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WICHITA, KS | KANSAS CITY
8415 E. 21st Street N.,
Suite 230, Wichita KS 67206
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James R. Howell

James R. Howell Partner

After 18 years of litigation practice with several of the most successful trial lawyers in Kansas, James R. Howell joined Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska as a partner in 2002. With settlements and verdicts in excess of $25 million, Jim litigates personal injury cases that include medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death, construction accidents, and motor vehicle accidents. Jim attended Wichita State University and Washburn School of Law, receiving degrees with honors in economics, business and law. He entered professional law in 1987, and quickly discovered a talent for helping the injured.

Jim has long subscribed to a conviction that every person who has been injured is entitled to the best representation available. It doesn’t matter who they are, the cost, the severity of the injury, or how complex the litigation. Jim’s focus has always been to build a sincere professional and personal relationship with those he represents. He works hard to win them fair and just compensation to help them recover from financial loss, physical injury and mental suffering. Jim’s care and concern continues long after his clients’ recovery.

Through a number of professional legal associations, Jim is a frequent lecturer at legal seminars, a prolific writer of legal articles, and enjoys extensive involvement in various local, state and national bar associations. To promote affordable and quality education, Jim also serves on the Board of Trustees of Butler Community College. Jim makes time for his loving wife and 2 children, music, vintage car restoration, carpentry, and landscaping.

