See More Testimonials
"Michael Abelson is a very experienced litigator. I've personally worked with him on several cases and have been impressed with his skills. I highly recommend him."Joseph Abromovitz Esq., Boston, MA
At the Abelson Law Firm, our goal is to help injured victims and their family members to get justice after they are hurt by the negligence of wrongful acts of another. Through negotiation of out-of-court settlements or through representing clients in court, we work to ensure that our clients are “made whole,” or are fully and fairly compensated when someone has hurt them.
For every case we take on, we do our best to help clients use the financial proceeds of our successful cases to meet their medical, educational, maintenance and support needs. We work with expert therapists, doctors, nurses, health care professionals, long-term or life-care planners and vocational counselors to give clients the support they need.
Many of the cases that we take on result in seven-figure awards or higher, either through an out-of-court settlement or an in-court verdict. While we are very proud of helping our clients to obtain maximum compensation, we do not disclose dollar figures of past cases on our website because we respect the confidentiality of all of our clients and feel that disclosure would be a violation of this confidentiality. However, news of our jury verdicts as well as case reports are available via public record, in legal journals, in magazines, and in newspaper archives.
If you have questions about one of the cases reported on our website or if you feel that a fact pattern of one of the cases is similar to your own situation, feel free to contact us online or call us at 202-331-0600 or toll free at 1-888-797-4242 for a free consultation.
Medical Negligence Cases
A confidential settlement was achieved during a medical malpractice case arising from an injured newborn. The physician failed to diagnose swelling of the neck that occurred shortly after the baby’s birth. A tracheal shift occurred because of the undiagnosed hemangio-endothelioma. This resulted in blood flowing to the neck lesion, cutting off blood to the brain. Irreparable brain injury resulted, and the child now requires full-time medical care 24/7.
Hospital Negligence/Medical Malpractice
A confidential settlement was reached against the U.S. government after a mother was prematurely released from the hospital. A young mother was at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, where she gave birth to her second child. Multiple epidural attempts during the labor and delivery process resulted in a dural leak. Physicians failed to administer a blood patch to the patient. At the time of discharge, she was suffering unrelenting headaches; three days later, seizures and a stroke occurred. The young mother now has permanent disabilities.
Hospital Negligence/Medical Malpractice
Due to medical negligence, a teenage girl had her ovaries unnecessarily removed, rendering her sterile. Prior to contacting the Abelson Law Firm, neither the girl nor her family knew of her sterility. After our firm took the case, the chief operating officer of the hospital eventually admitted error and apologized to the family. The teenage girl now has the proper hormone therapy that she needs and she received a structured settlement that will provide for ongoing payment of medical care costs throughout her life. Settlement money will also be available for fertilization options.
Physician and Hospital’s Duty to the Public
A cancer patient at a hospital was improperly released despite having received large doses of pain relievers. While driving home, the patient lost consciousness and lost control of the vehicle, causing a head-on collision. Our client was a passenger in the vehicle that the cancer patient crashed into, and our client suffered severe injury as a result, including traumatic brain damage. The attorneys at the Abelson Law Firm worked for more than five years on the case to obtain compensation necessary to provide our client with a comfortable life and a lifetime of medical care and personal attendants.
This case established a new federal court precedent when the court ruled that health care providers owe not just a duty to their patients, but, under certain circumstances, also to members of the public.
Medical Malpractice/Inadequate Supervision for Resident Surgeon
A spinal surgery was performed on a 35-year-old engineer by a resident of a hospital who was not supervised. The engineer had not given informed consent. The resident cut into the engineer’s spinal canal, severing 18 spinal nerve roots. As a result of the unsupervised surgery, the engineer is no longer able to control his bowels or bladder, and he has lost all sexual functions. Our attorneys represented the engineer, and the case settled shortly before trial began.
Hospital Negligence/Birth Injury
A hospital permitted a bacterial infection to go untreated in a newborn baby. As a result of the untreated infection, the baby suffered permanent mental and physical disabilities. The hospital settled and compensated the victim for the negligence of their staff, and the baby will now have enough money to pay for a lifetime of necessary medical care.
Medical Malpractice at a Military Hospital
When a mother visited a United States military hospital, she was wrongly advised to withhold seizure medication from her child. Unfortunately, with no medication, the child experienced a grand mal seizure and suffered permanent brain damage. To cover up their actions, the military hospital tried to alter the medical records. They denied that the wrong advice had been given and attempted to blame the mother for her failure to medicate the child. When the accurate medical records were subsequently discovered, the case immediately settled out of court and the hospital apologized.
Hospital Malpractice and Viral Encephalitis
On three separate occasions, our client reported to a local hospital complaining of headaches and disorientation that kept getting worse. The hospital diagnosed the problem as “sinusitis” and improperly failed to admit the patient. Unfortunately, the man was suffering from viral encephalitis; if he had been admitted and properly medicated, he could have avoided permanent brain damage. The case went to trial, and the jury awarded damages to our client.
Obstetrics Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy
A physician failed to perform a timely Caesarean section, resulting in the baby’s developing cerebral palsy. An out-of-court settlement was reached.
