• Yates v. Legatus Emergency Services of Southern Illinois (medical
malpractice) Williamson County Circuit Court $ 2,439,000.00.
•Day v. Franklin Hospital (medical malpractice amputation) Franklin County Circuit Court $1.51 million dollars
• Bowles v. New Haven American Legion(wrongful death) Gallatin County Circuit Court $941,468.31
• Greenley v. Dr. Valdez (medical malpractice amputation) Williamson County Circuit Court $800,000.00.
• Pyatt v. Lawson (truck/car crash) Jackson County Circuit Court $660,000.00.
• Evans v. Shannon (wrongful death teenager) Jackson County Circuit Court $500,000.00.
• Johns v. Gray (car accident herniated disc) Williamson County Circuit Court $407,000.00
• Amy v. Clendenin (car crash injuries): $700,000.00
• Lavern Johnson v. Browning Farms (wrongful death): $500,000.00
• Ashley Blessing v. West Bus Company (car crash injuries): $450,000.00
• Avery Graul v. Fauver (tire failure injuries): $400,000.00
• Sandy Pierce v. Prairie Living (nursing home death): $250,000.00
• Samantha Holmes v. Williamson County (police gunshot injuries): $250,000.00
• Victoria Sprehe v. Cates (pedestrian-car crash compression fracture): $230,000.00
• Mary Pearce v. Good Sam Hospital (hospital fall injuries): $225,000.00
• OB/GYN medical malpractice: $3.5 million
• Perforated Esophagus: $1.65 million
• Leg amputation medical malpractice: $1.2 million
• Construction accident/work comp: $1.2 million
• Truck-van collision/wrongful death: $1 million
• Truck-car collision: $950,000.00
• Race car crash/wrongful death: confidential settlement
• Heart attack/medical malpractice/injury: $750,000.00
• Heart attack/wrongful death: confidential settlement
• Products liability/tire failure/broken neck: confidential settlement
• Liability/injury from Barn Door: $581,000
• Car crash/herniated disc: $400,000.00
• Bus-car collision/spine injury: $387,500
• Car crash: $385,000
• Truck-car collision: $350,000
• Work comp/back injury: $300,000
• Truck-car collision: $250,000
• Fallen shelf/back injury: $265,000
• Work comp/injury: $228,474 plus hundreds of
thousands of dollars for medical bills
• Slip & fall/knee injury: $225,000
• Failure to protect/employer negligence: $180,000.00
• Work comp/back injury: $150,000
• Work comp/leg fracture: $125,000
• Work comp/foot fracture: $100,000
• A case Mr. Hughes worked on almost weekly over the past year and a half recently settled for the amount of $3.5 million dollars. This case is of public record in Jackson County Circuit Court and is called Hutchins v. New Horizons Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic; et. al. It is believed to be one of the highest malpractice settlements for an adult Plaintiff in Jackson County history. In this case, the female Plaintiff went into a local OBGYN’S clinic for a routine cryoablation procedure which is an endometrial ablation of the uterus due to heavy menstrual bleeding. It is an office procedure that is supposed to be routine and with very little complications. Unfortunately, during the procedure the Plaintiff’s uterus was perforated and then her intestines were frozen, two times, and she was sent home. Needless to say she suffered serious and permanent injuries to her intestines leading to over 20 surgeries and over two million dollars in medical bills. The remarkable thing about this litigation was that there was only two million dollars in insurance coverage. So you might ask yourself how did Mr. Hughes obtain a $3.5 million dollar result in a case with only two million dollars in insurance coverage? Well, the facile answer is that it wasn’t easy. But because of the way Mr. Hughes positioned the case, and his aggressive litigation posture, he was able to settle the case not only for the two million dollar underlying policy limit but another $1.5 million dollars in bad faith coverage against the adverse insurance company, Medicus, because they were afraid of a bad faith claim stemming from the jury verdict. At the end of the day, Medicus fired its Vice President of Claims due to the Hutchins’ case. To get that settlement, however, Mr. Hughes ended up hiring four experts including three OBGYNS and an interventional radiologist and took multiple depositions. Our Firm’s funding of the case was well in excess of six figures
• $ 1.65 million settlement for perforated esophagus June 11, 2014 in Nehring v. Southern Illinois Medical Services and MAIC
• In October 2010 Mr. Hughes tried a case in Jefferson County Circuit Court before Judge David Overstreet. The jury trial resulted in a verdict of $581,000.00 for a woman who was crushed by a barn door on a farm.
