CLASS ACTION AND MASS TORT
Partner Mike Eidson was appointed national lead co-counsel in the Ford-Firestone multidistrict litigation in Indianapolis, Indiana. To date, Eidson has handled more than 40 accident cases involving Firestone tires for more than 200 claimants. He was involved in the 2008 class action against Ford Motor Co., which claimed that the Ford Explorer was too susceptible to rollover damage which could cause serious personal injury. All of the claims were settled out of court.
$100 Million Recovery for Grave Desecration
Our class action team achieved a $100 million settlement from Service Corporation International (SCI), a national funeral company, and its subsidiary, Menorah Gardens Cemetery. The case alleged that the companies buried families in the wrong graves, and the company agreed to compensate for the families’ grievances and provide in-kind services. Partner Julie Braman Kane managed the personal relationships with the more than 15,000 class members.
Recovery for Front End Design Defect
Partner Curtis Miner obtained a settlement with an auto company over a design defect. The members of the class action claimed that a defect in the car’s front-end suspension design was responsible for premature degradation of the tires and excessive noise. The class members received appropriate compensation and the auto company completely redesigned the tires.
Premium Sales, Largest Mass Fraud Case in South Florida
Our team settled the largest mass fraud case that South Florida had ever seen for $170 million. The case involved a lawsuit against Premium Sales.
Monumental BP Gulf Oil Spill Settlement
In 2010, one of our partners was selected by Federal Judge Carl Barbier of the Eastern District of Louisiana among 300 highly qualified applicants to sit on the Plaintiff Steering Committee (PSC) in the multidistrict litigation surrounding the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill.
As part of the PSC, Colson Hicks Eidsonwas instrumental in securing a monumental settlement in March 2012 between BP and hundreds of thousands of victims of the 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill.
Under the terms of the settlement, which was approved by Judge Barbier in December 2012, BP is obligated to fully satisfy all eligible business and individual claims. BP estimated the value of the settlement at $7.8 billion, but there is no limit and all claimants’ damages that qualify under the terms of the agreement will be fully compensated. The settlement is broken down into two parts: The Economic and Property Damages Settlement and The Medical Benefits Settlement. The settlement will compensate class members for medical bills, damaged property and other economic losses.
In 2009, one of our partners was selected by Federal Judge Eldon Fallon to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Chinese drywall multidistrict litigation, representing hundreds of homeowners who were victims of high-sulfur Chinese drywall linked to odor and metal corrosion in new home construction. He was one of 15 lawyers selected to the PSC.
We have recovered multiple awards from those affected by the defective Chinese drywall, including:
- $2.5 million verdict for a Miami couple in the first such case in the nation. A jury ruled that Banner Supply Company sold drywall knowing that it had serious defects, and that it had a secret agreement with Knauf Plasterboard Tianjian, a manufacturer, to keep knowledge of the defect from others.
- $55 million settlement for a class of Florida homeowners affected by the defective drywall.
- $600 million to $1 billion global settlement for homeowners nationwide.
Florida personal injury attorneys and partners Dean Colson, Mike Eidson, Roberto Martínez and Enid Duany Mendoza procured some of the largest amounts of injury compensation for victims of aviation negligence in South America’s history. The attorneys represented 42 families who lost loved ones in the crash of an AeroPeru Boeing 757 near Peru. The plane crash arbitration reached its conclusion in Chile.
The firm represented 18 families of the 154 victims of Gol Flight 1907 who were killed September 30, 2006 in a midair collision over the Brazilian rainforest. A collision-avoidance system on the jet was not operating at the time, according to U.S. and Brazilian investigators.
A Boeing 737-300 operated by Indonesia’s Adam Air crashed in January 2007 killing 102 people. The firm played an active role in investigating safety violations by the budget carrier and handled litigation on behalf of the victims’ families.
On November 30, 2004, Lion Air Flight 538 made a crash landing in Solo City, Indonesia, killing 23 of 146 passengers, the captain and a flight attendant. The firm settled the case on behalf of family members whose loved ones were involved in the crash in Chicago, Illinois.
American Airlines Flight 587
On November 12, 2001, an Airbus 300, operated by American Airlines, crashed shortly after takeoff in Belle Harbor, New York, killing all those aboard. The firm represented several families who lost loved ones on the plane, and worked with a foundation in Bani, Dominican Republic, to construct a memorial park in memory of those who died in this tragic accident.
Kenya Airlines 737 in Cameroon
Colson Hicks Eidson represented many families who lost loved ones in an accident involving a Boeing 737 operated by Kenya Airlines, which crashed shortly after takeoff from Douala Airport in Cameroon in 2007.
