Webinar: How to Get 7 Figure Injury Cases without Spending a Dollar

John Fisher is a medical malpractice attorney for plaintiffs in New York.

John Fisher will show you how to build a seven-figure injury law practice on a shoe-string budget.

Webinar Title: The Secrets of Lawyer-to-Lawyer Referral Based Marketing
When: Wednesday, 21 February 2018, at 2:00 PM Eastern
Hosts: John Fisher and Larry Bodine

Click here to register for this webinar

Attendance is free, but space is limited.

Where do you get your best cases? It’s no secret, you get your best cases from lawyer referrals. Then, why do lawyers have no systems for lawyer referrals?

This is really important. 98% of lawyers have no system for lawyer referrals. I’m going to show members of The National Trial Lawyers how to do it.

This system for lawyer referrals costs (almost) nothing and I’m going to show you everything. No secrets will be held back!

  • “What would it be like if you didn’t have to spend another dollar on mass marketing?”
  • “What would it be like if your overhead was paid…2 years ahead of time?”
  • “What would it be like if your clients never complain and think you’re an absolute rock star?”

What if you had a system that would (almost) guarantee a steady stream of high-quality referrals from lawyers…while reducing your marketing budget?

What if you had the freedom to pick only the best cases, while leaving the crappy cases for others?

How would you like to be a superstar among lawyers without spending another dollar on marketing?

John Fisher will show you how to build a seven-figure injury law practice on a shoe-string budget. If you are not getting the cases you want, you need to attend this webinar.

The “In-Use” Requirement Under the Locomotive Inspection Act

law news, legal news, verdict settlementBy R. Seth Crompton  [1] and Patrick R. Dowd [2]

The Federal Employers’ Act (“FELA”) supplants state tort and workers’ compensation schemes for railway workers who are injured on the job and provides their only right to recover damages for workplace injuries.  N.Y. Cent. R.R. Co. v. Winfield, 244 US 147, 150-52 (1917).

A plaintiff suing under FELA must prove that the railroad either was negligent or violated one of two safety statutes, the Locomotive Inspection Act (“LIA”)[3] or the Safety Appliance Act (“SAA”), 49 USC §§ 20301-20306.  Id. at 189.  The purpose of FELA is “to provide liberal recovery for injured workers.”  Kernan v. Am. Dredging Co., 355 US 426, 432 (1958). The LIA and SAA each set forth specific safety standards that apply to different aspects of railroad operations.  All three statutes are “to be liberally construed in the light of [their] prime purpose, the protection of employees and others by requiring the use of safe equipment.”  Lilly v. Grand Trunk W. R.R. Co., 317 US 481, 486 (1943).

A finding that the railroad violated the LIA can drastically impact an injured employee’s lawsuit, including partial summary judgment or a directed verdict in favor of the employee.  One of, if not the most, contentious and hotly contested areas of litigation within the LIA is the “in-use” requirement.  The railroad defendants often obfuscate the law and facts in an effort to impermissibly narrow the scope of the meaning of “in-use” in order to avoid liability under the LIA.

  1. The Locomotive Inspection Act

The LIA provides that a railroad may use or allow to be used a locomotive “only when the locomotive…and its parts and appurtenances – (1) are in proper condition and safe to operate without unnecessary danger of personal injury…”  49 U.S.C. §20701.    A railroad worker who is able to show a violation of the LIA, or other railroad safety statute or regulation, has shown FELA negligence as a matter of law for which the railroad is strictly liable.   45 U.S.C. §§53–54a; CSX Transp., Inc. v. McBride, 564 U.S. 685, 131 S.Ct. 2630, 2643 n.12 (2011); Urie v. Thompson, 337 U.S. 163 (1949). In such cases, the railroad cannot assert the plaintiff’s contributory negligence as a defense and the plaintiff need not prove notice of the hazardous condition or the railroad’s failure to exercise ordinary care. 45 U.S.C. §§53–54a; Wright v. Ark. & Mo. R.R., 574 F.3d 612, 620 (8th Cir. 2009); O’Donnell v. Elgin, Joliet & E. Ry., 338 U.S. 384, 393–94 (1949).  To avoid this strict liability, railroad defendants began challenging whether the locomotive at issue was “in use” at the time of the injury which is necessary for the LIA to apply.

