young man’s medical records as provided by his attorneys. He did sustain a subdural hematoma with midline shift of the brain demonstrated on imaging studies. Casper felt confident that despite the other side’s unwillingness to be forthcoming before and during a mediation, the other young man certainly did sustain a traumatic brain injury that more than likely would be revealed on proper neuropsychological testing or as a result of advanced neuroimaging studies. The latter would likely reveal injury on 3T MRI with diffusion tensor imaging that would demonstrate disruption of white matter tracts. This level of knowledge enabled Casper and his clients to reach a level of comfort that the division of the $2,500,000 made sense, even though all participants who observed the conduct of the other side understood that they chose their own rules for the day.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury $2.475 Million Jury Verdict
- In the dark of night, 72 year old Nancy Bayard, while a guest in her daughter’s Southport home, had to use the bathroom. But there was no light that would work to illuminate a darkened hallway where the bathroom was located, next to a darkened old fashioned stairway. Nancy missed the bathroom door and fell down the stairs, sustaining a subdural hematoma, an extensive contusion of the left temporal lobe of her brain, a subarachnoid hemorrhage, intraventricular hemorrhages, and an uncal herniation in her brain. She also suffered a fracture of her clavicle, a compound fracture of her wrist, six rib fractures and several other injuries. Homeowners’ insurance made it possible to pursue compensation, even though the injuries were sustained in her daughter’s home. A ten dollar night light would have averted the tragedy that left an independent and active woman requiring round the clock supervision. However, because the fall was unwitnessed, it was up to Stewart Casper, a lawyer with extensive experience in traumatic brain injury cases, to demonstrate to a jury that there was no other plausible explanation for his client’s fall. Evidence was marshaled, demonstrating just that. Unfortunately, two insurance companies were more interested in saving money than they were in seeing a fair result, thus necessitating a two and one-half week trial. The lawyers from Casper & de Toledo presented testimony from a neuroradiologist, the neurosurgeon who performed two craniotomies, a physiatrist, a neuropsychologist, a certified life care planner, a human factors expert and a professional photographer, and used numerous demonstrative aides to convince the jury of the merits of Ms. Bayard’s claim. Case details.
$850,000 Slip and Fall on Icy Driveway
- Settlement with present value of $850,000 achieved for woman who slipped on an icy driveway at a three family tenement house in Greenwich, Connecticut, sustaining a fracture of her ankle that required surgery, as well as a knee injury that included torn cartilage and chondromalacia patella. The knee was treated with arthroscopic surgery, and then a deteriorating condition necessitated a total knee replacement. Discovery revealed that the landlord consistently avoided his statutory obligation under Connecticut law to maintain the common areas of the three family residence, and thus he was sued not only for negligence but also for reckless conduct and a violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practice Act (CUTPA).
Municipal Negligence Resulting in Bodily Injury – $6.3 Million
- Stewart Casper of Stamford’s Casper & de Toledo secured a $6.3 million dollar jury verdict against the municipality of Greenwich, Connecticut for his client’s leg and back injuries that required multiple surgeries with open reduction and internal fixation, a subsequent removal of hardware and fusion of the tibia because of non-union, and the use of braces to treat chronic pain from compression fractures of the lumbar spine, all resulting from a January 2000 sledding accident. Case details.
