Federal Employers’ Liability Act – Trial Victory
George Mullican and Rob Hart recently received a defense verdict for a railroad after 35 minutes of deliberations in a case filed under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. The plaintiff alleged that he was rendered disabled due to failure of a fellow worker to give him correct signals while moving locomotives.
George Gibbs has been designated by the Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner to act in the capacity General Counsel of several insurance companies in receivership. In furtherance of those duties, Mr. Gibbs has directed activities that have resolved potential exposures to beleaguered insurance companies, to include resolution of several bad faith claims. Mr. Gibbs has also directed legal actions to acquire additional assets for insurance companies, ranging from significant third party subrogation actions to initiating professional malpractice suits where appropriate.
Doug Borochoff and Chas McSoud obtained a summary judgment for our client, a roofing contractor, that was sued alleging that a roof it installed did not meet construction standards. The outcome was extraordinary given that construction defects are generally questions for a jury.
Insurance Law – Breach of Contract/Bad Faith
George Gibbs, George Mullican and Nick Larby recently obtained a motion for summary adjudication on a breach of contract action against one of the nation’s largest insurance companies for the improper denial of benefits on a homeowner’s insurance policy claim. The dispute centered on the interpretation of ambiguous policy language drafted into the contract by the insurance company and the application of an “occupancy exclusion” specifically designed to deny payment to policy holders for legitimate homeowner’s claims.
Railroad Grade Crossing Collision – Trial Victory
George Mullican and Rob Hart successfully defended a railroad in a jury trial involving a fatality at a grade crossing. The driver of the vehicle approached the crossing on a road paralleling the tracks. The attorneys and their experts alleged that the crossing was negligently designed and that it lacked sufficient warning devices.
Nursing Home Defense – Trial Victory
A nursing home resident who was transferred to the nursing home after a hospital stay suffered a series of falls. Although the nursing home provided the resident with good care, she was found dead in her bathroom a year after admission. Doug Borochoff was the lead attorney for GABMH and received a defense verdict despite damaging statements by former employees.
Federal Employer’s Liability Act
George Mullican and Jamie Rogers obtained a Summary Judgment in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, in an action brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The Plaintiff alleged that he had injured his shoulder necessitating surgery. The Plaintiff worked for the railroad for decades as a yard crewman and alleged that his injuries were due to cumulative traumas received over the course of his career. The Court concluded that Plaintiff had failed to establish negligence on the part of the railroad or medical causation as to any injury claimed. The ruling fully disposed of the case without the need for trial.
Civil Rights Defense
Rob Hart and Courtney Wolin recently won a Motion to Dismiss on behalf of a private prison client in a case where the plaintiffs alleged violations of their civil rights. Among the allegations was a claim that the staff utilized “orchestrated fights” for discipline, the distribution of drugs by staff, and the manipulation of urinalysis testing. Rob and Courtney successfully argued that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction which was an issue of first impression in Oklahoma.
Oil & Gas Law
Michael Womack, our newest shareholder at GABMH, obtained a judgment in excess of $700,000.00 , as well as attorney’s fees, on behalf of two oil and gas operators against the operator of a gas gathering system. He proved that that the owner of the gas gathering system had engaged in fraudulent conduct, resulting in the Court making the owner personally, as well as his other companies, liable for the judgment.
Contractor/Breach of Contract/Fraud – Trial Victory
George Mullican and Rob Hart successfully defended a contractor in a jury trial on a case where Plaintiff alleged fraud, deceit, breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, slander of title, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, gross negligence, and unjust enrichment. The plaintiff sought punitive damages. George and Rob also prevailed on our client’s counterclaim, as well as on an application for attorney’s fees in excess of $100,000.00.
Federal Employers’ Liability Act
George Mullican and Jamie Rogers obtained a Summary Judgment in Garfield County, Oklahoma, in an action brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The Plaintiff alleged that he had injured his neck and shoulder necessitating multiple surgeries. He had spent nearly forty years as a trackman with the railroad and alleged his injuries were the result of cumulative traumas. The Court concluded that Plaintiff had failed to present competent evidence in the form of expert testimony during Daubert hearings. Once Plaintiff’s experts had been stricken, summary judgment was granted in favor of the railroad, fully disposing the case without the need for trial.
Nursing Home Survey Defense
Nick Larby successfully obtained emergency retraining orders in federal court against both the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) to allow a long-term care facility additional time to dispute federal and state survey deficiency allegations prior to CMS terminating its payment contract with the facility. Further, Mr. Larby also successfully defended against CMS’s motion for summary judgment in the same action before the Department of Health and Human Services – Departmental Appeals Board.
Premises Liability – Trial Victory
Rob Hart obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a local grocery store. A middle-aged female sustained severe neck injuries after a grocery store display of canned goods fell as she reached for one of the cans. The medical bills were substantial due to a two-level cervical fusion. Lost wages were also significant because the Plaintiff claimed she was disabled. The challenges presented included the fact that surveillance cameras captured the entire incident on video. The interpretation of the video was central to the case in terms of whether the Plaintiff should have known that her actions would have caused the display to fall.
Premises Liability – Trial Victory
Rob Hart obtained a defense verdict in a premises liability trial. A middle-aged female sustained injury when she tripped over a 6-inch portion of a fence post that remained after the removal of a fence at a local race track. The fall caused severe injuries to her hands and wrists and she underwent several surgeries. Lost wages were also significant. The incident occurred in an area where the open and obvious defense was hotly debated. The challenges presented included the testimony of race track employees admitting that the post should have been removed at the time of the fence removal.
Federal Employers’ Liability Act
Rob Hart and Chris Wolek were successful in obtaining a summary judgment in favor of a railroad. A track laborer worked for a railroad for five and one-half years in various capacities. While working as a trackman on a section gang putting in railroad ties, he allegedly injured his neck. He did not report the injury, but told the foreman and supervisor that his neck hurt and his arm tingled. After seeing a neurosurgeon, he filled out an injury report nearly two (2) months later. In the report, he admitted that he could not state what date he was injured, where he was injured, the activity he was performing when he was injured, what caused his injury, or what tools caused the injury. Despite these shortcomings, he filed a claim under the Federal Employers Liability Act, 45 U.S.C. Â§ 51, et seq. (FELA) claiming the railroad failed to provide him with a safe workplace and improperly assigned him to tasks beyond his physical capabilities. The summary judgment was upheld by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Brain Injury – Trial Victory
Rob Hart obtained a defense verdict in a case wherein a 12-year-old male was struck by a church van. He sustained severe injuries, including a broken femur, facial fractures, facial scarring, collapsed lung, and a profound brain injury that necessitated special services. Medical expenses exceeded $150,000.00.