Obtaining Justice For Injured Individuals & Families
The following cases serve as examples of the results achieved. While we are proud of the significant and sizeable recoveries we obtained for our clients, we are equally proud of the injustices we corrected where the harms were not as substantial, but important nonetheless---like getting Grover Parrott's insurance company to pay for his much needed back surgery (Parrott v. Humana, ERISA verdict, Bexar County 1995).
The following cases are examples and do not serve as a guarantee. Results vary from case to case.
» Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, & Wrongful Death Cases:
- Dennis Rivera v. Fort Duncan Medical Center
Confidential settlement 1st day of trial for brain injury-Maverick County, Texas 2008 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
Rivera family claimed that two year old Dennis Rivera suffered a profound and permanent brain injury when physician and nurses failed to communicate with each other, and the child was discharged with undiagnosed meningitis and then suffered brain injuring seizures that left the child blind and unable to walk, talk or feed himself. The defendant settled for a confidential amount and a special needs trust was established to help provide the child's future care and medical needs.
- Margie Wells v. Summit Care
Confidential Settlement involving nursing home negligence--Bexar County, Texas 1996 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
80 year old Margie Wells was a resident of Summit Care's nursing home when her family found her bruised and beaten. Margie's treating physician documented both physical and sexual abuse. Margie's family claimed that the nursing home was understaffed and many members of the staff had criminal histories. Margie's family refused to settle the case for $3.5 million and instead pushed for meaningful change in the hiring practices. Ultimately, the case was resolved for confidential sums prior to trial.
- Kyra Stevens v. University Health Science Center
$400,000 Medical negligence Verdict for Plaintiff--Bexar County, Texas 2011 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
A resident physician made a medication error that resulted in loss of skin tissue and muscle to Kyra's left leg, according to the suit. Defendant denied both liability and causation of injury. The jury returned a verdict for Kyra and allowed damages of approximately $400,000 for her disfigurement and injury. The verdict was reduced by the damage limitations found in the Texas Tort Claims Act, and the case was settled on appeal for a confidential amount.
- Leo Ofczarzak v. Emeritus Corporation
Wrongful Death jury verdict for plaintiff-Bexar County, Texas, 2005 (Attorneys - lead counsel Janice Maloney and Tom Kemmy).
A 77 year old woman was admitted to the Alzheimer's Unit of an assisted living center owned by Emeritus. On at least two occasions she was beaten by a fellow Alzheimer resident known to have past violent outbursts. On the last altercation, Plaintiff suffered a fatal head injury. Plaintiff claimed that Emeritus accepted and retained persons unfit for assisted living because their census was low and they were trying to fill Medicare funded beds. The jury allowed compensatory damages of $1.4 million dollars and punitive damages of $18 million dollars. The case was appealed by the Defendant on several grounds, including a claim that the punitive damage award exceeded the amounts allowable pursuant to the statutory and common law limitations on punitive damages. The case settled on appeal for a confidential amount.
- Maggie Dutton v. Pickenpaugh
$180,000 Personal Injury Verdict for Plaintiff--Bexar County, Texas 2007 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
Maggie hurt her spine in a car wreck and the guilty driver only had $20,000 in insurance. The insurance carrier refused to pay Maggie the $20,000 policy limit, and instead claimed it was not their driver's fault and Maggie was not hurt. At trial, the insurance company belatedly offered its policy limits, but Maggie declined. The jury returned a verdict for Maggie for just under Two Hundred Thousand dollars to help offset her harms and losses. The case settled on appeal for a confidential amount.
- Doe and Doe, minor children v. ABCD youth camp
Confidential settlement on 2nd day of trial-Bexar County, Texas, 2001 (Attorneys - lead counsel Pat Maloney, Jr. and Tom Kemmy).
Several boys attending the ABCD youth camp were sexually molested by a male camp counselor over the course of the summer. The camp counselor was previously fired by another youth camp for inappropriate behavior. The Plaintiffs claimed that internal documents belonging to ABCD Camp showing that ABCD knew pedophiles frequently sought employment at youth camps, and ABCD was warned of specific red flags to watch for, but ignored the pending danger. The Plaintiffs sought actual and punitive damages for the grossly negligent hiring and supervision of the pedophile counselor. The case settled on the second day of trial for a confidential amount. Every child received an annuity to assist him with his future needs as a result of the unnecessary harm inflicted.
- Adams, a minor child v. YMCA
Personal injury jury verdict - Bexar County, Texas, 2004
(Attorneys - lead counsel Pat Maloney, Jr. and Tom Kemmy).
