Bachus & Schanker Jury Verdict Deemed Largest in Colorado for 2013

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Firm secures $15 million in negligent death of toddler.

As reported in Law Week Colorado May 19, 2014, Bachus & Schanker secured the largest personal injury verdict in Colorado in 2013. The firm secured the $15 million award in the Kudlis v. Hernandez case (Arapahoe County District Court Case No. 2009CV2739), which involved negligence; wrongful death of a minor; negligent infliction of emotional distress; civil conspiracy and negligent entrustment of a vehicle.

In 2008, 3-year-old Martin Kudlis was enjoying ice cream with his mother at Baskin Robbins when a car driven by Francis Hernandez at a recklessly high speed collided with another car, sending debris through the window and killing him. After leaving the scene, and later denying he was the driver, Hernandez was apprehended and eventually tried and convicted of homicide.

According to court documents, the vehicle’s owner, Rosa Avelar, was accused of negligently entrusting the vehicle to Hernandez, an undocumented person who did not have a driver’s license.

Kyle Bachus, partner of Bachus & Schanker, believes the jury award to be the largest in the state’s history for negligent infliction of emotional distress based on the danger zone doctrine, which limits the liability of persons accused of negligent infliction of emotional distress.

“Many people choose not to bring this claim because they fear the jury might see it as overreaching,” said Kyle Bachus. “But the results in this case demonstrate we can recover significant damages if an act of negligence results in physical harm or death.”

Though this case was the most notable in terms of size of the award, Bachus & Schanker took 19 other cases to jury verdict in 2013.

About Bachus & Schanker, LLC

Bachus & Schanker, LLC is a nationally recognized Denver law firm with a robust employment law practice and additional offices in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, Colo. In addition to employment law, Bachus & Schanker is a well-respected personal injury firm also specializing in workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, wrongful death, insurance disputes, nursing home neglect/abuse, national defective product and medical device litigation and Social Security disability insurance.

With a staff of more than 70 people, including 20 trial lawyers, Bachus & Schanker has represented thousands of clients across the country. Bachus & Schanker is committed to protecting and enforcing the rights of people injured by the negligence of others, offering to each client a level of representation and personal attention usually reserved for only the most powerful corporations. The firm supports local nonprofits through its Bachus & Schanker Cares Foundation. Visit Bachus & Schanker at to learn more.

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Lisa Cutter
Cutter Communications
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