Verdicts & Settlements

False Claims Act/Whistleblower/Medicare Fraud

$35,000,000.00

The Plaintiff, known in such cases as a Relator, brought a claim on behalf of the United States against a medical supply company who was allegedly defrauding Medicare by improperly submitting reimbursement claims for various diabetic and nebulizer products.

The United States intervened in the case and, ultimately, the United States was able to recover $35,000,000.00. According to the settlement, the subsidiaries of the manufacturer violated the False Claims Act by not obtaining a signed doctor's order or prescription for the products and without first obtaining and maintaining documentation verifying the necessity of treatment volumes in excess of administrative guidelines and documentation of the actual use of these products. Additionally, the Relators and the government alleged that the companies did not maintain documentary proof of an oral order from the treating physician prior to shipping a product, obtain a written doctor's order or prescription prior to shipping the product or obtain written authority from the beneficiary to bill Medicare on the beneficiary's behalf prior to submitting a bill to Medicare. The settlement also resolved certain administrative violations related to this conduct.

The case also involved complex legal questions concerning a Relator's right to recovery of a portion of the proceeds obtained by the United States and the relationship between co-relators who file separate cases at different times.

Construction Site Accident

$2,910,000.00

The Plaintiff was walking across outrigger planks which extended from scaffolding, at a height of 27 feet. As the Plaintiff stepped on a plank that was laid across the outrigger, it was unsecured on the opposite end, creating a "trap door" effect. With nothing holding the plank in place, it gave way when the Plaintiff stepped on it, and the Plaintiff fell to the concrete sidewalk below.

The Plaintiff advanced a number of claims in connection with the incident, including claims against the general contractor. The Plaintiff additionally made claims against another contractor alleging that the contractor's employees were negligent in laying the planks and creating the "trap door." In order to support the claims, the firm hired four (4) expert witnesses - an engineer, a doctor, a vocational rehabilitation specialist, and an economist. The opinions of these experts were extremely valuable in presenting the seriousness of the Plaintiff's injuries and the full value of his claims.

As a result of his fall, the Plaintiff sustained multiple cervical and thoracic spinal fractures, bilateral comminuted scapular fractures, and bilateral rotator cuff tears. The Plaintiff remained inpatient at Massachusetts General Hospital for a period of approximately two (2) weeks, before being transferred to a rehabilitation center. Subsequently, the Plaintiff underwent a number of surgeries, including multiple surgeries on his rotator cuffs. Still, three (3) years after his fall, the Plaintiff was unable to lift his arms over his head, and has a permanent lifting restriction, foreclosing the possibility of him ever returning to work as a brick mason.

The case settled after two (2) mediations.

Construction Site Injuries/Wrongful Death/Workers' Compensation

$ 1.7 Million

In 2003, a 22-year-old man was killed at a school construction site when a Bobcat he was operating went through a second floor window opening out of which debris was being dumped. He left a 7-year-old son for whom he was paying $50.00 per week to support. More than $350,000.00 was recovered for the son in the workers' compensation case. In the wrongful death case against the general contractor, sub-contractors and others, a $900,000.00 settlement was reached. Portions of both the workers' compensation and wrongful death recovery were put into structured settlements for the son who will receive annuity payments for life. The total benefits received will total more than $1.7 Million Dollars.

Motor Vehicle Negligence
Verdict in the Clark County Court, Las Vegas, Nevada

$1,291,435.53

On February 15, 2013, David Heinlein, a partner at the Boston personal injury firm of Heinlein Beeler Mingace & Heineman, P.C., obtained a jury verdict in the Clark County Court in Las Vegas against the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in the amount of $1,291,435.53.

The case against the Excalibur arose out of an incident where Heinlein Beeler Mingace & Heineman's client, a New Hampshire man, had his foot run over in a crosswalk by a valet driver who was working on behalf of the Excalibur. Most significantly, the Plaintiff's injuries were a Lisfranc dislocation in his foot. Because the Plaintiff's job necessitates him spending a significant portion of his time on his feet, he was out of work for many months. The jury ended up awarding the Plaintiff lost wages, a significant amount of money since the Plaintiff is a very successful professional, and compensation for his pain and suffering.

