Getting results for our clients is our number one goal. May Law has recovered over $30 million to date for clients.
The following cases were resolved successfully and are listed here below as examples of the types of injury cases and claims resolved by Attorney Sidney D. May.
Rear-end collision at traffic light with multiple orthopedic injuries. Liability recovery and Under insured motorist benefits paid on two household auto policies.
Young woman in her early thirties was rear-ended at a traffic light along SR 309 in the “Back Mountain” in Luzerne County. Initially, she appeared to have only sprain/strain injuries to her knee and neck. In the passing weeks, additional injuries were diagnosed including shoulder and low back injuries. Also, her neck and shoulder injuries were found to be more serious than originally diagnosed. Conservative treatment was unsuccessful in relieving her pain and physical limitations. Medical specialists were sought for second opinions regarding her injuries and ultimately she underwent multiple orthopedic surgeries. The bodily injury limits of coverage on the defendant driver were paid in full and additional Under Insured motorist benefits paid in full under her own auto policy and the policy of another resident relative (her mother) in the household for a total recovery of over $125,000.00
Boilermaker with left arm torn biceps injury. Worker’s compensation and Social Security Disability recovered.
A boilermaker suffered a torn bicep while lifting heavy materials on the job. After surgeries, the boilermaker remained unable to return to his former level of work. Employer attempted to modify (reduce) benefits payments. After getting May Law involved with his case, the injured worker sought a second opinion with by another doctor regarding the long-term effects of the bicep injury. With additional medical evidence as to the full effect of the biceps injury, the workers compensation claim was resolved for a lump sum payment in excess of $200,000.00.
Additionally, although still in his forties, May Law recommended that he apply for Social Security Disability benefits. When his claim was denied by the Social Security Adeministration, May Law appealed the denial and benefits were granted by the Administrative Law Judge after a hearing.
“On the job” rear-end collision. Worker’s Compensation denial resolved in favor of injured worker.
Woman employed as a counselor was injured when rear-ended by an SUV while on her way to an appointment with a client. Following the collision, she continued to work while treating for neck pain. Her primary care doctor ordered an MRI which showed a disc injury to her neck and advised woman to discontinue work until further notice pending a consultation with a neurosurgeon regarding the injury. The employer denied her claim for workers compensation, claiming her injury was not work-related but rather a pre-existing condition. After depositions of the examining doctor for the employer and the injured woman’s primary care doctor, the case was resolved for a lump sum payment of approximately $65,000.00.
Rear-end Collision on “exit ramp” of Cross Valley Expressway SR 309.
A young man in his thirties employed as a construction worker was stopped in traffic on an exit ramp of SR 309 (North Cross Valley Expressway) in Wilkes-Barre when he was rear-ended by an elderly driver. The elderly driver had no recollection of the collision or how it happened when questioned by the investigating officer. Although the injured man was initially diagnosed as having lumbar strain injury, it was later determined that he had sustained multiple injuries, most significantly a lumbar spine disc injury. He tried to return to work with his employer in a light duty capacity at first but he was unable to continue because of his injuries once the employer sought that he return to his regular job duties. The construction worker then attempted to start his own business when no longer able to do his job for the employer. The elderly driver’s insurer took issue with the amount of the earnings losses claimed by the injured man during the time he was trying to get his new business established. With a mediation, the defendant driver’s insurer agreed to pay over $130,000.00 to settle the claim.
Slip and fall on snow and ice covered sidewalk in early morning hours. Meteorologist expert retained to establish how long sidewalk had been left covered with snow and ice.
Woman was out before dawn walking her dog in her neighborhood. She went from one side of the street where she lived over to the other side. As she stepped up onto the sidewalk she fell on an uncleared accumulation of snow and ice, sustaining a fractured wrist. Weather records indicated there had been a snowfall approximately three days earlier. The sidewalk was located on a corner lot in a Luzerne County neighborhood. Photographs of the accident scene were not taken until several days later and showed the property owner had cleared the sidewalk located at the front of the house but not the sidewalk alongside the house. It was disputed by both parties’ as to the intervening weather conditions and the extent of melting that had occurred from the morning of the her injury until the date photos were taken. A meteorologist was retained to examine the photographs of the property owner’s sidewalks taken days after the fall and to correlate the weather patterns for melting over that time period. Case was ultimately settled for about three times the initial settlement offer just before trial.
