Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr, & Smith
Galloway Johnson Trial Experience : Client Success Stories
 
 
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Trial Experience:  Client Verdicts

It is essential to have legal counsel who are skilled and experienced in both the art and science of trial. A few examples of our clients' recent victories:

Galloway Johnson attorneys successfully arrest several Christensen yachts for failure to pay freight charges. 

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Pensacola Jury returns a complete defense verdict in favor of Galloway Johnson’s Client

Attorneys Mike Grimley and Ben Zimmern from Galloway Johnson’s Pensacola office successfully defended a multi-million dollar paralysis case in Walton County, Florida. The Plaintiff claimed that our client failed to maintain its property causing him to fall and break his neck. The defense was able to establish for the jury that the Plaintiff was familiar with the area, appreciated the potential danger, and knowingly exposed himself to injury. Following a three day jury trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Galloway Johnson’s Client.

Bay County Jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Galloway Johnson’s Client.

Galloway Johnson obtained a defense verdict while defending a restaurant in Panama City, Florida. The Plaintiff claimed that a dropped tray of partially filled glasses caused her to fall and suffer ahip injury. Mike Grimley and Ben Zimmern demonstrated to the jury that the cause of the fall was not a dropped tray, but the Plaintiff’s own negligence. Although Plaintiff had prior hip problems, she sought to recover for multiple post-accident hip surgeries that together with lost wages and future care placed the potential exposure well in excess of a million dollars. The Bay County jury returned a defense verdict after three days of trial.

Galloway Johnson Obtains Defense Verdict in Workers' Compensation Case

Attorney Ben Zimmern from Galloway Johnson’s Pensacola office obtained a defense verdict in Pensacola, Florida where Galloway Johnson’s client was accused of terminating the Plaintiff following Plaintiff’s claim of workers compensation benefits. The defense was able to show that Plaintiff failed to return to work as scheduled and had suffered no damages as a result of the claimed termination. Following three days of trial the jury found that although the Plaintiff suffered an adverse employment action, it was not causally related to Plaintiff’s claim of workers compensation.

Pensacola Jury Returns Successful Verdict for Galloway Johnson's Client.

Galloway Johnson attorneys from the Pensacola office successfully defended a Chinese buffet restaurant in Panama City, Florida in a dispute over the amount of Plaintiff’s injuries. Todd LaDouceur and Ben Zimmern were able to demonstrate that Plaintiff’s claimed knee injuries were embellished and any lingering complaints were consistent with her pre-accident complaints of pain. After successfully impeaching the Plaintiff and her doctors on this issue the jury returned a verdict for less than half of Plaintiff’s requested recovery.

Defense verdict in $70 million Chinese-manufactured Drywall Litigation

Galloway Johnson successfully defended the Louisiana importer and distributor of Chinese-manufactured drywall against claims brought by homeowners.  The bellwether trial was part of the billion dollar Multi-District Litigation pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana involving the tainted building product used throughout the United States Gulf Coast in 2006 and 2007.  The lawsuit directly involved claims against the firm’s client in in excess of $70 million.  Rick Duplantier and Ben Grau, both Directors in the firm's New Orleans office, led the litigation team in the week-long federal jury trial.  The jury returned the unanimous verdict in favor of our client after only one hour of deliberations.

Summary Judgment to Defeat Misplaced Vexatious Refusal

Galloway Johnson prevailed on its Motion for Summary Judgment in Clinton County, IL on behalf of a national title insurer faced with a complaint from an uninsured party.  The real estate transaction closing took place at and was conducted by an agent of the client, but resulted in no actual loss to the plaintiff.  St. Louis Director Scott Mueller prevailed on the argument that neither the title policy nor Illinois tort law provided an avenue for relief or created some kind of “hyper-responsibility” on the part of the client, which merely performed its obligations in a transaction ill-fated for other reasons, including the plaintiffs’ own negligence.

Breach of Contract and Civil Conspiracy Case

Galloway Johnson was privileged to represent a local entrepreneur in a lawsuit against a real estate investor for breach of contract and civil conspiracy to defraud our client of $250,000.00.  The Defendants countered with various claims of fraud, conversion, and tortious interference with a contract.  During the week-long jury trial, Todd M. LaDouceur (Director) of our Pensacola office presented a compelling theme and a creative strategy that produced a verdict of $450,000.00 in damages for our client and no liability on the counterclaim.