• Our Associate Attorney, Ryan Rice, and Mr. Hughes were admitted pro hac vice in Federal Court in Evansville, Indiana to handle a multiple death and injury truck collision case where a semi tractor trailer truck ran a family van off the roadway causing it to overturn and cross the median only to be hit by another semi in the opposite direction. This case was hotly litigated and ended up being settled during mediation when the Federal Magistrate Judge forced the adverse insurance company and the defendant-trucking company to disclose its financial assets before the insurance company paid $1 million dollars into court to resolve the case. In 26 years of trying cases Mr. Hughes has never experienced a Federal Magistrate order a trucking company to produce ‘corporate’ financial statements before a jury trial. But by him doing so our Firm was able to determine that the trucking company was nearly bankrupt and all we could obtain for our clients was the insurance monies.
• Mr. Hughes recently settled a Marion, Illinois bus-car collision case in Williamson County Circuit Court just a week before the jury trial. This case was Flannigan v. Rides Transit. In this case, our Plaintiff suffered what is called a spondylolisthesis or a slippage or dislocation of one vertebral body over the other in the lower spine. The defense obtained an insurance medical examination but after Mr. Hughes deposed our neurosurgeon, and cross examined the defense insurance medical examiner, the insurance company quickly settled the case for $387,500.00 in order to avoid jury trial.
• In another truck-car collision case in Jackson County Circuit Court without even filing the lawsuit, Mr. Hughes was able to establish that our client, who was a nurse, suffered a herniated disc in her neck as result of the crash and she was a candidate for surgery. Even though she never had any surgery and had only approximately $20,000.00 in medical bills, Mr. Hughes was able to convince the insurance company to pay our client $350,000.00 because of the possibility she may need surgery in the future. Our Firm settled pre-suit a similar case in 2011 for $250,000.00 where our client simply received injections by the neurosurgeon but was a candidate for surgery sometime in the future.
• One of our more challenging cases resolved through mediation in the late spring and early summer of 2011: Caldwell v. Brown Bag Video II venued in Alexander County Circuit Court. In that case, liability was extremely difficult because the Plaintiff’s decedent was shot and killed in a video store by an armed robber. The robber ended up pleading guilty to murder and Mr. Hughes actually deposed the murderer at Menard Penitentiary. After multiple depositions Mr. Hughes was able to convince the insurance company through mediation that there was a possibility that an Alexander County jury could conclude that the Brown Bag Video Store failed to have proper security available to protect my decedent from armed robbery and murder. Naturally, the issue of proximate cause and duty was hotly contested but Mr. Hughes was able to secure a $180,000.00 settlement for our Plaintiff despite the issues of liability and proximate cause. Although this case was not one of our Firm’s bigger settlements in recent years, it is one of the cases Mr. Hughes is most proud of because it took such hard work and legal acumen in order to get past Motions to Dismiss, Motions for Summary Judgment, etc. in order to convince the insurance carrier we were going to get before a jury and there was a possibility that the jury might find the defendant did not take adequate precautions to protect against possible criminal conduct on the premises.
• We have also used litigation first, and then mediation second, successfully in other truck-car collision cases. In the case of Tyrell Davis v. Normand Alain Transport Mr. Hughes was admitted pro hac vice in Federal Court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to handle a serious truck collision case where our client was rear-ended on a bridge between Missouri and Illinois and ended up having low back surgery and losing his job as a Missouri Department of Corrections employee. This case was against a French Canadian national driver and a French Canadian trucking company where much of the defendants’ discovery was in French so one can imagine the challenges there. Regardless, on September 28, 2011, Mr. Hughes was successful in mediation and obtained for Mr. Davis $950,000.00 to settle his injury case in Federal Court in Missouri.