  1. In-use under the Locomotive Inspection Act

The purpose of the “in use” requirement is to effect Congress’ intent to “exclude those injuries directly resulting from the inspection, repair, or servicing of railroad equipment located at a maintenance facility.” Steer v. Burlington N., Inc., 720 F.2d 975, 976–77 (8th Cir. 1983)(quoting Angell v. Chesapeake & Ohio Ry., 618 F.2d 260, 262 (4th Cir. 1980)). “The ‘in use’ limitation gives the railroad an opportunity to remedy hazardous conditions before strict liability attaches to claims made by injured workers.” Wright, 574 F.3d at 620.

  1. United States Supreme Court Precedent

The seminal case for starting the analysis is Brady v. Terminal R.R. Ass’n, 303 U.S. 10 (1938).  Consistent with the remedial purpose of the statutes that protect injured railroad workers, the Supreme Court has explained that a locomotive or other vehicle is “in use” when it has “not been withdrawn from use.”  Id. at 13.  That includes vehicles moving from one city to another, as well as motionless vehicles that are on yard tracks undergoing inspection.  Id.  Liability attaches “[e]ven where the required equipment is known to have become defective and the car is being hauled to the nearest available point for repairs….”  Id. at 15-16.  A vehicle is not “in use” when it “has reached a place of repair.”  Id. (emphasis added).

To obfuscate application of this seemingly straightforward rule, railroad defendants have spent decades urging courts to employ a totality of the circumstances or multi-factor approach in deciding whether the locomotive was in-use.  Accordingly, the practitioner should plan to also make an argument under the totality of the circumstances or multi-factor approach as most courts now tend to use this method in determining whether the locomotive was in-use, which is a question of law for the court to decide.  See, e.g., Huntsinger v. BNSF Railway Co., 286 Or.App. 84, 90, Fn. 8 (Or. Ct. App. 2017).  

  1. The Totality of the Circumstances or Multi-Factor Approach

While there is no uniform set of factors or circumstances, the following cases will be helpful in winning the argument regarding in-use under the LIA:

  • Angell v. The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company, 618 F.2d 260, 262 (4th Cir. 1980) (locomotive being moved “to another track … to later pull a train also indicates that the engine was not in need of further repair or servicing” and was “in use”);

 

  • Deans v. CSX Transp., Inc., 152 F.3d 326, 329 (4th Cir. 1988) (locomotive being prepared for outbound trip was “in use” even though it had not undergone final pre-departure inspection);

 

  • Rivera v. Union Pac. R., 868 F Supp. 294, 301 (D. Colo. 1994) (“The [LIA] is not rendered inapplicable simply because a worker is injured while performing an inspection of a locomotive.”);

 

  • McGrath v. CONRAIL, 136 F.3d 838, 842 (1st Cir. 1998) (locomotive at issue was idling on a yard track used to store, inspect, classify, and switch locomotives and railroad cars. Plaintiff, the engineer, allegedly sustained an injury after boarding the locomotive and walking toward the daily inspection card, which he was required to consult prior to moving the locomotive.  Applying the two determinative factors, the First Circuit held that the injury was actionable under the LIA since plaintiff sustained the injury in the course of performing duties “‘incidental to [the] task of operating the train as an engineer,’” rather than in the course of maintenance work, and the locomotive’s location-the yard track-was not a place of repair.);

 

  • Bardin v. Consolidated Rail Corporation, 270 A.D. 2d 696, 698 (S.C. App. Div. N.Y. 2000) (finding that a locomotive was in use, when the conductor, a member of the transportation crew with no maintenance or repair duties, was injured while disengaging a brake before departure. The court noted that “Plaintiff was not performing any maintenance function but was merely making a final visual inspection to see that nothing was out of the ordinary and that the cars’ hand brakes had been released.”);

 

  • Wagner v. Union Pac. R.R., 642 N.W.2d 821, 837–38 (Neb.App. 2002) (locomotive was “in use” when employee was injured in the process of putting a locomotive on a train being readied for departure from the yard);

 

  • Horibin v. Providence & Worcester R. Co., 352 F.Supp. 2d 116, 121 (D. Mass 2005) (finding that a locomotive was in use when an engineer, who was a member of the transportation crew with no maintenance duties or repair duties, was injured setting a handbrake following its arrival at the engine house, a part of his required duties and which must be done before it is taken out of “use”);

 

