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McMurry & Associates
1201 Story Ave
Louisville, Kentucky 40206
William F. McMurry Attorney at Law
William F. McMurry is the only Kentucky lawyer Board Certified as a medical malpractice and legal malpractice trial specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA).William F. McMurry is also civil trial Board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) and has been practicing law in Kentucky for 32 years. William F. McMurry is also Martindale & Hubble peer review rated for ethical standards and legal ability. This level of specialization can increase jury awards as well as out-of-court settlements. William F. McMurry welcomes the opportunity to work for you.
While Kentucky does not certify specialists in any field of practice, William F. McMurry has the credentials allowing him to be identified as a "specialist" under the rules of the Kentucky Bar Association in the fields of medical malpractice and legal malpractice. Mr. McMurry also concentrates his practice in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death litigation, and insurance bad faith lawsuits.
McMurry interviewed concerning bus crash victims
William F. McMurry is interviewed concerning his clients that were involved in a serious school bus crash while on an outing. Experts have now found that the school bus tires were 11 years old. McMurry's clients suffered a broken back, broken arm and a brain injury due to the failure of these tires.
Family sues over alleged sexual abuse by adopted sons
USA Today covers one of McMurry's current cases in which a Kentucky woman is seeking damages from the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Beverly Hilger on behalf of her daughter Ashley, now 17, and seeks damages from two Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services workers who handled the adoption and their former supervisor.
The lawsuit alleges two of the plaintiffs — social-service workers Desiree Rhodes and William Hardin, based in Jefferson County — failed to abide by legal requirements that they disclose pertinent information to parents so they can make an informed decision about adopting a child.Read More at USA Today
Community reflects on McMurry's courageous legal work
USA Today looks back on the historic case in which William F. McMurry, lead attorney in the 2003 sexual-abuse case with the Archdiocese of Louisville, won a $25.7 million dollar settlement.
Read the full article and watch the video interview here
McMurry sues for school bus crash victimsBy: William F. Mcmurry
Mr.McMurry is working on behalf of three victims involved in a school bus crash that took place on June 11, 2013. The school bus carrying 42 Waggener high school students and 4 Waggener staff members crashed in the westbound lanes of I-64 near the Jefferson-Shelby line. Thirty-two students, four staff members, the bus driver and the driver of a car that spun out of control were all injured and sent to the hospital.
Aljazeera Interviews William McMurry Concerning The Popes Resignation
The Pope Resigns, McMurry InterviewedBy: William F. McMurry
The Pope shocked the world today by announcing his resignation from the head of the Catholic Church. This marks the first resignation of the Pope in over 598 years.
Whiskey Fungus Class Action LawsuitBy: William F. McMurry
William F. McMurry and Morris & Player PLLC filed a class action lawsuit for three Louisville residents against three large bourbon and whiskey producers for damage to their property. A fungus called “whiskey fungus” (Baudoinia compniacensis) is staining and damaging the residents’ homes and cars. William F. McMurry and Morris & Player PLLC have designed a site to answer questions you might have about whiskey fungus and the lawsuit we've filed on behalf of affected homeowners, businesses, and residents. See the links below to find out more. August 13, 2012 - Mr. McMurry is serving as lead U.S. Counsel with United Kingdom solicitors Hugh & James and Balfour & Manson LLP to investigate and assist in efforts to compensate Scotland homeowners affected by Whisky Fungus.
William F. McMurry in the News
William F. McMurry Returning to The State Bar of California's 85th Annual ConventionBy: William F. McMurry
William F. McMurry will be presenting a lecture at the State Bar of California's 85th Annual Convention in Monterey, California. For the second consecutive year he has been invited to share his expertise in the field of Legal Malpractice at the prestigious State Bar of California's Annual Convention and Continuing Legal Education program. Click on the image below to find out more about this event.
William F. McMurry Re-Elected ABPLA PresidentBy: William F. McMurry
William F. McMurry was re-elected by his peers to serve a second, two-year term as President of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. His continuing goal as President is to increase public awareness and importance in selecting a board-certified attorney, as they would a board-certified physician. Click the image below to find out more about the ABPLA and it's mission to provide consumers with an objective standard by which to assess professional negligence attorneys.
Frost Law Firm Settles Malpractice SuitBy: William F. McMurry
Law firm Frost Brown Todd on Thursday settled a lawsuit filed by a former client who accused it of legal malpractice. Shane’s attorney, William McMurry, said he could not discuss the settlement but that his client was “delighted.” He said he had tried to resolve the case before it came to trial, but “there was just no movement. We were miles apart. Sometimes it takes a courtroom and a jury to get the parties to come together.”