$4.35 Million Settlement for Major Highway Construction Crash
- Stewart Casper helped secure a $4.35 million settlement for his client and three other highway construction workers injured in a 1996 truck accident. Case details.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury – $1.3 Million Settlement
- Stewart Casper secured $1.3 million for a 17-year-old autistic boy from Greenwich, Connecticut who, at age 9, sustained serious injuries in a car accident while being transported to school. In a head-on motor vehicle crash in Wilton, Connecticut, he sustained multiple fractures including the frontal bone (right forehead) and the orbital rim and roof of the right eye; fractures of the sinus bones on both sides; fractures of his nose and fractures of his jaw. The CAT scan of the young man’s brain demonstrated a contusion of the brain and various fracture fragments, including one close to the optic nerve. Six days following the crash, a combined surgical procedure involving both a plastic surgeon and a neurosurgeon was delayed by medical complications involving the poor clotting quality of his blood. The head injuries were repaired after puzzling the pieces of his skull using internal fixation devices including metal plates and microtitanium screws. At the time of the surgery, the neurosurgeon found that the bone fragments had lacerated the protective covering around the brain called the dura. An area of necrotic or dead brain tissue in the right frontal lobe was found and removed. Unlike in the case of most traumatic brain injuries, this boy had undergone extensive neuropsychological evaluation in connection with the diagnostic evaluation for his autism. It was determined that he had experienced more than a two standard deviation decline in his visual sequential memory, which previously tested in the above average to superior range. This decline meant he would never be able to live independently and probably never be able to maintain independent employment. Our traumatic brain injury attorneys were able to get compensation for this loss of potential income.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury in Car Collision – $6.695 Million Settlement
- Stewart Casper, in another traumatic brain injury matter, was able to negotiate a $6.695 million settlement for a 45-year-old woman, her husband, and her two teenage boys for a moderate brain injury she sustained when her car was T-boned in Middlebury, Connecticut by a repair van, which was owned by an appliance repair company whose driver failed to stop for a red light. The woman sustained bilateral subdural hyrgomas, a brain contusion with hemorrhaging, and loss of consciousness. Her injuries necessitated surgery to relieve the pressure building on her brain. As a result of her traumatic brain injuries, she experienced numerous cognitive deficits: retrograde and anterograde amnesia, deficits in attention, memory, executive function, and verbal and written expression and comprehension. She required extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. Because the driver negligently ran a stoplight, our traumatic brain attorneys were able to settle for more, as punitive damages would likely have been assessed in court.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Car Collision – $3 Million Settlement
- A $3 million settlement was procured by Stewart Casper for a car accident victim. The client, a 36-year-old woman employed in marketing research, was injured when rear-ended while stopped to make a left turn onto an on-ramp of the Connecticut Turnpike. At the time of the crash, the defendant driver was intoxicated. The client was admitted to an acute care hospital with classic symptoms of a closed head injury (following loss of consciousness), including: perseveration (useless repetition), diminished short-term memory, altered state of consciousness, and throbbing headaches. Following her discharge from the hospital on January 27, 1997 (3 nights), she continued to experience persistent sleepiness, and attention and memory deficits. The client was diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome, concussion, seizure activity, and cognitive deficits, all attributable to the traumatic brain injury she sustained in the car accident. She also had pain in her neck, left shoulder girdle, low back and left hip. Furthermore, she was later diagnosed with myofascial pain, which required trigger point injections, and experienced transient urinary incontinence. In addition, she experienced a tremendous weight gain and significant depression. The major component of the plaintiff’s injury was her traumatic brain injury, which was corroborated by two treating neuropsychologists on the basis of neurocognitive testing and significantly positive SPECT Scan (assessing blood perfusion) and PET Scan (assessing metabolic activity within the brain). One neuropsychologist noted that she had suffered a significant brain trauma affecting her sustained attention and concentration, mild to moderate compromise of verbal memory, and non-verbal memory. She sustained an impairment of her ability to exercise hierarchical judgment and a mild reduction in global IQ. A second neuropsychologist noted that—although the plaintiff’s short-term memory recovered to within normal limits—her verbal, visual, and global memory were impaired. The doctor opined that her injury involved the corpus callosum, and the right parietal area, left fronto-temporal area and the hippocampus bilaterally. Her global IQ had dropped approximately 15 points or two standard deviations in relation to her pre-morbid level of function. She was also affected by depression related to her adjustment disorder resulting from the subject crash. She also had facial spasms and recurring headaches from the subject crash. The client was unable to return to gainful employment following her accident. Due to the extent of the injuries suffered, the loss of potential income, and the negligence of the other driver, our car accident attorneys were able to achieve such a significant settlement.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury – $1.3 Million Settlement
- Stewart Casper secured a $1.3 million settlement in another traumatic brain injury occurring from a car accident on behalf of a 54-year-old married man working as a limousine driver and personnel recruiter. While driving a limousine, he was rear-ended by a drunk driver. The force of the collision propelled his limousine across four lanes of traffic. He experienced a short loss of consciousness as a result of a severe whiplash injury. He sustained a concussion; cervical and lumbar sprains; a fracture of the scapula; post-traumatic stress disorder; and cognitive impairments involving memory, rate of mental processing, visual -spatial disturbances, word finding difficulties, slowed reaction time, psychomotor slowness and hyperacoutism. Our car accident lawyers helped the client gain compensation in excess of one million dollars.
