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Verdicts & Settlements

Costco settles wrongful arrest suit for $175K (access required)


Costco has agreed to pay $175,000 to settle a lawsuit accusing the whole-sale giant of having an innocent man arrested in Charleston County. The corporation had Ahmed Abulkhair locked up for passing a bad check, even though the check belonged to his employer, said Abulkhair’s attorney, Mount Pleasant solo Brooks R. Fudenberg.

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Child’s coffee burns prompt $475,000 settlement (access required)


Breakfast out with the grandparents didn’t go quite as hoped when 3-year old Mason Conley and his 4-year-old cousin visited Sea Captain’s Restaurant in Myrtle Beach in May 2011. Their waitress left a pot of coffee near the two children, who then knocked it over, spilling coffee on Mason’s lap and giving him second- and third-degree burns.

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Owner of sunken yacht collects $1.5M (access required)


The seas were calm and the weather was clear when a 2008 Marquis yacht, the Frayed Knot, sank while docked at home on the Tailrace Canal. Though the yacht was inoperable because of water damage, it floated, and for 14 days after — until it was dry-docked — it showed no signs of sinking again. Sound fishy?

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Bankrupt tobacco company’s settlement hits $10 million, could climb higher (access required)

A few years ago, Calvin Phelps was a cigarette millionaire who bought a Jazz Age palace filled with antiques and stocked his garages with Italian sports cars. Last month, one of Phelps’ Mocksville, N.C.-based companies agreed to pay millions of dollars to escrow accounts it shortchanged in several states, including North Carolina and South Carolina, while Phelps pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges in Mississippi. He could spend more than 40 years in prison and forfeit up to $2 million for dodging $5 million owed on cigarette sales.

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Interstate wrongful death settled for $700K (access required)

Barbara Coppley was driving up Interstate 95 last July, on her way to visit her eldest son in Virginia when she hit a drive shaft from a tractor trailer that had fallen into her lane. As she was standing in the interstate median, inspecting the damage to her car, the driver of a 2005 Lincoln hit the same drive shaft, lost control of his car and hit Coppley. She died at the scene.

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