Larry Franklin and his associates have taken on some of the most difficult birth injury, personal injury, medical negligence, pharmaceutical, medical devices and products liability cases, and have obtained significant settlements for their clients throughout Kentucky. For a legal consultation contact us today to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney.
Significant Seven and Eight Figure Trials
Carrollton Bus Crash Case
(Estate of Patty Nunnallee vs. Ford Motor Company)
Lead counsel in the case was Larry B. Franklin. In the Carrollton bus crash (fuel system integrity products liability case) against Ford Motor Company, 22 children were burned alive. This was the worst school bus fatality in history. As a result of this case, the Commonwealth of Kentucky now requires all school buses to have nine emergency exits, more than any other Federal or State standard. This includes front and back doors, a side door, four emergency windows and two roof exits. The bus that crashed at Carrollton only had front and back exits, and 11 rows of 39″ seats, including the crucial area near the rear door. Buses must also have a cage around the fuel tank, a stronger frame and roof to resist crumpling on impact and rollover, high-backed seats, extra seat padding, a fuel system that slows leaks, flame-retardant seats and floors, reflective tape on all emergency exists, and strobe lights on the exterior. Schools also must have a diesel-powered fleet. It resulted in a settlement, after six weeks of a bench trial, ten times larger than any wrongful death claim settled by Ford prior to trial. One of the mothers, Karolyn Nunnallee, subsequently became the National President of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers).
Borden Chemical Plant Explosion Case
(Lysinger vs. Borden Chemical Company and Brown-Eagle Corporation of Louisiana)
Borden, Inc. was ordered to pay $3.1 million dollars by a Federal Court to victims/families. Three families lost a father to an explosion at Borden Inc.’s Rubbertown chemical plant in July of 1985. Two of the men were killed instantly when a resin tank exploded. The third, represented by Larry Franklin, lead counsel, was a crane operator who died within 32 hours from serious burns caused by the explosion. This particular case settled for $2.5 of the $3.1 total million dollar settlements. The lawsuit claimed that the men died as a result of Borden, Inc.’s failure to maintain its premises in a safe condition and to provide a safe workplace. Attorney, Larry Franklin, said that if the case had gone to trial, he would have asked the jury to assess punitive damages, a financial form of punishment in addition to other damages, against Borden, Inc. based on the company’s failure to properly test the tank that exploded. Compiled from articles in the Courier Journal.
Kentucky Home Life Building Elevator Crash Case
(Jerry Pryor vs. Otis Elevator Company)
Because of a lawsuit filed by Larry Franklin of Franklin & Hance and Harry Hargadon, Jr., Otis Elevator Company was ordered to pay more than $2 million in damages to two Louisville, Kentucky families. The jury found the company grossly negligent in an elevator accident that left one man dead and another seriously injured. That year, Williams and Jerry Pryor were asked by their employer, Armor Elevator, to investigate a faulty elevator in the Kentucky Home Life Building. During the men’s elevator assessment, they rode the elevator up to the top of the elevator shaft. On their way down, the counterweight frame broke and counterweights fell onto the elevator cab and drove the elevator down four stories to the basement pit. A jury found Otis Elevator guilty of gross negligence in the modification and installation of the elevator’s counterweight frames. Compiled from the Courier-Journal articles.
Airplane Crash Case
(Grady Nutt vs. Beech Aviation)
Plaintiff contended a gust-lock pin engagement on take-off caused fatal crash. A bifurcated five-week jury trial in Western District of Kentucky resulted in a liability verdict for the plaintiff. The case then settled for several million dollars.
Mark Sun vs. Norton Hospital and Stefan Sjogren, M.D.
Shiou-Gwo “Mark” Sun was awarded $5.7 million in a suit filed and won by Larry Franklin of Franklin & Hance. This was the largest medical negligence jury verdict trial in Kentucky at that time, which was 1988. Sun, a gifted middle school student, was on his way to becoming a classical pianist when he began suffering from a kidney disorder in 1984. In his search for treatment, Sun became a patient of Kosair Children’s Hospital. The medical care Sun received for the illness was not successful, however. A routine 45-minute dialysis procedure ended up nearly taking his life, before it ultimately left him with the mental capacity of a 28-month-old child. Sun’s attorney, Larry Franklin, argued that the anesthesiologist, Dr. Stefan Sjogren, did not react fast enough to a heart problem that developed after the anesthetic had been administered. Compiled from Courier Journal articles.
