Atlanta, Georgia – A construction zone injury collision from 2016 has resulted in a $113 million jury verdict after an insurance company refused to settle the complaint for policy limits. The verdict, awarded by Fulton County State Court jurors in three phases, includes more than 40% for attorney fees due to bad faith and frivolous defenses. However, the plaintiff’s counsel expects another judgment against the estate of the late Nationwide Affinity Insurance Company of America client as additional attorney fees are pursued.
The collision occurred when defendant Ashley Claxton’s vehicle veered into a construction zone on southbound Ga. 400, striking plaintiff Dale Adams and pinning him against a guardrail. Adams, the construction site supervisor, survived but sustained injuries and damages. The plaintiff’s counsel alleged that Claxton’s recklessness and negligence caused pain and suffering, permanent impairment, disability, disfigurement, and medical expenses.
Representing the defendant’s estate, Swift Currie McGhee & Hiers attorneys did not respond to requests for comment. The defense initially denied negligence, but the estate administrator later admitted negligence per se. Despite attempts to settle the matter, the defense refused to accept offers, resulting in litigation.
During the trial, the plaintiff’s counsel emphasized the severity of Adams’ injuries and the improper conduct both during the collision and the subsequent litigation. They argued that the defendant’s estate engaged in bad faith and presented frivolous claims or defenses. The jury ultimately awarded $60 million in compensatory damages, more than $40 million in attorney fees, and litigation expenses. Pre-judgment interest and additional attorney fees are also being sought.
This verdict follows a previous $80 million jury verdict obtained by the same plaintiff team. The plaintiff’s counsel believes that insurance companies have a role in these large verdicts due to their refusal to accept reasonable settlements. The case may be challenged by the defense, but it highlights the growing trend of juries imposing significant losses on insurance companies.
In conclusion, a $113 million jury verdict has been awarded in a construction zone injury collision case in Atlanta, Georgia. The verdict includes compensatory damages, attorney fees, and litigation expenses. The plaintiff’s counsel alleges bad faith and frivolous defenses by the defendant’s estate. This verdict adds to the increasing number of large verdicts being imposed on insurance companies.