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Success for Brogdon and Stahl in DeKalb County

Posted on May 23, 2023 in Results

At the end of a two-day trial, WACHP Associate Attorneys John Brogdon and Benjamin Stahl secured a favorable verdict for their client in DeKalb County State Court.  The client admitted fault for a minor collision with minor damage to both vehicles.  Plaintiff alleged that he sustained a knee injury which required surgery.  However, MRI images indicated that the knee injury pre-existed the accident and was degenerative in nature.  Additionally, Plaintiff did not present to any medical provider for six-days after the accident until he called a personal injury lawyer and was referred to a chiropractor.  The jury determined that some injury pre-existed the accident but declined to award plaintiff the full value of his medical bills.  Although plaintiff’s counsel asked for one-dollar short of $100,000, the jury awarded plaintiff $18,500 (less than half of plaintiff’s medical specials and lost wages).

Bulloch County Jury Returns Double Defense Verdict

Posted on May 05, 2023 in Results

Ashley Yagla secured a defense verdict in Bulloch County following a three-day jury trial on May 3, 2023. This was a case of disputed fault with virtually no damage to the plaintiffs’ vehicle. Defendant denied that an impact occurred with the plaintiffs’ vehicle altogether. Plaintiffs alleged neck, shoulder, and back injuries, which resulted in treatment at an emergency room, a chiropractor, and a pain management clinic.  Plaintiffs called several witnesses in their presentation of their case, including a treating physician and physical therapist who related plaintiffs’ injuries and need for treatment to the alleged accident with the defendant. In closing, the plaintiffs asked the jury for awards of $224,000 and $54,000. The jury deliberated for less than one hour and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant. Prior to trial, offers of approximately $9,000 were extended to each of the plaintiffs.

Bell Secures Pre-trial and Trial Wins for Corporate Defendant

Posted on Apr 28, 2023 in Results

Senior Associate Kayla Bell secured a win for an automotive repair company after a two (2) day trial in Houston County. Plaintiff had brought claims under the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act, which would have allowed for treble damages, as well as punitive damages. The Court granted defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on those claims prior to trial. Pre-trial, the Court also ruled in favor of defendant’s Motion for Sanctions, finding plaintiff had destroyed or failed to preserve evidence. At trial, Kayla obtained a directed verdict as to plaintiff’s tort claim, leaving only a breach of contract claim for the jury to consider. After just 20 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of $2,000, which will be offset by enforcement of a statutory Offer of Settlement that leaves plaintiff on the hook for the corporate defendant’s attorney’s fees. 

Carolyn Lee Secures Defense Verdict

Posted on Mar 21, 2023 in Results

After a two (2) day trial, Carolyn Lee received a defense verdict in Hall County. This was an admitted fault case with $53,053.80 in medical specials and minimal damage. Plaintiff alleged soft tissue neck and back injuries that required injection procedures. Carolyn was able to impeach plaintiff about a prior accident where he hit a median wall and was taken by EMS and treated with a chiropractor. Plaintiff’s counsel mentioned this impeachment in opening statements to attempt to lessen the blow, however, Carolyn did a great job showing the jury that plaintiff recalled other injuries such as a middle school injury and not this accident.  At trial, plaintiff also testified that he never missed work as a result of the accident, but plaintiff’s sister testified that he missed months of work. The defense retained a billing expert to review the orthopedic bills since they accounted for $44,000 of plaintiff’s specials. The expert testified as to the reasonable and customary rates of the procedures.  Prior to trial, the defense offered $30,000. Plaintiff’s last demand was $50,000.

Brogdon Prevails in Gwinnett

Posted on Mar 16, 2023 in Results

Associate John Brogdon prevailed in a two (2) day jury trial in Gwinnett County.  The personal injury case stemmed from a 2019 admitted fault rear-end accident.  Plaintiffs were a mother and her teenage daughter.  Damage to the vehicles was minimal but plaintiffs sought emergency room treatment later that day.  Thereafter, they treated with the same chiropractors and underwent MRIs and pain management injections.  Plaintiffs presented combined healthcare bills of approximately $35,000, with the defense successfully excluding evidence of plaintiffs’ MRI charges.  The combined pre-suit offers were $12,000 and the jury awarded a combined verdict to plaintiffs of just under $11,000.