Giving Back to the Community – Donating Trial Skills to Those in Need
Klan Ordered to Pay $2.5 Million in Civil TrialBy: William F. McMurry
Morris Dees of the The Southern Poverty Law Center working in conjunction with Willaim F. McMurry and Steven R. Crebessa as co-counsel represented Jordan Gruver, 19 in this suit against the Imperial Klans of America (IKA) and four Klansmen. Dees & McMurry argued that Ron Edwards, the Klan group's Imperial Wizard, recklessly bred an atmosphere of hate and violence and was liable for Gruver's July 2006 beating at the hands of his Klansmen, even though he didn't order it.
McMurry comments on New York Times article
Handling Medical ErrorsBy: William F. McMurry
I am currently serving as President of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (APBLA.org). The ABPLA is the only organization in the US which is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to board certify lawyers as specialists in medical malpractice. Our organization is equally represented by both plaintiffs’ and defense attorneys. I have been board certified as a specialist in medical malpractice for nearly two decades. I have seen every tragedy that one can imagine in a variety of hospital settings.
Mr. Levy wrongly equates the notions of “accident,” a term that generally means that the event could not be avoided in spite of the best of care, with the term “negligence,” which is a legal term giving rise to someone being held legally accountable for their actions. Mr. Levy concludes: “People in the medical field are well intentioned and feel great distress when they harm patients. Let’s reserve punishment for clear cases of negligence.” The example he gives of a surgeon operating on the wrong ankle is not an accident, but the result of negligence for which the law allows the patient to recover her harms and losses. Should the negligence rise to the level of “gross negligence,” reserved for acts in reckless disregard for the lives, safety or property of others, the law allows juries to punish this reckless behavior with an verdict of “punitive damages.”
Bringing a claim for negligence–so that the patient can be properly compensated for the harms and losses—is not “punishment” under the law of any of our 50 states. In the example given, the nurses were duty bound to ask the patient which ankle was to be operated on; the nurses were duty bound to mark the correct ankle; the surgeon was duty bound to check the records or speak with the patient and make sure that she was operating on the correct ankle. Each would be held accountable for the patient’s harms and losses in every court in the land.
Being held accountable for negligence is not punishment under that law, nor should it ever be viewed as such. Mr. Levy’s attempt to conflate the concepts of negligence and punishment are part of the problem, not the solution.
READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE FROM NEW YORK TIMES
McMurry talks about Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries are serious and devastating injuriesBy: William F. McMurry
Whether you’re a pro footballer or not, Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBIs) are serious and devastating injuries Recently, the National Football League settled a class action suit for mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBIs) suffered by professional football players. During the litigation, the NFL relied on certain “scientific” studies published in well-known medical journals over the last decade. But, these studies on mild traumatic brain injury were specifically designed to mislead the public and physicians. They were designed to produce results that indicated that MTBIs are not a real concern for the patient or society. This is intellectual dishonesty at its very worst.
My friend Michael Kaplen has written an article for the Huffington Post that details exactly how the NFL sought to downplay the serious, permanent, and devastating impact MTBIs have on people who suffer an MTBI.
Here is what Michael and his co-author Shana De Caro have to say about this fraud on society:
"The NFL, however, sought to hide behind the veil of inaccurate statements made by its own Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Safety Committee, which was formed in 1994. Chaired by an unqualified leader, it promulgated reports deliberately designed to mislead the players and the public. Twenty-five years later, during Congressional hearings, the Committee and league representatives continued to deny the connection between football and brain trauma. The conspiracy between the league and its physicians is tantamount to a pattern of civil racketeering, intended to deprive injured players disability benefits, medical care, and rehabilitation treatment."
Michael serves with me on the American Board of Professional Liability Attorney’s (ABPLA) Board of Governors, where I current serve in the capacity as President of the ABPLA. The ABPLA is the national organization accredited by the ABA to certify trial specialists in medical malpractice and legal malpractice. Michael and I have a profound interest in the subject of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) because we both represent numerous clients who suffer these serious injuries through acts of medical malpractice, as well as other traumatic causes, including automobile accidents.
PBS recently aired a documentary called “League of Denial” about the NFL’s attempts to distort and minimize the danger MTBIs pose to professional football players.
The NFL’s attempt to minimize the seriousness of MTBIs hasn’t just harmed the players the NFL misled. The NFL’s behavior contributes to a broader belief in our society that MTBIs are harmless injuries.
I can tell you from experience, when we enter the courtroom to present our medical testimony for our brain-injured clients, we hear the defense refer to some of these studies to suggest to the jury that our clients should not be concerned about their futures. This “white-washing” of a genuine societal problem is costly.
People can suffer an MTBI in a variety of ways. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are often underreported, underdiagnosed, or have a delayed diagnosis due to the fact that the majority of individuals who sustain a TBI either consult their primary care physician days after the injury or seek no care at all. The American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) uses “concussion” interchangeably with “mild traumatic brain injury.” So does the U.S. Government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recognizes a concussion as a traumatic brain injury caused by a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. The ACRM defines a traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) as a traumatically induced physiological disruption of brain function, which can be manifested in any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident (i.e., feeling dazed, disoriented or confused), and does not require a loss of consciousness.
