VA Medical Malpractice

Firm Helps Veteran Obtain $5.7 Million Medical Malpractice Award

Earlier this year, Rossiter & Boock Attorney Zach Pancoast helped a Navy Veteran secure a $5.7 million medical malpractice claim against the Department of Veterans of Affairs for its failure to timely diagnose his prostate cancer.   Rossiter & Boock Partner Jamie Boock assisted Mr. Pancoast at trial.

The United States Court for the Eastern District of Missouri awarded a judgment of $4,062,652 to Coyvell (CJ) Jackson for his Federal Tort Claims Act claim and $1,649,750 to his wife, Brenda Jackson, for her claim of loss of consortium.

Mr. Jackson received routine medical care at two VA medical facilities in Poplar Bluff and Cape Girardeau. Between 2009 and 2015, Mr. Jackson received seven prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screens.  Per VA guidelines, a screen over 4 is considered high.  During this time, the VA system flagged several of his test results as ‘high’, but doctors prescribed antibiotics and retesting instead of directing him to have an immediate biopsy.  In April 2016, Mr. Jackson was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Through expert physician testimony, Attorney Pancoast was able to show the VA had breached the standard of care when it failed to rule out prostate cancer by performing a biopsy after finding Mr. Jackson’s PSA rose to 8.75 in July 2014.  Further, the expert testified if the biopsy had been performed in May 2015, he would have required only a prostatectomy.  Delaying the diagnosis until April 2016, caused Mr. Jackson to require additional treatment, including salvage radiation and hormone ablation therapy, which caused incontinence, complete erectile dysfunction and a reduced life expectancy.

The parties did not dispute Jackson’s economic damages, but the federal government disputed whether Missouri’s statutory caps on noneconomic damages – enacted after 2015 – applied in this case.  Judge Abbie Crites-Leoni sided with the plaintiffs, finding their claims accrued in May 2015 before the caps of noneconomic damages.

Additional Resources

VA Claims Under the Federal Tort Claim Act

What does the term ‘Standard of Care’ mean?

 

About Attorney Zach Pancoast

For over ten years, Rossiter & Boock Attorney Zach Pancoast has been helping victims injured by the negligence of others.  He focuses his practice primarily on motor vehicle accidents, catastrophic medical malpractice and wrongful death.  Born and raised in Shelbyville, Illinois, Zach is always eager to assist residents of St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and central Illinois with personal injury matters. He is available to meet clients in St. Louis or at the satellite office in Shelbyville, Illinois.

About Rossiter & Boock

Rossiter & Boock, LLC is a St. Louis-based law firm specializing in fiduciary litigation (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury litigation (medical malpractice, product defects and automobile accidents).  With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service.

 

Attorney Pancoast Helps Illinois Car Accident Victims

 

During the pandemic, U.S. roadways have seen a decrease in vehicle traffic and an alarming increase in accidents and fatalities.  Between quarantines and mandatory shutdowns, there are fewer cars on the road and yet more accidents and fatalities.  

Law enforcement agencies across the country point to two contributing factors – speed and reckless driving. Agencies report a significant increase in the number of tickets for drivers going 25 mph or more over posted speed limits. Many are issuing more tickets to drivers going in excess of 100 mph than ever before.

Over the last ten months, Rossiter & Boock Personal Injury Attorney, Zach Pancoast, has helped several central Illinois residents and their families recover compensation for serious injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents – many of which were caused by speeding or careless driving.

Here is a sampling of Zach’s most recent car accident settlements:

    • Helped a central Illinois family settle a $1.475 million wrongful death claim for their mother who was killed in a crash involving a United States Postal Service truck.
    • Recovered $225,000 for the wife of a Shelby County, Illinois man killed in a car accident.
    • With Zach’s assistance, a Springfield, Illinois woman recovered $100,000 for serious injuries she sustained in a semi-truck crash in Sangamon County.
    • Helped another Shelby County, Illinois resident recover a policy limits settlement for injuries sustained in a car accident.

 

About Zach Pancoast

For over ten years, Rossiter & Boock Attorney Zach Pancoast has been helping victims injured by the negligence of others.  He focuses his practice primarily on motor vehicle accidents, catastrophic medical malpractice and wrongful death.  Born and raised in Shelbyville, Illinois, Zach is always eager to assist residents of central Illinois with personal injury matters. He is available to meet clients in St. Louis or at the satellite office in Shelbyville, Illinois. 

About Rossiter & Boock

Rossiter & Boock, LLC is a St. Louis-based law firm specializing in fiduciary litigation (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury litigation (medical malpractice, product defects and automobile accidents).  With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service. 

