July 13, 2022  | By McCathern Law

Three McCathern attorneys were recently recognized by Top Verdict as having one of the top 10 personal injury settlements obtained from a state or federal court Texas in 2021. The $17,000,000 settlement for a client of Dallas and Frisco Partners Levi McCathern and Paul Grinke and Dallas Associate Attorney Shane Eghbal is listed #2 for the year.

Top Verdict compiles lists of the top 10, 50 and 100 jury verdicts, settlements, or bench awards reached in the nation or in individual states from a variety of practice areas over the course of a year. They compile lists by researching court records and legal publications and accepting submissions.

The two McCathern clients in this case were married tenants of a second-floor unit in an apartment complex in North Texas. Just one month after moving into the unit, the spouses were relaxing on their balcony when one of them leaned his back on the balcony railing. The brackets affixing the railing suddenly snapped, allowing one of our clients to fall two stories to the ground and the heavy metal railing to fall on his back, partially severing his spinal cord and rendering him a paraplegic. In addition, he suffered a broken nose, fractured ribs, and substantial cuts and bruises.

McCathern filed a suit on behalf of the spouses, suing the landowner and the property managing company for negligence and premises liability. The suit claimed damages on behalf of the injured spouse for his personal injuries (past and future pain and suffering, past and future lost wages, past and future mental anguish, physical disfigurement, etc.) and on behalf of the non-injured spouse for the loss of consortium and companionship arising out of the physical impairment of the injured spouse.

Shortly after discovery began, McCathern’s attorneys uncovered that the builder of the property acquired notice that the brackets used to affix balcony railings and stairways throughout the subject property had proven defective. The brackets had also been installed throughout the builder’s other properties and similar failures at other properties had caused significant bodily injuries.

The builder acquired the notice of defective brackets approximately five years prior to the incident and delivered this notice to the property management company and landowner of the subject property promptly, via certified mail, e-mail, and telephone call attempts. Accompanied with the notice, the builder offered to inspect the subject property and replace all the defective brackets at no cost. The property manager and landowner ignored this notice from the builder and instead took insufficient remedial measures, if any, to secure the dangerous conditions posed by the defective brackets on the subject property. Those efforts failed to the detriment of McCathern’s clients.

This discovery ultimately led to a $17 million dollar settlement against the property manager and landowner. Since then, McCathern has sued affiliates, directors, officers, and successors of the property management company, which we believe are likely liable under the same claims. The firm is currently engaged in discovery against those entities and individuals and looking at an end of 2022 trial date.

Throughout the litigation process, McCathern has set our clients up with a handicap-accessible, state-of-the-art alternative apartment, and acquired funding for their living expenses pending the settlement. McCathern also obtained and subsidized the best medical care, assisted living, and other services and materials for the clients following the incident.

This continual care for the firm’s clients and the settlement reached are symbolic of McCathern’s mission of Improving People’s Lives. McCathern lawyers Levi McCathern, Paul Grinke, and Shane Eghbal are proud that the deserving settlement obtained for the firm’s clients has been recognized as the second largest Texas personal injury settlement for 2021 and they will continue to work towards obtaining the full amount deserved in 2022.