Fieger Times wntr by jennyyingdi


									                                  Since 1950      •       Winter 2012          •                  •       vol. XXVII

Fieger Law Wins $144 Million
in Tragic Birth Trauma Case
      $114 million verdict won by
A      Geoffrey Fieger in October, 2011
 is the largest ever awarded in a
                                                                                                  helping with every aspect of her life,
                                                                                                  from eating and dressing to bathing.
                                                                                                     After a four week trial and three days
medical malpractice case in Michigan.
                                                                                                  of deliberation, the jury awarded
It’s also the largest single injury verdict
                                                                                                  Fieger’s client $144 million.
in the country.
                                                                                                    “Ninety-eight percent of this verdict is
  Geoffrey Fieger, with help from Fieger                                                          economic damages required to care for
Law Counsel Jack Beam, won the                                                                    Markell for the rest of her life. It’s $12
verdict on behalf of a Macomb                                                                     per hour, 24 hours per day, for 77
Township family in a tragic birth trauma                                                          years,” Fieger said, plus lost earnings
case against William Beaumont                                                                     capacity starting in 2018, the year she
Hospital in Royal Oak.                                                                            would have graduated from college.
                                                                                                  The verdict also includes noneconomic
  The verdict came in Oakland County
                                                                                                  damages, capped at $738,000 by law.
Circuit Court on Oct. 18 before the
Hon. Rudy J. Nichols.                                                                                “It’s been an emotional, long time,”
                                                                                                  said Kimberly VanSlembrouck, mother
   Geoffrey Fieger represented the                          Geoffrey Fieger
                                                                                                  of Markell VanSlembrouck. “It’s not
family of Markell VanSlembrouck, now                                                              about getting rich — it’s about helping a
                                               negligence caused a traumatic birth,
15 years old, who sustained serious                                                               poor baby that didn’t ask for this.”
                                               which resulted in Markell’s severe
injuries during her birth at Beaumont
                                               cerebral palsy.                                       If you think your child’s cerebral palsy
Hospital. Fieger argued that doctors
should have ordered a C-section for               Now a teenager, Markell can’t walk or           or birth injury could have been
Markell’s mother, Kimberly VanSlem-            talk and needs constant care. Her                  prevented, call 1-800-544-BABY for a
brouk, and that the hospital’s                 parents assist her 24 hours a day,                 free legal consultation.

  Fieger Law Birth Injury
  Verdicts and Settlements
  $144 million: Michigan
  $18.6 million: Michigan                                       From the Lion’s Den
  $24 million: Pennsylvania
  $30 million: Ohio                            Find Fieger Law on Facebook and Twitter

  $30 million: South Carolina                     Thank you for reading the latest issue          website,, we are also on
                                               of Fieger Law’s newsletter. The Fieger             Facebook and Twitter. Please link up
  $17 million: West Virginia                   Times is published quarterly by the firm,          with us on social media. We would love
  $8 million: Missouri                         but it’s not the only way we hope to               to be ‘friends.’
                                               stay in touch with our clients and
  $11 million: Illinois                        colleagues. In addition to our interactive
  $11 million: Ohio

                                                                                            Fieger Law, P.C. • 248.355.5555 •
Jenessa Suiter, asst.
Vanessa Kouloumberis, legal asst.
Elizabeth Dodson, paralegal
Stephanie Stipanovich, asst.