Spencer Sapp vs. Baptist Hospital East, et al
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 99-CI-07336)
$27.6 million unanimous verdict. This was a birth injury case, which resulted in the largest compensatory jury verdict award in Kentucky in a medical malpractice case. The hospital was held responsible for improper credentialing of the OB/GYN who just finished residency, and according to the records found in the credentialing file, had only done two vacuum extractions. The obstetrician’s failed attempts at vacuum extraction resulted in brain hemorrhaging and skull fracture. Further, the nurses at the hospital gave Pitocin on three separate occasions, all with adverse affects on Spencer Sapp. They did not follow their own hospital policies and procedures.
Mary Margaret Gunderson vs. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 94-CI-04680)
$19.2 million dollar unanimous verdict. Mary Margaret Gunderson was found dead in her home after giving birth just seven days before. Ms. Gunderson had been prescribed the drug, Parlodel, by her doctor to prevent lactation (as she did not plan to breast feed). Parlodel, manufactured by Sandoz, is in the ergots class of drugs, which are known to cause seizures, strokes, and myocardial infarctions in some patients.
Parlodel was first introduced in the United States to treat amenorrhea/galactorrhea. The FDA approval for this use was conditioned upon agreement by Sandoz to conduct a long-term study of the drug’s safety. Sandoz delayed delivering this study to the FDA for a full 15 years. In 1980, Parlodel was approved for use in preventing lactation in women following childbirth. Within months of this approval, the FDA learned of a number of women who experienced seizures while taking the drug.
Sandoz quickly denied that Parlodel was the cause of the seizures, even though its own internal investigation had determined the drug was indeed at fault for several of the adverse reactions. Sandoz refused to remove the drug from the market as requested by the FDA. Over the next five years, Sandoz continued to market and sell Parlodel for the prevention of postpartum lactation, fully aware of the health dangers the drug presented.
Lloyd and Jackie Knotts vs. Lawson Mardon
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 97-CI-04443)
$1.2 million dollar verdict on August 8, 1994. Lloyd Knotts was a self-employed contractor who was working on scaffolding with power tools. The electrical cords for his tools were laid out beneath the scaffolding on the ground. A forklift driver drove past underneath the scaffolding and caught up one of the electrical cords on the vehicle. The scaffolding was pulled down and Mr. Knotts fell, suffering multiple fractures. Following the accident, he was unable to work again. This was the largest verdict in Anderson County, Kentucky by a factor of three, which was upheld on appeal.
Suit was then filed against Zurich for violation of Kentucky’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practice Act, which had been construed to only apply prior to litigation. Kentucky Law was changed by Knotts vs. Zurich, 197 SW3d 512, Kentucky’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practice Act now applies to conduct that occurs both before and after the commencement of litigation.
Ebbony Taylor vs. Baptist Hospital East
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 91-CI-02805)
Birth injury case, which resulted in a $10.6 million dollar verdict on July 22, 1997. Multiple failed attempts between forceps and vacuum, and forceps again, by a physician who never read the manufacturer’s warnings for vacuum extractors, and failed to note that if one operative vaginal delivery device fails, another one should not be attempted. They should not be alternated back and forth repeatedly, but the attempts should be abandoned and a C-section performed, none of which was done in this case. This resulted in severe CP and the inability to walk or talk, with communication only by computer. Ebbony writes poetry and loves to be held by her father while listening to “The Wind Beneath My Wings”.
Johnny Shelton vs. Jeff Campbell, M.D.
(Clark County, Indiana No. 10C01-9607-CT-246)
$3.9 million dollar unanimous verdict. Two-week jury trial wherein the doctor only had a million dollar policy. Excess amount of verdict collected from insurance company for bad faith. Largest medical malpractice verdict in Southern Indiana at that time.
Johnny Shelton was a young high-school football player who sustained a previous concussion and was allowed to return to play football too soon, without being given an eye test for his blurred vision. A pre-existing hematoma of the brain caused extra tension and resulted in a massive new bleed with brain damage, impaired vision, motor impairment, and mild mental disabilities. Physician authorized the insurance company to settle, and the insurance company made no offer to settle until the night before closing arguments. Plaintiff had already offered to settle for policy limits, which was rejected. Jury’s verdict was $3.9 million, with close to $3,000,000 over the doctor’s coverage, which was collected by taking assignment from the doctor, and going against the insurance company for bad faith for refusing to settle for policy limits and negotiate in good faith.
Carolyn Hatmaker vs. State Farm Insurance Company
One of the first women graduates from University of Kentucky Dental School was injured in an automobile collision. Her injury was one of a soft tissue/rotator cuff tear. Defendant refused to pay the policy limits of $100,000. Jury returns a unanimous verdict of $1.2 million. The additional $1.1 million, plus interest, was recovered in a subsequent bad faith lawsuit against State Farm Insurance Company.