Ankle Fracture – $735,000 Jury Verdict
- Tri-Malleolar fracture in fall down case nets another client of Stewart Casper in excess of $500,000. Much to the consternation of another insurance company, one more jury sitting in Superior Court in Stamford, CT has determined that the value of a tri-malleolar ankle fracture requiring open reduction and internal fixation has a value in excess of one-half million dollars. While this result is not necessarily the highest amount that can be achieved in a personal injury case involving this type of complex fracture, and does not mean that all similar cases will have the same value, it is significant that for the second time in less than five years, Attorney Casper has tried to a jury verdict a fall down case arising from an accident in Greenwich, CT with nearly identical physical injuries involving a serious ankle fracture and achieved nearly an identical result. This jury verdict was in Duncan v. Mill Management Company, Inc. The jury returned a verdict for $500,000 in non-economic damages, $235,000 in economic damages and reduced the total verdict of $735,000 for the plaintiff’s comparative negligence of 25%. Case Details
Dental Malpractice – $950,000 Settlement
- Stewart Casper secured a settlement of $950,000 in a claim against a general dentist for negligently attempting to remove a molar on a 30 year old woman. The dental malpractice occurred either as a result of an infusion of massive amounts of air through an air syringe or improper use of a high speed drill. As a consequence, the patient sustained subcutaneous air emphysema and damage to the seventh and ninth cranial nerves with resulting facial asymmetry, right sided facial paresis and chronic headaches.
Jury Verdict $1.537 Million – Complex Fracture
- Stewart Casper obtained a jury verdict for woman who sustained a comminuted fracture of her right heel (calcaneus), requiring open reduction and internal fixation with bone grafting with resultant major disability. This motor vehicle collision occurred within a highway construction zone late at night when the plaintiff collided with the rear of two SUVs. They were operated by teenagers who had stopped in the left travel lane because of a prior fender bender with minimal resulting damage. The plaintiff claimed an inability to see the stopped vehicles in a closed lane of travel because of the failure of the highway contractor to deploy lane closure warning devices properly. Liability was complicated by contradictory evidence offered as to whether there was a high mounted internally illuminated flashing arrow as required by the construction contract. Based on evidence provided by our car accident attorneys, the jury concluded that there was no such signal and attributed 65% responsibility to the contractor. Verdict was sustained on appeal.
Jury Verdict $543,393 in Car Collision
- Unoperated cervical herniated disc and myofascial pain. Samuel King et al v. Edward W. Roberts and ELRAC Inc. d/b/a Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Superior Court, Judicial District of Fairfield at Bridgeport, Dkt. CV 96 0329317 S. Case tried by Stewart Casper to verdict on behalf of four of five occupants involved in motor vehicle crash. Aggregate verdict for the four plaintiffs $543,393.00, plus offer of judgment interest of $115,907.42, for a total aggregate recovery of $659,300.42. Defendants’ best offer was aggregate $125,000. The crash was a side-swiping hit and run at the interstate, causing the plaintiff’s vehicle to go out of control, cross the right most lane, hit a guard rail and roll over. Subsequent to the collision, the defendant Roberts continued traveling, leaving the scene of the accident without stopping. As a result of the collision and rollover, all the plaintiffs were thrown about in their vehicle, striking various portions of their body. The defendant Roberts was subsequently apprehended on the basis of an eye witness who reported the license plate to the state police. CLAIMS Mr. King Sustained: Small central disc herniation at C5-6 level; cervical strain/sprain; lumbar strain; multiple contusions; closed head injury; headaches; myofascial pain syndrome; post concussive syndrome; lumbosacral radiculopathy; labyrinthitis; left posterior ilial rotation, and pain and suffering and a shock to his nervous system. At the time of his injury and for over 25 years prior to that date, the plaintiff was an electrical mechanic, specializing in electronic and security services. Mr. King missed substantial time from work as a result of this collision, and lost a significant amount of money due to the collapse of his newly established business. The injuries sustained in this accident substantially limited the plaintiff’s physical activity. As a result of the accident, the plaintiff could no longer do any overhead work, bending, or crawling in to small spaces, all of which were required as an alarm installer. In addition, his leisure activities of running, hunting, hiking and camping had been severely compromised. He used to engage in these physical activities on a regular basis before the accident. He experienced constant neck pain with intermittent exacerbations of sharp pain extending into the right shoulder girdle region. He also suffered from constant pain in the low back that was aggravated by prolonged sitting or lifting.
