- Best Lawyers® 2012 Lawyer of the Year–Plaintiffs Product Liability Litigation, Columbia, SC
- Best Lawyers 2014 South Carolina Lawyer of the Year
- 2005-2006 President, American Association for Justice
- Best Lawyers in America ®
- South Carolina Super Lawyer ®
- Best Lawyers in America South Carolina Lawyer of the Year 2010
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Pre-eminent (A-V) by Martindale-Hubbell ®
- Top 1% Most Endorsed on LinkedIn in United States for Litigation
Kenneth M. Suggs, a principal in the firm of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, has been a tireless champion of consumer legal rights for nearly 40 years. Known for his advocacy in the areas of medical malpractice, product liability and business litigation, he has been recognized nationally as one of the nation’s finest trial lawyers.
As head of the firm’s Business Litigation Division, Mr. Suggs has won judgments and verdicts for business clients wronged by major corporations, including a win for a $1 billion company against a Fortune 500 corporation. As a leader in the firm’s medical malpractice area, he has sought and won justice for many, ranging from infants who suffered severe birth injuries to families who lost loved ones due to dangerous prescription drugs.
Kenneth Suggs has held a broad range of leadership positions in many organizations devoted to law and education, including President of the American Association for Justice (formerly the American Association of Trial Lawyers) from 2005-2006. In 2012, he was named Best Lawyers ® Lawyer of the Year–Product Liability, Columbia, SC. In 2009 he was recognized as South Carolina Super Lawyer’s® Top Point Getter and has been listed among Best Lawyers in America® for more than 10 years in the areas of mass torts, medical malpractice, personal injury and product liability litigation.
Mr. Suggs has received numerous honors including inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs, Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs 2014. He was named the Best Lawyers’ 2014 Columbia, SC Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year”. Mr. Suggs has been named to Maryland Super Lawyers each of the past six years. He has been honored with the American Association for Justice Harry Philo and President’s Awards and the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association Founders Award, both in 2007, and the American Bar Association’s Torts and Insurance Practice Section’s “Pursuit of Justice” award in 2008.
Mr. Suggs is the 2006 recipient of the “Advocate of the Year” award presented by the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center. He also attained recognition as a Fellow of the National College of Advocacy. He served as President of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association in 1981, and currently serves on its Board of Governors and Legislative Committee; the Advisory Board for Best Lawyers in America; and the Executive Committee of the Lawyers Committee for the National Center for State Courts.
Kenneth Suggs served as president of the Richland County Bar Association in 1999 and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has also served as a member of the US District Court Advisory Committee and was a co-draftsman of the South Carolina Rules of Evidence, later adopted by the South Carolina Supreme Court.
He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1975, and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Clemson University in 1968. He currently serves on the Clemson University President’s Advisory Committee. Before attending law school, he served in the United States Navy, including two years in the Vietnam War.
Admission Dates & Jurisdictions
- South Carolina Bar, 1975
- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States Supreme Court
- Graduated Clemson University, B.A. Economics, 1968
- Graduated University of South Carolina Law Center, 1975
Honors & Awards
- South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association President’s Award, 1988
- South Carolina School of Law Alumni Association, “Compleat Lawyer” Award
- Founders Award from South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, 2006
- American Association for Justice Harry Philo Award
- South Carolina Association for Justice Founders Award
- American Bar Association T.I.P.S. Pursuit of Justice Award
- South Carolina Appleseed Advocate of the Year
- Alumni Fellow, Clemson University
- American Association for Justice
- President, 2005-2006
- AAJ President Elect 2004 – 2005
- Vice President 2003 – 2004
- Secretary 2002 – 2003
- Treasurer 2001 – 2002
- Parliamentarian 2000 – 2001
- Board of Governors 1989 – 2000
- Legal Affairs Committee
- Public Affairs Committee
- Judicial Independence Committee
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
- South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1980 – 1981
- South Carolina Bar, Young Lawyers Division, President, 1980
- Richland County Bar Association, President, 1999
- South Carolina Bar, House of Delegates, 1982 and 1996 – 1997
- Public Justice Foundation, executive committee, 2009
- Founding Fellow, Southern Trial Lawyers Association
- Advocate, American Board of Trial Advocates
Verdicts & Settlements
Firm Verdicts & Settlements
$190 million Dr. Nikita Levy class action settlement
$190 million Dr. Nikita Levy class action settlement, was called “a historic day” not only for the victims but for the United States civil justice system. The settlement is the largest in U.S. history for sexual abuse committed by one person. The agreement is “fair and reasonable” for the 8,000 or more women who will participate in the settlement, Howard Janet said. He noted both sides in the negotiation process “worked zealously” to obtain a settlement “in the best interests of their clients.
Dangerous Drugs – $100+ Million in Verdicts & Settlements
Recoveries for victims of dangerous drugs and pharmaceutical products, including Baycol, Rezulin, Fen Phen, breast implants and latex gloves.
