Settlements or Jury Awards
ELSWICK (on left) didn't have
to go to court last Wednesday because
his trial against Krispy Kreme settled
the day before. So, instead of
going to court, Teddy strolled out to
his barn, he and his son, Todd (on
right) to feed their horse. That's
when they came upon "the biggest rattler
I ever saw," Teddy said. The snake
also saw Teddy and slithered toward a
stack of hay. "If that thing had
gotten into the hay, we wound never have
found it," Todd said. So, Todd did
what he had to do. He picked the
snake up with a rake and "slung it out
the door" where he was able to kill it.
Teddy, of Pikeville, was an underground
coal miner for 22 years until he
suffered serious injuries early one
morning on his way home from working the
night shift at which time he was
involved in a crash with a Krispy Kreme
truck which, according to Teddy's
lawsuit filed by John Kirk, occurred
when the truck crossed over the center
line and hit Teddy causing serious
spinal and other injuries for which
Teddy was hospitalized and which have
prevented him from working over the past
13 months. "It doesn't look like I
will ever be able to go back to coal
mining," Teddy said.
Teddy's case, set for trial last week in
the Pike Circuit Court, settled for $1
$42 million Judgment in Knott Circuit
Court for Reberta Jent who was badly
injured when a vehicle in which she was
a passenger was struck by a vehicle
driven by an employee of Murrial-Don
Coal Company in April 2010. Judgment is
now final and coal company has sued its
London, England Insurance Company for
for $2.5 Million for injuries
sustained by Mary Ward, age 22 at the
time, in a car-truck crash at
Paintsville. Case was brought by
Janice Ward, of Harold in Floyd County,
on her daughter's behalf. Case was
set for trial in July 2009, but settled
at Mediation. Case practiced by
John C. Kirk and Kyle Salyer.
Settlement in the matter of the
Wrongful Death of Joey Haney who was
killed in a car-truck crash at Louisa in
March 2008. Mr. Haney's wife,
Wendy, brought the case on behalf of
herself, from injuries she received in
the crash, on behalf of the couple's two
minor children, and on behalf of the
estate. Case settled at Mediation
shortly before trial. Case
practiced by John Kirk.
Seven Figure Settlement in the
matter of the tragic and wrongful death
of Joey Kirk of Inez who died on
December 14, 2007, when the vehicle in
which he was a passenger was crashed
into by Richard S. Gussler who -
according to a resulting criminal
indictment and proceeding - was
operating a vehicle while impaired by
drug substance. Gussler was a
salesman for a local car
dealership. The dealership was
also a defendant in the civil
action. Mr. Kirk was married to
Sharon Kirk who brought the civil action
on behalf of the estate. Case
practiced by Jeff Hinkle and John C.
Six Figure Settlement in the
matter of Kenzie Little and Gary Little
and their mother, Stacey Scott, for
injuries received when their vehicle was
involved in a crash with a school bus
near Weeksbury in Floyd County in April
2007. Case was set for trial in
August 2008 and settled at
Mediation. Case practiced by John
C. Kirk and Kyle Salyer.
Seven-Figure Settlement for
widow whose husband died after his
vehicle was crushed by coal truck
weighing 150,000 pounds. Two separate
seven-figure settlements, one of which
was the trucking company. Other
defendant mined and loaded the coal into
the truck of the independent contractor
trucking company. Theory against mining
company was one of complicity and that it
was negligence per se for a truck
weighing 150,000 pounds to travel over roads approved
for 60,000 pounds. Case was practiced by
John C. Kirk and John
Kirk. (see below for a
similar, but different case.)
Seven-Figure Settlement at Mediation for
client who received injuries from a rock
left on an incline slope of a surface
mining company, a rock that tumbled down
the hillside and onto a vehicle in which
client was a passenger. client – an
employee of a garage – was an invitee
onto the premises who had gone to pick
up a vehicle. Defendant defended on
exclusive remedy since client received
workers’ comp and also defended on
grounds that client had signed a release
before going on the premises. Case was
settled for confidential seven-figure
amount. Case done by John Kirk.