Improper Discharge from Hospital leads to Wrongful Death
A man with a heart infection was discharged from the hospital after surgery and died as a result. His widow was awarded damages by a jury.
Failure to Timely Diagnose Breast Cancer
A young physician was showing signs and symptoms of breast cancer, but the symptoms were missed by her oncologist during breast examinations. The young woman received a jury verdict.
Failure to Diagnose AVM in an 18-Month-Old Baby
An 18-month-old baby boy had an MRI performed that showed the baby had an arterial venous malformation (AVM). AVMs typically develop in the womb and involve a malformation of the blood vessels in the brain. If AVMs are diagnosed early and treated promptly, future bleeding can be stopped. Unfortunately, in this young boy’s case, the AVM was missed on the MRI and no treatment was provided. When AVMs are not promptly treated, spontaneous and potentially fatal bleeding is likely to occur.
After the MRI, the young boy continued to develop for a few years. Unfortunately, at age 7, a large pool of blood formed in his head from the untreated AVM. His mother found him in bed in a coma and unable to move, and the radiology department and pediatricians were sued for failure to recognize the AVM and failure to perform further studies and testing.
The Abelson Law Firm represented the family, getting top medical experts to review the medical records and to participate in the litigation on behalf of the family. The case settled out of court, and the mother and young boy were provided with the compensation that they need to allow the young boy to maintain treatments and have a dignified life.
Medical Malpractice due to Unsupervised Resident Obstetrician
A resident obstetrician was delivering a baby without proper supervision, as required by hospital policy. The delivery was mismanaged and the forceps improperly used, causing the baby to suffer permanent brain damage. An out-of-court settlement was reached.
Failure of HMO to Admit Patient to Hospital
A 47-year-old high school guidance counselor made multiple visits to her HMO, complaining of headaches and uncontrolled high blood pressure. The guidance counselor was not admitted to the hospital, nor did she receive any medication from her HMO. Unfortunately, she suffered a massive stroke. The case settled prior to trial on behalf of the guidance counselor.
Medical Mistake Leads to Kidney Failure
A 22-year-old with a long history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythmatosis (SLE). The patient required anticoagulant medications for her conditions and had her prescription filled for 10 mg of Coumadin at a national pharmaceutical chain. Unfortunately, the pharmacy incorrectly filled the prescription, providing the patient with only 1 mg tablets. This caused her to become hypercoagulable and to develop leg thrombus. New DVTs also developed.
The patient was immediately hospitalized and upon release was told to take double 10 mg tablets for a total of 20 mg. Because of the pharmacy’s error, when she doubled her tablets she received only 2 mg.
Because of the medication error, the patient suffered end-stage kidney failure. She will now require lifelong dialysis. Prior to the beginning of trial, the pharmacy settled the case.
A 16-year-old autistic girl was under the custody of a state-paid care provider. Unfortunately, the provider left the girl unattended and failed to monitor her bath. The bath water was much warmer than was safe, given the girl’s cognitive and motor disabilities, and she suffered secondary scalding burns and died. A confidential settlement was reached for the young girl’s mother.
Car Accidents, Bus Accidents and Trucking Accidents
Truck Accident/Wrongful Death
An 18-wheeler was improperly loaded, and evidence indicated that the truck driver was driving too fast for road conditions. The truck turned over on the highway on a car containing a husband, wife and son. The wife and son survived the accident, but the husband was killed instantly. An out-of-court settlement was reached to compensate mother and child for the loss of their primary breadwinner and to ensure that the child would have enough money for his education.
State Inspection Station Negligence Leads to Dump Truck Accident
A state inspection certificate was improperly issued to a dump truck without an inspection of the truck’s defective air brakes having been made. The dump truck weighed 50,000 pounds. Its brakes malfunctioned and the truck hit a young doctor, causing catastrophic injury. The victim of the dump truck accident received a structured settlement which will pay for a lifetime of medical care needs and which will provide financial support for his family.
Police Officer Injured in Bus Crash
The Abelson Law Firm represented a metropolitan police officer who shattered his hips when he was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a head-on crash with a metropolitan transit bus.
Wrongful Death Due to Defective Tires
A rental car company negligently failed to perform adequate maintenance on its vehicles. As a result, a vehicle had a defective tire. The tire blew out, and twin sisters were killed in the resulting crash. A settlement was reached to compensate the widowers, children and parents of the twin sisters who were killed.
Highway Construction Causes Brain Damage
A college student was involved in an accident after a construction crew made visibility impossible at an intersection. A catastrophic accident was foreseeable given the blocked sight-line visibility, and the jury awarded compensation to the college student who had been seriously injured.
Automobile Accident Causes Traumatic Brain Injury
A 39-year-old client was involved in a violent car accident and suffered diffuse axonal traumatic brain injuries. The case was settled prior to trial, providing our client with the money he needs for lifelong care. The compensation ensures he has the money for primary care, diagnostic studies, medical care, lifelong supervision from specialists, including neurologists, rehabilitative service providers, and assistance with household affairs. The compensation will also provide necessary funds for housing and transportation.
