Verdicts & Settlements

NOTABLE SETTLEMENTS/VERDICTS

  • $15,000,000 – Wrongful Death Jury Verdict (Largest Jury Verdict in Marshall Co.)
  • $5,100,000 – Wrongful Death settlement
  • $3,000,000 – Wrongful Death settlement
  • $2,700,000 – Wrongful Death settlement
  • $2,500,000 – Personal Injury Jury Verdict
  • $2,500,000 – Personal Injury settlement
  • $2,100,000 – Personal Injury settlement
  • $2,000,000 – Wrongful Death settlement ($20.5M guaranteed pay-out)
  • $2,000,000 – Wrongful Death settlement
  • $1,650,000 – Wrongful Death settlement
  • $1,619,890.98 – Breach of Contract case Jury Verdict
  • $1,000,000 – Fraud & Breach of Contract settlement
  • $1,000,000 – Personal Injury settlement
  • $750,000 – Personal Injury Jury Verdict
  • $600,000 – Personal Injury settlement
  • $600,000 – Wrongful Death settlement (policy limits)
  • $600,000 – Wrongful Death settlement
  • $585,000 – Personal Injury settlement
  • $540,000 – Personal Injury settlement
  • $500,000 – Wrongful Death Jury Verdict
  • $500,000 – Wrongful Death settlement (policy limits)

The law firm of Martinson & Beason, P.C. in Huntsville, Alabama, has successfully represented clients in litigation related to a variety of legal matters. To see representative examples of the verdicts and settlements they have obtained, click on the links below. Download our Special Report to learn the questions you should ask before hiring a personal injury attorney.

FELA

Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) claim against railroad for breach of duty to furnish safe place to work when freight clerk was raped at the freight terminal by a mentally incompetent male. Without an attorney, the client had settled claim with the railroad for a sum equal to her medical expenses for psychological treatments, and had signed a release. The FELA case included a request to set aside the release because of sever psychological problems suffered by client and misconduct by railroad claim adjuster.

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Fraud

Eighteen students at private business college enrolled in court reporting courses. Tuition and expenses for court reporting were double the amount of tuition of the usual courses. The students attended the courses for over one year and never received any instruction with respect to court reporting. The students did receive excellent training in letter writing using the stenograph machine. Most students quit the business college and enrolled in Gadsden State College Court Reporting Courses and commuted from Huntsville, eventually completing their court reporting courses. Fraud action against the business college was settled for return of tuition, expenses (including attorneys fees) and punitive damages.

Local car dealer charged clients automobile insurance company $2,700 to replace frame member and repair client’s car that had been damaged in wreck. Frame failed and separated while client was driving near Atlanta causing minor personal injury. Investigation revealed frame member had been welded rather than replaced. Fraud action filed by client against dealership in addition to traditional theories of negligent, breach of contract, etc.

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Personal Injury Admiralty

A paddle wheel boat flipped and sunk during windstorm near Ditto’s Landing on Tennessee River resulting in eleven deaths, including minor daughter of client. Client suffered severe psychological injury. The attorneys for all claimants joined together, divided responsibilities and presented a united force in suing the Fortune 500 Company that owned the boat. All death and personal injury claims were consolidated and settled after several days of trial in the United States District Court in Birmingham at a limitation of liability hearing under admiralty law. Company, that owned boat unsuccessfully attempted to limit its liability for eleven deaths and personal injury claims to the value of the hull after the vessel sunk.

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Buses

Trailways bus chartered by American Association of Retired Persons left Birmingham, Alabama and developed mechanical trouble. Reverse gears would not engage and bus drove 50 miles across rural Georgia before bus driver found a town in which to turn around. Another bus was ferried to scene to transport senior citizens during remainder of their tour. Brakes failed on second bus during downhill glide in South Carolina. Bus turned over in ditch. Client suffered broken hip. Discovery revealed that all Trailway buses, which were in first class condition, were being used to transport visitors from around the United States to the World’s Fair in New Orleans, leaving poorly maintained buses for other charters.

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Defective Warning

Client suffers head injuries and was found lying on ground at Albertville, Alabama, lumberyard, where he was employed. Investigation revealed that one piece of equipment had a defective reverse warning signal. Driver of equipment never saw client. Recovery based on expert supposition that the only way the client could have been injured would be by the defective equipment backing over client.

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Dump Truck

Brakes on dump truck failed in Decatur, Alabama. Client’s small pick up truck was stopped at red light when it was rear-ended causing a vertical pile up three trucks high. Construction company fired chief mechanic for unrelated matters. Chief mechanic signed Affidavit stating owner said that brake repairs were too expensive and directed him not to repair brakes until the brakes failed. Settlement included punitive damage factor.

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Employer/Employee

Wrongful termination of employment at a Marshall County, Alabama, company in violation of statue, which prohibits termination of employment because worker filed workmen’s compensation claim. Retaliatory discharged settled after jury empanelled.