Cheryl Jann, legal asst.
James Harrington IV
                                                               Attorney Spotlight:
Heather Glazer
Leon Weiss
Michael Ratton
                                                               Leon J. Weiss
Thomas Warnicke
E. Jason Blankenship
Brian Garves
                                    Long-time attorney is ferocious courtroom advocate
Sima Patel
Matt Klakulak
Caroline Whittemore
James Craig
                                      L   eon Weiss is a 35-year veteran of the
                                          trial wars, having tried over 170 civil
                                    and criminal jury trials to verdict. Weiss
                                                                                        Weiss is married with five kids and in his
                                                                                      spare time loves golfing, reading and
                                                                                      spending time at his up north home in
Martin Shepherd                     started his career as an assistant public         Charleviox.
Stephen Smolenski
Helen Joyner
                                    defender in Miami, Fla., representing
Amanda Krzystan                     indigent people charged with serious
Jack Beam, of counsel               crimes. In Miami, he developed a solid
Barry Fayne, of counsel
Office Manager
Nancy Fisher
                                    reputation as a well-prepared, tireless and
                                    ferocious courtroom advocate, handling
                                    thousands of criminal matters from misde-
                                                                                         “engaged to go to war
                                                                                            I am a soldier who
Receptionists                       meanors to death penalty murder cases.
Erin                                   Weiss deeply believes that all persons            for my clients. I hate to
Liza Dodson
                                    accused of crimes must have their constitu-
                                    tional rights vigorously protected, first,
                                                                                         lose! Ask my kids...
Laura Bertus
Dwan Sanders
Dave Savageau
                                    because this is a guiding principle of our
                                    democracy and second, because anything
                                                                                         even when playing a
Wendy Hoin
Alexis Leader                       less weakens the constitutional protections          board game, I go for
Katie Schlarb                       for all people.
                                                                                         the jugular!
Sharon Armstead
Ashley Freeman                          In 1983 Weiss returned to his native
Legal Assistants                    Michigan and for 25 years was a sole prac-
Mary Mergos                         titioner, specializing in state and federal
Jennifer Witkowski                                                                                    – Leon Weiss, Fieger Law
Kristine A. Gnagey                  criminal defense, plaintiff’s personal injury,
Vera Botz                           commercial litigation and professional
Deidra Moss
Kathy Collings                      licensing defense. In the fall of 2008 he
Brooke Henderson                    joined the firm of Geoffrey Fieger, his           Education:
Gabriella Graziano                  childhood friend and high school football         Shepherd Broad Law Center,
Monika Christian                                                                       Nova Southeastern University (J.D., 1977)
Sherry Miller                       teammate. At Fieger Law, Weiss concen-
                                    trates his practice primarily on criminal         University of Michigan, Political Science
Jury Consultant                                                                        (B.A., 1974)
Steve Hnat                          defense, with occasional participation in
Courier Supervisor                  challenging civil matters.
Anna Trimble                                                                          Member:
                                      Weiss is proud to be a member of a firm
Bookkeeping                                                                           State Bar of Michigan
                                    comprised of dedicated, principled and
Georgia Banyai                                                                        State Bar of Florida
Ann Marie Keith                     supremely skilled lawyers who all share his
                                                                                      United States District Court
Project Mgr.                        focused devotion to their clients.
                                                                                      Eastern District of Michigan
Jeff Cope
                                      “I have the same burning passion to             Southern District of Florida
Building Mgr.                       achieve justice for my clients that I always
Tom Baulch
                                    had. To say my old friend Geoff Fieger also       Practice Areas:
Information Systems Mgrs.
Eric Donahue
                                    has that passion, is perhaps the under            Criminal Defense
Couriers                            statement of the ages,” he said.                  Personal Injury
Alexis Farion
Robbie Mills
Intake Department

Justin Fisher
Colette Jenkins
Mallory Skoczylas
Shannon Hollie
In Memoriam
Bernard Fieger
June Fieger
Jeremiah Kenney
Tammy Reiss                                                                          Fieger Law, P.C. • 248.355.5555 •
Mary Wilson
                Legal Boxers
Fieger Law seeks $50 million for teen electrocuted while swimming
  ttorney Geoffery Fieger has filed a lawsuit demanding $50         A horrifying death of a child could easily have been prevented
A  million in the death of Mancelona teen Michael Knudsen,
                                      who was electrocuted at
                                                                    with just a little care.”
                                                                       The estate of Michael Knudsen is suing Traverse City, its
                                      Duncan L. Clinch Marina
                                                                    marina, dockmaster Barry Smith, and the dock system’s
                                      in Traverse City.
                                                                    engineers, contractors, electrical company and manufacturer.
                                         The 18-year-old died       The suit alleges the system was not properly designed or
                                       Aug. 15, 2011 as he          installed and the city was grossly negligent for allowing
                                       swam off a dock.             dangerous conditions to persist, despite a history of electrical
                                          “Our investigation        failures.
                                       reveals, without               Fieger Law Attorney Jeffrey Danzig said “Michael wasn’t the
                                       question, that the water     only victim electrocuted.”
                                       around the floating dock
                                       area was electrified as a      Friends who accompanied Knudsen on the swim also
                                       result of improper           received severe electrical shocks, Danzig said. The youths were
                                       electrical wiring,” Fieger   not able to help their friend.
                                       said. “The shoddy wiring       Knudsen’s lawsuit in 13th Circuit Court is
                                       and the danger of elec-      scheduled for a jury trial to begin at the end of
                                       trocution created by it      September.
                                       appear to have been well
                                       known by the marina
         Michael Knudsen               prior to Michael’s death.

                                                                       Geoffrey’s First Trial
 Fieger Law’s
 Top 10 Verdicts
   Since 1980, when Geoffrey Fieger won a $1 million
 verdict in his first trial, Fieger Law has achieved more than
 135 verdicts or settlements of $1 million or more.

     Here’s a look at his top 10:

    1. $144.6 million: Birth trauma, 2011 (Michigan)

    2. $56.5 million: Jail death, 2002 (Indiana)

    3. $30 million: Medical negligence, 2007 (South Carolina)

    4. $30 million: Automobile negligence, 2005 (Michigan)

    5. $30 million: Sexual harassment, 1999 (Michigan)

    6. $30 million: Birth trauma, 2006 (Ohio)

    7. $30 million: Automobile negligence, 2000 (Michigan)

    8. $28 million: Police misconduct/excessive force, 2007

    9. $26 million: Birth trauma, 2002 (Pennsylvania)
                                                                      Geoffrey Fieger, with his late father, Bernard Fieger, in 1980,
 10. $25 million: Gross negligence, 2004 (Michigan)                  when he won $1 million in his first trial, Katz v. Oakland Medical
                                                                              Center, in Oakland County Court of Claims.

