Mr. Laplante is an experienced trial lawyer who concentrates his practice in national and regional representation of clients, encompassing products liability, construction, transportation and commercial litigation.
He is regional counsel for a number of Fortune 500 companies, overseeing their litigation throughout the country. Mr. Laplante is also national trial counsel for several companies in matters involving trucking and products liability where he is lead trial counsel on all matters proceeding to verdict throughout the country.
Mr. Laplante joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in April 1987. He is a past chair of the firm’s Defense Litigation Practice Group.
- American Bar Association
- The Florida Bar
- Broward County Bar Association
- Dade County Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- St. Thomas Moore Society of Broward County
Honors & Awards
- Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" by Florida Super Lawyers magazine (2008–2009)
- Selected for inclusion in the August 2008 Corporate Counsel edition of Super Lawyers magazine
- Named as one of Florida Trend magazine’s “Florida Legal Elite” in the area of insurance law. Florida Legal Elite is comprised of the top 1.6 percent of all Florida lawyers, 2004
- Holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
Mr. Laplante has tried jury trials in matters involving personal injury and wrongful death in the areas of general tort liability, products liability and medical malpractice. He has also litigated matters involving automobile accidents, premises liability, construction/contractor liability, and others. His representative trials include:
- Kathryn Dalgleish vs. Walgreen Co. - Alleged pharmacy negligence case resulting in the total disability of the plaintiff. The issues of negligence, causation, and damages were contested. Tried before Judge Soud in Jacksonville, Florida for three weeks in June 2013.
- Avastin Litigation - 12 cases involving alleged contamination of sterile compounded injectables of Avastin resulting in loss of vision and, in some cases, enucleation of the eye. Cases consolidated in Complex Division for Dade County, Florida, with Judge Jacqueline Hogan Scola. Global settlement for all Plaintiffs effectuated March 2013.
- Charles Cooper vs. Winn-Dixie - alleged failed back surgery resulting from slip and fall. Liability, medical causation and damages were contested at trial. Demand announced in open court before case went to jury for $4.0 million. Verdict for the Plaintiff with Judgment entered for $1,532,000.00. Case settled confidentially on appeal. Tried before Judge Lucy Brown in West Palm Beach, Florida, for three weeks in October 2012.
- Eric Todt vs. Alcatel-Lucent Technologies – alleged permanent injury and aggravation to lower back necessitating surgery with anticipated future surgery to lower back. Demand to Jury was $1.7 million. Liability was contested. Verdict of $145,000.00 for plaintiff. Tried before Judge Sam Pendino in Tampa, Florida for one week in May 2010.
- William Allman vs. AT&T – Alleged lumbar spine injury necessitating four surgical procedures, including a three-level fusion with internal fixation resulting from a rear-end collision. Liability was admitted. Demand at close of plaintiff's case-in-chief was $10 million. Demand to jury in closing was $7.5 million, including $3.1 million in past and future economic damages. Verdict of $148,000 for plaintiff. Tried before Judge Edward A. Garrison in West Palm Beach, Florida, for three weeks in October 2009.
- Jessica Hagarty vs. Lucent Technologies, Inc. – alleged permanent aggravation and injury to knee of 20 year old woman necessitating five post accident surgeries with an alleged partial rotator cuff tear necessitating one post accident surgery resulting from a rear-end collision. Demand to jury was medical specials of $400,000.00 in addition to request for pain and suffering for as much as three times the medical specials. Liability was admitted. Verdict of $20,000.00 for plaintiff reduced by $15,000.00 due to set-off resulting in final judgment for plaintiff of $5,000.00. Tried before Judge Thomas Gallen in Sarasota, Florida for seven days in October 2008.
- James Wheeler vs. ADT and Tyco International (US) Inc. – Alleged cervical spine injury necessitating surgical recommendation for four-level cervical fusion with internal fixation resulting from a rear-end collision. Demand to jury was economic specials of $750,000 in addition to like amount for pain and suffering. Verdict of $14,400 for plaintiff. Tried before Judge J. Michael Fitzhugh in Fort Smith, Arkansas in August 2008.
- Jerriann McDonald, et al. vs. Evenflo Company, Inc., et al. – Alleged brain injury case to 4 year old child resulting from an alleged defective child car seat. Issues for jury were crash worthiness of the child restraint system; misuse by mother; causation and damages. Demand to jury was $20 million. Defense verdict for Evenflo Company, Inc. Tried before Judge Walt Logan, in St. Petersburg, Florida, in July 2007.
- Sherri Newcomer vs. Tyco Healthcare Group, et al. – Alleged brain injury case resulting from accident wherein Defendants admitted liability. Issues for jury were medical causation and damages. Demand to jury was $4.5 million. Verdict for $275,000 reduced to $225,000. Tried before Judge Ethel Sims, in Orleans Parish, New Orleans, Louisiana for two weeks, commencing May 2007.
- Elizabeth Clark vs. Tyco International (US) Inc., et al. – Action brought for brain injury caused by automobile accident wherein Tyco employee blacked out and crossed center line. Initial demand of $18 million. Case settled for $4 million before trial which was set to commence before Judge James Ammons, Jr., in Lillington, North Carolina, in February 2007.
