Yarborough Applegate attorneys William Applegate and Liam Duffy were interviewed for The Great Trials podcast last week, where they spoke about how they, along with attorney Perry Buckner, obtained the largest jury verdict in Colleton County, South Carolina history for the wrongful death of 41-year-old landscaper Jose Larios.
On the morning of November 29, 2015, Jose Larios, an experienced landscaper, was on an extension ladder trimming palm trees in Edisto Island, South Carolina. While performing his work, Larios’ chainsaw struck a palm frond that contacted a 13,800-volt overhead powerline owned by South Carolina Electric & Gas (now known as Dominion Energy SC). The evidence at trial showed that Larios, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, suffered an electrical shock, was stunned, and fell from approximately 25 feet in the air, ultimately dying from his injuries. After a week-long trial, a jury determined that SCE&G/Dominion was negligent in failing to keep its powerline clear from adjacent trees and vegetation, ultimately awarding $21 million to the family of Larios. The award consisted of $10 million for survival damages and $11 million for wrongful death damages.
“We came in highly concerned about the jury,” Applegate says on the podcast. “But in this very conservative jurisdiction, where we were worried about the immigration status of our client, we found that the jury followed the law, and that they were colorblind. And that, to me—as a South Carolinian, and as an American—was a beautiful thing.”
Remarkably, this is the second eight-figure verdict against a power company that Applegate has obtained on behalf of a catastrophically injured undocumented immigrant in a traditionally conservative county.
You can listen to the full podcast episode here.