During the course of his career Mr. Butler has represented thousands of injured people in personal injury lawsuits. Many of our largest settlements include a confidentiality provision which prohibits their disclosure on our website. The following is a recent sampling of verdicts and settlements which are a matter of public record and not subject to confidentiality provisions. We are most proud of cases where we have achieved results greatly exceeding the amount of stated insurance coverage or so called "final offers".
Recent Case Results Confidential Settlement reached after 1 week of trial in student wrongful death case involving School Bus (March 2013) In late March 2010 a 15 year old Ohio student was struck and killed on her cul de sac by a school bus while walking to her own bus stop. Local authorities determined that darkness and rain contributed to the accident and did not cite the driver or her commercial school bus company that employed her. The Ohio Bus Company, one of the largest employers in the region, asserted that they and their driver did nothing wrong and blamed the students walking in the cul de sac for her death. Under Ohio law motor vehicles generally owe no duty to pedestrians who must yield the right of way to motorists and victims found to be 51% negligent recover nothing. The students family retained Howard Butler of the Butler Law Group to represent them along with co-counsel Brad Barbin of Columbus Ohio. A lawsuit was filed in nearby Hamilton County Ohio and over the next two years evidence was developed that the subject School Bus and its professional Driver were aware that this was a "high alert" area and that they both were subject to certain Federal and State driver safety rules which, if followed, would have prevented this tragic death. After successfully defeating the summary judgment sought by the Defendants who asserted that this lawsuit "never should have been brought" the case proceeded to trial in southern Ohio. After 1 week of a 2 week trial a confidential settlement was reached between the parties.
Retrial of Case Results in Plaintiff's Verdict (Cervical Injury-Dec 2012) A 37 year old man was struck in the head by a 3lb 3oz light fixture cover injuring his neck. The Defense hotly disputed that the trauma occurred and whether it was capable of causing injury and made a nominal type settlement offer. A Jacksonville area attorney referred the case to Howard Butler of the Butler Law Group to serve as co-counsel. The case had been previously tried to a Defense Verdict and an Appeal ensued affirming the trial court's Order requiring a new trial due to its failure to give a required jury instruction as well as improper concealment on the part of 2 jurors during jury selection. At the retrial the Defendant again disputed causation and presented evidence from 4 separate defense experts that the trauma did not result in injury. After a 5 day trial a jury rejected the argument and awarded damages of approximately $50,000 and judgement was entered totalling $105,000. Defective Handicap Ramp Lawsuit Settlement ($275,000 plus installation of a new ADA compliant ramp) (2012) A 66 year old retired client was injured (non-surgical neck injury and concussion) while attempting to assist her wheelchair dependent spouse exit a commercial building via a handicap ramp. Investigation by the Butler Law Group revealed that the ramp did not meet the minimum standards required by the ADA, Fla ADA or the Florida Building Code. Howard Butler Esquire filed suit and established during discovery that the building owner knew of the defect and chose not to rectify same after several occasions though legally obligated to do so. In 2012 the building owner demolished the non-handicap accessible entrance and installed a new ADA compliant ramp with proper slope, flat landings and handrails as required. Shortly before trial they then settled the case for nearly eight times their final offer at mediation. Confidential Settlement - Defective Concrete Transporter Equipment - Wrongful Death of Worker Lawusit (2012) Howard G. Butler, Esquire of the Butler Law Group recently reached a confidential settlement in a death case involving an unreasonably dangerous concrete transporter shortly before trial. The equipment operator had significant blind spots due to the particular design configuration and operational characteristics which contributed to the death of a co-worker. Discovery revealed that there was no human factor analysis performed during the design process nor any safety testing as to operator visibility issues. Verdict Against GEICO Insured For More Than 12 Times the Pre-Suit Offer (Sep 2011) An Orlando area attorney referred a rear end collision case to the Butler Law Group as co-counsel after a $15,000 pre-suit offer. Following litigation