Cagle Law Firm

Combined Settlement of $950,000.00- Cass County, Missouri

Co-Defendants Settle Premises Liability/Medical Malpractice Claim

Plaintiff was an over-the-road truck driver and team driver with her husband. On an early August morning, the couple stopped at a Pilot Truck Stop (later operated as Flying J) and backed their rig into a spot to rest during the pre-dawn hours.   Plaintiff was asleep in the sleeping berth when the truck was parked. Once the truck was parked, Plaintiff awoke, gathered her things to exit the truck on her way into the truck stop between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.  There was disputed testimony about the lighting available both natural and parking lot lights.  When Plaintiff exited the cab of the truck, she fell.  Subsequent to her fall, her husband drove her immediately to the emergency room where she was treated for a broken ankle.   The team finished their delivery route and upon their return to their home in Springfield, Missouri,  she sought additional care for the continuing pain. Plaintiff continued treatment for pain and it was eventually conclusively diagnosed by several physicians that she had developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

In August of the following year, a Springfield orthopedic surgeon amputated her leg from the knee down, however, this did not result in a remedy of the CRSP symptoms. As the CRSP symptoms were not solved with the amputation,  Plaintiff was not able to be fitted for a prosthetic and was bound to a wheelchair. The surgeon later claimed Plaintiff presented to him and asked for her leg to be amputated. After one appointment, he scheduled her for amputation.

Plaintiff sought damages and claimed the Flying J facility in Peculiar, Missouri had failed to use reasonable care in keeping their property free from dangerous conditions due to ruts and potholes in the truck parking area.

A second party lawsuit included the Springfield orthopedic surgeon who amputated Plaintiff’s leg. Plaintiff alleged the surgeon did not use reasonable care when offering amputation as a possible remedy for CRSP and amputated the leg even though he had not performed an amputation for the reported condition nor could he cite any professional literature where amputations was recommended as a good solution for CRSP. Thus, after the amputation, Plaintiff’s symptoms remained.

The truck stop settled the premises liability claim for $675,000 and the medical provider settled the malpractice claim for $275,000 for a total of $950,000.00

 

Southeast Missouri Driver Settles for $950K in Crash with Delivery Truck

Stoddard County Settlement for $950,000 in Severe Rear-end Collision

A southeast Missouri man was rear-ended in his pick-up truck by a cabinet delivery truck driver. The suit against the delivery truck driver, a repeat traffic offender and his employer settled for nearly $1 million.

Plaintiff had slowed on westbound Route U in Stoddard County while preparing to turn left onto a county road in his Ford Ranger when he was struck from behind by another pickup according to the report by the Missouri State Highway Patrol on September 17, 2015.   The driver of the rear-ending vehicle, a Dodge Ram 3500,  claimed the Plaintiff had “slowed quickly and began to make an abrupt left turn and claimed Plaintiff had not activated the turn signal. Plaintiff indicated he had turned on his turn signal and then looked in his rearview mirror and saw the defendant crashing into him.

The severity of the crash left police unable to determine which account was correct. Both vehicles were forced off the roadway and both were total losses.

The defendant was making cabinet deliveries for his Ripley County employer. The trailer was empty at the time of the crash, but the empty trailer and the pickup to which it was attached weighed between 10,000 and 25,000 pounds, according to the suit.

The Plaintiff was taken via ambulance to the hospital complaining of neck and back pain.  His injuries ultimately required a lumbar fusion surgery. Attorney Andrew Mundwiller said that Plaintiff’s bills exceeding $175,00 and lost wages topping $20,000.  The lawsuit was dismissed after a late January settlement with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company for $950,000, alleges that the Defendant didn’t pay sufficient attention and followed the Plaintiff too closely while speeding. The complaint also cites the cabinet company and owner for inadequate screening of its employee’s driving record. Missouri online court reports several driving infractions as well as video deposition where it was found the delivery driver had been involved in other motor vehicle crashes within nine months of striking the Plaintiff.

 

Passenger Gets $650K After Van Launches Over Guardrail

Arbitration Decision for Plaintiff After Crash- New Madrid, Missouri

An arbitration panel has found $650K in damages against the state transportation department in a crash arising from an allegedly unsafe guardrail. The amount was reduced to the statutory cap.

Andrew Mundwiller of The Cagle Law Firm represented the plaintiff who was a passenger in a minivan driven by the plaintiff’s co-worker. The minivan launched over the roadway fencing before going down an embankment and crashing into a utility pole after the driver lost control during a turn.

The two were traveling to assist flood victims when the crash occurred in August of 2012.  Plaintiff’s attorneys alleged the state had not properly maintained the guardrail on Route WW in New Madrid County. Additionally, Plaintiff’s attorneys alleged the guardrail was not at the appropriate height.

Plaintiff suffered fractures to her hip and ribs as well as knee injuries and facial lacerations.  According to Mundwiller, “She had a fracture that was evident right at the site.”

