Verdicts and Settlements
The Fitzgerald Law Firm’s award-winning personal injury lawyers have obtained significant settlements and verdicts for clients throughout the United States. We hold the record for the largest injury and wrongful death verdicts ever upheld on appeal in the Wyoming Supreme Court.
The Fitzgerald Law Firm has been involved in nearly half of all the verdicts in Wyoming of one million dollars or more. Our guiding principle is to find the truth in every case to help our clients heal.
Guardian v. Hannifan (2008)
An injured miner and his children sued a mine manager and safety manager for failing to fix dangerous environments that caused the miner to suffer brain injury and paralysis. The jury awarded $22,000,000, the largest verdict for physical injuries ever in the State of Wyoming. By law, the judgment came to $9,460,000, affirmed on appeal. Jim was on the trial team.
Tobin v. SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (2002)
Jim was on the two lawyer trial team. A U.S. District Court jury in Wyoming rendered an $8.4 million verdict in favor of the relatives of a man who killed his family and himself after he took the antidepressant drug, Paxil, made by GlaxoSmithKline, formerly SmithKline Beecham. The jury ruled that the global pharmaceutical company was 80 percent responsible for the deaths for failure to provide doctors with pertinent information and warnings about possible suicide and homicide.
The Estate Guinn v. Builders Transportation Co., L.L.C. (2008)
A United States District Court Jury awarded $1,700,000.00 for the wrongful death of a 57-year-old husband and father. $400,000 was awarded to make an example of the trucking company that killed him. Evidence unearthed before trial showed that the trucking company violated numerous federal regulations intended to promote highway safety. Many Wyoming State Highway Patrol Troopers testified at the trial. Jim Fitzgerald tried this case entirely alone against numerous lawyers. The Fitzgerald Law Firm was gratified to bring the facts to light, which helps the Troopers to do their best to enhance safety on Wyoming highways. At the urging of the Troopers, the speed limits in the area of the wreck are now reduced in the winter, which helps save lives.
Caterpillar Tractor Co. v. Donahue (1983)
A heavy equipment operator at a construction company was killed when the Caterpillar 988B front-end loader — which weighed around 80,000 pounds — rolled over and crushed him. The crush was due to the machine’s defective design. He left behind a widow and three young children. Jim tried the case, for which the jury eventually awarded the victim’s widow and children $1,500,000, affirmed on appeal. It was the largest wrongful death verdict in the state of Wyoming at that time and is still the largest ever affirmed by the Wyoming Supreme Court.
The Estate of M.K.A. v. Western Chemical Specialties, Inc.
M.K.A. was driving to her high school reunion in Wyoming when a truck crossed the center line and struck her car in a head-on collision. Both drivers perished in the accident. The driver of the other vehicle was a co-owner of the company and was driving a company vehicle. We found evidence the truck driver was under the influence of drugs at the time. This case settled for $2,935,854.95.
M.S. and G.S. v. Railroad Services Company
M.S. was working in a rail yard for his trucking company in Nebraska when the defendant dropped a railroad rail on him. M.S. suffered several severe injuries including an “open book” pelvic fracture (like an open book on a table). This case settled for $2,650,000.
Armstrong v. Bisbee, AZ, and Phelps Dodge Corp.
Amy Armstrong, a mother of four children, volunteered for the “Queen Mine Halloween Tour,” a fundraiser event staged by the city of Bisbee, Arizona. When a rotted support bean gave way, it wedged her between the mine train and the wall of the mine. She died from “positional asphyxia.”
We found evidence that the mine was not properly lit and that there was no proper plan to deal with emergencies that might arise. This case settled for $2.5 million.
Lawyers who have actually obtained good results in trials get better settlements. Challenge your lawyer to send you a transcript of a trial. Most don’t have them because they don’t really go to trial.
The insurance companies know which lawyers can actually take a case to trial unless they offer a fair settlement.