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Tag Archives: Verdicts & Settlements

Jury shoots down vet’s $105 million request (access required)

A former U.S. Marine who asked for $105 million in damages after he was hit by a drunk driver will walk away with less than $30,000 after a jury trial that the defendant failed to attend. Christopher Payton was parked on the side of the road early one morning in November 2007 when Joseph Platts plowed his car into Payton’s van at a speed of nearly 70 mph. Platts’s blood alcohol level was later measured at .206, and a friend of Payton’s who saw the accident testified that he believed Platts was racing another car at the time of the accident. Platts was uninsured.

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Court awards $9 million to murder victim’s heirs (access required)

The heirs of a man who was gunned down in Charleston have won a $9 million bench verdict against his imprisoned killer. Collecting that kind of money from a prisoner serving a 20-year sentence will be difficult, if not impossible, but the verdict represented a satisfying moral victory, said John L. Duffy III, an attorney for the victim’s 4-year-old son and his mother, Shonda Gennings.

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Unsettling Decision (access required)

A divided South Carolina Supreme Court ruling that lets the Department of Transportation avoid paying a $300,000 jury verdict in a wrongful death case could have a chilling effect on settlements statewide. In a 4-1 opinion filed Nov. 7, the majority affirmed a trial court’s decision to cover the verdict against the DOT with an earlier $305,000 settlement payment from the agency’s two co-defendants.

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