Personal Injury & Medical Negligence Find out how we can help  

When you experience a sudden and traumatic injury or loss due to someone’s negligence, it’s important to have the right people on your side. If you or someone you love is a victim of personal injury, due to no fault of their own, choosing the right attorney could be one of the most important decisions of your life.

Gould Cooksey Fennell has nearly 60 years of experience fighting for those seriously injured as a result of the negligence of others.  Having an attorney with the right kind of experience on your side, protecting your interests, is crucial to take on the insurance companies and other large corporations that have seemingly unlimited resources available to protect their interests.

 

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  • Martin County Jury Awards GCF Client $2.92 Million in Medical Negligence Case

    In July of 2006, Pamela Moore was admitted to Martin Memorial Medical Center for what should have been a simple laparoscopic hysterectomy. After the surgery, however, Mrs. Moore began experiencing abnormal signs and symptoms including low blood pressure, high heart rate, nausea and severe abdominal pain. Those findings notwithstanding, Mrs. Moore was discharged three days after surgery. Over the next 24 hours, her symptoms got even worse, and her husband called 911. She was transported to another facility where a surgeon found that her sigmoid colon had been perforated. By that time, she was near death from septic shock and had a massive infection in her abdominal wall. Although she survived, she has required numerous additional surgeries and continues to suffer from recurrent MRSA infections.

    Instead of accepting responsibility for the harm caused, Martin Memorial Medical Center and the gynecologist, Dr. Mcnaney-Flint denied liability and maintained that Mrs. Moore’s perforation did not occur until after she was discharged from the hospital.

    After a three week trial which concluded on March 18, a Martin County jury rejected the Defendants’ position finding the hospital 70% responsible for Mrs. Moore’s damages and the physician 30% responsible. The award included just over $600,000 for past medical expenses, $370,000 in future medical care, and non-economic damages of almost $2 million.

    Click here to view more verdicts & settlements

     

    Labor & Employment Decision

    GCF’s Labor & Employment law team successfully represented the Indian River County School District in a teacher discipline case before the local school board.  The favorable result was appealed to the Fourth District Court of Appeals, which affirmed and upheld the school board’s decision.

    Indian River County Jury Awards $9.3 Million in Auto Case


    On May 18, 2012 David Carter, Brian Connelly and Jason Odom of GCF’s Personal Injury Group completed a two week trial, resulting in a $9.3 million verdict for client, Leslie Opper.

    At the time of the accident in 2009 Mr. Opper was a 41 year old roofer who was a passionate spear fisherman in his off time.

    On April 11, 2009 the Plaintiff was operating a small motorcycle/scooter when a 91 year old man turned left in front of him hitting him essentially head on. As a result of the collision Mr. Opper sustained catastrophic injuries to his lower body, including snapped femurs and fractures to the spine and pelvis. The trauma doctors at Holmes Regional Medical Center testified in the case that he was one of the most seriously injured patients they have ever treated and that he had less than 16% chance of living. As a result, he has undergone over a dozen surgeries and will require ongoing future care. Currently, Mr. Opper can ambulate a short distance with the aid of Canadian crutches, but has to rely on a wheelchair for longer distances. He has fought to recover at every turn, and has, with the assistance of his friends and motorized scooter, gotten back in the water once.

    Two days prior to the start of trial, the Defendant admitted liability, so the two week trial was a contest as to the amount of damages. On May 18, 2012 the Indian River County jury returned an award totaling $9.381 million.

    Broken Needle Left inside Patient Results in $915,000 Verdict in Summary Jury Trial Proceeding


    When GCF’s client was discharged from a local hospital after a routine surgical procedure, she expected to make a speedy recovery. Instead she spent months battling unexplained pelvic pain. She returned to the doctor who performed the surgery and to the hospital where the surgery was performed on numerous occasions, each time without an answer as to what was causing her symptoms. Eventually, her family doctor became concerned about the unexplained pain and ordered a CT Scan, which revealed a 1.5 centimeter broken suture needle approximately two millimeters from her bladder. The patient required an open abdominal procedure to remove the needle and obtained an infection as a result. A review of the patient’s records not only revealed that the needle had been left behind during the initial surgery, but that both the doctor and hospital administrators knew it was inside her body when she left the hospital.

    A Summary Jury Trial (SJT) was ordered by the Court to issue an advisory ruling on the case being prosecuted by GCF’s Trial Team, led by David Carter and Jason Odom. On Nov. 10th the jury selected jointly by the parties returned a verdict against both the doctor and the hospital and awarded GCF’s client $915,000. The SJT process is utilized by the Court as a method to facilitate settlement without the cost of a complete trial. However, the result is not binding, and if no resolution is reached between the parties, GCF attorneys will present this case to a jury in a full trial early next year.

    Wrongful Death Settlement


    Gould Cooksey Fennell represented the family of an 83 year old woman that was killed when her car was struck by a 18-wheeler on SR 60 in Vero Beach, FL. The decendent’s adult children agreed to proceed as her statutory survivors and obtained a wrongful death settlement of $400,000.