  • Bearfield v. Soo Line Railroad Company, 2008 WL 268587 *4 (D. N.D. Jan. 29, 2008) (Citing to McGrath, the court found that plaintiff’s inspection duties were “incidental to [the] task of operating the train as its engineer.” The court also found that even though the crew had not fully assembled the train, the “in use” determination focuses on the locomotive, as opposed to the entire train and the locomotive was “in use” at the time Bearfield suffered his injury.);

 

  • Balough v. Ne. Ill. Reg’l Commuter R.R. Corp., 409 Ill.App.3d 750,765–66 (Ill.App. 2011) (that the train was not assembled at the time and no crew was assigned when plaintiff was injured did not preclude a finding the locomotive was “in use”);

 

  • Babin v. New Orleans Pub. Belt R.R. Comm’n, No CIV A 12-1868, 2013 WL 1856067 at *5 (E.D. La. May 1, 2013) (reasoning that “it is irrelevant that the train was still being inspected and had not yet been released,” and “[w]hat is relevant is that the locomotive had already been inspected and okayed a[t] the time of the plaintiff’s accident”) (emphasis added);

 

  • Edwards v. CSX Transp. Inc., 821 F.3d 758, 762 (6th Cir. 2016) (“[A] locomotive is ‘in use’ almost any time it is not stopped for repair.”);

 

  • Huntsinger v. BNSF Railway Co., 286 Or.App. 84, 94-95 (Or. Ct. App. 2017) (finding that the locomotive was in use even though an air pressure monitor was malfunctioning, the train was blue-flagged (which signals that workers are in, under or around a train), the train did not have a scheduled departure time, and the transportation crew was not on site. That the locomotive was coupled to a train being readied for departure indicates the servicing, repair and maintenance of the locomotive were completed.).

For their part, Defendants tend to repeatedly rely on one case in particular:  Trinidad v. So. Pac. Trans. Co. 949 F.2d 187 (5th Cir. 1991). However, Trinidad is an outlier decision which adopted a bright line test that requires a train to be fully assembled, through all inspections, and released for travel.  Many courts have refused to adopt this approach as overly restrictive and contrary to the liberal construction that courts must give to the FELA and related safety statutes.  See, e.g., Wright, 574 F.3d at 623–24; Babin, 2013 WL 1856067 at *7-8 (distinguishing Trinidad which involved whether a train is in use under the Safety Appliance Act from the issue of whether a locomotive is in use under the LIA) (emphasis in original); See also, Hinkle v. Norfolk S. Ry., 2006 WL 3783521 at *3-4 (S.D.Ohio Dec. 21, 2006); Haworth v. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Ry. Co., 281 F.Supp.2d 1207, 1211-12 (E.D. Wash. 2003); Huntsinger, 286 Or.App. 84 at 92.

  • Conclusion

The defendant railroad will obfuscate and often misrepresent the law and facts in an effort to avoid liability under the LIA.  An understanding of the case law is necessary to develop the pertinent facts you need so as to maximize the recovery for the injured railroad worker.

 

[1] Mr. Crompton grew up in a family of union railroad workers, which gives him a unique and specialized understanding and knowledge of the dangers and difficulties faced by railroad and maritime workers.  He has represented injured railroad and maritime workers across the United States, and has obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on their behalf.  In addition to specializing in FELA and Jones Act litigation, his practice also encompasses other high stakes litigation including class action, pharmaceutical drug and device, complex commercial litigation, environmental contamination, product liability, trucking accidents, and a variety of other catastrophic injuries.  He has been appointed by courts across the country to a variety of leadership positions and has obtained multi-million dollar awards, as well as resolutions of large, national complex litigations, He has also been recognized by his peers and the judiciary as a distinguished trial lawyer, including receiving the Martindale-Hubbell preeminent AV rating (5.0/5.0), the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer, inclusion in the Global Directory of Who’s Who, and designation in Super Lawyers.

[2] Mr. Dowd is a third-generation attorney who grew up in a family of lawyers and judges in the St. Louis area.  He has spent years successfully representing injured railroad and maritime workers across the United States.  In addition to FELA and Jones Act litigation, his practice includes pharmaceutical and drug devices, product liability, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, chemical and toxic exposures, and complex business and commercial litigation.

[3] Until 1994, the LIA was known as the Boiler Inspection Act.  The names was changed when the statute was recodified.  Tootle v. CSX Transp., Inc., 746 F Supp. 2d 1333, 1340 (S.D. Ga. 2010).

