Settlements and Verdicts

At Hollingsworth Kelly, our attorneys have the trial experience that commands respect from the insurance companies. The following is a brief synopsis of personal injury cases our lawyers have successfully litigated, including auto, truck and bicycle accidents, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.

Auto Accidents

Zopfi v. Williams and Estate of Sherow

Motorists Williams and Sherow were traveling side-by-side 80 to 90 miles per hour in area where a two-lane road merged into a single lane. The Williams vehicle made contact with the Sherow vehicle which then spun out of control and rolled, crashing into Plaintiff’s vehicle, which had been going in the opposite direction. Plaintiff had a mild concussion and a foot injury requiring six surgeries.

Settlement Demand: $1,000,000 from Defendant Williams
$1,000,000 from Estate of Sherow

Final Settlement: $1,000,000 from Defendant Williams
$1,000,000 from Estate of Sherow

Johnson v. Espinoza and Crunk

Espinoza and Crunk, both of whom were State corrections officers, were en route late at night to Laughlin, Nevada, on a gambling trip. The van they were in overheated and they stopped in the I-10 emergency lane. Defendant Espinoza, a private security guard, passed their vehicle, pulled over some distance down the freeway and backed his vehicle at a rate of 27 to 30 m.p.h. in the direction of the stranded motorists. When the Defendant was approximately 60 feet away he braked, causing his vehicle to slide and rotate, kicking up dirt and gravel in the direction of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Crunk. Although the Defendant was able to stop his vehicle 13 feet from where Mr. Johnson had been standing, Mr. Johnson fled from in front of the van onto the freeway and was struck and killed by a passing vehicle.

Settlement Demand: $500,000

Settlement Offer: $125,000 (to be shared by widow and daughter)

Jury Verdict: $1,000,000 Surviving widow
$500,000 surviving daughter

Northcutt v. McLeod

College student failed to stop at a stop sign, crossing four lanes of traffic and colliding with 53-year-old emergency room physician, and causing physician’s vehicle to roll over. The doctor suffered a fractured right foot and injury to the cervical spine, requiring an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion.

Case was settled for $1,200,000 one month before trial.

Hoyt v. Cameron

After 82-year-old retiree lost control of his vehicle, he caused a head-on collision, seriously injuring a 40-year-old bank employee. Injuries to Plaintiff included brain concussion, and fractures of the hip, knee and ankle.

Settlement Demand: $1,000,000

Settlement Offer: $600,000

Jury Verdict: $2,800,000

Mackey v. Kare Distribution, Inc. and Armenta

Defendant driver ran a red light, colliding with Plaintiff, a retired woman in her sixties. Plaintiff fractured her left thumb, sustained a closed head injury, and developed fibromyalgia. Defendant denied liability.

Settlement Demand: $65,000

Settlement Offer: $75,000*

Jury Verdict: $450,000

*Defendant made $165,000 offer before trial.

Lopez v. Blue Sierra, Inc., Architectural Install Masters, Inc., and Scott

Defendant ran a red light, causing Plaintiff, a 51-year-old woman, to T-bone his vehicle. Plaintiff aggravated a preexisting spinal injury, and developed depression and anxiety disorder. She required a walker to ambulate after the accident, developed chronic pain, and was forced to end her employment.

Settlement Demand: $100,000

Settlement Offer: $70,000

Jury Verdict: $447,000

Bicycle Accidents

Floden v. State of Arizona

A college nursing instructor driving a state-issued vehicle turned into a high school student and amateur bicyclist who was on a training ride, causing the bicycle to hit the vehicle’s fender and the rider to catapult into the windshield. After Defendant applied the brakes, the bicyclist slid off the vehicle, striking his head on the asphalt. The bicyclist suffered a head injury, resulting in post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder, which prevented him from pursuing his bicycling goals.

Settlement Demand: $50,000

Settlement Offer: $25,000

Jury Verdict: $300,000

Medical Malpractice

Buelna v. State of Arizona, University of Arizona, Tsau, M.D., University Physicians, et al.

Forty-nine year old woman presents to the emergency room at Northwest Medical Center on a Wednesday with chest pain. She is diagnosed with severe coronary artery occlusions and triple vessel disease, requiring immediate quadruple coronary artery bypass surgery. Surgery was not performed until five days later. Following a series of mistakes by various doctors and nurses, including an undiagnosed post-surgical bleed, the woman was rushed for a second emergent surgery. During the surgery, the woman’s heart stopped for a substantial period of time causing brain death and, 20 days later, her untimely death.

Case settled prior to trial with all parties with a covenant not to disclose the terms of the settlements.

