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Personal Injury Lawyer Case Studies

Cases and Results

The results listed are for cases handled by Gloria Seidule over the last 30 years. The amounts are gross settlements and verdicts without adjustment for attorney’s fees, costs and liens. Missing names and amounts are the result of requests for anonymity. These results are intended to educate you about the types of cases in which Gloria Seidule has experience in litigating and the outcomes of those cases. Every case is different, and you may not obtain the same or similar result on your case.
Wrong Side Implant Concealed by Hospital and Doctor

Susan Smith ( not actual name) needed a total knee replacement in her left knee. During surgery, the physician and the medical device salesman negligently put a right knee implant into Susan’s left knee. The hospital staff, physician and medical device representative discovered the error while Susan was in the recovery room but conspired to keep the error a secret from the patient. Susan hired Gloria Seidule without knowing the health care providers had concealed the error. Ms. Seidule discovered the cover-up during litigation leading to a settlement to compensate her client for her permanent injuries.

In litigation, Ms Seidule found that shortly after the surgery, Susan had severe problems with her knee caused by the wrong side implant in her knee. The physician recommended another surgery to her intentionally failing to disclose why she needed the second surgery. During the second surgery, the surgeon attempted to remove the knee implant without informing his patient in an effort to cover-up his error. This surgery failed, and Susan was still unable to walk or use her knee without knowing why the implant had failed. Hospital staff, the surgeon and the medical device salesman still had not informed the patient of this egregious error.  Finally, the surgeon told Susan that he had placed the wrong implant into her knee. Susan was eventually transferred to another hospital with another surgeon who resumed her care and performed another surgery. Unfortunately, due to this negligence, Susan will have to use a walker for the rest of her life.

Ms. Seidule found that the hospital failed to use a time-out procedure before cementing the implant onto plaintiff’s leg. This time-out procedure requires all people in the operating room take a time-out to confirm the correct implant was being used.  Ms. Seidule also discovered the surgeon had been previously disciplined in another state for failing to accurately document the medical records of his patient. Ms. Seidule also alleged the hospital failed to take correct action when it learned of the surgical error allowing the patient to undergo surgery without being informed of this terrible medical error.

The case was amicably settled before trial and is confidential.  Susan will never be able to repair her knee, but the settlement will allow her to pay for future care, medical needs and compensate her for having to live the rest of her life without a functioning knee.

Slip and Fall Injury Walmart Law Suit Victory in Port St Lucie
Slip and Fall Injury $1.5 Million Dollar Jury Verdict and Attorney Fee Recovery

Gloria Seidule won a $1,287,144 Slip and Fall Injury law suit against Walmart in a negligent maintenance and assembly case against Walmart on February 7, 2013.  Walmart appealed and lost. In addition to the jury verdict, Gloria Seidule’s client recovered attorney’s fees, costs and interest for a total recovery of $1,548,297.73. The jury found Walmart negligently assembled and maintained a Gatorade sign that had fallen to the floor causing Tom Papakalodoukas, age 41, to violently fall to the ground tearing his biceps tendon in his right dominant arm.

Case Evidence

The evidence showed Walmart discarded the display sign after the fall even though it knew from store surveillance the display was the reason the sign fell causing serious injury to their customer.  Walmart then defended the case claiming the display had been properly assembled and maintained.  Walmart then blamed Gatorade for providing plastic screws that could easily brake to attach the sign to the display.

Attorney Gloria Seidule countered Walmart’s defense by presenting evidence, provided by the national Gatorade headquarters in Dallas, Texas, that if assembled properly, in accordance with Gatorade directions, the sign could not have fallen to the ground.  If the screws broke or came loose, it was Walmart’s duty to maintain the sign to ensure the safety of their customers.

Due to Walmart’s failure to preserve the Gatorade display, the Court instructed the jury that it could infer negligence if it found the incident would not normally happen absent negligence and the display was in the exclusive control of Walmart.

Jury Deliberation in Walmart Slip and Fall Injury Case

The Jury deliberated 4 hours and found Walmart 90% at fault for the severe injuries of its customer. Mr. Papakalodoukas has endured three major surgeries in two years due to the negligence of Wal-Mart. During the final surgery, doctors inserted a cadaver achilles tendon into his arm to assist in restoring strength optimal function.