While based in the Boston area, Heinlein Beeler Mingace & Heineman, P.C. handles personal injury cases around the country, often on behalf of Massachusetts residents who were injured while traveling.

Manufacturing Plant Roll Bending Machine/Product Liability/Negligence

$1.025 Million

The Plaintiff suffered a traumatic amputation of his right hand while working for a company that manufactured reinforced concrete pipes.

Discovery in the case revealed that the facility where the incident happened was owned by an entity other than the Plaintiff's employer. The Plaintiff was prepared to demonstrate that the owner of the facility exercised substantial control over the safety programs of all manufacturing operations in the building including those run by the Plaintiff's employer.

The owner of the building presented a number of defenses consistent with G.L. c. 152, including a claim that its employees while working on the subject machine were loaned employees to the plaintiff's employer, and in the alternative that the plaintiff was an employee of the owner of the facility at the time of the accident.

The Plaintiff also brought negligence and breach of warranty (product liability) claims against the seller of the machine and initially against the manufacturer.

The case was settled at mediation.

Motor Vehicle Negligence

$900,000.00

The 47-year-old plaintiff was operating a motorcycle on Main Street in Wakefield and his wife was a passenger.

While the Plaintiff proceeded straight on Main Street, the defendant's motor vehicle pulled out of a parking space on the right-hand side of the road directly in front of the motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the motor vehicle when the motor vehicle was perpendicular to the roadway.

The Plaintiff alleged that as a result of the collision he sustained an injury to his neck requiring a cervical fusion, a torn rotator cuff, an injury to his ulnar nerve and a right knee injury that required replacement.

The Plainiff's expert, an orthopedic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital who performed the rotator cuff repair and the right knee replacement, was prepared to testify on the issue of causation and the extent of the Plaintiff's permanent injury and disability.

The Plaintiff also contended that as a result of his accident he was unable to return to work. The Plaintiff's vocational expert opined that the Plaintiff's vocational loss was permanent.

The defendants disputed the case in regard to comparative negligence and causal relationship between the accident and the plaintiff's injuries.

The case settled after mediation before trial.

Motor Vehicle Negligence/Wrongful Death

$800,000.00

The decedent was 42-year-old woman who was riding a bicycle along a public street in Somerville. As she approached an intersection with a cross street, she was struck and run over by a lumber truck which attempted to make a right hand turn in front of her. The driver of the truck testified that he had seen the bicyclist when he had passed her moments before the collision but was unaware of her location as he made the turn. The decedent suffered severe crush injuries, primarily in the area of her pelvis and was taken by ambulance to the Massachusetts General Hospital for surgery. Unfortunately, she died as a result of her injuries during surgery. The decedent was single, and had no dependents. Accordingly, the only claims made by her estate under the Massachusetts Wrongful Death Statute were for compensation for medical expenses and conscious pain and suffering. The case settled at mediation for $900,000.00.

During the course of this case, the Attorneys at Heinlein Beeler Mingace & Heineman, P.C. were able to successfully use expert witnesses to maximize the recovery for the Estate. These experts included an accident reconstructionist to demonstrate how the accident occurred and why the driver of the lumber truck was at fault. The firm also used a forensic pathologist to describe how the young woman died, how long she lived after the collision and to describe the pain associated with that type of death.

Motor Vehicle Negligence
Verdict in the Suffolk County Superior Court (Boston)

$755,310.11

The Plaintiff's car was struck from behind by a van operated by the Defendant. The Plaintiff's vehicle was stopped due to two cars that were illegally taking u-turns despite posted no u-turn signs. Both defendants who had been taking the illegal u-turns settled before the verdict and paid their $20,000 policy limits. The case proceeded to a verdict against the van driver only.

