Personal Injury Attorneys
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Significant Cases: Peter W. Riley

Peter W. Riley

Direct Dial: 612-344-0425
E-mail:
Years in Practice: 42

AREAS OF PRACTICE:
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Product Liability, Medical Malpractice, Legal Malpractice

Legal Secretary  Sandy Aaron

Paralegal  Rebecca Lerfald

$ 12,000,000.00Settlement

Automobile Accident

Severe spinal cord injury resulting in ventilator dependent quadriplegia

Description:
The 16-year-old plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle being operated by a friend, also sixteen years of age. The driver lost control and the vehicle flipped over. The plaintiff sustained a severe spinal cord injury which left her paralyzed from the neck down and dependent upon a ventilator. The defendant's insurance company denied coverage for the crash, asserting the vehicle involved was removed from the insurance policy one month before the crash.
$ 5,000,000.00Settlement

Medical Malpractice

Brain Injuries

Description:
This case involved a recovery for a victim of medical malpractice. The plaintiff, an Army veteran, went to a hospital in Southern Minnesota reporting that he had blacked-out while driving his car. Investigation revealed a large aneurysm (a weakening in the wall of the blood vessel) in his brain. Because he had no health insurance, the plaintiff went to the Veteran's Hospital in Minneapolis. There, investigation confirmed the presence of the aneurysm. The decision was made to undergo surgery. Surgery was scheduled for a Monday morning, but when the plaintiff arrived at the hospital on Sunday afternoon, he was told that no one knew anything about the scheduling of the surgery; despite the fact the nurse's notes specifically reflected that the Plaintiff was to return that day for preparation for surgery. The plaintiff was sent home with instructions to return the next morning to meet with the surgeon. The Plaintiff and his family arrived at 10:00 a.m., and were not seen by the surgeon until 5:00 p.m. At that time, the Neurosurgical resident informed him that she had no idea why he was there, that surgery had not been scheduled, and he should go home and wait to hear from them. Five days later the aneurysm ruptured, and the plaintiff was profoundly brain damaged.
$ 3,400,000.00Settlement

Semi Tractor-Trailer Accident

Multiple Fractures / Serious Brain Injury

Description:
The case involved a serious crash that occurred on a Twin Cities freeway when a semi tractor-trailer lost control while going westbound on a six-lane freeway. The vehicle jackknifed into the eastbound lanes striking the plaintiff's van. The plaintiff was trapped for almost two hours in the vehicle, and suffered severe injuries including a badly fractured hip, multiple skull fractures, a serious brain injury, and a fracture of the left arm. After over two months of hospitalization, he was released, and required follow-up hip replacement surgery. He was left with the effects of his brain injury leaving him permanently disabled from his prior work in real estate.

Prompt investigation by experts hired by Mr. Riley, including the downloading of the "black box" data in the truck showed that the truck driver's explanation of how the crash occurred was untrue. Because the plaintiff was self-employed, Mr. Riley retained multiple experts to explain the income he was losing as a result of the crash, as well as experts to testify regarding his future medical care needs.

The matter was settled at mediation for $3,400,000.00.
$ 1,250,000.00Settlement

Car Accidents

Brain injury / Multiple fractures

Description:
The plaintiff was seriously injured in a collision when the vehicle she was traveling in as a passenger struck a semi-tractor/trailer, which made a left turn without yielding. The plaintiff sustained a brain injury as well as a fracture of her left shoulder and ribs.
The plaintiff made an excellent recovery but continued to have some residuals effects from her head injury, as well as some weakness of her left side.
$ 1,100,000.00Settlement

Construction Accidents

Death

Description:
The case involved a 34-year-old man who was a concrete worker employed to pour a concrete floor in a 3-story wood frame apartment building under construction in Hutchinson, MN. On 5/5/97, the worker was pouring concrete on the ground floor when an approximately 45 mph gust of wind came up, causing the building to collapse, fatally crushing him. Investigation proved that the collapse was caused by very careless construction practices.
$ 1,075,000.00Arbitration Award

Automobile Accident

Broken Bones

Description:
The case involved a woman who was driving her car across the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis. She lost control on an ice patch, and struck the bridge rail. She got out of the car to examine the damage, and just as she was re-entering the car, an uninsured vehicle lost control, striking the plaintiff and pinning her between her car and the uninsured vehicle. After recovery of an arbitration award of $775,000.00, plaintiff proceeded to collect additional amounts from the insurance on the vehicle which she was operating, a loaner vehicle from her car dealer. The car dealer's insurance company, Safeco, vigorously disputed the plaintiff's entitlement to benefits, resulting in two appeals (Safeco v. Goldenberg). The plaintiff's claims were ultimately upheld on appeal.
$ 1,000,000.00Settlement

