Workplace Injury Cases

WORK INJURY CAUSED BY NON-CO-WORKER

Client v. Defendants (Iowa 2015)

Facts: Client was involved in a fall from a step ladder while working at a customer’s job site. In addition to pursuit of the workers’ compensation claim, a lawsuit was filed against the owner of the ladder. Beattie Law Firm retained leading experts in OSHA and industry ladder standards to help establish why the owner of the ladder was responsible for the client’s injuries and damages. A theory of liability was developed concerning the owner’s violation of OSHA, industry, and company standards and practices concerning ladder safety.

Settlement: The case was submitted to two mediations. During the second mediation, the entire case (workers’ compensation and third party) was resolved. Between the two claims, the client received in excess of $1 million in benefits and damages, including a significant lump sum payment to him as well as structure payment.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2015)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm’s client was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Bettendorf, Iowa. The client was driving a semi-truck westbound, when another vehicle ran through an intersection, causing an accident. Beattie Law Firm represented the client on his workers’ compensation and car accident claims.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm obtained a policy limits settlement of $100,000 for the client on the car accident claim, and the workers’ compensation claim remains open for the client.

Client v. Insurance Company (Iowa 2015)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented an Iowan who was injured at work. The workers’ compensation insurance company acted in bad faith with respect to his medical care and indemnity benefits, and Beattie Law Firm pursued a bad faith action in State Court. The case was hotly contested by the insurance company.

Settlement: Prior to trial, the claim was settled for a confidential, multiple six-figure amount.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2015)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented a client who was an independent contractor over the road trucker. He was injured while unloading at a customer’s facility. The claim went to litigation and was contested on liability grounds as well as the extent of the client’s injuries.

Settlement: The case was settled prior to trial for a confidential five-figure amount.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2014/2015)

Facts: An OTR driver was in Iowa to pick up a load for a customer. He called ahead and was relying on the customer to load the flatbed trailer, and he would do the final strap down. The customer was not prepared for the load despite the advanced notice and relied on the driver to help. The customer ended up dumping some of the load on the driver, causing him injury. Beattie Law Firm represented the client in both his workers’ compensation claim and his personal injury claim.

Settlement & Verdict: The personal injury claim settled for $75,000 with an agreement that the lien did not apply to future workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation claim went to trial, and the client was awarded roughly an additional $100,000 in benefits.

Huff v. Defendant (Iowa 2014)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented a Central Iowa worker who was injured while working at the U.S. Postal Service facility in Des Moines. She was a contract worker responsible for picking up and delivering mail. She was injured while trying to move a dock plate at the facility because the Postal Service workers refused to help and wouldn’t fix the automatic dock plate that was supposed to be there.

Verdict: The case was tried to the court because there is no right to a jury trial in these types of cases. The court returned a damage verdict in excess of $100,000. The client was assigned a small percentage of fault and was eventually awarded roughly $90,000. Beattie Law Firm also was able to obtain additional benefits for the client through representation in the workers’ compensation claim.

Client v. Defendant/Insurance Company (Iowa 2014)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented a Marion County woman who was seriously injured while driving a school bus. Beattie Law Firm pursued claims against the responsible driver, the school’s underinsured insurance, and the school’s workers’ compensation carrier. The school’s insurance argued that offsets prevented the client from collecting certain benefits. The issue was submitted to the Court, which ruled in the client’s favor. The case was submitted through two separate mediations and was eventually resolved.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm was able to resolve all of the client’s claims for a significant, confidential, multiple six-figure settlement.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2014)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented an EMT who was injured while in the back of an ambulance during transport. The firm represented her on both the workers’ compensation claim and the claim against the other driver.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm was able to obtain a settlement of $90,000 against the other driver’s insurance.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2014)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented a Central Iowa worker who was injured when shelving fell on her at work. The contractor who put up the shelves was sued for negligence.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm settled the case for $50,000.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2014)

Facts: The client was injured when a garbage truck trapped him in an area designated for a large commercial trash bin. The claim went forward as a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party claim against the garbage company.

Settlement: The case was mediated and resulted in a settlement of $85,000 on the claim against the garbage truck driver.

