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A Philadelphia jury returned a $2.274 million verdict in a civil medical malpractice case in favor of a former patient against a now-convicted physician. In Rivera v. Bado, July Term, 2014, No. 01548, the Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant recklessly over-prescribed opioids in 2011 and 2012 when the Defendant operated a “pain management” practice. 


The Plaintiff had been referred to the Defendant in March 2010 for chronic pain arising from a Morton’s Neuroma on her foot. Treatment was suspended for most of 2010 while the Plaintiff underwent treatment for an unrelated medical condition. When she returned to the Defendant’s care that December, he instituted a course of treatment that included both direct intravenous infusion of liquid opioids as well as opioid pills. Jeffrey Bado’s treatment of the Plaintiff’s chronic pain featured intravenous infusion of hydromorphone (dilaudid), Nalbuphine, and other potent opioids, on an outpatient basis. The Plaintiff experienced severe complications and side effects from the opioid therapy. The severe complications included multiple hospitalizations for infections, including a life-threatening septicemia that landed her in the intensive care unit for several days in the middle of 2012. She was chronically ill from the excessive use of opioids, including persistent vomiting and weight loss.

The Defendant was board-certified in internal medicine, but not in pain management medicine. He transformed his family medicine practice into a pain management practice for “business model” reasons but never pursued a board certification in the specialty. Plaintiff was represented by Eric G. Zajac and Evan M. Padilla of Zajac & Arias, LLC.


The Defendant was board-certified in internal medicine, but not in pain management medicine. He transformed his family medicine practice into a pain management practice for “business model” reasons but never pursued a board certification in the specialty. Plaintiff was represented by Eric G. Zajac and Evan M. Padilla of Zajac & Arias, LLC.


$3,000,000 Medical Malpractice Settlement


On the first day of trial, defendants agreed to settle a medical malpractice case venued in Camden County New Jersey for over $3 million. The plaintiff was set to prove that an important pre surgery lab test was ignored by the surgeon, and that the postoperative nurse responsible for caring for the patient after surgery failed to identify classic signs and symptoms of a post-operative spinal hematoma, resulting in partial paralysis.


Victims of Airbag Failure Settle for $2 million


For $2 million, an auto manufacturer and its authorized distributor have settled a products liability claim arising from the failure of front airbags to deploy in a head-on collision between two passenger cars. The collision was caused by a drunk driver who crossed over the center line. Zajac & Arias co-counseled on the case with Williamsport-based Lepley, Engelman & Yaw. The clients were on their way to the mall to do some shopping when the crash occurred. The passenger sustained serious, permanent head injuries – the very kind of injuries airbags are meant to protect against. The case was strengthened by an investigative report written by an airbag design expert, whose opinions were supported by other experts in biomechanics and accident reconstruction. Attorney Eric Zajac handled the case for Zajac & Arias, while Attorney Douglas Engelman handled the case for Lepley, Engelman & Yaw.


This was a premises liability action arising from Defendant Carpenter Technology Corp.’s negligence in directing a crew of industrial site workers to modify their task. The modification was completely unnecessary and was directed without considering whether the benefits of the change were worth the associated safety risks to workers. The result was a career-ending injury to Plaintiff, caused by interference in the means and methods of the work Reading Crane (RC) was contracted to perform. As a result of a steel beam rolling onto his left lower leg, Plaintiff was severely injured, including and especially permanent nerve damage with chronic pain. His left talus bone was broken and he incurred significant soft tissue damage from the crushing force of a 1500-pound steel beam.


Martial arts instructor wins $2.5 million dollar verdict


After deliberating for 50 minutes, a Philadelphia jury Friday returned a $2.5 Million verdict to compensate a man for the pain and suffering he received after complications in a thyroid surgery that removed a malignant tumor.


Eric G. Zajac, argued the case for his client, Alan Feldman.


The case was a re-trial that had ended in a hung jury. The first trial lasted about 10 days and after deliberating for two days, the jury was unable to reach a verdict.