- Denise Probkevitz vs. Velda Farms, et al. – Wrongful death action brought for death of 15 year old girl as a result of truck collision. Case bifurcated on the issues of liability and damages. Defense verdict for Velda Farms. Tried before Judge Gerald Hubbart, in Miami, Florida, in January 2007.
- Eva Meyerson vs. Walgreen Co. – Action brought for a misfilled prescription wherein plaintiff alleged brain injury resulting in total and complete cognitive impairment. Claim for punitive damages was allowed to be heard by jury. Initial demand was $200 million. Trial commenced before Judge Cecilia Altonaga in the U.S. District Court, Southern District, in Miami, Dade County, Florida in May 2006. Verdict for defendant after one-month trial. No appeal.
- Annette Carey, et al. vs. Peter Blash, et al. – Case resolved on the fifth day of trial. Details of the resolution to remain confidential at the request of plaintiffs' counsel. Trial commenced before Judge N. Sanders Saul in Crawfordville, Wakulla County, Florida in April 2006.
- Lucent Technologies, Inc., et al. vs. FSI International, Inc., et al. – Represented Lucent Technologies, Inc. in a products liability action to recover approximately $33 million for property damage to Class I Clean Room and losses to production of semi-conductor wafers against manufacturers of two (2) faulty valves resulting in release of hydrochloric acid within the Clean Room. Case settled for $25 million before trial which was set to commence before Judge C. Alan Lawson in Orlando, Orange County, Florida in September 2005.
- Warren v. Velda Farms – wrongful death action arising out of alleged debris on the roadway from the Velda truck. Action included allegations of spoliation of evidence precipitating Valcin instruction. Demand before trial was $5.8 million. Settlement during voir dire for $200,000. Tried before Judge David Krathen in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida in October 2003.
- Duff vs. Little Caesars Enterprises, Inc. – pedestrian dart‑out case resulting in death. Driver denied seeing child before impact. Demand to jury $5 million. Verdict for $80,000. Tried before Judge Holcomb in Titusville, Florida, in March 2003.
- Santarelli v. Gutterman - automobile negligence action with subsequent chiropractic malpractice resulting in brachial plexus injury to 41-year-old woman causing inability to use left arm. Demand before trial $1.5 million. Demand at trial $4.5 million. Verdict for Plaintiff of $1 million. Five-day trial before Judge Brunson in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida, in September 2001.
- Kaplan v. CNA - uninsured motorist claim brought by insured for amputation of left arm. Liability was admitted at trial. Initial demand in case for excess of policy limits of $5 million. Demand at trial $2.7 million. Offer at start of trial $1.7 million. Case settled on second day of trial for $1.7 million before Judge Hayes in Naples, Collier County, Florida, in September 1999.
- Violet Eason v. Comcast - negligent hiring and retention of customer service representative who stalked Plaintiff as customer and threatened with death and dismemberment resulting in alleged permanent psychiatric injury. Demand at trial $2.7 million. Verdict of $54,000. Six-day trial before Judge Burnstein in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida, in May 1999.
- Leroy v. Stryker Electric - negligent electrical contracting resulting in poor lighting resulting in trimalleolar fracture with internal fixation precluding Plaintiff from returning to work. Demand before trial $1 million. Demand at trial $2 million. Economic specials $1.2 million. Verdict for $500,000. Six-day trial before Judge Esquiroz in Miami, Dade County, Florida in September 1998.
- Thompson v. Exxact Transport - negligent operation of tractor trailer truck resulting in collision causing injury to knee warranting total knee replacement and injury to ankle warranting ankle fusion. Initial demand of $400,000. Demand at trial of $750,000. Verdict for Plaintiff of $40,000 after one-week trial. Tried before Judge Fine in West Palm Beach County, Florida, in January 1998.
- Cruz v. BrowardCountySchool Board - negligent supervision of special needs students resulting in altercation causing brain injury and psychiatric disorders to 15-year-old student. Prognosis was that child would need institutionalized care for psychiatric disorders. Demand at trial $14 million. Verdict for the Plaintiff of $6.7 million after two-month trial. Verdict reduced during post-trial motions to $3.9 million. Verdict reversed on appeal. Tried before Judge Franza in Broward County, Florida, in August/September 1997. Verdict reversed on appeal. Case settled post-appeal for $400,000.
- Spells v. EvergladesHolidayPark - negligent maintenance of parking bumper causing trip and fall resulting in non-union of left femur warranting multiple surgeries. Prognosis included amputation of left leg. Initial demand of $2 million. Verdict for the Plaintiff of $14,600 after seven-day trial. Tried before Judge Henning in Broward County, Florida, in January 1997.
- Keays v. AT&T - negligent operation of motor vehicle resulting in laminectomy, fusion, and implantation of permanent hardware to lower back of 34-year-old construction worker who was father of six. Demand to jury $1 million. Award to Plaintiff of $390,000. Tried before Judge Menendez in Hillsborough County, Florida, in June 1996.