Fraudulent Foreclosure Practices – $95 Million Settlement
Whistleblower case based on fraudulent mortgage foreclosure practices including falsifying foreclosure documents and submitting false mortgage insurance claims to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Breach of Oral Contract – $48 Million Verdict
Verdict reached on behalf of Heritage Propane Partners for breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy arising over the bidding process and ultimate sale of South Carolina propane businesses.
Delayed C-Section – $33.5 Million Verdict
A jury found that delays in performing an urgently needed cesarean section resulted in a baby developing severe brain damage and cerebral palsy.
Failure to Diagnose – $24 Million Verdict
One of the largest medical malpractice jury verdict ever won in the District of Columbia, obtained for a child who suffered brain damage and cerebral palsy because her doctors failed to properly diagnose and respond to an airway obstruction.
Cancer Misdiagnosis – Millions in Verdicts & Settlements
Tens of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts obtained in delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis of cancer cases. These cases involved lung, breast, prostate, and numerous other forms of cancer.
Groundwater Contamination – $19.5 Million Settlement
Class action settlement with mine owners who failed to properly contain and remove waste stored on the mine site. Toxic chemicals seeped into groundwater, contaminating nearby residential water wells.
Mismanaged Labor & Delivery – $15.5 Million Verdict
The largest birth injury verdict ever in Minnesota, obtained on behalf of a child who suffered brain damage and developed cerebral palsy as a result of mismanagement of labor and delivery.
Delayed Delivery – $15 Million Settlement
Settlement obtained in a case involving an obstetrician’s failure to come to the hospital to deliver a baby in a timely manner. The delay caused brain damage that was ultimately diagnosed as cerebral palsy.
Fetal Monitoring Errors – $13.5 Million Verdict
This record jury verdict in Iowa was obtained for a child’s cerebral palsy caused by brain injury as the result of inconsistent fetal heart monitoring during birth.
Legal Malpractice – $12 Million
Defendants failed to secure expert witnesses and prosecute the case on a timely basis. Underlying case was a malpractice case that involved mismanaged anesthesia resulting in death.
Failure to Respond to Uterine Rupture – $10.8 Million Verdict
Jury verdict for a child who suffers from cerebral palsy and mental retardation due to a failure to respond to signs and symptoms of a uterine rupture.
Mismanaged Labor and Delivery – $10 Million
Warning signs of an impending potential obstetrical emergency that developed during labor, which included unrelenting, continuous abdominal pain, were not fully appreciated and responded to in an emergency manner, which was required under the circumstances.
Failure to Treat Infection – $9.5 Million Verdict
An infant developed cerebral palsy after signs of an infection were not immediately treated by emergency room personnel.
Birth Injury – $9.3 Million Verdict
Jury awards record verdict in Minnesota for child’s cerebral palsy caused by brain injury sustained during birth.
Sonogram Misinterpretation – $9 Million Settlement
Settlement reached in a case involving the misinterpretation of a prenatal sonogram that resulted in the birth of a child with severe, life-long brain damage.
Delayed Delivery – $9 Million
Delivery was delayed despite knowing fetal compromise would occur. As a result, the infant developed cerebral palsy.
Airway Obstruction – $8.25 Million
Recovery for failure to properly respond to airway obstruction resulting in brain damage at birth.
Asphyxiation at Birth – $8 Million Settlement
Settlement reached on behalf of a baby asphyxiated at birth because of the failure to timely and appropriately use a vacuum extraction device or forceps to speed up vaginal delivery.
Placental Abruption Mishandled – $7.3 Million
Recovery for a child because of a failure to respond in a timely manner to signs of placental abruption resulting in severe brain damage.
Mismanaged Labor and Delivery – $6 Million
Mismanagement of labor and delivery resulting in brain damage and cerebral palsy.
Diagnostic Procedure Injury – $6 Million
Settlement obtained for infliction of spinal injury during diagnostic procedure – negligently – performed discogram of neck produced a spinal abscess which was not diagnosed or treated promptly. The patient who was in his 60′s suffered permanent spinal injury that left him a quadriplegic.
Failure to Perform Emergency C-Section – $6 Million Settlement
Recovery of $6 million after medical staff failed to appropriately interpret and respond to evidence of fetal compromise and perform emergency C-section, resulting in brain damage.
Failure to Monitor Blood Loss – $5.9 Million
Following surgery, hospital staff failed to diagnose and treat blood loss in a timely manner, leaving the patient with permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy due to insufficient oxygenation.
Surgical Delay – $5.9 Million
Verdict on behalf of a 62-year-old woman and her husband after surgeon and hospital failed to diagnose and perform surgery to treat a spinal epidural hematoma (blood clot) following back surgery, in a timely manner, resulting in permanent damage.
Failure to Detect Defects – $5.5 Million
Recovery for the parents of a child in a wrongful birth case because of failure to detect severe brain defects that appeared on prenatal ultrasound film.
Anesthesia Error – $5.5 Million
Medical professionals failed to recognize and respond to complications from anesthesia during a minor gynecological procedure, leaving the patient in vegetative state.
