Why Confidential Settlements are a “Necessary Evil.”

by Gary Brooks Mims

https://www.virginia-injury-lawyer-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/144/2021/10/Screen-Shot-2021-10-11-at-2.05.22-PM-300x219.pngKeeping a settlement agreement confidential is often a prerequisite for the defendant to agree to a settlement.  We have settled many cases for millions of dollars, yet the defendant (or its insurer) will insist upon confidentiality and a release that denies liability.  Really…you’re paying millions of dollars but deny you were negligent?  Obviously, the defendant knows it is liable, but for several reasons, it does not want others to know.  For example, a hospital that settles a wrongful death case may not want other potential plaintiffs to know what the hospital is willing to pay under similar circumstances.

firm-19176-US-Basic-Medium-E27Partners Steve Frei and Gary Mims have once again been recognized and named to the peer-reviewed, 28th edition of Best Lawyers in America. Matt Perushek is once again recognized on the  Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch” list, which premiered in 2021.

Both Frei and Mims have received the Best Lawyers distinction, continuously, since 2007. They are recognized in Personal Injury Litigation and Medical Malpractice Law for plaintiffs.

The Ones to Watch roster recognizes attorneys for outstanding professional excellence in private practice, who are earlier in their careers and typically in practice for five to nine years.

Ending more than two years of motions and appeals, the Virginia Supreme Court has denied writ for defendant appeals in the firm’s medical malpractice default judgment case.

In December 2018, partner Gary Brooks Mims won a default judgment of $468,000, when Emergency Medical Associates (EMA) failed to respond to the medical malpractice lawsuit. The complaint alleged negligence in the treatment of a woman who had broken her shoulder.

EMA claimed it never received service of the complaint and launched a legal barrage of motions and appeals, delaying resolution of the case and compensation to the victim.  Arlington County Circuit Court denied EMA’s motion to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial, which EMA then appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court.

Our recent case where an ATM user was struck by a driver who inadvertently accelerated is featured in the July issue of Trial Magazine, published by the American Association for Justice. (See  our case result: “$2.33 Million to Victim Run Over at ATM” Case Result.)

Professional attention by the legal community to the case underscores the seriousness of the accident and the hazardous conditions which led to our client’s permanent, life-altering injuries. Those conditions are now the basis for a premises liability action in federal court.

Partner Gary Mims achieved a settlement of $2.33 million (under the terms of the settlement, the identity of the parties is confidential), comprised of $2 million from the plaintiff’s husband’s umbrella policy with this employer; $250,000 from the driver; and, $50,000 from the plaintiff’s uninsured motorist policy. The umbrella policy insurer agreed to a waiver of subrogation, enabling us to pursue a federal claim on behalf of our client against the property owner where the ATM was located.

You suspect that you may be a victim of a medical error. Perhaps you believe that your condition was misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late, or you’ve had complications following surgery, or serious issues related to medication. How do you learn if your treatment was negligent and is an actual case of medical malpractice?

Did you experience a medical error? What is a “medical error?”

The American Medical Association defines an error in the context of health care as “an unintended act or omission or a flawed system or plan that harms or has the potential to harm a patient.” The National Institutes of Health (NCBI) defines medical error as “the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (an error of execution) or the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (an error of planning.)

Thttps://www.virginia-injury-lawyer-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/144/2021/04/Screen-Shot-2021-04-22-at-12.47.31-PM-300x297.pnghis spring, Frei, Mims and Perushek partner Matt Perushek is contributing to online professional development events sponsored by the legal community. At the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association 2021 Tort Law Seminar, Matt is moderating a Q&A session on how bankruptcy might affect a case in the “Protecting Your Client’s Recovery” section. For the Virginia State Bar Association, Matt contributed advice on “tough questions” in a live, interactive continuing legal education course. Matt is active in both organizations, serving on the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar’s Young Lawyers Conference and as a member of the VTLA Amicus Committee.

Our firm is proud to announce that our associate attorney Ben Charlton  has been selected for inclusion into The National Trial https://www.virginia-injury-lawyer-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/144/2020/11/Screen-Shot-2020-11-12-at-2.37.30-PM-300x295.pngLawyers’  Top 40 Under 40 Civil Plaintiff Trial Lawyers in Virginia, an honor given to only a select group of lawyers for their superior skills and qualifications in the field.  Membership in this exclusive organization is by invitation only and is limited to the top 40 attorneys in each state or region who have demonstrated excellence and have achieved outstanding results in their careers in either civil plaintiff or criminal defense law.

With the selection of Ben Charlton by The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40, Mr. Charlton Charlton_TWZ9327-Final-4-Web-200x300has shown that he exemplifies superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a trial lawyer. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research. As The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 is an essential source of networking and information for trial attorneys throughout the nation, the final result of the selection process is a credible and comprehensive list of the most outstanding  trial lawyers chosen to represent their state or region

Fairfax, VA, United States — August 20, 2021 – Frei, Mims and Perushek partner Steven M. Frei  was recently voted by his peers as  2021 “Lawyer of the Year” for Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs law in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region.

  Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. These lawyers are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the peer-review assessments.

Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity.

COVID-19 UPDATE: As of Wednesday, June 3, our office is open, staffed, and operational. Phones will be answered. You may also contact us through the Contact page on the website or by email at  info@frei.mims.com email or email attorneys directly (addresses found on the attorney profile pages.)

COVID-19 Notice: Our law firm is open and we are working. Due to the pandemic, our lawyers and staff are generally working remotely. Everyone has access to firm email and voice mail. When calling the office, use the firm directory to leave a voice mail message for attorneys or staff. Email addresses are found on the attorney profile pages. 

Courthouses are usually packed with people — potential jurors, judges, clerks, attorneys, plaintiffs, defendants, witnesses, sheriffs, bailiffs, court reporters, and many more people who help keep the judicial system operating. In March 2020, the global pandemic forced nearly all judicial processes to come to a halt.

Frei, Mims and Perushek has been named “Most Trusted Personal Injury Law Firm – Virginia” by US Business Magazine, in their 2020 Legal Elite Awards program.https://www.virginia-injury-lawyer-blog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/144/2020/05/Screen-Shot-2020-05-13-at-2.53.21-PM.png

Winners for the awards are the result of months of research and analysis by US Business and are chosen on the basis of merit, according to the magazine, which is described as “the definitive magazine for CEOs, top tier management and key decision-makers across the U.S.

“We are proud to have earned the trust of Virginians for medical malpractice and personal injury representation and we are committed to maintaining that trust and achieving justice for our clients,” said Gary Brooks Mims, managing partner.

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