Additional Resources

2020 Traffic Fatalities – A Disturbing Trend

Drivers Speeding, Intoxicated & Reckless During Pandemic

 

Attorney Helps Injured Motorcyclists Recover Settlements

During the pandemic, the nation’s roadways have become more dangerous.  Even with less vehicle traffic, accidents and fatalities have increased due to excessive speeding and reckless driving habits.  While motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the road, they are also the most vulnerable vehicle on the road.  According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, motorcycle fatalities account for 12.1% of all fatal accidents statewide.

When other motorists fail to share the road safely with motorcyclists, serious accidents occur with the motorcyclist bearing the brunt of the injuries.  Over the past few months, Attorney Zach Pancoast helped two central Illinois motorcyclists recover compensation for serious injuries each sustained in separate accidents.

    • In the first claim, Zach helped a Mattoon, Illinois resident secure a settlement of $293,500 for injuries he received when a loose dog caused his motorcycle to veer off the road and crash.  
    • In the second claim, Zach helped a Shelby County, Illinois resident recover a settlement of $173,182.63 for injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash.

Additional Resources

Motorcycle Safety Foundation – Basic Rider Course

IDOT Crash Facts & Statistics

2020 Vehicle Fatalities on The Rise

 

About Zach Pancoast

For over ten years, Rossiter & Boock Attorney Zach Pancoast has been helping victims injured by the negligence of others.  He focuses his practice primarily on motor vehicle accidents, catastrophic medical malpractice and wrongful death.  Born and raised in Shelbyville, Illinois, Zach is always eager to assist residents of central Illinois with personal injury matters. He is available to meet clients in St. Louis or at the satellite office in Shelbyville, Illinois. 

About Rossiter & Boock

Rossiter & Boock, LLC is a St. Louis-based law firm specializing in fiduciary litigation (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury litigation (medical malpractice, product defects and automobile accidents).  With nine full-time attorneys and robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service.  

 

Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Named 2019 Super Lawyers

Rossiter & Boock, LLC is pleased to announce that Matthew J. Rossiter, Jamie L. Boock and Zachary R. Pancoast have all received distinctions from Super Lawyers magazine.  Super Lawyer selections comprise the top 5% of attorneys and are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. Matt Rossiter received three awards of distinction, including: Top 100 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer, Top 50 St. Louis Super Lawyer and Top 10 Estate & Trial Litigation – Super Lawyer.  This is the seventh consecutive year Mr. Rossiter has been recognized by the Super Lawyers selection committee.

 

 

 

Jamie Boock received the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer distinction.  This is the sixth consecutive year Mr. Boock has been named a Super Lawyer; previously he was a four-time recipient of the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Rising Star award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zach Pancoast also received the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer distinction.  This is the first year he has been named a Super Lawyer; previously he was a two-time recipient of the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Rising Star award and the Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Star Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Super Lawyers rating service recognizes outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The magazine selects attorneys using a patented multiphase process that combines peer nomination, peer evaluation, and independent research. After a candidate is evaluated through each phase of the process, a credentialed blue-ribbon panel of attorneys then makes the final Super Lawyer selections. In 2013, the Super Lawyers independent, third-party rating system selection process was patented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

About the Firm

Rossiter & Boock, LLC is a St. Louis-based law firm specializing in fiduciary litigation (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury litigation (medical malpractice, product defects and automobile accidents).  With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service.  Learn more at www.rossiterboock.com.

Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Secure $2.5 Million Verdict in Dental Malpractice Case

Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Secure $2.5 Million Verdict in Dental Malpractice Case

On January 17, 2019, Rossiter & Boock Partner Jamie Boock, along with Attorney Zach Pancoast, obtained a $2.5 million jury verdict in what is believed to be the largest dental malpractice verdict ever obtained in St. Louis County.  The plaintiff, Christina Bojorquez, is a member of the U.S. Navy who now suffers from a voice disorder after her tongue was cut by a dental drill.

On October 12, 2012, Christina was being seen by Dr. Thomas O’Keeffe, a dentist in North St. Louis County to have a tooth prepared to accept a crown.  At that time, Dr. O’Keeffe was using a handheld dental drill to taper the edges of Ms. Bojorquez’s tooth.  During the course of this procedure he allowed the dental drill to strike the side of Ms. Bojorquez’s tongue, causing a 1.5-centimeter laceration. After cutting her tongue, O’Keefe, referred Ms. Bojorquez to an oral surgeon — but not until after she returned to his office upon noticing the damages while looking in her car’s rear view mirror.

