Verdict Reduced to Zero Dollars
After a 3-day trial in Fulton County State Court, Rakhi McNeill secured another excellent result for her clients. After deliberating for an hour, the jury returned with a verdict for plaintiffs for a fraction of the amounts previously offered. Plaintiffs (husband and wife) alleged permanent neck, back, and shoulder injuries from a minor car accident in which the defendant admitted fault. Prior to trial, each plaintiff claimed more than $40,000 in treatment. The defendant’s liability carrier settled on behalf of the defendant prior to suit being filed. The case proceeded to trial for plaintiffs to recover from their underinsured motorist carrier. The demands prior to trial were $74,000 for each plaintiff on the UM policy. The jury returned with a verdict of $5,750 for the husband and $5,400 for the wife. Given the pre-suit payment by the liability carrier, the verdict will be reduced to zero dollars.
Cobb Jury Awards $500, the Exact Amount the Defense Asked the Jury to Award
After a two day trial, a Cobb jury awarded $500, the exact amount attorney Ben Harbin asked the jury to award. This was an admitted fault reared accident. The plaintiff treated extensively for herniated discs in the both her neck and low back. Plaintiff presented past medical specials of $40,000. She also introduced a medical narrative with a cervical discectomy recommendation. The plaintiff’s lowest pretrial demand was $45,000.
Another Defense Verdict in Cobb County on an Admitted Fault Case
Rakhi McNeill secured another defense verdict in Cobb County following a two day trial on September 1, 2022. Plaintiffs were a mother and daughter who claimed mostly soft tissue injuries following a minor accident where the defendant admitted fault. Both waited two weeks before seeking any treatment. One plaintiff claimed three (3) months of chiropractic care and medical bills totaling $8,500. The second plaintiff claimed a concussion in addition to her soft tissue injuries and received chiropractic, orthopaedic, and physical therapy treatment. She alleged $30,000 in medical specials, future damages for continuing injuries, and pain and suffering for the rest of her life. After deliberating for 40 minutes, the jury returned with a verdict in favor of the defendant as to both plaintiff’s claims. The jury agreed that plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof and did not believe that plaintiffs could have been injured in such a minor accident.
JURY ENDS PLAINTIFF’S HOPE FOR AN EXCESS VERDICT
After a three day trial, a Dekalb County jury returned with a defense verdict in favor of Jonathan Adelman’s client. Following a collision, plaintiff sought treatment for a right should injury and underwent shoulder surgery at the hand of the lead orthopaedic surgeon for one of Atlanta’s professional sports franchises. The surgeon related the injury and the surgery to the accident based upon what plaintiff told him about the onset of his symptoms. During trial, plaintiff’s credibility became a central issue, and he was repeatedly impeached. Although the jury determined that the defendant was negligent, it still found in her favor. Plaintiff refused to entertain any settlement offers for less than the policy limits. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to return with a verdict in the amount of $356,000. The jury took less than one hour to return with a defense verdict.
Defense Prevails in Admitted Fault Cobb County Case
Following a two (2) day trial in Cobb County, Ashley Rice secured a defense verdict in an admitted fault case from a rear-end motor vehicle accident. The plaintiff introduced bills totaling $37,000 and underwent five (5) months of chiropractic and orthopedic treatment, including facet joint injections. The jury agreed with the defense that the plaintiff failed to meet her burden of proving that the relatively small accident was the proximate cause of the claimed injuries. Pre-suit, the plaintiff had demanded $100,000.
Jury Rejects Plaintiff’s “non-compliance” with medical treatment plan and “Doctor Shopping”
Following a 2-day trial, attorney Alexandra Svoboda secured a favorable verdict for her client in Cobb State Court. The defendant admitted fault for causing a rear end collision with minor damage to both vehicles. Plaintiff had been in a more significant collision six days before the collision with defendant, but testified he was not hurt in that prior collision. However, the photographs of that collision and his medical records from the collision with defendant indicated he may have been hurt in the prior collision, and the jury believed he probably was hurt in the prior collision. In addition, plaintiff was non-compliant with much of his therapy treatment plan, and appeared to “doctor shop,” eventually receiving several injections and medial branch blocks to the tune of $75,000.00. The jury awarded him his ER bills plus some amount of therapy to account for some aggravation of the likely prior injuries from the six- day prior collision, for a total of $11,000.00. They did not award plaintiff any pain and suffering.
Svoboda Obtains Defense Verdict in Fulton County
Following a 2-day trial, attorney Alexandra Svoboda obtained a defense verdict for her client in Fulton Superior Court. The case involved disputed fault between two drivers, including the driver of the vehicle that the plaintiff was a passenger in. Plaintiff chose to only sued one driver. It is unknown why he did not sue the other driver. Plaintiff presented medical bills of approximately $22,000 and alleged neck and back injuries, including a disc protrusion. Plaintiff had already settled or $25,000 with the liability carrier prior to trial and was offered another $25,000 from the UM carrier prior to trial, which he rejected. The jury found that plaintiff did not meet his burden of proof on which driver breached their duty toward plaintiff, and found for the defendant.
WACHP Attorneys Selected to Best Lawyers in America
Please join us in congratulating Rakhi McNeill, Alexandra Svoboda, Casey Brown, Andrew Panella, Daniel Prout, Jr, and Jonathan Adelman on being recognized by their peers for the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America. This distinction is provided to those who rank among the top 5% of private practice attorneys nationwide.
Rice Secures Judgment for Insurer Following 2-Day Trial in Cobb County
Plaintiffs brought a first party claim for comprehensive coverage against their insurer from an alleged 2020 fire loss involving a luxury vehicle. The insurer had previously denied the claim due to material misrepresentations plaintiffs made during the claim investigation. Ashley Rice defended the insurer, uncovering additional misrepresentations by plaintiffs and grounds for a judicial estoppel defense during the course of discovery. Pre-trial, the Court had granted the insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of bad faith. In July, 2022, the case proceeded to trial before Cobb County State Court Judge John S. Morgan. Finding that plaintiffs had taken inconsistent positions in a bankruptcy proceeding filed before the loss that were calculated to make a mockery of the judicial system, the Court entered judgment for the insurer. The Court further found that plaintiffs failed to present credible evidence as to the value of the vehicle, their finances, and the circumstances surrounding the fire.
Ashley Rice to Moderate Atlanta Bar Association Panel on February 11, 2022
Our firm has always been at the forefront of tackling the legal, factual, and discovery issues relating to medical funding companies, both on the trial/appellate and legislative fronts. Georgia’s collateral source rule, Georgia’s very low bar for admitting medical bills into evidence, and Georgia’s lack of regulation has provided fertile ground for medical funding companies. Please join our partner Ashley Rice as she moderates an Atlanta Bar Association panel on these issues on February 11, 2022, beginning at 8:00 a.m. (Link: Litigation Section Zoom Breakfast – Atlanta Bar CLE Calendar)