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

Favorable Settlement in Multiple Death Hit-and-Run Incident

Atlanta

Weinberg Wheeler Hudgins Gunn & Dial obtained a favorable settlement in a case stemming from an accident involving a casino-owned limousine. Gold Strike Casino and Resort (“Gold Strike”) in Tunica, Mississippi was represented by partners Billy Gunn and Bill Buhay who were assisted by associate Shubhra Mashelkar.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of April 28, 2007 when a casino-owned and operated limousine, which was carrying ten passengers, was violently struck by a hit-and-run driver. The impact of the accident forced the limousine off the road where it ultimately collided with and then fell into a concrete culvert. The crash killed five passengers, seriously injured the driver, and resulted in significant injuries to the surviving passengers.

The surviving passengers filed a claim in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi. The plaintiffs alleged that Gold Strike was at fault due to negligent hiring and supervision, negligent driving, and negligent overloading of the vehicle. They further alleged that the limousine's manufacturer was liable for negligently modifying the vehicle. Both Gold Strike and the limousine's manufacturer vigorously denied any liability, with Gold Strike arguing that neither it nor its driver did anything wrong. After almost two years of discovery, including approximately 40 depositions, the case was ultimately settled by the defendants' insurers for less than one-third of the plaintiffs’ pre-trial demand. 

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