2010 Trial Results

Laura Danielle Johnson, Esq. obtained a directed verdict for our client in Gwinnett County after the plaintiff rested his case. In this case of disputed liability, our client’s vehicle spun out of control on a patch of ice and hit the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff claimed neck and back injuries and requested a verdict in excess of $30,000.00, but because the plaintiff failed to prove that he had properly renewed his claim after properly dismissing it under O.C.G.A. § 9-2-61, the judge granted a directed verdict and ruled that the case was barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

Nikolai Makarenko, Jr., Esq. obtained a verdict that was less than the pretrial settlement offer in Hall County. The plaintiff’s only demand was for our client’s policy limits, based in part upon claimed future medical expenses for a shoulder surgery, but the jury deliberated for only 3 hours before awarding the $16,000.00 that Nik suggested in his closing argument.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a verdict for 1/3 the pretrial settlement offer in Gwinnett County. Though the plaintiff’s attorney requested $18.6 million, Paul was able to convince the jury that the plaintiff was not injured as badly as he claimed. Our client had offered the plaintiff $150,000.00 to settle prior to trial, but the plaintiff declined the settlement offer, thinking that he would recover much more at trial. However, the jury only awarded $31,000.00.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in Gwinnett County in a case where the defendant was never even found. The plaintiff requested $100,000.00 for neck and back injuries resulting from a minor rear-end accident, and Paul tried the case on behalf of the plaintiff’s uninsured motorist carrier. The plaintiff underwent a 2-level fusion in his low back, but the jury returned a defense verdict believing that the plaintiff had not proven his case.

Nikolai Makarenko, Jr., Esq. obtained a verdict for less than the pretrial settlement offer in Hall County. Our client acknowledged responsibility for causing the accident, but contested that the plaintiff’s claimed shoulder problems and resulting surgery were not caused by the accident. Although the surgery had been recommended before the accident, the plaintiff claims that she did not receive it because she was not experiencing any pain prior to the accident. Her surgeon testified that her asymptomatic rotator cuff tear was aggravated by the accident and led to her having the surgery, but an orthopedic surgeon that had treated the plaintiff before and after the accident testified that the accident did not aggravate the plaintiff’s condition. The jury only deliberated for 2 hours before returning a verdict for $2,000.00 less than the pretrial settlement offer and a defense verdict on the plaintiff’s husband’s loss of consortium claim.

2011 Trial Results

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in Newton County in a case where the plaintiff alleged that she suffered a herniated disc in her neck and nerve injury resulting in a diagnosis of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Though our client acknowledged responsibility for causing the subject accident, it was a minor rear-end impact with little damage inflicted to either vehicle. Paul presented evidence on behalf of our client at trial showing that the plaintiff had a prescription drug problem that led to her falling asleep at the kitchen table, thus causing the injury to her radial nerve that resulted in the diagnosis of RSD and palsy. Nevertheless, the plaintiff requested and was denied past medical expenses in excess of $140,000.00 and lost wages of $16,000.00, and future medical expenses of $20,000.00, with pain and suffering to equal at least the total amount of those damages.

Nikolai Makarenko, Jr., Esq. obtained a defense verdict after less than 3 hours of deliberation in Fulton County for our client in a case that was reported in the Fulton Daily Report. Our client crossed the center line to merge into a left turn lane a few vehicles ahead of hers when the plaintiff, traveling in the opposite direction, stopped and was rear-ended by a motorcycle. The pretrial settlement offer was $145,000.00, but the plaintiff was demanding $925,000.00. The plaintiff claimed that she had injured her neck and thereafter underwent a cervical fusion and discectomy. However, Nik was able to successfully show that the plaintiff’s complaints had been present for several years prior to the accident and did not result from the accident.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in Gwinnett County for our client despite the fact that she admitted she was responsible for causing the accident. The plaintiff claimed that she suffered bilateral rotator cuff tears, as well as neck and back injuries, and requested $320,000.00 from the jury. However, the jury deliberated for only 1 hour before concluding that the plaintiff’s claimed injuries did not result from this minor impact accident.

