10 Years of Yarborough Applegate: Biggest Trials and Settlements
The year 2020 marks ten years in business here at Yarborough Applegate. Over the last decade, we’ve done a lot — from watching our employees grow both personally and professionally to making a difference in the lives of our clients and local community partners. It has been and always will be a great honor to serve you here in South Carolina, and we can’t thank you enough for ten years of support. To celebrate, we’re spending the second half of 2020 taking a look back at the last ten years, highlighting our favorite milestones each month since Yarborough Applegate’s inception. This month, join us as we revisit some of our biggest trials and settlements.
The Yarborough Applegate team has developed a reputation for actually trying cases—even the most difficult ones—in court. In fact, it’s because we work aggressively on every single case as if it’s going to trial that we’re often able to achieve top-dollar settlements for our clients without the need for a trial.
Over the last decade, nearly every case we’ve taken to a jury trial has resulted in a seven- or eight-figure verdict or settlement.
Paralyzed construction worker: $35.9 million
We won this $35.9-million jury verdict in Maryland for a 27-year-old man who was electrocuted and paralyzed from the neck down while working at an electrical substation. The verdict is believed to be the largest in the history of Montgomery County, Maryland and the largest ever individual verdict on behalf of an undocumented worker.
Wrongful death of landscaper: $21 million
After a week-long trial, a jury awarded $21 million to the family of a 41-year-old landscaper who died after being shocked by a South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) power line while trimming a palm tree in Edisto Island, South Carolina. The jury found the plaintiff 10% at fault, reducing the verdict to $18.9 million. This verdict is believed to be the largest in the history of Colleton County, South Carolina. This case is currently on appeal.
Distracted driver: $3.75 million
We reached a $3.75 million settlement just before closing arguments for a couple who was injured when the driver of a tractor-trailer rear-ended their pickup truck. We successfully proved that the tractor-trailer driver was using his cell phone at the time of the crash, and as part of the settlement, required the trucking company to ban its drivers from using cell phones while driving.
Vehicle injury at power plant: $3 million
Following a week-long trial in the case of Brake vs. McCarter Electrical Company, a jury unanimously decided in favor of plaintiff James Brake, awarding him $3 million for serious injuries he suffered after being struck by a car.
Tree fall due to landowner’s negligence: $1.25 million
A jury reached a $1.25 million verdict in this case in which our client was injured when a visibly dead pine tree fell from the lawn of a tenant-occupied property in Summerville, South Carolina, and struck our client’s truck at a traffic light.
Deadly farm equipment crash: $1 million
Following jury selection, we obtained a $1 million settlement for a woman whose husband was killed when their car collided with a combine harvester being hauled on the back of a flatbed truck in Florence County, South Carolina.
Medical negligence: $850,000
We reached this settlement for our client several days into trial over medical malpractice for failing to diagnose breast cancer.
Property condemnation/inverse condemnation: $550,000
Our client, Rosebud Properties, owned property that was squeezed between two road-widening projects and had received condemnation actions from each. A jury ruled in favor of Rosebud in verdicts totaling almost $550,000 against Charleston County and the town of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.
During the past ten years, we’ve also helped our clients secure numerous top-dollar settlements on the eve of, or prior to going to trial. Here are a just a few examples:
Construction defects: $18.249 million
We recovered $18,249,000 for construction deficiencies involving a downtown Charleston condominium complex with 108 individually owned units. We represented the individual homeowners in a class action and the HOA for the common elements of the building.
Amusement ride injury & Insurance Company Negligence: $9.9 million
We negotiated a $9.9 million settlement for a 44-year-old mother of two who was ejected from a commercial recreational amusement ride and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). There was only $1 Million in insurance coverage for the Defendant but the insurance company mishandled the claim which resulted in substantial extra-contractual exposure for the insurance company.
Insurance bad faith: $8 million
We obtained an $8 million settlement in US District Court from Bankers Standard Insurance Company in a first-party bad faith case brought by one of its policyholders.
Premises liability and traumatic brain injury: $7 million
We reached this pre-suit settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a TBI in a fall at a premise due to faulty construction.
Negligent entrustment: $6.95 million
After a South Carolina school teacher and her 12-year-old son who both suffered severe brain injuries as a result of a car wreck, we secured a $6.95 million settlement with numerous defendants.
Product liability: tire defect: $6.75 million
We obtained this $6.75 million settlement in a product liability lawsuit against an international tire manufacturer for a tire defect that resulted in a single-vehicle crash. Our clients were a husband and wife who suffered permanent injuries in the crash.
Commercial motor vehicle collision: $6.5 million
After our client was injured in a rear-end collision with a commercial motor vehicle, rendering him unable to return to the workforce due to the seriousness of his injuries, our investigation uncovered that the driver should have been prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle. We obtained this $6.5 million settlement for our client just before trial.
Sod trailer accident: $6.05 million
We secured a $6.05 million settlement for a 68-year-old man who suffered a severe brain injury in 2014 after a pallet of grass sod fell off a trailer and caused a multi-car crash.
Apartment complex pool drowning: $6 million
Following the tragic drowning death of a three-year-old child in the pool of a Hanahan, South Carolina, apartment complex, our attorneys reached a $6 million settlement for the child’s family.
Auto-manufacturer product liability: $5 million
We settled this case against a major auto-manufacturer for a defective component that resulted in the death of our client’s daughter.
Injured construction worker: $4.25 million
Our attorneys secured a $4.25 million settlement for a construction worker who was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and several spinal injuries after being struck with a 300-pound water source heat pump on a downtown Charleston jobsite.
High-speed collision victim: $4 million
We reached a $4 million settlement for a woman who was hospitalized for five months with severe injuries she incurred from a high speed collision in York County, South Carolina.
Road paving crew member struck by drunk driver: $3.75 million
Our client worked on a nighttime road paving crew and suffered multiple injuries when he was struck by a drunk driver, who testified he had been served 10 liquor drinks over a four-hour period at an upscale chain restaurant. We secured a $3.75 million settlement for our client.
Construction site negligence: $3.1 million
We reached this $3.1 million settlement for our client, a construction worker, who was hit by a falling roofing truss that left him with a brain injury.
Bad faith insurance: $3 million
Our client, a high school sophomore, was seriously injured following an attack at school by another student. We filed a lawsuit against the attacker for negligently causing our client’s injuries. The insurance company for the defendant was negligent in handling the claim and caused a default judgment to be entered. We obtained an assignment from the Defendant insured and filed a lawsuit against his insurance company that resulted in a $3 million recovery for our client.