Notable Settlements or Jury Awards

TEDDY 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 million.

$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 payment.

Confidential Settlement by Martin County's Coal Mine. Twenty eight months after the bottom collapsed in a 17-acre impoundment lake on Martin County Coal's mine site, releasing an estimated 300 million gallons of coal slurry into and then out of an abandoned underground mine into Coldwater and Wolf Creek watersheds, a settlement has been reached among 630 plaintiffs.

Settlement 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.

$405,000 – Young lady was hit by a tractor trailer who ran a red light causing severe injury. Case practiced by Trey Smith

$210,000 – Lady was injured when Pepsi delivery driver dropped cases of pepsi on her leg and foot causing significant injuries. Case practiced by Trey Smith.

Confidential Settlement – Lady was severely burned when the concession trailer in which she was working exploded due to a propane leak.

$125,000 – Man was injured at the Jenny Wiley Festival when a storm caused a partial tent collapse resulting in a traumatic brain injury. Case practiced by Trey Smith and Gretchen Gullett

$175,000 – Lady was injured when a van pulled out in front of her scooter causing severe injury. Case practiced by Trey Smith

Confidential 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.

Confidential 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. Kirk.

Confidential 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.

Confidential Seven-Figure Settlement for widow whose husband died after his vehicle was crushed by coal truck weighing 150,000 pounds. Two separate defendants paid 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. Kirkand John Kirk. (see below for a similar, but different case.)

Confidential 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.

Confidential 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 for 44,000pounds. 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. (see above regarding a similar, but different case.)

Floyd 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 Kirk.

Confidential Settlement Amounts paid to 130 home owners whose properties were damaged by alleged illegal mining activities. Case practiced by John Kirk.

Confidential 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.

530 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.

Teddy 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. Case settled at mediation for $1 million. Case practiced by Bobby Rowe and John Kirk.

$980,000 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.

$725,000 awarded by Floyd County jury to Mike Kirk 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. Case was practiced by Phillip Wheeler, Bobby Rowe, and John Kirk.

Confidential Settlement Amounts paid to 18 home owners at Woodland Estates, Paintsville, for 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.

Confidential Amount paid by maker of product to client who received faulty hip replacement. Case was practiced by Trey Smith and John C. Kirk.

Confidential 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.

Settlement 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 Marcum.

Settlement for Confidential Sum of client who was killed in accident described immediately above. Case was practiced by John Kirk and Leo Marcum.

Confidential 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.

Confidential 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 John Kirk.

Confidential Amount paid to woman who alleged sexual harassment against large company, which defended on grounds that employee who committed harassment violated published company policy. Case practiced by John C. Kirk.

Confidential Amounts paid to two women who alleged overt sexual assault by their boss at a newspaper. Case practiced by John Kirk.

Confidential Six-Figure Settlement paid by Baycol maker to man who was harmed by product. Case practiced by John Kirk.

Various Other Settlement Amounts received for numerous other clients from motor vehicle accidents, LTD claims, insurance disability claims, fire losses, and other defective products.

Heart 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.

Repetitive 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.

Lawrence 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 Richard Hay.

Charles 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.

Dollarhide, a 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 store policy.

Dollarhide's 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 John Kirk.

Settlement of 2008 Fire Loss for $3 million+ at mediation for Paintsville home and contents shortly before trial. Case practiced by John Kirk.

Mike 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 Wheeler.

Linda 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 Laferty.

John 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.

Scott 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 John C. Kirk.

Billy 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.

Darla Kirk Settles Case at Lawrence Trial following injuries sustained in a slip and fall at a Louisa PT center for confidential sum.

Johnnie 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.

Kirl 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 practiced by Phillip Blair.

The 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.

Kentucky Personal Injury Attorney