Confidential Settlement - Double Wrongful Death
In this products liability claim a defective flexible gas connector catastrophically
failed allowing natural gas to fill the second story apartment of an elderly
couple. When the errant natural gas reached an ignition source the whole
apartment was destroyed in a horrific fireball fatally burning both residents.
As there was not much left of the apartment there were significant challenges
in showing exactly what had happened and who was responsible. Attorney
Whalley hired a team of experts including: a forensic cause and origin
expert to determine the cause of the blast and to rule out other potential
causes; An expert metallurgist; a gas connector expert as well as several
others to delineate damages etc.
In 1996 there was an explosion at the Beta Steel plant. A large steel pressure
vessel exploded killing three men, injuring ten others, and destroying
a building the size of a football field. Mr. Whalley represented several
of those injured, the wife and children of one of the men killed, as well
as another man injured in the blast that rocked the county. The tank that
exploded had been manufactured in Europe at standards below the acceptable
standard under United States law. After being used in a European steel
mill, it was brought to Indiana. Installation of such a tank was in direct
violation of Indiana law. The tank began leaking and was repaired with
a welded patch that was in violation of pressure vessel repair practices.
To make matters worse, the leaking pressure vessel was often operated
at pressures well above its rated capacity. After significant pretrial
discovery, a court-ordered consolidated mediation was held at Valparaiso
University with lawyers and insurance representatives from two continents.
Mr. Whalley was honored to be asked to do the mediation presentation for
all of those injured and killed in this horrific explosion. He negotiated
longer than the attorneys for the other victims, ensuring that his clients
received the largest settlement of all those hurt or killed.
$7 million products liability settlement for a woman who survived a house
explosion due to leaking natural gas from an old flexible brass appliance
connector hose. The woman sustained substantial burns and had numerous
grafting procedures and partial amputations of several fingers. In this
complex case involving a dangerous defective flexible brass connector
manufactured in the 1960s, Mr. Whalley hired numerous experts from around
the country, including 2 fire cause and origin experts, 2 experts on gas
connectors, a metallurgist who did extensive testing on the defective
connector, a gas engineer, a vocational rehabilitation expert, life care
planner, and economist. In this unusual case, the defendant was the natural
gas provider who had received specific warnings from the Consumer Product
Safety Commission of the dangers posed by these connectors and failed
to pass these warnings on to their consumers. Mr. Whalley’s investigation
into this case led to discovery of several other similar explosions from
these dangerous connectors. This settlement has provided a fund for the
injured woman to obtain specialized medical care and treatment and adaptive
living that otherwise would not have been possible.
$6.8 million auto crash settlement for a man with multiple injuries, including
loss of vision in one eye, numerous fractures, and mild traumatic brain
injury sustained after being ejected from his car when t-boned by a driver
distracted on a cell phone. Mr. Whalley utilized an accident reconstructionist,
a vocational rehabilitation expert, a neuropsychologist, psychiatrist,
psychologist, life care planner, and an economist to adequately present
and argue for proper damages in the circumstances, and was able to settle
the case in a very short time frame. The client is using his settlement
proceeds to live on and support his wife and children as he is no longer
able to return to his profession.
$5 million products liability settlement for man receiving significant
cryogenic burns as a result of being exposed to liquid nitrogen while
filling a pressure vessel at a power company. A combination of a dangerous
set up and a poorly designed safety relief valve discharge configuration
allowed the errant liquid nitrogen to spray on the operator when it prematurely
discharged. The settlement came after almost ten years of litigation with
over 100 depositions being taken all over the nation. Mr. Whalley employed
a top expert in cryogenics and orchestrated a reenactment of the nitrogen
discharge. He also utilized ten other top experts from several states
to illustrate liability and damages. The settlement proceeds were utilized
to provide specialized medical care and treatment, adaptive living arrangements,
and funds to support the victim and his family.
