$2,345,940.17 verdict sets new high in Gordon County, GA


Fri., 3/9/07, Calhoun, GA. 

In a scene reminiscent of the 1982 Paul Newman movie, "The Verdict," the jury after three hours of deliberation Thursday afternoon sent a note to the judge asking if they were limited by the amount the plaintiff asked for.   In closing argument I had asked for a verdict of approximately $1.2 million for our client’s permanently disabling leg injury.  When we got that question from the jury, my first thought was that I don’t drink anywhere near enough to fit the Paul Newman role in the movie.

Today we won a $2,345,940.17 jury verdict against a Pennsylvania trucking company in the Superior Court of Gordon County, Calhoun, Georgia.  The verdict was broken down as follows: compensatory damages:  $1,742,845.70, attorney fees due to bad faith in the transaction, $580,948.57, expenses  of litigation $ 22,145.90.  Medical expenses were $112,228.  The highest offer from defendant’s insurance company before trial was $125,000, going up to $400,000 on third day of trial. This was nearly three times the highest previous verdict in the history of Gordon County.

The specificity of the figures, down to the penny, helps to refute any allegation that it was a random verdict by a "runaway jury."  These jurors were all deeply conservative northwest Georgia folks who were determined to follow the law and the facts wherever they led, and to do the right thing.

It was a very good week.

Johnson v. Clarendon National Insurance Company, American Trans-Freight, LLC, ATF Trucking, LLC, ATF Logistics, LLC, and Robert W. Carnley
, CIVIL ACTION FILE NO. 04-CV-43532

The Shigley Law Firm  represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.

  • mike money

    ken,
    congratulations. i don’t have the trial skills or wisdom – but i can help you with the drinking part. you rock, man! – still grateful for your help with our case – peace out – mike money

  • Hugh Wood

    Congratulations, Ken. You are the man! Most of my personal cases are now defending title insurance companies (oh. is that the dark side?) and prosecuting real estate fraud (lot out there now). I defer the trucking accident cases to pros like you. Congrats. Don’t spend it all in one place. Yours, Hugh Wood

  • http://www.wrongful-death-network.com J. whitfield larrabee

    Ken. I see the jury awarded 1/3 the compensatory damages as an attorney’s fee. A wise decision. You have done a service not only to your client and yourself, but to other accident victims and to the cause of justice! Congratulations.
    My Best, Whit Larrabee

  • Joe Gable

    Congratulations Ken! It couldn’t have happened to a better person. I always have enjoyed getting to catch up with you at CLE seminars and enjoy reading your e-mails.
    Your former neighbor and fellow attorney,
    Joe Gable

  • Cricket

    Outstanding and huzzahs all around.