Defense Verdict in Disputed Fault Case
Marcia Freeman recently obtained a defense verdict in a hotly contested, disputed liability case in Fulton County. It was a “who ran the red light” case involving a well-spoken, likeable plaintiff with extensive driving experience. Our insured driver (a minor) had been dismissed pursuant to service and statute of limitations motions. The case continued against the named insured on various agency theories of liability. Shauna Hill was instrumental at trial in having plaintiff’s investigator excluded and the live chiropractor’s testimony limited. Plaintiff presented medical special damages, lost wages, and asked for an award for future pain and suffering. After a brief deliberation, the jury returned with a defense verdict.
McNeill Secures Defense Verdict for John Doe
On January 28, 2020, Rakhi McNeill secured a defense verdict for her client in Floyd County following a two day trial. Plaintiff was involved in a rear-end accident where the defendant blamed “John Doe” for causing the collision. She was transported by ambulance to the hospital. Following discharge, plaintiff treated with her primary care doctor who referred her to a neurologist and pain management doctor for further care. Plaintiff’s incurred medical bills were $14,000 and she claimed an additional $9,000 in future treatment. After deliberating for forty minutes, the jury returned a defense verdict for both John Doe and the named defendant.
WACHP is pleased to announce that Brian McCarthy had been named a partner of the firm.
Jury Limits Recovery to ER Bill
On January 8, 2020, a Cherokee County jury entered a verdict of only $4,546.75 in favor of a plaintiff who sought $37,000 for past medical bills and over $10,000 in lost wages. Ashley Rice represented the defendant who admitted to striking plaintiff’s vehicle twice in 2016 but contended that neither impact was very hard. Plaintiff went to the emergency room a few hours after the accident with complaints of neck, left shoulder, and back pain. A subsequent MRI revealed a left rotator cuff tear. Plaintiff was recommended for surgery and underwent multiple injections to her spine. She claimed to have been unable to work for 7 months. Following a three (3) day trial, the jury’s award represented the amount of plaintiff’s initial emergency room bill. Before trial, plaintiff demanded $99,000. Defendant’s highest offer was $11,500.
Gwinnett Jury Finds Plaintiff’s Chiropractic Treatment Excessive; Awards Only a Fraction of his Medical Charges
Anthony Matthews successfully defended his client before a Gwinnett County jury, securing a judgement far below the plaintiffs alleged medical charges. The plaintiff introduced evidence of approximately $9,000 in healthcare charges, and claimed injuries to his neck and back from a low speed rear-end accident. At trial, the plaintiff asked for an award of $18,000 to $27,000. However, the jury only awarded $2,500.
Jury Sides with Defendant After Hearing Evidence of Plaintiff’s Prior Injury
After deliberating for 25 minutes, a Gwinnett County jury returned a defense verdict for Anthony Matthews’ client. The plaintiff alleged a broken rib, as well as soft tissue back injuries. Plaintiff was repeatedly impeached with evidence that his rib injury was pre-existing. At trial, the plaintiff asked for $85,000.
Medical Expenses in Excess of $167,000 Do Not Sway Jury
During a two day trial in December of 2019, Jonathan M. Adelman convinced a DeKalb County jury to limit its verdict to $20,000, significantly less than the $60,000 pre-trial offer of the insurance company for Mr. Adelman’s client, the defendant. Liability was not an issue. In fact, the defendant admitted fault for causing the collision, which knocked the rear bumper off of plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff sought treatment at the emergency room on the day of the accident and then treated with a spine doctor who administered facet block injections and radiofrequency ablations. That doctor also recommended future radiofrequency ablation procedures. In total, the treatment charges exceeded $167,000. On cross-examination, plaintiff was impeached with her own deposition testimony from the case against the defendant as well as her deposition testimony from a prior case. The jury was not persuaded by the testimony of the plaintiff’s doctor that the injuries were directly related to the accident with the defendant. Instead, the jury accepted the testimony of the defendant’s orthopedic expert that the accident with the defendant did not cause any structural changes to the plaintiff’s neck and back. In closing argument, plaintiff’s counsel suggested to the jury that a verdict should fall between $500,000 and $800,000.
Jury Finds in Favor of Defendant after Plaintiff was Impeached Multiple Times
After deliberating for 20 minutes a DeKalb County jury returned a defense verdict for Ben Harbin’s client. The plaintiff alleged exacerbation of pre-existing injuries after the defendant improperly backed into his vehicle. Plaintiff refused to acknowledge treating with an orthopedist for similar injuries just days before the accident. At trial, the plaintiff introduced medical bills in excess of $17,000. The plaintiff asked the jury to award $48,000.
Despite Testimony of Treating Physician Recommending Future, Costly Treatment, DeKalb County Jury Returns Nominal Verdict for
On November 12 and 13, 2019, Taylor Barnett successfully defended a UM case before a DeKalb County Jury involving an admitted liability, front-end impact. Before trial, the plaintiff received $25,000 from the defendant’s liability carrier. The plaintiff sought to recover $26,352.75 in medical expenses as well as $30,556.81 in lost wages. Plaintiff’s orthopedist also testified that he would require future medical treatment at a cost of $40,000-$50,000 per year. Plaintiff ultimately asked the jury to award in excess of $80,000. After a short deliberation, the jury returned with a nominal verdict of $942.87.
Fulton Jury Finds Plaintiff Already Compensated By Liability Carrier
Ashley Rice successfully defended a UM case before a Fulton County jury, securing a judgment on which plaintiff could not recover from the UM carrier. Before trial, the plaintiff received $25,000 from the defendant’s liability carrier and sought additional recovery from her underinsured motorist carrier. The plaintiff introduced evidence of over $45,000 in healthcare charges and claimed injuries to her neck, shoulder, wrist, and back following a low-speed rear-end accident. On September 27, 2019, a Fulton County jury awarded the plaintiff less than $7,000.