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FMG Trial Successes

FMG brings a well-deserved reputation as a law firm of seasoned trial lawyers capable of successfully representing clients in the courtroom. In a time when many law firms cannot credibly say they have a record of jury trial successes, FMG's court results reflect that they have no hesitation to try cases that cannot be successfully resolved. FMG's successes not only give clients confidence that they can try cases when needed but help our clients achieve favorable resolutions short of trial because plaintiff's lawyers know FMG's abilities in the courtroom.

Paul Bigley and Jason Dineros obtained a defense-driven jury verdict following a six-day trial in Santa Monica on a case taken over from house counsel at the eve of trial arising from a rear-end freeway collision. Liability was admitted, plaintiff underwent an L5-S1 microdiscectomy with retained treating neurosurgeon, Dr. Anthony Virella, who testified that plaintiff would also require a future multi-level lumbar fusion at a "conservative" cost of $900,000. Defendant argued that plaintiff didn't meet his burden of proof in establishing that the accident caused anything more than a short-term aggravation of plaintiff's longstanding lumbar degenerative disc disease, which following a discharge from four months of conservative treatment was the underlying cause of plaintiff's subsequent surgery and ongoing complaints. Plaintiff presented liens totaling $393,033.71, and asked the jury to award $3,148,383.71. The Santa Monica jury returned a verdict for $103,186 - from which defendant's expert costs through trial will be deducted since the jury's verdict was below defendant's pretrial 998 offer of $200,000.

John Goselin and Ze'eva Kushner obtained a jury verdict after a four day trial in a breach of contract declaratory judgment action in federal court in the Middle District of Georgia before the Honorable Judge Clay Land. The Plaintiff contended it was not responsible for contractual obligations to FMG's client, a financial institution, which also filed a counter claim for breach of contract. The jury found for FMG's client on all claims including that the Plaintiff was required to fulfill all of its contractual obligations, amounting to $354,000.

Dana Maine obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial involving claims of nuisance and trespass. Our client, a city located just south of Atlanta, was accused of contributing to flooding on the property of several plaintiffs' homes by negligently maintaining certain structures. The court granted the city's motion to bifurcate the trial between liability and damages and the jury reached a verdict in the city's favor after the first part of the trial.

Dana Maine and Coleen Hosack recently obtained a complete defense verdict in a jury trial in the Superior Court of Gwinnett County. The case involved alleged negligence arising out of storm water flooding of the plaintiff property. The Plaintiff's asked the jury in closing to award $190,000 in damages, but the jury decided in favor of our client on all claims.

FMG partner Phil Savrin and associate Abby Vineyard won a complete defense verdict for Professional Boiler Services, Inc., in a case tried in the Superior Court of Richmond County (Augusta, Ga). The suit was brought by Augusta Select Tissue, LLC, and contended that PBS was negligent in connection with servicing of a gas boiler that exploded a few days later causing substantial property damage and business loss. After hearing the evidence, the jury returned a verdict in favor of FMG's client on all claims. Moreover, because a settlement offer was made early on in the case, FMG's client will be able to recover attorney fees and litigation expenses under Georgia’s version of the federal Rule 68 offer of settlement statute.

FMG partners Dana Maine and Jeff Grate obtained very favorable jury verdict in Fulton Superior Court defending a local government accused of causing the plaintiff's property to flood resulting in "substantial mold growth" and other significant property damage. At the conclusion of a five day trial, Plaintiff's counsel argued the jury should return a verdict of at least $300,000 dollars, contending that the owners deserved significant compensatory damages from living with the mold growth and the diminished value of the property, but the jury returned a verdict for a small fraction of the damages sought in awarding only $17,500.

FMG partner Marc Bardack also had a very successful result in a jury trial last week in the Superior Court of Fulton (Atlanta). FMG's client, the driver of a transportation company, was blamed for negligence in a multi vehicle accident that caused significant personal injuries to one of drivers. At trial, the Plaintiff claimed $228,000 in past medical expenses, $400,000 in past lost wages and over $400,000 in future lost wages. Plaintiff's counsel asked the jury in closing for over $3 million. Despite these injuries and special damages, the jury awarded only $175,000, and under Georgia's apportionment statute, assessed only 5% fault ($8,750) to FMG's client. The jury apportioned 90% fault to another party and 5% fault to the plaintiff.

Sun Choy, Wayne Melnick and Jake Daly obtained a favorable verdict in a premises liability wrongful death case after a 5-day trial in Fulton State Court. Plaintiff sought over $14 million in damages for the shooting death of her husband at the parking lot owned by the client. Plaintiff alleged that the client failed to provide adequate security to prevent a botched robbery that resulted in the death of her husband. Prior to trial, plaintiff demanded the policy limits of $3 million and refused to make a demand below $1 million. In an apportioned verdict, the jury found that the client was responsible for damages under demand sought from plaintiff prior to trial.

Ben Mathis and David Cole obtained a defense verdict in a Title VII sex discrimination case in federal court in the Middle District of Georgia after a 5-day trial. The plaintiff sought over $700,000 in back pay, fees, and compensatory damages. The jury deliberated less than 90 minutes before finding in favor of our client on all claims.

Marc Bardack and Abby Ammons obtained a defense verdict in Cobb State Court in a premises liability case. The plaintiff contended that he had suffered a significant physical injury due to our client's negligence, while our client contended that plaintiff was largely at fault due to his own conduct. After a three-day trial, the jury rejected the plaintiff's request to award $600,000 in damages. Instead, the jury found the plaintiff was 90% at fault and returned a verdict in favor of the defendant.

Phil Savrin obtained a defense verdict in Gwinnett Superior Court in a multi-million dollar suit against the installer of a security system who had not installed a back-up alarm at a commercial warehouse. The jury rejected the theory that the installer negligently breached a duty created by contract and instead found in favor of our client.

Sun Choy won a jury verdict in federal court in Atlanta in a Section 1983 federal civil rights action. The plaintiff alleged that three correctional officers used excessive force and denied him appropriate medical care, but the jury rejected the plaintiff's contentions finding in favor of our client.

Ben Mathis and Mary Anne Ackourey were retained after the close of discovery to try a gender discrimination and retaliation case in federal district court. The claim was the first of three scheduled jury trials by a group of female employees who contended that they were unlawfully fired after participating in a sexual harassment investigation. Demand prior to trial was over $800,000. After a 9-day trial, the jury returned a defense verdict on all counts in favor of our client. The other related cases set for trial soon settled on highly favorable terms to our client.

Ben Mathis and David Cole successfully defended this suit for breach of contract and bad faith termination claim by a former division president of a large, national freight brokerage company. The plaintiff in the 5-day trial sought over 5 million dollars in economic damages alone. Our client received a defense verdict prevailing on all claims.

Phil Savrin and Bill Buechner successfully prevailed in a jury trial on a contractual indemnity claim on behalf of an insurer who had resolved a catastrophic injury case. In addition to awarding the insurer the full amount of its defense and indemnity costs, the jury awarded attorney fees and litigation expenses incurred by the insurer in pursuing the contractual indemnity claim. The case was tried in Houston County Superior Court.

Phil Savrin obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a company that had inspected a propane gas vaporizer the week before it exploded causing significant burn injuries to the plaintiff. In finding for the defense, the jury agreed that the defect that caused the explosion was part of the design that was not reasonably detectable during the inspection. The case was tried in Fayette County Superior Court.