MICHAEL GRUMAN defended a Major Retailer. Gruman achieved a favorable settlement on behalf of a major retailer against a claim of personal injury that allegedly occurred on the retailer’s property.
MICHAEL GRUMAN defended a Restaurant Operation. Gruman achieved a favorable settlement on behalf of a restaurant against a claim of personal injury.
MICHAEL GRUMAN obtained a defense verdict. Gruman represented a manufacturer in a small claims case seeking compensation for a perceived product liability issue concerning a personal-care items. The court decided in favor of Gruman’s client and no award was given to the plaintiff.
JOHN T. HONEYCUTT obtained a defense verdict in an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Selection/Rejection form case. Plaintiff contended that her father had never been given the opportunity to select or reject underinsured motorist coverage under his auto policy, which afforded UIM coverage to plaintiff. Relying on Nationwide v. Williams, Plaintiff argued that the UIM insurer owed $1,000,000.00 in UIM coverage her father. Although there was no selection/rejection form with the subject policy’s number on it; defense counsel was able to show that the policy in effect on the date of the accident was a transfer policy for a prior policy for which the carrier did have a selection/rejection form. As a result, plaintiff recovered no additional underinsured motorist coverage.
JOHN MINIER defended at trial an alleged failure by a radiologist to diagnose a spine fracture on CT Scan in the emergency Room, where the patient, after discharge, developed paraplegia. The jury found negligence, but awarded only $4,500.00, accepting defendant’s argument that the plaintiff’s paralysis was inevitable in light of her original spinal cord injury.
ROD PETTEY obtained a favorable three-panel arbitration award in which he was representing a UIM carrier with coverage limits of $1,000,000. The minor plaintiff was claiming a brain injury and hearing loss as a result of a serious car accident. The minor plaintiff incurred over $165,000 in medical bills, had home schooled for two years and was contending that she had permanent deficits which would hinder her ability to live alone. The UIM carrier admitted liability and that the hearing loss was a result of the accident. However, the defense disputed whether the minor plaintiff had a brain injury and contended that she had a psychological condition. Several teachers, family members and the treating neuropsychiatrist testified on plaintiff’s behalf at the arbitration. Mr. Pettey presented his evidence, including video testimony from defense medical experts, through a power point presentation. The plaintiff asked the panel to return an award in excess of the $1,000,000 coverage limits, but the panel returned an award of $400,000.00, which was less than the amount previously advanced by the UIM carrier.
DAN MCLAMB and JASON NEWTON obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a university faculty physician and a resident physician in a wrongful death medical malpractice case. The plaintiff alleged mismanagement of morphine and inappropriate monitoring caused the sudden death of a 28-year-old male who had been admitted in sickle cell crisis. The patient had been admitted to the same hospital six months earlier and during that admission had to have Narcan administered after too much morphine caused respiratory depression. The plaintiff’s pathology expert, who was former president of the North Carolina Pathology Society and was (at the time he gave testimony) President of the North Carolina Medical Board, testified that the patient died of a morphine overdose. The beneficiaries of the estate were the patient’s wife and his two young children who were twins. This was the second trial of this case. In 2006, the trial began but the plaintiff dismissed the case after the conclusion of the plaintiff’s evidence. After a two week trial in 2009, the jury returned a defense verdict after less than one hour of deliberations.
JENNIE MALDONADO won a summary judgment in a construction defect case where the owner and general contractor were seeking to recover in excess of $350,000.00 in damages from an architect and subcontractor. Ms. Maldonado argued that the claims against the subcontractor were barred because the owner failed to file suit within three years of becoming aware of the alleged defect. Plaintiff’s argued that the delay in filing was due to the subcontractor’s representations that the alleged defect had been remedied. The trial court disagreed and dismissed all of the claims asserted against the subcontractor.
ROD PETTEY and BRIAN WILLIAMS obtained summary judgment on behalf of a general contractor against a subcontractor’s insurer. The general contractor claimed coverage as additional insured and the subcontractor’s insurer filed a declaratory judgment action claiming coverage was excluded. After oral argument, the trial court found that the exclusion did not apply and granted summary judgment in favor of the general contractor.
RYAN SHUIRMAN and SUSAN FOUNTAIN obtained dismissal of a federal suit against a family medicine practice in which plaintiff alleged a HIPAA violation for the disclosure of protected health information. The Federal District Court dismissed the suit prior to the filing of responsive pleadings which alleviated the need for costly discovery or motions practice.
MICHAEL GRUMAN tried a case in Wake County Superior Court in which Plaintiff claimed that she developed an acute colitis/ulcer condition after taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories prescribed to her by an Emergency Room physician on the day of a car accident caused by the defendant. Liability was admitted, and the case was tried solely on damages. Plaintiff’s medical bills totaled approximately $34,000.00; of that amount, approximately $27,000.00 was related to treatment for her colitis. Mr. Gruman argued that plaintiff should have known that she was intolerant to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and as a result, could not recover medical bills for that treatment. Mr. Gruman asked the jury to award $9,750.00, and the jury returned a verdict of $10,000.00. Mr. Gruman had filed an Offer of Judgment in the amount of $10,001.00 almost two years before trial.