Garbage truck and SUV intersection collision. Low back injury with surgery.
A nurse driving her SUV came to a stop at a rural “T” intersection in Luzerne County when a garbage truck turning left onto the road she was traveling colliding with her vehicle. It was disputed as to whether she had come to a stop within her lane or whether the garbage truck had “cut the corner” into her lane. There was a witness to the incident that provided some evidence as to the relative positions of the vehicles at the point of impact who was contacted to get a more specific account of the crash than available from the police accident report. While treating for her injuries, the nurse was involved in another collision when she was rear-ended at a stop sign. The insurer for the garbage truck disputed both the extent of injury and the cause of her low back injury by arguing that the relatively minor subsequent collision was the contributing cause of her injuries. She eventually underwent lumbar spine surgery for her disc injury and was unable to return to her job as a nurse at a personal care home. The case was settled for a total of approximately $450,000.00 with payments from the garbage truck’s liability insurer and her own auto policy under insured motorist (UIM) coverage.
Wheel breaks loose from livestock trailer striking oncoming vehicle. Low back Injury.
Guest passenger was riding in the front seat with a fellow employee on their way home from work. A truck pulling a cattle trailer on its way home from the Luzerne County fair was approaching from the opposite direction on SR 309 in Dallas Township when it one of the trailer wheels broke loose from the trailer and careened into the front of the car pool vehicle. The guest passenger, seeing the loose wheel coming towards him and tried to duck below the windshield and dashboard to avoid injury. Nevertheless, he was jolted hard from the force of the impact. The insurer for the trailer owner and its driver defended the claim on liability (fault) by taking the position that the wheel failure could not have been foreseen and also argued that the passenger’s injuries were not caused by the impact. Both a metallurgist and trucking safety expert were retained to examine the wheel. It was found that the trailer wheel showed signs of metal fatigue (cracks) and other deterioration from exposure to the elements and barnyard waste which should have been visible to both the trailer owner and also by the truck driver if a proper pre-trip inspection was performed. The case was settled in the six figures with payment from the trailer owner’s insurer and from under insured motorist coverage.
Bindery operator in paperback manufacturing plant suffers aggravation of varicose vein ulcers.
A long-time employee missed various lengthy periods from work over his years of continuous service to employer because of open ulcers on his lower leg and ankle. The employee had sustained an injury to his lower leg at the plant about 25 years earlier but the employer never accepted it as a work – related injury. Since that initial injury, the worker continued to have problems with open sores or ulcers developing at the area of his lower leg and ankle. Over the years, the employer always directed him to take “short term disability benefits” and submit the bills for treatment to his health insurance rather than accept the problem as a work-related injury. After repeated absences from work for multiple vein surgeries, the employer notified employee that he was being terminated if he did not return to work at his normal position. Employee then consulted May Law regarding the problem. On behalf of the worker, May Law filed a Claim Petition against the employer alleging that the employee’s disabling condition was the result of an aggravation of pre-existing injury brought on by his job duties and that he was qualified for wage loss benefits under the Workers Compensation Act . The employee testified that his job duties required him to spend most of his work day on his feet. Employee’s primary care doctor testified that the job conditions aggravated the employee’s venous condition to the extent it left him unable to do his regular duty job. May Law negotiated a settlement for a lump sum payment to the employee which was approved by the worker’s compensation judge.
Factory worker terminated from job while on partial disability benefits for violation of company medical leave policy is successfully reinstated to workers compensation – Video Surveillance used by employer. Lackawanna County.