The Plaintiff brought suit against the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.  Mundwiller said the defense contended that current standards did not require the rail and that the Corps of Engineers wouldn’t give them permits to do the earthwork in the area anyway.  “What we showed was that they had internal emails that went back and forth years before the accident which indicated they had done some dirt work in the area in the past……without the Corps of Engineers permission,” said Mundwiller.

As well, Mundwiller said the commission’s primary defense was arguing that the angel at which the vehicle struck the rail would have rendered it ineffective anyway. The defense claimed it was struck nearly perpendicular while the plaintiff argued it was closer to a 45-degree angle.

“As far as the angle of the impact, that kind of became a battle of experts, ” said Mundwiller, “Most of the time, when a vehicle is hitting a guardrail, it is a glancing blow. You sideswipe it a little bit. There are not many times when vehicles encounter it head-on or a 45-degree angle”

Mundwiller dismissed the idea that the rail wasn’t necessary and said the commission’s own plans called for a guardrail at the site.  Also, Mundwiller contended that the commission’s measurements of the slope of the hill were not taken directly at the accident site but farther down the road.

The rail was removed after the accident. The panel issued a 2-1 decision in favor of the Plaintiff, though the award was reduced to $414,418 by the statutory cap. A total of 77 percent of the damages went to Plaintiff and 23 percent went to Plaintiff’s husband who made a claim for loss of consortium and expenses due to his wife’s medical bills.

As well the co-worker’s auto insurance carrier settled for an additional $25,000. The pair’s employer also named in the suit was later dismissed.

$1.5 Million Verdict Upheld on Appeal for Man Injured by Ride

The Cagle Law Firm recently represented a client upon appeal for the injuries he sustained in 2012 at an entertainment complex in Crystal City, Mo. The client was attending a private fundraising event at Crystal City Underground, owned by Fiesta Group, when he got on a ride, called the “Human Gyroscope” or “Spaceball.” This single –seat ride inverts and rotates the rider, who should be secured in a harness, while the operator manually spins a control wheel. However, despite Fiesta Group providing training to some staff members, the ride was manned by untrained individuals. Ultimately, the client was improperly restrained and during the ride, fell head-first onto the steel flooring below the ride.

The next day, the client went to the emergency room, describing significant pain, where he was diagnosed with a spinal-joint fracture to the neck. During pre-trial negotiations, the highest figure offered was $7,000, so to secure a result the would meet his needs, the case proceeded to trial. While the first court case, unfortunately, ended with a mistrial, the St. Louis personal injury lawyers with The Cagle Law Firm were undeterred, eventually securing a jury verdict for $1.5 Million, which was more than twice the range of damages presented to the jury and found Fiesta Group 100 percent at-fault. In addition to being one of the highest value verdicts of its type in county history, this was even more significant, considering prior to trial the client had yet to undergo a required surgery for his injuries.

During Fiesta Group’s appeal, their attorneys alleged they should not be held liable at all since the trial court failed to find whether the client’s claim was barred by the assumption of risk. Essentially, they asserted that the ride itself was inherently dangerous and the client “knowingly and voluntarily” assumed the risk of riding. Unmoved by Fiesta Group’s argument, the court disagreed with their points, indicating the assumption of risk did not apply to this case and upheld the original verdict.

In a March 27, 2018, Missouri Lawyer Weekly article, Cagle Law Firm attorney Andrew Mundwiller stated, “We think the court got it right and the court of appeals got it right and so we’re happy…the case was entirely based on the client’s pain and suffering.”

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

Passenger Settles for $1,250,000.00 in St. Louis City Motor Vehicle Crash

Plaintiff was a passenger in her 2009 Cheverolet Impala driven by Javante Vann.  While driving said vehicle, Defendant notice St. Louis Metropolitan Police offers attempting to detain him in a traffic stop. Vann testified that at that time he did not possess a valid license thus fled police at a high rate of speed and crashed into a 1995 Chevrolet Caprice that  subsequently crashed into a 1997 Mercury Sable at the intersection of westbound St. Louis Avenue and Newstead in St. Louis City.

Defendant pled guilty and  was convicted of resisting or interfering with arrest which resulted in imprisonment.  The conduct of the driver, Vann was subject to punitive damage for intentional, wanton, and total disregard in the operation of said vehicle.

Plaintiff, a back seat passenger was seriously injured and taken via ambulance to the hospital where she remained in neuro-ICU for several days with a brain injury.  Plaintiff sustained a frontal lobe brain injury and after hospitalization, she underwent rehabilitation. While in intensive care, Plaintiff had a pressure monitor introduced into her brain to monitor swelling.  Subsequently, she was released to rehabilitation and self-released after two weeks.  Plaintiff’s permanent injures were treated through medication and sporadic therapy after release.

Defense counsel argued if Plaintiff suffered a brain injury, then she had healed.  Also, Defendant alleged that Plaintiff failed to mitigate her damages as she failed to follow doctors’ orders.  However, Plaintiff’s counsel argued Plaintiff’s brain injury was ongoing and permanent in nature.

Defense had offered $50,000 to settle after suit was filed and settled the case for $1,250,000.00 with one week prior to trial.