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OUR CASE RESULTS

Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann

At Pittman, Dutton, Hellums, Bradley & Mann, we are proud of the work we have done on behalf of our clients for more than 30 years. Time and time again, we have secured six- and seven-figure verdicts and settlements that get our clients what they need, whether it’s after a car accident, workplace injury or due to a defective drug or medical device.

To date, that is over $900 million in client success stories.

Each client requires individual attention, and this means every case is different, yet no outcome can be guaranteed. However, we believe our record of success speaks for itself. If you have a potential legal matter and may be researching law firms to hire, take a moment to review our achievements. In addition to holding several of the largest verdicts in our state, we have been honored by many national and regional organization, including U.S. News & World Report, Best Lawyers for 2016.

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Awarded: $1,000,000.00

Summary: HAMPTON, Virginia – Retired veteran suffers burns in fire in rooming house with no smoke detectors.

Awarded: $7 Million Verdict, Later Settled Confidentially

Summary: Michael Paul Smith presented to an orthopedic surgeon for a knot on his thigh. An MRI was performed on the thigh and Mr. Smith was told not to worry about it. Almost two (2) years later, the knot was diagnosed as a malignant tumor. Mr. Smith died as a result of the tumor. It was alleged that the MRI machine was improperly used, that the MRI machine was defectively designed, that improper instructions were given on the use of the MRI machine. During trial, a confidential settlement agreement was reached with the product manufacturer and distributor. A jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the physician’s practice in the amount of $7 million. The case was later settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.

Awarded: $2 Million Verdict

Summary: While working as a home framer, Mr. Pierce was shot in the eye when a Duo-Fast nail gun inadvertently activated. Mr. Pierce lost vision in his eye and his ability to earn a living was impaired. It was our contention that the subject nail gun was equipped with a defectively designed trigger. At trial, it was proven that Duo-Fast removed (for safety reasons) the defectively designed trigger from the nail gun, but then offered the defective trigger as an option and sold it to consumers. The trigger allowed a nail to be inadvertently fired. Attorney Mike Bradley tried the case to a Dekalb County, Alabama jury. The jury returned a verdict of $2 million for Mr. Pierce.

Awarded: $1.6 Million Verdict

Summary: On Nov. 24, 2004, DeWaun King went to work at Modern Homes (manufactured housing plant) in Mobile, Alabama. DeWaun was a saw operator responsible for operating the computer that would dictate how the wood was cut by the industrial saw. The saw was manufactured by Alpine Engineered Products (Defendant) and was installed at Modern Homes approximately two years prior to the incident.

The saw was equipped with several 18-inch steel diameter blades that were manufactured by Simonds International (Defendant). At some point during the day, the bolts holding the blade to the mandrel broke off during operation of the saw thereby allowing the blade to come out of the saw and strike DeWaun King in the leg. As a result of the incident, DeWaun King sustained an open distal femur fracture that required surgery. The surgical procedure involved incision and drainage, repair of quad muscle lacerations and closure of multiple layers of wound followed by the insertion of a rod and screws in his leg.

As a result of the injuries and necessary surgery, Dewaun was left with a permanent impairment to the lower extremity of 28% and an impairment to his whole body of 11%. It was alleged in the lawsuit that the 18-inch steel diameter saw blade was defectively designed and manufactured in that the countersink holes (holes where the bolts feed through) were oversized thereby causing excessive vibration and pressure on the bolts, which ultimately led to the failure.

The defendants countered and suggested that the bolt failure was due to over tightening the bolts during the blade change process and was the fault of he workers at Modern Homes. The case was tried in April of 2008 and a Mobile County jury returned a verdict in favor of DeWaun King in the amount of $1.6 million against Simonds and Alpine. Shortly thereafter, the case settled.

Awarded: Confidential Settlement

Summary: While working in a mobile home manufacturing plant, Mr. Ayers was shot in the back with a nail gun. It was alleged that the subjects nail gun was equipped with a defectively designed trigger and that the trigger allowed a nail to be inadvertently fired. Mr. Ayers suffered a permanent, disabling injury. The case was settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.

