December 2015

In December 2015, David Wells obtained a jury verdict in a case in Morgan County, Alabama that was over $5000 less than his last settlement offer prior to Trial. The facts of the case were that the Defendant, who did not appear at Trial, failed to yield the right of way and pulled in front of a vehicle in which the Plaintiff was a passenger resulting in a significant impact. The Plaintiff was taken via ambulance to the ER and complained of a headache and neck and back pain. Thereafter the Plaintiff treated with a pain management doctor she had been seeing for several years prior to the accident for neck and back pain. The case was tried on the basis of an exacerbation of a pre-existing condition. David stipulated that the Defendant was negligent in causing the accident and that the Plaintiff was entitled to receive at least the amount of the ER bills. However, he argued that the Plaintiff had returned to her pre-accident condition within a month to 6 weeks of the accident and should only be compensated for that time. The Plaintiff claimed she had never returned to her pre-accident condition and that her condition was still significantly worse. After deliberating for approximately 30 minutes, the jury returned a verdict $2500 more than the amount of the ER bill and which was over $5000 less than the last settlement offer prior to Trial. The Defendant’s insurance carrier was thrilled with the verdict and considered it a victory.

December 2015

In December 2015, David Wells obtained a defense verdict for his client in a case in Jefferson County, Alabama. The Defendant admitted he was responsible for causing the accident and claimed he let his foot off the brake and rolled into the Plaintiff while they were stopped at a red light. Photographs of the vehicles showed no damage. Despite that fact, the Plaintiff claimed she immediately felt pain in her neck, pack and right shoulder and was taken from the accident scene via ambulance to the ER at UAB Hospital. Ultimately the Plaintiff underwent 3 surgeries on her right shoulder and was approved for Social Security disability benefits. The retail medicals bills were in excess of $55,000. Since the Defendant only had liability limits of $25,000 his insurance carrier reached a compromise settlement with the Plaintiff for $21,500. The underinsured motorist carrier advanced that settlement and forced the case to Trial. At Trial the Defendant admitted responsibility for the accident but disputed that the accident had caused any injury to the Plaintiff. The jury agreed and returned a verdict for the Defendant.

October 2015

In October 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court entered an Order and lengthy opinion confirming the Trial Court’s granting of a partial motion for judgment as a matter of law and the denial of a motion for new trial as well as the jury’s verdict regarding a case tried by Phillip Luke and David Wells in October 2014 in Madison County, Alabama. The case was a professional liability case arising out of the appraisal of undeveloped real estate in Jackson County, Alabama. Phillip and David represented the appraisal company as well as the individual appraisers who had appraised the property for a bank as part of a foreclosure proceeding. The Plaintiff claimed the appraisal was too low and sued after the foreclosure proceedings had concluded. At the close of the Plaintiff’s case, the Trial Court granted the Defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on the Plaintiff’s negligence claim due to a lack of expert testimony but let the Plaintiff’s wantonness and conspiracy claims go to the jury. The jury returned a verdict for the Defendants. In its opinion, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld both results. Phillip Luke wrote the appellate briefs for the Firm.

October 2015

In October 2015, David Wells obtained a defense verdict for his client in a case in Baldwin County, Alabama. The facts of the case were that David’s client was on his way to Gulf Shores, Alabama on a family vacation and had become lost. The testimony was that the Defendant was stopped at a green light and was attempting to turn left but was waiting for on-coming traffic. The Plaintiff was traveling behind the Defendant and came to a complete stop at which time she was rear-ended by co-Defendant who was driving a box truck for Coca-Cola. The Plaintiff filed suit against both drivers and Coca-Cola on the basis that the Defendants combined and concurred to cause the accident. The Plaintiff alleged that as a result of the accident she was caused to suffer from excruciating and debilitating migraine headaches. The Defendants disputed the Plaintiff’s injury claims and argued that the migraines were pre-existing. After deliberating for less than 10 minutes, jury returned a verdict for the Defendants.

June 2015

David Wells obtained a defense verdict in an unusual and interesting case in Blount County, Alabama. The Defendant owned an Arabian Stallion which had a propensity for escaping from the Defendant’s property to visit the Plaintiff’s property and their Mustang mare. In July 2009, the Plaintiff’s claim that the Defendant’s stallion came onto their property and attacked their mare in an attempt to mate with her. The Plaintiffs attempted to remove their mare from their pasture at which time they claim the stallion trampled the female Plaintiff causing her bodily injuries. The Plaintiffs also claimed that in June 2010 the Stallion came back to the property to mate with their horse and damaged some fencing and a gate. The Plaintiffs sued the Defendant for negligence, wantonness and trespass. After a 2 day jury Trial, a Blount County jury returned a verdict for the Defendant.

May 2015

In May 2015, Peter Bolvig obtained Summary Judgment in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Birmingham Division, in a case involving an alleged sexual assault in a medical services context. The Plaintiff had a medically related appointment with our client. She was late for her appointment, and our client’s physician left for the day. However, a therapist, who had access to the same office space utilized by our client, remained. When the Plaintiff showed up, the therapist persuaded her to consent to massage therapy, during which he allegedly sexually assaulted the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff contended that our client was vicariously responsible for the acts of the therapist. The Court concluded, as a matter of law, that there was no legal relationship between the therapist and our client and alternatively that the criminal conduct of the therapist severed the chain of proximate causation and that there was no evidence suggesting that our client knew or should have known that the therapist would commit such an act. The case currently remains pending in the trial court against the owner of the facility, whose Motion for Summary Judgment was denied, and against the therapist. The therapist has plead guilty to criminal charges.

April 2015 Trial

David Wells obtained a defense verdict in a motor vehicle versus pedestrian case that was tried before Judge Alan Mann in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Alabama the week of April 20th. Factually the defendant struck the plaintiff with his car in a parking lot after an altercation at a party. There was conflicting testimony about what occurred with respect to the altercation as well as how the incident actually occurred. The plaintiff suffered a fractured skull with a subdural hematoma as well as various other injuries. The plaintiff claimed that as a result of his injuries he had significant cognitive defects and was totally disabled. The plaintiff’s medical bills exceeded $60,000 and were unpaid and owed at the time of Trial. At the close of the plaintiff’s case, his attorneys dismissed their negligence claim against the defendant driver and the negligent entrustment claim against the vehicle owner and submitted their case on a wantonness count only. Plaintiff’s counsel asked for compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $7,000,000 during closing arguments After deliberating for approximately an hour and a half the jury returned a verdict for the defendant.