David Wilson vs. Humana of Kentucky, Inc. and Robert McQuady
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 92-CI-07513)
Birth injury case, which resulted in a $1.7 million dollar verdict on October 22, 1996. The physician checked on the expectant mother, and proceeded to his office in another building while the nurses found that David needed to be delivered, and a physician was not present. The nurses tried to hold back David’s delivery by pushing him back into his mother retarding his descent. Physician could not be found timely, and the baby was finally, because of worsening heart tones and late decelerations, delivered flaccid and blue with mild CP.
Cynthia Terry vs. Paducah Area Public Library
Largest verdict in Paducah, Kentucky at that time, which was $983,465.57. Young Girl Scouts were on their way home from a meeting when the right wheels of a Bookmobile in the oncoming lane go off the road, the driver over corrects into the oncoming lane hitting the station wagon and throwing Cynthia Terry partially through the rear window, resulting in neurological damage. This case established that the plaintiff’s economic losses are not subject to present worth discounting.
Austin Wagner vs. Norton Hospital
Inattentive nurses allow tracing to be unrecognizable by improper placements of tocolytics for hours. Once properly readjusted, child is in imminent danger, delivered too late and suffers from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and suffers from mild retardation.
Settlements Ranging From $1,000,000 to $18,000,000
Joyce Cooksey vs Norton Hospital
Brandy Linton was delivered by C-section where the blood was reported by the OB/GYN to be coming back black. The anesthesiologist was allegedly speaking on the phone with his stockbroker. The child winds up with severe CP. Her mother was in a comatose state for 45 days and then dies.
Bethany Mortberg vs. Norton Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 00-CI-07814)
Mother was induced with Cytotec. An eight-hour period goes by that labor and delivery nurses do not have the mother’s uterine contraction monitor hooked up appropriately, so there is no reading on her contractions. The nurses still increase Cytotec, which increases uterine contractions accelerating the delivery. The hospital’s policies and procedures are that you do not increase Cytotec unless you can review the strip for at least 10 to 20 minutes before you increase the rate. In the eight hours that go by, there is no strip to analyze Cytotec increases and they are still made on a regular basis. The hospital’s defense is that she is a difficult mother to monitor, yet when a young labor/delivery nurse with only two weeks of experience comes on duty, the monitors all work fine and showed the child had decompensated in the eight-hour interval, which was not monitored. Bethany was born profoundly brain damaged with CP. She will never walk or talk, and cannot even close her eyelids. She needs 24-hour monitoring for secretions so she doesn’t aspirate.
Dana Reinhardt, Jr. vs. Norton Kosair Hospital, et al
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 94-CI-02502
Dana was one of premature triplets. His two sisters were in good shape, but Dana was not delivered from a hostile environment soon enough in that his tracings were showing loss of beat-to-beat variability and late decelerations. He was born with severe CP, incontinent bowel and bladder functions, and is a spastic quadriplegic.
Virginia Heyburn vs. University of Louisville Hospital
Epidural given by anesthesiologist in a room not equipped with 100% oxygen, or any type of resuscitative equipment or monitoring devices. The epidural was, in fact, a high spinal, and the mother could not breathe. Code was started and ran for over one hour and 20 minutes until the anesthesia wore off. Child is born with mild CP, and mother is paralyzed from the waist down.
Donald Jacobs vs. Baptist Hospital East
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 98-CI-01894)
Donald went in for laparoscopic gall bladder removal. Surgery performed on a Friday morning. The surgeon goes out of town to teach laparoscopic procedures, while Donald gets infected, temperature rises, and the surgeon is not reachable. At the end of a five-day period, Donald collapses in the bathroom. Nurses testify that they don’t start CPR right away, because he still has a heartbeat, and they have to wait until there is no heartbeat until they can begin CPR. The same nurses state they cannot begin a code as long as he has respirations. Donald Jacobs, once they finally get around to starting CPR, which is 17 minutes later, responds well to the code but remains in a coma for five days until his death, having never had a chance to see his long-awaited little girl who was born two months after his death.
Justin Mahoney vs. Humana Audubon Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 92-CI-04820)
Fetal heart strips begin to show that Justin’s heart rate is becoming tachycardiac with variable decelerations indicating cord compression. The OB calls for a C-section, and no anesthesiologist was present. A C-section was carried out without appropriate anesthesiology, in spite of the pain. Justin delivered too late and now suffers from mild CP.
