Joseph R. Johnson

Top rated Personal Injury attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.
Joseph R. Johnson
Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.

Practice Areas: Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability view more

Licensed in Florida since: 1983

Education: Florida State University College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2023
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Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.

2139 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33409 Phone: 561-513-6940 Email: Joseph R. Johnson Visit website


JOSEPH JOHNSON is a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with extensive experience litigating difficult and complex cases. Over the last 38 years, he has represented victims and their families in a wide range of personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, products liability, consumer protection, defective medical devices and automobile and trucking accidents. 

Mr. Johnson is a third generation lawyer who has been recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer since 2006. He has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 and has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2014. He was graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and went on to earn a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree at the Florida State University College of Law.

A South Florida native, Mr. Johnson has long been active in legal and professional associations and in local community organizations. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the United States District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. He is also a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Palm Beach County Justice Association, The Florida Bar, the American Association for Justice, and the American Bar Association.

Practice areas

Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff, Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff, Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff, Civil Litigation: Plaintiff, Class Action/Mass Torts: Plaintiff, General Litigation

First Admitted: 1983, Florida

Professional Webpage:

  • $1 Million Plus - Trucking - A rock from a company truck fell on the roadway, resulting in a head injury to a driver traveling in the opposite direction.
  • $1.1 Million - Auto Accident - An award following the death of a 35-year old involved in an automobile accident. His death resulted from the truck driver’s failure to maintain an appropriate speed.
  • $1.1 Million - Auto Accident - A settlement to a model in South Beach who, was hit by a motorcycle speeding at 90 miles an hour. She spent four months in the Jackson Memorial Hospital burn unit. The case settled for the insurance policy limits.
  • $1.875 Million - Medical Malpractice - An award for death of a 50-year old man who died during recovery from a plastic surgery operation as a result of excessive anesthesia. The newly graduated nurse failed to recognize that the patient was suffering severe lack of oxygen after the procedure and therefore failed to call the doctor.
  • $1.2 Million - Medical Malpractice - A recovery against a family physician for failure to diagnose cauda equine syndrome in a 46-year old male, resulting in bladder incontinence and sexual dysfunction. The correct diagnosis was made approximately two weeks later, following an MRI study.
  • $1.2 Million - Auto Accident - A verdict as a result of a 50-year old postal worker’s vehicle was struck while at work, resulting in multiple-level disk surgery.
  • $1.3 Million - Medical Malpractice - A recovery for an immigrant who had been shot. He was taken to the emergency room and a chest surgeon failed to properly resuscitate him.
  • $1.6 Million - Medical Malpractice - A settlement against an orthopedic surgeon as a result of mismanagement of an operation, which resulted in the below-knee amputation of a 36-year-old lawn maintenance supervisor. The surgeon failed to recognize that the circulation was cut off, and ignored the nurses’ consistent warnings.
  • $1.75 Million - Rape Case - A settlement on behalf of a female client that was raped by a coworker who was proven to be an illegal alien.
  • $2 Million - Medical Malpractice - An award for a 27-year old unmarried male, who was not diagnosed with subacute bacterial endocarditis. A portion of the heart valve vegetation embolized, resulting in a loss of visual fields, and heart valve replacement surgery was required due to the failure to arrive at a timely diagnosis.
  • $2 Million - Medical Malpractice - Recovery for an elderly woman whose rectum was removed because of a misdiagnosis from pathology slides which indicated that she had cancer of the rectum, when in fact she did not.
  • $2.4 Million - Medical Malpractice - A verdict for the death of a 70-year old female. Two radiologists, two gastroenterologists and a general surgeon failed to diagnose a perforated colon, which had occurred during an enema procedure, resulting in the spillage of fecal material into the abdominal cavity and death.
  • $3 Million - Legal Malpractice - A settlement on behalf of a client that had his case dismissed due to the statute of limitations expiring.
  • $2.5 Million - Medical Malpractice - Failure to diagnose cauda equine syndrome.
  • $2.5 Million - 7 Children's Rights/Abuse - A recovery for a retarded 18-year old girl who was molested by a security guard while her mother visited a relative in the hospital. The security company allowed the security guard to remain on the job despite numerous incidents of misconduct. The security company also failed to do a proper employment screening.
