Law Firm Litigation War Stories
As Told by a Mississippi Personal Injury Lawyer
Every lawyer has war stories that he or she will tell with glee at the drop of a hat, and sometimes when the hat is not even dropped. Very seldom do you hear them tell of their mistakes or the cases that they lost; these are the horror stories. Believe me; every lawyer who has tried more than a dozen cases has them. Below are samples of The Edward A. Williamson Law Firm's "war stories" and a few "horror stories of the judicial kind."
Lawson v. Honeywell International, Inc.
Ongoing litigation in this case is against the designer, Honeywell, of a defective safety belt buckle, which resulted in the belted driver of a Jeep Cherokee, Ms. Lawson, being unrestrained and ejected during a roll-over accident. Ms. Lawson suffered permanent debilitating injures and incurred an enormous amount of medical expenses. We obtained a settlement for our client against the manufacture of the buckle after Chrysler, who made the Jeep Cherokee, went bankrupt. The case against the designer, Honeywell International, Inc., is currently on appeal before the Mississippi Supreme Court and is one of first impression in the State of Mississippi. The issue on appeal is whether the Mississippi Products Liability Act of 1994: (1) imposes liability against the designer, as a co-manufacturer of a product, along with the actual producing manufacturer, and (2) whether the Act preempts the common law of negligent design as a recognized base for civil action.
This appeal has now been won - decision handed down Thursday, October 19, 2011. The Mississippi Supreme Court determined that Ms Lawson's common law claim for negligent design which the Firm asserted for her in her initial complaint in Wayne County, Mississippi is a valid basis for the claim against Honeywell International, Inc. Furthermore, the matter has now been satisfactorily resolved and will not be the subject of retrial. See Current Events.
Taylor v. Delta Regional Medical Center
In June 2010, The Edward A. Williamson Law Firm tried a medical malpractice case on the failure of an Emergency Room physician to accurately diagnose, admit our client, Mr. Taylor, who was experiencing symptoms of a stroke. The permanent harm of partial paralysis, permanent disability and other devastating physical impairments was caused when the Emergency Room physician at Delta Regional Medical Center documented that he was either having an ischemic stroke or vertigo yet dismissed him without closing his diagnosis to rule in or out a stroke. Mr. Taylor was sent home, which was over an hour away, with the symptoms continuously worsening. His family then took him to another hospital, where he was admitted and treated for the stroke. The Plaintiff prevailed in the trial and obtained a $390,000.00 judgment from the Trial Judge. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court result, and on May 2, 2013, the Mississippi Supreme Court handed down its unanimous opinion denying the Defendants appeal. That Petition is pending.
Adams v. University of Mississippi Medical Center
In 2010, after over two years of discovery and litigation, including depositions in New York and Mississippi, our firm successfully fought multiple Motions for Summary Judgment in a case that involved a misplaced shunt into the thalamus of Dr. Adams by a physician at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. This case resulted in a successful mediated award for Dr. and Mrs. Adams.
Ford v. Barker, M.D.
Weeks prior to the beginning of trial of this birth trauma case we rejected the Defendant's maximum offer of $150,000.00, which was then withdrawn prior to trial. In the fourth day of trial, we settled the case for $650,000.00. This birth trauma case involved a brachial plexus injury. Our primary contentions were that the physician failed to utilize the McRobert's maneuver, improperly used pitocin, scheduled a premature labor and delivery for her own convenience, and failed to anticipate or advise to the benefits of a caesarean section. The Edward A. Williamson Law Firm has handled and successfully concluded many such birth cases since that time.
Morrison v. Pontiac Dealership
A $490,000.00 settlement achieved. This case involved a first-time car buyer. The salesman at the Defendant's car dealership told her that the car had an air bag. Nine days after she purchased the vehicle, Ms. Morrison had a head-on collision. There was no air bag. We did not get the case until a year-and-a-half after that. Upon taking the case, we pursued the matter by focusing on her head and upper body injuries since the orthopedic injuries were not caused by the absence of the air bag. The end result was a $490,000.99 settlement after 20 or so depositions.