Boating Accident

Wrongful Death

Description:
The case involved a 29-year-old man and his wife who were out for an afternoon cruise on Lake Minnetonka. The operator of a fishing boat nearby observed some bad weather approaching, and decided to try to get home before the rain hit. While proceeding at approximately 25 to 30 mph, he struck the side of the boat in which the plaintiff was riding, killing him. The plaintiff was survived by his wife and two young children
$ 850,000.00Settlement

Automobile Accident

Wrongful Death

Description:
The case involved a 61-year-old man who was driving westbound on Highway 8 near Forest Lake, Minnesota, returning from the family's cabin. The defendant was driving eastbound on County Road 8, and apparently took her eyes off the road, crossed the centerline, and struck the plaintiff head-on killing him. The plaintiff was survived by his wife and several adult children.
$ 775,282.00Arbitration Award

Automobile Accident

Disc herniation to L5-S1 with two surgeries

Description:
The case involved a 26-year-old man. The out of town defendant driving a rental car made an illegal U-turn causing a collision with the plaintiff. He suffered a herniated disc which required two surgeries, and there was substantial damage to his Ford Bronco.
$ 750,000.00Settlement

Automobile Accident

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy also known as complex regional pain syndrome

Description:
The case involved a man who was stopped, waiting to make a left hand turn into his rural driveway when the defendant rear-ended him at a high rate of speed. The plaintiff's injuries initially appeared to be mild muscle and ligament trauma to his neck and back, but over time his condition deteriorated, and he developed chronic pain syndrome which severely limited the use of his left arm.
$ 600,000.00Settlement

Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Injury

Description:
The case involved a young woman who was struck by a hockey puck at a high school game. The woman was a cheerleader for her high school, and traveled to the Wayzata High School hockey arena for a game. Just before the end of the first period, a player hit a slap shot, which ricocheted into the stands where the woman was seated. She sustained a head injury. Investigation revealed that alterations to the stands to install locker rooms underneath them had resulted in eliminating essentially all protection provided by the Plexiglass surrounding the rink. The matter was settled at trial for $600,000.00.
$ 600,000.00Settlement

Product Liability

Left arm fracture with surgical repair

Description:
The case involved a man who suffered from significant arthritis which restricted him to a wheelchair. However, the man lived independently at home with his wife, and regularly traveled around the small Southern Minnesota town where they lived in his wheelchair. On the day of his injury, the plaintiff was taken out for a recreational trip by a handicap transfer van service. Upon return to his home, the van driver placed the plaintiff on the handicap ramp, but because of the street configuration, the ramp was on somewhat of a down slope. The driver failed to lock the plaintiff's brakes, and the wheelchair flew off the end of the ramp, somersaulted, and the plaintiff was ejected from the chair with the chair subsequently landing on top of him. As a result of the arm fractures the plaintiff sustained in this injury, he was no longer able to live independently, and had to move to a nursing home.
$ 450,000.00Jury Verdict

Medical Malpractice

Low plex fracture of right femur

Description:
The case involved a plaintiff who sustained a severe injury to his femur (the large bone in the upper leg) in a snowmobile accident. Repair of this required placement of a rod through the femur to allow it to heal. After healing was complete, the defendant doctor sought to remove the rod, but failed to remove all of the hardware before pulling the rod out, and caused significant damage to plaintiff's femur. The plaintiff was off work from his job as a used car broker for approximately six months as a result of the surgical injury.
$ 450,000.00Settlement

Automobile Accident

Shoulder Injuries & Head Injury

Description:
The case involved a passenger in a vehicle being operated by his friend on their way to a job site in Western Minnesota. The friend fell asleep, and the vehicle crossed the centerline, striking an oncoming semi tractor-trailer. The plaintiff sustained a head injury as well as injuries to both shoulders that required two surgeries, several months apart, to correct the injuries to his rotator cuff in each shoulder. Plaintiff was no longer able to work as a commercial electrician, but was doing residential electrical work at the time of trial.
$ 290,000.00Settlement

Plane Crashes

Death

Description:
The plaintiff's husband was taking pilot training classes under the supervision of the defendant's employee, a certified flight instructor. While practicing engine out procedures at an altitude that was too low, the plane went into a spin and crashed.
$ 280,000.00Settlement

Medical Malpractice

Liver injury

Description:
The case involved a 57-year-old woman who underwent a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. While performing this procedure, the defendant's doctor lacerated the patient's common bile duct, resulting in serious liver damage.
ConfidentialSettlement

Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Injury

Description:
The case involved a police officer who was asked to detain an intoxicated passenger exiting an airplane. The passenger became violent, and the officer suffered a brain injury caused by injuries sustained during the altercation.