haunted house.jpgThe St. Louis haunted house “The Darkness,” located in Soulard, is being sued for wrongful death stemming from the November 2010 death of a local teen, Brittney Holmes. The actual entity named as a defendant is Halloween Productions, Inc., which ran the haunted house.

Holmes visited the haunted house in October 2009, and felt sick on her ride home. She spent almost a year in a vegetative state, before dying in November 2010. Her medical bills totaled around $1 million. Holmes had suffered from many allergies and asthma. The haunted house piped in artificial smells and fog in order to enhance the haunted house experience. These air particulates are alleged to have caused Holmes’s death. Halloween Productions, Inc. alleges that it posted signs warning customers who had respiratory problems not to enter the house.

county courthouse.jpgA Sunset Hills, Missouri woman, police officer Christine Miller, was involved in a deadly car accident in March 2009 that left 4 people dead. She faces criminal charges based on the accident. Miller had been drinking when she drove in the opposite direction of traffic, hitting another car head-on. She faces 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of 2nd degree assault, and she is expected to plead guilty today in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Miller had previously been involved in a wrongful death case stemming from the accident, which settled earlier this year. For more on this story, click here.

Car Accident.jpgA St. Louis jury recently returned a verdict for $3,000,000 in favor of the plaintiff in a car accident case. The case was brought by Alnita Smiley against the City of St. Louis. Smiley alleged that a city truck turned in front of her causing her to swerve her vehicle and strike several parked cars. She further alleged that she suffered severe and permanent injuries in the accident, including a head injury, broken ribs, and several broken vertebrae. The City’s attorney has filed a motion seeking a reduction of the verdict.

independence courthouse.jpgKansas City, Missouri clinic Health Centers of America-Kansas City and Dr. Carol Ann Ryser have settled a claim against them for treating false diagnosis. This is only one of several lawsuits against the defendants. Patients of the doctor and clinic were being treated for diseases they did not have, and often reported feeling worse after the treatment than they did before the treatment.

Allegations against Dr. Ryser include that she was trying to make money off of selling supplements to her patients, and in order to do so, was diagnosing patients with ailments they did not have so that they would buy the supplements. The specific case that settled in October 2010 involved a woman who was diagnosed by Ryser as having Lyme disease, and she was treated for months with various antibiotics and supplements before going to the ER in January 2009 and being diagnosed correctly with hyperthyroidism.

Thumbnail image for st. charles courthouse.jpgA St. Charles, Missouri driver who suffered from severe pelvis and knee fractures as a result of an auto accident has settled with the other driver for $1.15 million. Marilyn Leach was driving along the road in St. Charles when she was hit head-on by 17-year old Cody Bernat, who was driving 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. Bernat and his friends were not seriously injured, but Leach was seriously injured, as her lower body was flattened beneath the dashboard and her upper body hit her steering wheel so hard the steering wheel broke it in two. Bernat had crossed the center line, and received a ticket for the accident.

After multiple surgeries, Leach’s injuries require that she now walk with a cane. She was an assistant manager in a fast food restaurant, but can no longer work. Bernat was covered under his father’s $1 million umbrella policy. Leach did not have health insurance at the time of the accident.
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Missouri Supreme Court.jpgOn Tuesday, the Missouri Supreme Court issued its opinion in a case that will effect most personal injury lawsuits in Missouri. In Deck v. Teasley, SC90628, the Court interpreted a statute enacted by the Missouri legislature in 2005 dealing with what evidence juries could see in personal injury cases pertaining to the plaintiff’s medical bills. The Court held that the plaintiff in Deck could introduce the original and complete medical bills incurred, despite a presumption in the statute that the value of the treatment is the amount necessary to satisfy the obligation, which often times is reduced through insurance adjustments and write-offs.

124124945_b6cebcbd62_z.jpgAn Arkansas teen underwent brain surgery in August 2004, to end seizures he suffered, and doctors wrongfully operated on the wrong side of his brain, performing surgery on the left side of his brain for 4 hours before realizing the mistake. This error in surgery left the teen with brain injury, and he now lives in a rehabilitation center in Virginia. After a 3 week jury trial, the jury returned an unanimous verdict for $20 million.

The attorneys for the teen and his family had excellent photographic evidence of the mistake, as the Arkansas hospital had invited journalists from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, a local newspaper, to photograph the surgery. Therefore, a photo existed showing the surgeons operating on the left side of the teen boy’s head. Apparently, after the mistake was discovered, the surgeons notified the hospital’s risk management team, but not the family, before beginning to operate on the right side of the brain. The family did not learn of the mistaken surgery until 15 months later. Now, the boy still suffers from seizures and must take more medicine than he did before the surgery.

rear end accident.jpgA St. Louis jury awarded Philip Simms $100,000 for his personal injuries he sustained in a vehicle crash in St. Charles County. Simms suffered small fractures in his neck as a result of the rear end crash. He settled with the other driver’s insurance company, then sued his own insurance company to recover under his underinsured policy. The case was tried in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Simms had to wear a neck brace for months, and eventually the many fractures healed without surgery. The judge reduced the jury award amount by the $50,000 the other driver’s insurance paid, and the $5,000 already paid by Simms’s insurer, Progressive. According to testimony, the other driver was drunk when he rear ended Simms. However, Simms also admitted have 2 beers earlier in the day.

Pothole_Small.jpgA St. Louis jury recently returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit arising out of a slip and fall at Del Taco in midtown St. Louis. The plaintiff, Steven Willis, claimed that he injured his back, arm, and leg after he fell through a pothole in the parking lot of the Del Taco located on Grand Boulevard. He introduced evidence of medical and chiropractic bills totaling $6,904. However, the verdict was reduced to $56,250 because the jury found the plaintiff was 25% at fault.

jogger.jpgA Jefferson County, Missouri youth settled a personal injury lawsuit against a utility company whose truck struck the young runner while he was running along the side of the road. The auto/pedestrian accident happened in June 2009. The truck struck the student while he was running, dragging him along, which resulted in serious personal injuries in the runner’s feet, ripping tendons and flesh from his right foot. The driver then drove away, although he did eventually turn around and return to the scene of the accident. Allegedly, the driver then drove the runner to his parent’s house where the driver then lied about what happened.

The young runner settled the case for $1 million dollars. He is no longer able to run competitively, and lost any chance he had at obtaining a college scholarship based on running. He was in the hospital for 2 weeks after the accident.