ValuJet Flight 592
Partner Mike Eidson represented families in the accident that occurred when the airplane crashed into the Everglades on May 11, 1996, shortly after leaving Miami International Airport, killing all aboard.
Chalks Ocean Airways Seaplane Crash
The firm represented four families whose loved ones were killed in the tragic crash of a Chalks Ocean Airways seaplane on December 19, 2005, shortly after takeoff in Miami en route to Bimini.
Brothers to the Rescue
Partner Roberto Martínez served as co-lead counsel in the litigation against the Government of Cuba in the murders of four men shot down by the Cuban Air Force while flying a humanitarian mission for Brothers to the Rescue. That litigation resulted in a $188 million judgment in Miami federal court against the Cuban Government. After the 2001 passage of two laws through Congress, the victims recovered approximately $100 million from assets of the Cuban Government frozen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Air National Guardsman
In 2007, Partner Roberto Martínez represented the family of a former Air National Guard member who flew over the Bay of Pigs in 1961. A judge awarded a $22 million judgment, and the family was able to collect that judgment from frozen Cuban assets.
$325 Million Arbitration Case in Latin America
Our client, a media owner in Latin America, received a $325 million award through arbitration. He owned a large share in a sizable business venture, and the majority owner was accused of fraud in the manner that he sold the business. As part of the arbitration, our client received his share of the business sale and all litigation was dismissed.
$19 Million Judgment against the Government of Aruba
Partner Roberto Martínez and his team settled a case for $19 million. Our client, racecar promotor Ralph Sanchez, sued the Aruban government for issues involving the construction of a racetrack that was never completed.
$9 Million Award against Big 4 Accounting Firm
Partner Roberto Martínez secured an arbitration award worth $9 million. Our clients argued that one of the “Big 4” accounting firms failed to provide competent services, resulting in substantial losses.
$1.5 Million Landmark Verdict in Pathologist Case
We represented Florida Pathology Services in a “landmark case” for the nation’s health plans. We argued, and a jury agreed, that the Health Options plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida withheld payments to pathologists for several years. There are several similar lawsuits currently in progress involving roughly $25 million worth of losses.
$60.9 Million Verdict for Brain-Injured Baby
Led by partner Deborah J. Gander, the firm in 2005 obtained $60.9 million in injury compensation, the largest amount ever awarded in a Federal Tort Claims Act case in the country. Federal Judge Jose A. Gonzalez found the Obstetrics Clinic in Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida, liable for medical negligence in the delivery of a brain-injured baby and awarded damages to the boy and his parents, Raiza Bravo and U.S. Navy Serviceman Oscar Rodriguez.
One of the Largest Malpractice Recoveries in Pinellas County History
Our client, a child who sustained a severe brain injury due to medical malpractice, received what is believed to be the largest amount ever received by a single person in the history of Pinellas County, Florida. The settlement amount and case details are confidential. Joseph Kalbac acted as counsel.
Negligent Treatment Following Routine Tonsillectomy
Partner Joseph Kalbac represented a family who lost their teenage daughter following a tonsillectomy when she bled to death the day following the surgery due to mistakes made both during the surgery itself and in failing to diagnose and treat a bleeding problem as the result of the surgery. The case was settled for a confidential amount the first day of the trial in Orlando, Florida.
Misdiagnosis Malpractice Case
Partner Deborah J. Gander represented a South Florida fisherman suffering from a marine bacterial infection who was repeatedly misdiagnosed over a 22-month period. The plaintiff required prolonged hospital and rehabilitation treatment, incurring medical expenses in excess of $700,000. The case against a clinic and consulting rheumatologist was settled in May 2007.
Inadequate Care for Nursing Home Patient
An elderly nursing home patient died two years after first noticing a swelling on his penis. The nursing home failed to follow up on his complaints for a full year, until a growing cancerous tumor had to be removed. Deborah J. Gander represented the estate in a case involving violations of Florida’s nursing home statute that was settled in 2006.
PRODUCT AND PREMISES LIABILITY
Partner Mike Eidson was appointed in 2000 to serve as national lead co-counsel in the Ford-Firestone multidistrict litigation in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the years since, he has represented many victims of defective component accidents, namely cases involving Firestone tires losing their tread and causing Ford Explorers to rollover. So far, he has helped more than 200 victims of 40 different accidents around the world reach favorable settlements for their injuries and losses.
$17 Million Verdict against Ford Econoline
In 2001, Mike Eidson obtained a $17 million jury verdict in a Miami state court against Ford in a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of the faulty installation of a tire valve stem.
$6 Million Verdict against Ford Aerostar
In 2007, Deborah J. Gander obtained a $6 million verdict against Ford in a personal injury case arising out of injuries received when the roof of a Ford Aerostar 15 passenger van failed in an accident.
