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.
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.