Lowe v. Levine, M.D.

Minor child’s alleged family practitioner was negligent during the delivery of their son when she failed to properly and timely resuscitate him at birth. The child was without oxygen for over four minutes after delivery, causing brain damage. (The case against the hospital was settled before the trial).

Settlement Demand: $1,000,000

Settlement Offer: $175,000

Jury Verdict: $4,025,000

Farinksky v. Bernstein M.D., Gettle, M.D., and Carondelet Health Network

Neurosurgeon Ronald Bernstein, M.D., performed a right occipital craniotomy to remove a tumor (acoustic neuroma). With little brain surgery experience, the surgeon removed portions of healthy brain tissue (mostly cerebellar) instead of removing the tumor. The patient was left in a state of quadriplegia and died two months later.

Settlements were obtained with all three defendants, with covenants not to disclose the terms of the settlement agreements.

Motorcycle Accident

Kent v. Immel

Defendant negligently exited convenience store parking lot, causing 29-year-old to lose control of his motorcycle to avoid collision. Defense called eye witnesses who claimed motorcyclist was speeding. Plaintiff suffered a fractured left clavicle, which impeded his timely college graduation, precluding his entering the Army as an officer and pursuing his career goal of serving in Special Forces.

Settlement Demand: $25,000

Settlement Offer: $15,000

Jury Verdict: $400,000

Personal Injury

James v. El Campo Tire

After having mechanical work performed on his truck, Plaintiff, a 27-year-old flooring installer, returned to the tire shop because of substandard repair work. When Defendant refused to repair the vehicle that day, Plaintiff became loud and disorderly. After the tire shop manager asked Plaintiff to step outside, a scuffle ensued, with the manager throwing Plaintiff to the ground. The manager had two other employees hold Plaintiff down, and he stomped on Plaintiff’s left ankle several times. Plaintiff sustained a posterior malleolus hairline fracture of the heel.

Settlement Demand: $50,000

Settlement Offer: $25,000

Jury Verdict: $360,000

Slip and Fall

Lopez v. Safeway Inc.

On April 25, 2003, upon entering a Safeway grocery store, Plaintiff, age 82, slipped and fell on a water spill created by a store employee. The fall occurred while the employee had gone to the back of the store to retrieve a mop to clean up the spill. The employee claimed to have placed three warning cones in the area prior to leaving it. Plaintiff first indicated that she saw no warning cones, then later stated there were cones but they were not properly placed to barricade customers from walking into the area of the spill. The fall caused Plaintiff to undergo a total knee replacement, with $60,000 in medical expenses incurred.

Settlement Offer: $400

Jury Verdict: $400,000

Petersen v. Petersen

While visiting Defendant’s home on Christmas Day, Plaintiff exited the residence through the kitchen door and tripped and fell over a white PVC pipe which Defendant had set across the concrete sidewalk to drain water from his washing machine. Plaintiff sustained a radial head fracture of the left elbow, a sprained left wrist, a bruised right knee, a hip injury, and exacerbation of a preexisting back injury.

Settlement Demand: $60,000

Settlement Offer: $25,000

Jury Verdict: $165,000

Metzler v. BCI Coca Cola

Plaintiff, a 26-year-old kindergarten teacher, stopped at a local grocery store. While walking through a cashier lane, she slipped and fell on water which had leaked from one of Coca Cola’s soft drink display refrigerators. Coca Cola’s service records for the refrigerator in question revealed it had a history of leaking for the prior two years, but it was never replaced. Plaintiff sustained a herniated lumbo-sacral disk at L-5, S-1, which required both surgery and chiropractic treatment. Plaintiff developed chronic pain, which affected her family, employment, marriage, and quality of life. Testimony from medical provider indicated Plaintiff will suffer continuing pain for life.

Settlement Demand: $149,000

Settlement Offer: $30,000

Jury Verdict: $1.5 million

Truck Accidents

Storm v. Yocum and RecWest Inc.

On March 14, 2003, Defendant truck-driver Yocum negligently turned left in front of Plaintiff’s oncoming motorcycle. Plaintiff was operating his motorcycle slightly in excess of the speed limit, and was not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. Defendant claimed Plaintiff operated his motorcycle while under the influence of marijuana (six nanograms of THC found in Plaintiff’s blood at hospital). Plaintiff suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of the impact. While Plaintiff is able to use a walker to walk very short distances, he is primarily wheelchair bound. As a result of his injury, Plaintiff has only limited function of his hands.

Settlement Demand: $2,000,000

Settlement Offer: $1,000,000

Jury Verdict: $7,437,500