UPDATE: Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman were again named “Attorneys of the Year” in 2015. Read about their $3 million recovery for a family who lost their son in a pool drowning during school gym class.
Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman of our law firm have been named “Attorneys of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer, a weekly legal periodical. Each year Minnesota Lawyer recognizes the best achievements in the Minnesota legal profession with the Attorneys of the Year awards presentation, held this year at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis on February 23.
In addition to their other achievements this year, Pritzker and Hageman obtained a $2,469,339 verdict from a Hennepin County, MN, jury on April 14, 2011 in a case involving the wrongful death of a bicyclist who was killed when she was run over by the rear wheels of a semi trailer (Estate of Casey v. Western National Mutual Insurance Company, No. 27-CV-10-10984). The case exemplifies the importance of independently reviewing and carefully investigating cases that at first blush seem difficult if not impossible to win.
After the accident, the consensus of the investigating police officers was that Ms. Casey was at fault for the accident because she should have seen the truck and was unable to remove her feet from her new clip-less bicycle pedals before she rode into the side of the trailer. Pritzker and Hageman took the case, suing the truck driver and trucking company on behalf of Ms. Casey’s family.
Pritzker and Hageman’s investigation of the case revealed that the accident had not occurred as the investigators had initially believed. In fact, discovery revealed that the truck driver had failed to monitor his right outside mirrors during his turn, which is crucial, due to the significant “off-tracking” which occurs with turning trucks. This failure was compounded by the truck driver’s admission that he believed he was pulling a 48-foot trailer, as opposed to a 53-foot trailer. Moreover, after obtaining the truck driver’s logbooks, Pritzker and Hageman were able to determine that there were numerous falsifications, which should have caused the driver to be out of service at the time of the accident. The falsifications in the logbook, which cast doubt on the truck driver’s account of the accident, were compounded when he repeated them under oath at his deposition.
Fred Pritzker noted “Eric and I are proud of the result in this case. The insurance company refused to offer any settlement. We believed strongly in our case and worked hard to prove it. The result brought closure to the family and helped them move on.”