9/13/22 Settlement $785,000.00 Motor Vehicle / Workers Compensation

This case arose  as a result of an automobile accident that occurred on July 28, 2017 at approximately 11:38 a.m. southbound on Route 495 in Bellingham, Massachusetts.

Prior to the collision, the Plaintiff, 52, was traveling on 495 in the middle lane of three (3) travel lanes. The Defendant, was traveling to the right of the Plaintiff in the slow speed lane. At some point, the two vehicles, veered into each other causing the Plaintiff’s vehicle to spin approximately 270̊ clockwise and into the guardrail on the right side of the road, causing her to strike her head on the windshield. The Plaintiff’s air bags deployed as well. The plaintiff was transported to the hospital for her injuries, where she was diagnosed with  forehead and facial bruising and a concussion.

The Plaintiff subsequently filed suit and discovery ensued. The Plaintiff’s claim that the Defendant was at fault was strongly contested and complicated by the investigating State Police Officer, who found it likely that “both parties were inattentive and looking at each other and veered into each other” causing the accident. No citations were issued. Both parties retained accident re-constructionists who attributed the cause of the accident to the other side.

The Plaintiff initially sought treatment from Dr. Kney, her family doctor, who diagnosed her with a concussion, however, due to ongoing cognitive issues she was referred to Dr. Farrel Douglas, a neurologist in Fall River MA., who first examined the Plaintiff on September 29, 2017. At that visit, Dr. Douglas documented the Plaintiff’s had ongoing cognitive difficulties and imbalance since the car accident, consistent with a concussion. He noted that since the accident her balance was poor and she was having cognitive problems involving short-term memory  and impairments in sense of direction.
Dr. Douglas opined that because of her continuing complaints of cognitive issues due to the car accident and head injury, he scheduled two EEG’s that he reported as abnormal and consistent with a mild concussion.

In opposition, the Defendants’ two medical experts testified at their depositions that at most, the Plaintiff sustained a mild head injury that should have resolved within a year; that her signs and reported symptoms were wholly inconsistent with a temporal concussion and that the EEG’s tracings were normal.

After extensive negotiations and one mediation the case settled two weeks before trial for $460,000.00.

In addition, the Plaintiff, through the efforts of Brian Cunha & Associates was placed on workers compensation and as a result received a total of $516,000.00 in benefits, including a lump sum settlement of $325,000.00

The total settlements of both cases was $785,000.00

8/29/22 4.8 Million Jury Verdict Bard Hernia Mesh Case Update

Right now, we are representing thousands of hernia mesh lawsuits pending in the Providence Rhode Island Superior Court .

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits are individuals who had a defective hernia mesh implanted during surgery causing them to suffer serious post-surgical complications and injuries.

The hernia mesh lawsuits involve multiple hernia mesh products made by four medical device companies who are now defendants in the litigation: Ethicon (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that has just reached a settlement in most of its lawsuits), C.R. Bard (now part of Beckton Dickinson), Covidien, and Atrium Medical Corp. The alleged defects and the product liability claims being asserted against all these defendants are similar enough to talk about them collectively.

August 29, 2022 Hernia Mesh Verdict Update:

On August 29, 2022, in the first state court trial in the country involving allegedly defective hernia mesh implants, the Providence R.I. State court jury returned a verdict of $4.8 million dollars for the plaintiff, Paul Trevino,

Attorney Jonathan Orent, who also represents numerous Plaintiffs, tried the case.

The trial initially began on July 28, and jurors heard closing arguments on August 23. Late last week jurors indicated a potential deadlock, but they continued their deliberations after receiving a charge to continue deliberating from Associate Justice Richard A. Licht.

Trevino sued Davol Inc., a division of medical device company C.R. Bard Inc. after receiving the Ventralex brand mesh to treat a hernia that developed after surgery for an abdominal injury. His case was closely watched by both plaintiff and defense lawyers due to being the first in the country to go to trial in state court involving hernia mesh implants, following only a small number of trials involving hernia mesh implants in federal court.

The full trial was webcast and recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN, and is available for viewing with a subscription to CVN’s online video library which also includes multiple trials involving transvaginal mesh implants.

Trevino’s claimed Bard manufactured the Ventralex patch with a type of plastic resin that causes an inflammatory reaction in human tissue, and that the patch “buckled” inside Trevino’s abdomen and had to be removed in a subsequent surgery. Plaintiffs in the many hernia mesh lawsuits pending throughout the country claim the devices left them beleaguered with side effects ranging from chronic pain to infections to nerve damage

Bard argued during trial that Trevino’s complex medical history and previous abdominal injury caused his alleged injuries, and that patches like the Ventralex are approved by federal regulators, remain on the market currently, and successfully treat thousands of patients every year without complications.

Thousand of our hernia mesh lawsuits remain pending in state court in Rhode Island, where Bard has its headquarters, and also in federal multi-district litigation consolidated in federal court in the Southern District of Ohio.

August 28, 2022 New Hernia Mesh MDL Update

Yes, there are more hernia mesh class action lawsuits that do not involve Bard. The judge presiding over the new Covidien hernia mesh MDL in Massachusetts – Hon. Patti B. Saris –  held the first status conference with lawyers for both sides this week. Just two months after the Covidien hernia mesh cases were consolidated into a class action, there are now 90 cases pending in the MDL.

Judge Saris will be making appointments to the plaintiff leadership committee in the coming weeks, after which a plan for discovery and the selection of initial bellwether cases will be the next items on the MDL agenda.

August 24, 2022 – Hernia Mesh Class Action Update

Is a hernia mesh settlement finally on the horizon?  It may be.  A settlement mediator was appointed by the Bard mesh class action judge last week.