  • $2.75 Million - Product Liability - An award against a Japanese helmet manufacturer for a defect in the helmet retention strap resulting in brain injury to a motorcycle rider. Plaintiff was injured when a vehicle turned in front of him and the retention strap on his helmet came undone.
  • $3.2 Million - General Liability - An award to a 53-year old father who was injured when the safety restraints failed while he was climbing a rock wall, causing him to fall 20-25 feet.
  • $3.5 Million - Medical Malpractice - A settlement for a brain injury to an infant that occurred during delivery. The child was injured when doctors failed to perform a cesarean section in a timely fashion.
  • $3.25 - Auto Accident - A settlement for the survivor of a 69-year old wife and grandmother who was struck by a distracted driver while she was walking in a crosswalk.
  • $3.6 Million - Medical Malpractice - A verdict for an IVC filter victim, alleging a Bard G2 filter (a clot-stopping vein filter) broke apart in her body, finding the device maker responsible for 80 percent of the harm.
  • $4 Million - Medical Malpractice - A recovery as a result of the death of a 36-year old Haitian dishwasher and mother of four. The patient suffered an embolic fluid air bubble while giving birth to her fourth child.
  • $6 Million - Medical Malpractice - A verdict for the death of a mother as a result of surgical mismanagement of a urological procedure.
  • $4.25 Million - Medical Malpractice - A settlement for a 42-year old man who suffered a mild brain injury following surgery due to an overdose of anesthesia.
  • $5 Million - Defective Product - An award for a 45-year old who was paralyzed from the mid-thighs down as a consequence of a faulty part on a cherry picker type machine. The defect caused the bucket to separate from the boom and could have easily been fixed with inexpensive parts.
  • $6 Million - Medical Malpractice - A recovery for an alcoholic mother of two who was brain-damaged when she went into a seizure as a result of the d.t.’s. She was forced by the hospital to become sober “cold turkey” instead of being given Valium which would have prevented the seizure.
  • $6.25 Million - Medical Malpractice - A settlement for a man who suffered paralysis following the delay in diagnosis of a ruptured disc in his neck.
  • $6.24 Million - Medical Malpractice - An award for an infant who sustained a brain during a twin delivery, when the physician and nurses failed to recognize that the child was suffering oxygen deprivation after delivery of his brother.
  • $7 Million - Auto Accident - Resulting in double amputation of legs.
  • $9.45 Million - Defective Product - The combined settlements for our clients that were administered the drug during open heart surgery and subsequently suffered renal failure or death.
  • $10 Million - Medical Malpractice - A settlement for a 2-year old girl from Central Florida for a brain injury suffered during heart surgery. As a consequence of improper temperature monitoring, the child suffered serious brain damage. Discovery revealed that the surgeon had not operated on a child for nearly 20 years and that no one on the operative team had done this particular operation with any frequency.
  • $11.5 Million - Class Action - Recovered and $80 million restored from credit reports on behalf of tenants. Working with Rod Tennyson, P.A. Babbitt & Johnson law firm has won repeated court victories against major landlords accused of gouging Florida tenants with illegal fees.
  • $10 Million - Defective Product - A verdict to the parents of a 19-year-old college student killed in the rollover of her Kia Sportage sports utility vehicle, a car jurors said was negligently designed. The 1995 Kia Sportage flipped over six times after the victim swerved when a car came into her lane.
  • $27.2 Million - Child Abuse - We settled a case for $27.2 million against the city of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn Inc. We represented severely abused foster children. These children suffered unspeakable trauma – the most egregious injuries we’d seen in practicing law. The damages will not return the innocence of youth; we fought for them to help the victims avoid a nightmarish adulthood.
  • $40 Million - Wrongful Death - A verdict reach in one hour on behalf of Fredchen Keller, an orphaned 13-year old boy whose mother, Rosemarie Keller, was murdered by Fred Keller, the boy’s father and Rosemarie’s husband.
  • Lawyers of Distinction, 2018 – 2019
  • “10 Best Attorney” Selection for Florida, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys, 2018
  • Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite™, 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, 2014 – Present
  • Selected to Florida Super Lawyers list, 2006 – Present
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1984
  • Lawyers of Distinction, Member, 2018 – Present, ABOTA, Member, 2001 – Present, National Board of Trial Advocacy, Member, 1996 – Present, Florida Bar Association, Member, 1983 – Present, Palm Beach County Bar Association, Palm Beach County Justice Association, The Florida Bar, Member, Civil Procedure Rules Committee, 2008 – Present, American Association for Justice, American Bar Association, The Florida Justice Association, American Inns of the Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Florida, 1983
  • Florida Rules of Civil Procedure Committee Member
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, The Florida Bar, Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, Civil Trial Practice, Florida Bar, 1996
Educational Background:
  • Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, Bachelor of Science – 1980

Office location for Joseph R. Johnson

2139 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33409


18 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2023

Certificates and credentials

Attorney resources for Joseph R. Johnson

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