Zajac said it took almost two years to re-try the case because of the defendant’s attempted appeal of the hung jury. No settlement offer was ever made.


This time around the trial only lasted four days because fewer witnesses were called, Zajac said.


Mediation Yields $2.5 Million Resolution Plaintiff Suffered Brain Injury as Passenger in Car Crash<>


After non-binding arbitration before Philadelphia lawyer and mediator Thomas Rutter, a Delaware County personal injury action was settled for $2.5 million.


Plaintiff, 19 at the time of the crash, suffered severe brain injury as a passenger in a one-car accident. The defendant driver lost control of a Saab 900 auto while rounding a curve and struck a tree, according to plaintiffs’ counsel Eric G. Zajac.


The car rolled over on its roof and slid 50 feet, Zajac said. Plaintiff, a front seat passenger, was found with his feet under the car and with severe head trauma.


Zajac said the homeowners insurance for the property yielded $250,000 to the settlement fund. The arbitration, which was arranged through the firm ADR Options, found that the driver’s insurer should contribute $2.25 million to settling the case. The driver, Zajac said, was covered by an excess “umbrella” policy issued to his father.


The key issue at mediation was comparative negligence for the plaintiff having placed himself at risk by getting into a car with an intoxicated driver, Zajac said.


“The plaintiff’s investigation revealed that guests at the party did not observe any visible intoxication on the part of the driver when he left the party,” Zajac said in a description of the case. “The defense relied on the police report, which showed that the driver had a strong odor of alcohol about his person at the accident scene, and also that the defendant’s speech was slurred and that his eyes were bloodshot.”


The defense also argued that the plaintiff at least should have known that the driver was impaired, especially since they had been drinking together as social friends in the past.


Part of Plaintiff’s presentation was a videotape showing the young man in athletic competition, tape of the accident scene, wreckage of vehicle, and the plaintiff while being treated for his severe injuries, Zajac said.


Jury awards $668,000 to injured delivery worker


This case arose from the negligent maintenance of a storm grate at a Kmart facility in Easton, Pennsylvania. The storm grate at issue was missing a tine. Our client sustained serious and permanent injuries when he fell through the storm grate and permanently injured his knee and back. At the time of the incident, our client was working as a delivery truck driver for Pepsi Beverage Company. His job required him to provide various retail stores with bottled beverages from Pepsi and involved both driving and unloading the truck. On the morning of the incident, our client arrived at the K-Mart and began unloading his vehicle. The truck’s design required him to unload the beverages from the side rather than from the rear. This meant that he could not use the loading dock ramp or the actual loading dock, but rather parked alongside the rear edge of the property. As he arranged his hand cart on the side of the vehicle and began to unload cases of bottled beverages from the side doors located at the rear of the truck, he was required to step partially onto the vehicle in order to position the cases and to transfer them to the hand cart. As he stepped back from the vehicle, his right foot and leg fell through the storm drain that was missing a tine. Our client screamed in pain and was assisted in removing his body from the drain by an eyewitness. An MRI performed a few weeks later revealed a complex tear of the lateral meniscus of the anterior horn, as well as a mild compartmental osteoarthritis. Our client continued working at this time, but was restricted from driving a commercial vehicle, one of the primary duties of his position with Pepsi. He pursued physical therapy in an attempt to resolve the pain in his knee but ultimately was required to undergo a right knee arthroscopic partial lateral meniscectomy. In addition to his physical pain and suffering, our client sustained significant economic damages from this incident because he is could longer engage in the type of work that he did at the time of the incident, and because he lost his union benefits.


Jury rules for client in medication overdose trial


A Philadelphia County jury has decided in favor of a firm client in a medication overdose case.


The firm’s client suffered from an overdose of Zyprexa. He had been administered the drug by the staff at a nursing center where he was a resident; the order for the anti-psychotic medication had been called into the facility by his treating physician three days earlier.


