$1.5M SETTLEMENT: In 2018, our client was working when the product he was using collapsed causing him to fall to the ground and injure his lumbar spine, cervical spine, and head. The case came to J.B. Dilsheimer, a partner at Stampone O’Brien Dilsheimer Law, on referral from another law firm that was handling the workers compensation aspect of the claim. It took only a short consultation with the client, and Dilsheimer knew he had a case. Unfortunately, it had significant challenges—the product had been thrown out, his client had pre-existing injuries, and he only had a little over a year before the statute of limitations was to expire.
“I signed the case 6-8 months after the incident occurred, but in Pennsylvania, you only have 2 years to file a product liability claim. I needed to work quickly to establish our case—but I didn’t have the product. What I did have, though, was a smart client and witnesses. He and his coworkers had the foresight to take pictures of the product after the incident, and I could see that the product was defective,” Dilsheimer explains. He immediately started his own “good old-fashioned investigative work,” researching the make and model of the product. “In my research, I determined that the product should have had no issues holding our client, so I knew defective manufacturing was the cause of our client’s injuries. I just needed experts to support our case.”
Dilsheimer found his experts thanks to 30+ years of building and maintaining a network of professionals he could trust. The first expert? A professor of metallurgy. Using just pictures of the product, the expert confirmed Dilsheimer’s hypothesis for the cause of the failure in the manufacturing of the product. This took care of one of the firm’s challenges, but J.B. still had to navigate around the client’s pre-existing injuries from a prior fall. He had to prove the injury his client sustained during the more recent fall had caused a unique and debilitating injury.
Again, he turned to his network of specialists. His second expert? A renowned surgeon. “Both of our client’s injuries, his preexisting injury and the incident injury, were treated by one of the best surgeons in the country. The surgeon confirmed both the extent of the injuries and the uniqueness of the second injury. There was no question our client’s new injury was life altering.” Having confirmed liability and damages, Dilsheimer filed suit. While gathering evidence during the discovery phase of litigation, Dilsheimer took several depositions from his client, his client’s wife, and his client’s coworker who had been there when the incident occurred. Each deposition further reinforced how the accident occurred, and how much this injury had affected the client’s life. Even his employer’s doctor affirmed that there was no way he could return to work due to his injuries.
For his next steps, Dilsheimer consulted with a vocational expert, an economist, and a life care planner to help determine the extent of the damages he would seek on behalf of the injured client. The vocational expert opined both that this gentleman could not return to work and that he was not equipped to do any other vocation. His life had been built around his job, and as such, due to his injury, he was losing significant income every year that he would never be able to make up for. Dilsheimer shared this information with his economist, who calculated the financial impact of the injury over roughly twenty years, which was how long the client had before he reached retirement age. Finally, he consulted with a life care planner and certified nurse, who gave an opinion on the cost of future surgeries and medical care. This was everything Dilsheimer needed to establish the damages suffered and to formulate a settlement demand.
“I’ve done this for over 30 years, so I see the road map. I know the chess moves. Still, I force myself to go one step at a time. All the pieces for this case came together, but it wasn’t without a fight,” Dilsheimer explains. Ultimately, it was a fight—and a $1.5M settlement—the firm won for their injured client.
“A lot of art and experience goes into what I do. I was able to stand firm on a case I believed in and get a seven-figure result without the product or defendant depositions. Plus, our client had a serious preexisting condition. That speaks volumes of the work that we do here at Stampone O’Brien Dilsheimer Law. We’re tough, aggressive, and know how to put these cases together. We have the experience and ability to get this kind of result,” Dilsheimer explains and adds, “There’s a saying about Philadelphia lawyers, and we embrace that. We’re tenacious and well prepared, and we’re not afraid to go to court to get our clients the outcome they deserve.”
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