Settlement for widow whose
husband died after a vehicle traveling
in front of him crossed center line and
struck a coal truck which then crossed
to other side of road and struck
decedent’s truck. Loaded truck weighed
126,000 pounds. Road was approved
pounds. Kirk Law Firm
was second firm
contacted by client. Client was
originally told that she did not have a
“winnable” case given the police
report and a witness’s account of the
accident. Civil action was filed against
trucking company and coal company that
loaded the truck on theory that it was
negligence per se for the truck to
be “illegal” and that the mining
company was complicit. Both defendants
paid confidential amounts to
settle. Case was practiced by John
Kirk, John C. Kirk, and Kyle Salyer.
regarding a similar, but different
County Jury Award For Client In $2
million Estate when jury found
9-3 for client, who was
sister of testator. Testator was widow
who apparently died intestate leaving
other siblings as heirs at law. Client
was last child of large family and was
raised by testator in a mother-daughter
relationship. After administrator was
appointed and estate distribution to
come before court, beneficiary found
last will and testament in testator’s
effects in an unusual place and filed
for probate, which prompted siblings to
sue alleging, among other things,
forgery. Although siblings had expert
who testified that will – which was
prepared by an unknown person with legal
expertise – was forged, beneficiary
won because jury believed other fact
witnesses. Case practiced by John
Settlement Amounts paid to 130
whose properties were
damaged by alleged illegal mining
activities. Case practiced by John
Settlement Amount paid to
college student who collided with a coal
truck on her way to class at Hazard
Community College. Physical evidence
showed that client perhaps slid on water
across line into path of truck. Plaintiff’s theories of
case were: (a)
contributory negligence and (b)
negligence per se on grounds that
“overloaded” truck was
“illegal.” Case was practiced
by Phillip Wheeler.
Families Whose Properties Were Damaged
By 2000 Ecological Disaster when
70 acre slurry impoundment collapsed
into underground mines releasing
350,000,000 gallons of coal waste water
into Martin County watersheds and
eventually into the Ohio River, causing
Kentucky’s governor to declare a state
of emergency, were settled at mediation
for confidential amounts. See news
account. Case practiced by John C.
Kirk, John Kirk,
and Christy Smith.
Elswick, a former Pike County
coal miner who worked the midnight to
daylight shift, received a ruptured disc
on way home from work early one morning
when his vehicle was struck by a Crispy
Kreme Truck. Case was defended on theory
that 54 year old client had pre-existing
disc pathology from mine accident.
settled at mediation for $1
million. Case practiced by
Bobby Rowe and John Kirk.
paid to mother and high school
daughter who were injured when their SUV
was struck by a delivery truck. Daughter
suffered a broken leg and was unable to
continue with her basketball career.
Case was practiced by John C. Kirk.
awarded by Floyd County jury to
who had been fired
from his position as General Manager by
Clayton Mobile Homes allegedly for
violating the company’s “no guns at
work” policy. Mr. Kirk, a CMH employee
for 13 years, had an employment
understanding that he shared the expense
of damages and losses to mobile homes on
the company’s LUV Homes lot at Ivel.
Over a period of three years, the lot
experienced numerous thefts (including
Mr. Kirk’s truck), break-ins and
burglaries. In March 2005, Mr. Kirk,
sensing that his lot was to be “hit
that night,” he later testified in
court, called the local police and was
told, he said, that they could do
nothing unless a thief was caught in the
act. Mr. Kirk waited in the home he
expected to be “hit” and, while the
thief was breaking into the home, Mr.
Kirk called 911. When the thief entered,
Mr. Kirk testified that he told him to
“freeze” and that he was armed. Mr.
Kirk shot and killed the intruder when
the intruder moved toward him telling
him that he also was armed, he
testified. CMH fired Mr. Kirk and
Kirk Law Firm sued alleging
that CMH had breached its agreement with
Mr. Kirk, or, if there was no legal
agreement, that CMH had committed fraud.
CMH defended that Mr. Kirk was an
employee at will. A Floyd County
grand jury “cleared” Mr. Kirk. After a
four-day trial, the Jury agreed with CMH
that Mr. Kirk did not have a contract,
but found that Mr. Kirk thought he did
and that CMH had fraudulently led Mr. Kirk to that position.
practiced by Phillip Wheeler, Bobby
Rowe, and John Kirk.
Settlement Amounts paid to 18
home owners at Woodland Estates,
blasting and other damages inflicted on
them by company that constructed and
widened highway near their homes near
Paintsville Golf Course. Case was
practiced by John C. Kirk
and Kyle Salyer.
Amount paid by maker of product
to client who received faulty hip
replacement. Case was practiced by
Trey Smith and John C. Kirk.
Amount paid by auto maker to
woman who received severe head injury in
one-car crash when air bag failed. Case was
practiced by John C. Kirk.
At “Courthouse Steps” for $350,000 for
client who was injured when empty coal
truck trailer separated from tractor and
crossed into his lane injuring client
and causing the death of client’s
passenger. Case was practiced by
John Kirk, Leonard Stayton, and Leo
for Confidential Sum of client who
was killed in accident described
immediately above. Case was
practiced by John Kirk and Leo Marcum.
Seven Figure Settlement paid to
young woman who worked in area
McDonald’s who had been strip searched
by store manager on basis of phone call
from imposter saying that he was a
police officer and that client had
stolen items on her person. Search
occurred in manager’s office and was
recorded on video. Case was practiced
by John Kirk.