by Howard G. Butler Esquire GEICO made a six figure offer to settle. At trial a jury returned a verdict of more than $80,000 higher than the best offer exclusive of taxable costs. Confidential Settlement Against Major Trucking Manufacturer & Fuel Tanker Company for Wrongful Death of Driver (2010) Howard Butler of the Butler Law Group was retained as co-counsel on a Florida case involving the death of a tractor-tanker driver following a rollover and fuel fed fire. The rollover itself occurred due to the driver's error and the case was litigated against the Tanker owner for improper maintenance and the Truck Manufacturer for failure to provide an emergency escape hatch contributing to the death. Both Defendants paid separate confidential six figure settlements prior to trial. First District Court of Appeal Affirms Jury Verdict in State Farm UM Case (Sep 2010 - $958,000) The First District Court of Appeal Affirms Jury Verdict of $958,000 obtained by Howard Butler, Esquire of the Butler Law Group in the case of Plaintiff v. State Farm. State Farm had attacked the verdict on multiple grounds all of which were rejected by the Appellate Court. Largest U.S. Auto Insurer Settles Case for More than Policy Limits Shortly Before Trial (MVA with Cervical Injury and Post Concussion Headaches) (Sep 2010) Plaintiff, a teacher’s assistant and caregiver, was injured in a car accident in 2007 when a 17 year old underinsured driver crossed the center line and collided head on with the plaintiff’s vehicle. Her underinsured motorist carrier took the position that her injuries were minor and made a nominal offer only pre-suit. Howard Butler of the Butler Law Group filed suit and litigated the case. Shortly before trial the UM carrier settled for ten percent over their policy limits. Bar Negligent Security Case ($770,000 global settlement) (Sept 2010) A female bar patron was killed in the parking lot of a Marion County bar when she was struck by 2 intoxicated customers fleeing the scene after an altercation. Her estate on behalf of her 2 statutory survivors retained Howard Butler of the Butler Law Group. The bar could not be sued under Florida's dramshop laws which are limited to minors or cases involving "habitual drunkards." Further, its liability insurance company denied coverage on the basis of an "assault & battery" exclusion requiring a separate declarations action lawsuit to be filed and co-counsel to be retained. As to damages the Defendants' argued that the decedent had been married multiple times previously, had been married just a few years and that the spouse had remarried. The other statutory survivor was incarcerated. Shortly prior to trial the case was settled. "Trucking Company Wrongfully Fires Employee, Violating FS440.205" (August 2010) (Confidential Settlement) Click here to read about the case "62 year old retired male rear end collision with moderate TBI" (Jan 2009) ($75,000 pre trial offer - $958,000 Jury Verdict) Bad Faith Pending Click here to read about this case Premises Liability Verdicts and Settlements __________________________________________ Defective Handicap Ramp Settlement ($275,000 plus installation of a new ADA compliant ramp) (2012) A 66 year old retired client was injured (non-surgical neck injury and concussion) while attempting to assist his wheelchair dependant spouse exit a commercial building via a handicap ramp. Investigation by the Butler Law Group revealed that the ramp did not meet the minimum standards required by the ADA, Fla ADA or the Florida Building Code. Howard Butler Esquire filed suit and established during discovery that the building owner knew of the defect and chose not to rectify same after several occasions though legally obligated to do so. In 2012 the building owner demolished the non-handicap accessible entrance and installed a new ADA compliant ramp with proper slope, flat landings and handrails as required. Shortly before trial they then settled the case for nearly eight times their final offer at mediation. "Inadequate Security and Defective Alarm System" ($26,900,000 Verdict) Click here to read about this case "Husband and Father of 3 killed during convenience store robbery" ($1.5 million dollar settlement) Click here to read about this case