Claim based on assault and battery to an employee of a telecommunications manufacturer who was fired by emotionally unstable owner by being tossed out back door of plant into parking lot, assaulted by owner and contents of employee’s desk being dumped on fired employee by owner. Jury ruled in favor of employee/client.

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Juvenile

Claim against manufacture of swing set when eight-year-old child’s ring on her ring finger caught on exposed bolt and amputated finger.

Roughhouse between small children at their Mississippi home results in dart penetrating eye of five year old boy causing partial blindness.

16 year-old 90 pound female bully slugs minor female client in eye at roller rink dislocating client’s eye socket causing fuzzy vision. Bully’s juvenile record not discoverable, but settlement was obtained from bully’s father’s homeowner’s insurance carrier.

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Medical Device/Personal Injury

A pedicle screw implanted in the Plaintiff’s cervical spine broke. The screw was not FDA approved for vertebral use.  Suit was filed against the manufacturer, a German company. The case was settled after three days of trial.

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Pharmaceutical

Preschool physical of five-year-old reveals ear infection. Pediatrician prescribes a sulfur drug, gantanol suspension, which resulted in body rash over entire body. Rash was so severe that the tear ducts in boy’s eyes were destroyed. After a series of unsuccessful surgeries, plastic tear ducts were inserted restoring pathway for tears from tear glands to eyes. The lawsuit was filed in Newark, New Jersey against Hoffman La Roche Drug Co.

The mother of five-year-old Trey Jones was given the wrong medication at a pharmacy. Subsequently, the child’s doctor increased the dosage (of the correct medication) and the pharmacy filled higher doses of the wrong prescription multiple times. The parties reached a settlement with financial terms and other details to remain confidential. Read more about this case. Article – PDF (http://martinsonandbeason.com/files/five-year-old_took_wrong_medication.pdf)

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Premises Liability

While shopping at J.C. Penneys, client was looking at display and stepped backward on top of carpet sweeper, which rolled, and client suffered back injury in fall.

Mother and adult daughter go grocery shopping and return to the daughter’s home. Daughter places watermelon on back steps. That night as mother is walking down steps, she steps on watermelon, falls and is injured. On day of trial daughter’s homeowners insurance settled mother’s claim.

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Products Liability

Client has severe TMJ pain and oral surgeon implanted a teflon prolapsed disc manufactured by VITEK. Disc is defectively designed and manufactured and a recall is noticed. Because of delamination and deterioration of the VITEK disc, client continued to suffer severe pain and the surgeon eventually removes the VITEK disc. Another surgeon reconstructed client’s jaw using cartilage from behind her ear.

Claim against installer of hydraulic fluid line on milk packing machine. A plastic line was installed rather than webbed metallic line. Plastic line broke causing hydraulic fluid to spray past heating element and fluid was ignited before blow torching client’s arm, face and abdomen.

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Race Track

Father and his three year-old son attended drag race at poorly designed drag strip. Spectators were allowed to walk freely behind dragsters. Father and five year old son were looking for relatives and decided to cross over to the bleachers on the other side of drag strip. While walking near rear fence, a dragster 100 feet away, began burn-out (spinning tires to heat up rubber to achieve greater friction during race) and propelled debris from the surface of track, which struck son in eye, causing total loss of vision in one eye. Substantial safety features were incorporated into track design after lawsuit was filed including an elevated pedestrian walkway above drag strip. Settlement was reached prior to trial.

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Railroad

Number one sales lady in Arkansas insurance company left her new mountainside home near New Market, Alabama, to visit her mother in Virginia for Thanksgiving. Heavy fog obstructed her view of train at railroad/county road unguarded crossing and she struck the 115th car of train causing severe permanent injuries. Trial judge granted summary judgment in favor of railroad.  Alabama Supreme Court reversed case, then denied a request for rehearing by Norfolk Southern. The United States Supreme Court denied the railroad’s writ of certiorari. Jury was struck and case settled two weeks later before evidence was presented.

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Space

Space shuttle lawsuit by local company based on failure of South West Research Institute of San Antonio, Texas to pay contract price. Local software consulting company was unable to purchase the hardware for a SEPAC contract for the computer recovery and storage of massive data for the Japanese government from the space shuttle. Client enlisted assistance from a non-profit research institute in Texas, which took over contract and used, but failed to acknowledge and pay for, work of local company. Jury ruled in favor of local company.

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Termites

Negligence action against pest control company was settled when discovery revealed that even though pest control employees certified premises had been inspected and no evidence of termites was discovered, proof established it was impossible to get into the crawl space under the house because the access door was jammed by a sinking deck.

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Wrongful Death 18 Wheeler

Client leaves Boozer Club in Attalla, Alabama and drives toward his home in Albertville at 2:00 a.m. Tractor-trailer rig backed across roadway at terminal, when client drove under trailer and is killed. Negligent design of terminal turn-around was corrected after lawsuit filed.

Wrongful death settlement when 18 wheel tractor-trailer truck transporting Christmas trees rolls over at junction on I-65 in Louisville, Kentucky. Defendant contended client was driving truck, but reconstruction expert established that client was on passenger side at point of rollover.