    $1.64 Million Dollars Awarded by Jury to 86 Year Old Couple


    Obtained a Trial Verdict of $1.64 million dollars for injuries sustained by an 86 year old woman in a rollover auto accident on SR 60 in Vero Beach, Florida. After prolonged hospitalization, Mrs. Koebele never fully recovered and an Indian River County Jury awarded $1,170,130 for her injuries and $475,000 for her husband’s consortium claim.

    Laporte v. State of Florida


    Laura Laporte sustained numerous orthopedic injuries as a result of the negligence of a driver working for the State of Florida Department of Agriculture. At trial, the case resulted in a verdict of $5,582,776.82. Because the government’s damages are statutorily limited to $100,000 under Sovereign Immunity laws, Gould Cooksey Fennell’s Personal Injury Group was forced to fight in the Legislature for several years to pursue the passage of a Claims Bill. Ultimately a Bill was passed for 40 times the statutory limitations.

    $750,000 Summary Jury Verdict against Assisted Living Facility


    The Personal Injury Group obtained a $750,000 summary jury verdict, plus entitlement to punitive damages, against an assisted living facility who was found to have engaged in gross negligence. Albert Williams, a resident at the facility, was allowed by the facility’s staff to wander off premises by himself and on foot, even though the facility knew and believed that it was unsafe for him to do so. To make matters worse, Mr. Williams’ family was not timely notified of the situation, which prevented the family from taking action to protect him. Unfortunately, Mr. Williams was allowed to wander off premises for a third and final time, and the facility failed to recognize that he was missing until he had been gone for 24 hours. Mr. Williams was later found by law enforcement, deceased, six days later. Following the verdict rendered by the summary jury panel, the case settled for a confidential amount.

    Confidential Settlement in Wrongful Death of Mother


    Gould Cooksey Fennell served as Co-Counsel in a Georgia case involving alleged misdiagnosis/mistreatment of preeclampsia resulting in the death of a 39 year old mother.

  • Thank you so much for the outstanding work your did on my case. The outcome as worth all the hours you put in.
    -Personal Injury Client

    Thank you very much for your kindness. it means a great deal to our family. We will never forget all that you did for us and you can be sure that I will recommend your office and staff to others for their legal needs.
    -Personal Injury Client

    I wish to thank you for the outstanding job you and your staff did with my lawsuit. I could not ask for any better support than I received. Clearly your firm is outstanding in Florida, as well as Indian River County. I will definitely recommend both your firm, yourself and your staff for excellent work in this field.
    -Personal Injury Client

  • How much does it cost to hire a personal injury attorney?
    Gould Cooksey Fennell has adopted the Contingency Fee Contract approved by the Florida Bar. We do not collect a fee unless we make a recovery on your case. There is no fee to have one of our attorneys meet with you to review your case.

    Should I talk to the at-fault driver’s insurance company?
    It is best to speak with an attorney before you speak with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, the lawyer will advise you how to handle future calls.

    What is the value of my case?
    There is no formula to determine exactly how much a case is worth. The value depends on the severity of your injuries, the details of the case, insurance limits and the defendant’s identity. We will determine the value of a personal injury claim by factoring in the total cost of medical expenses, future medical care needs, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Our experienced litigators will review your claim with you and discuss potential recovery.

    How long will my personal Injury lawsuit take?
    Because each case is unique, it is difficult to determine how long it will take to resolve a personal injury lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit may settle in a few months without the need for a trial, while others can take years to complete.

    What role does insurance play in a personal injury lawsuit?
    Insurance plays a role in virtually every personal injury lawsuit. Though not required, in Florida, most responsible drivers will carry bodily injury insurance (BI). BI insurance covers claims of the at-fault individual or company, and pays for the medical bills and pain and suffering of the injured party. While most lawsuits seek monetary damages that will be paid by the at-fault party’s insurance company, a lawsuit generally does not name the insurance company as a defendant. However, the insurance company hires and pays the lawyer representing the at-fault party.

    Many people wisely purchase additional protection in the event that a negligent driver has limited or no insurance coverage at all. This form of protection is called uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance (UM) and this coverage will help compensate an injured party if the at-fault party’s BI coverage is insufficient.

Types of Litigation We're equipped to meet your legal needs  

  • Auto Accidents

    Auto accidents and motorcycle accidents wreak havoc on your health, your livelihood, your family and your finances. However, today’s insurance companies work tirelessly to protect their self-serving interests to avoid paying victims the fair compensation they deserve.

    Our attorneys represent car and motorcycle accident victims, and are committed to putting our years of experience to work fighting for you.

    The Personal Injury Group comes to the table with detailed medical knowledge, and utilizes the latest technology and modern trial techniques, to further a tireless commitment to detail and preparation. Financial resources, paired with decades of experience, are critical elements in the firm’s mission to hold insurance companies and negligent drivers accountable for catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.

  • Medical Malpractice

    The relationships between physicians and patients should comprise a trusted bond that holds the needs of the patients to a high standard of care. When a medical practitioner violates that relationship, it results in a devastating breach of trust.