Just prior to trial the client settled with the nursing home for an undisclosed amount but it remained in the action as a defendant. The trial evidence showed that the client was given 10 times the proper amount of Zyprexa, causing the client to require an emergency room admission for Zyprexa toxicity.


The jury found that the nursing home was fully liable for the client’s damages and awarded Greenberg $125,000. While the jury found the doctor to be negligent, his negligence was not found to be a cause of the injuries.


This case was tried to verdict by Eric G. Zajac.


Injured Trucker Settles for $500,000


This was a premises liability case. We represented a truck driver. The Defendants controlled commercial property where a fall occurred. Tractor-trailers come and go from the facility all day and night. Our client slipped and fell due to the icy condition of the facility’s parking lot. He fell after getting out of his cab, while attempting to operate a cranking device used to secure a trailer to a truck.


The fall occurred at approximately 4:00 AM, when it was dark and cold. Defendants admitted that the kind of work our client was doing required him to walk and/or stand in the spaces between the trailers. Defendants, however, did not clear those areas of snow and ice, and did not treat those areas with salt.


Our client had a history of back problems, including previous back surgery from many years earlier. As recently as a few weeks before the incident, he saw an orthopedic doctor for this. His medical history placed him at increased risk of injury in the event of a fall. Despite his medical history, he was working full time as a truck driver with absolutely no work restrictions.


When the pain did not subside after the subject fall, he went to the emergency room. He began a course of conservative treatment, but within two months of the incident, a CT scan revealed a new back injury that aligned perfectly with the symptoms that began with the fall: A herniated disc at L3-4 with impingement on the nerve. This herniated disc, in conjunction with his previous back history, left him in chronic pain.


The case settled at mediation just days before trial was to begin.


Victim of Fireworks Explosion settles case for over $500,000


This case arose from a community fireworks display. The cause of this incident was a malfunctioning firework that landed in a crowd of spectators who were allowed to sit within the fall-out zone where they should not have been. The fireworks display was held at a township park.


The incident occurred at the very end of the fireworks display, and was caught on videotape. An investigation conducted by the Township revealed that a 3-inch firework known as a “salute” failed to detonate as intended. The firework landed in the crowd, and then quickly exploded. The blast created a crater approximately 2 feet by 2 feet. The blast was sufficiently violent to melt a plastic water bottle nearby.


The Firm’s client was one of many spectators who were injured by the blast. Our client received extensive treatment for his injuries, including from an ears, nose and throat doctor, a physical therapist, a neurologist, psychologists, and at least one psychiatrist. The injuries included: mild traumatic brain injury; neurosensory hearing loss in the left ear; chronic severe tinnitus; disequilibrium; labyrinthine dysfunction; otalgia of the left ear; post-concussion vestibular dysfunction; concussive noise trauma; and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


The Firm’s client was awarded the highest settlement of all the injured spectators.


Airbag Case Settles


This crashworthiness action arose from a collision which occurred in New Jersey. We represented the seat-belted driver of a vehicle traveling at a moderate rate of speed on a two-lane highway in Warren County, New Jersey. The driver was returning to Pennsylvania from his place of employment in New Jersey, when the vehicle traveled onto the opposite lane of travel. There was a head-on impact. In the collision, the driver-side airbag did not deploy and the driver-side shoulder harness was torn from its lap belt. The driver was killed on impact.


Even though the driver was properly restrained by his seatbelt, the failure to deploy the Frontal Impact Airbag led to the vulnerability of his body having to absorb the crash forces that were being produced. These harmful forces would have been reduced or eliminated by the proper deployment of the frontal impact airbag. Additionally, a clear failure of the seatbelt further exacerbated the injury potential of the collision to the driver.


The failure to deploy the driver front airbag resulted directly in the fatal injuries suffered in the collision. The failure to deploy the driver frontal impact airbag rendered the vehicle defective and unreasonably dangerous in the subject collision. The case settled for a confidential amount during mediation.