Employee had returned to modified duty work at a Lackawanna County factory after having been out of work for several months with a work-related back injury. He was receiving partial disability benefits while back on the job as he was at a lower average weekly wage at the modified duty job. Shortly after getting back to work he was terminated by employer on the basis that video surveillance and an investigation showed that he was doing landscaping work that summer while recuperating from his back injury and getting workers compensation benefits. The employer claimed that this side work violated the company medical leave policy and refused to reinstate him to full workers compensation benefits. The employee consulted May Law. It was determined that the employee had been doing landscaping services (“side jobs”) on a part-time self-employed basis for several years while also working for employer. Also, there were indications that the employer was well aware of his side work over the years and this led to the surveillance. A petition to reinstate compensation benefits was filed against the employer. It was successfully argued that the employer wrongfully discharged employee as the company’s personnel records and employee handbook clearly indicated that he was not on a medical leave at the time but was receiving workers compensation. As such side work was not prohibited, full benefits were reinstated by the workers compensation judge and the employer ordered to pay employee’s attorney fees.
Truck driver injured when tractor-trailer tips over. Worker’s compensation lump sum cash settlement.
When making a tight corner on an unfamiliar road, a Carbon County truck driver was injured when his rig tipped over onto its side. As a result the crash, he suffered multiple injuries, including injury to his low back and leg. In an effort to modify or suspend his benefits, the employer sought multiple medical evaluations by various “company doctors” – defense medical examinations usually called “independent medical examinations” by employers or insurers. The truck driver called Attorney Sidney D. May on a recommendation and referral from his friend who had been an injury case client. The Employer filed a petition to modify (reduce) benefits claiming driver was able to return to modified duty work. Counter measures were taken with truck driver advised to treat with doctors unconnected to the insurance company for a fair evaluation on the extent of the injuries and resulting physical restrictions regarding ability to return to work. The claim was resolved for a lump sum of over $140,000.00.
Trucker injured when rear-ended on interstate highway.
While stopped in traffic driving a “bob tail” tractor truck, truck driver from Scranton area was rear-ended by an eighteen wheeler in the Harrisburg area. The full extent of his injuries were at issue both with the employer’s workers compensation and with the other trucker’s insurer. The driver sustained a low back injury but also claimed headaches and other neurological problems from a head injury. Attorney Sidney D. May represented the truck driver in both his workers compensation claim and his personal injury claim against the other trucking company. The trucker was advised to seek further investigation and evaluation of the head injury which was pursued with a local neurologist to help establish the full extent of injury and residual disability suffered in the collision. The case against the other trucking company was settled for over $100,000.00. Additionally, once the truck driver had recovered well enough to return to work, his workers compensation claim was settled and the employer’s subrogation lien satisfied for over $20,000.00.
Electric supply van driver in head-on collision in Lancaster County
An oncoming automobile was traveling too fast for conditions on SR 222 near Lancaster, PA when it came upon congested traffic that had come to a stop. The highway was wet form some rain earlier that day and the oncoming driver failed to reduce his speed despite the wet conditions. The speeding driver lost control of his automobile when he hit the brakes when he tried to stop. He then skidded across a grassy median and directly into the the opposite lanes, crashing violently into the van driven by an electrical supply delivery van driver. The delivery driver, a Carbon County resident, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital in Lancaster where he remained for several days while treated for multiple serious injuries, including back injury, lacerations, and a throat injury. The delivery driver remained under doctor’s care and was disabled from his job for several months. Fortunately, he received workers compensation benefits during that time.
The speeding driver was found to have been “on the job” as a sales representative at the time of the crash. A personal injury law suit against the driver and his employer was litigated in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas as that was the county where the speeding driver resided. Ultimately, the law suit was resolved for over $200,000.00.
Following the settlement, the delivery driver’s employer sought to suspend or modify the benefits being paid to him pursuant to the Workers Compensation Act. Through the efforts of Attorney Sidney D, May, a lump sum cash settlement was negotiated from the employer’s Workers Compensation insurance carrier.
Auto body shop worker with repetitive stress injury to elbow.
After working for several years as a painter in auto body shop, employee began experiencing pain and inflammation in his elbow. The employer accepted the injury but after receiving compensation benefits for several months, the employer then disputed as to whether or not the employee could return to full duty without restrictions. The employer sought medical examinations and functional capacity evaluations seeking to reduce or suspend Workers Compensation benefits. The claim was resolved for over $100,000.00.
