Cases

Wilmington DE Auto Accident attorney, Frederick Freibott, has helped injury victims and families in Delaware deal with the painful consequences of an auto accident or wrongful death claims involving motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, nursing home abuse and neglect, uninsured motorist claims, dog bites, workplace injuries, and personal injuries.

Examples of some successful cases include, but are not limited to:

(1)  The Freibott Law Firm was recently successful in prosecuting a case in front of the Industrial Accident Board.  Our client was injured on August 19, 2013 when he was working for a HVAC company and was lying on his side in a confined space, trying to pull a motor assembly out.  As he was yanking on the unit, he heard a popping sound.  He got up and felt pain from his neck and right shoulder and told his boss.  Several days later, he appeared at his primary care physician’s office and documented his injuries for his neck and right shoulder.  The worker’s compensation insurance company denied the claim stating that the client was injured not as a result of any work related activities; rather, he was injured due from preexisting degenerative conditions.  It was clear that our client never treated for any neck or right shoulder problems before and after the work accident, was in need of surgery to both his neck and shoulder.  The claimant and his medical experts were found to be very credible in their explanation of the injuries and relationship to the work injury.  The Industrial Accident Board did not find the defense medical examiner (Dr. Katz from Philadelphia) to be credible in any part of his testimony.

As a result, the Industrial Accident Board ordered the insurance company to pay for our client’s total disability benefits; outstanding medical benefits; payment of expert testimony fees; and the payment of an attorney’s fee.  (Bell v. Breeding & Day, June 12, 2014; IAB Hearing No. 1402812)

(2) The Freibott Law Firm was recently successful in prosecuting its Petition for Disfigurement on behalf of one of our clients.  The worker’s compensation insurance company provided a single offer for our client’s scarring and disfigurement claim and would not raise its offer at any point during the negotiations.  Accordingly, our firm filed a Petition for Scarring and Disfigurement and the Industrial Accident Board agreed with our position that our client’s scarring and disfigurement claim was more serious than what the worker’s compensation insurance company had offered.  The Industrial Accident Board found on behalf of our client and ordered the worker’s compensation insurance company to pay for the complete value of the scarring and disfigurement claim.  The Industrial Accident Board further ordered the worker’s compensation insurance company to pay for the client’s attorney’s fees based on the work and representation performed by The Freibott Law Firm at the hearing.  (Foreman v. Interstate Brands Corp., IAB Hearing No. 1256238)

(3) The Freibott Law Firm recently secured a settlement on the eve of jury trial.  Our client was injured in a collision wherein she hurt her neck, her low back, and her left shoulder.  Her neck and back injuries resolved; however, her left shoulder injury did not.  The left shoulder required surgery and a subsequent procedure to correct adhesions that had formed in the surgical area.  The defendant in this case maintained a $100,000.00 liability policy.  The carrier, State Farm, made an offer of $65,760.00 in this case.  It would not further negotiate from that offer.  Accordingly, we continued to litigate the case and then took the deposition of the defendant’s medical expert.  During the deposition of the defendant’s medical expert, he admitted that the surgery to the left shoulder was related to the automobile collision.  Further attempts by State Farm’s defense attorney to clarify its medical expert’s opinion only made matters worse.  Upon further cross examination of State Farm’s medical expert, he agreed that he had not reviewed the medical records very carefully; that he could find no prior complaints of any problems associated with our client’s left shoulder since 1987; and that our client was left with a permanent injury to her shoulder due to the automobile collision. State Farm tendered its policy limits two days after its expert’s decision.    (Rivera v. Krempa, C.A. No.: N10C-11-001 JRS)

(4) The Freibott Law Firm was successful in its argument to the Superior Court of the State of Delaware that the Defendant’s oral statement and the Defendant’s written explanation of the facts concerning the accident provided to his insurance company should be produced to the Plaintiff.  In the case of Desrivieres v. Mitchell, C.A. No. 11C-01-189 CLS, Judge Scott of the Superior Court compelled Amica Insurance Company to produce a signed Automobile Accident Report prepared by the Defendant and an audio recorded statement obtained by Amica of the Defendant concerning the facts of the collision.  The Freibott Law Firm was successful in arguing that the statements did not fall within the purview of the work product doctrine, thus allowing the production of these very important statements.  The Freibott Law Firm conducted a deposition of the Defendant on October 5, 2009 and discovered that the Defendant provided these statements to his insurance company.  Neither the Plaintiff nor her attorney were ever notified that the Defendant wrote a statement or gave an oral statement to Amica.  It was the decision of the Superior Court that both statements were to be provided to the Plaintiff as there was no indication that either statement was requested or prepared for, or by, any defense attorney, or reflected the employment of any defense attorney’s expertise.  Therefore, the recorded statement and the written statement were not prepared in anticipation of litigation. (Desrivieres v. Mitchell, C.A. No.: 11C-01-189 CLS)

