On June 8, 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12111 et seq., against Defendant Bayrock Corporation on behalf of Ms. Patsy Payne.
Following a three-week trial the jury was hung 11-1 in favor of defendant neurosurgeon. Represented neurosurgeon who cared for traumatic brain injury patient transferred to Atlanta following vehicle accident in the Dominican Republic. Plaintiff alleged that following transfer Dr. King failed to place a ventriculostomy in patient’s brain, resulting in massive swelling and brain injury, causing profound neurologic deficits. Plaintiff sought $20 million in damages.
Whitney Beaubian, An Incapacitated Adult, By and Through His Legal Guardian Traci R. Beaubian, v. Paul King, M.D., Metro Atlanta Neurosurgery, P.C., Lee Patterson, M.D., Kerrie Bossard, M.D., and Tenet Healthsystem GB, Inc., d/b/a, Atlanta Medical Center; (State Court of DeKalb County)
An already wheelchair-bound Plaintiff Brady alleged that he was seriously injured and permanently disabled as a result of a misleveling incident in an elevator.
Four Vietnamese fishermen took a nineteen-foot open outboard Cobia 27 miles off Savannah’s coast despite a Small Craft Advisory and proceeded to capsize it. Three died. The one non-swimmer survived.
- Assault and Battery Exclusion in Liability Policy Barred Coverage for the Claims Arising from Robbery and Shooting Death of the Decedent at Apartment Complex
This case was an appeal of a denial of the insurance company’s motion for summary judgment in the trial court in a declaratory judgment action.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the defendant homeowners in a lawsuit seeking compensatory and punitive damages, arising after the defendants’ Cane Corso dog bit the plaintiffs’ 5-year-old daughter.
- Five-Year Rule Not Tolled by an Unsigned Consent Order of Stay and Voluntary Involvement in Fight Bars Wrongful Death Claim
Plaintiffs’ son and his friends were gathered on the steps of a campus building when they learned of a fight nearby with other students. The son and others ran across the street and joined the fight. An unknown male struck the son on the back of the head with a glass bottle. He later died from his injuries.
- Defendant Truck Broker Granted Summary Judgment in Wrongful Death Case, Defeating Plaintiff's Statutory Employment Claim and Claim that Truck Broker Acted as a Motor Carrier
The District Court for the Middle District of Georgia recently granted summary judgment in a wrongful death action for a defendant truck broker who assigned transportation of certain cargo to a motor carrier.
- Insurance Company Need Not Prove Prejudice to its Investigation or Unfair Advantage to Insured to Rely Upon Judicial Estoppel
This was an action to recover under a policy of fire insurance. The fire was the result of arson. The claim was denied on several grounds, including arson. When the insured filed suit, the insurance companies moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the insured failed to disclose his ownership and interest in the home in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
With turmoil in the area of the spoliation of evidence field, given a series of “bad fact” appeals, the Supreme Court of Georgia granted certiorari to consider the standard under which spoliation sanctions could be initiated. Plaintiff Silman was seriously injured when a deck on a rental house owned by the Defendant collapsed.
The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the ruling of Fulton Superior Court Judge John Goger who granted in part and denied in part the hotel defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment in a case in which plaintiff’s decedent either died by suicide by jumping out the seventh floor window of his room or accidentally fell out of the window of his room.
- Plaintiff's Verdict of Zero ($0.00) in $22,000,000 Product Recall Products Liability Claim Sustained
Shasta Beverages claimed that its Sun Tea’s total failure and recall, measured by $2,000,000 inventory and out of pocket costs and $20,000,000 in commercial loss of profits, warranted some $ verdict. The jury found (after a four-week jury trial) a technical warranty violation by the Defendant Tetley Tea, but also found that Defendant had successfully offered a complete defense to any causation or damages.