Importantly, the settlement mediator was appointed with the joint agreement of lawyers on both sides to facilitate negotiations on the global settlement of the C.R. Bard hernia mesh lawsuits.  If the Bard domino falls, other hernia mesh class actions might also fall into place.

This is a major step forward that could result in a negotiated settlement before the end of 2022. The MDL judge also scheduled two more bellwether trials for February – the long-awaited Stinson case that Bard wants to avoid – and another in May 2023.  So that gives Bard an extra incentive to offer reasonable settlement payouts for victims before that case goes to trial.

3/5/22 Settlement $900,000.00 Automobile and Dram Shop Claim

This matter involves a motor vehicle accident that occurred on Knotty Oak
Road in Coventry, RI at approximately 10:35 p.m.,on the evening of April 1, 2019. The
accident occurred when the Defendant, Christopher Lacolle (“Lacolle”), who was legally
intoxicated, operated his vehicle at a speed in excess of 100 m.p.h., lost control and
crossed into the Plaintiff, Katie Nichols’, lane of travel. As a result, Ms. Nichols sustained a fracture to her left femur which required surgery, several fractures and dislocation in her left foot, a fracture to her left arm and lower spine.

In addition to naming Lacolle as a Defendant in this action, suit was also brought against a bar and a tavern. These two establishments both served Lacolle numerous drinks prior to the motor vehicle accident. More specifically, while at the first bar, Lacolle was served nine (9) beers and three (3) Crown Royal Apple shots.
The second Tavern served Lacolle two (2) Jack Daniels Whiskey, a shot of Patron
Tequila and a shot of Crown Royal Whiskey.
The bartenders at both the bar and Tavern were TIPS certified. TIPS is
an acronym for “Training for Intervention Procedures” which, among other things, is a
training program to prevent intoxication; drunk driving; and underage drinking. Both
bartenders knew or should have known that serving such an excessive amount of alcohol would result in the intoxication of their customer. Given the amount of alcohol served, Lacolle would have been visibly intoxicated and signs of intoxication should have alerted the employees of both establishments to not only terminate bar
service to Lacolle but to also insure that he did not drive a motor vehicle. In fact, Lacolle
was charged with a DWI after he smelled of alcohol but refused a field sobriety test at the scene and later, blood tests at the hospital that evening revealed Lacolle Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) to be .132.

The case was complicated as the police that at the scene indicated in their report that the Plaintiff was at fault as she had crossed the center line into the defendants lane.

However, attorney Karen Alegria at Brian Cunha & Associate employed an accident re constructionist who convinced the insurers of all three Defendants  that the accident occurred in the Plaintiffs lane of travel and not the Defendants.

After an all day  mediation with Attorney Bill Poore the case settled for $900,000.00.

4/6/22 Settlement 116,666.00 Motor Vehicle Accident

On October 22, 2020, Merilee J. Bowers was traveling eastbound in the far right lane of a three (3) lane highway on Route 195 in Somerset, Massachusetts, at mile marker 10.4. At the same time and place, a vehicle driven by Stacy Wordell was traveling eastbound in the far left travel lane when it lost control in the median and reentered the roadway, violently striking another vehicle traveling in the middle travel lane, forcing if off the roadway, striking a tree while traveling down a steep embankment. The van crossed sideways across Ms. Bowers lane of traffic in front of her vehicle, lost control, rolled over, and came to rest on it’s roof in the right side breakdown lane. As the van passed in front of her, Ms. Bowers noticed debri falling off of it following the collision, noticeably a large metal bar from the back bumper. Ms. Bowers vehicle struck the debris with great force causing her vehicle to bounce and loose control. Ms. Bowers with great grip on the wheel pulled over to the right side of the roadway in the breakdown lane. She was shaken up by what she had just experienced.

The MA State Police Department responded to the scene of the accident. It was noted Ms. Bowers vehicle sustained undercarriage damage due to a large metal bar from the back bumper of another vehicle lodging underneath her vehicle. Ms. Bowers was transported off the highway and her vehicle was towed from the scene of the accident as it was inoperable.

Following the accident, Ms. Bowers went home and attempted to rest. She was extremely shaken up and took over the counter pain medication for right shoulder pain that was getting worse. On October 24, 2020, Ms. Bowers presented herself to the Southcoast Urgent Care facility for pain symptoms.

On October 27, 2020, Ms. Bowers was seen by her primary care physician’s office and was seen by nurse practitioner, Britt Sibson, via telemedicine due to the COVID19 pandemic. She reported the events of the motor vehicle accident on October 22, 2020. She complained of pain all on her right side that radiated into the upper part of her right arm. Her right shoulder pain radiated up through her neck and she had a headache since the motor vehicle accident. She was feeling extremely anxious about driving since the accident. She expressed feeling anxious and worried about driving to work. She was diagnosed with injuries following a motor vehicle accident, Shoulder Pain, Low Back Pain and Acute Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

On November 16, 2020, Ms. Bowers was seen by licensed independent social worker, Kathlyn Heckart, as recommended by her PCP for anxiety and trauma symptoms. In addition to anxiety and trauma symptoms, Ms. Bowers presented with feelings of panic, worry, hypervigilence, flashbacks of the accident, and a fear of driving on highways. Ms. Bowers was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder following a motor vehicle accident. On December 14, 2021, following approximately one (1) year of psychiatric treatment, Ms. Heckart narrated that Ms. Bowers symptoms were improved in the past year, but Ms. Bowers still suffered from anxiety directly related to the referenced accident.

After litigation, the case ultimately settled for the $100,000.00 policy limits as well as underinsured coverage of $16,666.00