Are You Really Paying Attention to Your Business? Working in it or On it?

Harlan Schillinger is a Legal Marketing Expert in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

By Harlan Schillinger.

You might be working, but are you really working on what matters to the growth and positioning of your law firm? Probably not.

Most law practices, both large and small, around the country put way too much emphasis on reacting—to the phone calls and leads that come in the door—rather than building a forward-looking strategy for the future of the firm. After all, You have so much coming at you.

This is no way to become the innovative, thought-leading attorney you once envisioned for yourself. You must turn reactivity on its head—even when you’re making more money than you can count. Why? Because one day that random revenue stream might dry up before your eyes.

We see it all the time: Even when practices throw money at marketing, lawyers are far too quick to call vendors out when the advertising program, for example, fails. But that usually happens when attorneys don’t get vested in the future of the practice. Why? Because it takes time, research, relationships—and guts.

But the truth is this is low-hanging fruit. The best-positioned law firms in the country are taking action rather than making excuses. And the reality is every law firm can start marketing smarter right now.

Relationships are a requirement.

If you thought you could market without caring and involvement, sorry that game is up. When you invest in your people you are building relationships that pay off. But it’s not just about leading and rewarding your own staff—the people and paralegals who answer your phones, execute on marketing tactics and feed you leads. This also applies to your marketing vendors—the experts and firms who know digital marketing, TV advertising, and media placement. Believe us, they want you to be a partner in the process. They want your involvement. They want your communication. They want your partnership in a team effort.

When you hire someone—anyone—you can’t expect that person to do a good job just because you will it that way. You have to get involved in understanding their craft as much as they will rely on you to better understand the legal craft.

When was the last time you sat down with your employees and marketing agency to talk about intake? Do you understand how to work with your digital agency toward a common goal for moving the business forward? You can’t expect people to understand what you want and bank on stellar results unless you put the time into building relationships upfront and ongoing. Managing expectations is important. It’s just that simple.

Messaging matters more than you realize.

One of the biggest missed opportunities in legal marketing is messaging. Lawyers are often so focused on the end result—the calls come in the door—that they forget just whom they should be talking to and what those people really want to hear.

  • Are you separating yourself from your competitors?
  • What is the 2% difference between your firm and your competitor’s firms?

Nailing the right message to represent your practice, whether you’re communicating with audiences online or through a TV commercial, is critical. And, again, the success of this message is measured by your involvement in the process.

Only you know the history and nuances of your law practice. If you’re not willing to share these stories with your advertising team, there’s a good chance you will never reach the right target market. Or generate the public perception you want. Or attract the high-quality leads and cases your business needs to be sustainable.

Metrics count as an investment in the future.

By nature, attorneys like to count. They count clients, outcomes, cash, and accolades every day. But do they invest in understanding the marketing metrics that really count? Most likely not. In fact, ask yourself when was the last time you really looked at all of your matrix. Do you even have solid matrix tools in place to look at?

You might expect your marketing partners to keep track and alert you of how your website is performing, the number of clicks and likes your social media campaign gets, and how many people are calling the office after seeing a TV ad. But this is actually part of your work too if you are truly invested in your practice as a business and not just a job.

Learning the basics of Google Analytics, running and reviewing digital and advertising performance reports, and holding vendors accountable based on real-time data—these are the investments you must make to feel confident in future marketing decisions.

So, take more responsibility for your business. Don’t expect the people around you to read your mind. Communicate from the top down. Look for an opportunity and cash in on what you’ve been missing. It might require building some better relationships, making your messages matter and looking at the facts and figures. But you’re already pretty good at lots of those things. It’s just time to apply those tactics to your marketing.

The reality is, you have to pay attention, be accountable and have tools and software in place to track everything. Communicate this to your staff and to your Vendor Partners. You will get a much better result. After all, “What You Don’t Know, You Don’t Know”!
Harlan Schillinger is a Legal Marketing Expert in Paradise Valley, Arizona. He can be reached at HarlanSchillinger@gmail.com and 303-817-7313. He has four decades of experience in legal advertising with a passion for legal marketing, intake, and conversion.

 


Harlan Schillinger has worked with more than 120 law firms in over 98 markets throughout North America. Currently, he is consulting privately only with lawyers who share his vision of increasing business, being accountable and obtaining high-value cases. He takes, perhaps, the most unique and accountable approach to Intake and conversion.