- Colvin v. Riverfront Saloon - negligent maintenance of dance floor resulting in trimalleolar fracture with internal fixation to ankle. Demand before trial $275,000. Demand to jury $400,000. Award to Plaintiff of only medical specials totaling $25,000.Tried before Judge Padovano in Leon County, Florida, in April 1996.
- Belancik v. C.S.R. Construction - negligence in failing to maintain a construction site in a reasonably safe condition resulting in broken back. Demand before trial $300,000. Defense verdict. Tried before Judge Marra in Palm Beach County, Florida, in January 1996.
- Euell v. Pond Apple Creek Apartments - negligent security resulting in aggravated rape of 18-year-old. Demand before trial $1.5 million. Case settled for $450,000 on seventh day of trial. Tried before Judge Brescher in Broward County, Florida, in February 1996.
- Rohrback v. Amoco Oil Company - negligent maintenance resulting in need for total knee replacement. Demand before trial $145,000. Case settled for $8,000 at commencement of trial before Judge Henning, in Broward County, Florida, September 1995.
- Briganti v. Kokomo - negligent manufacture of tanning bed, causing collapse upon Plaintiff, injuring back and shoulder. Demand before trial $150,000. Defense verdict. Tried before Judge Cocalis in Broward County, Florida, in July 1995.
- Martello v. Burnstein - negligent design of atrium resulting in trip and fall causing lumbar herniation, necessitating laminectomy. Demand in excess of policy limits before trial. Defense verdict. Tried before Judge Baker in Palm Beach County, Florida, in February 1995.
- Mathison v. Perkin - pedestrian dart-out case resulting in fractured hip necessitating internal fixation; broken ribs, arm, and leg with in excess of $70,000 in medical specials. Demand in excess of policy limits before trial. Defense verdict. Tried before Judge Stafford in Broward County, Florida, in November 1994.
- Alexander v. McNiff - negligent operation of motor vehicle resulting in comminuted fracture of pelvis. Demand in excess of policy limits before trial. Defense verdict. Tried before Judge Franza in Broward County, Florida, in August 1994.
- Terry v. Brunswick - negligent maintenance resulting in need for total knee replacement. Demand before trial $175,000. Defense Verdict entered after 45 minutes of deliberation by jury. Tried before Judge Futch in Broward County, in July 1994.
- Gomez v. State of Florida Department of Transportation - wrongful death action brought against the Department of Transportation. Directed Verdict entered for the Department of Transportation on the eighth day of trial. Tried before Judge Shapiro in Dade County in August 1992.
- Franklin v. Machinery & Engines, Inc. - pedestrian knock down resulting in significant injury with demand before trial of $750,000. Case settled after second day of trial for $230,000. Tried before Judge Nadler in Dade County in March 1992.
- Phillips v. Vans Electric - negligent electrical contracting. Demand before trial $1.4 million with Directed Verdict entered on behalf of Defendant at close of Plaintiff’s case on the fifth day of trial. Tried before Judge Garrison in West Palm Beach, in February 1992.
- Warner v. Lakeview Condominium Association - negligent security resulting in significant injury. Demand before trial $1.2 million. Case settled on fifth day of trial for $70,000. Tried before Judge Donner in Dade County in October 1991.
Mr. Laplante has litigated product matters involving manufacturers of child car seats, box fans, scaffold equipment, lift equipment, bicycles, and other products and devices.
He has extensive experience in representing clients as part of his construction practice in complex litigation arising from design, engineering and the construction process. This includes representing manufacturers of building products in alleged defect matters; defective workmanship allegations resulting in collapse of structures and wrongful death to water intrusion in multi-party litigation; and injuries/wrongful death on the job site litigation raising the intricacies of contractor/sub-contractor interplay and immunity.
In addition, he has litigated medical malpractice matters involving doctors, dentists, hospitals and other medical care providers, including:
- Russell v. Arthur Pearl, M.D. - malpractice action resulting from operation on wrong knee of college track star while performing anterior cruciate repair. Demand to jury $1.5 million. Verdict for Plaintiff of $150,000 shared amongst both doctor and hospital. Two-week trial before Judge Silver in Miami, Dade County, Florida.
- Giancaspro v. Elias, M.D. - failure to diagnose breast cancer. Demand at trial $2 million. Defense verdict. Three-week trial before Judge Fuller in Miami, Dade County, Florida.
- Tuttleman v. BennettHospital - negligent restraint of patient resulting in death of patient due to jumping out window. Demand before trial $1 million. Defense verdict. Three-week trial tried before Judge Weissing in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida.
- Scognamillio v. Rosenberg - negligent treatment of cardiac patient resulting in death. Demand at trial $2 million. Defense verdict. Three-week trial before Judge Fuller in Miami, Dade County, Florida.
- Author of "Midwest Piping Doctrine Redefined – A Matter of Policy," New England Law Review, 1983.
J.D., New England School of Law, 1983
- Published, New England Law Review
B.A., University of Massachusetts, 1979
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida