Case Results – 2009

Case Results – 2009

Anonymous v. Anonymous

Settlement of $9,000,000.00 (Cullman County Circuit Court). An RV was traveling on I-65 towing a pick-up truck. The pick-up truck separated from the RV, traveled off the road and hit a truck parked off the road which then impacted an innocent bystander who was standing off the road. This impact resulted in the amputation of both of the bystander’s legs.

Stewart v. Ceres environmental services, inc., et al.

Settlement of $5,000,000.00 (Mobile County Circuit Court). An additional settlement of $5,000,000 was reached in a case where the defendant driver ran a red light and hit the vehicle driven by plaintiffs rendering one passenger, a three year old, a quadriplegic and resulting in severe brain damage to her mother causing retrograde amnesia such that she cannot remember her life before the accident. The driver was working on a debris removal project in New Orleans at the time of the accident and was on his way back to the job site from attending a court appearance in Bay Minette on a cocaine charge. This amount is in addition to a settlement that was previously reached with a number of the original defendants for $5,000,000, bringing the total settlement in this case to $10,000,000.

Anonymous v. Anonymous Trucking Company, et al.

Settlement of $4,500,000.00 (Federal Court). The victims in this case were driving southbound on the interstate when a tractor trailer driven by the defendant collided with their vehicle resulting in their deaths.


Settlement of $1,980,000.00 (Jefferson County Circuit Court). A personal injury case in Jefferson County against confidential defendants was settled for $1,980,000. The plaintiffs were taking a trip on their motorcycle to celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary when the defendants’ van attempted to make a left-hand turn and failed to yield to the plaintiffs, colliding with the left side of their motorcycle. At the time, the van was being used by a group of independent vacuum cleaner salespeople. The plaintiffs suffered multiple catastrophic injuries as a result of the wreck, including the amputation of one of the plaintiff’s legs above the knee. The defendant driver did not have proof of insurance in the van at the time of the incident and was driving with a suspended license, in addition to having an extensive criminal background which was in violation of the defendant corporations’ policies.


Judgment of $1,250,00.00 (Etowah County Circuit Court). An Etowah County Circuit Court jury awarded a 28 year old Boaz man a $1.25 million judgment in an unintended gun discharge case. Lead counsel for the Plaintiff was Todd Wheeles of Morris, Haynes, Hornsby, Wheeles & Knowles in Birmingham. The jury took only about 3 hours to return a judgment of $1.25 million, $500,000 was for compensatory damages and $750,000 was for punitive damages. The lawsuit involved the unintended discharge of a PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun. The 28 year old Boaz man was leaving home for work when the handgun unintentionally fell to the floor in his garage. The Taurus 9mm was in a holster with the safety in the “on” position when it struck the ground and discharged, severely injuring the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff’s contention was that the safety mechanism on the PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun failed to prevent a “drop fire.” An internal safety device known as a striker block safety was defective and failed to prevent the striker (firing pin) from impacting the bullet and causing the gun to discharge, when subjected to a sharp impact such as a drop. The jury found that this defect in the PT111 9mm Millennium Taurus handgun caused the Plaintiff’s injuries.

Anonymous v. Anonymous

Settlement of $1,120,000.00 (Chambers County Circuit Court). The case stemmed from a fatal traffic collision which occurred in Chambers County, Alabama. The driver of a vehicle owned by an automotive dealership apparently fell asleep at the wheel while traveling along I-85. The vehicle crossed the median and collided head-on into the plaintiff’s vehicle.

Anonymous Estate Case

Settlement of $1,058,000 (Randolph County Circuit Court). This firm represented an anonymous couple who were neighbors and long time friends of the deceased, and who were bequeathed the majority of her estate, as well as gifts prior to her death. Relative A and other relatives of the deceased contested the Last Will and Testament which left the majority of her estate to the anonymous couple based on undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. We were able to prove that the Will in question was carefully prepared according to the deceased instructions, without undue influence by the anonymous couple and that the deceased had the mental capacity to decide how to arrange her affairs.

Est. of Michael Ross v. J & N Construction, Inc., et al.

Settlement of $1,000,000.00 (Jefferson County Circuit Court). The lawsuit stemmed from an automobile wreck that occurred when a dump truck crossed into oncoming traffic and struck the vehicle containing Mr. Ross, his daughter and his girlfriend, causing it to spin out of control. As a result of this incident, Mr. Ross was killed and his daughter suffered various injuries and emotional distress.