A local school board hired the defendants to consult and assist with the implementation of computer software for the school district. The consultants made statements critical of the technology department, which the plaintiff managed. The plaintiff sued the consultants for defamation.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment for the Defendants in a case in which the Plaintiffs had sued the Defendants for negligence allegedly resulting in the sexual molestation of Plaintiffs’ five year old son by the 13-year-old boy for whom the Defendants were acting as parental guardians.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment for the defendant in a case in which the plaintiffs had sued for their injuries from a shooting inside a Hispanic nightclub by Juan Aguirre, an individual known to one or more of the plaintiffs.
The Georgia Supreme Court held on a question of first impression, that a Georgia lis pendens filing may not be used to give notice of litigation in another state which may affect property in Georgia. Although the lis pendens statute (O.C.G.A. § 44-14-610) gives no express guidance on this issue, the Georgia Supreme Court has held that all of the common law lis pendens elements must be satisfied before a valid lis pendens can arise.
- Summary Judgment Affirmed Based Upon Absence of Evidence Proving Causal Link Between the Different Ingredients in the Generic Drug and the Brand Name Drug in Pharmaceutical Malpractice Case
The Court of Appeals affirmed without opinion Cobb State Court Judge David Darden’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant pharmacy.
This was an action to recover under a policy of fire insurance. On the eve of the expiration of the one-year suit limitation period, the insureds filed suit seeking recovery under the policy and seeking bad faith penalty and attorneys fees under Georgia’s Bad Faith statute, O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6. On the same day, the insureds demanded payment threatening bad faith if the claim was not paid within sixty days.
A former NBA basketball player alleged that the team’s head athletic trainer was negligent in treating an injury. The trainer asserted workers’ compensation immunity from suit by a fellow employee.
Week-long trial ending with a defense verdict. Represented an OB-GYN who delivered a baby by Cesarean section. Plaintiff alleged that defendant physician negligently performed the C-section resulting in hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) causing cerebral palsy and other neurologic deficits. Plaintiff sought in excess of $1 million.
Jontavious Jacquez Burdett, a minor, by and through his Parents and Next Friends Crystal N. Perdue-Burdett and Willie Burdett v. Alvin Lamar Sermons, M.D. Fictitious Defendants Numbers One Through Five (State Court of Fulton County)
- Policy Limits Contained in Commercial Motor Vehicle Liability Policy Could Not Be Enlarged by the Court in Spite of Federal Law Mandating Higher Limits
The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment to the insurer, holding that the policy limits contained in the commercial motor vehicle liability policy could not be enlarged by the court, finding that federal law did not mandate reforming the policy to increase the coverage limits.
Long-term sales manager Harold Cohen asserted that he had been discharged on account of age, but his employer, the largest pool tile distributor in the country, asserted abundant non-discriminatory reasons for his discharge.
Two-week trial ending with a defense verdict. Plastic surgeon sued his neurosurgeon and hospital for visual loss following 6.5 hour spine surgery. Represented neurosurgeon who performed surgery and managed patient post-operatively. Plaintiff alleged that Dr. Lindley failed to adequately treat anemia and hypotension causing decreased blood flow to optic nerve resulting in development of ischemic optic neuropathy. Plaintiff sought in excess of $8,000,000.00.
2. E. Ronald Finger and Cheryl Finger v. St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System, Inc. d/b/a St. Joseph Hospital, Inc., James G. Lindley, Jr., M.D. and Neurological Institute Of Savannah, P.C.; (State Court of Chatham County)
Plaintiff’s zero verdict, despite defendant’s negligence per se, reversed both forms basis for favorable resolution. An initial interlocutory appeal established that an expert must be able to eliminate all other reasonable hypotheses in order to have a sufficient basis for an opinion to establish a product defect.
- “In the Nature of an Interpleader” Action Both Upholds Carrier’s Notice of Cancellation and Has All Its Money Returned
An Infinity-insured vehicle was involved in an accident resulting in a double death, which was the fault of the insured’s driver. Pre-suit demands for the policy limits were made and met with a federal suit “In the Nature of an Interpleader,” whereby the carrier deposited the disputed limits, denied coverage and vied for the return of the funds against the two estates and other wrongful death beneficiaries involved.