(5) The Freibott Law Firm was recently successful in obtaining an award from the Industrial Accident Board when the Board agreed that our client had sustained Thoracic Outlet Syndrome to her left upper extremity as a result of her original work injury. The Claimant in this case was injured on January 28, 2009 and the parties agreed, at that time, that the Claimant had injured her upper extremities with a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome. After the worker's compensation insurance company denied the compensability of the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, the Freibott Law Firm filed a petition with the Industrial Accident Board alleging that the Thoracic Outlet Syndrome was related to the original work injury. The Claimant had increased complaints of pain in her shoulder since her carpal tunnel surgeries in March and April of 2009. She felt numbness in her hands and in her arms and was in the hospital twice for paralysis of the left side of her face and arm. Her treating vascular surgeon testified that through his testing, the Claimant had sustained her Thoracic Outlet injury due to her original activities at work. Accordingly, in addition to awarding compensability of her Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, the Board also ordered the worker's compensation company to pay the Claimant's attorney's fee; the expert witness fee; and the court reporter fee. (Harvey v. Johnson Controls, IAB Hearing No. 1335070)

(6) The Freibott Law Firm was recently successful in obtaining an award from the Industrial Accident Board wherein the Board ordered the worker's compensation insurance company to pay for ongoing psychiatric treatment of the Claimant. The Claimant was stabbed in the chest and the victim of a robbery while making a pizza delivery. The Claimant was originally injured on September 17, 2006 while he was working for Pizza Properties of Delaware (Domino's). The worker's compensation insurance company denied paying for the Claimant's psychiatric treatment as it was the company's position that the treatment was not reasonable, necessary, or causally related to the original work accident. Based upon the testimony of the Claimant's treating psychiatrist, and based upon the testimony of the Claimant, the Industrial Accident Board found both the Claimant and the psychiatrist credible, and that the treatment rendered by the psychiatrist in the past, and the treatment that is needed in the future, was, in fact, reasonable, necessary, and related to the original work accident. The Board ordered the worker's compensation insurance company to pay for all past psychiatric treatment and future psychiatric treatment. The Board also ordered the worker's compensation insurance company to pay the Claimant's attorney's fee and the expert testimony of the Claimant's psychiatrist. (Kutney v. Pizza Properties of Delaware, IAB Hearing No. 1322543)

(7) Frederick S. Freibott was recently successful in obtaining an award from the Industrial Accident Board which held that the insurance company's worker's compensation Utilization Review was wrong and ordered the worker's compensation carrier to pay for the Claimant's subsequent surgery. The Claimant was injured in 2007 and underwent a double level spinal fusion in August of 2008. The Claimant had a subsequent surgical procedure in November of 2009. The worker's compensation carrier requested that a Utilization Review be performed. The Utilization Review panel concluded that the medical necessity for the requested surgery did not appear to be established and would not be consistent with the Delaware State Worker's Compensation Guidelines. The Freibott Law Firm filed an appeal de novo to the Utilization Review and the Industrial Accident Board overturned that determination on March 11, 2011. As a result, the worker's compensation carrier was ordered to pay the neurosurgeon's subsequent surgery bill along with the reimbursement of medical expert fees, court reporter fees, and the payment of an attorney's fee. (Reed v. Union Wholesale, Hearing No.: 1306398, Decision dated March 11, 2011)

(8) On August 16, 2010, the Industrial Accident Board issued a ruling on behalf of our client that found that she was still totally disabled from work and that her recent surgery was reasonable, necessary, and related to her original work accident. The Industrial Accident Board found our client to be credible; found her orthopaedic surgeon to be credible; and found that the doctor hired by the worker's compensation insurance company to be unpersuasive. Our client originally injured herself in February of 2007 and underwent her first surgical procedure in September of 2008. The claimant attempted to return to work; however, her duties at work severely aggravated her back condition and she decided to undergo a fusion surgery with her orthopaedic surgeon in March of 2010. The worker's compensation insurance company refused to pay for her surgery and her ongoing total disability because of its belief that her surgery was not reasonable, necessary, or related to her original work accident. Based upon the combination of the claimant's credibility and her clear need for a second surgery, the Industrial Accident Board awarded ongoing total disability benefits from July of 2009 to the present; awarded all outstanding medical expenses, including the second surgery, as reasonable, necessary, and related to the original work injury; awarded reimbursement of claimant's expert witness fees; and awarded attorney's fees to be paid by the worker's compensation insurance company. (Shipp v. United Distributors, Hearing No. 1298510 and 1311641)

