Sample Results

SAMPLE RESULTS: SUBROGATION

Health Benefit/ERISA Recovery Subrogation

SPD as sole governing document:

Pursued multi-employer ERISA plan’s right of recovery found only in the summary plan description (“SPD”). Obtained favorable rulings at district court level and on appeal in the 6th and 11th Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals holding that the SPD was enforceable under ERISA’s remedial scheme.

Preemption ruling:

Represented a fully insured health benefit plan that had not participated in the state court injury litigation to assert a recovery lien as required by state statute. The plan’s recovery rights were contested for failure to participate in the underlying injury litigation. We obtained a ruling for the insured plan that the state statute was preempted by ERISA and obtained full recovery for the insurer.

Bankruptcy:

Represented health plans in multiple jurisdictions in asserting their lien recovery rights against bankruptcy trustees who claim that personal injury settlement funds are part of the bankruptcy estate and that such health plans enjoy no better position than general creditors which would significantly diminish the ability to recover. We have convinced such bankruptcy trustees that proceeds of the personal injury settlement subject to the plan’s lien are not assets of the bankruptcy estate and instead are the property of the lien holder. By doing so, we have obtained full reimbursement of our clients’ claims for funds and avoided costly and protracted litigation.

Minor’s Doctrine:

Represented self-funded ERISA plan that had paid medical benefits on behalf of a minor and asserted a recovery lien for such benefits from the minor’s personal injury settlement. The state’s common law rules prohibited subrogation against minors’ recoveries and the state court judge ruled that the plan could not recover from the minor’s settlement. The member’s attorney had already obtained an approval of the settlement from the state court judge presiding over the injury claim and a ruling from the state court probate judge adverse to the plan regarding the plan’s recovery rights. We filed suit in federal court and obtained a ruling that held that the state court judges’ rulings were to be set aside for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. We were then able to enforce recovery of the lien in federal court in compliance with the plan terms.

Commingling of Assets:

Represented a multi-employer plan that paid benefits on behalf of a plan participant injured due to medical malpractice. The participant settled the case and immediately placed the proceeds of the settlement into a joint bank account with his spouse, and then used the funds to purchase a mini-van and a certificate of deposit in the name of both himself and his spouse. The participant then argued that the settlement was no longer identifiable because it was commingled with marital assets. The federal court held that the plan’s equitable lien attached to both the mini-van and CD purchased with the settlement funds.

Dissipated Funds:

Injured worker made claim for worker’s compensation benefits which were denied by comp carrier. He then put the medical bills incurred through to his spouse’s group health plan (self-funded ERISA) which paid those bills. The injured worker’s attorney negotiated a settlement in the worker’s compensation case and drafted the settlement contract such that it stated that the settlement did not include payment of medical benefits. The attorney distributed the settlement to the worker who then spent the settlement funds. The health plan sought recovery for medical benefits it paid on behalf of the worker. The worker’s attorney argued there was no lien because the settlement was allocated not to include medical. We asserted on behalf of the plan that the plan terms provided for a priority lien on the worker’s compensation settlement no matter how the settlement was allocated. We asserted a breach of the lien by the attorney and his malpractice carrier paid 100% of the lien within 10 days of us asserting this claim.

Property Subrogation

Cold storage warehouse explosion:

$7,000,000.00 recovery for owner of cold storage warehouse facility against its repair contractor. The owner’s facility suffered an explosion from the release and subsequent ignition of anhydrous ammonia caused by the negligent supervision of a repair project by the owner’s repair contractor. (record-setting property damage recovery in the jurisdiction)

Defective pre-lit Christmas tree fire:

$3,000,000.00 (policy limits) recovery for the owner of a shopping mall in a high-profile product liability claim. A defectively designed and manufactured pre-lit Christmas tree started on fire in the atrium of the mall and caused wide-spread damage.

Negligently installed fireplace leads to fire:

$1,050,000.00 jury verdict for a homeowner whose house caught on fire due to a negligently installed fireplace.

Negligent deck repair causes fire:

$670,000.00 jury verdict in favor of homeowner against a deck refinishing contractor for a fire negligently caused by leaving sanding remains on the site which ignited and destroyed the home.

Wildfire:

$627,148.78 recovery for California homeowner whose house was destroyed by wildfire.

Water main failure:

$600,000.00 recovery in a water damage claim made by real estate owner against the City of Kansas for failing to properly respond to a burst water main event. Due to Mr. Arnold’s reputation for advocacy, the case settled before the first deposition was taken.

Defective Dehumidifier:

$460,000.00 recovery for homeowner who suffered smoke damage in his home due to a defective dehumidifier.

Defective water line floods home:

$350,000.00 recovery for homeowner whose house was flooded due to defectively designed water line and plumber’s improper use of plumbing line that violated code.