While preparing the case, Mr. Boock was able to obtain testimony from Ms. Bojorquez’s treating physician and speech therapist that the laceration had likely caused a partial injury to her 12th cranial nerve which controls the movement of the tongue.  Ms. Bojorquez’s treating physician further testified that this partial nerve damage caused her inability to articulate clearly and that the damage was permanent.  The insurer for the defendant refused to make any offer to settle the claim prior to trial.

After a five-day trial in mid-January, the jury sided with Ms. Bojorquez and awarded her $2,500,000 in damages.  The award consists of $2 million for future non-economic damages and $500,000 for past non-economic damages.  No claim was submitted for either lost wages or medical bills.

Rossiter & Boock, LLC is a St. Louis-based law firm specializing in fiduciary litigation (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury litigation (medical malpractice, product defects and automobile accidents).  With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service.  Learn more at www.rossiterboock.com.

Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Help Secure Over $47 Million Settlement in Boiler Explosion Cases

Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Help Secure Over $47 Million Settlement in Boiler Explosion Cases

Rossiter & Boock Partner Jamie Boock, along with other attorneys from the firm, represented plaintiffs in a case where a boiler exploded in downtown St. Louis, killing 4 people and injuring several others.  Jamie Boock, along with other plaintiff’s attorneys, worked on the matter for two years, preparing it for trial, which was originally set for August 2019.  Jamie’s work on the case was instrumental in securing a consolidated settlement worth more than $47 million just weeks before the trial was set to start.

On April 3, 2017, a 3,000-pound, pressurized steam container violently exploded at the Loy-Lange Box Company  facility on Russell Avenue.  The container flew 500 feet through the air before crash landing into the Faultless Linen facility.  One person was killed and two were injured at Loy-Lange, while three more were killed and another injured at Faultless Linen.

Lawsuits filed by those injured and the families of those killed were consolidated for an August 2019 trial before Judge Michael Noble in St. Louis.  A two-day mediation was conducted by retired Judge Glenn Norton on June 6 and 7.  During mediation, the plaintiffs reached settlements with Kickham Boiler and Engineering, Chicago Boiler Company, Aquacomp Water Treatment Services, Loy-Lange, and Arise Incorporated.  Following mediation, the plaintiffs also settled with Clayton Industries.  The total amount of the settlements is slightly over $47 million.  Click  to view local media coverage of the settlement announcement and the initial explosion.

According to the attorneys for the Plaintiffs, this tragedy resulted from a prolonged series of errors by the various defendants in the case, beginning with the failure by the designer and manufacturer to include a corrosion allowance on the pressure vessel.  Thereafter, inadequate water chemistry treatment, blowdowns to remove sediment, and inspections by the vessel’s owner and outside consultants during the life of the vessel led to excessive corrosion. Additionally, a deficient repair of the leaking vessel four years earlier by an outside company left defective, corroded material in place.

Several plaintiff’s attorneys who worked on the case spoke to the media  after the settlement was announced.  They reiterated that while the large settlement cannot reverse the tragic events of that day, it can help victims and their loved ones move forward in the recovery process.  Additionally, they feel the large settlement serves as a signal to other companies and governmental safety regulators that these types of boiler systems must be designed, manufactured, inspected and maintained to exacting standards, in order to prevent another tragedy like this.

“Some cases drag on for years and years, but this case didn’t.  Yes, this was a very complex case.  But good lawyers on both sides worked together.  It took tremendous coordination and cooperation from the plaintiff’s attorneys and the defense attorneys in order to gather evidence and expert testimony.   Ultimately, it was settled quickly with the best possible outcome for the victims and their families.” – Matthew J. Rossiter, Partner with Rossiter & Boock, LLC. Click here to view the complete interview with some of the attorneys involved in the case.

Rossiter & Boock is a St. Louis-based trial law firm specializing in fiduciary law (trust contests, breach of fiduciary duty, related disputes and administration), business litigation and personal injury matters (including medical malpractice, product defects and motor vehicle accidents).  With nine full time attorneys and a robust support staff, the firm has the capacity to handle even the most complex legal matters with efficiency and personal service.   To learn more about the firm, go to www.rossiterboock.com.

Jamie Boock Obtains $940,800 Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

Partner Jamie Boock Obtains $940,800 Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

In December 2018, a St. Charles County jury returned a verdict in favor of Rossiter & Boock client Nancy Graham on her claim for medical malpractice against Dr. Subbaro Polineni, a hand, and upper extremity specialist.

