Freeman Wins Defense Verdict – Upshaw v. Washington

Mac Freeman obtained a defense verdict in the Circuit Court of Russell County, Alabama on behalf of his client in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Phenix City, Alabama. The plaintiff claimed that Mr. Freeman’s client struck the side of the plaintiff’s vehicle. The T-bone collision rendered both vehicles a total loss. Plaintiff asserted various personal injuries as a direct result of the collision.

Plaintiff sued Mr. Freeman’s client alleging that she negligently and wantonly caused the accident.  In addition, the plaintiff sued the parents of the minor driver involved in the accident, alleging that they negligently entrusted the vehicle to their teenage daughter.  Mr. Freeman successfully argued that the negligent entrustment claim should be dismissed, which it was during the course of the trial.  As it related to the remaining claims directly against the driver, the plaintiff asserted that the defendant was the only party at fault for the accident.  The plaintiff claimed various bodily injuries, including head injuries, neck and shoulder injuries, and injuries to her upper back.  During the course of trial, plaintiff introduced testimony of medical providers who offered their opinions that plaintiff’s injuries were the direct result of the subject accident.  In defense of these claims, Mr. Freeman asserted that the teenage driver was not at fault for the accident and instead, the plaintiff was traveling at an excessive speed and was not paying attention to her surroundings.  Or, in the very least, Mr. Freeman contended that the plaintiff’s own conduct constituted contributory negligence and as such, her claims should be barred.  The case was submitted to the jury and after deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant driver (Mr. Freeman’s client) on all claims.

The case was tried before the Honorable David Johnson in the Circuit Court of Russell County, Alabama (57-CV-2017-900307).

Garrett Wins Defense Verdict – Moore v. Shaul

R. Brett Garrett obtained a defense verdict in the Circuit Court of Chilton County, Alabama on behalf of his client in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Clanton, Alabama. The case involved a motor vehicle collision that occurred on 7th Street North near the intersection of 1st and 2nd Streets North. Mr. Garrett’s client struck the rear of Plaintiff’s vehicle. Mr. Garrett’s client acknowledged that his attention was diverted from the roadway immediately prior to impact.

Plaintiff sued Mr. Garrett’s client alleging that he acted negligently and wantonly in causing the accident. Mr. Garrett obtained dismissal of the wantonness claim via dispositive motion prior to trial. Mr. Garrett defended Plaintiff’s claims without affirmative defense arguing that his client’s actions prior to the accident were reasonable under the circumstances and did not amount to negligence. Plaintiff claimed bodily injury including concussion, neck/shoulder injury and back injury. Plaintiff introduced testimony of her treating physical medicine/rehabilitation specialist who offered his medical opinion that Plaintiff’s injuries were directly caused by the subject accident.

The jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Garrett’s client. The case was tried before the Hon. Ben A. Fuller. (Circuit Court of Chilton County, Alabama — CV-2018-900003)

Bailey Wins Two Appeals Before the Alabama Supreme Court

Evans Bailey recently won two appeals before the Alabama Supreme Court.

In the first case, the appellate court reversed the lower court’s judgment that Mr. Bailey’s client owed over $100,000 in post-judgment interest in an attorney’s fee dispute. The Court found that the underlying judgment did not support an award of post-judgment interest because it was not a “money judgment” against Mr. Bailey’s client.

In the second case, the appellate court affirmed a summary judgment in favor of Mr. Bailey’s client (an automobile manufacturer) on claims that the defendant owed the client for relocation reimbursement expenses. The defendant argued below and on appeal that his failure to pay the expenses back was excused for a number of reasons, but the Court rejected these arguments in turn. The Court also reversed the lower court’s failure to award attorney’s fees, expenses, and interest, and increased the judgment against the defendant by approximately $30,000. Katie Davis assisted in briefing the Arnold matter.

The cases are Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. v. DuBois (#1171178) and Arnold v. Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC, (#1170974 & #1171026).

Garrett Obtains Defense Verdict in Multi-Vehicle Collision with Injury

R. Brett Garrett obtained a defense verdict in the Circuit Court of Lee County Alabama on behalf of his client in a complicated, multi-vehicle/motorcycle accident that occurred in Auburn, Alabama. The case involved a collision that occurred near the intersection of roadways within Logan Square Apartments. Mr. Garrett’s client collided with a motorcycle driven by Plaintiff as they proceeded through an intersection and around a commercial vehicle which obstructed visibility.

Plaintiff sued Mr. Garrett’s client alleging that she acted negligently and wantonly in causing the accident. Plaintiff also alleged that Mr. Garrett’s client and the owner of the commercial vehicle were liable under a theory of combining and concurring negligence. Mr. Garrett defended Plaintiff’s claims alleging contributory negligence. Plaintiff incurred substantial bodily injury in the accident including tibial and fibular fractures requiring multiple corrective surgeries. Plaintiff introduced testimony of his treating orthopedic surgeon who offered his medical opinion that Plaintiff’s injuries were directly caused by the subject accident and further, that multiple surgeries were necessary for treatment of his related injuries.