                                                                                      Fieger Law, P.C. • 248.355.5555 •
                   Photos We Can Print
                   2011 Fieger Law Gala
Mad Hatter party caps off crazy year
It was a madcap year at Fieger Law, and the firm decided to celebrate the insanity by giving its 2011 holiday gala a “Mad Hatter”
 motif. Here’s a glimpse at how party planner Nancy Kader of Entertainment Connection in Birmingham brought the theme to life at
Meadow Brook Hall.

     Playful centerpieces.           The Mad Hatter interacts                             Motown icons The Temptations entertain.
                                        with a party guest.

                                                                                              A custom-designed top hat serves as a rotating
Chef Courtney Clark of Cake Nouveau                                                              centerpiece on the hors d’ouevres table.
                                               Fieger Law Partner Jeffrey Danzig
 and TV’s Ultimate Cake Off, puts the           and his wife, Wendy, next to an
final touches on the Mad Hatter cake.             artist’s rendering of Danzig.

    Guests wore hats to             Fieger Law Partners Jeffrey Danzig, Geoffrey Fieger                 Geoffrey Fieger and Robert Giroux next to a
    celebrate the theme.                           and Robert Giroux.                                   caricature of Giroux by artist Ariel Echiverria.

Photos by Steve Kaufman, courtesy of For more photos please visit the Multimedia Page at

                                                                                                     Fieger Law, P.C. • 248.355.5555 •
                       Fair and Just                            What is your favorite journey?
                                                                Safaris in Africa
                       QUESTIONNAIRE                            What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
                                                                On what occasion do you lie?
                                                                To protect others from harm
                                                                Which living person do you most dislike?
                                                                Newt Gingrich
                                                                What is your greatest regret?
                                                                Not working in a professional sports environment
                                                                When & where were you the happiest?
                                                                Birth of my children
                                                                Which talent would you most like to have?
                                                                Professional golfer
                                                                What is your current state of mind?
                                                                Aim to reduce stress through healthy body and spirit
                                                                If you could change one thing about yourself, what would
                                                                it be?
                 Jeffrey Danzig                                 Receding hairline

                                          Power Partner         What do you consider your greatest achievement?
                                                                Partner of Geoff Fieger (and 68 on the golf course, three under par)
 For years, Jeffrey Danzig has run Fieger Law’s intake and      What is your most treasured possession?
  referral department, speaking to everyone who calls the       My family (can’t forget the family dog, Camrin)
  firm with a potential case. In 2011, Danzig stepped up to
                                                                Where would you most like to live?
        add his name to Fieger, Fieger, Kenney, Giroux and      Charlevoix in summer, Pinehurst, N.C. in winter
     Danzig. Here, the firm’s newest partner talks about his
      love of sports, hate for Newt Gingrich, and coming in     What is your most marked characteristic?
                              three under par on the fairway.   Organization
                                                                What do you most value in your friends?
                                                                Loyalty and support
What is your favorite color?
Green (as in green and white, go Spartans!)                     Who are your favorite writers?
                                                                Ludlum, Patterson, Le Carre, Grisham, Clancy, Follet
What is your favorite song?
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen                                      Who is your favorite hero of fiction:
                                                                Atticus Finch
What is your favorite restaurant?
Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami Beach, Fla.                             Who is your hero in real life:
                                                                My wife, Wendy
Who is your favorite Detroit celebrity?
Robin Williams                                                  How would you like to die?
Where is your favorite place to be?                             Very quickly (when the time comes)
Golf course
                                                                If you were a speech part, what would you be?
What is your idea of perfect happiness?                         Verb—moving quickly
Laying on the beach reading a great book
                                                                If you were a car, what kind would you be?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?              Bentley
Ty Cobb
                                                                If you were food, what kind would you be?
Which living person do you most admire?                         A power bar
U.S. Senator Gabrielle Giffords
Which trait in yourself do you most deplore?                    If you were an animal, what kind would you be?
Cynicism                                                        The Danzig dog

What trait do you most deplore in others?                       If you were fine art, what form would you take?
Laziness                                                        Classic oil painting on canvas
What’s your greatest extravagance?                              What’s your motto?
Family travel to Third World countries                          “Live long and prosper” — Spock

                                                                                  Fieger Law, P.C. • 248.355.5555 •
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                19390 WEST TEN MILE ROAD
                                                                                   U.S. Postage
              SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN 48075-2463
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                 GDW: Geoffrey Did What?
                 $144 Million Verdict in Birth Trauma Case

  F   ieger Law recently
      won the largest
medical malpractice
verdict ever awarded in                                                                           Photo by Max Ortiz, courtest of Detroit News
the state of Michigan.
Read more inside.
   Could your child’s
cerebral palsy or birth
injury have been
prevented? For a free
legal consultation call

                                                  Fieger Law, P.C. • 248.355.5555 •

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