Jim’s Recent Successes

  • $2.2 Million Global Settlement – Construction Accident – Home owner and retired contractor partner to place a modular home on pond. Subcontractor hired to build elevated deck on back of home. Deck is secured to modular home with nails as opposed to lag bolts. Owner has party with many guests on deck. Deck pulls away from home, collapses and falls killing one and injuring other guests.
  • $1.4 Million Settlement – Trucking Negligence – Woman killed by inattentive driving by operator of wheat truck’s failure to keep a proper lookout. Settlement based on $1.5 Million in Damages.
  • $1.3 Million Verdict – Premises Liability – Customer brushes against improperly fastened glass shelf at department store causing it to fall and strike foot of customer resulting in tarsal tunnel syndrome.
  • $800,000 Settlement – Construction Accident – Negligent operation of crane and improper rigging causes permanent injury to leg and foot.
  • $500,000.00 Settlement – Nursing Home Negligence – Nursing home aide causes bi-lateral hip fractures when transferring resident from wheelchair to whirlpool bath. Hospitalization followed by death.
  • $525,000.00 Settlement – Hospital/Radiology/Family Practice Negligence – Hospital’s defective call light system leads to patient fall and hip fracture. Fracture missed by radiologist and family practice physician. Delay leads to avascular necrosis and hip replacement. Complete recovery.
  • $250,000 Settlement – Motor Vehicle Negligence – Man suffers herniated disc as a result of negligent driver running stop sign. Complete recovery.
  • $250,000.00 Settlement – Premises Liability – Customer stops at local co-op store to have tires changed. Customer walks across shop floor and steps onto mechanic creeper and falls. Injures knee and undergoes surgical repair.
  • Confidential Settlement – Hospital/Obstetrical Negligence – Hospital closes operating rooms for cleaning, but allows admission of patients for labor and delivery. Prolapsed cord occurs, but operating rooms empty. Delay in c-section results in profound brain injury. Settlement based on $23 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Hospital and Obstetrical Negligence – Delay in emergency c-section after signs of fetal distress leads to profound hypoxic brain injury. Settlement based on $22 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Hospital and Nursing Negligence – Nursing negligence, under-staffing and failing to implement policy changes recommended by JCAHO involving ventilators leaves working mother of two in a persistent vegetative state. Settlement based on $22 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Medication Error/Hospital, Nursing and Pharmacy Negligence – Medication error resulting in severe hypoxic brain damage of a newborn twin. Settlement based on $20 Million in Damages
  • Confidential Settlement – Obstetrical Negligence – Failure to perform a c-section following fetal distress caused by external cephalic version causes profound hypoxic brain injury. Settlement based on $20 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Obstetrical/Family Practice Negligence – Failure to diagnose placental abruption by medical resident, faculty supervisor and obstetrician as part of collaborative family practice program leads to profound hypoxic brain injury. Settlement based on $20 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Physician Negligence – Family Practice doctor delivers baby in rural hospital. Baby vomits large amounts of green emises due to a twisted bowel. Doctor misses diagnosis and refuses to transport child to tertiary hospital until almost dead. Baby finally transported because rural hospital lacks ventilator for pediatric patients. Baby arrives at tertiary hospital where diagnosis is made and emergent surgery is done. Sixty percent of bowel is necrotic and is removed. Baby had multiple surgeries and died secondary to complications following settlement of suit. Settlement based on $16 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Surgery – Man experiences abdominal pain and sees surgeon. Surgeon performs gall bladder removal even though all testing was negative and pathology shows no problem with gallbladder. Improperly clips of bile duct leading to leak of bile and severe complications. Patient permanently disabled. Settlement based on $15 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Pediatric Neurology Negligence – Failure to diagnose brain tumor and treat resulting hydrocephalus in teenager leads to permanent brain injury. Settlement based on $15 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Family Practice/ Emergency Medicine Negligence – Failure to diagnose sub-arachnoid hemorrhage results in quadriplegia. Settlement based on $15 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Obstetrical Negligence – Excessive use of vacuum extraction and failure to perform a timely c-section results in severe hypoxic brain damage. Settlement based on $12 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Emergency Room and Hospitalist Negligence – Gentlemen develops back pain secondary to spontaneous spinal hematoma causing pressure on spinal cord. Emergency room doctor fails to timely schedule an MRI to investigate possibility of spinal hematoma. Returns to ER with worsening back pain. Second emergency room doctor fails to order MRI but admits patient to care of Hospitalist. Hospitalist works up cardiac as opposed to back pain. Two days later, patients legs are paralyzed due to delay in diagnosing spinal hematoma as cause of back pain. Patient develops decubitus