Defense Verdict in Rockdale County
Rakhi McNeill and Katherine Rouse secured a defense verdict on January 24, 2023 following a two day trial in Rockdale County. The case involved an admitted fault rear-end accident with minimal property damage. Plaintiff claimed injuries to his neck, low back, and left shoulder. Prior to trial, plaintiff claimed $52,000 in medical bills. The initial treatment focused on neck and back complaints, but ultimately plaintiff was diagnosed with a shoulder tear and recommended for surgery. Plaintiff did not have any prior shoulder injuries. Plaintiff’s orthopaedic surgeon related the need for surgery to the accident. However, on cross-examination, the surgeon conceded that because he had not treated plaintiff in over a year, he could not recommend continuing with surgery without first having exhausted conservative treatment and a repeat MRI. At trial, plaintiff did not introduce the medical bills and asked for $250,000 in general damages/pain and suffering only. The jury deliberated for forty-five minutes and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant. In speaking with the jurors after the trial, the jury found that plaintiff’s testimony did not match his treatment records.
WACHP Announces Matt Hurst as a Partner
WACHP is pleased to announce that its has name Matt Hurst as a partner.
Yagla Secures Defense Verdict in Gwinnett County
Ashley Yagla secured a defense verdict in Gwinnett County following a two-day jury trial on January 12, 2023. Prior to trial, plaintiff refused to reduce his demand below the $25,000 policy limits. Plaintiff claimed the defendant rear-ended his vehicle, which forced plaintiff to slam into another vehicle. Defendant admitted fault for the underlying accident, which caused significant damage to plaintiff’s and defendant’s vehicles. Plaintiff treated for two months for his alleged neck, back, shoulder, and knee injuries. At trial, the defense succeeded in excluding from evidence plaintiff’s medical records and largest medical bill. Plaintiff was impeached on several occasions regarding prior automobile accidents, prior injuries, and the fact that he was no longer suffering from any physical limitations from this accident. Ms. Yagla successfully argued that despite defendant admitting fault for the accident, plaintiff failed to carry his burden of proving the subject accident caused the injuries complained of. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.
Favorable Gwinnett County Verdict for UM Carrier
Carolyn Lee secured a favorable verdict on behalf of a UM carrier in the State Court of Gwinnett County. The admitted fault case involved a 2018 automobile accident with significant damages to the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff sustained a partial torn ligament in his thumb that required a surgery. The plaintiff argued that the thumb injury was permanent and argued that their daily activities would be forever changed as the result of continuing issues with their injury. The plaintiff also introduced the trial deposition of his surgeon, who related the plaintiff’s injury to the accident. The total UM policy exposure was $750,000, and the plaintiff asked the jury to award $3,000,000 in pain and suffering. Prior to trial, the UM carrier offered $60,000 to settle the lawsuit. After an hour of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of just $60,000, the amount suggested by the defense. Carolyn Lee was able to impeach the plaintiff regarding his physical limitations, including but not limited to impeaching the plaintiff with deposition testimony that proved to the Gwinnett County jury that the plaintiff was no longer suffering any physical limitations. Prior to the verdict, the plaintiff received $25,000 from the at-fault party. Due to prior payments by the UM carrier, the payments were reduced to zero.
Favorable Fulton County Verdict for UM Carrier
Justin Sanders successfully tried a two-day trial to verdict on behalf of a UM carrier. After deliberating for four hours, a Fulton County jury only awarded the plaintiff $25,000, despite introduction of $55,000 in healthcare specials. Prior to trial, the liability carrier had paid its limits of $50,000. The case involved a 2017 automobile accident with moderate damage. Plaintiff sought treatment the day of the accident at an emergency room and subsequently had steroid injections for her cervical spine as well as injections for both elbows. While fault for the accident was admitted, Mr. Sanders argued that the plaintiff failed to carry her burden of proof on issues of causation and damages after successfully impeaching the plaintiff on issues pertaining to prior neck pain and treatment. Plaintiff introduced into evidence the evidentiary depositions of two physical therapist but introduced only medical records and no testimony from a medical doctor. The total exposure to the UM policy was $200,000. Due to the payment of the liability limits, the verdict will be reduced to zero.
Fayette County Verdict for Defendant
Following a 2 day trial in Fayette County, jurors returned a defense verdict for Ashley Rice’s client. The case arose from a rear-end auto accident in 2018. Although plaintiff reported no injury at the scene, she began treating that day and ultimately underwent two epidural steroid injections to her cervical spine. Plaintiff introduced healthcare damages in excess of $33,000. Pre-trial, a court-ordered judicial evaluation conference had resulted in a non-binding verdict for plaintiff of $60,000. At trial, however, Ms. Rice successfully argued that plaintiff failed to carry her burden of proving that the relatively small impact was the cause of the injuries plaintiff claimed. The jury deliberated for less than an hour.
Cobb County Rejects Claims for Permanent Injury and Attorney’s Fees
After a 3 day trial, Rakhi McNeill and Dan Prout secured a favorable verdict for their client in Cobb County State Court. The case involved an admitted fault, head-on collision. Plaintiff fractured a bone in her hand that required surgery. Plaintiff claimed a permanent injury/disability to her hand as a result of the accident. At trial, plaintiff withdrew her claim for economic damages asked to jury to award in excess of $1,000,000 for pain and suffering. Plaintiff also requested that the jury find the defendant liable for attorney’s fees and bad faith pursuant to OCGA 13-6-11. The jury returned a verdict of $100,000 for plaintiff and did not find the defendant acted in bad faith or was liable for plaintiff’s attorney’s fees.
WACHP Record Improves to 8-0 in 10 Weeks!
Steve Wilson successfully convinced a Gwinnett County jury to award less than the defense’s pre-trial settlement offer and significantly less than the amount demanded in an admitted fault roll-over accident in Gwinnett County. There were significant gaps in plaintiff’s medical treatment and multiple instances of plaintiff being non-compliant with her doctor’s treatment recommendations. Plaintiff alleged total medical bills of $20,498.29 in addition to $1,350 for the lost cost of a business trip. Plaintiff initially brought a claim for lost wages, but abandoned that claim before trial due to a lack of supporting evidence. The plaintiff’s last demand before trial was $150,000, and the defendant’s insurance carrier offered $50,000. Plaintiff asked the jury to award between $175,000 and $250,000. After one (1) hour of deliberations, a jury agreed with Mr. Wilson and awarded $45,000.
Make that 7-0 in the Past 7 Weeks
Casey Brown secured a defense verdict in Dekalb County after a two day trial on October 10, 2022. Plaintiff claimed that defendant caused a motor vehicle accident after running a stop sign resulting in permanent injuries to the plaintiff. Defendant denied running a stop sign and contended that plaintiff failed to yield the right of way while turning left. Both parties lived within walking distance of the intersection and agreed that it was a “bad intersection.” Plaintiff identified four alleged eyewitnesses to the accident during discovery including plaintiff’s wife and another relative. However, plaintiff’s wife was the only witness to testify at trial. Plaintiff also called his treating physiatrist as a witness to speak to the permanency of his injuries. During trial, plaintiff’s credibility became a central issue as both plaintiff and his wife were repeatedly impeached on both the cause of the accident and the alleged permanence of plaintiff’s injuries. The jury returned a defense verdict within two hours. The jurors believed that plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof on fault instead believing that “accidents happen” especially at bad intersections.
WACHP Adds Ben Harbin as Partner
WACHP is pleased to announce that it has named Ben Harbin as partner.