Seven Figure Settlement paid to
dozer operator who worked for a West
Virginia company but was injured when
his dozer rolled off a highwall in
Kentucky. Case was filed and prosecuted
in West Virginia via the Mandolitis
case. Case practiced by
Amount paid to woman who
alleged sexual harassment against large
company, which defended on grounds that
employee who committed harassment
violated published company policy.
practiced by John C. Kirk.
Amounts paid to two women who
alleged overt sexual assault by their
boss at a newspaper. Case practiced
by John Kirk.
Six-Figure Settlement paid by
Baycol maker to man who was
harmed by product. Case practiced
by John Kirk.
Other Settlement Amounts received
for numerous other clients from motor
vehicle accidents, LTD claims, insurance
disability claims, fire losses, and
other defective products.
Attack At Work settled for
$300,000. Client, an underground miner,
suffered heart attack at home
after work. Client, with coronary artery
disease, experience chest pains at work.
Case alleged that unusually hard work
“precipitated” infarction. Company
defended on grounds that, with coronary
artery disease, heart attack was not
caused by work but by underlying
disease. Case done by John Kirk.
Stress Injury (RSI) Claims are
filed by our firm. Many workers receive
significant injuries but the injuries
come on over time, little by little, so
to speak. We have successfully
represented miners, railroad workers,
power line workers, nurses and
construction workers with such injuries.
Carpel Tunnel Syndrome Claims
are filed for our firm,
primarily for office workers and others
whose professions require continuous use
of hands at computers or typewriters.
Jury Award of $1.183 Million for Selena
Russell for damages, finding
that a hospital had breached the
standard of care in the birth of her
son, Blake. Case practiced by Kyle
Salyer and Richard Hay.
Dollarhide, after being fired
by his all-night convenience store
employer for having a gun at work, filed
suit via his lawyer, John Kirk, and
settled his case for a confidential
amount shortly before trial.
solitary clerk in an isolated service
station/convenience store, became
concerned for his safety and brought a
handgun to work with him one night.
When an armed robber fired at Dollarhide
and missed, Dollarhide answered fire,
striking the robber in the head.
Although he prevented the robbery, his
company fired him for violating its
case was based on the theory of an
"unsafe work place" and that it was
unreasonable for him to be unable to
protect himself. Case practiced by
Settlement of 2008 Fire Loss for $3
million+ at mediation for
Paintsville home and contents shortly
before trial. Case practiced by
Kirk Received Award of $750,000 from
Floyd County Jury for damages
for wrongful termination of his
employment at Clayton Mobile Homes.
Kirk, a Clayton Manager, was fired for
shooting and killing a "midnight
intruder" at one of the homes, on the
grounds that an employee could not bring
a gun to work. Evidence was
presented that person or persons had
been breaking into the homes and that
management would not offer any solution
to the thefts. Kirk, as manager,
suffered the economic loss of the
thefts. Case practiced by Phillip
Johnson Compensated for Serious Injuries
from Slip and Fall at a local
store. Evidence was presented that
Linda, a diabetic, received a fall on a
slick floor and sustained an injury that
caused limb amputation. Linda's
case was settled shortly before a Floyd
County trial for a confidential amount.
Case practiced by Ashley Tackett
Harmon, Chairman of the Big Sandy
Regional Jail Board, is
acquitted of theft charges after a
two-day trial in Johnson Circuit Court.
Case practiced by John Kirk.
Johnson's Estate Settles Death Case.
Scott, age 24, died
following release from a Hazard
Hospital. Suit alleged that his
death resulted from hospital's failure
to treat him because of his inability to
pay. Case practiced by Kyle Salyer
and John C. Kirk.
Austin Settles With City for
serious injuries sustained when he fell
into an unmarked hole in a parking lot
while on his way to pay his taxes.
Amount of settlement not revealed.
Case practiced by John C. Kirk.
Kirk Settles Case at Lawrence Trial
following injuries sustained in
a slip and fall at a Louisa PT center
for confidential sum. Case
practiced by Kyle Salyer.
Vanover Settles with Trucking Company at
Mediation for serious injuries
sustained in a crash with a coal truck
on US 23 at Louisa. Settlement
amount is confidential. Case
practiced by Kyle Salyer.
Fitch, Kathleen Fitch and Wanda Kirk,
all of whom were injured in a crash with
a large truck at Catlettsburg in 2012,
had their cases settled at mediation for
confidential sums. Case practied
by Phillip Blair and Kyle Salyer.
Estate of Randy Goble, who was
killed in an accident in Mingo County,
West Virginia, settled with the
insurance carrier in lieu of trial for a
confidential amount. Case
practiced by John C. Kirk, Phillip Blair
and Kyle Salyer.
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