Our Clients are the Real Heroes of 2013

Posted by Howard Janet on January 28, 2014 in Firm News

When I think back over the past year, what comes to mind are not memorable cases, but memorable clients – those families and individuals that inspire us to come to work each day. Here are their stories.

Defective shoulder pain pumpsSarah M., a young wife and mother, suffered complete loss of cartilage in her shoulder because she used a defective pain pump after minor shoulder surgery. The medical device left her with pain, bone on bone grinding, and the need for a new shoulder. Just like Verena and Jennifer, she’s stepping forward to make sure defective medical devices don’t hurt anyone else. Partner Rob Jenner took on the medical device industry for Sarah M. and hundreds of others.

Eight-year-old Jordan Long was born severely brain injured as the result of medical malpractice. Because his mother never stopped fighting for him, a Memphis jury delivered a verdict which will care for him for the rest of his life. The hospital has been forced to review its policies to make sure these types of mistakes don’t happen in the future.

Defective vaginal mesh productsVerena O. and Jennifer M. have both had their lives forever changed by defective vaginal mesh implants. The young women are bravely battling through chronic, debilitating pain to join a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Kim Dougherty and Elisha Hawk are heading up litigation for Verena, Jennifer, and other clients against the medical device makers who put the mesh on the market before it was adequately tested. Because of their courage, Verena and Jennifer hope that in the future, medical devices will be thoroughly tested before they are used in patients.

Peggy Pauly and about 700 of her Yerington, Nevada neighbors won a hard fought battle against nearby mining companies accused of rendering water in local wells undrinkable because of toxic pollution. Peggy showed extraordinary courage in her more than 10-year fight against the companies responsible for the pollution, and is truly a local hero. Our legal team brokered the $12.5 million settlement against Atlantic Richfield Co. and BP America on behalf of Peggy and her neighbors.

Pam and Mark Crawford and their son, M.C., took the courageous step in May of filing the first federal civil rights lawsuit in the nation on behalf of children born with intersex conditions. To do so, they had to face scrutiny of the public and the press. As the result of their headline-making lawsuits, the practice of surgically assigning a gender to children before the age of consent may end. Partner Ken Suggs is part of the Crawford’s pro-bono legal team that has already won important judicial rulings.

NECC contaminated steroid shotsWarren Smith contracted spinal meningitis after he received two steroid injections formulated by the New England Compounding Center. Attorney Kim Dougherty, who manages our Boston office, is among lead attorneys who recently secured a preliminary $118 million settlement for victims of the tainted steroids. As a result of the lawsuit, the FDA has proposed stricter oversight of compounding pharmacies to help protect patient safety.

Desirae Gregg was just two-weeks old when her parents took her to an emergency room because they were concerned about her breathing. Because the hospital delayed treatment of a dangerous infection, Desirae developed brain damage. Her parents, Derrick and Yalonda Gregg, never lost hope they could uncover the truth. Partner Giles Manley, MD, JD and Jason Penn secured a $9.5 million verdict for the family in November. Because the Greggs were courageous enough to step forward, the hospital has reviewed its policies to help prevent tragedies like this in the future.

Victims of Dr. Levy of Johns HopkinsFinally, some 12,000 women in Baltimore are pursuing legal action against Johns Hopkins Hospital for extreme violation of privacy and other offenses. I am vice chair of the steering committee heading up this major class action litigation and am proud of the brave women who came forward and exposed a problem that affected thousands.

There are many other clients I could have mentioned. All have dared to come forward about their injuries and fight for the truth and justice that our legal system promises. We are grateful to them and look forward to representing – and winning – for them in 2014 and beyond.

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