Good Samaritan Semi wrongful death case - $4.5 Million
In a tragic turn of events an out of state trucker pulled his big rig over
on the highway near south bend to aid another trucker who had crashed
in the median . The crashed semi was engulfed in flames and our client
heroically ran to the flaming inferno to try to save its driver. As he
ran near the flaming truck it exploded throwing him 30 yards away into
the weeds where he was not discovered for quite some time. When discovered
he was severly burnt and airlifted to a burn unit where he fought for
his life before succumbing to his multiple injuries. Attorney Whalley
hired investigators, D.O.T. experts; a world renowned economist and a
host of other experts to pursue the case. Incredulously The defendants
argued that the decedents recovery should be limited by his own negligence
for running into this dangerous situation! While still significant, Ultimately
the wrongful death settlement on behalf of the grieving widow was limited
by available insurance proceeds.
In this medical malpractice claim against a large prominent Chicago Hospital,
the doctors and nurses failed to promptly recognize and respond to signs
of excessive lower leg swelling which caused what is termed an “acute
compartment syndrome.” An acute compartment syndrome occurs when
the tissue pressure within a closed muscle component (here the calf) results
in the necrosis of muscle and nerve tissue. The malpractice necessitated
several remedial procedures and substantial loss of lower limb function.
The proceeds of the settlement allowed the patient to obtain additional
medical care and treatment.
$3 million medical malpractice settlement for a minor who suffered birth
trauma with resultant significant disabilities due to unrecognized fetal
distress in utero. Due to numerous errors on the doctor’s part,
an ascending intrauterine infection was overlooked and then not treated
properly which eventually gave rise to premature labor and delivery at
birth. The neonate had very poor apgar scores and was suffering from Hyaline
Membrane Disease and secondary respiratory depression. Shortly after delivery,
he was transferred to the University of Chicago and was expected to die.
However, the baby had a miraculous recovery and was eventually discharged.
He now is in school, with special education classes, and loves basketball.
His settlement proceeds allowed him to have the best supportive care and
education in order to optimize his quality of life.
A semi speeding through a poorly lit truck stop on a rainy night ran over
and killed another truck driver walking across the parking lot to get
a cup of coffee. Surveillance video allowed a forensic videographer and
crash reconstructionist to do an animated reconstruction proving the negligent
semi-driver blatantly lied as to his speed and sequence of events. A Human
Factors expert and parking lot design and an illumination expert were
hired and showed how the truck stops poor lighting and maintenance contributed
to this fatality. The settlement proceeds have provided for the widow
and allowed decedent’s only son to go to college.
A woman going down stairs to her apartment fell and hit her head and back
when a concrete step collapsed. Unable to work, she was evicted and sued
by the negligent complex when she could not pay her rent. The fall triggered
a recurrence of seizures that she did not have since childhood. After
extensive investigation, Marshall P. Whalley & Associates proved the
complex knew of this hazard; elected not to replace defective steps; and
that there were several other similar incidents. Mr. Whalley hired an
expert in concrete analysis, neurologists, neuropsychologist, life care
planner and an economist to prove up liability and damages. The recovery
is being used to supplement lost income, proper housing and needed care.
A 12 year old boy drowned in a small lake at a classmate’s birthday
party. Two adults were supervising a swim party with 30 pre-teens on canoes,
a swim raft, paddle boats and a slip and slide. The evidence suggested
one parent was drinking. Mr. Whalley hired experts in aquatic safety,
and forensic videography to obtain the settlement that was unfortunately
limited by the available insurance. A portion of the proceeds was to be
designated for a memorial in honor of the lost boy.
$1.25 million medical malpractice settlement, the statutory maximum, to
a woman who was required to be on dialysis and would eventually require
a kidney transplant due to the negligence of her doctor in overprescribing
N.S.A.I.D. anti- inflammatory medications over an extended period of time.
Since this case, the manufacturers of ibuprofen now have more clear and
restrictive warnings on their extended use.
$1.25 million auto crash settlement for a woman who was rear-ended at a
light by a driver distracted by a lost water bottle. As a result of her
injuries, the injured woman had to have two back surgeries and was unable
to continue her work. Mr. Whalley utilized an orthopedic spine surgeon,
a vocational rehabilitation expert, a life care planner, and an economist
to argue for a proper settlement. Mr. Whalley then referred her to a world
class spine specialist who was able to alleviate some of her ongoing pain
to allow her a better quality of life.
