$2,751,941 verdict for 44 year old motorcycle rider who was injured when the defendant’s car struck him in his lane of travel and who suffered leg amputation. In addition, for his wife, in Madison County, Kentucky, February 2007, awarded $726,000 for future impairment; $1,500,000 for pain and suffering; $500,000 for loss of spousal consortium.
$2,100,000 settlement in a products liability case from a manufacturer who made a dangerous and defective scissor lift that resulted in a severe injury to the operator and loss of consortium to his wife.
$2,017,313 settlement of wrongful death claim for 33-year-old driver who was killed when a dump truck slammed into his vehicle which was stopped in construction traffic on Interstate 75.
$2,000,000 settlement from college for 20-year-old victim of lightning strike at soccer practice who suffered from traumatic brain injury, autonomic nervous system injury, and post traumatic stress disorder.
$1,550,000 settlement of wrongful death claim for 42 year old motorcycle rider who was killed when an emergency vehicle turned in front of him at intersection.
Significant Appellate Court Decisions
Transportation Cabinet v Babbitt, 172 S.W. 3d 786 (Ky. 2005)
This Kentucky Supreme Court opinion strengthened the protection afforded the motoring public by holding that that:
While the state’s failure to comply with design guidelines is not negligence per se, it is sufficient to permit finding of negligence by finder of fact.
Failure to provide warnings or provide guardrails in a particular location may constitute negligence by the state although the state is not automatically liable every time a motorist drives off roadway and strikes roadside hazard.
Negligent failure to provide guardrails is not superseded by driver’s negligence in driving off the traveled portion of the highway.
Lewis LP Gas, Inc. V Lambert, 113 S.W. 3d 171 (Ky. 2003)
The Kentucky Supreme Court upheld:
The principle that a court is without jurisdiction to enter an order binding a non-party or to subject a non-party to a restraining order.
A business entity owned and controlled by party to litigation is not subject to trial court’s restraining order absent imposition of alter ego doctrine, which is inapplicable where family business established as separate business from its owner and no fraud involved.
A business entity had interest in subject matter and therefore had standing to institute mandamus proceedings, and since LLC and minority owner not parties to dissolution action they have no remedy by appeal and entitled to writ of prohibition.
Great American Insurance Companies v Witt, 964 S.W. 2d 428 (Ky App 1998)
Until overruled by the Supreme Court in AIK Select Self Insurance Fund v Bush, 74 SW3d 251 (Ky 2002), established that a worker’s compensation carrier was not entitled to subrogation from an injured employee’s tort action recovery until the employee has been “made whole.”
Motorists Mutual Insurance Co v RSJ, Inc., 926 S.W. 2d 679 (1996)
In an insurance policy construction case the Kentucky Court of Appeals determined that:
The pollution exclusion in a CGL policy was ambiguous as applied to the unexpected leak of carbon monoxide from a boiler vent pipe in a dry cleaning establishment, and so did not exclude coverage for loss due to a third party claim resulting from such leak.
The pollution exclusion in CGL policies is intended to exclude knowing polluters, not pollution occurring when equipment breaks down.
Hamilton v Allstate Insurance Co, 789 S.W. 2d 751 (Ky 1990)
J.T. Gilbert wrote the amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys (now Kentucky Justice Association) in this case where the Kentucky Supreme Court authorized “stacking” of separate underinsured motorist coverages to provide additional insurance coverage for victims of motor vehicle accidents.
The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur that one in “control of the series of events” leading to injury which does not ordinarily occur in the absence of negligence is presumed to be negligent and must overcome such presumption and failure to do so results in finding of causation as a matter of law.
Failure to follow rule of proprietor requiring person loading petroleum tank to stand by the meter, when loading tube comes out and causes fire, is negligence as a matter of law.
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