Currently, Harlan is working with and in charge of business development Glen Lerner Injury Attorneys. With offices nationally, Glen has one of the largest and most successful plaintiff’s practices in America. The firm already takes on well over 1,500 cases a month, and Harlan is positioning the firm for even more growth.

NTL president says Remington bankruptcy could put settlement at risk

Gun maker Remington is expected to file for bankruptcy, a move that threatens a landmark class action settlement, according to The National Trial Lawyers President Mark Lanier. CNBC quotes Lanier as saying “If they file for bankruptcy, it will stay all proceedings.” Lanier was a lead attorney for plaintiffs who said Remington’s Model 700 and several similar models could fire without the trigger being pulled because of a design defect. Lanier also told CNBC that he’s concerned that none of the weapons will be retrofitted with a fix.

The president and due process

Donald J. TrumpPresident Trump’s tweets about due process for two men formerly on his staff accused of domestic violence reveals a misunderstanding of how due process works, according to a legal analyst at CNN. Caroline Polisi says Trump’s refusal to acknowledge victims of alleged abuse reveal that his defense is really all about himself.

In this aftermath of #MeToo, it is critically important to make the distinction between courts of law and courts of public opinion. Trump’s conflation of the two by way of a disingenuous appeal to “Due Process” is a commonly used, but ultimately dangerous argument, because it damages our collective understanding of the issues, both legal and otherwise.

Due process applies to governmental action, Polisi says, not to the news media, political races or social media. The due process rights owed to the accused are “alive and well in our justice system. They are thriving, in fact,” according to Polisi. Her complete commentary is available here.

Legal Services Corp. still hopes to get funding

CongressPresident Trump’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 released today calls for defunding the Legal Services Corporation (LSC)but LSC leaders remain confident of continued bipartisan Congressional support.

LSC is the nation’s largest single funder of civil legal aid, distributing more than 94% of its funding to more than 800 offices nationwide. These organizations serve low-income individuals, children, families, seniors, and veterans in every congressional district.

Last year, the Trump Administration also identified LSC as one of 19 independent agencies to be eliminated. In response, members of the legal community, business leaders, state attorneys general, and state legislators from across the country sent letters to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advocating robust support for LSC. Congress passed a series of Continuing Resolutions maintaining LSC’s funding at the Fiscal Year 2017 level, $385 million.

“I am optimistic that Congress will continue to fund LSC,” said LSC President Jim Sandman, “because LSC promotes the most fundamental of American values—equal justice under law.  Both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to continue to fund LSC after the Administration’s proposal to eliminate LSC last year, and just last week Congress voted to give LSC an additional $15 million to fund legal services for victims of recent natural disasters. LSC has had broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for more than 40 years.  And we have it now.”

LSC asked Congress today for $564.8 million for Fiscal Year 2019 to help meet the overwhelming need for civil legal services. This budget request reflects an increase of $37 million over last year’s request of $527.8 million. The increase would be allocated entirely to basic field grants that fund the essential, day-to-day operations in 133 civil legal aid organizations across the country.

“For more than 40 years, the Legal Services Corporation has promoted a core American value—equal access to justice,” said LSC Board Chair John Levi. “Our grantees in every congressional district across the country provide services to low-income Americans that go to the heart of their security and well-being—survivors of domestic violence seeking protections from their abusers, victims of natural disasters trying to obtain appropriate relief, veterans collecting benefits they have earned, the elderly protecting their assets from scams, and so much more. With more money available for domestic spending in the budget deal reached last week, we call on Congress to significantly increase LSC’s funding.”

Civil legal aid offices provide critical constituent services. In 2016, LSC grantees helped nearly 1.8 million people in all households served.

The enormous gap between the number of people who need these critical legal services and the resources available to meet them was documented last year in LSC’s The Justice Gap—Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans. The report, prepared in conjunction with NORC at the University of Chicago, found a wide justice gap for the approximately 20 percent of Americans eligible for LSC-funded assistance. Eighty-six percent of the civil legal problems faced by this population in a given year receive inadequate or no legal help. And the need is widespread, with 71 percent of low-income households experiencing at least one civil legal problem a year, and a quarter of this population experiencing six or more civil legal problems.

Civil legal aid is a good investment for communities as well as for individuals. Studies in several states illustrate that legal aid reduces homeless shelter costs, foreclosure and eviction rates, and domestic abuse costs, while increasing employment. The federal contribution to civil legal aid allows millions of Americans to safeguard their basic legal rights.

