| Significant Verdicts
Hand v Norfolk Southern Railway Company, Hamilton County, TN, 94-CV-2354
This case involved a 58 year old carman who died of primary brain cancer and was brought under the Federal Employees Liability Act. At trial, O’Brien was able to prove that Mr. Hand was exposed to several chemical agents that caused his brain cancer. This was the first verdict in the United States under the FELA for a brain cancer case. The verdict for $3.25 million was upheld on appeal and was the highest verdict on a personal injury case at the time in Hamilton County, Tennessee.
Giddens v Kansas City Southern Railway Company, 29 S.W.3d,813 (Mo. Banc. 2000)
This was a case of a maintenance of way foreman who sustained a severe crush injury of his right hand while performing track repair. Due to decisions made by the trial judge, O’Brien tried this case three times with plaintiff receiving more money at each trial. This case is important from an appellate standpoint in setting standards on the timeliness of notifying plaintiff that defendant had conducted surveillance of plaintiff’s activities. Plaintiff was awarded $1.52 million at the third trial.
Baird v Louisville and Indiana Railroad, Jefferson County, KY, 05-6992
Mr. Baird, a switchman, had one leg amputated below the knee and a major crushing of the other leg when he was run over by three cars during a switching operation. The railroad contended that he called his workplace three days after his injury and admitted fault. At trial, O’Brien was able to prove that the railroad could have easily avoided this tragedy. The jury awarded plaintiff $9.33 million.
Recent Verdicts |
Schafer v Auto-Owners Insurance Company (Indiana) (January 2014)
This case involved a self-employed contractor who was injured in a collision with an underinsured motorist. The insurance company which represented the other driver tendered their $50,000 policy limits to resolve the case. Mr. Schafer had a $500,000 underinsured policy with Auto Owners to provide coverage for this kind of occurrence. Mr. Schafer had over $182,000 of unpaid medical bills, economic loss and considerable pain and suffering. His spouse suffered a loss of consortium. At mediation, Auto Owners offered less than the medical bills total, alleging that they were not all connected to the incident. At trial in a very conservative venue, O’Brien obtained the policy limit of $450,000 for the Schafers.