Hypnosis Used in Car Accident Case
After a head-on collision, both drivers were rendered unconscious and both suffered from retrograde amnesia. Neither remembered the crash, and there were no witnesses as to what happened. Our client was hypnotized and remembered the other vehicle crossing into her lane. The videotaped hypnosis session was used as evidence; after close scrutiny by a federal judge, the jury found for our client. The case made national headlines because it showed how hypnosis could be used forensically in auto accident cases.
When a young man saw a chiropractor to deal with his back pain, the chiropractor adjusted his neck. Neck adjustments are inherently dangerous and are often unnecessary as there is little or no scientific evidence indicating that these types of adjustments have any benefit on health. Because of the adjustment, the young man suffered dissection of his carotid artery. A stroke occurred as a result, and the young man was killed. The wrongful death claim was resolved for the widow. These cases are important because the public needs to be aware of the risks of chiropractic manipulation.
Scaffolding/Exterior Building Maintenance
Building Owner Liable to Window Washer
A window washer was attempting to step off a high-rise building. Unfortunately, while there were roof anchors on the building designed for a two-point suspended scaffolding system, the building owner used a sky genie (a descent control device) in an attempt to save money. With the design of the building and the use of the sky genie, the window washer was not able to check that his safety equipment worked properly until after he had already ascended the building. By this point, it was too late to do anything when the equipment did not work. The worker fell 12 stories and, while he survived, he suffered permanent neurological and orthopedic injuries. The jury found for the worker.
Building Owner Liable to Window Washer
A window washer fell six stories when the window safety hooks broke. The hooks had been provided by the owner of the building, and the jury found against the owner and in favor of the window washer, who had suffered permanent disability injuries in the fall.
Scaffold Failure and Defective Wire Rope Clips Lead to Liability
Window washers working on a suspended scaffold fell 12 stories when wire rope clips failed and the scaffolding fell. The wire rope clips were manufactured by Crosby U-Clips, which had failed to warn that the clips were not efficient if put on backwards. The manufacturer was liable for injuries, as was the building owner who had failed to provide a safe location for work. The jury found for the window washers, and the manufacturer now provides proper warnings about the clips.
Sexual Molestation in Child Care Facilities
Negligent Hiring/Screening Leads to Sexual Molestation
A young girl at a child care facility was sexually molested by an unsupervised worker on his first day on the job. The child care facility had failed to properly screen the background of the worker. A confidential settlement was reached in favor of the child.
Failure to Provide a Safe Work Environment
A 42-year-old truck driver was delivering precast concrete on a jobsite where there were high-voltage power lines. The worker came into contact with the power lines and was killed. His widow sued, and the jury found for the widow because the general contractor had negligently failed to de-energize the high-voltage lines, creating an unsafe workplace.
A 19-year-old mason was laying bricks on a jobsite with a high-voltage power line that had not been de-energized. A support wire came into contact with the voltage, energizing the scaffolding that the mason was working on and causing him to be electrocuted. The case settled in favor of the mason’s parents.
“Stumpgrinder” Designer Defect
A victim was operating a stumpgrinder when the machine malfunctioned. The machine began jerking back and forth, almost eating the tree cutter alive. Unfortunately, this incident was not the first, and the machine had previously caused numerous injuries including amputations. Despite the evidence, the workers were blamed by the manufacturers in each prior incident, and the product had never been recalled or redesigned. The case settled for the tree cutter, and the manufacturer took the product off the market following the case.
Forklift Design Defect
A 65-year-old warehouse employee was operating a forklift to transport pallets to a warehouse. When the chains of the forklift became stuck in the air, he went to the front of the lift to try to fix the problem. The forks crashed down on him and amputated several fingers. Prior amputation injuries had occurred under several circumstances, and the manufacturer was aware that more than a dozen workers had been injured in the past. The forklift had not been fixed despite the prior incidents. The manufacturer settled the case during trial.
Insurance Bad Faith
Nationwide Insurance Company failed to settle a case within the insured’s policy limits, despite the fact that the insured was clearly at fault. Every contract of insurance has an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and when an insurance company denies claims improperly or acts unfairly, they violate this covenant and act in “bad faith.” In this case, the insurer acted in bad faith and the insured ended up with a jury verdict that exceeded the policy limits. The insured became responsible for paying this excess cost and was forced into bankruptcy and nearly lost her family home.
The insured contacted the Abelson Law Firm and we sued Nationwide for bad faith, arguing that their focus had been on protecting their own interests and not on looking out for the insured. Before the case went to trial, Nationwide settled with our client for 100 times what they originally would have had to pay.
The case illustrates that insurance companies take a big risk when they fail to do what they promised and fail to protect their insured. These types of lawsuits are then used as an excuse by insurance companies when they try to raise premiums.
A young boy was hit by a Conrail Train. The Abelson Law Firm represented him and obtained a jury verdict on his behalf.
Ski Resort Negligence
Ski Slope Wrongful Death Due to Negligent Trail Design
A ski slope negligently designed a trail with a ravine located just below the “fall line.” On the first day that the trail opened, a young man and his wife went skiing. The wife plummeted down the steep ravine and was killed in front of her husband. The ski resort settled with the husband out of court.