Click here to read LSC’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget request.

Podcast: Gloria talks about ‘Seeing Allred’

gloria allread, legal news, law news, verdict, settlement

“I am a constant warrior,” says Allred.

In the episode of “Represent,” a Slate podcast, Aisha Harris talks to women’s rights attorney and president of the NTL for Women’s Rights group Gloria Allred about her career fighting for the rights of women and minorities, as well as the new Netflix documentary on her life, Seeing Allred. You can listen to the podcast here.

 

Podcast: How Sessions has affected the Justice Dept. in his 1st year

Attorney General Jeff SessionsAttorney General Jeff Sessions said “a new era of justice has begun” after being sworn in as the nation’s top prosecutor. In the year since, Sessions has managed to transform the Justice Department, especially in the areas of civil rights, immigration and drugs, reports NPR. Carrie Johnson takes a look at Sessions’ first year in office in this podcast.

Can a sitting president be indicted?

Donald J. TrumpAs the White House debates whether to allow President Trump to be interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, legal scholars are debating another issue: can you indict a president while he or she is still in office? The Office of Legal Counsel, of course, says you can’t. But is Mueller bound by that opinion, or will he disregard it? Former White House Counsel Bob Bauer writes at Lawfare that constitutional arguments against indicting a president are problematic. Click here to read his opinion.

Texas Hospital Hit with $43M Negligence Verdict after Patient Abandoned by Suspended Doctor

Plaintiff attorney Reid Martin

Plaintiff attorney Reid Martin

A jury has awarded a $43.32 million verdict against Tyler-based East Texas Medical Center and one of its doctors, finding the hospital grossly negligent in its retention and supervision of a doctor on probation whose improper care led to a patient’s complete loss of his quality of life and ability to provide for his family.

In reaching the gross negligence verdict, jurors agreed that the hospital had put its patients in extreme risk by allowing Dr. Gary Boyd despite being on probation with the Texas Medical Board. Pursuant to the hospital’s bylaws and policies, the hospital privileges of a doctor on probation are automatically suspended.

Lawyers from Tyler-based Martin Walker PC argued the hospital’s bylaws should have prevented Dr. Boyd from treating 61-year-old Billy Pierce when he was admitted with stomach pain and vomiting in April 2014. Jurors heard testimony that Dr. Boyd erroneously diagnosed Mr. Pierce with an anatomical abnormality he said would make surgery to remove bile duct stones impossible.

Abandoned by doctor

Mr. Pierce was in a medically induced coma for more than a month during which time he was effectively abandoned by Dr. Boyd and the hospital, the Martin Walker trial team argued. When the hospital finally sought a second opinion, the new doctor rejected Dr. Boyd’s diagnosis and performed surgery without complication.

“Hospitals have a supreme duty to provide safe and effective care to patients, and that duty must come before everything else,” said Martin Walker attorney Reid Martin, who along with name partner Jack Walker and attorney Marisa Schouten represented Mr. Pierce. “By allowing a dangerous doctor, who had lost his hospital privileges to continue to treat patients, this was a tragedy waiting to happen.”

Dr. Boyd was put on probation in June 2013 after the Texas Medical Board found glaring deficiencies in his treatment of a patient in a case similar to Mr. Pierce’s. In that matter, the medical board found that Dr. Boyd failed to adequately document the patient’s records, inaccurately diagnosed the patient, and performed medically unnecessary procedures. For example, the board found that Dr. Boyd had inaccurately described the location of a patient’s ulcer and claimed that he had performed multiple biopsies to test for cancer when he had not.

The jury verdict included $18.57 million for past and future pain, anguish, loss of earning capacity, and medical care and expenses. The jury found that the hospital was 90 percent liable for the damages, while Dr. Boyd was 10 percent liable. With the gross negligence finding, the jury ordered $25 million in exemplary damages, finding that the hospital’s conduct involved an extreme risk of potential harm to others.

The case is Billy Pierce v East Texas Medical Center and Dr. Gary Boyd and the ETMC Digestive Disease Center, Cause No. 16-0853-C in the 241st District Court in Smith County.

Martin Walker PC is a Tyler-based law firm with significant trial expertise representing individuals and businesses in high-stakes litigation, including medical malpractice, catastrophic injuries involving 18-wheeler accidents, oilfield injuries, wrongful death, and product liability.