Kimberly Leighty vs. Norton Kosair Hospital
A young girl sent to Norton Kosair Children’s Hospital shortly after delivery and is placed on a respirator and attended by a respiratory therapist that set Kimberly’s respirator at zero, which resulted in the child being neurologically damaged. Larry Franklin used this case as the impetus of getting all respiratory therapists examined and licensed in the State of Kentucky. Prior to this case, the respiratory therapist did not have to take or pass any type of test or licensing procedure. Because of this case, with the help of leaders in respiratory therapy in Louisville, the Kentucky Legislature passed a law where now respiratory therapists must be examined, licensed and certified for their profession.
Kimber Bates vs. Norton Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 94-CI-04604)
Nurses failed to analyze fetal heart monitoring strips at appropriate intervals that showed a slow decline in Kimber’s heart rate baseline which led to an emergency C-section. Kimber was born neurologically impaired. She cannot speak, but can ambulate on crutches.
Jennifer Rose vs. Central Baptist Hospital
(Fayette County Circuit Court No. 99-CI-3553)
A young, first-time mother at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky receives an epidural for delivery from anesthesiologist. The epidural was actually a high spinal where Jennifer cannot breathe, and her heart stops. The nurse finds Jennifer cold and blue with no pulse. The anesthesiologist was called and could not be found. An emergency C-section was performed in the room. The baby turned out fine, but the mother is now neurologically damaged and confined in a lock-down hospital with only visitation rights on some weekends to see her daughter. The anesthesiologist had a drug addiction, which was discovered through depositions, and he was taking some of the medications he would give to his patients by injecting it into himself in the doctor’s lounge. His testimony was that he didn’t begin using narcotics and “self-medicating” until four weeks after he injected Jennifer. A trust fund was established to care for Jennifer and her child.
Rick Moody vs. Holiday Inn
A healthy 25-year old male dives into a Holiday Inn pool and becomes a quadriplegic. The pool was not designed for normal dives. It was designed in an unsafe manner with no delineation between the deep and shallow ends of the pool. Rick remains paralyzed from the waist down and is incontinent of bowel and bladder.
Peggy Lyndrup (for her father) vs. Baptist Hospital East
A retired 80-year old gentleman with injured ankle goes to hospital and is over medicated and improperly watched by nurses. He aspirates and eventually dies.
Betty Jean Miller vs. St. Thomas Hospital
(Davidson County, Tennessee No. 95-C-2979)
Orthopedic surgeon fails to notice compartment syndrome following a surgical procedure. Increased swelling in leg restricts vascular flow, which results in a below-the-knee amputation.
Michael Shayne Quinkert vs. Jewish Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 96-CI-01037)
Shayne was a young, 18-year old boy about to enter the Marine Corps when he it becomes necessary to have an intraventricular shunt placed at Jewish Hospital. Jewish Hospital at that time was doing some renovations, and as a result released aspergillosis spores into the air which caused a contamination along the shunt track infecting Michael Shayne Quinkert’s brain with a fungal infection, and a tragic, horrible, unnecessary death that followed.
Ronald Fenske vs. Jewish Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 97-CI-02671)
Transplant patient at Jewish Hospital during construction phase of hospital acquires aspergillosis fungal infection in that he is immuno-suppressed on medications to prevent rejection of liver donation and dies from the fungal infection.
Jennifer Feliz vs. Galen of Kentucky
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 94-CI-03305)
Pediatric heart valve repair. Body temperatures were lowered to decrease metabolic rate and lessen use of oxygen. Rectal probe was inadvertently placed in stool giving an inaccurate reading, thus failing to reduce metabolic rate of oxygen use resulting in anoxic brain damage. Jennifer remains in a coma for three days and dies.
Molly Cecil vs. Springview Internal Medicine
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 93-CI-03328)
Young, vibrant redheaded teenager goes in for a check-up and had elevated sedation rate and no follow-up. Sees a chiropractor and has total body x-rays. No follow-up by medical doctor on the sed rate, and no follow-up by chiropractor on his x-rays. Molly has Ewing Sarcoma, which was readily visible on the x-ray. Sed rate, while not localizing the Ewing Sarcoma, would have at least shown there was an infection that should have been tracked down. Molly dies in the hands of Hospice two years later.
Benny Chaney vs. Commonwealth Anesthesia
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 92-CI-02287)
Fever of unknown origin. Physicians failed to follow-up with appropriate diagnostic studies or treatment, and Benny was, in fact, told to return to work. Subsequently dies from sepsis.
Lillie Cole vs. Suburban Medical Center
(Jefferson County Circuit Court case)
During a prolonged hospitalization, Ace bandage kept too tight. This interfered with circulation of lower limb of an 85-year old lady, which resulted in necrotic tissue and lower leg amputation.