Wrongful Death of child in building fire – dispute over insurance policy exclusion terms
A young boy was staying with his grandmother who operated a rural tavern. The boy was asleep in the living quarters of the tavern while his grandmother was operating the business. After closing the tavern for the night, the grandmother had fallen asleep while heating up some food in a pan on the kitchen stove. The unattended pan caught fire, and the fire spread through the tavern. Tragically, the young boy died in the blaze. The insurance company for the tavern claimed that a policy exclusion prohibited payment for the loss as the boy was a resident relative in the household. It was disputed as to whether the boy was a resident in the household. The parents of the boy were unmarried and he was back and forth between the two, staying with one or the other at various times. Also at issue was whether an exclusion in the insurance policy was in force at the time of the loss. A careful review of the insurance policy forms showed that the endorsement codes for the policy as provided in pre-trial discovery were not the same as the code numbers on the policy declarations page issued to the tavern. It was argued on behalf of the boy’s mother that there was improper notice of the change in policy terms and that the policy exclusion was therefore void and did not apply to the loss. The case was argued in the U.S. District court and the policy exclusion issue was decide in favor of the parents of the child. The insurance company paid the claim soon afterwards.
Boat comes loose from trailer on Interstate 81 in Luzerne County striking a worker in construction zone.
Equipment operator was on a sweeping machine along the side of the highway in a construction zone. A vehicle towing a boat on a trailer was coming down a long grade on I-81 in Luzerne County when the boat came loose and slid off the trailer and careened into the sweeping machine injuring the construction worker. The insurer for the driver who failed to properly secure the boat to the trailer paid the claim. The construction worker had Under Insured Motorist (UIM) coverage on his own household vehicles. A claim was made for under insured motorist benefits, which was disputed in court. The issue was decided by the county court judge in favor of the injured worker but his insurance company appealed. The issue was argued successfully before the Pa. Superior Court and thereafter the claim was settled with UIM benefits paid to the worker.
School bus driver injured in head-on collision in Hazleton area. Worker’s Compensation and Personal Injury.
Woman employed as a school bus driver had a route from Carbon County into the Hazleton area of Luzerne County. She was struck head-on by another vehicle while on her route in the Hazleton area. The vehicle at fault for striking the bus had only minimal liability coverage and this was paid to her.
The school bus driver suffered a serious back injury including lumbar disc damage. Initially, she saw a chiropractor but was later referred for a surgical consultation as manipulation therapy was unsuccessful. She decided to undergo lumbar spine surgery as other treatments had not relieved her pain or improved her function. The value of the claim exceeded the amount of coverage on the vehicle that struck her. The bus driver had under insured (UIM) coverage on her own vehicle which was paid to her. The school bus was insured through the school district and at issue was the whether under insured motorist (UIM) benefits were available to the bus driver and in what amount. Documents regarding the school district coverage were pursued and it was argued that there was additional benefits available to her. Finally, the claim was resolved that the bus driver was eligible for benefits with a total recovery for her injuries of over $250,000.00. Also, her worker’s compensation claim was litigated and resolved favorably.
Slip and fall in hospital parking garage results in shoulder rotator cuff injury. Inadequate drainage and delayed maintenance of garage claimed as cause of icy conditions leading to woman’s fall.
Woman at a hospital to visit her ailing husband was walking from her car to the elevator in hospital’s parking garage. As she stepped aside to avoid a vehicle coming through the garage, she slipped on a patch of ice and fell thereby injuring her shoulder. Although another woman (believed to be a hospital employee as she was dressed in a uniform) stopped to help her up and get assistance. A hospital security worker was called to the scene and the woman was admitted to the hospital for treatment. The hospital security staff did an investigation, getting a statement form the injured woman but failed to identify the woman believed to be a hospital employee who offered aid. Also,some photographs were taken of the scene which failed to show the ice and did not match with the injured woman’s recollection as to where exactly she had fallen.
Rotator Cuff Surgery was needed to treat her shoulder injury. The injured woman was a cafeteria worker and the injury kept her out of work for several weeks.
