$1.4 Million Jury Verdict in Breach of Non-Compete and Slander Case
Jim Myers represented an employer in a business dispute with a former employee in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. Jim’s client was a physician-owned company that provided physicians and nurse practitioners to nursing homes and long-term care centers across the country. The defendants were a physician formerly employed by the company and his new business associate. The physician left the employment of Jim’s client and immediately began to breach his non-compete. Additionally, the physician made false statements about his former employer alleged billing irregularities to both the company’s long-time customers and the Office of the Inspector General of HHS, prompting an investigation. After a 5-day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Jim’s client and against the physician for $600,000 on the breach of non-compete claim and $500,000 on the slander claim.
Before trial, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of Jim’s client against the former employee’s business partner. After trial, the court awarded Jim’s client $302,786 for abuse of process and $50,000 for defamation. The total amount of the judgments Jim obtained for his client was $1,452,786.
Defense Verdict for Hospitalist Accused of Discharing Patient Too Quickly
Jim Myers defended a hospitalist against claims of medical negligence and wrongful death in a trial in Jackson County, Missouri. The patient, age 80, was in and out of the hospital for multiple problems relating to dementia. During one of his last hospitalizations the patient developed a pressure ulcer at the base of his spine. Jim’s client discharged the patient from the hospital, but continued treating him, including treatment of the pressure ulcer. After several weeks at home, the patient went to a specialty hospital to receive treatment for his pressure ulcer. While in the other facility, the patient was given an overdose of Versed, aspirated and died. The patient’s family brought suit claiming Jim’s client discharged the patient too soon causing his ulcer to worsen. Both hospitals settled before trial. Jim’s client maintained that his discharge from the hospital was appropriate, and that the patient’s sole cause of death was the overdose of Versed. After a week-long trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Jim’s client.
Defense Verdict for Interventional Radiologist in Wrongful Death Case
Jim Myers and Rachael Longhofer defended an interventional radiologist and his practice group in a jury trial in Clay County, Missouri. The patient underwent a vertebroplasty to relieve pain from a fractured T8 vertebrae. During the procedure, methyl methacrylate (bone cement) is injected into the patient’s spine (vertebral space) to stabilize the fracture and promote healing. During the procedure, bone cement embolized or migrated from the injection site and became lodged in the patient’s heart and lungs. The patient died 13 months after the vertebroplasty procedure.
After her death, the patient’s family filed a wrongful death and medical negligence suit claiming the bone cement in the patient’s heart and lungs caused or contributed to cause her death as well as a number of other medical problems the patient experienced prior to her death. The patient’s family claimed Jim and Rachael’s client was negligent in not immediately terminating the vertebroplasty procedure as soon as he first observed embolization of the bone cement. The defense claimed the patient was properly advised of the risks of the procedure, denied that the interventional radiologist breached the standard of care, and argued that the patient’s death was caused by other factors not related to the bone cement lodged in her heart and lungs. At the close of evidence, the patient’s family asked the jury to award $2.3 million in damages. The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Jim and Rachael’s client in less than an hour.
Defense Verdict for Orthopedic Surgeon in Hip Surgery Case
Jim Myers defended an orthopedic surgeon in Johnson County, Kansas against claims of negligence related to a total hip replacement. Post-operatively, the patient claimed he suffered from pain, loss of balance and “didn’t feel normal.” Fourteen months later, the patient went to another orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed a 5.5 cm leg discrepancy. The leg on which the total hip replacement was performed was alleged to be longer than the patient’s other leg. Plaintiff underwent another total hip replacement and brought suit. The defense argued that leg length disparity is a known complication of a total hip replacement and that the patient’s claims of disability were the result of pre-existing progressive orthopedic and neurologic issues. The patient asked the jury to award $1,750,000. After a week-long trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Jim’s client.