"Fall from Ladder during Training Exercise" (Multiple Fractures - $1 Million Settlement (Policy Limits) Click here to read more about this case Female Customer Trips on Unsecured skateboard left in aisle of toy store (Pretrial offer of $125,000 - Multiple injuries verdict $925,189.97) Click here to read more about this case "Plaintiff's trip and fall at local restaurant results in development of RSD in lower limb" (Settlement - $725,000.00) Click here to learn more about this case Automobile/Truck Accident Verdicts and Settlements ____________________________________________ “Television Actor rear ended by a commercial van-cervical injury- aggravation of pre-existing condition” (Pretrial offer of $75,000 - Verdict $872,249.46) Click here to learn more about this case "Howard G. Butler obtains 14 times the carriers policy limit in auto collision case involving back surgery" ($25,000 policy limit - $350,000 settlement - Bad Faith) Click here to learn more about this case “Motorist forced off of road by tractor-trailer changing lanes causing multiple fatalities.” ($600,000.00 pretrial settlement) Learn more about this case “Rear End Collision – Ankle Injury" ($75,000 offer – Settled during trial $275,000) Read more about this case “Non surgical pelvic fracture and emotional trauma” (Settlement $500,000) 43-year-old Plaintiff was traveling northbound on I-95 heading to Orange Park to go Christmas shopping and purchase some antiques for his newly acquired business. At that time a tractor-trailer struck a car crossed over a grass median and mowed down multiple cars before striking the Plaintiff’s van. The Plaintiffs physical injuries were modest as compared to many others so a great deal of attention went into establishing the enormous emotional trauma he experienced. A comprehensive investigation and intense litigation established egregious conduct on the part of the driver and trucking company such that the court determined that a basis for both compensatory and punitive damages had been demonstrated. Howard Butler, Esquire resolved the case prior to trial. *David Stansel accident scene photos “Client initially determined to be at fault in tractor Trailer collision wrongful death” (Settlement $800,000) 28-year-old married father of two was killed when his car was struck on the driver’s side by a tractor- trailer. Authorities initially determined that Plaintiff was at fault for the collision and the claim was denied. Discovery revealed that the tractor-trailer driver received no defensive driving training, was taking 8 kinds of medication and improperly braked using a hand control valve which substantially contributed to the collision. Computer animation prepared by Howard Butler, Esquire and accident reconstruction experts demonstrated that the collision should not have occurred. *Webber Computer Animation High Bandwidth Low Bandwidth 16 year old female-motor vehicle collision-non surgical compression fracture and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Best prior offer $15,000 - $150,000 Uninsured Motorist Settlement with Allstate). A young female driver was forced off the roadway and into a retention pond by an unknown vehicle. A claim was made against her uninsured motorist coverage. Allstate took the position that the accident was solely caused by the inexperienced plaintiff, questioned whether there really was another vehicle and took the position that their insured's injuries were minor. After a year and a half of unsuccessful dealings with the UM Carrier her Orlando attorney associated Howard Butler of the Butler Law Group and litigation ensued. Shortly after mediation the case settled for 10 times Allstate's previous best offer. "Allstate settles auto collision case involving "soft tissue" cervical injury for 3 times its policy limits" After receiving a "final" settlement offer of $11,000 in response to a demand for Allstate's policy limits ($25k) A Jacksonville attorney referred the case to the Butler Law Group for further handling. A lawsuit was filed and the case litigated. Allstate's defenses included a subsequent accident and surveillance evidence. Howard G. Butler, Esq negotiated a settlement of 3 times the policy limits two weeks prior to trial. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries "62 year old retired male rear end collision with moderate TBI" (Jan 2009) ($75,000 pre trial offer - $958,000 Jury Verdict) Bad Faith Pending A 62 year old grandfather- previously disabled due to a 1988 hip injury-was rear ended in 2005 by an uninsured drunk driver causing head, neck/shoulder injuries and aggravation of pre-existing depression and anxiety. It is important to note the victim in this case was retired therefore the verdict did not include a wage loss claim. A demand was made against the uninsured motorist carrier State Farm but they chose to offer only $75,000 of their $100,000 policy limits. Howard Butler, Esquire of the Butler Law Group filed suit and took the case to trial. State Farm was successful in keeping out all evidence of alcohol and intoxication as to the adverse driver. SF argued that the plaintiff had only a 6th grade education, suffered a concussion with little or no sequelae and a myriad of pre-existing health and mental problems. They argued that his life was essentially unchanged. After a week and a half of evidence including testimony