Awarded: Confidential Settlement

Summary: Stephanie Price sustained third-degree burns to 45% of her body when her hair caught on fire while using a sculpting hair spritz, a curling iron and an oven which was used to heat the curling iron. Stephanie Price alleged that the products were defectively designed and failed to provide adequate warnings. The case was settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.

Awarded: $7 Million Verdict, Later Settled Confidentially

Summary: Michael Paul Smith presented to an orthopedic surgeon for a knot on his thigh. An MRI was performed on the thigh and Mr. Smith was told not to worry about it. Almost two years later, the knot was diagnosed as a malignant tumor. Mr. Smith died as a result of the tumor. It was alleged that the physician failed to pursue a diagnosis of the knot. During trial, a confidential settlement agreement was reached with the product manufacturer and distributor. A jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and against the physician’s practice and awarded $7 million. The case was later settled pursuant to a confidential agreement.

Awarded: $3.5 Million Verdict

Summary: Arthur Perryman was an 18-year old resident of this treatment and educational facility for boys with psychiatric problems. It was alleged that Arthur became ill and that the Academy personnel failed to get Arthur medical treatment in a timely manner and that this failure resulted in his death.
A wrongful death case was filed on behalf of the Estate of Arthur Perryman and in January of 2011, the case was tried to a verdict and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Estate and against the Defendant Academy and awarded $3.5 million.

Awarded: Confidential Settlement

Summary: It was alleged that during open-heart surgery, the perfusionist (operator of the heart/lung machine) installed a tube backwards. As a result, an air bubble was allowed to flow into Mr. Morguson’s brain. Mr. Morguson died as a result. The case was settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.

Awarded: $600,000 Verdict

Summary: This action was essentially a premises liability lawsuit, as it related to Shiv-Ram, an innkeeper. The action arose out of alleged negligent conduct and/or wanton conduct relating to the maintenance, condition and safety of a hotel room located on the premises on the Ramada Inn of Anniston. The jury returned a verdict for McCaleb, awarding $600,000 in damages.

Awarded: Confidential Settlement

Summary: Burton suffered a permanent injury when an electrical magnet failed and dropped a steel plate on his arm. The jury found that the defendant failed to properly maintain the magnet and its component parts. The jury returned a verdict for Burton, awarding money damages. During the post-trial motion the parties reached a confidential settlement.

Awarded: Confidential Settlement

Summary: It was alleged that, while shopping at Lowe’s Home Center, a piece of shelving fell, striking Melvin in the face. Melvin suffered permanent and disfiguring injuries to her face and neck. The case was settled pursuant to a confidentiality agreement.

Awarded: $23 Million

Summary: Plaintiffs entered into insurance contracts with Physicians Mutual Insurance Company which contained a rider that provided certain outpatient sickness and accident benefits. The plaintiffs alleged that Physicians Mutual wrongfully failed to pay insurance claims for the plaintiffs and other class members.

Physicians Mutual is an insurance company based in Omaha, Nebraska that sells numerous types of insurance products throughout the U.S. Beginning in 1993, Physicians Mutual began selling a supplemental insurance product in Alabama called the “Outpatient Plus Plan,” which is a supplemental insurance product comprised of a hospital indemnity policy and a combination of two or more riders. One of the riders attached to the hospital indemnity policy was the outpatient benefit rider, which pays a fixed benefit of $100.00 each time a policyholder makes a claim that meets the requirements of the rider.

The Plaintiffs entered into insurance contracts with Physicians Mutual which contained a rider that provided certain outpatient sickness and accident benefits. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, individually and on behalf of all class members, alleged that Physicians Mutual wrongfully failed to pay insurance claims.

Through the discovery process, the plaintiffs gathered significant documentation to support the allegations. Physicians Mutual paid $23 million to class representatives and class members residing in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas.

This case was handled by partner Chris Hellums.