Complex Real Estate Transactions Verdict

Our Pensacola office defended experienced developers in a multi-million dollar lawsuit involving a series of complex real estate transactions near Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  After Todd M. LaDouceur (Director) presented a compelling case during the multi-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict with only a few hours of deliberation and awarded our clients $585,000.00 in damages.

Defense Verdict for Galloway Johnson Retailer Client in False Arrest/Excessive Force Case

Galloway Johnson was privileged to defend a national retailer against a claim of false arrest and excessive force in a case pending in Louisiana. Plaintiff, who had shoplifted merchandise from the store, was detained by a loss prevention officer and then arrested by police.  She later filed suit, contending that she was subjected to false arrest and excessive force.  Galloway Johnson director Joe Hassinger tried the case to verdict. After considering the law and evidence, the Court issued Judgment in favor of our client, dismissing the claim and awarding plaintiff nothing.

Galloway Johnson Clients Win Defense Verdict in Maritime Case
Following an allision between a tugboat and a wellhead, Tim Hassinger of Galloway Johnson filed a Limitation Action in federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana to exonerate or limit the liability of the vessel. Claims were filed in the Limitation Action for personal injuries allegedly sustained by two crewmembers, with one of the claims proceeding to verdict following trial. After considering the evidence, the Court granted a defense verdict in favor of the vessel owner and operator, finding that the claimant was not injured during the allision as claimed.

Galloway Johnson Obtains Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Action
In Kendrick v. Northshore Regional Medical Center, et al., St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, the patient died four days after undergoing colon resection surgery to remove a malignant tumor. His wife and children brought a wrongful death action against the surgeon and the patient’s internist, asserting that they both breached the standard of care by failing to prescribe blood thinner and take other adequate precautions to prevent a pulmonary embolism. Joe Hassinger represented the surgeon at trial. After 5 days of trial, the jury found that both physicians met the applicable standard of care and returned a defense verdict.

Galloway Johnson Obtains Zero Verdict in a Contractual Defense and Indemnity Claim
Galloway Johnson obtains favorable results through arbitration. Most recently, David Moragas obtained a defense verdict in a contractual defense and indemnity claim. The plaintiff in the underlying Louisiana tort suit sought to recover for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. One of the defendants in the underlying tort suit filed a demand for arbitration seeking to recover attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defense of the tort suit alleging that signs placed on the property in question obstructed the driver’s view, thus, causing the accident. David argued that the “Eight Corners Doctrine” provided for in Texas law (the contract called for Texas Law to apply) barred the plaintiff’s defense and indemnity claims because such allegations were never plead. They further argued that the placement of the signs was not related to the scope of work as defined by the contract. After submission of the briefs and oral argument, the arbitrator agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s claim for defense and indemnity.

Plaintiff Takes Nothing in Wrongful Termination Case Against Roofing Contractor
Plaintiff filed suit in Louisiana state court, contending that his employer fired him in retaliation for making a worker’s compensation claim. Galloway Johnson took the matter to trial. After trial on the merits, judgment was entered in favor of our client, a roofing contractor, because plaintiff failed to carry his burden of proof. The matter was tried by Galloway Johnson Director Joe Hassinger.

Summary Judgment Granted
The Firm’s client was granted summary judgment in a trip and fall case when the Plaintiff, a professional photographer shooting photographs at a wedding, could not rebut the fact that he had full knowledge of the position of all of the furniture in the wedding tent and then complained that it was placed in a hazardous position after he tripped over a coffee table while shooting pictures. The matter was argued by Galloway Johnson Director Tiger Pharr.

Summary Dismissal Granted
The Firm’s client was granted summary dismissal on a rig liability case that resulted in severe personal injury and several hundred thousand dollars in medical treatment rendered to the Plaintiff. After demonstrating to the Court that the Plaintiff could not prove that the Firm’s client performed any welding on the rig at issue, the Plaintiff was forced to dismiss the Firm’s client. The result was achieved by Attorney Jason Wilson of Galloway Johnson.