The Plaintiff, a former associate of a large Boston law firm, claimed to have sustained a herniated lumbar disc due to the collision. As a result, he claimed a loss of earning capacity which ultimately led to his agreed separation from his firm. While the Plaintiff is currently able to work as an attorney, he claimed at trial that he was unable to work the hours required at any large Boston law firm. A Plaintiff's verdict was returned after a week long trial.

Workers' Compensation/Employee Struck by Truck Tire Rim

$750,000.00 with liability

The male Plaintiff, age 30, was working as a maintenance man for his employer, a Massachusetts packaging company. While changing the tires on a truck on the premises, he was struck in the head by a steel licking ring that explosively separated from the truck rim that been manufactured as early as 1935. As a result of the accident, the employer was cited by OSHA for its failure to comply with regulations that specifically address the risks associated with servicing multi-piece tire rims. The plaintiff had been scheduled to marry the mother of his children two days later.

All workers' compensation claims were resolved at the mediation for $750,000.00 with liability. In addition, the parties agreed to a future lien recovery (with the lump sum, the lien totaled approximately $1.5 million) whereby the insurer would receive one-third of any gross recovery in a third-party action up to a maximum lien reimbursement of $500,000. Accordingly, any third-party settlement in excess of $1.5 Million would be paid to the plaintiff lien free.

Premises Liability/Negligence/Fireworks Explosion at City Fair

$295,000.00

The Plaintiff sustained an injury to his right dominant had on July 4, 1996. Specifically, on July 4, 1996, the Plaintiff went to a fair with his wife and four children. They spread out a blanket in anticipation of watching the licensed fireworks display. While waiting for the display to begin, the plaintiff heard his baby girl begin to cry. He looked down and observed a burning M-80 type device next to his child. Instinctively, to protect his child, he grabbed the explosive and looked for a place to throw it. Almost immediately, the M-80 exploded causing injuries to his hand.

Apparently the M-80 was thrown by someone in the crowd. The person who threw the M-80 was never identified. The evidence that would have been presented as to the crowd size was conflicting. The plaintiff's evidence would have supported a finding that the crowd contained as many as 100,000 people. The defendant's position was that the crowd was less than 20,000.

The plaintiff was prepared to present evidence that the defendants were negligent in the security provisions that they had in place. The security was provided by private detail city police officers. At the time of the incident, approximately 25 officers were working at the fair. The plaintiff was prepared to argue the inadequacy of the number and deployment of the officers.

The defendant argued that in utilizing private detail city police officers in the number that it used, it had done all that it could in connection with securing the fair grounds. Moreover, the defendant argued that the throwing of a lit M-80 within the crowd was an unforeseeable act that could not have been prevented regardless of the number and deployment of the security officers.

Motor Vehicle Negligence

$190,000.00

On October 26, 1997, the plaintiff was injured when the car in which she was a passenger was struck from behind. As a result of the collision, the plaintiff suffered from soft tissue injuries and developed fibromyalgia.

The collision spawned 5 separate lawsuits, all of which were ultimately consolidated. A mediation 4 weeks prior to trial was unsuccessful in resolving the claims. A settlement was eventually reached for the plaintiff's claims where the total sum of $190,000.00 was paid to the plaintiff thus exhausting four separate insurance policies.

Premises Liability/Negligence/Sexual Assault/After School Program

$150,000.00

The minor male plaintiff claimed that he was sexually assaulted by an older male while attending the defendant's after school program.

Information obtained from the young plaintiff was conflicting and ran the spectrum from incidents of rape to kissing and inappropriate touching.

An extensive pre-filing investigation resulted in information being obtained from former employees of the defendant that was of assistance to the plaintiff's case. The evidence gathered revealed that the defendant had notice of the dangerous propensities of the assailant.

The total special damages, including the cost of therapy, was no more than $5,000. The case settled for $150,000.

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