Theodore Babbitt

Theodore Babbitt

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in West Palm Beach, FL

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.
 | 2139 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Phone: 561-513-6940
Fax: 561-684-5707
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1965
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Products: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff (30%),
  • Civil Rights (20%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (20%)
    Attorney Profile

    THEODORE (TED) BABBITT is a former managing partner at Babbitt & Johnson, P.A. who for the past five decades has represented individuals in personal injury, wrongful death, and commercial cases. In 1970, he obtained the first verdict in Palm Beach County for a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case; in 1975, he obtained the first jury verdict in Palm Beach County in excess of one million dollars. 

    When Mr. Babbitt was 17 years old he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and still managed to be sworn in as an attorney at age 23. He earned a B.A. with honors from the University of Florida in 1963 and received his J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 1965. In the ensuing years, he has written more than 100 articles that have appeared in national and local publications. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021, in which he has been listed since 1987.

    Since 1975, Mr. Babbitt has been a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only membership limited to 100 of the top plaintiff lawyers in the United States. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and The American College of Trial Lawyers and has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyer since 2006. He is a former president of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, where he has also held several other leadership positions over the years.

    Mr. Babbitt is a commercial pilot and flight instructor who has logged more than 4,500 hours since 1969. He is rated for single- and multi-engines as well as gliders and holds certification from Flight Safety International. He has volunteered as an Angel Flight pilot to help sick people get needed treatment.

    Florida Bar Board of Legal SpecializationNational Board of Trial Advocacy

    About Theodore Babbitt

    Admitted: 1965, Florida

    Professional Webpage: https://www.searcylaw.com/attorneys/theodore-babbitt/

    Honors/Awards:

    • Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite™, 2016
    • Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2010 – Present
    • Governor’s Task Force on Medical Malpractice
    • Chosen by Best Lawyers in America for over Twenty Years, Trial Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America, 2010
    • Selected to Florida Super Lawyers list, 2006 – Present

    Special Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certified Emergency Medical Technician
    • Civil Trial Law, State Bar of Florida, 1993
    • Civil Trial Law, National Board of Trial Attorneys