Zero Recovery - Jury rejects Plaintiff's Bad Faith Suit Seeking 11 Million for Sunken Boat
The owner of a popular excursion paddleboat, The Spirit of the Rivers, which sank while moored in unremarkable weather brought suit for damages on account of the insurance carrier's declination of coverage under the marine hull policy issued to him. The carrier denied coverage under the express and denied warranties of seaworthiness, as well as other policy exclusions. The owner claimed that the boat sank accidently when a hose that he was using to pump water out of the engine room snaked back in and flooded the passenger compartment. The Plaintiff claimed that the carrier wrongfully denied the claim, sought damages for bad faith and mental anguish, and asked the jury to award $11 million in damages. The jury found that the insurance carrier did not fail to comply with the insurance policy when it failed to pay the claim, rejected Plaintiff's argument, and Plaintiff recovered nothing.

Jones Act Seaman's Occupational Injury Claim Dismissed for Lack of Medical Causation Evidence
Mark R. "Tiger" Pharr, III obtained summary judgment in the United States District Court- Eastern District of Texas in a Jones Act case where Plaintiff sought recovery for an occupational injury due to an alleged exposure to airborne particulates. The Court dismissed Plaintiff's Jones Act and Unseaworthiness claims as a matter of law based on Plaintiff’s inability to meet his medical causation burden. The summary judgment was based on the Court’s granting Galloway Johnson’s clients’ Motions to Exclude the Seaman’s medical testimony under Daubert.

Exhaustive Pretrial Investigation Limits Recovery
Michael Grimley, assisted by Jonathan Minchin, recently led a trial team from our Mobile, Alabama office defending a Jones Act employer in a personal injury case. Mr. Grimley secured a $60,333.90 bench verdict after rejecting a final pre-trial demand of $275,000.00 and convincing the judge to ignore the Plaintiff's request for $420,000.00 at the close of trial. Mr. Grimley stipulated to the Plaintiff's negligence allegation preventing the Plaintiff from describing to the Court the details of his accident aboard our client's shrimping vessel. Facing claims of total disability and expert opinion holding the Plaintiff would never work again, the trial team showed that the Plaintiff was physically capable of working and could earn more working in his current condition than he did before the accident. The team successfully impeached the plaintiff's credibility regarding his earning history, work history, and medical history through his criminal records, prior medical records, and testimony from his ex-wife, arresting officers, and a former co-worker.

Plaintiff Dismisses Brain Injury Case with Prejudice
Mike Grimley and Ben Zimmern represented our client who was a Jones Act employer operating a fleet of tug boats throughout the Gulf region. A tugboat worker employee filed a Jones Act suit against our client for alleged brain, head, neck and back injury. The Plaintiff claimed to have slipped and hit his head while boarding the tug as the result of an unseaworthy condition. The Plaintiff presented a medical opinion that he suffered a brain injury as a result of the accident. Rigorous investigation and an exhaustive deposition of the Plaintiff established multiple holes in Plaintiff's claim regarding both liability and damages. That investigation revealed a prior back injury which the Plaintiff had concealed in his employment application with our client and for which he had sought disability benefits. As a result of the Plaintiff's testimony and information uncovered, Plaintiff subsequently dismissed the case with prejudice.

St. Landry Parish Jury Rejects Plaintiffs’ Inflated Request for Damages
In a stipulated liability case where a loaded tractor-trailer rear-ended a stopped school bus with stop signs and flashers out, an 18-year-old female student and her parents sought over $6 million in damages from the jury.  The jury awarded damages of $1,185,345.  Plaintiffs’ demand at mediation was $2.8 million.

Zero Verdict 
Our client was a Jones Act employer operating a moveable offshore drilling rig. The plaintiff asserted that he had fallen down stairs on the rig, purportedly as the result of oil being on the stairs, severely injuring his back. Our discovery revealed that the plaintiff apparently made his living asserting claims for offshore injuries. We were able to obtain a zero verdict after a trial in Iberville Parish.  Parker v. Sundowner

Federal Court Jury Returns Defense Verdict
This was a claim involving a crane collapse on an off-shore platform. A contractor hand alleged post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the death of a worker who was near the plaintiff at the time of the accident. After extensive surveillance and background checks, including establishing that the psychologists supporting the plaintiff’s story had incomplete historical facts concerning the plaintiff’s prior psychological problems, a zero verdict was returned by a jury in the Federal Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  Randy & Tammy Brunet v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., et al