(9) Our firm was recently successful in obtaining total disability benefits for a limited period of time on behalf of our client when he had a flare up of his neck injuries. The Industrial Accident Board awarded total disability benefits between July 1, 2008 and November 21, 2008. Our firm also sought a ruling from the Industrial Accident Board that our client's medical bills of just over $17,000.00 were reasonable, necessary, and related to the work injury. This was a very highly contested case and the Industrial Accident Board concluded that our firm, on our client's behalf, carried our burden of proof to show that our client had sustained an exacerbation (worsening) of his neck symptoms, entitling him to total disability for the above referenced time period and that the medical expenses claimed were compensable. The Industrial Accident Board found that our client and his treating doctor were credible in their testimony. The Industrial Accident Board also awarded an attorney's fee and reimbursement of the expert fee (Johnson v. Wal-Mart, Hearing No. 1290150, Date of decision June 28, 2010.)

(10) FREDRICK S. FREIBOTT recently secured a large verdict in a medical malpractice birth injury case. A jury returned a verdict of $528,000.00 in a case where a nurse midwife used excessive force during delivery. The nurse midwife did not recognize that the baby had a shoulder dystocia (the lodging of a shoulder against the mother's pubic bone), and, after using excessive force to deliver the baby, caused a severe brachial plexus injury to the baby, requiring numerous surgeries. Weglarz, et al., v. Ann-Marie Stafford, et al. C.A. No. 06C-08-144 MMJ

(11) FREDRICK S. FREIBOTT recently secured a large verdict in a slip and fall trial. A jury returned a verdict of $500,000.00, reduced by the client's comparative negligence, in a case where his client, a tenant at a commercial apartment complex, slipped and fell on ice that was not removed by the landlord. The client sustained severe injuries to her leg necessitating three surgical procedures. The defendant's property manager testified that he was not aware of certain ice removal procedures that the landlord had placed in writing years before the fall. The jury awarded money for the client's pain and suffering; medical bills; and lost wages. Snover v. William Penn Apartment Assocs., et al,. Del.Super., C.A. No. 07C-10-074 MJB (2009)

(12) Frederick S. Freibott recently received a policy limits settlement in a case where his client was going to the bathroom in a Port-a-Potty which was pushed over by vandals with him inside of it. A claim was made against the owner of the Port-a-Potty because the owner's company had not adequately secured the Port-a-Potty to the ground which made it easy for it to be pushed over. There was evidence in the case that this particular Port-a-Potty had been turned over on several occasions and the owner's company was made aware of that fact. The owner did nothing to prevent the Port-a-Potty from being pushed over. The Plaintiff secured expert testimony that suggested that a simple anchor into the ground, such as a 2x4 firmly secured to the Port-a-Potty, would have prevented the incident. The Plaintiff was severely injured because of this incident. (Toala v. Arrow Leasing Corp. C.A. No. 08C-03-065 RRC)

(13) FREDRICK S. FREIBOTT secured a very large settlement on behalf of his clients when he successfully argued in the Superior Court of Delaware that the parents of the son who killed his client's husband were also liable based upon a new, and modern, interpretation regarding the law of negligent entrustment. The parents loaned money to their son so he could buy a car even though they knew their son accumulated so many points on his driver's license that he had to be excluded from his parents' car insurance. The parents also knew that their son had been charged in the past with possession of Ketamine, an animal tranquilizer, and had his driver's license revoked for two years. Moreover, the parents were very sure that their son continued to drink alcohol prior to the motor vehicle collision that killed the client's husband. Mr. Freibott was also able to show that the son had been involved in an automobile collision several months prior to the one that caused death to his client's husband wherein the son fled the scene of the collision and appeared dazed and confused when confronted by the Wilmington Police Department. This case represents one of the first times that a Court, not only in Delaware, but in the United States, held that the loaning of money by parents to an adult child to purchase a vehicle, with the knowledge that their son was a poor driver and had a history of substance abuse, could be found liable under a negligent entrustment theory." Perez-Melchor, et al. v. Balakhani, et al., Del.Super., C.A. No. 04C-05-269 RRC (2006)

