Heller, Gallagher & Finley, L.L.P. - Attorneys at Law

Verdicts & Settlements 

Largest personal injury verdict in Saint Louis County History

Tim Gallagher and Matt Davis, along with Co-counsel Robert M.N. Palmer of Springfield, MO, represented a 48 year old man and his wife in a trial against a motorist who caused a crash in Wentzville, MO in December, 2004, that left the man a quadriplegic. On May 9, 2008, after a week long trial, a St. Louis County jury returned a verdict for the plaintiffs in the amount of 21 Million Dollars. After the trial the Judge assessed pre judgment interest on the verdict to bring the total judgment to just under 25 Million Dollars. The Missouri Lawyers Weekly reported the verdict as both the largest personal injury verdict in the history of St. Louis County and the largest verdict in a personal injury case in the State of Missouri in 2008.

CIGNA forced to pay benefits of $498,000 plus interest and fees after Court Ruling

Before he won the largest verdict in Missouri in 2008, the same client had to go Federal Court to force CIGNA to pay him money he was owed under a Disability Policy that he had through work. CIGNA Insurance Company said that because the man had slight residual movement in his shoulders and lower limbs he had not lost complete use of his limbs within the meaning of its disability policy. CIGNA claimed that a Federal law known as ERISA gave it discretion to deny the benefits that he had paid for through payroll deductions. Matt Davis and Tim Gallagher sued CIGNA in Federal Court. In a decision that is now being used by other lawyers across the country a Federal Court Judge found that CIGNA "committed a procedural irregularity by failing to use proper judgment in reviewing (the) claim�?� result(ing) in a total lack of faith in the integrity of the decision making process." CIGNA didn't even appeal the ruling, but instead paid the full amount of benefits in the amount of $498,000 plus interest and attorneys' fees.

Settlement reached in fireworks explosion case

On July 2, 2003, a trailer full of fireworks exploded in Bonita Springs, FL killing 5 people. The surviving children and the mother of two brothers who died were referred to Tim Gallagher by out of state lawyers. The case was filed in Missouri because the main defendants were a fireworks manufacturer and pyrotechnic show producer located in the St. Louis area. Tim Gallagher represented the family through 3 years of complex litigation that included dozens of depositions, a variety of expert witnesses and procedurals challenges that took the case all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court. The case settled a few weeks before trial in June, 2008.

Verdict for patient in claim for perforated bowel

Gary M. went to the hospital Emergency Room in the middle of the night because he could not urinate.  The urologist on call initially told the ER Doctors to send Gary home to take a warm bath.  Gary returned to the ER in severe pain because he could not empty his bladder.  This time the on call urologist did come into the hospital and while trying to inspect Gary’s bladder with a rigid urethroscope punctured through Gary’s urethra and his bowel.  Gary had to wear a colostomy bag for 5 months to give his bowel time to heal.  Tim Gallagher prepared and took the case to trial and a jury in the City of St. Louis returned a verdict in favor of Gary awarding him his medical bills, lost wages and $125,000.00 for non-economic damages. 

Settlement for former pitcher for St. Louis Cardinals

In September of 1994 Joe Magrane and his wife Renee were driving on Wild Horse Creek Road, returning home from dinner when their car fell into a ditch on the roadway.  The developer of a subdivision and its excavation contractor were in the process of creating an entrance way to a new subdivision and had cut 8 inches into the asphalt roadway.  The tires on the right side of Joe’s car drove into the 6 inch deep ditch.  When Joe reacted he pulled his car back across the roadway and into a tree.  The airbag on his steering wheel deployed and sent his left elbow crashing through the driver’s side window.  Joe sustained a laceration a tendon in his left elbow.  Not a major injury unless you are a Major League pitcher.  Joe’s career was not the same after the accident.  He did not play in the Major League in 1995 and made a brief comeback with the Chicago White Sox in 1996.  Tim Gallagher represented Joe and Renee in a personal injury lawsuit filed in St. Louis County.  Tim aggressively pursued the case and achieved a favorable settlement the week before trial.   

Cases involving the Barnett Continent Intestinal Reservoir

Mr. Gallagher has developed a particular expertise in cases involving this highly specialized surgery.

Over One Million Dollar settlement

One of the first significant cases Sally I.  Heller handled in her career involved a man who was severely injured in a tractor trailer multi-vehicle collision on Interstate 55.  Ms. Heller’s client was sitting in traffic when the tractor trailer owned by J.B. Hunt violently collided with his vehicle causing a chain reaction. Ms. Heller’s client had to be removed and the emergency personnel used the Jaws of Life to extract Ms. Heller’s client from his vehicle.  The 62 year old gentleman had significant injuries including sustaining closed head trauma.  Ms. Heller prepared the case for trial and on the first day of trial, the parties settled the case for over one million dollars.

$350,000 verdict for cab driver found 65 percent at fault in automobile accident

Our client, a St. Louis County Cab driver, suffered a severe closed head injury, broken right ankle, collapsed lung and ruptured spleen in an accident with a dump truck on July 9, 1999.  The cab driver had pulled over into the entrance to North Riverview Park to do some paperwork.  When he finished, he turned left to go west on Spring Garden, crossing over Riverview Boulevard, to pick up a fare.  He had crossed the northbound lane of Riverview and was partly in the center turn lane and partly in the southbound lane when he was struck by a Mack truck and trailer driving north, carrying 40,000 pounds of trash.  In his suit against the truck driver and his employer, the cab driver’s accident reconstruction experts said that the truck driver’s speed at the time of the collision was between 53 mph and 63 mph.  The posted speed limit was 40 mph.  The plaintiff also argued that the truck driver was negligent for swerving out of his northbound lane into the path of the taxi.  He asserted that if the truck had stayed in the northbound lane, the collision would not have occurred regardless of speed.   The defendants argued that the taxi caused the accident by making a sudden U-turn in front of the truck, failing to keep a proper lookout and violating the truck's right of way.  After a four-day trial, a jury assessed the cab driver’s damages at $1 million, but assigned him 65 percent fault, for a final judgment of $350,000.   Jennifer J. Finley and Timothy J. Gallagher represented the cab driver.

Confidential settlements

Many of our best settlements for clients, most notably for Medical Malpractice, BCIR, wrongful death or Products Liability claims, were settled for substantial amounts, but to protect the anonymity of the Hospitals, Doctors, or manufacturers, the written terms of the settlements prevent us from disclosing the parties to the case and the amounts of the settlements.

Verdicts and Settlements
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