Robert B. v. ____ Tank & Equipment Company, Inc., et al
In the United States District Court, for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division, in his first major case after having served as Circuit Court Judge of Neshoba, Newton, Leake, and Scott counties, and after litigating the case for over a year, Mr. Williamson won a settlement in excess of $1.5 million on February 11, 1992. The case involved a public service officer who got ammonium hydroxide in his eyes while inspecting a chemical transport tanker truck, causing severe loss of vision and near blindness. The Edward A. Williamson Law Firm sued both the trucking company and the designer of the tank. The theory of this case was that because it was forseeable at the time of the design and manufacture of the tank, that the tank itself would be inspected for safety compliance, it was forseeable that the "spill dam reservoir" on top of the tank would catch the ammonium hydroxide spills when the tank was filled; and that, on occasions, it would rain and force the hydroxide through the overflow pipe from the "spill dam reservoir." Ultimately, upon inspection underneath the tank in the area where the pipe emptied, the hazard of ammonium hydroxide existed. When the extending drain pipe was inspected it became unclogged and gushed into the inspector's eyes.
Peavy v. Illinois Central Gulf Railroad Company, et al
Mr. Peavy suffered second and third degree burns over 40-50% of his body in August of 1980 when the metal drum, which had been supplied to the salvage operation on the railroad yard by the Defendant, exploded, hurling him into the air. The barrel had the words "empty" as "destitute of effect or force." The Plaintiff suffered permanent physical disability, including permanent facial scarring, the inability to close his eyes, permanent tearing, disfigurement, psychological injury, and loss of earning capacity. This case was tried in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Jackson Division, resulting in a $1.6 million verdict of July 3, 1987.
Nowell v. Universal Electric Company
A $1 million jury verdict was achieved in the U.S. District Court in Meridian, Mississippi in 1984 for a widow and child of the wrongful death of a young, soon-to-be father, who was severely burned when a metal barrel on which he was working exploded. The barrel in question had been lost long before representation of the Nowell heirs was undertaken. The identity of the barrel, which exploded and its origin from the Defendant, Universal Electric Company, was proven by circumstantial evidence from the residue on the clothes of the deceased and evidence of the purchase of three drums from the Defendant.
Johnson v. Bank of North Mississippi, et al
TRIED ONCE... $120,000.00 verdict, TRIED TWICE in the Circuit Court of Desoto County, Mississippi... $177,500.00 verdict, SHALL WE GO FOR THREE... The first trial of this case, in November 1978, ended in an verdict of $75,000.00 in actual damages and $45,000.00 in punitive damages. Two years later, we tried the case before another judge and received an even higher verdict of $77,500.00 in actual damages and $100,000.00 in punitive damages. Mr. Johnson had bought a Peterbuilt tractor-trailer based on the bank's advertisement that it had a Cadillac engine with 93,000 actual miles. Not so, the bank knew, because it had financed the assembly of the tractor-trailer from a glider kit using old "moving parts" collected from various truck "grave yards" with up to 500,000 miles use on them and we proved that the bank knew it! Because of the two separate verdicts, this case was, at one time, the 1st and 3rd highest recorded verdicts for DeSoto County. The Bank never offered a penny to settle the case prior to the last verdict, but paid during their appeal.
Mississippi Department of Transportation v. Edward A. Williamson and Brothers
This Eminent Domain case tried before a jury in the Circuit Court of Neshoba County Mississippi on March 2, 2004. The State of Mississippi had offered $26,000.00; the jury awarded $60,000.00. The Mississippi Transportation Commission appealed the final judgment all the way to the Mississippi Supreme Court, which denied their (M.D.O.T.) appeal.
The war stories above are offered merely for the type of cases that The Edward A. Williamson Law Firm undertakes for injured persons. If you would like to hear more of our war stories or to set up a free consultation with a Mississippi injury lawyer, please call us at (800) 530-7714. If you are interested in setting up a consultation with a Mississippi truck accident lawyer, we would be happy to review your case at no charge.