Anesthesia Mistake – $5.5 Million
Recovery for a man who suffered quadriplegia and brain damage due to anesthesia malpractice.
Improper Delivery – $5 Million Settlement
Forceps and vacuum extraction were improperly used during delivery.
Labor and Delivery Mismanaged – $5 Million
Recovery for a child who suffered cerebral palsy and mental retardation because of a mismanaged labor and delivery.
Failure to Respond to Electronic Fetal Monitoring Data – $ 4.75 Million
Medical staff did not act on worrisome fetal monitor tracings in a timely manner, leading to brain injury and cerebral palsy.
Failure to Manage Infection – $4.75 Million
Failure to manage signs and symptoms of infection that developed shortly after delivery, resulting in meningitis.
Anesthesia Negligence – $4.65 Million Verdict
Verdict reached on behalf of a child due to the negligent decision to use a slow-acting form of anesthesia for an emergency cesarean section. The inordinate delay caused the baby to suffer a neurological injury that was later diagnosed as cerebral palsy.
Death of a Child – $4.6 Million Verdict
Verdict reached in a case of obstetrical malpractice that resulted in the death of a child.
Radiation Therapy Error – $4.5 Million
Settlement obtained for excess unnecessary radiation therapy. An erroneous decision to administer radiation therapy to a woman’s pelvic area was compounded by inadequate shielding of her spine. This young mother developed significant limitations in the use of her legs.
Medication Mismanagement – $4.5 Million
Settlement obtained for mismanagement of medication. Adolescent who had asthma was treated with excessive doses of medication leading to seizures and brain damage.
Sonogram Misread – $4.5 Million Settlement
Settlement obtained for a baby whose prenatal sonogram was misread, resulting in lack of advance preparation to provide adequate oxygen support at the time of his birth.
Severe Dehydration at Birth – $4.25 Million
Recovery for a child who has brain damage and seizure disorder because of a negligent failure to respond to severe dehydration in a newborn.
Surgical Negligence/Legal Malpractice – $4 Million
Recovery for a member of the Armed Forces whose prior attorney mishandled his medical negligence case involving surgical negligence that rendered him quadriplegic.
Labor and Delivery Mismanagement – $4 Million
Recovery for a child who suffers cerebral palsy and mental retardation due to a mismanaged labor and delivery.
Tractor-Trailer Collision – $2.5 Million
Settlement obtained in tractor-trailer collision. A young woman sitting in her car well on the shoulder of the road suffered facial burns after being rear-ended by a tractor-trailer that negligently veered off the road.
Personal Injury – $2.5 Million Verdict
Verdict reached on behalf of two boys injured at a traffic scene due to improper police procedures.
Medication Overdose Error – $2 Million
Verdict obtained for wrongful death of child who died from complications of brain damage that was caused by a massive overdose of medication he received for treatment of a condition associated with his premature birth.
Vacuum Extraction Negligence – $1.85 Million
Caused significant intracranial bleeds that in turn caused pulmonary and cardiac complications and death.
Trucking Accident – Multimillion Dollar Confidential Settlement
Settlement reached on behalf of a driver run off the road by a hazardous waste truck.
Toy Defect Infant Death – $1.5 Million settlement
Settlement obtained in death of infant. The baby suffocated in crib after fabric ball that was negligently merely glued and not sewn onto stuffed Christmas bear’s Santa cap detached and lodged in his throat obstructing his airway.
Negligent Operation of an Aircraft – $1 Million Verdict
Verdict reached in Federal court for two paramedics injured in a helicopter crash due to pilot error.
- Author, “The Heart of Darkness: The Modern Nursing Home,” S.C.T.L.A. Bulletin, September, 1986
- Author, “Failure Analysis of a Plastic Boat Seat,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Pub. 87-DE-8
- Author, “Recovery for Emotional Distress,” S.C.T.L.A. Bulletin, January, 1984
- Author, “Secret Settlements,” South Carolina Lawyer, November – December, 1993
- Co-author, South Carolina Appellate Practice Handbook
- Co-author, Evaluating and Settling Personal Injury Claims in South Carolina
- Co-author, The Law of Automobile Insurance in South Carolina
Public Service Activities
- Board of Directors, Carolina Sunshine Children, Inc.
- Team Captain, Trinity Cathedral Free Breakfast Program
- Advisory Board, City Year Columbia
- Advisory Board, South Carolina Center for Capital Litigation
- Advisory Board, South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
- Advisory Board, St. Lawrence Place
- Member, South Carolina Commission on Judicial Conduct
- President’s Advisory Council, Clemson University
- United States Navy, 1968 – 1972 Communications Technician
- Navy Achievement Medal with Combat “V”
- Vietnamese Honor Medal (awarded by government of South Vietnam)
- Vietnamese Campaign Ribbon
- Vietnamese Campaign Medal
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Meritorious Unit Citation
- National Defense Medal