JASON NEWTON and ROD PETTEY defended a home manufacturing and construction company in a two week trial in which plaintiff alleged breach of contract, breach of warranty, fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices and punitive damages. The defendant essentially admitted liability. The jury’s award of approximately $441,000.00 marginally exceeded the defendant’s best offer of $410,000.00 and was less than half of plaintiff’s previous inflexible demand of $950,000.00 for compensatory damages. In the minutes before the jury came back, plaintiff reduced his demand to $600,000.00 as to all claims. This was to be a two phase trial, with fraud, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and punitive damages claims to be tried in the second phase; however, the trial court granted the defense’s motions for summary judgment on these exemplary damage claims after the jury was sent to deliberate in the first phase.
SEAN PARTRICK and BRIAN WILLIAMS obtained a jury verdict in excess of $500,000.00 on behalf of a restaurant owner in a case involving a building construction project where a new building addition collapsed during construction. The building contractor’s highest offer to the restaurant owner prior to trial was less than $100,000.00 as liability and damages were contested. The firm hired an engineer to recreate the construction and the subsequent collapse and to generate a computer model showing the collapse. After a jury verdict was entered against the general contractor, the court granted summary judgment against the framer/roof truss erector arising out of the same collapse.
SUSAN FOUNTAIN successfully defended a motion to compel a physician client living abroad from being forced to appear in the U.S. to provide deposition testimony. As a result of the physician being able to testify instead within her current country of residence, the client has been spared extensive inconvenience and expense in a pending superior court medical malpractice action.
ROD PETTEY successfully represented a tile subcontractor in a slip and fall incident that occurred at a major retail store undergoing renovations. The elderly plaintiff alleged she fell over missing tile and severely injured her shoulder requiring surgery. The owner of the store settled the morning of trial and the plaintiff proceeded against the tile contractor and the general contractor. After Mr Pettey’s arguments during pre-trial motions, the trial judge struck a majority of the plaintiff’s witnesses and her main theory of liability. As a result, the plaintiff dismissed the tile subcontractor from the suit.
DAN MCLAMB and RYAN SHUIRMAN obtained a defense verdict in February 2009 in a medical malpractice trial alleging negligence by a neurosurgeon in the removal of a large intracranial tumor and subsequent functional blindness in the patient. The plaintiff, a software engineer in his mid-30s and father of two, alleged special damages in excess of $3,000,000.00.
ROD PETTEY and BRIAN WILLIAMS obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a trucking company in a case involving a three-vehicle accident. Damages were disputed, and plaintiff’s counsel retained an orthopedist to testify that plaintiff required expensive back surgery as a result of the accident. The jury found that the plaintiff’s expert’s testimony was not credible and returned a verdict of $25,000.00, which was what Mr. Pettey had suggested to the jury during closing argument.
JENNIE MALDONADO obtained summary judgment in an action instituted by an employee seeking in excess of $3,000,000.00 after he suffered an amputation of three fingers while working at a plant on a dye casting machine. Ms. Maldonado argued that a special employment relationship existed between the injured employee, the plant and the plant’s employees named in the suit. As such, the exclusivity provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act barred plaintiff’s claims against the plant. The trial court agreed and dismissed all of the claims asserted by plaintiff against the plant and its employees.
ROD PETTEY obtained a defense verdict in an automobile liability case in which the defendant rear-ended the plaintiff. The plaintiff was a prison guard and claimed a back injury that prevented her from returning to her previous job. Liability was admitted and the case was tried on damages. The plaintiff asked the jury for over $100,000.00. Although there was over $4,000.00 in property damage resulting from the accident, the jury did not find the plaintiff credible and returned a verdict of $1.00.
SEAN PARTRICK and BRIAN WILLIAMS obtained summary judgment on behalf of a property insurer seeking to recover over $900,000.00 expended to repair extensive damage to a condominium project after a fire. The insurer contended that the fire was caused by a diesel generator being used for sandblasting work at the project. Defendants disputed plaintiff’s theory and denied responsibility for the fire, which was so intense that a large overhead load-bearing metal beam was twisted and weakened because of the heat. After oral arguments, the trial court found that there was no material issue of fact and granted summary judgment on the insurer’s behalf.
MICHAEL GRUMAN favorably defended a trial in Harnett County Superior Court in which Plaintiff claimed that a rear-end accident caused neck and back pain, as well as a shoulder injury requiring surgery. Liability was admitted, and the case was tried solely on the issue of damages. Plaintiff’s medical bills totaled approximately $33,000.00; of that amount, $20,000.00 was for the shoulder surgery and recuperative treatment for the surgery. Plaintiff also claimed $7,000.00 in lost wages. Mr. Gruman successfully persuaded the jury that the accident did not cause plaintiff’s shoulder injury. As a result, the jury returned an award of $23,500.00. Plaintiff never demanded less than $50,000 to settle the case before trial.