CO-EMPLOYEE GROSS NEGLIGENCE

Heck v. Craigmile et al, (Iowa 2008)

Facts: A hexane explosion interrupted at the AGP soybean processing facility in Sergeant Bluff’s Iowa August 2003. The explosion killed Mr. Heck and others were critically burned. Plaintiffs filed suit against co-employees’ managers based upon a co-employee gross negligence theory. In addition, plaintiffs filed suit against various parties who were involved in the construction and design of the existing extraction room where the explosion occurred. During the course of litigation, plaintiffs have received confidential amounts of settlement from various co-employee defendants and other defendants involved in the construction and design of the facility. The case is pending with the remaining defendants and trial is scheduled in March.

Settlement: Settlement among the many defendants, including manufacturers and designers of the processing system, exceeded $6,000,000.00.

Smith v. Air Feeds, et. al. (Iowa 1996)

Facts: Smith was injured when a Komatsu press he was operating at work cut off his hand. Mr. Smith’s employer had modified the press machine, taking away the intended safety device.

Verdict: A Story County jury assessed Mr. Smith’s damages at $278,000. The Supreme Court upheld the District Court’s finding of co-employee gross negligence.

WORKPLACE INJURY

Clients v. Defendants (Iowa 2012)

Facts: Our client suffered serious injuries to his body when he fell nearly thirty feet from a roof while performing maintenance services for his employer. Injuries included bilateral heel fractures, leg fractures, vertebral burst fracture, rib fractures, and significant nerve damage in his lower legs. A lawsuit was filed against the building owner and the design and construction professionals who had recently designed and built the new facility. During the course of the lawsuit, it was discovered by Beattie Law Firm that the new building was designed and constructed in violation of applicable building codes and industry standards. The building codes required a guardrail to be placed where our client fell, but unfortunately it was left out of the design and construction of the facility.

Settlement: Trial was scheduled to begin in Story County. With the prospective jurors sitting in the courtroom, the defendants collectively settled the case for a substantial confidential amount.

Heck, et. al. v. Defendants, (Iowa 2008)

Facts: A factory in Sergeant Bluff was undergoing repairs and improvements. Fugitive hexane gas was released into the atmosphere where workers were doing repairs and cleaning of the factory. The hexane gas exploded, causing burn injuries to Beattie Law Firm clients. A lawsuit was brought against over 20 defendants, and the litigation lasted over 5 years. Theories of liability ranged from co-employee gross negligence to professional negligence to product liability.

Settlement: Settlement was reached prior to trial against all defendants but one. Trial was held in Sioux City, Iowa. After 2 weeks of testimony, the last defendant settled. The total settlement amount exceeded $6,000,000.00.

Herndon v. Defendant (Iowa 2007)

Facts: A worker for a Polk County Hospital was injured when the cube truck she was in was struck by the chute of a concrete truck.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm secured a substantial confidential settlement in the six figures for its client.

Windom v. Defendants (Nebraska Federal Court 2004 Trial)

Facts: Our client was injured when a shock absorber malfunctioned, causing injury.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm secured a $1,500,000 after one and a half weeks of trial in federal court in Nebraska.

WRONGFUL DEATH

Client v. Defendants (Kentucky) (2014)

Facts: Two weeks before the explosion that killed an adult and two children, a propane gas deliveryman from the gas company was at the home delivering propane when he was notified of a possible leak in the gas system. The driver admitted he did not inspect the leak. The case rose from negligence to a punitive damage case.

Settlement: The gas company and its insurer met with plaintiffs resulting in a very substantial confidential settlement in excess of $16 million.

Estate v. Defendants (Iowa 2014)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented the estate of a woman who was killed in a collision with a semi-truck on a city street in West Des Moines. The case went through litigation. The defendant driver maintained that he was not at fault for the accident.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm obtained a highly confidential, significant settlement for the family.

Estate v. Defendants (Iowa 2014)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented a young woman who lost her father when a vehicle pulled in front of his motorcycle on a Des Moines road. The defendant tried to blame the motorcycle driver for the accident.

Settlement: The cases were settled for policy limits of multiple six-figures against all insurance companies involved.

Estate v. Defendant (Iowa 2014)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented an estate of a gentleman who was killed when he was a pedestrian on a rural road in Central Iowa.

Settlement: The case was settled for a confidential amount.

