Jury Sets Emotions Aside and Finds in Favor of WACHP Client
Following a two day trial ending on June 30, 2016, a Fulton County jury returned with a verdict vindicating the defendant in a case involving the death of the plaintiff’s husband, who was a passenger in a car which the plaintiff was driving. Although the plaintiff had minor bodily injuries, her primary claim was related to her alleged emotional distress from witnessing her husband’s death. Prior to trial, the defendant’s motion for summary judgment as to the emotion distress claim was denied, so the parties were forced to trial. The defendant did not dispute causing the initial fender bender type accident with the plaintiff’s vehicle. However, the defendant denied that the initial impact caused the plaintiff’s vehicle to accelerate into a utility pole, overturn, and kill the plaintiff’s husband. Following almost two hours of emotionally charged deliberations, the jury returned with a defense verdict and specifically found that the plaintiff’s responsibility for the second impact matched or exceeded that of the defendant. Prior to trial, and again during trial, the defendant’s insurance company made a settlement offer in the amount of $40,000. Months before trial, the plaintiff formally withdrew all settlement demands. Prior to the withdrawal, the plaintiff’s formal settlement demand was for the policy limits of $100,000.
Henry County Jury Finds for the Defense
On June 7, 2016, Russell Waldon and David Smith obtained a defense verdict in Henry County in a disputed-liability case. The plaintiff alleged $25,000 in medical special damages and $6,000 in lost wages. Plaintiff claimed permanent impairment to her neck and back but was impeached during cross-examination with evidence of prior claims and lawsuits for the same injuries. After hearing from both parties and the investigating officer, the jury determined that a third party caused the accident by coming to a sudden stop without functioning brake lights. Plaintiff’s lowest demand during the course of the litigation was $50,000.
Defense Verdict for Waldon and Jacobs in DeKalb County Four-Car Rear-End Collision
On June 3, 2016, Russell Waldon and Jared Jacobs received a defense verdict in a disputed fault, four-car accident in which their client was the driver of the rear vehicle. Through pointed cross-examination and the testimony of a key witness, the defense prevailed. The jury deliberated for thirty-six minutes before finding for the defense. Plaintiffs presented approximately $20,000 in medical bills and requested the jury award $75,000.
Medical Funding Companies: A New Problem for an Old Rule
WACHP is pleased to post a new article written by Rachel Reed, Clay Knowles, and David Glustrom that was recently published in the GDLA newsletter. Medical Funding Companies: A New Problem for an Old Rule
Gwinnett County Jury Finds For Empty Chair Defendant
On June 7, 2016, Jared Jacobs and John Alday obtained a verdict in favor of John Doe in Gwinnett County. The plaintiffs alleged that a John Doe driver rear-ended another car, pushing that car into the plaintiffs’ vehicle, causing severe injuries, including a herniated disk in one plaintiff’s cervical spine. On the morning of trial, plaintiffs and another defendant announced a settlement and the named defendant was dismissed from the case. Through cross-examination of the involved drivers, passengers, and the mechanic, as well as the direct examination of the investigating officer, Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Alday convinced the jury that no John Doe vehicle was involved. The plaintiffs had in excess of $25,000 in medical expenses and asked the jury to award $75,000. After 36 minutes, the jury returned and found in favor of the defendant. Before trial, the insurance carrier had offered $5,000 to settle the suit
WACHP would like to congratulate Jonathan Adelman, Dan Prout, Trevor Hiestand, and Russell Waldon for being named 2016 Georgia Super Lawyers. WACHP would also like to congratulate Rakhi McNeill and Ashley Rice for being named 2016 Georgia Rising Stars.
Five Minute Deliberations Lead to DeKalb County Defense Verdict
On April 25, 2016, Ashley Rice obtained a defense verdict from a DeKalb County jury after only five minutes of deliberating. Ms. Rice’s client admitted fault for the subject motor vehicle accident, but disputed that the plaintiff was injured as she claimed. The plaintiff went to the emergency room on the date of the accident and subsequently sought chiropractic treatment and pain management for neck, shoulder, chest, and back injuries. She presented over $10,000 in healthcare bills and asked the jury to award $25,000. Before trial, the defense had offered $8,500 to settle.
Cobb County Jury Believes Waldon and Williams
Russell D. Waldon and Raqketa D. Williams obtained a verdict in the amount of $1,700 for their client in Cobb County on Monday, April 11, 2016. Plaintiff attempted to enter almost $9,000 of medical special damages into evidence, at least $7,300 of which stemmed from incidents other than the subject automobile accident. Waldon and Williams brought this out at trial and convinced the jury to award plaintiff only $1,700, after less than an hour of deliberations.
Stewart obtains favorable verdict in DeKalb County; verdict considerably less than pre-trial offer
In March of 2016, Marcia Stewart successfully defended a case in DeKalb County in which her client admitted to failing to yield the right of way and entering an intersection causing plaintiff to T-bone the rear of his vehicle. There was extensive damage, and both vehicles were totaled. Plaintiff’s airbags deployed and he sustained a “questionable” loss of consciousness at the scene. The plaintiff was taken to the emergency room from the scene where x-rays were taken and he was kept overnight. After an approximately 3.5 week gap in treatment, plaintiff sought chiropractic treatment. The plaintiff presented $8,200 in special damages, and his attorney asked for all special damages and a generous amount for pain and suffering in his closing. In less than an hour, the DeKalb jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the amount of his ambulance and emergency room bills only, $2,955. The defendant had offered $10,000 prior to trial.
Brandt Obtains Defense Verdict in Admitted Fault Case
Despite the defendant’s admission of fault, on February 22, 2016, Attorney Andrew Brandt obtained a defense verdict in front of a Fulton County jury. Mr. Brandt’s client admitted that she caused the rear-end accident that caused extensive vehicle damage. After leaving the scene of the accident in her own vehicle, plaintiff complained of soft tissue injury and began treating with a chiropractor the following day. Despite a dozen trips to the chiropractor, and undergoing cervical and lumbar MRIs, the jury did not believe that plaintiff was injured as a result of the accident. Eight months prior to trial, the defendant had extended statutory settlement offers in the amount of $3,500. Plaintiff’s attorney, in closing arguments, asked the jury to award plaintiff $25,000.