Attorney Charley Smith presented a continuing legal education seminar on determining damages for the Indianapolis Bar Association’s Litigation Section on October 28, 2014. The seminar focused on tools available for determining damages, methods for determining damages, and how to keep clients apprised of any changes in the assessment of damages throughout the litigation. Charley also serves on the Executive Committee of the Indy Bar Association's Litigation Section.
All the legal counsel in the world won't make a difference if your law firm is unable to take your case to court. At Schultz & Pogue, we know how to try cases. In fact, we've earned the business of our clients by our willingness to take your case to trial. With a practice focused on civil litigation, we will provide you with effective, efficient and responsive representation to meet your legal needs. Take some time and get to know us and learn more about the way we work and the impact we've made on our clients, our industry and our community. Give us a call and we'll get working on your case.
Peter H. Pogue, a Principal Partner of Schultz & Pogue, LLP, recently obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a cardiologist in a heart attack resulting in death case tried to a jury in Danville, Hendricks County, Indiana. The decedent, a 47 year old male, presented to the Emergency Room complaining of chest pain, shortness of breath on exertion, sweating, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, which had been occurring on and off for 2 days prior to presentation. The decedent had also presented on two prior occasions to the ER in the previous 6 weeks with similar complaints.
An EKG and cardiac markers were normal in the ER. However, due to the decedent’s complaints of chest pain, the decedent was hospitalized for further cardiology evaluation for chest pain. The defendant cardiologist performed a cardiology workup for the chest pain, inclusive of an exercise treadmill test with echocardiography. The decedent exercised greater than 10 METS on the treadmill, and the cardiologist believed the treadmill EKG and echocardiogram were normal. Two sets of additional cardiac markers were run showing elevated Troponin of .3 and .4, after the initial Troponin was normal at .2. Based on the normal exercise treadmill EKG and echocardiogram, the defendant cardiologist released the decedent and instructed him to follow-up in one week in the cardiologist’s office.
The decedent followed up with the cardiologist’s practice in one week. The decedent was seen by one of the cardiologist’s partners who believed the decedent had GERD and released the decedent to be followed by the decedent’s primary care physician. Eight days later the decedent had an acute myocardial infarction at home. He could not be resuscitated. The autopsy showed a 90% occlusion of the LAD Artery totally occluded by thrombus.
An Indiana Medical Review Panel consisting of 3 cardiologists found that the defendant cardiologist had breached the standard of care and caused the decedent’s death. The Panel relied on the abnormal Troponin level at discharge, and believed the EKG showed ST depression with the echocardiogram showing abnormal wall motion necessitating a heart catheterization. At trial, Peter called an expert witness cardiologist who testified that the defendant cardiologist had appropriately risk stratified the decedent as a low to moderate risk patient based on the decedent’s exercise tolerance, and that the EKG and echocardiogram were normal. The defense expert testified that the decedent could be released and followed with medications.
After 30 minutes of deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the cardiologist.
In September, Michael F. Mullen joined Schultz & Pogue, LLP as an Associate Attorney. Also in September, Nathan Baker joined the firm as a Paralegal. In addition, Jennifer Arriaga joined the firm as a Paralegal in May.
On September 6, 2014, the firm enjoyed a Saturday picnic at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. The family friendly event included a bounce house for the kids, catered lunch, door prize raffles, and bean bag toss. A cotton candy machine was also provided for the kids to enjoy.
Schultz & Pogue, LLP continued its support of the Fayette Regional Health System Foundation with a sponsorship to its annual golf outing held September 6, 2014, at Willowbrook Country Club. The FRHS Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, with its sole purpose to support the mission of Fayette Regional Health System – To Care, To Serve, To Heal. The Foundation helps to ensure the hospital’s diverse strengths – the strengths that make Fayette Regional Health System a critical resource in the Fayette County community. Schultz & Pogue, LLP is proud to support the FRHS Foundation.
Principal Partner Tom Schultz received a jury verdict this summer in an underinsured motorist case that was tried in Tippecanoe County, Indiana. The case involved a motor vehicle accident with clear liability for the defense. The Plaintiff underwent a cervical spine disk fusion as well as shoulder surgery. Medical bills were in excess of $60,000, and a lost wage claim was also asserted. While the jury returned a six-figure verdict for the Plaintiff, after applying set-off rights that were properly perfected by the defense, the net to Plaintiff was only $10,000. This figure was less than what the defense offered during pre-trial alternative dispute resolution, and was also significantly below Plaintiff's last demand prior to trial.