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Assisted Living Facility

92 year-old gentleman, suffering from Alzheimer’s, climbed out of a window of an assisted living facility and froze to death in the side yard. Suit was filed in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Alabama against the operator, the owner and the developer of the facility. The result after extensive litigation was settled for confidential amount of money.

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Automobiles

One of the largest jury verdicts in history of Madison County ($3,000,000) resulted from head-on collision which occurred while highly intoxicated driver was attempting to get in left turn lane, drove head-on into wrong traffic lane and struck clients’ car resulting in death of the 25 year old wife/passenger ($500,000) and comatose condition of 29 year old husband/driver ($2,500,000). Defendant served jail time as a result of criminal charges.

Three occupants in front seat of pick-up truck demand teen age driver slow down and quit running red lights just before client is broadsided in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Policy limits settlement, plus uninsured motorist coverage. In addition, the defendant received maximum criminal sentence.

18 year old bought beer at three different convenience stores. Driving home he passed out and swerved in wrong lane and caused head-on collision, resulting in death of client’s daughter, who was driving another vehicle. Policy limits settlement against drunk and all three convenience stores contributed to remainder of settlement proceeds after extensive discovery.

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Aviation

GANDER, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA: Worst air crash in military history occurred when Pentagon chartered Arrow Air to ferry 101st Airborne Unit troops from Egypt to Ft. Campbell, Kentucky. En route aircraft refueled in Gander.  There were 258 soldiers and all crew killed when crash occurred moments after leaving Gander. The Canadian Aviation Safety Board ruled that the crash was caused by icing, improper weights and balances, and poor engine performance.

Martinson & Beason clients received largest settlement for any death primarily because Martinson & Beason decided to file the lawsuit in Miami, Florida, rather than Kentucky where most other lawsuits were filed. Structured settlement guaranteed our four minor clients a life time pay out, of $21,500,000, if clients live their normal life expectancy. All funds were not taxable.

Mid-air collision of a passenger flight Piedmont Airlines with a Cessna 310 owned by Olympic Insurance Co. occurred over Hendersonville, North Carolina. A NASA employee on TDY was killed. Piedmont flight crews’ attention was diverted while ashtray fire was being extinguished.  Vision of flight crew of Piedmont was obscured when pilot turned the aircraft from assigned heading before reaching designated attitude. Cessna crew was plotting from wrong vortex because incorrect charts were being used by crew.

Retired Air Force pilot with over 9,000 hours flight time waited at airport for weather to clear for four hours. Pilot and two passengers were in route to Tunica, Mississippi to negotiate daily air shuttle contract to shuttle gamblers from Huntsville to Tunica. Pilot became impatient, took off down wind, with a 30 knot cross wind from rear, at 35 degrees. The single engine aircraft was pushed off runway, became airborne and crashed in tree. Pilot and two passengers were killed.  Storm, take-off roll and crash were witnessed by Med-Flight helicopter crew, newspaper reporters and photographers who had gathered at the airport for a newspaper article featuring emergency response personnel.

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Construction

Largest settlement in history of Morgan County, Alabama, resulted from collapse of a cinder block wall causing death of a migrant construction worker. Masonry subcontractor had warned several times that construction techniques were not safe and contractor ordered work to proceed. Primary defendant was a Japanese construction company. Trial was scheduled for December 7. Judge denied a motion for continuance by Japanese company based on alleged prejudice resulting from trial being scheduled on “Pearl Harbor” day.

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Drowning

Policy limits settlement in death claim against YMCA for drowning death of 4 year old in swimming pool. Negligence was based on failure of YMCA to fill pool to skimmer level, no rope to designate shallow area and lifeguard’s inattention.

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Explosions

Son from Birmingham visits elderly parents during summer and disconnects propane gas heater while replacing bathroom vinyl flooring. Propane gas supplier fills propane tank in fall, and minutes later, house explodes, causing death of father and serious personal injury to mother. Driver of propane truck failed to detect sound of valve movement, that would indicate gas was flowing from propane storage tank into house through disconnected gas line.

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Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Unsuccessful attempt to have Alabama Supreme Court to declare that the definition of an “uninsured motorist” would include an “underinsured motorist”. Case was selected by the justices to be argued to all nine Alabama Supreme Court justices at the Cumberland School of Law November, 1974 Law Convocation. Case received more media attention than other program participants, including Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter and Florida Governor LeRoy Collins. Continuous efforts at legislative action by Martinson and Beason and the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association resulted in amendment to uninsured motorist law in 1984, which redefined the definition of an uninsured motorist to include underinsured motorist.

Uninsured motorist claims wherein trial judge allowed stacking of uninsured motorist proceeds of numerous policies of insurance on employer’s fleet of delivery trucks and recovery of multiple policies of uninsured motorist coverage on personal vehicle owned by deceased. Judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Supreme Court of Alabama.

Stacking of uninsured motorist policy limits recovered after Defendant was found guilty of killing client when Defendant’s Corvette struck client’s pick-up truck from behind, flipping truck near Mooresville in Limestone County, Alabama.

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