Tort

Experience

Lewis v. Synthes, et al.

Dinsmore & Shohl represented Synthes, a medical device manufacturer, in the Ohio cases involving alleged injuries from the use of pedicle screws.  The cases were dismissed.

Medical Device Product Liability Litigation

Defending multiple product liability cases involving joint replacement products.

Successfully Defended Manufacturer in Entrapment Case

Client: Genie

We represented our client, Genie – a global aerial work platform manufacturer, in a lawsuit after a worker suffered fatal injuries in an entrapment accident. The plaintiffs claimed that aerial work platforms should be equipped with mandatory secondary guarding accessories, which plaintiffs claim would have prevented this death. The plaintiffs sought $69 million, including punitive damages.  Post-accident evidence, including evidence of non-similar accidents, were allowed to go to the jury. Despite these challenges, we received a unanimous defense verdict from the jury after nearly two weeks of testimony.  The jury rendered the defense verdict in under 90 minutes, agreeing these machines, which have been used for decades and millions of man hours, are not defective and unreasonably dangerous. This case was also significant for the industry, as it is the first entrapment case to be tried to verdict.

Defense of Tobacco Related Claims

Mr. Jernigan has for many years served and continues to serve as West Virginia counsel for the former Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company and its successor, the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the defense of tobacco related claims.  In this regard, Mr. Jernigan was involved in the successful defense of one of the nation's first class actions seeking medical monitoring for the development of future disease states relating to smoking.  Mr. Jernigan remains active in the defense of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the defense of over a thousand personal injury claims pending against it for tobacco related diseases.

OxyContin Litigation

Mr. Jernigan has served as principle West Virginia counsel for Purdue Pharma, LP in the defense of claims based upon the marketing of its prescription pain relief medication, OxyContin.  In the course of that defense, Mr. Jernigan was successful in obtaining one of the first judgments in favor of the company based upon the defense of misuse of the product.  Mr. Jernigan was also able to obtain the dismissal of a significant number of individual claims and negotiate a resolution of one of the first actions instituted by a state attorney general against the company.

Representation of Corporate Defendants

Over the course of his career, Mr. Jernigan is experienced in the defense of major cases involving primarily corporate defendants.  Those cases have ranged from contract disputes to product liability claims involving the statewide representation of, among others, American Motors and Chrysler Corporation in the defense of Jeep rollover litigation; Sturm Ruger & Co., Inc. in the defense of product liability claims involving certain of its firearms; Johns Manville Corp. in defense of asbestos related claims; Black & Decker Corporation in the defense of various product liability claims involving guiding issues; and Procter & Gamble in defense of toxic shock claims.

Representation of Energy Industry Companies

Mr. Jernigan has represented a large number of companies in the energy industry in the defense of personal injury actions, contract disputes, major property damage claims and disputes with the State of West Virginia, including, among others, Massey Energy Company, Allegheny Energy, Peabody Energy, Consol Energy, Bluestone Coal Corporation, and Foundation Coal as well as the former Island Creek Coal, Cannelton Coal Corp., Westmoreland Coal Corp. and Pittston Coal.

Represent Client on Multiple Challenges from Other Company

We represented The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) in a lawsuit filed by Definitive Solutions Company, Inc. (DSC) in the Hamilton County, Ohio Court of Common Pleas. DSC sued its former employees and their new employer, as well as P&G, when those employees left DSC. DSC asserted claims against P&G for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, tortious interference with business relationships, misappropriation of trade secrets, and civil aiding and abetting. After extensive discovery, P&G moved for, and was granted, summary judgment on each of DSC’s claims.

A bench trial on various claims DSC asserted against the other defendants was held in 2014. The trial court ruled against the former employees and awarded DSC damages. DSC ultimately settled with its former employees, and it appealed the trial court’s decision granting P&G summary judgment on the breach of contract and tortious interference claims.

On appeal, DSC claimed that P&G breached an agreement not to “directly solicit for employment” employees who had worked on its account and also that P&G had tortiously interfered with DSC’s relationship with the employees. The First District Court of Appeals rejected both of DSC’s arguments and affirmed summary judgment for P&G. The Court of Appeals found that the agreement between DSC and P&G prohibited solicitation for employment, not solicitation of another company to perform work. The Court also found nothing in P&G’s conduct that rose to the level of tortious interference.

See Definitive Solutions Co., Inc. v. Sliper, 1st Dist. Hamilton App. No. C-150281, 2016-Ohio-533.

