Moore Money: Lawyer Secures $130 Million Malpractice Award After Being Mocked By Opposing Counsel For Turning Down $8 Million Settlement

18.1n011.Lawyer2--300x300Lawyer Thomas Moore has instantly become something of a legend in legal circles after he secured a $130 million verdict after being publicly ridiculed for turning down an $8 million settlement and losing the first trial and then facing a hung jury in the second trial of his medical malpractice case.

The trial concerned a tragic case in 2009 against St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson where a botched delivery left now ten year old Shannon Reilly with brain damage. The hospital failed to notice that the baby was getting no oxygen. Before the verdict in the first trial, Moore turned down the $8 million settlement. That trial then led to a defeat for the family and hospital defense lawyer Peter Kopff publicly mocked Moore for turning down the offer: “I’m not aware of another attorney who’s turned down an $8 million offer and got shut out.” He can now add that Moore is the first attorney that he knows personally who traded an $8 million offer for a $130 million verdict.

After the first loss, Moore took an appeal and secured an unanimous reversal. The second trial then led to a hung jury. The third was the charm, which led to the huge award.

Kopff is back in the news with a public attack on Moore’s courtroom conduct, saying that he violated professional standards, including calling one of his witnesses a liar.

The judge could now reduce the award through an order of remittitur. Judges cannot increase an award but they can reduce it. They leave the attorney with the choice of accepting the lower amount or seeking an appeal. Another issue will be the ratio of compensatory to any punitive damages. The Supreme Court has previously struck down the awarding of punitive damages to citizens suing companies as unconstitutional. These cases like Gore v. BMW involved punitive damages greater than a 10 to 1 ratio to compensatory damages. They were found to run afoul of due process. In the Gore decision, the court wrote that “the most important indicium of the reasonableness of a punitive damages award is the degree of reprehensibility of the defendant’s conduct.” Gore, 517 U.S. at 575, 116 S.Ct. at 1599. “This principle reflects the accepted view that some wrongs are more blameworthy than others.” Id.

Notably, this is not Moore’s first major award according to his bio. He has had 85 verdicts in excess of $1 million and in 2012 he secured a $121 million award.

Moore is a graduate of Catholic University, Washington, D.C., with an S.T.L. degree in 1968 and from Fordham Law School in 1972, with a J.D. degree.

Source: NY Post

15 thoughts on “Moore Money: Lawyer Secures $130 Million Malpractice Award After Being Mocked By Opposing Counsel For Turning Down $8 Million Settlement”

  1. Malpractices cases are hard to win. Doctors who have th courage to testify against their brothers/sisters sometimes end up being black balled, losing privileges or their licenses. Plaintiffs’ lawyers deserve the fees they receive. They bankroll the experts, costs and expenses upfront and take real risks OnThese cases, a lot more risks than fund managers or banksters. When plaintiffs’ lawyers lose a case and eat the costs and expenses no one bails them out!

    I am sick of people who believe that the problem with our health care system and high costs is law suits. It isn’t. Its hospitals who charge $5.00 for an aspiring and don’t clearn instruments or floors so that infections in hospitals are at higher leves than in the 1950s. Its big Pharma that gets away with getting free money for research and then charging us more than anyone else. I could go on and on but you get the drift.

    This lawyer did a good job for his client. . I hope he keeps his verdict and his fee!

  2. Cases like this drive me nuts… It is SOOO hard to secure a truly significant award against a corporation with deep pockets. One percent at best come even close, and then they appeal to conservative judges who almost universally decide that the settlement should be reduce by 90% or more.

    Think about that, how much money do appellate judges “make” for corporations? Vast millions can be counted so far. If this settlement stands I will eat my hat. By the time the checks start getting sent I expect the eight million figure to be more than they will get.

    BTW, remember the Exxon Valdez? By the time Exxon finished their appeals, the damn conservative judges had decided it should be cheaper for Exxon to DUMP their oil into the Prince William Sound than it would have cost for them to take it to a toxic chemical waste disposal facility.

  3. Please follow this case through to its eventual final resolution.

  4. Tommy Moore is hardly an “instant legend,” but has long been recognized as the premier plaintiff’s lawyer in brain damaged baby cases in New York.

  5. Just sounds like two assh@le attorneys working opposite sides to me. I routinely experienced that over my career.

  6. What if the settlement closes the hospital, then is everyone in the area betteroff?

  7. Congrats to Mr. Moore and more importantly to his client. I am with the jury on this one.

  8. OK the attorney sustained no damages and you think he deserves half, Maybe your the one that should be hit over the head with punitive damages.

  9. “paper cut?” not exactly how I would describe a lifetime of brain damage. It’s attitudes like yours that need being hit over the head with punitive damages to prevent similar future tragedies.

  10. Do you really think the Attorney should get 65 million for 3 years work and a paper cut? You wonder why hospital stays are so expensive this could be part of it. It was an unfortunate mistake, but 130 million seems a little bit too much.

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