Walmart hired Dr. Zeide, an orthopedist commonly hired by Walmart and other defendants on the Treasure  Coast,  to opine Mr. Papakalodoukas was not injured in the violent fall, and that all of his surgeries were due to an existing disease.  Dr. Zeide has never seen the patient, nor did he know what his current condition was. Instead, Dr. Zeide based his opinion on medical records of other doctors from the past. However, when cross-examined, Dr Zeide admitted Mr. Papakalodoukas did not have any tendon or shoulder pain before the fall and that the pain started after the fall. Dr. Zeide admitted he was no longer a surgeon even though the first line on his resume states “Orthopedic Surgery”.  Dr. Zeide offered an opinion Mr. Papakalodoukas could work, even though the patient’s own treating surgeon had not yet cleared him for work.

 Mr. Papakalodoukas has been left with a lifelong defect called a “popeye deformity,” which is a malformed right bulging bicep tendon that creates abnormal bulges on his arm.  Due to this fact, he has not been able to return to his former work as a beverage distribution manager.      

Walmart Found Responsible for this Injury

Through the efforts of Gloria Seidule, her client received a 1.287 million dollar verdict after the jury found Walmart was responsible for failing to keep its store clean and safe for its customers. Walmart denied liability and blamed her client for his injury. She was able to prove that Walmart failed to preserve evidence and was at fault for the sign falling to the floor causing very serious injuries to her client.

If you've been injured in a slip and fall injury call The Law Off of Gloria Seidule for a free consultation and case evaluation.

Pharmacy Negligence - Multiple Clients Blinded by Eye Injections

A local eye doctor was indicted for Medicare fraud for falsely diagnosing patients and injecting their eyes for no reason. The doctor would then bill Medicare for treatment that was unnecessary, resulting in $105 million in Medicare payments of mostly fraudulent billing.  As part of this horrendous scheme, the doctor purchased vials of medication that were meant for single usage, shipped them to a “pharmacy”, paid the pharmacy to separate the vials into multiple vials against the manufacturer’s recommendations, and charge Medicare for each vial at a single dosage price.  In the process of carrying out this fraud, approximately 40 patients received injections from vials that had become contaminated at the pharmacy. Gloria Seidule represented multiple patients who lost their eyesight due to infections. The case was rapidly resolved after intensive research into the doctor’s scheme and the pharmacy’s negligence in repackaging the vials.  

Medicare fraud is usually only the tip of the iceberg when it relates to negligence. GloriaLaw is seeing more and more medical fraud cases that have malpractice underlying the fraudulent schemes.  Unfortunately, the Florida State Department of Health allows doctors to continuing practicing medicine after they have been convicted of fraud.  The only way to regulate them is to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Gloria Seidule is committed to justice against doctors and hospitals who are guilty of fraud and malpractice. The time to bring your case is limited, so do not delay in calling if you believe you have been the victim of one of these fraudulent schemes, medical malpractice, or pharmaceutical negligence.

14 Year Old Girl Sexually Abused by her English Teacher
School Board Settlement $325,000, Exceeding the Damage Cap

A freshman in a St Lucie County School was repeatedly sexually abused by her English teacher on campus and during school hours. The school district had notice the teacher was acting sexually inappropriately with numerous girls 2 years earlier, but decided to handle the matter internally and deliberately broke Florida law by failing to report  suspected child abuse to the Department of Children and Families and the police. The teacher then became more brazen with his abuse and sexually abused 7 more girls. This time the police were notified by a parent. The school district had already approved the teacher’s “medical leave”. Had the parent not gone directly to the police, the school district would have been able to bury the allegations, and teacher would have been able to transfer to another school to teach without being caught. The teacher was eventually convicted and sentenced to consecutive life sentences. Gloria Seidule obtained evidence proving the school district knew of the sexual abuse and acted with deliberate indifference to the safety of the children in its care.

 

Florida law provides immunity to school districts and caps damages, regardless of the severity, at $200,000. It is extremely rare to get a recovery for a client over this damage cap. However, GloriaLaw successfully presented evidence to support 1983 and Title IX federal causes of action, eliminating the damage caps and obtaining a $325,000 settlement.

 

The client has now graduated high school and is heading to college. She bravely endured a criminal trial and civil litigation to pursue justice so that other children in St Lucie County would not be exposed to sexual predators posing as teachers in the school system.

