Friends, I have been out of the office for the last week or so trying a case in Cobb County Georgia State Court and successfully won my client a $151,000.00 verdict! I tried the case last week in front of the Honorable Judge Katherine Tanksley and she did an outstanding job as a jurist. (During the trial Governor Purdue named Judge Tanksley to the short list for the opening on the Cobb County Superior Court, which is seen as a promotion from State Court. From what I have seen, she would do a fabulous job in Superior Court).
This was a case against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in which State Farm had only offered a measley $10,000.00 before trial. Long-time State Farm defense attorney Blair Craig represented State Farm. This case involved a rather bad car wreck in which my client was hit on his driver’s side door. He had initial complaints of left side pain, chest pain, neck pain and tailbone pain. All of the pain eventually subsided after physical therapy and medication, except for his neck pain. His neck pain continued and only got worse, until one day he got out of bed and his arms felt heavy and different. His physician then recommended he see an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed a herniated disc in his neck and operated, performing a surgery that is called an ACDF, an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion. In this surgery a titanium plate and four screws were implanted in my client’s neck along with some cadaver bone to fuse those two cervical (neck) vertebrae. After the surgery and six weeks rehab, my client did very well and returned to work full duty.
State Farm defended the case on the argument that the point when my client starts having arm symptoms was a “new” injury for which State Farm was not responsible, even though State Farm really had no evidence or proof of any new event or injury that could possibly explain the onset of these symptoms. Also, your should know that in Georgia, although the case was really against State Farm, Georgia law allowed State Farm to defend in the name of the individual who hit my client in the wreck, and the jury never even got to hear that State Farm, my client’s own carrier because this was an underinsured motorist case, was the one who was really not taking responsibility for the wreck.
But I believe in the jury system, and the jury got this one right. The jury saw through the smoke and mirrors put up by State Farm and rendered a verdict that both spoke the truth and gave my client justice. We really can’t ask for more. Justice for All: It’s a Beautiful Thing.