2009 Trial Results

Laura Danielle Johnson, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in Cherokee County, despite the fact that our client admitted that the accident was her fault. Our client bumped into the plaintiff’s vehicle, and despite the minimal impact, the plaintiff claimed past medical expenses in excess of $28,000.00. However, we were able to locate medical records dating back to 1993 showing that the plaintiff had complained of, and been treated for, the same neck and low back complaints each year since then, and Laura impeached the plaintiff with those records at trial. Though the plaintiff claimed that she had been symptom-free prior to the accident, the jury only deliberated for 1 hour before returning a defense verdict.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in DeKalb County for our client in a dog bite case. Our client, a 13-year old girl, was being pulled by her Rottweiler while she was on rollerblades, when the plaintiff, a 6-year old girl, came up and started petting the dog. After the plaintiff covered the dog’s eyes, she was either bitten or scratched in the face, requiring plastic surgery. Paul was able to convince the jury that the parents of both children were at fault for not properly supervising their children, and the jury returned a defense verdict accordingly.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a verdict for only $5,500.00 in Gwinnett County, despite the plaintiff having undergone 4 knee operations and a 3-level cervical fusion following the accident. Our client rear-ended the plaintiff’s vehicle going 45 miles per hour, resulting in extensive damage to both vehicles. However, the plaintiff did not complain of injury at the scene, and in fact, did not complain about her knee for several months after the accident. The plaintiff tried to claim that her knee hit the dashboard or ashtray in the accident, and despite having over $200,000.00 in past medical expenses, Paul was able to convince the jury to award the plaintiff only her initial medical treatment with her family doctor and limited physical therapy, which was the verdict that the jury returned.

Nikolai Makarenko, Jr., Esq. obtained a verdict for the exact amount of the pretrial settlement offer in Gwinnett County. Our client rear-ended the plaintiff’s vehicle as she was stopped at an intersection. The plaintiff claimed that she suffered a neck injury in that accident and sought to recover past medical expenses and lost wages in excess of $50,000.00. At mediation we offered the plaintiff $50,000.00, which was the exact amount of the jury’s verdict following only 90 minutes of deliberation because Nik was able to successfully argue that although the plaintiff was entitled to some amount for her injuries, she was not entitled to the amount she had requested at trial.

2008 Trial Results

Nikolai Makarenko, Jr., Esq. obtained a verdict for $6,900.00 in Cobb County after the plaintiff declined a settlement offer of $90,000.00 issued prior to retention of Groth & Makarenko, LLC. Our client acknowledged negligence in causing the subject accident, but the plaintiff declined a very generous settlement offer and decided to take her chances at trial. Nik argued at trial that the plaintiff was not as badly injured as she claimed, and the jury awarded her less than 10% of the pretrial settlement offer.

Nikolai Makarenko, Jr., Esq. obtained a verdict for $7,700.00 in Forsyth County, representing a mere 10% of the plaintiff’s claimed medical bills and nothing for pain and suffering. Our client acknowledged responsibility for the accident but denied that the cervical surgery the plaintiff received was related to the accident. Though the plaintiff presented evidence of past medical expenses totaling $77,000.00 and lost wages of $41,000.00, the jury only deliberated for 2 1/2 hours before returning a verdict consistent with Nik’s defense of the case.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in Gwinnett County, and the jury asked whether it could award our client his attorney fees and costs for being sued in a car accident wherein he admitted that the accident was his fault! The plaintiff did not complain of any injuries at the scene of the accident, but claimed that she needed surgery to her neck and back due to the accident. Paul argued that the impact was not hard enough to cause these injuries and her complaints pre-existed this accident. Obviously, the jury agreed.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in Gwinnett County wherein our client rear-ended the plaintiff’s vehicle, but the plaintiff’s vehicle showed little to no visible property damage. The plaintiff claimed that his persistent low back pain that radiated into his left leg was caused by the accident, and his neurosurgeon, who performed his low back surgery, confirmed his claims. However, not believing that the plaintiff proved his case, the jury deliberated for less than 1 hour before returning a defense verdict.

Nikolai Makarenko, Jr., Esq. obtained a verdict in Cherokee County for less than 1/2 of what had been offered prior to trial. Our client was returning home from a dinner date and admitted that she had consumed 2 beers. She ran a red light and hit the plaintiffs’ vehicle. However, she was very apologetic and asked the police officer several times if the plaintiffs were injured and admitted that the accident was completely her fault. This was her first DUI and she pled guilty and quickly completed all of her punishment imposed by the State. Nevertheless, the 3 plaintiffs argued that they should each be awarded more than $100,000.00 due to our client’s conduct. After Nik was able to impeach the plaintiffs on key points in their claims for injury, the jury decided not to award any punitive damages against our client.

2007 Trial Results

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in Fayette County for our client, even though we acknowledged negligence in causing the subject accident. Our client rear-ended a U.S. Postal truck and the plaintiff ultimately underwent surgery to both his neck and back. Paul argued that the plaintiff had pre-existing degeneration in his spine and that there was no evidence that the plaintiff’s condition worsened due to the subject accident.

Paul L. Groth, Esq. obtained a defense verdict in a second trial of the same wrongful death case after it was moved to Gwinnett County from Forsyth due to dismissal of the Forsyth County defendant. Our client was traveling west on Highway 20 in Cumming, Georgia, when she turned left into a parking lot. She did not see or hear the Forsyth County deputy sheriff approaching from behind her on his motorcycle with his siren engaged prior to turning left. Several experts were used in this case, and one of the experts that we retained testified to the inaudibility of sirens under similar conditions. The plaintiff requested $5.4 million from the jury, but after 6 days of trial, a defense verdict was returned.