When we go out into the world every day, we don’t expect to get hurt. Yet all too often, people are seriously injured – or even killed – while going about their daily lives. In some cases, this occurs because of someone else’s negligence or carelessness.
If a person is hurt or dies as a result of another person’s negligence, they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Through this type of claim, an individual and/or their family can recover financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses. A skilled WV personal injury attorney can protect the rights of injury victims and help them get maximum compensation.
Based in Charleston, the legal team of Johnstone & Gabhart represents clients throughout West Virginia. We have decades of combined experience in personal injury law, and we put our knowledge to work for accident victims to help them get top dollar for their claims. Reach out today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Biggest Lawsuits in West Virginia
In West Virginia, there have been a number of large settlements and trial verdicts in favor of injury victims and their families. While each case is different – and no attorney can guarantee a particular result – these results show what may be possible in a personal injury lawsuit.
Plaintiffs v. AL Solutions:
Three men were working at a metal recycling plant in New Cumberland when there was a massive explosion. All three men – Steven Swain and brothers James and Jeffrey Fish – died in the explosion. Their survivors brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the company alleging that they failed to follow numerous safety procedures. The company ultimately settled the 3 cases for $33,000,000.
In 2015, Johna Ankrom was shopping at Walmart in Parkersburg when she was shoved by a shoplifter as he was running away from store employees. Ms. Ankrom fell to the floor, and her shopping cart landed on top of her, causing traumatic intestinal injuries, including bowel perforation. Ms. Ankrom ultimately needed eight separate procedures for her injuries and was hospitalized 20 times for intestinal infections. She now has an ileostomy bag and requires parenteral nutrition. She filed a premises liability lawsuit against Walmart, alleging that they were negligent in chasing the fleeing shoplifter instead of calling the police. At trial, a jury awarded Ms. Ankrom $16.9 million in damages, with Walmart responsible for 30% of the award.
Adkins v. Covelli:
During a thyroid removal surgery, a woman experienced serious damage to her laryngeal nerves. She had to have additional corrective surgery and was diagnosed with permanent vocal cord paralysis. She filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the surgeon. A Kanawha County jury returned a verdict of $5,700,000 in favor of the injured woman.
Estate v Weirton Medical Center Inc.:
A man was undergoing a surgical procedure to insert a nasogastric tube. During the procedure, his endotracheal tube was displaced, and a nurse anesthetist inserted the tube into the esophagus instead of the trachea. An ER doctor eventually reinserted the tube correctly, but the man died an hour later after attempts at resuscitation. His survivors filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital, alleging medical negligence. A jury awarded the family $5,500,000.
Richard Edwards was helping his employer load large metal rods onto a flatbed trailer using a forklift. During the process, one of the rods fell from the bed of the trailer and struck Mr. Edwards’ leg. He suffered severe injuries and his leg was amputated below the knee. He filed a personal injury lawsuit against McElliot’s and several other parties. A jury awarded him $5,415,811 in damages.
Cunningham v. Braxton:
A woman was walking through a grocery store parking lot in Charleston when a driver struck her while making a left turn. She suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her with severe, permanent mental impairments. A personal injury lawsuit against both the driver and the grocery store led to a verdict of $5,113,728.
Dunkle v. Greenbrier Emergency Services, Inc:
In this medical malpractice action, a woman filed a lawsuit against her medical providers after lap band surgery. She experienced complications after the surgery, including epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting, gastroparesis, and stomach perforation. She went to the emergency room and was discharged without being treated. She ultimately needed abdominal surgery and was left with permanent scars. In her lawsuit, she alleged that the ER doctor did not consult with her bariatric surgery, failed to properly evaluate her condition, and misdiagnosed her. The jury returned a verdict of $4,986,001 for her injuries.
Large Class-Action Lawsuits in West Virginia
Class-action lawsuits are a special type of personal injury claim. In a class-action, one or more injury victims (plaintiffs) file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group of people (the “class”). Class actions are often preferred when a number of people suffer a similar injury. One of the most famous class-action lawsuits occurred in West Virginia when the survivors of the Buffalo Creek flood filed a lawsuit against the Pittston Coal Company.
One of the biggest class-action lawsuit settlements in WV occurred in 2017 when DuPont and Chemours Co. agreed to pay $671 million to settle thousands of lawsuits involving a leak of a toxic chemical used to make Teflon in Parkersburg. The chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (also known as PFOA or C-8), allegedly contaminated local water supplies. It was linked to a number of diseases among the local population, including testicular and kidney cancers, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Previously, residents of Parkersburg brought a class-action against DuPont over C-8 exposure. The company installed new water treatment systems in the town and agreed to fund medical monitoring programs. People affected by the leak later filed personal injury lawsuits for injuries that they suffered related to C-8 exposure.
Johnstone & Gabhart Settlements
At Johnstone & Gabhart, our personal injury attorneys have also recovered large settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients. Our results include:
- $7,000,000 for a truck accident that killed two minors and permanently injured their father.
- $2,300,000 for a truck accident where a man was killed after the truck hit his parked car.
- $2,750,000 for a mining explosion that resulted in death.
- $1,000,000 for a head-on crash that resulted in the death of a driver.
- $600,000 for a slip and fall case at an arena due to an uneven surface in a parking garage.
- $3,000,000 in a drunk driving case where a person operating a golf cart on public streets while intoxicated crashed, seriously injuring 3 passengers.
- $1,000,000 for a medical negligence case where a hospital failed to raise bed rails, resulting in a fall and the death of the patient.
The value of each accident case depends on a number of factors, such as the severity of the injuries, the defendant’s insurance coverage, whether the injuries will be permanent, and if liability is contested. If you have been hurt in an accident, a WV accident attorney can give you a ballpark estimate of the value of your claim during a free initial consultation.
How Our Law Firm Can Help
After being hurt in an accident, you may not know what to do or where to even start. Our law firm is here for you. We have a track record of success and will fight for your right to full compensation.
The personal injury attorneys of Johnstone & Gabhart have significant experience negotiating high-value settlements and obtaining favorable verdicts at trial. We represent clients in all types of personal injury cases, from claims involving relatively minor injuries to catastrophic injuries to fatal accidents. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation with a WV personal injury lawyer, give our law office a call at 304-343-7100 or fill out our online contact form.