Benjamin R. Novotny

Trial Lawyers for Justice - Decorah, Iowa
Trial Lawyers for Justice - Decorah, Iowa
421 W Water St Fl 3 PO Box 228, Decorah, IA 52101
617-283-5902
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Trial Lawyer Benjamin R. Novotny is a Partner at Trial Lawyers for Justice. He has tried over 95 jury trials – almost all in the field of Medical Malpractice and others involved Catastrophic Injuries or Wrongful Death. To date, he has won well over $500 million in verdicts and settlements.


Ben works on a contingency fee basis. He has a passion to fight for victims of Medical Malpractice, Catastrophic Injuries, Wrongful Death and Complex Tort Claims. He fights against multi-billion dollar insurance companies to pay fair compensation to individuals and families who have been harmed by negligence. He has years of success helping injury victims receive the compensation necessary to provide them with the assistance they need in order to live a physically comfortable life.


Novotny’s ability to understand and tell his client’s story, combined with his vast knowledge of medicine, has earned him numerous awards and accolades throughout his career. His determination to bring peace of mind and justice to his clients drives him. His advocacy and jury verdicts speak for themselves.


Attorney Novotny garnered nationwide attention as lead counsel in the McCollins v. JRC trial, a medical malpractice lawsuit involving the use of electro-shock therapy on children with autism at the Judge Rotenberg Center. While Novotny tried the case to a successful conclusion, the impact of the case went well beyond the courtroom.


During the trial, Novotny successfully fought to have the dramatic videotape depicting the controversial use of electro-shocks released to the public. This was the first time in the JRC’s 41-year history that such a videotape had been released. The story quickly spread across the United States and Internationally. Before the end of the trial, hundreds of thousands of people signed petitions to end the use of electro-shock therapy. Since then, the tragic case has been publicized on notable news networks and in magazines such as New York Magazine, BBC and CNN.


To date, the positive changes associated with Novotny’s efforts in the McCollins v. JRC case have included:


- An investigation and statement by the United Nations calling electro-shock therapy torture

- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sending a warning letter to the JRC stating that the use electro-shock therapy with autistic children violates FDA regulation

- The State of New York refusing to send children to the JRC

- New Massachusetts legislation to set standards for the use of electro-shock therapy


VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

Attorney Novotny has tried over 95 medical malpractice and complex tort jury trials. Novotny has won several multi-million dollar verdicts on behalf of his clients.


- $40+ million verdict (with interest; 2015 largest verdict in MA & 20th in the U.S.)- Larkin v. Johnston – Jury found a physician’s negligence caused a 28-year-old woman to suffered a stroke hours after childbirth.

- $30+ million verdict (with interest)- Xu v. Tufts Medical Center – Jury found Tufts Medical Center doctors negligent in care of newborn, leaving infant with debilitating condition.

- He also brought forward the well-publicized Messier v. Bridgewater State Hospital case, resulting in a $3 million settlement and sweeping changes to mental health care in the prison system.

- Ben was called in last minute by co-counsel to serve as lead trial attorney in the Zaw v. The Iowa Clinic in which he won a $2 million jury verdict for his client who was given an incorrect vasectomy instead of a circumcision.

- Estate of Zoe Rosenthal v. Charles J. Davignon, et al.: In April 2021, during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Ben & Nick won a $9.5 million verdict obtained on behalf of two daughters whose mother was negligently killed while walking her dog in a crosswalk near her home. According to the court clerk, this result set a record for a non-economic damages verdict for wrongful death with adult heirs in Western Massachusetts.


BEN IN THE NEWS

Novotny’s successes have been recognized by several publications throughout his career. He was named 2018 Lawyer of the Year by Lawyers Weekly. From 2016-2018, he was listed as a Super Lawyer, published by Boston Magazine. Prior to this, he was selected as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer Rising Star (2009-2015) in Boston Magazine. In 2014, Attorney Novotny was chosen as Up & Coming Lawyer by Lawyers Weekly.


Attorney Novotny has extensive knowledge in multimedia trial presentations and demonstrative exhibits, and has lectured at Continuing Legal Education seminars on the topic of medical malpractice, personal injury law, and technology in the courtroom. Additionally, Novotny has provided legal analysis and commentary on topics related to medical malpractice for various news stations.


BACKGROUND

Novotny was born and raised in Norfolk, Nebraska. His first job as a kid was riding on the back of his grandpa’s trash truck. Hard work and determination were ingrained in him, making him the person he is today.


Ben graduated summa cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (B.S. Environmental Biology), cum laude from Vermont Law School (M.S.E.L.), and cum laude from Suffolk University Law School (J.D.). Ben enrolled in the Suffolk J.D. Evening Program. This allowed him to work during the day to pay for his education. Additionally, he was active in various student organizations including serving as Vice President of the Student Bar Association.


FAMILY & FREE TIME

When Ben isn’t hard at work for his clients, he spends his time with his wife, son and their two dogs. Together, they enjoy skiing, hiking and everything else nature has to offer. 


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Ben serves on the Iowa Association for Justice Board of Governors and is a member of the Winneshiek County Judicial Magistrate Appointing Commission. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Bar Association.


INTERNATIONAL ADVOCACY

Ben has spent months in Costa Rica researching its oceans and ways to protect its precious waters. He has worked with leaders in marine conservation to develop approaches to protect the Ocean and establish education centers. 


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