Posted by Gary Burger on February 27, 2013 in In the News
- $1.96 Million Settlement Gary settled the case for Concetta Wills who was driving on highway 270 when playground equipment fell from a truck that was traveling ahead of her. Ms. Wills violently slammed into the median and was then collided with by two other cars. Gary obtained such a large settlement by what many may call “creative lawyering.” The story was subsequently published in a June edition of Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly. See above.
- Jury Verdict for $142,000 in Jefferson County Gary litigated the case for Randy Overy who was in a motorcycle accident. The accident caused Randy many serious injuries. After trial, the jury found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded Randy $142,000.
- Gary was chosen to be amongst the elite as a Missouri Super Lawyer.
- $65,000 Settlement in Motor Vehicle Accident Sol Allen was riding his bicycle in Illinois when he was struck by a motor vehicle. The defendant failed to properly stop at a stop sign and subsequently collided with Sol’s bicycle. Sol sustained serious injuries from the collision. The case ultimately settled for $65,000.
- Large Confidential Settlement Gary recently settled the case for Peccola Tippett, who was dropped and sustained injuries at a local nursing home. Peccola was older (in her eighties) and had significant health issues. However, she should not have been dropped and was. This caused a closed head injury. Like with any older person suffering such an injury, she was more susceptible to pneumonia and other results of this type of injury, and succumbed to them unfortunately. This case settled for a confidential sum against both the physician and the hospital.
- $1,000,000 Settlement Gary Burger settled a medical malpractice case for over $1 million in February 2012. Kelly Sinn was diagnosed with, but not properly treated for, a brain aneurysm. Kelly went to a Southern Illinois emergency room and the ER doctor diagnosed a recent brain aneurysm Kelly had a “thunderclap” headache or the worst headache of your life and had problems for a few days before she was brought into the emergency room. The doctor there did brain tests and found an aneurysm, but did not perform a spinal tap to assess whether it was still bleeding (which is the standard of care). Two days later, the aneurysm ruptured again causing brain damage. When an aneurysm happens, immediate treatment is needed to prevent further bleeding and brain damage. Fortunately, Kelly has made a good recovery and lives at home with her father. Suit was filed in order to aggressively pursue this case and obtain the full insurance policy limits for Kelly. In addition, money was deposited into a trust so that Kelly can continue to get benefits to help her for medical care for the rest of her life. This is called a Supplemental Needs Trust and puts the money in a trust for needs that are supplemental, or in addition to, the needs provided by Medicaid. Gary could not be more proud and has a lot of gratitude for being able to help Kelly and her family, who are very good, honest and kind people who deserved aggressive and honest representation. Thank you to the Sinn family.
- Gary was appointed by the Missouri Board of Governors to the Intervention Committee.
- $53,000 Settlement Gary represented Sol Allen in a motor vehicle – bicycle accident.
- Large Confidential Settlement in Medical Malpractice case Gary represented the family of Robert Althage who died because of St. Louis based KV Pharmaceuticals and Ethex Corporation’s failure to put the right amount of morphine in their morphine sulfate tablets. These drugs were recalled by KV Pharmaceuticals and Ethex and both of these companies almost went out of business. They basically made over sized morphine sulfate tablets and then distributed them without advising customers. The tragedy in this case was that Mr. Althage had a back problem, filled a morphine sulfate prescription prescribed by his primary doctor, took five of the pills over two days as directed by the physician and as labeled on the prescription bottle, and died of morphine intoxication. This was a tragedy and a surprise to his family. The case was successfully for a large sum that cannot be disclosed because the drug manufacturer required confidentiality as part of their settlement.
- Large Settlement in Personal Injury Case In Randy Thornhill v. Mobile Tech, our client was pinned between a truck and a loading dock. This resulted in an injury to his low back which required back surgery. This case was settled for an amount well into the six figures.
- Confidential Product Liability Settlement Gary’s client was taking Fentaynl prescribed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals pursuant to doctor’s orders. Fentaynl is a highly effective and toxic pain reliever that is put in patches and stuck to the skin and administered to the person trans dermally. However, Janssen has had problems (it did not disclose to its patients) where in the providing of the drug through the skin too much Fentanyl can be provided to a person. Unfortunately, Alfredda Allen died of Fentanyl intoxication. Extensive work was done on this case, hiring the toxicologist as an expert, getting medical records and bills, and filing suit and prosecuting this case in the City of St. Louis. Discovery was completed and it pushed the manufacturer aggressively. This case settled for a large confidential amount which, unfortunately still will not bring her back. However, we hope that these funds will enable her daughter and grandchildren of future generations to live a more comfortable life and family remember her.
- $400,000 Settlement Jeff and Donna Clamors suffered injuries in an auto accident case. The $400,000 settlement obtained for Donna and Jeff was a tremendous result – much of the medical and neck surgery that Jeff had was related to an os odentum problem from birth and was not caused by the trauma from the accident. Donna’s medical damages totaled $16,468.89 and Jeff’s medical damages totaled $242,885.14. However, the amount of medical paid was $1,500.00 for Donna and $45,000.00 for Jeff. We were able to persuade the insurance company that all of his medical was related and that they should pay a very high amount to settle this case. As a result of this, Jeff and Donna were able to buy a new home and car. They were able to furnish that home and really improve their lives.
- Gary passed the Civil examination given in St. Louis, MO by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.
- Gary was appointed as Chairman of the Missouri Lawyers Assistance Committee.
- $625,000 Settlement Kate McDonald had head injuries following a motor vehicle accident, where her friend drove her car from a bar. A challenge in this case was overcoming the fact that Kate and her friend were drinking and her friend drove and Kate gave the keys to her friend. Gary was able to succeed over that obstacle and got a great recovery for Kate. An expert was hired regarding future medical and life care needs, created drawings about her head and brain surgeries, and maximized her damages. She’s using that money wisely and saving it for her future.
- Lost Chance of Survival Claim Gary maintained a lost chance of survival case instead of a straight wrongful death case because for a client not properly diagnosed. The failure to diagnose and treat cancer reduces the Plaintiff’s likelihood of success, which was the basis of a lost chance of survival claim. This case settled for a confidential sum.
2009 Large Confidential Settlements for Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Case In the Matter of Anthony Walsh, Burger Law successfully recovered for Mr. Walsh’s family both in Missouri Workers’ Compensation, and in civil court, when he was run over by an 18 wheel vehicle while working. The case settled for a large, undisclosed amount.
2008 Large Confidential Settlement in Medical Malpractice Case Susan Schmidt’s case settled while picking the jury on the first day of trial. This case was challenging because Susan had committed suicide while on suicide watch at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center. The physician had prescribed her lethal doses of Fentanyl and a Fentanyl patch on her arm, despite believing she was an imminent suicide threat. We believe this to be negligent and had expert testimony to that effect. The nurses and staff at St. John’s had failed to conduct adequate safety checks on Susan which enabled her to consume the Fentanyl and expire. This case settled for a confidential sum.
2007 Lexis Nexis rated Gary Burger AV lawyer, “a preeminent rating” in the legal profession. AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence.
- Large Confidential Settlement for Medical Malpractice Claim. Gary settled Rebecca and Joshua Aubuchon v. Arthur Casey, a medical malpractice case in the City of St. Louis, Missouri. We pursued this case because Dr. Casey violently yanked and pulled on Joshua during delivery. The family learned later that Joshua had suffered a brachial plexus injury at birth. This occurs when a delivering obstetrician pulls too hard and too long on a baby after the child’s head is delivered. The shoulder is lodged against the pelvic bone and cannot easily clear it. If a doctor pulls too hard and doesn’t patiently use proper birthing techniques, the child’s shoulders pull away from the baby’s neck and an injury to the nerves occur. Joshua had great medical attention after the birth. But, he will never have real use of his left arm. Gary caught Dr. Casey playing games with his medical records, not putting in entries and some other issues. He worked out a complicated settlement, and got Joshua all the money available to him on the doctor’s insurance policy. The amount of the settlement cannot be disclosed because of confidentiality provisions in the settlement agreement.
- In Retina Associates of St. Louis, Inc. v. Sathy V. Bhavan, M.D. Gary tried this commercial dispute and obtained a permanent injunction and had attorney’s fees awarded. Gary represented a group of retina specialist physicians in St. Louis County, against a former employee who left and directly competed against Retina Associates in violation of a non-compete agreement. We were able to convincingly prove that Dr. Bhavan was practicing retina medicine. The great victory in this case was that the court had initially denied a preliminary injunction trying to stop Dr. Bhavan of his behavior and had set the matter for hearing. Then after we had been able to do some quick discovery and after trial, the judge changed his mind, agreed with us, and permanently ordered Dr. Bhavan not to violate his employment agreement. This is an example of the court enforcing in terms of a contract that the parties agreed to freely and clearly.
- $45,000 Jury Verdict for Automobile Accident Gary represented Deborah Stelzer in a rear-end automobile collision case. The trial was heard in St. Louis County, Missouri, and the case was ultimately won due to some creative cross examination techniques. He managed to catch the defendant in a lie and used that to secure the victory by threatening to alert the jury to the fact that the insurance company was defending the case. The jury ultimately found in favor of the Plaintiff as a result of Gary’s strategic lawyering.
- $23,500 verdict in Jefferson County – Gary Burger represented Barbara Hackworth, who was injured on June 4, 2002 when she was sitting at a Waffle House eating breakfast with her son and daughter-in-law. As she was eating, a car came through the wall of the Waffle House knocking her off of her stool. Allstate Insurance Company would not reasonably settle the case, so we incurred the cost to fly to Arkansas and depose Barbara and her chiropractor for trial. We continued to negotiate the case on behalf of Barbara but the insurance company was stubborn and unreasonable. The case was vigorously defended with the insurance company lawyer throwing everything and the kitchen sink at us. However, the jury was not fooled. Barbara had approximately $4,600.00 in medical expense damages, and no wage loss damages – the jury returned a verdict of for Barbara against the defendant.
- Large Confidential Settlement for Slip & Fall victim Although the amount of terms of the settlement cannot be disclosed, Lisa Maxwell slipped at a Home Depot loading dock on some pieces of wax like paper that was on the floor. Home Depot did not properly clean or dispose of these materials that were separators between some of their products. Liability was established in this case which earned a good recovery to take care of Lisa and her need for knee surgery.
- $475,000 Jury Verdict Plaintiff was a young girl who was operating a motor bike with her brother in rural Missouri. She was going around a turn when a pickup truck came the other way. She attempted to brake, skidded and struck the front of the vehicle. She suffered some fractured ribs, lacerated spleen injuries to other internal organs. She had to undergo surgery and was left with approximately $60,000.00 in medical bills. The defendant strongly contended that she should not have been driving the motorcycle and caused the accident by her own negligence. However, the jury did not believe this defense and agreed with our position (and the real facts) that the defendant had crossed the center line and had caused the accident. The jury returned a verdict for $500,000.00 apportioning 5% fault on the Plaintiff and 95% on the Defendant resulting in a verdict of $475,000.00.
2004 Class Action Case in Illinois Settles for $600,000Contraceptive class action case settles against the state of Illinois for $600,000.00. The fund was designed to pay women employees who were wrongfully denied coverage for contraceptive prescriptions. Until July 1, 2004 the State of Illinois’s Health Plan, and some other State sponsored health plans, did not provide coverage for prescription contraceptives. This lawsuit was about whether the State’s past exclusion of prescription contraceptives from its Quality Care Health Plan constituted sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, and if so, whether the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution bars recovery for monetary relief. This suit was successful in changing the health policies of the State of Illinois to provide women health insurance coverage for prescription contraceptive medicine. The class was over 50,000 women and was certified about eight years ago through extensive litigation and negotiation. The state set up a fund from which women made claims for their out of pocket costs for contraception.
- Jury Verdict against Dr. Jay Padrazik in St. Louis County After a cesarean section birth, Monica’s surgeon left a sponge in her abdomen. This was not diagnosed for seven days after her surgery, despite x-rays that were incorrectly read. After a painful week of system blockage and stomach swelling, the sponge was noted on x-ray films and in a second surgery the Defendant doctor removed the sponge. Monica suffered painful adhesion disease and needed medical treatment and procedures to ease her ongoing abdominal pain and discomfort because of the sponge. Prior to the trial, Gary settled Monica’s claims against the Radiologist and the St. John’s nurses. The trial was interesting in that the jury knew we had settled out with the most culpable Defendants. The Defendant doctor wanted his day in court – to try to tap into the natural good will we all feel towards doctors. We presented a good case with genuine, believable experts, and our client did great. The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff in the amount of $175,000.00. Gary Burger was able to get the defendant to admit leaving the sponge was his fault in cross examination. The case was the subject of an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
- $65,000 Settlement – Tom Nachtweich was driving home from work and was stopped to take a right turn. Suddenly two other cars traveling the opposite direction crashed in front of him. One of the cars was thrown into Tom’s truck, injuring him. Gary Burger successfully settled the case – but the real reward in the case was receiving this holiday card. Tom and his wife Sheila remain good friends of the firm. Tom was recently injured in a different incident and we are helping him with that case too.
- Maximum Recovery Obtained for Motorcyclist Shortly before trial, we settled and obtained the maximum recovery for our client who was riding his motorcycle in the city of St. Louis. He had to lay his bike down because a vehicle pulled in front of him.
- Confidential Medical Malpractice Settlement Represented the family of a gentleman who went to Barnes Hospital because he was having chest pains and associated symptoms. He did not have a heart problem but rather a condition called a dissecting aortic aneurysm, which occurs when the aorta splits and causes internal bleeding and fairly rapid death. Unfortunately and tragically for Mr. Jones, he died within 48 hours of being discharged from Barnes. Barnes should have done the appropriate studies to assess diagnose this dissecting aortic aneurysm and done immediate surgical intervention to address the problem. The claim was settled for a confidential amount after litigating it.
- Large Confidential Settlement in Medical Malpractice Case Gary represented the family of a child who had hip dysplasia in a medical malpractice case. This occurred because her physician did not do the hip-click test as he should when the child was in early development. This resulted in this child needing to be in a double leg cast for a long period of time later in life so her femoral heads could go into her pelvis and create a open hip socket. This could lead to hip problems for the rest of this child’s life. The case was ultimately settled, but the amount cannot be disclosed due to confidentiality clauses that were included in the settlement agreement.
- $312,000 Jury Verdict for Breach of a Lease Gary represented a not-for-profit organization named New Beginnings in a case involving the breach of a lease. This was a complicated case that was fought and won in the City of St. Louis. Gary fought hard to show the jury that an alderman and other state officials were pulling proverbial “strings” for the real estate company suing New Beginnings in an effort to force them into occupying a specific building. Ultimately, the jury viewed these actions as an act that commercially frustrated the purpose of the lease agreement; therefore, New Beginnings received special damages amounting to over $312,000.
2001 $400,000 Settlement on third day of trial Yoshiko White was sexually harassed while working for STEP, Inc. Her complaints of harassment were initially ignored, but then the company investigated her complaints. In the “investigation” the defendant ignored Ms. White’s serious allegations, refused to talk to witnesses of the harassment, and exonerated the harasser. The defendant fired plaintiff immediately thereafter, and fired three employees who witnesses the harassment. The story of what happened to the plaintiff at STEP is truly amazing and was featured in an extensive, front-page article in the Riverfront Times.
- $1,035,000 Verdict in trial $1,035,000.00 verdict for compensatory and punitive damages in a trial against an absentee landowner who ignored complaints about a defective porch that collapsed and injured our client. After two decisions by the court of appeals and an argument to the Missouri Supreme Court, the judgment was affirmed and over $1 million was collected. At trial plaintiff’s medical expenses totaled $26,000.00. In addition to asking for money for compensatory damages, we put on a strong case that the jury should award punitive damages against the Defendant. They agreed and returned a verdict for $625,000.00 in compensatory damages and $250,000.00 in punitive damages. The case was eventually settled on appeal when the Defendant paid more than 1 million dollars to Plaintiff with post judgment interest.
- $875,000 Jury Verdict in Personal Injury Case Gary represented Evelyn Goodlow in a personal injury case against the Clayton Development Corporation. The jury awarded Evelyn $625,000 in actual damages and $250,000 in punitive damages after fierce litigation.
- Regional Disciplinary Committee Appointment Completed an eight year Supreme Court appointment to the Regional Disciplinary Committee in the City of St. Louis. This committee hears ethics complaints against lawyers.
1996 $1 million Settlement Represented a large railroad company in a derailment case and obtained a $1 million settlement for property damage to the train against the company that caused the derailment.
1993 Age Discrimination Settlement Represented numerous employees of the Doe Run Company who were fired in a Reduction in Force. Successfully settled these cases after a trial for age discrimination – 43 of the 48 fired were over the age of forty. A couple reported cases resulted from this.