(14) FREDERICK S. FREIBOTT successfully argued in The Superior Court of Delaware and The Supreme Court of Delaware that an insurance company's biomechanical expert should not be allowed to testify against his client as the named expert's opinion was based upon speculation because, as the Courts held, the expert "apparently consistent with others in his 'field' made no attempt to take into account the specific personal history of the injured person." The Delaware Supreme Court held that the expert "had neither the competency nor the opportunity to consider these idiosyncratic circumstances." Eskin v. Carden, 842 A.2d 1222 (Del.Supr.,2004).

(15) FREDERICK S. FREIBOTT successfully obtained a ruling from The Supreme Court of Delaware forcing an insurance company to pay COBRA Health Benefits from the injured client's automobile insurance policy as the COBRA benefit was defined as a "lost earning" as defined by Delaware Law.

(16) FREDERICK S. FREIBOTT successfully argued in The Superior Court of Delaware and The Supreme Court of Delaware that an insurance company's biomechanical expert should not be allowed to testify against his client as the named expert's opinion was based upon speculation because, as the Courts held, the expert "apparently consistent with others in his 'field' made no attempt to take into account the specific personal history of the injured person." The Delaware Supreme Court held that the expert "had neither the competency nor the opportunity to consider these idiosyncratic circumstances." 

 The client sustained a serious back injury necessitating a lumbar fusion surgery to her low back.  The jury in this case returned a verdict in the amount of $580,000.00 for our client.  The insurance company, who insured the defendant, State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, filed an appeal and lost the appeal at the Delaware Supreme Court.  Because State Farm forced the appeal, and lost on appeal, it was liable for post judgment interest.  Therefore, the client’s total judgment increased to $648,448.00.  (Eskin v. Carden, 842 A.2d 1222(Del.Supr.,2004).

(17) The Freibott Law Firm secured a large settlement on behalf of our client.  The accident in this case involved a husband and wife wherein the husband caused the accident and caused serious personal injuries to his wife.  A claim was made by our clients, without the assistance of counsel, for the wife’s injuries.  The insurance company informed our clients that the wife could not make any claim against the husband because of their marriage.  Our firm received a phone call from the wife approximately one week before the statute of limitations was to run.  A lawsuit was filed immediately and settlement discussions produced a policy limits offer from Nationwide.  In Delaware, one spouse is able to sue the other spouse for the insurance policy limits maintained by the party at fault.  In this case, Nationwide tendered its $100,000.00 for the injured wife.   

(18) The Freibott Law Firm secured a large $100,000.00 policy limits settlement from an insurance company wherein the daughter of a man who was struck and killed by an uninsured motorist sought uninsured benefits from their insurance carrier.  The carrier had denied the claim based on its belief that the deceased was not a “relative resident” in his daughter’s house.  After producing tax returns, bills, magazine subscriptions, and other documents showing the deceased’s residency with his daughter, the insurance carrier quickly reversed its original unreasonable position and offered its policy limits.  (George Rhea v. Nationwide

(19) FREDRICK S. FREIBOTT secured a very large settlement on behalf of his clients when he successfully argued in the Superior Court of Delaware that the parents of the son who killed his client’s husband were also liable based upon a new, and modern, interpretation regarding the law of negligent entrustment.  The parents loaned money to their son so he could buy a car even though they knew their son accumulated so many points on his driver’s license that he had to be excluded from his parents’ car insurance.  The parents also knew that their son had been charged in the past with possession of Ketamine, an animal tranquilizer, and had his driver’s license revoked for two years.  Moreover, the parents were very sure that their son continued to drink alcohol prior to the motor vehicle collision that killed the client’s husband.  Mr. Freibott was also able to show that the son had been involved in an automobile collision several months prior to the one that caused death to his client’s husband wherein the son fled the scene of the collision and appeared dazed and confused when confronted by the Wilmington Police Department.

This case represents one of the first times that a Court, not only in Delaware, but in the United States, held that the loaning of money by parents to an adult child to purchase a vehicle, with the knowledge that their son was a poor driver and had a history of substance abuse, could be found liable under a negligent entrustment theory (Tovar v. Balakhani).

Contact our Delaware Auto Accident lawyer today to schedule your free initial consultation.