Medical Malpractice in Delivery of Baby Settlement: $1.5 million
- Stewart Casper handled the case of a still birth of a male fetus at 34 weeks of gestation. Mother was overweight and had gestational diabetes. On Saturday evening, she reported that her baby was not moving. She was seen in the labor and delivery room of the local hospital by the on-call member of the obstetrical practice. She had an equivocal non-stress test, but was nonetheless discharged without further testing or monitoring, and told to count the baby’s movements. She felt only two slight movements the rest of the evening, which she reported to the obstetrician. The next morning she felt one slight movement that was reported. Throughout that day, she experienced increasing abdominal pain, and returned to the hospital late in the afternoon. There was no fetal heartbeat. Labor was induced, and she delivered the dead baby vaginally 42 hours later.
Medical Malpractice, Surgical Error, Settlement: $250,000
- Stewart Casper obtained a settlement for a 42-year-old woman who underwent a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. During the surgery, she sustained damage to her right ureter, which went undiagnosed for four weeks, at which time she was alerted to a problem when she began to discharge urine through her vagina. She was diagnosed with a ureterovaginal fistula caused by the damaged ureter. She was required to undergo several invasive diagnostic procedures, and then she underwent a re-implantation of her ureter.
Complex Vehicle Crash Claim Turned Double Wrongful Death Case – Recovers $1.65 million
- In Michael Irwin, Administrator of the Estate of John Irwin v. Elizabeth Gessinger, et al, Partner Stewart M. Casper was called upon to attempt to salvage a claim on behalf of the Irwin Estate, where there was a potential for no recovery because John Irwin was the operator of a vehicle in which both he and his long-term companion Gina Smith died in a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 95 in East Lyme, CT. The Smith Estate, as well as two other injured people, included the Irwin Estate among the parties that they sued in an effort to maximize their recovery. With meticulous planning, decisions concerning the retention of the proper accident reconstructionist, and a series of depositions calculated to fit all of the pieces together, Casper minimized the comparative negligence exposure of the Irwin Estate and guided the case to a successful conclusion and recovery of $1.65 million. Michael Irwin, the Administrator of his late brother’s estate and a Managing Director of a major Wall Street investment bank recently wrote to Casper: “I admire your tenacity, thoroughness, strategic approach and sense of fairness. You have a well deserved reputation based on these qualities….” Case details.
Nursing Home Malpractice, Medication Error: $200,000
- Stewart Casper negotiated a settlement for the estate of an 89-year old male stroke patient confined to a nursing home who developed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (“TEN”) as a result of being given one dose of Bactrim to which he was known to be allergic. The Bactrim was intended for another patient. The TEN caused extensive burn-like exfoliation of the patient’s skin on his hands, feet, neck and genitalia. Healing took place over the course of approximately six weeks. He died from unrelated causes.
Motorcycle Crash Victims – $2.1 million
- Overcoming the palpable bias against injured motorcycle enthusiasts and the efforts of defense attorneys and insurance companies to shield their clients from full accountability, Stewart Casper successfully negotiated a $2.1 million settlement on behalf of Martin (age 52) and Annette Sabba (age 57) in a case pending in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. The Sabbas were returning from an excursion in the bucolic hills of Litchfield County when 17 year old Matthew Pambianchi made a sudden left turn in their path, catapulting driver and passenger to the pavement. Mr. Sabba’s medical expenses currently exceed $250,000, and include extensive hospitalizations within a six month period. He underwent two surgeries to reconstruct his wrists and four surgeries to address a lacerated liver, abdominal infection and removal of his gall bladder, all of which were caused by the impact. He continues to have ongoing pain and limited range of motion in both hands and wrists, which significantly limit his physical activity. Mrs. Sabba sustained a tri-malleolar fracture of her right ankle, requiring surgery with internal fixation. The hardware was later removed. She also sustained three fracture ribs and a concussion. He medical expenses were approximately $40,000. Settlement was achieved after lawyers for Casper & de Toledo obliterated the defense claim that Mr. Sabba was comparatively negligent and uncovering previously undisclosed insurance coverage.