Assault at a Party with Underage Drinking
Policy Limits Settlement of $300,000

GloriaLaw’s client, a high school student, was invited to a house party with underage drinkers in Palm City, Florida. A partygoer smashed a full bottle of beer across his face.  The young man sustained several facial fractures, and he ultimately required surgery. Additionally, he sustained nerve damage and a hemorrhage in his right eye. This injury delayed his entrance into the Navy.  GloriaLaw obtained a policy limits settlement for this very deserving young man totaling $300,000, allowing him to move forward with his life after graduation from high school. The insurance company initially denied liability, claiming fault on behalf of the client.

Settlement Allows Young Woman to Change Careers Due to Physical Injury
Auto Settlement - Policy Limits

A 28-year old woman was a seatbelted front seat passenger in a vehicle.  The driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer in the road causing the vehicle to go off the road striking a tree.  The dashboard was pushed into the cabin of the vehicle pinning the woman’s right foot causing fractures to her heel and fibula requiring surgery.  At the time of the crash, the client was about to embark on a new career which had to be delayed due to her injuries. Gloria Seidule recovered insurance policy limits for her client. Her settlement allowed her to change careers to a less physically demanding job.

Auto Accident Defendant Evading Service and Denying Liability
Policy Limits Settlement of $400,000

A husband and wife were traveling east on St. Lucie West Boulevard when an offending driver who was traveling west in a straight lane made a last minute decision to make a left hand turn resulting in a serious crash with our client’s vehicle.  Both vehicles were totaled.  The clients sustained multiple serious injuries with the husband requiring back surgery.  The insurance company for the at fault driver, as well as the clients own uninsured motorist carrier, refused to cooperate by fairly evaluating the case so the clients were forced into litigation.  The at fault driver dodged service of process causing a delay in moving the case forward. Once served, the at fault driver denied liability by claiming he unexpectedly passed out at the wheel. Gloria Seidule  proved he was at fault through discovery and depositions forcing a  policy limit settlement for her clients totaling $400,000. 

Spinal Infection Missed by Hospital leading to Paralysis
Confidential settlement amount

Sarah (not actual name) hired Gloria Seidule after she became paralyzed while hospitalized for pain in her back.  The nurses ignored her complaints of pain and failed to notify the doctors of her change in condition.  Eventually, her feet started going numb, and the progression of paralysis started without any intervention by hospital staff. By the time a neurosurgeon was notified, she was paralyzed from the waist down.

 

Gloria Seidule has handled many paralysis cases in her career. The overriding theme in all of these cases is the health care provider’s failure to quickly recognize the initial signs of paralysis, failure to order immediate diagnostic MRI’s and perform emergency surgery.  Often the physicians wait until the paralysis is complete, resulting in loss of bowel and bladder control. This is medical negligence. The proper action is to operate before complete paralysis in order to preserve function. 

 

Sarah’s case was settled prior to trial in a confidential settlement.  The recovery will compensate her for the rest of her life. Although her paralysis cannot be cured, her settlement will assist her in the future.

Bodily Injury-Uninsured Motorist I-595 Crash, Facial Surgery
Insurance Policy Limits Settlement

A 45-year old woman was a seatbelted driver traveling West on I-595 in the inside center lane at 11pm.  A vehicle traveling in the outside lane suddenly swerved to the left making impact with the right side of the client’s vehicle.  The at fault driver then swerved to the right and immediately back to the left again making contact a second time with the client’s vehicle causing her to strike the concrete barrier wall.  The at fault driver fled the scene.  A witness followed and was able to get the tag number.  The at fault driver was located and charged with a second degree felony for leaving the scene of a crash with serious bodily injury.  The client sustained multiple facial injuries which required surgery.  Gloria Seidule was successful in getting the full policy limits from both insurance companies for the client, who now has recovered from this traumatic interstate accident.

Woman Jumps Out of Car to Avoid Truck Backing Over Her Vehicle and Crushing Her
Insurance Company Denies Fault and Later Settles After Extensive Discovery

A middle-aged woman was driving behind a commercial flat-bed truck with a forklift attachment.  The truck stopped on a residential street and backed up over the client’s car. Although our client used her car horn, he continued backing up and the forklift went on top of her car hood and shattered her windshield.  At rest, the wheel of the forklift was inside the driver’s compartment of her car.  The woman had to quickly remove her seatbelt and jump out of her car on the passenger side to avoid being struck by the forklift.  She sustained injuries to multiple body parts, and she had lumbar surgery.  Incredibly, the insurance company denied liability for the crash and blamed the client for the accident, claiming she pulled up too close and should have known the truck was going to back up. After extensive video work, reenactment and depositions, the insurance company finally settled the case.