ulcers which are uncontrollable while in rehab and is sent to burn unit out of state. Remains hospitalized for over a year and is sent home to die because nothing more could be done. Patient dies following settlement of suit. Settlement based on $12 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Family Practice Negligence – Failure to diagnose and treat rare kidney virus leads to loss of both kidneys, prolonged dialysis and kidney transplant. Settlement based on $10 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Physician and Nursing Negligence – Elderly patient hospitalized for dehydration and back pain following a fall at home. Hospitalist fails to work up cause of back pain and nurses fail to timely report onset of leg paralysis. Patient has a blood pocket from fall compressing spinal cord. Failure to timely diagnose and intervene leads to paralysis of legs and complications. Settlement based on $10 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Radiology Negligence – Failure to properly interpret x-ray finding of subluxation of spinal vertebra causes cord injury and permanent paralysis. Settlement based on $10 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Defective Product and Installation – Elevator at beef packing plant was improperly designed and installed. Cleaning crew enters elevator and it free falls 25 feet to concrete pad. Cleaning crew seriously hurt including amputations, fractures and extensive hospitalization and rehabilitation. Settlement based on $4 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Family Practice Negligence – Failure to diagnose and treat pulmonary embolism following gall bladder surgery results in death of working pregnant mother with three children. Settlement based on $3.2 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Surgical Negligence – Failure to diagnose and timely operate on post-operative spinal hematoma leads to permanent loss of bowel and bladder control and leg paralysis. Settlement based on $3 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Failure to Diagnose Mesenteric Ischemia – Patient hospitalized for dissecting aortic aneurysm. During hospitalization, develops severe abdominal pain. Endovascular surgeon consulted and performs diagnostic aortogram. Procedure not properly performed and progressing mesenteric ischemia is missed. Patient has emergent surgery to save bowel, but 50% bowel lost due to delay. Now work disabled. Settlement based on $3 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Construction Accident – Failure to inspect reaving on crane results in collapse of boom crane, severance of workers arm and death. Settlement based on $2.5 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Psychiatric Hospital Negligence – Failure to properly assess and monitor patient admitted to hospital following suicide attempt. Patient hangs himself on door with t-shirt. Settlement based on $2.2 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Family Practice Negligence – Failure to diagnose malignant melanoma results in fatal spread of cancer and reduced life expectancy. Settlement based on $2 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Medication Error/Pharmacy Negligence – Prescription filled in error leads to toxic overdose, brain damage and death. Settlement based on $1.75 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Surgical Negligence – Failure to diagnose and treat post-operative bleed following a colon resection leads to death. Settlement based on $1.75 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Construction Accident – Defective Product Design – Worker guiding paving machine is run over by wheel of machine due to poor design and loses lower leg. Settlement based on $1.6 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Nursing and Hospital Negligence – Patient undergoes throat procedure for sleep apnea. Released next day, but returns with shortness of breath and inability to swallow. Patient is admitted to regular floor. Oxygen saturations suddenly fall and nurses fail to report change to physician. Patient’s airway closes and is found dead by nurse next morning. Settlement based on $1.5 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Family Practice/Radiology/Physician Assistant Negligence – Failure to diagnose dissecting aortic aneurysm by physicians assistant, radiologist and family practice physician leads to death. Settlement based on $1.5 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Nursing Negligence and eCare System Negligence – Patient admitted for various ailments. Patient monitored by Hospital nursing staff and remote care facility using eCare system. Patients blood pressure trends down. No intervention to correct blood pressure by anyone. Patient’s blood pressure falls to critical levels, codes and dies. Settlement based on $1.5 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Hospital Nursing Negligence – College student presents to Emergency Room with severe headaches. Nurse improperly starts IV in artery in right hand and gives caustic medication for nausea destroying artery and blood flow to fingers. Settlement based on $1 Million in Damages.
  • Confidential Settlement – Orthopedic Negligence – Patient falls and fractures arm. Emergency room doctor calls in orthopedic surgeon for repair. Doctor fails to use protective device while drilling free-hand into bone to place screws in rod. Drill bit catches and severs radial nerve. Nerve grafts done in attempt to repair. Permanent injury to hand restricting firm grip and partial use of fingers. Settlement based on $1 Million in Damages.