• In a very challenging case that involved both a work comp appeal and a civil appeal to the Fifth District Appellate Court, in Regina Reed v. Harris Farms, Jackson County Circuit Court, Mr. Hughes was able to reverse Associate Judge Dan Kimmel’s dismissal of our client’s injury lawsuit because the Judge held it was a work comp case not an injury case. Mr. Hughes contended on appeal he could prove it was an injury case so Mr. Hughes reversed Judge Kimmel, brought the case back down to Jackson County Circuit Court and compelled a settlement of $228,474 in new money plus payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars of our client’s past medical bills.
• Another Jackson County case Mr. Hughes handled personally resolved in 2011, it was the case of Estate of Mayhew v. Barlett where Judge William G. Schwartz actually acted as our mediator with the insurance company. That case involved a car accident where our 85 year old Plaintiff broke her leg. She died three months after the crash and Mr. Hughes worked hard to prove that her death ‘might or could’ have been caused by the crash. Mr. Hughes was able to convince the insurance company to pay $385,000 to settle Ms. Mayhew’s ‘injury’ case after she died. For such a large settlement for an 85 year old decedent our Firm’s next of kin clients were extremely happy with the result given our causation challenges in connecting the death to the broken leg.
• One of Mr. Hughes’ more challenging medical causation cases in 2011 was the case of Connie Odum v. Paper Factory out of Franklin County Circuit Court. In Odum, our elderly Plaintiff had a five pound shelf fall on her head from a height of about 2-3 feet in a local party shop store. She went to the floor of the store due to the blow on her head. She had no broken bones and no cuts or stitches. But what she did have was pre-existing severe degenerative disc disease in her spine. Over a year after the store shelf incident occurred she had back surgery in St. Louis. She had been treating with doctors and chiropractors for years before the shelf trauma incident however, so causation between the shelf incident and the surgery was a great challenge legally and medically. Just before trial in Franklin County, and after deposing several physicians including the insurance company’s medical expert, Mr. Hughes was able to secure a $265,000 for Mrs. Odum. Dogged perseverance was the key to that settlement. The carrier knew Mr. Hughes was ‘crazy’ enough to try the case and they knew Mr. Hughes just might convince a jury this nice lady deserved a great deal of money so they cut their losses in favor of my paying our client.
• In late 2011 and 2012, Mr. Hughes has settled a death case out of Gallatin County for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Mr. Hughes has recovered $610,000.00 in a mediation settlement after a multi-year litigation construction accident case in Jackson County, Illinois Court. Also, in Jackson County, Mr. Hughes secured a settlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a fall case where the injured Plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury. In Williamson County Court Mr. Hughes obtained a hard fought settlement of over $500,000.00 in the case of Moschino v. United Producers Inc. where our client was injured by a cow in a rural farm business setting. In Franklin County Court Mr. Hughes won a $1 million settlement in a truck crash case where one of his client’s suffered a back injury requiring surgery and another client injured his back without needing back surgery.
• Mr. Hughes’ practice knows no bounds with regards to southern Illinois courts and the type of injury cases or wrongful death cases he will handle for his clients.
• And it is not just Mr. Hughes winning cases for clients at our Firm, because our associate attorney, Ryan R. Rice, also handles both injury and work comp cases. For example, Ryan Rice secured a $225,000 settlement in a slip and fall knee surgery case in Massac County Circuit Court. Slip and fall cases are some of the hardest cases to prove so Mr. Rice did a superb job in obtaining that result for a knee surgery case. Ryan Rice has had several six figure work comp settlements such as $300,000 for a back surgery case; $150,000 for a back injury case with a return to work; $125,000 for a leg fractures case; and $100,000 for a foot fracture case; etc.