A male camp counselor engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with a minor child. The jury returned a verdict for $500,000.00 for future mental anguish. The case was appealed by the YMCA on an evidentiary issue challenging the future mental anguish damages. The Texas Supreme Court published an opinion that affirmed the award of future mental anguish, and acknowledged the particular suppressive nature surrounding mental anguish in child abuse cases. See Adams. v. YMCA, 265 S.W. 3d 915 (Tex. 2008). The opinion helps ensure the recovery of damages for mental anguish for abused children throughout Texas. The case was remanded back to the Court of Appeals, and ultimately settled for a confidential amount during appeal.
- William A. Allen Jr. v. IPC of Texas
$830,000 Wrongful death verdict for failure to diagnose - Bexar County, Texas 2009 (Attorneys lead counsel Janice Maloney, and Tom Kemmy).
Plaintiff was admitted to hospital with severe chest pain, and was placed under the care of a hospitalist employed by IPC Hospitalists of Texas. The family claimed that Mrs. Allen died from an diagnosed aortic dissection as a result of miscommunication among the medical team as to who should follow up with examination and treatment of the patient. Jury returned a verdict for $830,000 in damages to make up for the harms and losses suffered by the family. The verdict was reduced by the Court's Judgment pursuant to the statutory damage caps found in Chapter 74, Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code. The case settled for a confidential amount on appeal.
- Delfino Beltran v. Matthew's Marine and D.T. Read Steel
Wrongful Death confidential settlement-Harrison County, Mississippi 2009 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
Delfino Beltran fell to his death and drowned when trapped under a cement column while working on the Bay St. Louis Bridge near Gulfport Mississippi. Delfino was the sole provider for his wife and four children, all citizens and residents of San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Plaintiffs claimed that numerous safety rules were violated in an effort to speed up the project for an early-completion bonus. When the case settled, funds were set aside in an annuity for the support and education of the Beltran children.
- Claudia Cain v. Bartlett Cocke Construction and Moore Erection
Wrongful Death confidential settlement--Bexar County, Texas 2008 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
Scott Cain was a hard working construction worker who supported his wife and three children by working on a crew that erects steel building structures. Scott was working 40 feet off the ground tethered to a Genie Man Lift, when the machine tipped over and carried Scott to his death. Before the Cain family hired the Kemmy firm, their case had actually been filed and prosecuted for a year, and then voluntarily dismissed by one of the leading plaintiff's firms in South Texas, because of the belief that there was no hope of recovery. Suit was re-filed by the Kemmy firm just prior to the statute of limitations. After an extensive investigation, witnesses were discovered who supported Plaintiff's contention that Scott was ordered to operate the Genie Lift under extremely dangerous circumstances and in violation of countless safety rules. The case was successfully resolved for a confidential amount, and Scott's wife and children received funds to help offset the substantial harms and losses caused by grossly negligent conduct.
- Elbert Smith v. Texas Home Health of America
Wrongful death confidential settlement - Bexar County, Texas 2008 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
Elbert Smith, age 81, died in a fire when his home burned down. The house caught fire because bed-ridden Elbert was smoking in bed at the same time he was receiving oxygen by nasal cannula. Two prominent law firms investigated Elbert's death and declined the case based on Elbert's own negligent conduct. The Kemmy firm investigated the case and learned that a home-health attendant, also a smoker, gave Elbert the cigarette, then immediately ended his shift early and left Elbert alone in the house--with the cigarette and the oxygen tank. Prior to mediation Defendant produced its $1 Million dollar insurance policy. At mediation, Defendant produced an additional $1 Million dollar umbrella policy. Elbert's family only agreed to settle after a payment (confidential) that they believe will assure this kind of conduct will not happen again.
- Tracy Ching v. Rescare Inc
Wrongful Death confidential settlement - Bexar County, Texas 2009 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
Tracy Ching was a heroic 41-year old woman who was born with cerebral palsy, and learned to live a productive life despite significant physical disabilities. Although she was bed and chair bound, and had no use of her hands or legs, Tracy lived alone in her own apartment; she communicated through a keyboard using her chin. Tracy employed a home health agency to assist her with her daily needs, including bathing, grooming, dressing and eating. Tracy died unexpectedly while choking on a piece of food. When Tracy's parents found the Kemmy firm, they explained no lawyer would take up Tracy's cause because of her severe disability and the fact that she had a swallowing impediment. Moved by Tracy's courage to live independently, the Kemmy firm promised to at least investigate the circumstances surrounding Tracy's death. The door-to-door interviews at the apartment turned up a 12-year old witness who saw the Rescare attendant outside on Tracy's porch smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone for at least 30 minutes while Tracy was inside eating a piece of food given Tracy by the Rescare attendant. The child was also present when the Rescare attendant went back inside and discovered Tracy's body, and the child described Tracy's plate as having large chunks of pizza too big to chew and swallow. Plaintiff claimed that further investigation proved Rescare attendants received no instruction on how to safely feed someone with conditions like Tracy's. The prosecution of this case served to help protect those in the cerebral palsy community who desire to live independently.
