Kitta Lucas, 52, Princeton, NJ

“My husband Walter died a terrible death at the age of 49. He had some weight problems and for health reasons decided to have gastric bypass surgery. After the surgery he started having excruciating pain. But, his doctors didn’t listen to him. They told him to stop complaining, as he lay in bed screaming in pain. All they had to do was examine him and they would have found the leak inside his body from the surgery, and they could have easily fixed it. Instead, they sent him home. A few later he ended up back in the hospital. This time in the ICU where he fought for his life for 8 long months. We had 3 children and a nice house. What you would call a modest middle class lifestyle. After his death all of that changed. We didn’t have money for a lawyer. We didn’t have money for anything.

At first I didn’t want to file a lawsuit. My brother is a doctor so I don’t hate doctors. But my family talked me into calling a lawyer. Since I worked as a reporter at the Newark Star Ledger I asked my colleague, the paper’s medical writer, to recommend a good law firm. Without hesitation she said, Simonson Goodman Platzer PC.

When I first spoke to Paul Simonson he picked up on all of the details of my situation that were important to me. He completely got it. Then he said something wonderful to me. He said, ‘Mrs. Lucas, I can’t promise what the result will be, but we will do our best for you. We will fight the good fight.’ The firm took a big risk for me because the case wasn’t a slam dunk…it was complicated. What’s more, I didn’t have to pay them anything, not one dime, until we won the case.

In addition to Mr. Simonson, I worked very closely with Marijo Adimey, one of the firm’s partners. I love her to pieces. My case took years and Marijo was by my side the whole time, from discovery to settlement. I always got the sense that she was working hard on my case. That she was doing everything she could. They understood the kind of loss we had undergone…my husband was a great man. I believed Marijo, in fact the whole firm, cared about me. They understood what I was fighting for. They would ask about my kids, whose names they all knew. They took my case personally. Marijo could be tough, even fierce sometimes, when dealing with the doctor’s lawyers. She even found experts who certified under oath that my husband’s doctors had done something wrong.

We won a grueling 4-week jury trial. Steven Hess was the partner who tried my case and led us to victory. He fought day and night for Walter and for my family. I cannot say enough about his efforts in the courtroom. The results were extremely satisfying. In fact, it was life-changing. It gave me and my family a second chance at life again. I’m now able to do everything for my kids that my dear husband, Walter, would have wanted me to do including putting them through college. And, I’ve been able to put some money away for retirement.”