46 Year Old Woman’s Estate Settles Airbag Defect Claim


Zajac & Arias represented the estate of a 46 year old wife and mother of four killed in a single-vehicle head-on crash. The woman was the front seat passenger. The estate claimed that the airbag should have deployed. Testimony of the on-scene first responders confirmed that the authorities were puzzled why the front passenger airbag had not deployed given the nature of the damage. The settlement was reached with the help of a neutral mediator. The terms of the settlement are confidential. The case was handled by Eric G. Zajac. The case was referred to Mr. Zajac by a law firm in upstate Pennsylvania.


Client Blinded in Paintball Gun Injury<>


This action arose when a 17-year-old boy was visiting the home of his 17-year-old friend. While the parents were home and not supervising the children playing with a paintball gun, the friend accidentally shot our client in the eye and he is now blind in that eye. The claim settled out of court for the full amount of insurance coverage after the insurance company for the friend’s parents commissioned a doctor’s exam. The exam confirmed that our client was blind in the injured eye. The case was handled by Martín Arias.


Failure to Maintain Suicide Watch in a Mental



This action arose when our client committed suicide while under the suicide watch and supervision of a mental health hospital in 2007. The client was supposed to be under constant watch and checked at regular intervals. He was found hanging from his door. The case was settled in alternative dispute resolution by a retired judge. The case was handled by Martín Arias and Eric G. Zajac.


Ford settles SUV rollover



Ford Motor Co. agreed during jury selection to resolve a case involving the rollover of a 1998 Explorer. The rollover resulted in the death of the driver, whose estate hired Zajac & Arias to litigate the case. The case was venued in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential. This case was litigated by firm member Eric G. Zajac along with co-counsel Jerry Baldino, Esquire of Sachetta & Baldino.


GM and Suzuki settle SUV rollover case


General Motors, Suzuki and Cami Automotive have agreed to settle a single-vehicle rollover which resulted in the death of a 20 year-old Pennsylvania man.


On the day of the crash, the driver was scheduled to attend the prom of his girlfriend. The driver was operating a 1997 four door Geo Tracker owned by his parents. As the driver drove on wet roads north along Brighton Road in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, the Tracker began to slide, then rolled over twice, coming to rest on its roof, facing south. The driver and two of his passengers were thrown from the vehicle while it was rolling. The driver, who was not wearing his seatbelt, was actually ejected through the windshield headfirst. EMS personnel found him face down on the pavement, 15 feet away from the Tracker. He reportedly was unconscious and seizing at the scene. He remained in a coma for several weeks but succumbed to major head trauma the next month.


Plaintiff argued that even if he had been seat belted, his head would have been crushed by the severe roof collapse.


The Zajac Law Firm co-counseled with Hal Waldman and Associates of Pittsburgh on this case. The specific terms and conditions of settlement are confidential.


Cancer Victim’s Family Settles Out of



A Blair County judge has approved an out-of-court settlement for the survivors of a woman who died from lung cancer. Judge Hiram A Carpenter was to preside over a two-week civil trial in which the surviving husband of Altoona was suing Sylvan Radiology and now-retired Dr. Mason Whitmore for not diagnosing a tumor that eventually led to the death of Campbell’s 52-year-old wife, Carole. But a recent mediation session resulted in the settlement. The family’s attorney, Eric G. Zajac, a former Altoonan, said he couldn’t talk about the settlement.


GM, Suzuki settle SUV rollover case


This SUV rollover occurred when the driver was side impacted at low speed. Eric Zajac’s client was driving her two-door Geo Tracker at or near the posted speed limit of 35 m.p.h. when a car that had come to a complete stop pulled out and struck her on the passenger side. The impact caused the Tracker to spin clock-wise and roll over. Despite being belted, the driver was ejected and sustained very serious, permanently disabling injuries. This case resolved shortly before trial and the terms and conditions are confidential.