Bar Admissions

  • Kansas 1987

Education

  • Butler County Community College, Associate of Arts, Business Administration – May 1982
  • Wichita State University, Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration/Economics – May 1984
  • Washburn University School of Law, Juris Doctorate-Law – May 1987
  • Wichita State University, Masters Business Administration, Candidate

Honors and Awards

  • Kansas Association For Justice – Consumer Advocate Award (2010)
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers (2013)
  • Kansas Association for Justice – Distinguished Service Award (2008)
  • Wichita Business Journal – Best Lawyers – Medical Malpractice Law (2010)
  • Kansas Association For Justice Recognition and Award for Service as the Journal Board of Editors Chair (2005-2013)
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers 2007 to 2013
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Medical Malpractice 2013

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • Wichita Bar Association
  • Medical/Legal Committee
  • Civil Practice Committee
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Fellow
  • Kansas Association for Justice
  • Chairman – Board of Editors of the Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice (2004 – 2013)
  • Chairman – Amicus Curiae Committee ( )
  • American Association For Justice
  • Products Liability Section
  • Medical Malpractice Section
  • American Bar Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Publications

  • Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Don’t Forget – KTLA is a Friend of the Court
  • Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Future Consequences of a Present Injury – Maximizing Damages
  • Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Loss of Earning Capacity in the “Better Than Before” Client – Maximizing Damages
  • Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – The Locality Rule of P.I.K. 3d 123.10, A Hidden Danger
  • Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Diversity Jurisdiction: Is the Move Enough?
  • Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Trucking Accidents Part I – Investigation
  • Journal of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Trucking Accidents Part II – Litigation
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Physician’s Right to Elect Treatment To Be Used: PIK 3d 123.11
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Nuts and Bolts: Settlements Involving Minors and Incapacitated Persons
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Ethics In Handling Medical Records Pre-suit and In Civil Discovery
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Depositions-Strategies and Preparation: A Primer
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Compensating An Injured Minor – Is Loss of Future Earning Capacity Too Speculative?
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Written Discovery – A Bag of Tools Part One
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Written Discovery – A Bag of Tools Part Two
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Written Discovery – A Bag of Tools Part Three
  • Journal of the Kansas Association For Justice – Watch Out for That Employee Health Care Provider: Notice of Claim Issues
  • Journal of the Kansas Association for Justice – Obtaining Medical Records Under the New Kansas Health Information Technology And Exchange Act
  • Journal of the Kansas Association For Justice – Credibility: Expert Witness on Trial
  • Journal of the Kansas Association For Justice – Non-economic Damage Caps: An Analysis of Miller v. Johnson
  • Journal of the Kansas Association For Justice – Recent Changes in the Expert Rules: A Resolution or New Battleground
  • Journal of the Kansas Association For Justice – Personal Preference Evidence of Expert Witnesses – Cox v. Lesko Revisited
  • Journal of the Kansas Association For Justice – Who is that Mystery Man in the Operating Room? – Manufacturer Representatives Scrub in for Surgery

Presentations and Seminars

  • Wichita Bar Association – Civil Practice – How to Settle a Personal Injury Case
  • Wichita Bar Association – Medical/Legal – Basic Medicine for The Lawyer & Medical Records Update
  • Wichita Bar Association – Medical/Legal – CSI – Wichita – Medical Forensics for the Lawyer
  • Kansas Bar Association – Annual Kansas Health Law Institute – Current Trends in the Use of Expert Witnesses in Medical Malpractice Cases
  • Wichita Bar Association- Civil Practice – ABCs of Motor Vehicle Cases – Investigation to Settlement
  • Wichita Bar Association – Medical/Legal – Use of Expert Witnesses in Personal Injury Cases
  • Wichita Bar Association – Civil Practice – Accidents on Trial – Inside the Mind of the Juror
  • Wichita Bar Association Seminar – Evidence and Civil Discovery in Civil Litigation
  • The Strategy and Use of Expert Disclosures
  • Wichita Bar Association – Evidence and Discovery in Civil Litigation
  • Wichita Bar Association – HIPAA, The Sedgwick County Medical Legal Code & Legal Ethics , Ethics in Handling Medical Records
  • Wichita Bar Association – The Practicalities of the Medical/Legal Arena , Personal Injury Meets Medicaid Law
  • Wichita Bar Association – Useful Tips in Civil Litigation , Ethics In Discovery and Then Some
  • Kansas Association For Justice
  • Deposition Workshop – Introduction to Depositions and Strategy
  • Workshop Faculty
  • Wichita Bar Association – Civil Practice – ERISA and PIP, Ethics in Civil Practice and Lien Reimbursement
  • Kansas Association For Justice
  • Jury Perceptions in Motor Vehicle Cases – Ethics and Then Some – The Lighter Side
  • Kansas Association For Justice – Gathering Case Information For the Auto Case
  • Kansas Association For Justice
  • Annual Crown Center Convention – Deposition Strategy & Tips
  • Kansas Association For Justice – Written Discovery – A Bag of Tools
  • Wichita Bar Association – Effective Use of Written Discovery
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Gathering Case Information in the Automobile Case
  • Wichita Bar Association – Venue – Choosing the Battleground
  • Wichita Bar Association
  • Obtaining Medical Records Under the New Kansas Health Information Technology and Exchange Act
  • Wichita Bar Association and Kansas Association For Justice
  • Keeping it Simple: The Best Approach to Preparing Experts For Trial
  • Wichita Bar Association – Changes in the Rules on Expert Disclosures
  • Wichita Bar Association – How to Effectively Address Evidentiary Issues With Motions In Limine
  • Wichita Bar Association – Direct Examination of the Expert: Heading Off Cross-Examination

Legal Assistant: Christina Stephen