Partner Jamie Boock represented Ms. Graham in her claim.   Mr. Boock argued Dr. Polineni was negligent when he ordered a third upper arteriogram for Ms. Graham in July 2014 for further evaluation of her prior diagnosis of Raynaud’s Phenomenon. During the third arteriogram, which was performed at Barnes-Jewish Hospital-St. Peters, the client suffered a stroke, which is a known, but rare complication of the procedure.   The stroke left Ms. Graham with permanent left-side weakness and mild cognitive deficits that prevented her from returning to her job as a flight attendant.

Mr. Boock argued the arteriogram was medically unnecessary as his client had previously been diagnosed by Dr. Polineni with Raynaud’s Phenomenon in September 2003 and additional arteriograms provided no additional information with regard to the treatment or evaluation of her condition. As such, since the arteriogram was an invasive study that carried with it a risk of harm, Mr. Boock argued it should not have been performed as any progression of her disease could have and should have been evaluated clinically based upon her signs and symptoms or utilizing safer, non-invasive studies such as Doppler Ultrasound.
The defendant argued that it was appropriate to order the third arteriogram as it had been five years since the prior study and eleven years since the first arteriogram had been performed. Defendant also argued the study could have been used for pre-operative planning, in the event, Ms. Graham desired to undergo a digital sympathectomy to surgically treat her Raynaud’s. Defendant further argued that the third arteriogram was necessary as Ms. Graham’s complaints had increased significantly prior to the July 2014 office visit. Defendant also argued that the treating radiologist, Dr. Courtois, independently verified that a third arteriogram was appropriate under the circumstances or she would not have performed the procedure given its risks. Finally, the Defendant argued that any cognitive deficits Plaintiff was left with were the result of depression as opposed to a neurological injury due to the stroke.
In response, Mr. Boock argued at trial that Dr. Polineni was unfamiliar with the medical management of a patient with Raynaud’s as ninety-five percent of his patients were sent to him for surgery. Plaintiff further argued that Dr. Courtois did not make an independent judgment as to the appropriateness of the procedure as she assumed the ordering physician had a valid reason for ordering the study.
In trial closing, Mr. Boock requested $480,400.00 in past and future economic damages for his client’s lost wages from being unable to return to her position as a flight attendant. He requested an additional $480,400.00 in past and future non-economic damages for her loss of ability to enjoy life and the cognitive deficits she was left with as a result of the stroke. The jury, in a 10-2 decision, awarded these exact amounts for a total verdict for the firm’s client of $940,800.00.

 

Matthew Rossiter Named Super Lawyer

Partner Matthew Rossiter Named Super Lawyer by
Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers Magazine

Rossiter & Boock Partner Matthew Rossiter has been named a 2018 Super Lawyer by Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers magazine. Matt received three Super Lawyer distinctions, including: Top 100 Super Lawyer, Top 50 St. Louis Super Lawyer and Estate & Trial Litigation – Super Lawyer.

Super Lawyer selections comprise the top 5% of attorneys and are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. This is the sixth consecutive year Matt Rossiter has been recognized by the Super Lawyers selection committee.
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase process that combines peer nomination, peer evaluation, and independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 key indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. After a candidate is evaluated through each phase of the process, a credentialed blue-ribbon panel of attorneys then makes the final Super Lawyer selections. In 2013, the Super Lawyers selection process was patented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. This distinction is relevant to both attorneys and consumers, as it further demonstrates credibility as an independent, third-party rating system.

Rossiter & Boock Attorneys Attend ALI CLE Seminar

Rossiter & Boock Partner, Matthew Rossiter, along with attorneys Timothy Lemen and Maxwell Murtaugh recently attended an American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education seminar entitled, “Representing Trustees and Beneficiaries”.

The seminar provides attorneys specializing in fiduciary litigation, estate and trust law with expert insight, as well as clarification on recent case law and legislation.  After attending this seminar, Matt, Tim and Max are armed with practical strategies to help them better serve their clients’ needs.  This is the fourth year Matt Rossiter and Tim Lemen have attended this seminar and the third year Max Murtaugh has attended.

The American Legal Institute is the premier national provider of high-level Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and offers an array of programming featuring the country’s most respected law practitioners.

Matthew Rossiter and Jamie Boock Obtain Verdict of $8,169,512.84 for Family Involved in Fatal Car Accident

A Washington State family obtained a verdict of $8,169,512.84 in their favor from a jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, nearly 12 years after the event giving rise to their initial claims.