Other Litigation Experience

Debbie Lydon has represented manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, managed care organizations, hospitals, individual healthcare providers, employee leasing companies, staffing companies, importers, distributors, recruiters, insurance companies, publishers, accountants, fiduciaries, and others.

Representative matters:

The Procter & Gamble Company - Defense of Mass Tort Litigation, Regulatory, Transactional and Compliance Advice
Humana - Litigation Counsel
HealthSouth - Resolution of disputes with Ohio entities
Showa Denko KK - Defense of Mass Tort Litigation
Staffmark - Litigation Counsel
Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. - Litigation Counsel
LasikPlus - Litigation Counsel and Risk Management
Shelter Insurance Companies - Litigation Counsel
Franciscan Health System - Litigation Counsel and Risk Management
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center - Litigation Counsel
Inova Health System - Litigation Counsel
Professional Risk Management Services - Litigation involving Psychiatrists
SST Bearing Corporation - Litigation Counsel
Riverhills Healthcare, Inc. - Outside and Litigation Counsel
Interlake Material Handling, Inc. - Litigation Counsel
Anonymous Hospitals - Defense of RICO, Health Care Fraud, Qui Tam and Malpractice allegations
Health Care Providers - Litigation counsel; advisor on various issues including regulatory matters, fraud & abuse, licensure, credentialing, risk management, criminal allegations, etc.
Fiduciaries - Litigation Counsel

Motor Vehicle Product Liability Litigation

Since 1986, representing numerous motor vehicle manufacturers in product liability cases in Kentucky and Indiana. Defect allegations defended against include seatbelts, airbag deployment, airbag non-deployment, no airbag, rollover propensity, roof intrusion, seatback deformation, fuel system, post-collision fire, electrical systems, unintended acceleration, absence of rear camera, and various claims relating to warnings. Significant experience in MDL practice and proposed class actions.

Pharmacy Litigation

Successfully defended a pharmacy against claims of negligence in connection with a prescription that allegedly caused kidney damage. Defense verdict as lead trial counsel.

Multi-District Product Liability Litigation

National liaison counsel for Recreational Vehicle Manufacturer in multi-district litigation involving more than 300 product liability lawsuits involving the design of a side-by-side utility vehicle. Co-trial counsel for 12 of these lawsuits involving Kentucky plaintiffs.

Fixodent Denture Cream Litigation

Dinsmore's Product Liability Team recently received a ruling in favor of The Procter & Gamble Defendants ("P&G") which is the first in the country to assess and reject the scientific basis for lawsuits filed by a number of Fixodent® users.

Frank C. Woodside, III, and his team serve as counsel for P&G defendants concerning Denture Adhesive Litigation. In that litigation, Judge Cecilia Altonaga oversees discovery in the Multi-District Litigation involving more than 150 plaintiffs who seek damages for personal injuries that allegedly resulted from their use of excessive amounts of Fixodent, manufactured by P&G, and/or Poligrip, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. The current litigation was initiated in 2009 against P&G. The Federal cases were eventually consolidated in Miami with a number of other cases pending in state courts throughout the country. P&G has steadfastly defended the safety of Fixodent.

On June 13, 2011 Judge Altonaga issued a Daubert opinion granting P&G's motion to exclude virtually all of the Plaintiffs’ proposed expert opinion testimony that purportedly supported the link between extremely excessive use of Fixodent denture adhesive and neurological disease.

Adam v. Spotswood

We defended a husband and wife, homeowners, who had rented their home to the plaintiffs, a husband, wife, and infant child. Approximately 2 months after moving into the home the infant child was diagnosed with autoimmune pancytopenia a relatively rare but known blood disorder. Autoimmune pancytopenia is a depression of the blood cell lines, reds, whites, and neutrophils. At about the same time that the infant child was diagnosed with autoimmune pancytopenia, mold, including stachybotrys mold, was discovered in the home. The plaintiffs claimed that they were forced to abandon the home, destroy all of their personal property, and further that the mold exposure caused the infant child's autoimmune pancytopenia. The theories of recovery asserted against the defendant home owners were of negligence, breach of contract, and breach of the warranty of habitability. At trial plaintiffs proceeded solely on their negligence theory.

During pretrial discovery it became clear that the plaintiffs' expert on the contention that the alleged mold exposure caused the infant's autoimmune pancytopenia was not following generally accepted scientific/medical methodology to reach his causation opinion. On behalf of the home owners, we filed a Frye motion to exclude this expert. After extensive depositions of both the plaintiffs' expert and our expert as well as briefing and arguing the issue, the trial judge excluded the plaintiffs' expert's testimony that mold caused the infant son's autoimmune pancytopenia. At trial, plaintiffs proceeded on their property damage claim and also on the theory that their infant son's asthma was caused by the alleged mold exposure in the home.

