$20 million verdict
The firm earned a $20 million jury verdict for a 16-year-old boy who was injured at a swimming and diving facility. An inspection revealed that “no diving” signs had been removed and never replaced; there were no warning signs about the depth of the water nor any signs prohibiting diving.
$19,732,125 million settlement
Michael C. Rader and Michelle Marvel resolve case for family of the 10-year-old killed last summer on a local Kansas City waterslide. Settlements for the family totaled more than $19.7 million.
On Aug. 7, 2016, Caleb Schwab died while riding the Verruckt slide at Schlitterbahn, a water park in Kansas City. Verruckt, German for “insane,” was marketed as the world’s tallest waterslide at its 2014 opening. Schwab is the son of Kansas State Rep. Scott Schwab, R-Olathe. Scott Schwab, his wife, Michele Schwab, and the Estate of Caleb Schwab filed the wrongful death action.
On Jan. 11, the family settled with SVV 1 LLC, and KC Waterpark Management LLC, which collectively make up Schlitterbahn for $14 million, and with raft manufacturer Zebec of North America Inc. for $500,000. The settlement was approved by District Judge Thomas M. Sutherland. Sutherland approved a second round of settlements on April 12 with the National Aquatic Safety Co., a consulting firm, for $232,125; and with Henry & Sons Construction Co., which built the ride, for $5 million. Altogether, the settlements totaled $19,732,125.
Rader said retained experts were instrumental to obtaining the settlements. To help sift through theories of liability, he consulted with experts from fields including polymer fiber science, biomechanical engineering, computer forensics, accident reconstruction, warnings operations, restraint devices and ride design. Some of the design and testing of the slide occurred in Texas, allowing the plaintiffs to argue that Texas law applied. Rader said Texas’ law regarding noneconomic damage caps in child wrongful death claims is more favorable than that of Kansas. “We never could have made a viable argument that Texas law applied without first becoming well versed in the facts regarding the design, construction and operation of this ride,” he said.
After Schwab’s death, one of the most pressing issues the attorneys handled was an intense interest in the case by media outlets around the world. The young boy was decapitated when the raft in which he was riding became airborne and crashed into metal rods supporting the slide’s overhead netting, his attorneys said.
$9.5 million settlement
The firm achieved a $9.5 million settlement on behalf of a family whose furnace produced carbon monoxide in lethal amounts. The father and daughter died, and the wife and son sustained permanent brain damage. Inspections showed significant rust had accumulated on the furnace’s burners, disrupting the normal gas flow and causing incomplete combustion.
$9.25 million settlement
The firm negotiated a $9.25 million settlement for a woman who was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, or irregular heart rhythm. She chose to go through cardiac ablation, a procedure that uses energy or heat to kill problematic tissue. During the procedure, the surgeon erroneously ablated the coronary artery; this caused a heart attack and the patient ultimately required both a heart and kidney transplant.
$7.5 million Ray County, Missouri Judgment
Mike Rader obtained a $7,505,176.26 judgment in Ray County, Missouri on behalf of a family for the wrongful death of their daughter. On January 25, 2015, Rachel Bailey was traveling to Richmond, Missouri, from Independence, Missouri in a 2005 Nissan Altima. While traveling eastbound on 210 Highway, a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix being operated by the defendant crossed the center line and hit Ms. Bailey’s Nissan head on. It was later determined that the defendant was legally intoxicated. As a result of the collision, Rachel was pronounced dead at the scene.
$7.5 million settlement
The firm earned a $7.5 million settlement for the family of a motorcyclist who died after an accident with a truck driver who failed to yield to oncoming traffic. After investigating the accident, Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader discovered that the truck driver failed several road evaluations regarding yielding at intersections – the very issue that caused the accident – and that he twice failed his commercial driver’s license exam. The case, which involved six liability and damage experts, resolved after two mediations.
$7.4 million settlement
The firm obtained a $7.4 million settlement for the family of a woman who suffered a perforation during gastric bypass surgery. The perforation was undiagnosed for several days; she died on the operating table from overwhelming sepsis.
$4.9 million settlement
The plaintiff was driving his pickup truck westbound on Interstate 470 as the defendant drove his car eastbound in the westbound lanes of the interstate. At the time, the defendant was returning to a local Kansas City hotel after a business meeting during a work trip.
The defendant driver had a blood-alcohol content of 0.386 – almost five times the legal limit when the collision occurred. The plaintiff sued the defendant driver and his employer in Jackson County Circuit Court.
The litigation team completed a significant discovery and policy analysis. The analysis focused on coverage and agency issues, preventing an argument that the defendant was acting outside the course and scope of his employment at the time of the crash.
In addition, Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader attorneys taking the time to determine the full extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and economic damages was crucial. Insurance companies representing the defendant agreed to a global settlement during a pretrial mediation.
$3 million settlement
The firm obtained a $3 million settlement for an 18-year-old who suffered respiratory arrest during a routine wisdom tooth extraction. An investigation revealed that the surgeon’s nitrous oxide tank had been connected to the oxygen line; this settlement was reached with the installing plumbers for their policy limits. Through mediation, a confidential second settlement was reached with other defendants.
$2,300,000.00 Resolution for the Family of John Albers
Mike Rader and Michelle Marvel successfully represented the family of John Albers who was fatally shot outside his home by the Overland Park Police Department. The case received significant national and local media attention. 17-year-old John Albers was killed in January 2018 when Overland Park police were responding to call about a welfare check. An Overland Park police officer approached the Albers home as John began to slowly back the family minivan from their garage. The officer continued to approach the vehicle knowing it was backing from the garage. The officer eventually shot at John 13 times causing John’s tragic and unnecessary death. Police dashcam and adjacent Ring Doorbell videos confirmed the officer was never in any danger.