Partner Elliot I. Pinkie obtained a grant of summary judgment this summer in favor of a ladder manufacturer and its retail seller in a products liability action in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana. The Plaintiff alleged a traumatic brain injury after falling from a ladder during his employment in Indiana's RV industry. After removing the matter to Federal Court, and conducting extensive discovery, inclusive of fact and expert witness depositions, Elliott filed a dispositive motion, as well as Daubert challanges. Applying Indiana's Product Liability Act and case in law in support, the Court concluded that Plaintiffs failed to present sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable jury could reach a verdict in their favor. Summary judgment was entered for the defense terminating the litigation a few months prior to its scheduled jury trial. The case also involved a factual dispute as to whether the ladder produced by Plaintiff in discovery was the actual ladder in which Plantiff fell from.
The Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) hosted Schultz & Pogue, LLP's Principal Attorney Tom Schultz this summer at its 2014 annual meeting in Duluth, Minnesota. Tom participated in the meeting in his capacity as North Central Region Director for the Defense Research Institute (DRI). He served as a guest speaker and presented, "Effective Opening Statements-Winning Your Case Before Evidence is Presented."
Principal Partner Tom Schultz has been selected in 2014 as a member of the Association of Defense Attorneys (ADTA), an invitation only defense attorney organization that invites only one attorney per one million in population in each city, town, or municipality across the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Congratulations to Tom on this exclusive achievement.
In February 2014, Schultz & Pogue, LLP, welcomed Ashlie Keaton to the firm as an Associate Attorney. Ashlie focuses her practice in the areas of medical malpractice defense, appellate practice, insurance coverage disputes, insurance defense, and general civil litigation. Ms. Keaton is licensed to practice in the State of Indiana, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Ms. Keaton has experience briefing successful appeals before the Indiana Court of Appeals, as well as experience taking cases through to jury verdict. Ms. Keaton takes pride in providing attentive service to the clients she represents. Ms. Keaton is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, the Indianapolis Bar Association, the Rush County Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, and the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana. In her free time, Ms. Keaton enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, bicycling, and hiking.
Attorneys Jon M. Pinnick and Elliott I. Pinkie attend DRI Medical Liability & Health Care Law Seminar
In March 2014, attorneys Jon M. Pinnick and Elliott I. Pinkie attended the Defense Research Institute's Medical Liability and Health Care Law seminar in Las Vegas. DRI’s Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar offered two days of targeted instruction on emerging topics in the medical malpractice and health care law field. The seminar sessions were aimed at defense attorneys, in-house counsel, claims professionals, and risk management personnel. It focused on cutting-edge topics presented by an accomplished faculty of attorneys, physicians, and claims professionals—all leaders in their respective fields. Attorneys at Schultz & Pogue, LLP remain active in DRI, and Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana.
Principal Partner Peter H. Pogue and Attorney Carla V. Garino received a defense verdict in March 2014 after a two-week medical malpractice jury trial in Montgomery County, Indiana. The verdict was in favor of the defendant cardiologist after a nine hour deliberation. The decedent, an 81-year-old male, presented to the cardiologist with atrial fibrillation. The cardiologist prescribed Amiodarone, a medication to attempt to cardiovert the patient back into sinus rhythm. Amiodarone can interact with other heart medications, such as Digoxin, and cause a patient to become Digoxin toxic. After three weeks, the patient experienced Digoxin toxicity, was hospitalized, and later died. The patient's family sued for medical negligence and wrongful death. The Medical Review Panel found unanimously against the cardiologist opining that he breached the standard of care and that the breach was a factor in the resultant damages. At trial, Plaintiff presented expert testimony from the members of the medical review panel, as we well as independent cardiologists from Harvard University and Northwestern Univeristy. The defense presented an expert witness cardiologist from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
On March 1, 2014, Schultz & Pogue, LLP attorneys Elliott Pinkie, Dan Gearhart, and Katie Pavlica attended the Fayette Regional Health System's 14th Annual Foundation Gala in Connersville, Indiana. The event was a Black & White Masquerade, featuring a silent auction, dinner, live entertainment, and the Endless Summer Band. The Foundation's mission is to provide funding for the FRHS to help support community programs and services that will ensure continued growth in the local community. Schultz & Pogue, LLP is proud to support the Fayette Regional Health System Foundation.