- Michelle Ditoma v. Nursing Home 1 and Nursing Home 2
Injury and Wrongful Death confidential settlement for Plaintiff - Bexar County, Texas (2014) (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
50 year old bed-bound patient with profound brain injury developed pressure ulcers at Nursing Home 1, for which she underwent flap surgery. After months at Nursing Home 2, she developed an additional pressure ulcer and died from infection. Plaintiffs claimed that the bed sores were avoidable, and were the result of lack of attention and care. Case settled for confidential amounts.
- Maria Guerra v. DEF Hospital and Hospitalist Physicians
Personal Injury confidential settlement for plaintiff-Travis County, Texas (2014) (Attorneys - Tom Kemmy and Waylon Allen).
79 year old woman with back pain enters hospital, and for 48 hours deteriorates to point where she is unable to feel her legs. Plaintiff alleged physicians and nurses failed to communicate about changes in condition and failed to investigate cause of back pain-a hematoma pressing against the spinal cord. Plaintiff suffered decreased use of legs and incontinence injury. Case settled for confidential amount.
- Doe v. ABC Company
Wrongful Death confidential settlement for Plaintiff, Bexar County, Texas (2013) (Attorneys - Tom Kemmy and Rosemarie Alvarado). 80 year old passenger died in commercial trucking accident. Case settled for confidential amount.
» Business Tort Cases:
- Vesmor v. El Paso Production
Confidential Settlement over Breach of Oil and Gas Royalty Payment--Star County, Texas, 2010 (Attorney - Tom Kemmy).
Vesmor is a family owned company that owns mineral rights involving properties in South Texas. Plaintiffs discovered that on one of the properties where it owned a mineral interest, El Paso Production was producing oil and paying royalties to someone else. Plaintiff's claimed that there was a 30 year old forged deed in their chain of title and the family of the forger was receiving royalty payments belonging to Vesmor. Plaintiff's sued to re-establish title to their mineral rights and also sought to recover approximately $1 Million dollars in royalty payments that were paid to the forger's heirs. The case was resolved when title was restored and royalty payments were recovered in confidential amounts.
- Larry Adelman v. Ram Stores, Inc.
Confidential settlement for underground water contamination from toxic chemical spill-Bexar County, Texas 2002 (Attorneys - lead counsel Pat Maloney, Jr. and Tom Kemmy).
Over 40 home owners living in the same neighborhood claimed they had their underground water supply contaminated by a 1000 gallon gasoline spill at the nearby Ram Store. Each home had its own private well as its water source, and gasoline was coming out of the kitchen faucets. Plaintiffs claimed the contamination was the result of faulty construction at the Ram store and Ram's failure to timely respond to the spill. Although RAM spent $3 million in remediation costs, the homeowners sought damages for loss of property values in the neighborhood in amounts greatly in excess of the $3 million remediation costs. The case settled for a confidential amount before trial.
- Trinity Retirement Living Foundation v. Highlands Insurance Company
Confidential settlement on 2nd day of trial for bad faith denial of construction bond benefits - Bexar County, Texas, 1988 (Attorneys - Tom Kemmy and Lewin Plunkett).
Highlands Insurance Company issued an $11 million performance bond promising to complete the construction of an assisted living campus, in the event the general contractor failed to complete the project. When the general contractor defaulted, Highlands refused to tender the $5 million the Plaintiff claimed was necessary to cure the construction defects and complete the construction project. Trinity sued for the insurance benefits required to complete the Project, and additionally sought treble damages for bad faith denial of the insurance benefits. The case settled on the second day of trial and Trinity repaired and completed the project.
Our Approach to Trial Advocacy
The Kemmys spend a considerable amount of time in the courtroom, and in front of juries. However, going to trial can always be a risk. In recent years, insurance companies and other corporations have spent billions to run a remarkable propaganda campaign against trial lawyers and their clients. They have been so effective that jurors are now often suspicious of injured victims who have hired a trial lawyer to hold the wrongdoer accountable. However, with the right approach, we have found that when jurors actually hear about a legitimate injury caused by the violation of basic safety rules that we all depend on, they are fair and just with their verdict.
Tom Kemmy has spent more than 30 years successfully representing patients and families injured from medical negligence, and we are determined to fight for the highest possible compensation due under the law. Early in Tom's career he was an insurance defense counsel and was hired to defend doctors, nurses and hospitals. Tom's knowledge of the defense side of litigation proves beneficial when representing injured patients today.