Defense Verdict for Radiologist Accused of Misreading Mammogram
Jim Myers and Rachael Longhofer defended a radiologist in a jury trial in the District Court of Johnson County, Kansas. Jim and Rachael’s client reviewed a screening mammogram of the patient in 2016. The patient’s previous mammograms revealed a history of dense breast tissue and scattered but stable calcifications. Jim and Rachael’s client noted the issues with the dense breast tissue and calcifications but categorized the 2016 mammogram as benign. Approximately 13 months later, the patient had another annual screening mammogram that showed the presence of a cancerous mass in her right breast. The patient claimed the cancer was present in 2016 and that the radiologist represented by Jim and Rachael was negligent in not raising concerns at the time of the earlier mammogram. The patient asked the jury for $638,000 in damages. After 5 days of trial, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict in favor of Jim and Rachael’s client.
Defense Verdict for Obgyns Accused of Not Timely Diagnosing Appendicitis
Jim Myers defended a two OBGYN’s against claims of medical negligence in Shawnee County, Kansas. The patient, age 23, presented to the ER with abdominal pain. An OBGYN consult was requested as the ER was concerned the patient might have an ovarian cyst. Jim’s first client performed an examination that ruled out an ovarian cyst, but could not determine the cause of the abdominal pain. The patient was kept overnight for observation. The next morning, the patient was seen by another one of Jim’s clients. She reported feeling better and that the abdominal pain had lessened. The patient was discharged with instructions to return to the ER if her condition worsened. Over the next 3 days, the patient’s condition deteriorated significantly. Three days after discharge, the patient presented to the OBGYNs’ practice in extreme pain. It was determined she had a surgical abdomen at that time. The patient was rushed to the hospital where she was surgically treated for a burst appendix and sepsis. The patient sued both OBGYN’s for failure to diagnose the burst appendix. Jim argued that there was no evidence that the appendix had burst at the time his clients consulted in the treatment of the patient and that appendicitis can have a rapid onset. After 7 days of trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of both Jim’s clients.
Unanimous $2.5 Million Jury Verdict Vindicates Firm Client
Jim Myers, with the assistance of attorney Scott Waddell of the Waddell Law Firm, represented Timothy Kramer in a lawsuit alleging legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty and battery against a Troy, Missouri attorney and her law firm. The suit stemmed from the lawyer’s representation of Mr. Kramer in a 2014 lawsuit regarding the licensing rights to a patent owned by Mr. Kramer. During the underlying lawsuit, the defendant lawyer filed a last-minute motion to continue a hearing on a Motion for Default Judgment, but failed to appear at the hearing claiming she had other things to do. The underlying Court denied the Motion for Continuance, entered a $4.9 million judgment against Mr. Kramer and awarded ownership of Mr. Kramer’s Patent to his former business associate.
Weeks before the malpractice lawsuit was set to go to trial, the defendant lawyer and her former client both happened to attend the same New Year’s Eve party. At the party, the lawyer physically attacked and assaulted her former client, Mr. Kramer. Jim Myers was able to obtain a unanimous 12-0 jury verdict in the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. The jury awarded Jim’s client $2,463,354 on the legal malpractice claim, $35,000 on the breach of fiduciary duty claim, and $50,000 (including $40,000 of punitive damages) on the battery claim. The total value of the jury’s verdict was $2,548,354.
Summary Judgment Awarded in Case Alleging Medical Conspiracy
Jim Myers represented a radiologist and his employer against claims for fraudulent concealment, negligent hiring, negligent supervision and negligent retention of the physician. The patient, who disagreed with the radiologists reading of her thoracic and lumbar MRI, claimed the physician and his employer were involved in a wide-spread conspiracy amongst doctors and insurance companies to keep patients (including herself) from getting the medical care and treatment they needed. The patient claimed that Jim’s client knew her back was injured but concealed these findings as part of a conspiracy with her insurance company. The District Court of Johnson County, Kansas granted summary judgment and finding in favor of Jim’s clients on all claims.