The case tried before Hon. Christopher J. Hughes. After a three day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Garrett’s client.

Bailey and Davis Win Summary Judgment in Hair Care Product Case

Evans Bailey and Katie Davis recently won a summary judgment in a products liability action involving the use of a hair relaxer. Their motion on behalf of the manufacturer and the retailer argued that the hair care product was not defective, had been used improperly, and came to the supplier in a sealed container. The case was before Judge Greg Griffin in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama.

Garrett Obtains Defense Verdict in Multi-Vehicle Accident

R. Brett Garrett obtained a defense verdict in the Circuit Court of Lee County Alabama on behalf of his client in a complicated, multi-vehicle automobile accident that occurred in Auburn, Alabama. The case involved a high speed collision that occurred at the intersection of North College Street and Shug Jordan Parkway. Mr. Garrett’s client collided with a vehicle being driven by another driver in the intersection who subsequently veered off and stuck a stationary vehicle driven by Plaintiff.

Plaintiff sued Mr. Garrett’s client and the other involved driver alleging that they acted negligently and wantonly in causing the accident. Plaintiff alleged that both drivers were liable under a theory of combining and concurring negligence. As Plaintiff was not involved in the precipitating accident, Mr. Garrett did not contend that Plaintiff was contributorily negligent. Plaintiff claimed substantial bodily injury requiring surgical treatment. She called her treating surgeon as a witness at trial who offered his medical opinion that Plaintiff’s injuries were directly caused by the subject accident and, further, that surgery was necessary for treatment of her injuries. Plaintiff claimed the cost and expense of future surgery as part of her damages at trial.

The case tried before Hon. Jacob Walker, III. After a three day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Garrett’s client.

Bailey and Bailey Win Summary Judgment

Dennis and Evans Bailey recently won a summary judgment for the Dothan Eagle newspaper in a case involving a motor vehicle-pedestrian collision. The Plaintiff alleged that the tortfeasor was working as an agent or employee of the Dothan Eagle at the time of the accident. Dennis and Evans were able to demonstrate to the Court’s satisfaction that the alleged tortfeasor was actually an independent contractor, and the Dothan Eagle could not be liable as a result. The case is Westmoreland v. Dothan Eagle, Inc., et al., Coffee County Circuit Court, Enterprise Division, Case No. 17-900185.

Owner Awarded Counterclaim Against Contractor in AAA Construction Dispute Arbitration

Rushton Stakely attorneys Ted Jackson and Dennis Bailey were recently successful in defending claims against an electric cooperative made by a general contractor relating to the construction of a new operations center involving large metal buildings. The contractor claimed the plans and specifications were defective because the metal building manufacturer’s engineers would not agree to incorporate specified metal decking into an office area of one of the metal buildings. The general contractor claimed over $600,000 in extended general conditions, Eichleay delay damages, additional work and interest which it claimed were related to delays associated with a dispute between the owner’s architect and consulting structural engineer and engineers employed by the metal building manufacturer. After several days of testimony presented to a AAA arbitrator, the arbitrator ruled for the owner, an electric cooperative, on all claims asserted by the contractor and awarded the owner $170,000 on its counterclaim relating to completion delays. Arbitrator fees were assessed against the contractor. There was no appeal and the award and fees were paid by the contractor as directed. Ted Jackson handled the pre-arbitration dispute and Dennis Bailey handled the arbitration proceedings.

James Defends Termite Company against Multi-Million-Dollar Claim

Paul M. James, Jr. defended a Birmingham based termite company in an arbitration arising out of assertions of extensive termite damage to Plaintiff’s multi-million-dollar home. The Plaintiff claimed improper treatment and inspections over the course of 35 years, as well as numerous violations of the rules and regulations governing the business activities of termite companies as well as the application of government approved termiticides. The Plaintiff sought a multi-million-dollar verdict based on the damages contained within the house.

The matter took a week to try.  The Arbitrator returned a small verdict in favor of the Plaintiff, the amount of which was less than 3% of the amount sought by the Plaintiff within the arbitration proceeding.   The Arbitrator issued an opinion agreeing with most every defense promulgated by the Defendants.

Love and Bailey Win Summary Judgment

Judge Ben Fuller of the Elmore County Circuit Court recently granted summary judgment in favor of a Rushton Stakely client represented by J C Love and Evans Bailey.  The case involved a collision between two tractor-trailers.  At issue was whether the Plaintiff could recover loss of use for his downtime.  J C and Evans were able to show that the Plaintiff did not have insurance on his tractor-trailer at the time of the accident and argued that this barred the Plaintiff’s recovery of loss of use damages.  Judge Fuller agreed and granted summary judgment on September 19, 2017.  The case is styled Missildine v. Davis, Elmore County CV-2016-900198.