David Woodruff Wins Case Of The Year

LAW WEEK COLORADO

David Woodruff took home Case of the Year honors at last week’s Colorado Trial Lawyers Association Spring Dinner for a birth injury case stretching nearly five years.

“We are fighters for those who can’t fight,” Woodruff told the crowd as he accepted the award.

The partner at Hillyard Wallberg Kudla & Sloane in July helped obtain a $70 million arbitration award against the company which owned both the hospital the family of Abigael Blasco went to and the health maintenance organization covering the family. Nurses at the hospital, per instructions from the HMO, administered Blasco’s mother an ulcer medication to induce labor despite warnings from the government and the manufacturer itself against this off-label use.

The medication, which cost more than $100 less than the approved labor-inducing medication, had been indicated in too-forceful contractions during labor, which compromises blood flow to the fetus.

The company provided Woodruff with differing fetal heart tracing reports from the day of the delivery. Comparing the different versions, he was able to show that Abigael had suffered a lack of oxygen during labor, which led to developmental issues for the 12-year-old.

Fighting for those who can’t fight seemed a theme of the night. Michael Rosenberg, shareholder at Roberts Levin Rosenberg, one of the two other nominees for case of the year, said of his case helping an accident victim, “If you have to fight for 11 years, then you do it.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the night’s keynote speaker, was seen outside the ballroom pacing the hallways going over what he would later say. Stopped to chat, Kennedy called trial lawyers “my people.”

“These are the most important people to democracy,” he said. “They’re fighting for justice.”

Also accepting awards at Thursday night’s event were Daniel Patterson, who took home the Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award, and Nelson Boyle, of Denver-based practice Carter Boyle, who won the New Lawyer of the Year Award.