Attorneys Tom Schultz and Brandon M. Kimura obtain Summary Judgment in college hazing lawsuit against Wabash College
Tom Schultz and Brandon M. Kimura successfully defended a grant of summary judgment in the Indiana Supreme Court in Yost v. Wabash College et al. The plaintiff, a college freshman, claimed to have suffered a brain injury as a result of hazing at a Wabash College fraternity. The plaintiff also sought an award of punitive damages. The trial court granted summary judgment and the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed. Following oral argument, the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed upon concluding that the College, as landlord of the local fraternity house, did not have a duty and did not assume a duty to prevent such alleged injury, and the College was not vicariously liable for the local fraternity house. This opinion shifted the focus for Indiana collegiate hazing cases from the anti-hazing statute to issues concerning landowner and vicarious liability.
Three Partners at Schultz & Pogue, LLP have been selected for inclusion in the listings of Indiana Super Lawyers® for 2014. They are as follows: Thomas R. Schultz, General Litigation; Peter H. Pogue, Personal Injury Defense, Medical Malpractice; and Jon M. Pinnick, Personal Injury Defense, Medical Malpractice.
The objective of the publisher of the Indiana Super Lawyers® publication is “to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys.” The annual Super Lawyers® selection processes is multi-phased, including independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Up to 5% of the total lawyers in Indiana are selected for inclusion in the listing of Super Lawyers®.
Schultz & Pogue, LLP congratulates its founding members on the 2014 Class of of Indiana Super Lawyers® and recognizes their recent publication in Indiana Super Lawyers® magazine, a supplement to the Indianapolis Monthly magazine.
Brandon M. Kimura Appointed to Executive Committee of Appellate Practice Section of Indy Bar Association
In the fall of 2013, Attorney Brandon M. Kimura was appointed to the Executive Committee of the Appellate Practice Section of the Indianapolis Bar Association. The Executive Committee oversees the Committee’s work to provide a forum to discuss current appellate issues; interact with local appellate attorneys, judges, and justices; provide continuing legal education; host moot oral arguments; and, when appropriate, be the voice of the local appellate bar by filing substantive amicus curiae materials as a “friend of the Court.” At Schultz & Pogue, LLP, Brandon incorporates his understanding of the appellate process and courts into his civil litigation defense work and maintains an active civil appeals practice, as well.
The Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana's (DTCI) 20th Annual Conference and Meeting of the Membership was held in Michigan City on November 21-22, 2013. Schultz & Pogue, LLP attorneys Tom Schultz, Elliott Pinkie, and Dan Gearhart attended and participated in the conference. Elliott presented on behalf of DTCI's Trial Tactics section regarding the effective use of expert witnesses in civil litigation for the defense. Several members of Schultz & Pogue, LLP remain active in DTCI.
Congratulations to Tom Schultz on being inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers in the fall of 2013. Founded in 1950, the College is composed of the best of the trial bar from the United States and Canada, Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only and only after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose profession careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Lawyers must have a minimum of fifteen years trial experience before they can be considered for Fellowship. Membership in the College cannot exceed one percent of the total lawyer population of any state or province. Congradulations to Tom on his acheivement!
Attorney Brandon M. Kimura was published in the November 15, 2013 Edition of The Whisper, the newsletter of the Young Lawyers Committee for the Defense Research Institute (DRI). Brandon's article, "Wingman: How to Second-Chair a Jury Trial," addresses the roles and responsibilities of a young lawer sitting second-chair for the defense. And remember, "Never leave your Wingman."
Partner Elliott Pinkie spoke at the Administrators In Medicine's (AIM) Regional Meeting. AIM is the National Organization for State Medical & Osteopathic Board Executives. The conference was held in Indianapolis on October 28-29, 2013. Elliott represented the interests of the respondent in a panel discussion titled, "Attorneys or Acrobats? Strategies for Balancing Time and Due Process in Administrative Hearings."