Partners Mike Eidson and Julie Braman Kane resolved significant litigation arising from the catastrophic failure of aging tires. Aging impacts tires dramatically, without regard to miles driven, and the firm continues to address this important safety issue in products liability litigation.
The firm has handled more than 100 cases involving many other car models and consumer products, including defective door latches, restraint systems, fuel systems and lack of crashworthiness, among other defects.
The firm has been and remains involved in dozens of cases involving pharmaceutical products.
$38.3 Million Verdict against McKesson Medication, LLC and Local Neurosurgeon
Partners Julie Braman Kane and Joseph Kalbac secured a $38.3 million verdict on behalf of their client, a former Miami Beach emergency room nurse who suffered a debilitating condition after undergoing surgery for a repair of a spinal fluid leak. The neurosurgeon injected the plaintiff’s intrathecal space with Methylene Blue, a drug product the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned was contraindicated for intraspinal injection. The warnings were eliminated from the operating room and thus unavailable to the surgeon. In 2009, a Miami-Dade jury found the defendants, McKesson Medication, LLC and the local neurosurgeon, negligent and at fault for damages.
A $65 Million Bus Shelter Electrocution Verdict
Roberto Martínez represented the family of a 12-year-old boy who suffered a fatal electrocution injury. He was waiting outside a bus stop where he was electrocuted due to substandard electrical work. The jury awarded our client $65.1 million in injury compensation after deciding that Eller Media was responsible for the Miami bus stop that caused the child’s wrongful death.
$11 Million Policy Limits Settlement
In 2007, we represented two college-age siblings who lost their parents in a gas tanker explosion. The truck in questions was speeding while carrying 9000 gallons of fuel. It lost control, rolled on its side and exploded, incinerating everyone in a nearby car. Deborah J. Gander helped the deceased couple’s children collect the full amount of an $11 million policy limits settlement through mediation.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE
Partners Roberto Martínez and Curtis Miner have been retained by many Fortune 500 companies and their executives for representation in criminal trials and all phases of government investigations, as well as to conduct forensic investigations.
SEC Insider Trading
In December 2010, partner Curtis Miner secured a favorable ruling for his client, a prominent Ft. Lauderdale cardiologist and public servant, in a long-running Securities and Exchange Commission insider trading case. The SEC brought a civil action against Miner’s client alleging he had engaged in insider trading to make nearly $1 million in illegal profits in two separate series of stock purchases related to two publicly held corporations and tipped off his brother and close friend to buy the stock as well. The SEC mounted an aggressive attack during trial, which lasted for 12 days. Finally, after a lengthy bench trial and an investigation that lasted several years, a Federal Court exonerated our client in every aspect in a 60-page document.
Mutual Benefits Corporations
In 2004, Partner Roberto Martínez was appointed the federal receiver of Mutual Benefits Corporation – formerly the nation’s largest viatical settlement company and one of the biggest “Ponzi” schemes in Florida history. The SEC shut down Mutual Benefits for selling unlicensed securities. Colson Hicks Eidson partners Curtis Miner and Julie Braman Kane helped Martínez recover more than $120 million for defrauded investors around the globe.
Jury Awards $3.6 Million to Injured Florida Police Officer Struck By Hit and Run Drunk Driver
In October 2013, Colson Hicks Eidson secured a $3.6 million jury verdict for a Miami police officer injured when he was struck by a drunk driver in a hit and run accident while pursuing an armed robber. Although, thankfully, the officer survived and was able to return to work on a restrictive basis, he sustained extensive injuries and chronic pain to his neck and back, and he experiences persistent numbness in his fingers and hands. The jury amount reflects $2.5 million in pain and suffering damages and an additional $1.1 million for lost past wages, lost future earnings and medical bills. Our attorneys were honored to represent such an upstanding police officer, who nearly gave his life protecting the community when this tragic accident occurred.
$2.5 Million Maritime Verdict for Cruise Ship Employee
In September 2013, our law firm secured a favorable jury verdict in the amount of $2.5 million for their client, who was an employee of Celebrity Cruises. The client had been injured as the result of the cruise line’s negligence, failure to provide a safe environment and failure to provide adequate care. In addition to the verdict of $2.5 million in injury compensation, the jury also awarded $50,000 in attorney fees.
Million Dollar Cruise Ship Negligence Verdict
A 31-year-old man was working as a chef aboard a Celebrity Cruises cruise ship. After experiencing headaches and facial pains, his employers flew him to Santo Domingo for emergency surgery. They implanted a pacemaker, and after the surgery the chef experienced severe pain and had to use a walker. Deborah J. Gander sued the cruise line for ordering unnecessary surgery and claimed that it sent the chef to Santo Domingo to save money on medical treatment. A jury sided with our client and awarded a one million dollar verdict.