Articles Posted in Virginia

Here are 5 interesting Virginia jury verdicts in 2015 that you might find interesting:

$13,000 Settlement – A 31-year-old man is driving his car on the highway at a rate of around 60 mph. He approaches an intersection where a woman driving a pickup truck is attempting to virginia jury verdictsmake a turn in the middle of the intersection. She starts to travel out into the intersection but stops upon seeing another driver’s car trying to make a left turn in front of her. Contact was unavoidable at that point, and the woman clips the man’s tires. He immediately complains of neck pain and is transported to the hospital via EMS, where doctors diagnose him with soft tissue injuries. He sues both of the involved drivers, claiming that they were negligent in the operation of their vehicles. The defendants contend that plaintiffs injuries were actually from a motorcycle accident that he sustained years ago. Prior to trial, the parties settle for $13,000.

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In Funkhouser v. Ford Motor, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld a products liability wrongful death suit against Ford arising from an electrical fire in the Ford Windstar.

The facts in this one are just plain awful. Three-year-old twins were playing in their parents’ 2001 Ford Windstar. The engine was off and the keys were not in the ignition. As a parent, you really do feel pretty safe in that situation with three-year-olds because the cars are made to be kid-proof on that level. A fire erupted in the passenger compartment of the van. One of the twins suffered third-degree burns and died.

Plaintiff filed a wrongful death product liability lawsuit against Ford, contending that Ford did not properly warn consumers about the fire hazard in Windstar vans when they are parked with the engine off and no key in the ignition.

Plaintiff wanted to introduce evidence of seven other similar fires. The point being that since Ford knew of the problem, whatever the cause might be, it should tell consumers. Ford countered that the plaintiff did not prove that the causes of these other fires were substantially similar to the cause of the subject fire.

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You get a big verdict. Defendant’s big bone of contention on appeal is an evidentiary issue. When this happens, and it has happened to me a number of times, you are feeling pretty good about your chances. Particularly when the standard is – as it is for most evidentiary issues – an abuse of discretion.

There were some Virginia lawyers probably feeling the same way. That is until last week when the Virginia high court flipped their $18 million verdict against Exxon.

Plaintiff got a wrongful death verdict against Exxon in a lawsuit involving a man who developed mesothelioma while working on Exxon ships. Suffice to say, the jury was not happy with Exxon, awarding $12 million in compensatory damages, $12.5 million in punitive damages and nearly a half a million in medical damages. The punitive damage award was knocked back to $5 million, still leaving the plaintiff with a nearly $18 million verdict.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the Delmarva area, or anyone anywhere for that matter, that doesn’t recognize the names Yeardley Love or George Huguely.

In case you’ve had your head in the sand and haven’t heard these names, the story here is tragic. Yeardley Love was a popular and beautiful University of Virginia lacrosse player, whose was killed in an awful and vicious manner. Love’s former boyfriend, George Huguely, was convicted of her death and is currently awaiting sentencing.

It is being reported that Yeardley Love’s family has filed a lawsuit against George Huguely, and is asking for $29.45 million dollars in compensatory damages, with another $1 million being sought in punitive damages. The lawsuit states that Huguely “acted with such indifference to Love that his conduct constituted an utter disregard of caution amounting to a complete neglect of safety for Love.” Moreover, the suit said that Huguely “was aware, or should have been aware’ that Love was severely injured after the physical altercation that would result in her death.” The suit names Love’s sisters as beneficiaries of her estate.

A man was awarded $25 million by a Portsmouth, Virginia jury for his claim that he had been raped by three police officers in South Korea.

It is hard to imagine how awful that would be. Who would take $25 million in exchange for that?

I know who. Norfolk lawyer Daniel R. Warman. A person who can still work and “who can see and has all their arms and legs … that gets $25 million is perfectly ridiculous,” Warman told the Virginian-Pilot.

A Virginia judge has rejected a defendant doctor’s motion for a new trial after a $1.95 million medical malpractice verdict for the plaintiff who died following plastic surgery.

This is another of a long list of beyond tragic medical malpractice cases. The woman was a 36-year-old mother of four who was sent home after receiving a breast lift and augmentation, liposuction, and a tummy tuck despite the fact that she was having trouble breathing.

A Frederick County (Virginia, not Maryland) jury awarded a woman $3 million against a doctor who performed a hysterectomy. After a reduction for the cap, the woman’s recovery will be $1,925,000.

Plainitff’s malpractice case was that the doctor used tissue from the rectal wall to repair the woman’s vaginal cuff during the hysterectomy rather than peritoneal material. Post trial motions for remittur were rejected.

Settlement for $1.8 million was reached in a medical malpractice lawsuit where the jury this June awarded $4 million against an emergency room doctor. While that sounds like a major compromise, there is a cap on medical malpractice awards in Virginia, so the actual verdict after the cap was $1.8 million.

Plaintiff’s Virginia medical malpractice lawyers alleged that a doctor misdiagnosed their 25-year-old client’s heart condition. Plaintiff’s condition was eventually diagnosed by doctors at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore.

This case had complications in discovery because of a problem I have discussed before: one lawyer representing all the doctors (you can find the details in this article on the case). Defense medical malpractice lawyers love when doctors lock hands and sing “all for one, one for all.” The problem is that this invariably leads to conflicts when the doctors could very easily point at each other.

This blog post was originally what I have a the bottom of this post now: a quick summary of a large verdict against IKEA in Virginia.  Updating this post in 2020, I realized people would be more interested in seeing sample settlements and verdicts against IKEA than short summary of a case that is years old.


IKEA Verdicts and Settlements

  • 2020, Pennsylvania: $46,000,000 Settlement. A 2-year-old boy died of suffocation after an IKEA MALM dresser fell over and trapped him. The dresser was recalled because its defective design rendered it unstable. His parents purchased it before the recall announcement. They sued IKEA, alleging that the dresser’s faulty design caused their son’s death. The parents claimed that the dresser did not comply with national safety standards. IKEA countered their claims by arguing that the dresser’s instructions recommended anchoring it to a wall to prevent tip-overs. The parents refuted IKEA, arguing that the instructions did not advise that it was necessary to anchor a dresser to a wall to prevent it from tipping over. Despite being members of IKEA’s rewards program, the parents also alleged that IKEA failed to contact them about the defect and recall. This case settled for $46,000,000. The parents, bless them, donated $1,000,000 of their award to three public safety organizations that protect children from defective products.
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