LITIGATION DEPARTMENT OF THE YEAR - Mid-Size Firm  ALM's Daily Report   2017 - 2016 - 2014

WWHGD Favorably Resolves Wrongful Death Claim

On April 12, 2006, Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial concluded seven years of litigation by trying a wrongful death case in Fulton County State Court to a favorable verdict. Partner Ken Moorman and member Jack Hawkins defended the manufacturer of a solvent-based waterproofing product, which was designed for use in drinking water systems.

Unfortunately, during application of the solution at a mobile home park in British Columbia, the 31-year-old technician was killed, and his co-worker was seriously burned, when flammable vapors were ignited, causing an explosion. The defense contended that the applicator did not follow company-mandated safety practices, thereby causing the tragic accumulation and ignition of the fumes.

The decedent’s widow, and mother of his two children, asked the jury for $4.5 million and for additional punitive damages. After one-and-a-half weeks of trial and one-and-a-half days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of $750,000 to the widow and $100,000 to the estate representative of the gravely injured co-worker, and denied punitive damages. The manufacturer is maintaining a claim for indemnity against the product distributor and hopes to be fully reimbursed for the verdict and all attorney’s fees and expenses.

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