On August 21, 2005 the family of six was traveling cross-country from Washington to New York state. At that time, a portion of Interstate 24 in Illinois was being re-paved by E.T. Simonds Construction Company of Carbondale, Illinois, and Southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc. of Marion, Illinois. While traveling through the construction zone, the family’s vehicle left the roadway and rolled several times. Aleksey Turubchuk was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries. Irina Turubchuk sustained physical injuries that required she be transferred via helicopter to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where she underwent twenty-four surgical procedures, nearly losing her right arm. The remaining four occupants, including two minors, sustained serious mental and physical injuries as well.

In March 2007 the family filed a Complaint in the Southern District of Illinois against E.T. Simonds Construction Company and Southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc. under Cause No. 3:07-cv-00216 alleging failure to erect appropriate barricades, creation of an unreasonably dangerous condition, and failure to warn. The defendants were represented in that matter by Richard Green of Feirich, Mager, Green, Ryan in Carbondale, Illinois. In the 2007 case the defendants claimed they were operating as a joint venture at the time of the rollover incident. On May 15, 2007 Green served Rule 26 Initial Disclosures on behalf of the Defendants pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)(iv) listing a single policy of insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 from Bituminous Casualty Insurance Company that insured the supposed joint
venture.

Following service of the Rule 26 disclosures, the parties agreed to settle the claims at issue in exchange for the policy limits of the Bituminous policy. The settlement was approved in the Southern District of Illinois on February 20, 2008. At no point between serving the Rule 26 Initial Disclosures and approval of the settlement did the defendants supplement their disclosures regarding insurance coverage.

In May 2012 the family filed a new Complaint in the Southern District of Illinois against E.T. Simonds Construction Company and Southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc. In this case, the Plaintiffs alleged Defendants negligently misrepresented the actual amount of insurance coverage available that may have been liable to satisfy all or part of a possible judgment in the 2007 action. E.T. Simonds Construction Company was represented in the 2012 action by William Knapp and Mark Dinsmore of Knapp, Ohl, and Green in Edwardsville, Illinois. Southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc. was represented by Charles Schmidt and Megan Orso
of Brandon and Schmidt in Carbondale, Illinois. Discovery in this new case revealed that while the defendants were insured as a “joint venture” in the amount of $1,000,000 at the time of the 2005 incident, the parties were also insured individually, collectively, for an additional $65,000,000 which was never disclosed to the Plaintiffs.

Judge Staci Yandle’s rulings prior to the March 19, 2018 trial date for the case filed in 2012 established the Defendants were in fact not operating as a joint venture in 2005 under Illinois law. Judge Yandle further ruled as a matter of law the defendants negligently violated Rule 26 when they disclosed only a singly policy of insurance in the amount $1,000,000 in the 2007 lawsuit. In addition, the pre-trial rulings established the Defendants were responsible for the negligent acts of their attorney, Richard Green, and the Plaintiffs were justified in their reliance on the trust of the Initial Disclosures in 2007.

At trial, Plaintiffs’ attorneys Jamie Boock and Matt Rossiter were tasked with proving the false statements were made with the intent to induce the Plaintiffs to settle the 2007 lawsuit for the sum of $1,000,000, and that the Plaintiffs suffered damages as a result of their reliance. The Plaintiffs reached a settlement agreement with E.T. Simonds Construction company on the day of trial prior to commencement, and proceeded against southern Illinois Asphalt Company, Inc. only. The Plaintiffs presented expert testimony from their attorney in the 2007 case regarding conversations he had with Richard Green regarding the available insurance and Green’s insistence that he would file his Rule 26 Disclosures almost 45 days before they were due in order to prove to Plaintiffs that only $1,000,000 were available in insurance coverage. In support of their damages argument, the Plaintiffs presented a demand letter prepared by their attorney in May 2007. This 15-page correspondence provided an analysis of the 2005 crash, the scene
where it occurred, and the liability in that case. It also provided a comprehensive calculation of the Plaintiffs’ injuries and damages sustained as a result of the rollover incident, claiming total damages in the amount of $8,169,512.84. The Plaintiffs’ expert testified that although Plaintiffs’ damages far exceeded $1,000,000, they settled for that amount because they believed it was the only insurance coverage available that applied to their case.

During closing, Jamie Boock argued Plaintiffs’ damages were the number their attorney had calculated in his 2007 demand letter. If the proper steps had been taken pursuant to Rule 26, he reasoned, the Plaintiffs would have had no incentive to settle their claim in the 2007 case.
After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in Plaintiffs’ favor in the exact amount requested.

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