Duke Brown vs. Bio-Medical Applications of Kentucky, Inc.
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 92-C-07911)
Failure to adequately diagnose and treat renal failure in a timely manner, followed by death. Businessman survived by wife and two children.
Gary Gardner vs. Gary Peterson, M.D.
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 04-CI-03583)
Louisville lawyer who had a history of smoking, and as a trial lawyer knew the dangers of smoking in connection with cancer. He went for regular routine physicals, and even though he had no symptoms, he told the doctor he wanted a chest x-ray as a precaution. Radiologist misread the original film, and two years later, Gary had chest congestion and is x-rayed again to find a cancerous tumor present in his right lung. The original films were used for comparison and validated cancer was present in the original film, and if operated on originally, Gary would be free of cancer and alive today.
Nancy Alexander vs. Norton Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 01-CI-03567)
Knee replacement where the nursing staff failed to diagnose decreased pulses in lower leg and failed to notify physician when there is absolutely no pulse in lower leg, which resulted from arterial occlusion. Many debridements were then performed to remove necrotic tissue.
Birth Injury Client vs. Norton Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court)
Our client’s mother, who was pregnant with triplets, was admitted to Norton Hospital for observation when she was 29 weeks pregnant. Over the next three weeks, our client’s mother and the triplets were observed. Biophysical profiles of the fetuses were normal. However, on February 2, 1999, one of the fetuses biophysical profile began to decline after beat-to-beat variability decreased on the fetal monitoring strips. This indicated decreased oxygenation, which can lead to brain damage. The changes on the fetal monitoring strip were not report to our clients obstetrician until the following day. An emergency c-section was performed, and our client was born not breathing, near death, with an Apgar score of 1. The case was resolved prior to trial for a multi-million dollar settlement.
Kaitlyn Lasitter vs. KKI, LLC d/b/a Kentucky Kingdom
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 07-CI-06516)
On June 21, 2007, Kaitlyn Lasitter was riding the Superman Tower of Power, an amusement ride that hoists a passenger car approximately 170 feet into the air and then drops the car to the ground. As the passenger car was lifted, one of the two cables that lifted the car snapped. The passenger car continued to the top of the ride. The car then dropped, and the cable ripped both of Kaitlyn’s feet from her legs shortly above her ankles. Discovery revealed failure to maintain the cables in compliance with the ride manufacturer’s guidelines, including failure to lubricate the cable, failure to change the cable when it became worn, and placing cornstarch on the cables. The case was settled prior to trial for a multi-million dollar amount.
Judith Miles vs. Jewish Hospital
(Jefferson County Circuit Court No. 04-CI-05338)
Judy Miles underwent a routine hysterectomy at Jewish Hospital. Post-operatively, she was transferred to a medical/surgical floor, where she was given pain medications. Judith’s nurse, who lacked basic understanding of pain medications and their effects on the human respiratory drive, failed to monitor Judy in compliance with the physician’s orders. As a result, Judy became over medicated on pain medications and went into respiratory arrest. Judy was resuscitated, but had suffered severe brain damage from the lack of breathing. Judy’s husband and surviving two minor children had to make the difficult decision to end life support when Judy’s physicians agreed when would never recover. Claims were made for Judy’s pain and suffering, lost wages, as well as the loss of consortium her husband and children sustained. The case was resolved for a multi-million dollar figure prior to trial.
Timothy Snoddy vs. Comair
(Fayette County Circuit Court No. 06-CI-04308)
Timothy Snoddy was a passenger on the Comair 5191 crash in Lexington, Kentucky. The plane crashed in the early morning hours, after taxiing down the wrong runway. The plane became airborne briefly, and then crashed due to pilot error. All passengers, except for the co-pilot, died. The case was resolved for a multi-million dollar amount prior to trial.
Patricia Johnson vs. William Walton, M.D.
(Fayette County Circuit Court No. 04-CI-01441)
Patricia Johnson went to Dr. William Walton for rectal pain and bleeding, and was diagnosed with rectal cancer. Walton performed surgery to remove the tumor and failed to refer Patricia for follow-up with an oncologist. As a result, cancer cells spread from the primary site, and Patricia’s cancer metastasized and recurred. Walton, who was also monitoring Patricia for recurrence, missed a test result that indicated Patricia’s cancer had returned. The case was tried in Fayette County, Kentucky in 2008. The jury returned a verdict in excess of $1.1 million dollars in favor of Patricia. To date, Walton has appealed to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky, which denied his appeal and upheld the jury’s verdict in favor of Patricia.