Platform Owner Wins Unanimous Verdict
Our client is the owner of an offshore gas production platform in Galveston Bay, Texas.  The plaintiffs are two brothers who were seriously injured when their vessel struck an object in the owner's lease approximately 50 to 100 yards from the platform.  They filed suit under general maritime law in federal district court in Houston, Texas, claiming it was a pipeline connected to the platform that they struck. The plaintiffs asked the jury to award them $600,000.00 in damages.  After a three-day trial, however, the jury unanimously concluded that the platform owner did not place, control or maintain the object that the plaintiffs struck and awarded them nothing.

$1.4M Demand Rejected
In this motor vehicle crash, the plaintiff asked the jury to award $1.4 million.  After trial on the merits, however, the jury found not only no liability on the part of our client, but that the accident did not even occur.

$1.8M Construction Defect Claim Denied
Galloway Johnson successfully defended a roofing company against a claim of deficient construction.  After paying roughly $1.8 million to replace its insured's roof that failed during Hurricane Katrina, the insurance company filed suit against our insured, contending that the roof failure was caused by deficient construction.  The plaintiff sought an award of $1.8 million plus attorney's fees and costs.  Following a four-day trial, a three-member Arbitration Panel ruled in favor of our client, awarded the plaintiff nothing, and further ordered the plaintiff to reimburse our client $15,000.00 in costs.

Premises Liability Claim Rejected
In this slip-and-fall case, the judge recommended that the parties settle the case prior to trial.  The judge also indicated that based on the information available to him at the pretrial conference, our insured would likely bear 75% of the fault if the case were actually tried.  We proceed to trial nonetheless and obtained a defense verdict.

Client Not Liable For Criminal Act By Third Party
In this premises liability and assault and battery case, the trial judge granted an involuntary dismissal to our client at the close of the plaintiff's case-in-chief.

Galloway Johnson Clients Conquer Fraud And Civil Conspiracy Claim
The plaintiff sued her attorney for fraud and civil conspiracy, and to quiet title, alleging that her attorney and his wife coerced the plaintiff into signing a quitclaim deed that deprived her of her property.  The plaintiff alleged that her attorney, who was also her brother-in-law, told her that she needed to sign the quitclaim deed to protect the house from her fiancé.  Years later, the plaintiff filed suit against the attorney, seeking title to the property and damages of $384,000.00.  After a four-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in our client's favor.

Baton Rouge Court Returns Defense Verdict In Trucking Case
Two plaintiffs, a driver and a passenger, claimed that our client--an operator of an 18-wheeler--side-swiped them on the highway.  We evaluated the case as one of no liability and brought the matter to trial before a judge in East Baton Rouge Parish.  The judge agreed, finding 100% fault on the part of the plaintiff driver.

Hurricane Katrina Claim Refused
The plaintiff was an employee of a local car dealership's service department.  He filed suit for property damage to his professional tools and car that were left at the dealership and damaged from the flood waters of Hurricane Katrina.  His settlement demand prior to trial was $85,000.00.  The district court granted our client's Motion for Summary Judgment, dismissing the plaintiff's claim for damage to his vehicle.  A trial was held with regard to damage to the plaintiff's professional tools because the court determined that a contract of deposit existed.  The court ultimately ruled in favor of our client, finding that the dealership acted prudently under the circumstances.

Louisiana Worker's Compensation Claim Denied
A workers' compensation claimant sought statutory maximum indemnity benefits, medical benefits, penalties and attorney's fees related to a purported leg and back injury with potential damages totaling approximately $160,000.00.  After hearing two days of trial testimony, the court found the plaintiff's version of events "riddled with inconsistencies," which resulted in a ruling in favor of our client denying entitlement to any benefits, attorney's fees or penalties, and dismissing the claimant's case in its entirety with prejudice.

Commercial Litigation--Contractual Obligation Enforced
Galloway Johnson represented a company that sold over 600 tons of piping.  The company that bought the product, however, refused to pay the full contract price reflected in the bill of sale.  After deliberating for two days, the jury awarded our client damages and attorney's fees of more than five times what our opponent offered in settlement prior to trial.

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