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Rare Defense Verdict in Hampton County, South Carolina

January 14, 2009

On January 14, 2009 Gary Lovell and Andrew Countryman obtained a rare defense verdict in the trial of a motor vehicle accident case in Hampton County, South Carolina. In the case, the Defendant driver “rear-ended” the Plaintiff while operating an employer owned vehicle. Plaintiff was turning right into a narrow private driveway at the time of the collision. Defense counsel argued that the Plaintiff did not give sufficient warning to oncoming traffic of her intent to stop or slow considerably during her turn, resulting in her unexpectedly blocking most of the travel lane.

Plaintiff claimed significant injuries and ongoing medical treatment, including permanent spinal injuries, aggravation of pre-existing bi-polar disorder, with permanent disability and inability to work as a nurse. Plaintiff’s vocational expert Dr. Vanderkolk and her economist Dr. Oliver Wood estimated Plaintiff’s past and future special damages in excess of $759,000, plus pain and suffering. After an hour of deliberation, the jury returned a special verdict finding the Plaintiff 70 percent at fault for the accident and the Defendant 30 percent. Under South Carolina’s comparative negligence laws, that verdict resulted in a Judgment for the Defendants. Judge Wellmaker of Pickens County presided over the trial in Hampton County. This is one of the few reported Defense verdicts in Hampton County.

The case has been resolved in post-judgment negotiations.

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For informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in future cases.