Slip & Fall on Ice – Almost $600,000 Verdict
- In a case Stewart Casper handled, a Stamford, CT jury returned a verdict of nearly $600,000 reduced by 30% comparative negligence for Flora Smith against the owner of an upscale retail and office building along fashionable Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, CT. Ms. Smith was on her way to an appointment shortly before 9 A.M., when she slipped and fell on ice on a public sidewalk that had formed from runoff from a pile of snow created by snow removal efforts at 200 Greenwich Avenue. Ms. Smith sustained a tri-malleolar of her right ankle, requiring open reduction and internal fixation. She subsequently underwent two arthroscopic ankle surgeries for chronic degenerative changes, and was forced to curtail a very active recreational life. Her medical bills were approximately $60,000, and she did not sustain any lost wages. The defendant disclaimed responsibility for the melting snow, blaming an abutting property owner and natural conditions. Prejudgment interest will add approximately $160,000 to the judgment. Case details
Architectural Malpractice — $625,000 Settlement
- Stewart Casper handled a case against the Mulligan Architecture firm, which contracted with a national chain of stores to design the remodeling of its new store in Stamford, CT. The pre-existing commercial space was equipped with a conveyor belt to move merchandise from the first to the second floor. The new architectural plan reconfigured the space from an entirely open work space to a narrow work area, leaving inadequate room for employees to gain access to the top of the conveyor when parcels became stuck. Further, the architect failed to comply with Connecticut Building Code requirements for a continuous pressure switch, adequate access to the machinery, emergency stop mechanism and adequate guarding. Chris Cleaver, the assistant store manager, was alone in the receiving room and was using the conveyor to move product to the second floor. When a parcel became stuck at the top of the conveyor, Cleaver attempted to dislodge it but his shirt became entangled in the conveyor, and he was dragged into the space between the moving belt and the rollers. The conveyor belt ran against his lower abdomen for thirty minutes before he was rescued. The friction caused a full thickness friction burn over 9% of his body, requiring two skin graft procedures and leaving a significant scar that is concealed by his clothing. The architect and the general contractor were each sued for failing to comply with the applicable building code. The defense claimed that Cleaver was guilty of contributory negligence for failing to stop the conveyor before attempting to dislodge the parcel.
Eighteen Year Old Sustains Fractured Neck — Settlement $1,320,000
- Exhausting all available insurance coverage, Stewart Casper settled a case for an 18-year old high school graduate who sustained cervical spine fractures at C5 and C6 through the lamina and pedicle on the right side, and at C6 through the vertebral body anteriorly, and a subluxation of the C4-C5 vertebra, when the driver of the car in which she was a passenger lost control of the vehicle and caused the vehicle to crash and roll onto its roof. The plaintiff had the good fortune to be treated cautiously by EMTs and to undergo brilliant surgery performed by Greenwich, CT neurosurgeons Paul Apostolides and Mark Camel, averted potentially disastrous results that could have resulted in permanent paralysis. The plaintiff underwent surgery that included anterior and posterior approach with anterior cervical decompression, bone grafting with autograft bone and plating followed by posterior cervical fixation. While very fortunate to have retained neurological function, the plaintiff experiences chronic pain, arthritic changes and sleep disturbance. “Dear Attorney Casper- This is such a hard note for me to write – I don’t know how to thank you enough for all you have done for me over the past four years. You have supported and encouraged me, and treated me like a daughter, and that means so much. I was so afraid to go through this whole process, but you have made it easier by always being there for me. I don’t know how to thank you enough for caring about me so much. Thank you for offering to be there if I ever need help or advice. Your kindness has made such a difference. I will definitely keep in touch! Thank you again.”
Nearly Too Late: Jury Verdict – $7,980,000 plus Punitive Damages- Approximately $12 Million
- Stewart Casper was contacted about 6 weeks before a scheduled trial in a severe pediatric case involving a head on truck vs vehicle crash. The truck was driving on the wrong side of the road – conduct observed by an eye-witness. There was limited insurance coverage. The child had sustained a severe TBI (Glasgow Coma Scale 3), two fractured femurs and multiple skull and facial fractures. Read More.
Settlement Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury – $1,150,000
- A nine year old elementary school student was injured during physical education class due to inadequate supervision by two PE instructors. Students had been instructed to use equipment that warned to use a helmet and provided weight limitations. Both warnings were ignored. The student fell and sustained a left fronto-parietal subdural hematoma that did not require surgery. After three days in the hospital, the student returned home to recuperate. Read More.
Medical Malpractice Claim for Missed Diagnosis: $750,000
Senior Citizen Injury: 87-year old Pedestrian Struck in a Crosswalk in Greenwich, CT. – $200,000
Medical Malpractice during Bariatric Surgery: $300,000
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