Recovery against negligent tenant for fire:

$330,000.00 recovery on behalf of owner of a warehouse and its insurer against the tenant for improper use of propane heater. Such recovery was made despite legal prohibition against landlords subrogating against tenants.

Wildland fire:

$233,188.72 recovery for farmer whose equipment was destroyed due to wildland fire. Jury verdict obtained against party who negligently started the fire for $198,100.00 which was 100% of damages, plus $35,088.72 in prejudgment interest recovered. Defense made no offer before verdict.

Fraud Recovery Subrogation

Fraud Recovery:

$562,414.10 recovered on behalf of company that was defrauded by its employee and material supplier. The recovery exceeded the client’s out-of-pocket losses of $418,000.00.

Fraud Recovery:

$300,000 recovered on behalf of an insurance company who had paid fraudulent claims submitted by a medical provider.

Worker's Compensation Subrogation

Construction site injury:

$1,389,961.49 jury verdict for laborer injured when a concrete pumper truck boom struck his work platform causing a broken hip. Top defense offer before trial was $200,000.00.

Industrial site injury:

$950,000.00 recovery plus saved future exposure of $1.3 million by actively investigating and prosecuting employer’s lien claim in third party suit.

Product liability injury:

$245,833.32 recovery for employer of injured worker through intervention and enforcement of lien claim.

Enhancing employers’ rights:

Spearheaded litigation that led to seminal case in Wisconsin clarifying the employer’s right to force acceptance of settlements offered to an injured worker.

SAMPLE RESULTS: COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

Business and Employment Related Litigation

Construction Project Dispute:

Obtained a trial verdict for 100% of all extras plus interest. A commercial builder refused to pay our client, a subcontractor, claiming that the extras were not authorized because many of them were not in writing and that the work was not done in a good and workmanlike manner. We transformed a complex mess into a coherent and easy to understand trial presentation which resulted in this victory.

Mechanics Lien:

$171,865.49 recovery for our subcontractor client representing 100% of its lien. We obtained this recovery through skillful negotiations with the project owner and general contractor so that our client could maintain its good working relations with the owner and general contractor leading to additional bids awarded to our client.

Construction Project Dispute:

$133,856.02 jury verdict obtained for restoration contractor against homeowner related to flood restoration work and alleged construction defects. This represented a 100% victory for our client.

Mechanics Lien:

$200,000.00 recovery on mechanics lien claim on behalf of subcontractor against developer and general contractor on project that was “under water.” Our strategy allowed for our client to obtain 100% recovery early while the remaining claimants continued to litigate the matter for years with limited recoveries.

Mechanics Lien:

Obtained large confidential settlement after filing a mechanics lien and prosecuting a lawsuit for work performed on a high-rise student residence.

Shareholder Dispute:

Developed a successful strategy to leverage the sale of a Tenant In Common owned property so the owners could cash out of an unprofitable investment.

Employment Dispute:

Defended national trucking carrier in employment claim brought by candidate employee alleging illegal discrimination in failure to hire. The candidate claimed substantial economic losses resulting from the alleged discrimination. Our work attacked the credibility of the claim and led to a dismissal of the charge.

Employment Dispute:

Represented four women in sexual discrimination and hostile work environment suit against their restaurant company employer. Our work led to favorable confidential settlement.

SAMPLE RESULTS: PERSONAL INJURY

Construction site injury:

$2,300,000.00 recovery for injured ironworker who fell 20 feet from a catwalk in a chemical processing facility at which he was working. The owner of the facility had failed to properly barricade an opening in the cat-walk while the ironworker was performing repair work elsewhere at the facility. The injured worker sustained a herniated disk in his back and required corrective surgery.

Construction site injury:

$1,200,000.00 recovery for a carpenter who fell from a rooftop to the deck below due to an unprotected floor opening. He fractured his elbow in the fall. The fall occurred due to a subcontractor’s failure to fasten a floor opening cover in place.

Construction site injury:

$1,389,961.49 jury verdict for laborer injured when a concrete pumper truck boom struck his work platform causing a broken hip. Top defense offer before trial was $200,000.00.

Defective truck equipment causes eye injury:

$1,100,000.00 recovery for mechanic who suffered a torn cornea and retinal injury due to defectively designed pick-up truck cap.

Construction Site Injury:

$1,000,000.00 total package recovery for carpenter who suffered heel fracture and broken ankle when load of glass panes he was unloading came loose and forced him to jump off truck.

No-contact car accident:

$550,000.00 recovery for woman injured in a no-contact car accident. The woman sustained an aggravation of pre-existing arthritis in the event. (Record high recovery for personal injury claim in the jurisdiction)

Medical malpractice:

$350,000.00 recovery for surgical patient who sustained compartment syndrome in her hand during surgery due to surgical staff’s failure to monitor her IV.