The connection between an auto collision or getting tackled by a 300-pound defensive lineman seems obvious. You might be wondering how medical malpractice can cause a traumatic brain injury.
I have represented client who have suffered brain damage as a result of being deprived of oxygen due to a delay in establishing an airway. This is often because the person’s airway is compromised and the health care workers responded too slowly in recognizing this life-threatening problem. Sometimes, health care workers have failed to promptly diagnose and treat infections that can lead to brain trauma.
Regardless of how someone suffers a traumatic brain injury, do not believe for a second that because health care workers call it “mild” that the effects on a sufferers life are also “mild.” While scientists use the term “mild” when categorizing mild traumatic brain injuries, they do not by any means suggest that the impact of such injuries on the lives of our clients are mild. The impact that mild brain injuries have on the lives of our clients are profound. MTBIs and TBIs affect their ability to form and maintain intimate relationships, their ability to maintain employment, and their ability to enjoy life as they once enjoyed it.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes that while symptoms of a concussion may appear mild, it can lead to significant, life-long impairment affecting an individual’s ability to function physically, cognitively, and psychologically.
If you believe you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact my firm immediately.
Liability in Kentucky
In Kentucky, Owners of Vehicles are Liable for Negligently Entrusting Them to Incompetent OperatorsBy: William F. McMurry
In early October, a Charlotte, North Carolina jury returned a $5.75 million verdict for Howard Hazlett. Mr. Hazlett was injured in May of 2007 when “his personal watercraft was rammed by one driven by Fred Gibb”, according to the Charlotte Observer. The personal watercraft Mr. Gibb was driving was an 800-pound, 185-horsepower Sea-Doo Bombadier.
The Observer’s story provides a good explanation of the events that led up to the collision which resulted in the amputation of Mr. Hazlett’s left leg above the knee. It also mentions an important legal concept that Kentuckians should know about: negligent entrustment.
Kentucky courts have long recognized that an injured person can recover against the owner of a vehicle if that owner allows an incompetent person to use his or her vehicle and injures someone. In a 1938 case, the Kentucky Court of Appeals explained, “Automobiles are not regarded as dangerous instrumentalities, and, ordinarily, the owner who intrusts his car to another is not liable for the latter's negligence; but as such machines are dangerous instrumentalities in the hands of an incompetent driver, the owner is liable if he knows, or under the facts known to him in the exercise of ordinary care should know, that the person driving the car is incompetent to drive it.” Owensboro Undertaking & Livery Ass'n v. Henderson, 273 Ky. 112, 115 S.W.2d 563, 564 (1938).
A more recent Kentucky case explains that a person can be incompetent to operate a vehicle in a number of ways: “One who negligently entrusts her vehicle to another whom she knows to be inexperienced, careless, or reckless, or given to excessive use of intoxicating liquor while driving, is liable for the natural and probable consequences of the entrustment. W. v. Levee Lift, Inc., 2008-CA-001089-MR, 2009 WL 2192746 (Ky. Ct. App. July 24, 2009).
In Mr. Hazlett’s North Carolina case, the jury found the owner of the Sea-Doo, Royce Syracuse, liable for Mr. Hazlett’s injuries because he negligently entrusted his Sea-Doo to Mr. Gibb. According to the Observer’s article, the evidence showed that Mr. Gibb “had never driven a personal watercraft” before that day and that Dr. Syracuse provided some “pointers” on a 10-minute ride before turning the Sea-Doo over to Mr. Gibb. Based on this evidence, the jury held Dr. Syracuse liable, as well, for Mr. Hazlett’s injuries.
Negligent entrustment as a legal theory demands that owners of cars, boats, personal watercraft, farm equipment—anything that could become dangerous when used by an inexperienced or careless person—exercise ordinary care before allowing someone else to use that equipment. The law allows an injured person to hold an owner personally accountable for those injuries that occur after the owner gives a car to an incompetent person because the law wants to encourage everyone to be safe and responsible. In Mr. Hazlett’s case, the jury found that Dr. Syracuse had not been safe and responsible with his Sea-Doos and held him personally responsible.
If you or someone you know has been injured after the owner of a car, boat, personal watercraft, motorcycle, or other vehicle has negligently entrusted it to someone who was not competent to operate it, contact me today. I have decades of experience prosecuting personal injury cases and holding everyone—including an owner that negligently entrusted his or her vehicle to an incompetent third-party—accountable for their negligence.
I am Board Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocates and I am Board Certified as a Medical and Legal Malpractice Specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
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