Kurt Arnold & Jason Itkin talk about their experience and the success at trial of their case involving a woman who was in an ambulance accident. The result? Their client will now receive the best care available to her for the rest of her life and they secured the largest single-verdict in the history of Louisiana.
Justice After Tragic Louisiana Ambulance Accident
Whitley was a 19-year-old young lady who was pregnant. She lived in a small town outside Baton Rouge and she had gone into labor prematurely. So she called Acadian Ambulance to come and get her. The Acadian Ambulance driver was quickly speeding to the hospital but he was allowed to drive despite having a poor driving record.
He became distracted.
While he was fumbling around on the floor, not looking at the road, driving down the highway, 60 miles an hour with a pregnant Whitley Lacey in the back, he ran right into the back of a sugar cane truck.
And, of course, Whitley in the back, pregnant, suffered the ultimate price. She was paralyzed and was triplegic. She had a severe brain injury. She cannot move her legs and she lost the use of one arm.
What this ambulance company did was try to get her thrown out of the hospital because it would be cheaper for them in the lawsuit if she died, without having to take care of her long-term needs.
We got hired. We took her from a nursing home where her ability to speak again would've been jeopardized. Because the first 18 months of cognitive treatment are the most important. You don't just get those back. If you have a brain injury and you treat it right away, you can help it. If you don't get that kind of care for it, you lose the opportunity forever.
Then we went to work holding the ambulance company accountable. They fought us every step of the way. We went up and down to the Louisiana Supreme Court many times.
It was David versus Goliath. You know at our council table, I looked across the way, they had seven different law firms representing them. And I had Whitley, her two caretakers, and her mom.
When you hurt somebody because you made mistakes, you have caused terrible pain, you, defendant, should not get the choice to decide what it is that you have to pay. The jury gets to decide that.
That jury gave her justice. A $117 million verdict. The largest verdict in the history of Louisiana for a single individual. That jury made sure that Whitley would get medical care for the rest of her life.
It's one of the most important things I've ever done. Because Whitley today, she lives in her own house that accommodates all of her injuries and her limitations. She lives at home with her children. But the fact of the matter is if she had not found our firm, more than likely she would be sitting in a nursing home today, unable to speak—and that's just wrong.
That's why it's important to find the right lawyer.
Who's going to fight for you every which way and every aspect of your life, no matter what.