The hospital claims representative would not consider settlement of the claim. Attorney May was retained and investigated the incident further. The injured woman and he met at the scene to review the facts together, Inspection of the scene showed that the parking garage floor had signs of wear from water dripping onto the concrete and eroding the surface. The parking level where the woman fell was a mid-level floor of the garage with other level above. These leaks were causing visible wear and damage to the concrete floor, leaving low spots where water could accumulate and freeze. Photos of the underside of the level above showed signs of numerous leaks as well. Suit was filed and it was alleged the garage maintenance was lacking and pre-trial discovery documents obtained form the hospital revealed that the garage was under repair for the drainage system and other upkeep begun some months earlier but work was suspended during the winter months. The fall occurred in February. After depositions were taken of hospital maintenance supervisor and other hospital employees, the claim was settled.
Right Arm injury at garment distribution center in Monroe County- Workers Compensation claim resolved in favor of injured worker with lump sum payment
Repetitive stress and overuse can result in disabling injuries for distribution and warehouse workers. While employed as a “packer” at a clothing warehouse and distribution center in the Poconos, woman sustained a painful and persistent injury to her right arm. She suffered multiple right upper extremity injuries – her shoulder and wrist- which were diagnosed variously as strains, tendonopathy, bursitis, and sprain. At the time of injury, she was employed both as a packer and had a second job as an aide working with disabled/challenged persons in a residential/institutional setting. Because of the work injury, she was unable to perform either of her two jobs. Although the distribution center objected, Attorney May was able to get her paid benefits bases on her total wages from both employers as required by the law. After having received workers compensation benefits for several months, the claim was resolved for a lump sum payment in the six figures.
Heating oil spill during home delivery – heating oil delivery company tries to blame elderly homeowner for spill.
An elderly couple in their 90s residing in Luzerne County were longstanding customers of a heating oil company. Over the years they would get regular delivery of heating oil to their home during the winter months. Their home had a fuel oil storage tank located in the basement with an outside filler pipe. The home heating oil delivery man was filling the tank when it overflowed with fuel oil spilling into the basement and out a basement drain into a pond on the property. The heating oil company denied responsibility for the spill and tired to blame the elderly home owner for leaving a plug open in the storage tank.
Attorney Sidney D. May went to the scene and obtained photographs of the storage tank and related hardware as part of a thorough investigation. Through the use of an engineering expert, it was established that the fuel delivery man failed to act properly regarding the outside “vent alarm” installed with the storage tank. Cross examination of the delivery driver revealed that although he did not hear a strong “whistling sound” from the “vent alarm” he continued to fill the tank from outside the home. The lack of sound (a whistling noise) from the vent alarm was a warning sign to stop filling the tank. The lack of noise from the vent alarm meant no air was being displaced from the tank and therefore oil was leaking out of the tank rather than filling it up and pushing air out the vent alarm. As a result, the heating oil had spilled out from a hole on the top of the tank and flowed out into the home and pond. The claim was submitted to mediation and it was resolved that the heating oil company pay for the damage done and remaining clean up costs.
Bunion surgery by podiatrist gone wrong
After consulting with a local podiatrist for her bunions, a Luzerne County woman agreed to undergo Bunion Surgery. The podiatrist performed the procedure in his office under local anesthesia to correct bunion. The procedure included an “osteotomy” of the first metatarsal bone (large bone connected to the big toe). This includes cutting completely through the bone to reunite the bone for better position of the joint. The bone foot failed to heal together leaving her with a non-union of the first metatarsal – a failed procedure with pain. Upon consulting Attorney May, a review of her medical records was obtained with an independent podiatrist which revealed that her treating podiatrist cut through the bone at the wrong location and this prevented the bone from uniting. The claim was settled for six figures without the need for a trial.
Hospital surgical prep error and Surgeon mistakenly operates on the wrong knee of high school cheerleader
Hospital errors can happen in the most routine procedures. A high school cheerleader suffered a knee injury which required surgery. In preparation for the surgery, the hospital staff failed to make the proper indications and the non-injured knee was marked for the procedure. Unfortunately, the surgeon failed to notice this error and began cutting on the wrong knee. Once inside the girl’s knee the surgeon realized that a mistake was made in identifying the correct knee. He then closed up the lengthy incision and went on to perform the necessary procedure on the injured knee. Nevertheless, the teenage girl was now left with a pair of matching unsightly surgical scars on both her knees, both several inches long. Ultimately, the hospital acknowledged the system failure in properly preparing the girl for knee surgery and the claim was settled without the need for a lawsuit.