Clients v. Defendant (Iowa 2012)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm represented the surviving spouse and children of a retired farmer who was tragically killed following an anhydrous ammonia exposure while spreading the fertilizer at his son’s farm. A hose ruptured, causing the farmer to try to escape the cloud by driving away. Unfortunately, he was unsuccessful and eventually died due to his inhalation of anhydrous ammonia. Beattie Law Firm handled the claim, asserting that the incident was preventable and that the leaders in the farming supply industry had long known about the issue concerning the use of tandem nurse tanks in the application process. Here, the emergency shutoff valve failed to shut off the flow of anhydrous and did not properly activate. Beattie Law Firm presented to the defendant evidence that this problem had been previously discussed at a meeting of higher-ups in the agricultural industry more than two years prior to the event, yet nothing was done to prevent this type of incident from happening.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm obtained a substantial and highly confidential settlement for the family. The family is committed to alerting the farming community concerning the dangers associated with the application of anhydrous ammonia.

Estate of Pennock v. Griffin Industries (Tenn. 2012) (Iowa 2011)

Facts: Mr. Pennock was tragically killed while loading his rig at a Griffin Industries loading bay. While checking the gauge on his own rig, a driver of another semi-trailer that was parked next to the Pennock truck pulled out, running over Mr. Pennock. Suit was brought by the sole heir of Mr. Pennock against Griffin Industries. Beattie Law Firm successfully tried the case to a federal jury in Tennessee in November 2012.

Verdict: The jury returned a damage verdict of $750,000. Despite the damage verdict being reduced by some comparative fault assessed against Mr. Pennock, the final result obtained by Beattie Law Firm was more than 7 times the offer to settle from defendant before trial.

Hicks vs DC Masonry, Inc., et al. (Nebraska 2010)

Facts: Wrongful death action stemming from an on the job electrocution. The case was based on the negligence of varies parties.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm obtained a substantial multiple seven figure settlement for the client prior to trial.

Client v. Natural Gas Retailer (Iowa Federal Court 2008)

Facts: A 72-year-old retired principal died in a natural gas explosion. The case was based on a negligent failure to warn, including the need to have gas detectors installed inside our clients’ home. The gas company defended the case on the basis that this was not a natural gas explosion.

Settlement: $900,000 was reached five days before the beginning of trial.

Estate v. Defendants (Iowa 2008)

Facts: The young man was killed when hexane gas leaked at a major soybean processing facility. Two other men were burned. Beattie Law Firm represented the estate and the two burn victims in very complicated and extensive litigation.

Settlement: The case settled in its entirety the second week of trial in excess of $6 million from the various defendants.

Client v. Defendant (Iowa 2008)

Facts: An elderly couple, ages 81 and 86, were involved in an automobile collision with a semi-truck driver and another vehicle. One of our clients died at the scene of the collision. The other sustained injuries in the collision.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm secured a $600,000 settlement on behalf of its clients prior to filing a lawsuit.

Gossage v. Retailer, et. al. (Iowa 2008)

Facts: Mr. Gossage was an employee of a hog lot in Iowa. A propane operated gas washer was installed inside of a break room without adequate ventilation. A buildup of carbon monoxide killed Mr. Gossage. The lawsuit was filed against the appliance manufacturer and the gas retailer for negligent inspection and negligent failure to warn.

Settlement: Settlements in total in excess of $800,000 were obtained for the client of Beattie Law Firm shortly before the start of trial.

Estate of Ryan v. Defendants (Iowa 2006)

Facts: Mr. Ryan lost his life, and another co-worker was severely and permanently injured when an anhydrous ammonia tank ruptured. The tank ruptured due to a defective weld, and it had been inadequately inspected over the years. Plaintiffs sued the various defendants on a failure to warn theory.

Verdict: The jury returned a verdict of $9.6 million, including nearly $4 million for the wrongful death claim.

Client v. Propane Retailer (Iowa 2006)

Facts: Beattie Law Firm client was killed in a propane explosion in Harrison County. The case was based on negligent failure to warn, including the failure to warn about gas detectors.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm obtained a confidential six-figure settlement for the client.

Client v. Natural Gas Retailer (Iowa Court 2004)

Facts: An elderly retired space engineer died in a natural gas explosion. The case was based on a negligent failure to warn, including the need to have gas detectors installed inside our clients’ home. The gas company defended the case on the basis that this was not a natural gas explosion.

Settlement: A substantial confidential settlement was reached before the beginning of trial.

Rierson v. PST, Inc. (Iowa 1999)

Facts: Mr. Rierson was driving on Highway 65 near Altoona, Iowa when the defendant’s employee, operating a semi-truck, pulled into Mr. Rierson’s lane of travel. Mr. Rierson was life-flighted to Methodist Hospital where he was diagnosed with a severe closed head injury. Sadly, Mr. Rierson never recovered and eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Settlement: Beattie Law Firm obtained a $1,500,000 for its client.