Week-long trial ending with a defense verdict. Represented emergency medicine physician who worked up patient for complaint of arm pain and discharged her home with instructions to see primary care physician or return to ER if gets worse. Plaintiff alleged that Dr. Toon failed to timely diagnose upper extremity blood clot resulting in amputation of left arm.
Andrewline Wilkins v. Dr. Kevin D. Toon, Georgia Emergency Medicine Specialists, P.C., Athens Model Neighborhood Health Center, Inc., Dr. Gail Hurley; (Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County)
- Commercial Code Bars Revocation of Vehicle Sales Contract Absent Sufficient Opportunity to Repair Defects
A seller sold a luxury motor coach without telling the buyer that the vehicle had previously been returned to the manufacturer to fix electrical problems. Those electrical problems were not, in fact, fixed when the coach was sold. The buyer brought the coach to both the seller and the manufacturer for repairs, but neither was able to fix the electrical problems.
Class members from around the country initiated federal national class action multi-district litigation for the failure of the Tri-State Crematory and others, including 53 defendant funeral homes, to have had their loved ones properly cremated in accordance with the law.
An innocent 13-year-old was injured and drowned in his mother’s presence when the boat he was in T-boned another boat at a high rate of speed on Lake Lanier. The defendant admitted to drinking beer earlier in the day, but defended on the correctness of his operation and lack of alcohol involvement, although beer was found under the cushions of his boat. A former director of the National Safety Transportation Board advanced the plaintiffs’ theory — the defense responded with an all-out marine accident reconstruction, which convinced the jury the accident was the fault of the other boat operator.
The plaintiff, represented by former Georgia Governor Roy E. Barnes, suffered water loss damage to his property. The defendant home repair business was retained to mitigate the water damage and dry out the property. The plaintiff contended that the home repair business failed to properly handle the task, which resulted in the growth of mold in the structure. The plaintiff also contended that the defendant insurer, our client, was liable for its refusal to pay for the additional damage and failure to properly supervise and control the home repair business. The insurer filed a motion for summary judgment on multiple counts, including the suit-limitation provision and the fact that the plaintiff’s claims were beyond the scope of the insurer’s obligations under the policy.
The plaintiff filed a claim for damage to a private swim club facility following an alleged burglary and vandalism. The defendant insurer investigated the claim and denied coverage on multiple grounds, including claim fraud. The insured sought damages of approximately $500,000, plus bad faith penalties and attorneys' fees.
Swift Currie represented an insurer in a suspicious theft loss claim. The insured asserted that $1 million worth of personal property was stolen from his home while he was incarcerated for unrelated reasons. The insurer contended that the property was not stolen, but was sold or given away by the insured’s estranged wife.
The Court of Appeals affirmed Fulton State Court Judge Brenda Cole’s grant of summary judgment to the hotel entities on claims by plaintiff for her injuries arising out of an attack at the front desk in which she was raped, robbed, and burned by the assailant.
The defendant was granted directed verdict after plaintiff rested her case-in-chief in a personal injury action. In his motion, the defendant argued that the plaintiff had not met her burden of proof in establishing causation of her injuries or reasonableness of the charges incurred.
A motor vehicle accident occurred when the defendant merged into a left-hand turn lane and struck the plaintiff's vehicle. Both vehicles were towed from the scene and the defendant received a citation for the accident. The plaintiff claimed injuries to her back, neck and knee and sought recovery for pain and suffering, lost wages and medical bills. Following trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.
The defendant admitted liability after T-boning the plaintiff's vehicle. The plaintiff went to the ER and received treatment for approximately a year. She was diagnosed with bulging discs, received multiple injections and was recommended for surgery. She also claimed lost wages for about 11 months. Following trial, the jury found in favor of the defendant.
The defendant in a case concerning a motor vehicle accident turned right onto a four-lane road and crossed immediately into the far left lane in front of the plaintiff, causing the plaintiff to hit her car.