Following three days of trial, the jury returned a verdict for less than 10% of the claimed property damage and a defense verdict on the asthma claim.

Plaintiffs filed post trial motions seeking to reverse the trial court's decision to exclude the plaintiffs' expert on autoimmune pancytopenia. The trial judge affirmed his decision. The plaintiffs then took an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. The Superior Court affirmed the trial court's decision to exclude the plaintiffs' expert's testimony that mold caused autoimmune pancytopenia.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. Cereal Manufacturer

We represented the Defendant's insurer in a suit for $10,000 against a cereal manufacturer for Plaintiff's broken tooth due to an alleged foreign object in the cereal.  The case was settled prior to mediation.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. General Contractor

Plaintiff filed suit against our client, a general contractor, seeking $100,000 for defects in Plaintiff's home related to the use of synthetic stucco (EIFS) material.  Dinsmore & Shohl obtained a dismissal in favor of the general contractor on the basis of the North Carolina Statute of Repose.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. General Contractor

Plaintiff filed suit against our client, general contractor, seeking $1 million for defects in Plaintiff's home related to the use of synthetic stucco (EIFS) material.  Dinsmore & Shohl negotiated settlement with the homeowners on the general contractor's behalf and prosecuted third-party claims against the EIFS product manufacturer.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. General Contractor

Plaintiffs filed a $300,000 suit against our client, the general contractor, for defects in Plaintiff's home related to moisture intrusion and structural defects.  The general contractor in turned filed suit against 12 different subcontractors.  The case was settled favorably for the client after two days of mediation.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. General Contractor

Plaintiff filed suit against our client, a general contractor, seeking $1,000,000 for defects in Plaintiffs' home related to the use of synthetic stucco (EIFS) material.  Dinsmore & Shohl obtained dismissal in favor of the general contractor, individually, which was affirmed on appeal.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. General Contractor

Plaintiff filed suit for $1,000,000 against our client, the general contractor, for defects in Plaintiff's home. The claim went through a week-long arbitration, settling favorably for the client before a verdict was rendered.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. General Contractor

Plaintiff filed suit for $300,000 against our client, the general contractor, for defects in Plaintiff's home.  The claim went through three days of arbitration, settling favorably for the client after a minimal verdict was rendered.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. Insurance Company

Plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against our client, an insurance company, seeking coverage in excess of $75,000 for moisture intrusion damage due to defects in Plaintiff's home.  The case was removed to Federal court, was never certified as a class action and was eventually dismissed.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. Manufacturer of Dental Equipment

Dinsmore & Shohl represented the manufacturer of dental equipment in a claim alleging personal injuries as a result of exposure to sewer gas.  The case was settled.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. Plastics Manufacturer

Plaintiff sued our client, a plastics manufacturer, for personal injury and product liability when a chair manufactured by the client broke.  The case was settled at mediation.

Anonymous Plaintiff v. Smoke Alarm Manufacturer

Plaintiff filed suit against our client, a smoke alarm manufacturer, seeking $1 million for the wrongful death of a university student killed in an off-campus apartment fire.  Plaintiff ultimately dismissed the suit with prejudice and no settlement payment was made.

Anonymous Plaintiffs v. Window Manufacturer

Plaintiffs filed a $200,000 suit against the general contractor, who in turn filed suit against our client, a window manufacturer, for alleged defects in the windows.  The case was settled after mediation.

Anonymous Plaintiffs v. Window Manufacturer

Plaintiffs sued our client, a window manufacturer, for $75,000 for allegedly defective windows.  The case was settled.

Asbestos Litigation

Defended manufacturer against product liability claims, resulting in defense verdict at trial affirmed on appeal. Defended premises liability case, obtaining summary judgment affirmed by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Asbestos Litigation

Dinsmore & Shohl represented Owens Illinois in lawsuits filed in Southern Ohio by numerous workers alleging personal injuries as a result of exposure to asbestos.  These cases resulted in either settlement, dismissal or a jury verdict for the defense.

Class Action Defense - Manufactured Housing

Dinsmore & Shohl defended a national seller of manufactured housing in state and federal court against class action claims related to the alleged inherent risks of fire and injury associated with manufactured housing. Following successful motion practice, all claims were dismissed in both state and federal courts.