    The Treasure Coast community is fortunate to be home to very good physicians; however, if you suspect that a physician has wrongfully harmed you or a loved one, we will not hesitate to help you get the compensation you deserve. We understand that you need legal representation with detailed medical knowledge, extensive financial resources and the ability to understand complex medical issues of liability and injury causality. Our attorneys understand the complexities of Florida medical malpractice law, and have first-hand understanding as to how these cases differ from typical negligence injury claims.

    Our attorneys also understand the emotional impact these claims can have upon you and your family, which is why we fight hard to secure meaningful compensation for your suffering.

  • Defective Products

    When we purchase products to use in our daily lives, we expect product manufacturers to afford us protection from injury or harm that could occur as a result of proper product use. Defective products can cause injury, property damage or even wrongful death. Sellers and manufacturers of those defective products may be legally responsible if they have failed to warn consumers about hazards relating to improper usage, and can be subject to remedying those defects to that they do not harm others. Our lawyers are committed to making sure that manufacturers are held accountable when their products cause harm to the members of our community.
    Our Personal Injury Group handles numerous product liability cases, ranging from defective brakes and automotive tires to ladders and defective medical implants. Other defective products can also include home and office products, food products from stores and restaurants, and prescription and over the counter medication. If you or a loved one was injured after using or ingesting any of these types of products, our attorneys will fight diligently to help you get the compensation to which you are entitled by law.
    For more than 55 years, our attorneys have protected the victims of defective products.

  • Premises Liability

    Landowners and property owners have a responsibility to make sure their premises are kept safe and to protect visitors from injury. If you are injured on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability claim. Whether you have a claim depends on the type of premises, your relationship to the premises, your injury and other factors. If you think you may have a premises liability claim, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover from your physical, emotional and financial hardships.

    Some of the common types of premises liability claims include: slip and fall accidents; dog bite injuries; negligent maintenance; swimming pool/drowning accidents; failure to warn of unsafe conditions; and failure to respond to, fix or otherwise address unsafe conditions.
    If someone else has failed to protect their premises, and you or a loved one were injured as a result, do not hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help.

  • Nursing Home Negligence

    Your loved ones’ golden years should be peaceful, joyous and serene. But dementia, physical limitations, or other age-related ailments can make the aging process of your parents and grandparents difficult to watch. This process is even more fraught if your loved ones are confined to a nursing home, which should be a refuge for people as they are no longer able to adequately care for themselves. Our attorneys stand ready to help protect your loved ones should they be subjected to abusive or negligent nursing home treatment.

    Florida nursing home residents and their loved ones are protected by the Nursing Home Bill of Rights. Fundamental to these rights is the concept that you have the right to be treated humanely and to receive adequate, reasonable care when placed in a nursing home facility. When a nursing home fails to honor this trust, a person or family may bring a claim to seek compensation for the harm. While no amount of money can take adequately cover your loved ones’ suffering, we can work to ensure justice against the nursing home facility and agents responsible for the harm.

  • Social Security Claims

    Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are federal programs that entitle you to income replacement benefits if you suffer from a significant illness, impairment or injury and are unable to earn a living. Our Social Security attorneys understand that a catastrophic illness or injury can be financially and emotionally devastating. Particularly in a difficult economic climate, we understand the importance of these payments and are poised to get you the payments the government rightfully owes you.

    Our detailed knowledge of complicated federal laws and regulations, of injury and medical issues, and our extensive trial experience allow us to heighten your chances of obtaining disability benefits. We are ready to represent you through the Social Security hearing process if it means we can help improve your health and emotional well being through securing these payments.

  • Employment Litigation

    We all depend on our jobs to provide financial support to help survive day-to-day, but to also help raise our families, pay for college and take care of our loved ones in old age. When discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination leaves us unemployed and struggling to find work, the situation can create severe emotional duress. If you are a victim of employment discrimination or harassment, you may be entitled to compensation. Gould Cooksey Fennell represents clients facing a variety of workplace issues – from discrimination, harassment and retaliation, to whistleblower actions, and employment contracts here in Vero Beach.

    When employers partake in illegal and unacceptable workplace practices, employees pay the price.

    If you feel you have been denied a job, terminated or disciplined, discriminated against or have otherwise been subject to unacceptable workplace conditions because of your race, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, national origin, disability, or marital status, you may be entitled to compensation or other legal remedies. Because of the potentially confusing and complex nature of employment claims, as well as strict timelines for filing them, you need an experienced employment attorney to assist in this process.

    The Florida Civil Rights Act, similarly to the Federal Civil Rights Act, prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and marital status. Gould Cooksey Fennell offers a wide variety of employment law services, such as:

    • Sexual harassment: we aim to protect employees from unwanted sexual advances and/or inappropriate verbal or physical conduct in the workplace;
    • Discrimination: we strive for justice against discharge, denial of promotion or pay raise, failure to hire, and demotion based on race, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, religion, or marital status.
    • Whistleblower retaliation: a whistleblower is typically an employee or former employee of a company who reports misconduct of an employer. This person generally sheds light on working conditions unsafe and/or unlawful to employees. Any type of conduct may prompt whistleblowing, but generally the misconduct reported should be a violation of a law, rule, or regulation; and
    • Employment Contracts and Non-Compete Agreements: We defend employees who are subject to non-competition or trade secret agreements.
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