Est. of Dorothy Hodge v. MHF Logistical Solutions

Settlement of $1,000,000.00 (Tallapoosa County Circuit Court). The case arose from a collision at the intersection of Highway 280 and Lafayette Street in Dadeville. On October 8, 2008, a tractor trailer operated by Thomas Lee Stephens of Jacksonville, Florida ran the red light on 280 as Dorothy Hodge attempted to cross 280 along Lafayette Street. As a result of this collision, Dorothy Hodge lost her life. Attorneys for Stephens and MHF repeatedly denied liability, claiming Mrs. Hodge was the one who ran the traffic light and that she was at fault. However, the existence of video evidence that demonstrated that Hodge had the green light and Stephens had indeed run through his red light was uncovered.

Linda Real, as personal representative of the Estate of Michael D. Real v. Cole Logging, et al.

Settlement of $775,000 (Wilcox County Circuit Court). The firm represented Linda Real, widow of Michael Real in this wrongful death case. Mr. Real was operating his motorcycle stopped at an intersection waiting to make a left turn from Highway 41 onto Dallas County Road 38 when he was struck from behind by the logging tractor trailer operated by Carl Clancy and owned by Cole Logging. A witness testified that Mr. Real had more than ample time to complete his turn but discovery proved that Mr. Clancy was traveling above the speed limit, failed to keep the tractor trailer under sufficient control and had faulty brakes on the trailer. Recovery was obtained against Cole Logging and the driver Carl Clancy.

Anonymous v. Landscaping Company, et al.

Settlement of $750,000.00 (United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, Eastern Division). The plaintiffs’ vehicle was attempting to make a turn when the defendants’ vehicle failed to stop at a red light and collided with their vehicle resulting in the death of one plaintiff and the serious personal injury of the other.


Settlement of $750,000.00 (North Carolina). A settlement of $750,000 was reached in a case involving a serious automobile accident in North Carolina. Morris, Haynes, Hornsby, Wheeles & Knowles attorney Jeremy Knowles represented the client in this case against the at-fault driver involved in the wreck, Stanley Arnold. Mr. Arnold ran through a stop sign and failed to yield to the client’s vehicle causing a near-deadly collision. As a result of the accident, the client was seriously and permanently injured and disfigured. In the months and years following the wreck, she has endured multiple surgeries, hours of rehabilitation and vast pain and suffering. The settlement was reached with Mr. Arnold’s insurance company without the need to file a lawsuit.

Jerry Lee Holt, et alv. Anonymous Defendant, the City of Huntsville and Madison County.

Settlement of $750,000 (Madison County Circuit Court). Mr. Jerry Lee Holt was seriously injured in a vehicular accident when the Ford Explorer he was operating was hit by a utility truck driven by Darius Jones, a City of Huntsville employee. Mr. Jones had driven his bucket-truck partially off of the road, encountered a steep drop-off between the asphalt and the shoulder of the road, lost control of his truck and then shot over into the opposing lane of traffic, hitting Mr. Holt and his passenger. The Defendant had recently repaved that particular section of road, leaving a drop-off between the shoulder and the edge of the road. Madison County had overseen the work performed by the Defendant and authorized the Defendant to leave the job without repairing the shoulders or placing warning signs or cones. Recovery was obtained against Madison County, Shelby, the City of Huntsville and Jones.

Gowens v. Gadsden regional medical center, et al.

Settlement of $550,000.00 (Etowah County Circuit Court). A settlement of $550,000 was reached in a wrongful death lawsuit against Gadsden Regional Medical Center, et al. On May 30, 2008, the Etowah County Sheriff Department received a call from the plaintiff concerning the fact that he was seriously considering and contemplating suicide. Upon arrival at the plaintiff’s residence, it was observed that he was on the roof of his home verbally threatening to jump onto the power lines. After he was persuaded to come down off the roof, the officers decided it was necessary to commit the plaintiff to the psychiatric ward at Gadsden Regional Medical Center. The following day, the plaintiff woke up in a psychiatric room at Gadsden Regional Medical Center and requested to take shower. At that point, an employee of the hospital gave him various towels and scrub pants with a draw string. While unsupervised in the bathroom, the plaintiff took the pants/scrubs and/or draw string that were given to him by the employee, wrapped it around his neck, connected it to the handicap rail near the shower and hung himself. Even after he was found, the employees stood around for several minutes watching him before they began to attempt to resuscitate him. The plaintiff was then taken to the ICU where he later died.

Anonymous v. Anonymous Automobile Manufacturer

Confidential settlement. A wrongful death, crashworthiness case against an automobile manufacturer.