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Settlement Reached for Two Deceased Children
Shaffer & Gaier successfully secured a confidential settlement on behalf of the Estates of two children who, unfortunately, were murdered by their mother. We represented A.H., three years old, and S.H, eight months old at the time of their death. Shaffer & Gaier brought suit against the private agency that oversaw the welfare of these two children. Unfortunately, their mother was severely mentally ill and had episodes of postpartum psychosis immediately after the birth of S.H., so the City of Philadelphia and the private agency intervened and placed children in a stable foster home while the mother was treating for her mental condition. In fact, the mother was admitted for several weeks to a local hospital for a psychiatric treatment.
Several psychiatrists warned that the mother was capable of a psychotic breakdown and needed in-depth counseling and medication. Yet, despite these grave warnings, the independent agency recommended the mother be reunified with these children. After the mother was reunified with her children, she took them to Florida on a bus and stayed in her cousin’s apartment. While there, as the psychiatrists predicted, the mother had a psychotic breakdown. She took a bed sheet and suffocated her two children.
We brought suit against the independent agency alleging that the agency was negligent in recommending reunification and failing to provide adequate follow-up care. We had secured the world’s foremost expert in postpartum psychosis. We had also secured several other experts in social work, psychiatry among others.
Although the case was ready to go to trial, we were able to secure a confidential settlement. Although the recovery will not be able to bring back these children back, we are hopeful that the gaps and lapses that we uncovered through our investigation and litigation, this private agency will take steps so this never happens again.
Philadelphia Inquirer Highlights Lawsuits Brought by Shaffer & Gaier
Shaffer & Gaier has filed two additional lawsuits against Woods Services, a Bucks County residential facility that provides educational and support services for developmentally challenged individuals. Shaffer & Gaier has filed multiple lawsuits against this facility alleging that their employees assaulted our clients causing a variety of injuries including a broken nose and orbital fracture.
Through our investigation, we have uncovered what we believe to be a pattern of abuse at this facility and we will continue to aggressively pursue these cases and protecting these children who cannot protect themselves.
BJ’s Wholesale Club Settles Over Assault in Parking Lot
Our firm was successful in negotiating a settlement on behalf of a young woman who was sexually assaulted in a BJ’s Wholesale Club parking lot in New Jersey. Our client had purchased goods at BJ’s and loaded the items into her car. When she returned the shopping cart to the front of the store, the assailant jumped in the back of her car, used a taser gun and tried to disable her and attempted to sexually assaulted her. She struggled and eventually was able to escape from the vehicle. Thereafter, the assailant was arrested and convicted of various crimes.
We brought suit against BJ’s for failure to have proper security measures in the parking lot. We hired a renowned security expert to prove that BJs had a lack of security in the area including video camera or signage that would have had a deterrent effect upon criminal behavior. The case was settled prior to jury selection.
“This One Time in Court…” Incredible (and sometimes downright unbelievable) stories of things that happened with cases. (Really, they did.)
We were contacted by family whose 28-year-old son had “routine surgery” for an inguinal hernia repair. The surgery was performed without incident and he planned to stay overnight at a local South Jersey hospital and be discharged the next date to his parents’ home where he lived with his 4-year-old son.Unfortunately, during the evening “something happened,” causing him to sustain an anoxic event (a period without oxygen) and he coded, suffering a severe brain injury.However, the medical records were absolutely “clean” and did not show what happened to our client. Our clients went to three other attorneys who all turned the case down because the records did not show that an anoxic event had occurred. After meeting with the clients at their home, we followed our instincts and took the case. We uncovered during the depositions that our client “coded” for 25 minutes before the nurse eventually called for emergency personnel. When we asked why she did not act sooner and did not document the situation, she admitted that “she panicked.”
We were happy to secure a multimillion-dollar settlement for this family. Once we believe in your case, you will not have a better fighter in your corner than Shaffer & Gaier.