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Judicial Relations Committee, 1986 – 1988
    • American Bar Association, Section of Tort and Insurance Practice, 1986 – 1987
    • Florida Bar Association, Trial Lawyer/Judiciary Liaison Committee, 1980 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Medical Malpractice Arbitration Advisory Committee, 1985 – Present
    • Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Speakers Bureau, 1984 – 1987
    • Florida Bar Association, Abuse of Discovery Subcommittee , 1983 – 1984
    • Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, Member, 1965 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Federal Practice Committee , 1974 – 1975
    • The Florida Justice Association, Member, 1965 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, Vice President, 1977 – 1978
    • American Association for Justice, Member, 1965 – Present
    • American Association for Justice, Co-Dean of Medical Malpractice Specialized Courses, 1987 – Present
    • American Association for Justice, Diplomate
    • The Florida Justice Association, Medical Malpractice Task Force, 1993 – Present
    • The Florida Justice Association, Diplomate, 1982 – Present
    • The Florida Justice Association, Member, Board of Directors, 1982 – 1984
    • Florida Bar Association, Member, Rules of Judicial Administration Committee, 2003 – 2004
    • Florida Bar Association, Member, Committee on Standards for Jury Pool Sizes, 2004 – 2005
    • Florida Bar Association, Vice-Chairman , 1986 – Present
    • Florida Bar Association, Chairman, Form Interrogatories Subcommittee, 1986 – Present
    • Florida Bar Association, Chairman, Civil Trial Certification Examination Committee, 1987 – Present
    • Florida Bar Association, Vice-Chairman, Civil Trial Certification Committee, 1986 – 1988
    • Florida Bar Association, Chairman, Civil Trial Certification Law Committee, 1988 – 1989
    • Florida Bar Association, Chairman, Medical Mediation Rules Subcommittee, 1980 – 1982
    • Florida Bar Association, Chairman, Medical Malpractice Rules Subcommittee, 1986 – 1998
    • Florida Bar Association, Member, 1973 – Present
    • Florida Bar Association, Chairman – Grievance Committee, Palm Beach County, 1981 – Present
    • Florida Bar Association, Vice-Chairman, Civil Procedures Rules Committee, 1991 – Present
    • Florida Bar Association, Member, 1973 – Present
    • Florida Bar Association, Chairman, Civil Procedure Rules Committee, 1976 – 1977
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Chairman, Judicial Poll Subcommittee, 1986 – 1988
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Chairman, Circuit Court Civil Practices Committee, 1973 – 1974
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Chairman, Medical Legal Committee, 1970 – 1972
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Chairman, Law Week Committee, 1967 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Member of Board of Directors, 1970 – 1978
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, President, 1976 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Treasurer, 1973 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, Secretary, 1974 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, President – Elect, 1975 – Present
    • Supreme Court of Florida, Member, Commission on Complex Litigation, 2006 – Present
    • John Marshall Bar Association (Student Bar Association), President, 1964 – Present
    • John Marshall Bar Association (Student Bar Association), Secretary, 1963 – Present
    • The Blue Ribbon Panel for WXEL, TV 42 – FM 90.7, Chairman, 1992 – 1993
    • Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society
    • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice
    • The American Society of Law & Medicine
    • American Association For Justice
    • The Florida Justice Association
    • American Mensa Society, Life Member
    • National Conference of Bar Presidents
    • American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
    • American Inns of Court, Palm Beach County, 1988 – Present
    • Palm Beach County Bar Association, 1970 – 1978
    • Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, 1982 – 1984
    • Upchurch Watson White & Max Mediation Group, Mediation Counsel, 2016 – Present
    • International Academy of Trial Lawyers, 1988 – Present
    • American College of Trial Lawyers, 1987 – Present
    • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida Trial Bar
    • Inner Circle of Advocates, 1975 – Present
    • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 2004
    • U.S. Supreme Court, 1969
    • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
    • Florida, 1965
    • Chosen by The Florida Supreme Court as a member of three separate special State wide Commissions on professional practice and procedure. Former member of the Florida Bar Rules of Civil Procedure Committee for over twenty years, author of numerous rules and former Chairman.

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Charter Member of The board of Florida Children's First an organization dedicated to improving the services and lives of Florida's foster children.

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Author of over fifty professional publications
    • Writer, Palm Beach County Bar Association, Early 1990’s – Present
    • Hospital Records Trial, March, 1988
    • Staying Out of Malpractice Suits South Florida Medical Review, September, 1985

    Verdicts/Settlements:

    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $7 Million - Auto Accident - Resulting in double amputation of legs.
    • $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.
    • $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 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.
    • $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.
    • $6 Million - Medical Malpractice - A verdict for the death of a mother as a result of surgical mismanagement of a urological procedure.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $3.5 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.
    • $3.2 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.
    • $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.
    • $2.5 Million - Medical Malpractice - Failure to diagnose cauda equine syndrome.
    • $3 Million - Legal Malpractice - A settlement on behalf of a client that had his case dismissed due to the statute of limitations expiring.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $1.2 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.
    • $1.2 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.
    • Schwab v. Tolley, 345 So.2d 747 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 1977)
    • $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.
    • $1.1 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.
    • $1.1 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 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.
    • Nikula v. Michigan Mut. Ins., 531 So.2d 330 (Fla. 1988)
    • Good Samaritan Hosp. Ass’n, Inc. v. Saylor, 495 So.2d 782 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 1986)

    Educational Background:

    • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, B.A., Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) – 1963

    Articles about Theodore Babbitt appearing in Super Lawyers

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    Office Location for Theodore Babbitt

    2139 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
    West Palm Beach, FL 33409

    Theodore Babbitt:

    Last Updated: 5/26/2021

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