Liberty County Jury Returns with Defense Verdict Despite Expert Testimony

Posted on Feb 10, 2023 in Results

On February 8, 2023, after a three (3) day trial,  Jonathan Adelman and Carolyn Lee obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an insured who admitted wrongdoing in causing a collision which pushed plaintiff’s vehicle off the road and into a ditch.  Plaintiff was transported from the scene by ambulance and then began a nearly four (4) year course of treatment involving injections, radiofrequency ablations, and shoulder surgery.  Plaintiff was also recommended for a lumber fusion.  At trial, plaintiff had three (3) medical experts and one (1) functional capacity evaluator provided expert testimony that the accident caused plaintiff’s injuries and that plaintiff was permanently disabled.  Plaintiff also had the investigating officer and plaintiff’s family members testify live at trial.  Through the course of discovery, significant evidence of both prior and subsequent similar claims was discovered.  On cross-exam, plaintiff was successfully impeached more than ten (10) times.  Plaintiff presented evidence of $400,000 in medical expenses, and opposing counsel asked the jury to award $2,000,000 or more.  The insurance company did not accept the pre-trial policy limits demand of $250,000 and offered $100,000.

Lu Prevails on Appeal

Posted on Feb 06, 2023 in Results

Associate Ellen Lu successfully argued to the Georgia Court of Appeals that summary judgment had been properly entered in favor of her client on the issue of negligence.  The case resulted from a 2020 motor vehicle accident.  Ms. Lu’s client had just entered the center turning lane ahead of a busy intersection, where he intended to turn left.  At the same time, plaintiff was attempting to turn left from a private parking lot across two lanes of traffic and the center turning lane that Ms. Lu’s client had just entered.  While traffic had stopped in the two (2) straight lanes to allow plaintiff through, Ms. Lu’s client did not see her vehicle entering the turning lane in time to avoid the collision.  Plaintiff argued that Ms. Lu’s client was speeding and/or improperly entered the center turning lane more than 300 feet ahead of where he intended to turn, in violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-6-126.  The trial court determined that despite having retained an accident reconstructionist, plaintiff presented insufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of negligence.  The Court of Appeals affirmed.  The unreported case is Davis v. Johnson, Appeal No. A22A1625.

Defense Verdict in Rockdale County

Posted on Jan 25, 2023 in Results

Rakhi McNeill and Katherine Rouse secured a defense verdict on January 24, 2023 following a two day trial in Rockdale County.  The case involved an admitted fault rear-end accident with minimal property damage. Plaintiff claimed injuries to his neck, low back, and left shoulder.  Prior to trial, plaintiff claimed $52,000 in medical bills.   The initial treatment focused on neck and back complaints, but ultimately plaintiff was diagnosed with a shoulder tear and recommended for surgery.  Plaintiff did not have any prior shoulder injuries.  Plaintiff’s orthopaedic surgeon related the need for surgery to the accident.  However, on cross-examination, the surgeon conceded that because he had not treated plaintiff in over a year, he could not recommend continuing with surgery without first having exhausted conservative treatment and a repeat MRI.   At trial, plaintiff did not introduce the medical bills and asked for $250,000 in general damages/pain and suffering only.   The jury deliberated for forty-five minutes and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.  In speaking with the jurors after the trial, the jury found that plaintiff’s testimony did not match his treatment records.

WACHP Announces Matt Hurst as a Partner

Posted on Jan 17, 2023 in Announcements

WACHP is pleased to announce that its has name Matt Hurst as a partner.

Yagla Secures Defense Verdict in Gwinnett County

Posted on Jan 17, 2023 in Results

Ashley Yagla secured a defense verdict in Gwinnett County following a two-day jury trial on January 12, 2023. Prior to trial, plaintiff refused to reduce his demand below the $25,000 policy limits. Plaintiff claimed the defendant rear-ended his vehicle, which forced plaintiff to slam into another vehicle. Defendant admitted fault for the underlying accident, which caused significant damage to plaintiff’s and defendant’s vehicles. Plaintiff treated for two months for his alleged neck, back, shoulder, and knee injuries. At trial, the defense succeeded in excluding from evidence plaintiff’s medical records and largest medical bill. Plaintiff was impeached on several occasions regarding prior automobile accidents, prior injuries, and the fact that he was no longer suffering from any physical limitations from this accident. Ms. Yagla successfully argued that despite defendant admitting fault for the accident, plaintiff failed to carry his burden of proving the subject accident caused the injuries complained of. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.