by experts in bioengineering, human tolerance, neuroradiology, neuropsychology, etc a jury rendered a verdict roughly 12.5 times SF's pre-suit offer. "Elderly Retired NJ Woman-Tractor Trailer collision-multiple injuries" (Initial offer < $35,000 - $362,500 settlement) A 74 year old female passenger from New Jersey was injured while traveling to Florida on vacation when her vehicle was struck by a tractor trailer near Jacksonville Florida. She sustained multiple orthopedic injuries including a mild traumatic brain injury. After unsuccessful attempts to resolve the case pre-suit a NJ firm referred the case to Howard Butler, Esquire of the Butler Law Group. Suit was filed and the Defense contended that her injuries were relatively minor and pre-existed the collision. Shortly before trial a settlement was reached that was ten times the pre-suit offer and exceeded the amount of the initial demand made by the referring attorney. "Mild but significant traumatic brain injury from automobile accident" (Pretrial offer $10,000 - Verdict $260,000) A Minnesota family was on vacation in Orlando, FL when their rental vehicle was broad-sided causing the female front passenger to strike her head on the A-pillar. A CT scan was recommended but not obtained at the emergency room. Plaintiff continued to have headaches and memory issues but an MRI of the brain was normal. The liability and uninsured-motorist carrier denied liability and took the position that there were no significant injuries. Howard Butler Esquire and Raymond Bodiford Esquire presented evidence from nationally renowned experts in neurology, bio-engineering, radiology and neuro-psychology as well as testimony from plaintiffs' co-workers regaring the effect of this mild but significant brain injury. At mediation the liability carrier tendered its' policy limits of $100,000 but the UM carrier chose to make a nominal offer and proceed to trial on liability and damages. A jury found them 100% liable and assesed the loss at $260,000. A bad faith claim is currently pending. "Optic (Eye) Nerve Injury from automobile accident resulting in partial visual disturbance" ($325,000 Settlement) A Cape Canaveral employee was involved in a frontal impact auto collision caused by an adverse driver. As a result he experienced headaches and double vision in one eye. According to his physician he sustained an injury to the optic nerve. The adverse carrier claimed that there was no optic nerve injury and made a minimal settlement offer. Suit was filed and Howard G. Butler and Raymond Bodiford eventually settled this claim following mediation. Drunk Driving “Drunk Driver Hit & Run – Non Surgical Herniated Disks” (Pretrial offer of $60,000 - Verdict $794,220.65 compensatory & punitive damages) Plaintiff, a 45 year-old black female and her two passengers were traveling on I-95 when they were struck in the rear by another vehicle, spun around and slammed into a guardrail. They watched in horror as the other driver drove off without regard for the injured. Fortunately some good samaritans followed the hit and run drunk driver and identified her to authorities. Unfortunately, the Florida criminal system did nothing other than temporarily suspend the impaired driver’s license. Howard Butler of Ossi, Butler, Najem & Rosario conducted a comprehensive out of state investigation which revealed that the Defendant had been involved in prior collisions while impaired and had fled the scene on a prior occasion. Howard Butler, Esquire traveled to South Carolina and deposed witnesses, victims and authorities for use at trial in Florida and ultimately obtained a verdict ten times the previous offer. * Ezzard Verdict Form and Jury Verdict Reporter Summary Auto Defects Liability Rollover/Seatback Failure – confidential seven figure settlement obtained by Howard G. Butler for a young military man ejected from SUV following a foreseeable rear end collision. Experts in vehicle design safety, vehicle handling, occupant restraints, forensic investigation, warnings and life care planning were utilized to overcome various defenses. Airbag’s Failure to Deploy - wrongful death – $750,000 settlement obtained by Howard G. Butler and Raymond Bodiford against a major manufacture following a survival frontal impact with the back of another vehicle resulting in the death of a 78 year old married man. Airbag Inadvertent Deployment – confidential settlement against a major auto manufacturer for a neck/shoulder injury caused by an airbag deploying after car hit a piece of tire scrap on the roadway. Roof crush – confidential (high six figure) settlement against a major auto manufacturer for a young male who suffered a serious orbital eye injury when the roof of his pickup truck collapsed during a foreseeable collision and rollover. E-coli Outbreak