Awarded: $3.5 Million Verdict

Summary: When Faye Gilmer lost her husband of 40 years, she contracted with Crestview to perform the funeral service. After the funeral, Faye obtained information indicating that she had been defrauded and lied to about certain aspects of the funeral and burial. A lawsuit was ultimately filed on her behalf. The allegations in the lawsuit centered around fraudulent conduct related to the embalming of Mr. Gilmer’s body as well as an improper burial.

In May of 2010, the case was tried to a verdict and Faye Gilmer was awarded $500,000 in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages. Attorneys Chris Cochran and Lee Pittman handled and tried the case.

Awarded: $1.6 Million Verdict

Summary: Roger Presley purchased a policy of insurance for his business, a lounge located in Chambers County, Alabama. Burn & Wilcox was the insurance broker. Presley alleged that the broker wrongfully cancelled his policy and then failed to reinstate it. Moreover, after learning of his error, the broker then lied to cover up his wrongdoing. Specifically, the broker stated that he had issued a “desk binder” that would provide coverage until a new policy could be written. A new policy was written, but, unfortunately, there was an incident at Presley’s business for which Presley was sued. When Presley made a claim for coverage, Burns & Wilcox informed him that there was no policy of insurance or desk binder. Presley incurred approximately $100,000 in legal fees successfully defending himself in the underlying lawsuit.

Chris Cochran and Lee Pittman tried the case for Presley against Burns & Wilcox. The jury returned a verdict for Presley and ordered Burns & Wilcox to pay $600,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.

Awarded: $1.45 Million

Summary: Leo and Gloria Brown operated G & L Grocery, a convenience store. Leo purchased a commercial general-liability insurance policy for the store from Acceptance Insurance Company. Subsequently, the Browns were informed that R.G. and M.D. were planning to burglarize the store. They returned to their store later that night to apprehend any suspected burglars.

While hiding in the pump house located next to the convenience store, Leo and Gloria heard noises coming from outside. As Leo left the pump house, Gloria heard the store’s burglar alarm. She left the pump house to find S.S. in front of the store. As Leo walked around to the front of the store, he was involved in an altercation with S.S. While trying to escape the altercation with Leo, S.S. turned towards Gloria and was shot in the abdomen.

As a result of this encounter, S.S. filed a tort action alleging that Leo and Gloria Brown had “negligently and/or wantonly” injured him. The Browns sent a letter to Acceptance requesting that they defend the Browns in the civil lawsuit filed by S.S. Acceptance later informed the Browns that it would not be defending them in the lawsuit because coverage had been disclaimed under the “intentional acts” and “assault and battery” exclusions of the general-liability policy.

The Browns brought suit against Acceptance seeking a judgment declaring that Acceptance was required to defend and indemnify them in the lawsuit filed by S.S. After a judgment was entered against the Browns in the lawsuit filed by S.S., the Browns amended their complaint, adding that Acceptance had breached its contract with them and in bad faith breached its duty to defend and indemnify them. The case was tried and the jury returned a verdict for $1.45 million. The case was handled by attorney Chris Hellums

Awarded: $6 Million Verdict

Summary: While working as a train conductor for Norfolk, Dexter Grandison severely injured his back when a tractor-trailer rig attempted to cross the tracks and a collision occurred with the train being occupied by Dexter. The incident occurred in Clarke County, Alabama on Feb. 14, 2005. Although warning signs existed at the crossing, the crossing did not possess active warning signals such as gates, flashing signals, warning lights or a stop sign. Also, the operator of the tractor-trailer rig contended that rail cars parked on an adjacent track obscured his vision and as such, he could not see the approaching train. As a result of the incident, Dexter Grandison underwent surgery to repair his back problems. Unfortunately, he did not make a satisfactory recovery and was unable to work. Attorney Chris Cochran filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dexter and against Norfolk for allowing rail cars to be parked on an adjacent line and for further failing to have adequate warning devices in place.

On April 17, 2009, a Clarke County jury returned a verdict in favor of Dexter Grandison and awarded him $6 million.

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(205) 322-8880

Our Office

2001 Park Pl. 

Suite 1100

Birmingham, AL 35203

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