$1.15 million medical malpractice settlement awarded to a wheelchair bound
woman for chemical burns she received to her dominant hand during a failed
dialysis procedure. The extensive burns caused infection and required
several lengthy and painful remedial procedures leaving her with little
use of her dominant hand. While the resultant disability to her hand in
and of itself was not devastating, in the setting of a woman who already
had significant limitations, it was argued that this loss resulted in
her dependence on others to attend to the activities of daily living (A.D.L.S.)
$1 million settlement for the wrongful death of a woman that bled to death
during a dialysis procedure. At the time of her death, the woman had numerous
significant medical problems and had a very short life expectancy. Under
Indiana law, the Dependent Next of Kin (usually spouse or minor child)
are allowed to recover for the loss of love and affection, for the decedent’s
life expectancy. In this case, the Defendants hired experts who affirmed
what her treating doctors said, that given her numerous serious medical
conditions she had already lived beyond her life expectancy. Mr. Whalley
countered these arguments by doing an in depth analysis of the love and
times she shared with family and friends ... even wheelchair bound with
her numerous medical conditions. This, combined with an emphasis on the
Defendants egregious malpractice, allowed this significant recovery in
an otherwise most difficult case.
$1 million auto crash settlement for a wrongful death of a woman whose
car was crushed by a distracted semi driver. Recovery was limited by Indiana’s
harsh law on wrongful death that requires the decedent to have a dependent
next of kin in order to pursue the claim. In the instant case, the woman
was divorced but had a child who was only going to be a minor for a number
Fetal Death - $1 Million
$1 million medical malpractice settlement for the wrongful death of a near
term fetus when the obstetrician and nurses failed to act upon fetal distress
secondary to a concealed placental abruption. After Mr. Whalley took the
depositions of all the doctors, the nurses and nurse educators involved,
he hired a world class perinotologist, forensic pathologist, and a nursing
educator with expertise in electronic fetal monitoring to demonstrate
that the negligence of the hospital staff and obstetrician caused the
unnecessary death of this mother’s first child. The settlement proceeds
allowed her to get counseling and expert obstetrical care for her next
pregnancy, which gave her a beautiful baby girl.
Shortly after being admitted to practice law, Mr. Whalley co-counseled
a medical malpractice trial in Michigan City, Indiana that yielded a $900,000.00
verdict for a woman who suffered a nerve entrapment and sciatica from
a wrongful injection of a corticosteroid. The verdict is thought to be
a record in that court at that time. Following the verdict the case was
appealed then favorably settled for the victim of the malpractice.
In a 2000 medical malpractice trial, a jury awarded a woman $500,000.00,
the maximum recovery possible under Indiana Law at that time. It was a
case that had been in litigation for more than 10 years, and involved
physician negligence in failing to properly treat Graves Disease, an autoimmune
disorder that causes over-activity of the thyroid gland. One of the obvious
symptoms is bulging eyeballs.
After the failure to properly treat her disease for months, the woman had
to undergo a series 16 surgeries, which included breaking facial bones
to release pressure from her optic nerves. She suffered periodic loss
of sight and disfigurement. The jury found that if the victim had been
given steroids in a timely manner, she would not have needed any surgeries.
Ironically, Mr. Whalley’s client had previously been voted by her
high school class of 650 as having the prettiest eyes.
Premature Labor When Client Rear-Ended a Truck $500,000
In an unusual case a woman went into premature labor after she rear-ended
a truck stopped in the fast lane on highway I-65. She was listed as being
“at fault” on the crash report. After being turned down by
four “billboard “type law firms she was referred to Attorney
Whalley. Using his background in physics,and with the help on an accident
reconstructionist Attorney Whalley proved that, given the road conditions
and the hilly road, that his client did not have an opportunity to observe,
process and take evasive maneuvers to avoid the crash. Therefore it was
the defendants illegal stopping in the fast lane that was the “responsible
cause” of this crash.
Statutory Maximum Damages
A 20 year old woman looking forward to having a family with her husband,
underwent what she thought was a routine benign laproscopic procedure
to evaluate suspected endometriosis. When she awoke from the anesthesia
the gynecologist had performed a complete hysterectomy on her, leaving
her barren. Her doctor told her it was necessary due to the findings.
However an examination of the pathology report showed no abnormalities.
Mr. Whalley obtained the statutory maximum Indiana recovery, which did
not begin to compensate for the family’s horrible loss. This is
yet another example of the injustice of Indiana Medical Malpractice cap