A Young Man Survives a Traumatic Car Accident Injury
Car Accident Injury Policy Limits Settlement of $200,000

A young man sustained a severe car accident Injury where another party ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of him causing a shocking crash that deployed his airbags totalling his car.  The man did not have any pre-existing injuries and after the accident he sustained serious injuries to multiple body parts.  He had to undergo months of medical treatment and even after that he continued to suffer from daily pain.  The man graduated from college after the crash, and the accident caused him great difficulty with his new job that required physical labor.  The Law Office of Gloria Seidule secured a $200,000 policy limits settlement for this man, with half of the settlement coming from his own auto insurance and the other half coming from the at fault party’s auto insurance.

If you are in need of a car accident injury lawyer please call The Law Office of Gloria Seidule for your free car accident injury case evaluation and consultation.

Sexual Assault in Laser Tag Game at Superplay

Four young girls, ages 12 and 15, went to Superplay, an amusement center offering bowling, mini-golf, laser tag and many other activities.  The girls entered the laser tag game played in a dark room.  An employee also allowed a group of young, teenaged boys who were there on a sponsored trip with a youth violence prevention program with the City of West Palm Beach.  While playing, the girls were repeatedly sexually assaulted and falsely imprisoned by the boys inside the laser tag room. This left them with psychological scarring which required counseling. Superplay initially denied responsibility for the assault. Gloria Seidule brought suit against  Superplay and The City of West Palm Beach alleging negligence in the operation of the laser tag game and by failing to have adequate supervision during the game. GloriaLaw reached a settlement for each of the girls.

Homeowner Settlement for Failure to Stop Martial Arts Sparring in Her Home Resulting in Injury

A young petite woman, fit and trained in the martial arts attended a party at a friend’s house.  A male partygoer encouraged her to take part in a martial arts maneuver with him.  During the maneuver, the client was violently thrown to the ground fracturing her spine causing severe neurological injuries and requiring surgery. Gloria Seidule brought suit against the homeowner for failing to stop this dangerous activity on her property. She alleged the homeowner looked on while the demonstration was unfolding yet did nothing to stop it. The homeowner tried to hide insurance coverage, but GloriaLaw uncovered the insurance. Through investigation, the insurance company was located. Suit was filed against the homeowner and the male partygoer.  The insurance company settled after initially denying liability.

Gloria Seidule Uncovers Additional Uninsured Motorist Coverage

A 50-year-old man was driving with a green light when a minor driver improperly crossed into his lane and hit him head on.  The minor driver was charged with driving in the wrong direction on a one-way road.  The man sustained injuries to several body parts and has multiple surgical recommendations.  GloriaLaw is currently pursuing this case and has recently uncovered additional coverage through his Uninsured Motorist carrier by means of analyzing the prior declarations pages from his auto insurance company.  Due to the severity of this man’s injuries, the additional coverage will certainly be useful as he is continuing to treat with multiple physicians and may require more invasive treatment options in the near future.

Why are Settlements Confidential?
There are many chances to settle a case without having to go to trial. If a settlement is reached, typically the Defendant insists upon a Confidentiality Agreement. These agreements prevent anyone associated with the case from disclosing the terms and/or amount of the settlement. Obviously, the Defendant prefers the settlement to be confidential in order the prevent the facts of the case from becoming public and to keep secret the amount that was paid. Plaintiffs often do not care if the settlement if confidential, as it protects their privacy rights, and they are willing to keep the settlement amount secret in order to settle the case.

A case can be settled pre-suit with the insurance company without having to file a Complaint and proceeding into litigation. Typically, these settlements are not confidential.  If the case cannot settle without a lawsuit, then the Complaint is filed in Court and the case is litigated. The facts of the case become open to the public because the United States Constitution requires litigation and trials to be public record.  

Once the case is in litigation, there is another chance to settle. This is in Mediation, a confidential process that is non-binding but required before the case goes to jury trial. If the case settles in Mediation, the facts of the case are public but the terms and amount of the settlement can be agreed by the parties to be confidential as part of the Settlement Agreement.

If the case does not settle then the case proceeds to jury trial and verdict.  This verdict cannot be confidential and is public record. Anyone can attend the trial and observe the proceedings. This is part of our constitutional framework to protect the integrity of our jury system.