Verdicts & Settlements

The attorneys at Couch & Firth are responsible for or have participated in jury verdicts and settlements amounting to in excess of $160,000,000.00. While every case is different, the results we have shared below illustrate the diversity of cases our team has successfully litigated on behalf of clients like you. The verdicts and settlements that we have secured certainly cannot change what happened to our clients but they can nevertheless help provide support and closure for some families. This can help those families begin to put their lives back together or begin to learn to adjust their families' lives to what are, in many times, very different pictures of what they were before a life altering event *.

Verdict in Orkin Fraud Lawsuit
A fraud case was filed against Orkin for fraudulently inspecting a homeowner's home for termites. The inspector discovered that the home was so eaten up by termites that Orkin put car jacks underneath the house to keep it from falling down. In an action against Orkin, a document was produced showing the dilapidated condition of the Plaintiff's house due to termite damage. That same document also stated that the homeowner "was poor and black" and that "she trusted us". Orkin's course of action was an effort to hide the condition from the homeowner. An Orkin representative stated that "we can give her $2,000 and tie her up in small claims court till she dies." Orkin was in hopes that she would die before someone discovered the condition of the house.

Judgment for the Plaintiff in the amount of $81,500,000.00.

Class Action Settlement - Health Insurance Fraud Scheme
A settlement was obtained in a class action against a health insurance company for unlawfully charging insurance premium rates to its customers. The company was unlawfully categorizing its clients into groups whereby the sickest groups would receive annual premium increases of often more that 100%. The result of such rating practices left the sickest or injured customers without health insurance as many could not afford to pay the unreasonably high premium amounts.

Settlement in favor of class plaintiffs was $14,000,000.00

Premises Liability - Mother and Son drowning death after their car was pulled into drainage ditch.
A mother and son were swept into a large drainage culvert located at a shopping center in Mobile, Alabama. When it rained heavily, the shopping center parking lot would often flood so that no parking lot markings or curbs could be seen by any driver. Additionally, there were no guardrails or any other fences to keep people or property from being pulled into the culvert despite the owners of the property knowing that there were previous instances where people were injured at the property in the same manner as the plaintiffs.

Case settled for Plaintiff in a confidential amount.

Premises Liability - Verdict for the Plaintiff In Drowning Case
Derrick Marshall, of Montgomery, Alabama, was a 19 year old college athlete. He drowned at a family reunion at the Roadway Inn on the Eastern Blvd. in Montgomery, Alabama. The Montgomery County Health Department had previously shut the pool down because the pool was "too cloudy." It was alleged that the hotel provided access to the pool notwithstanding the County mandate to shut down, and failed to have appropriate safety equipment to save Derrick Marshall. Mr. Marshall drowned in the deep end and was unable to be found for 10-12 minutes due to the cloudiness of the pool. Although Derrick did not die immediately after the event, he was left in a permanent vegetative state for over four (4) months. He later died as a result of his injuries in Jackson Hospital. A lawsuit was filed on September 7, 2007 against the hotel for negligence and wantonness. A general manager was later added as a party.

Verdict for the Plaintiff in the amount of $3,766,000.

Work Place Safety - Michael Dennis Reed, et al. v. Waste Away Group, Inc., et al. Civil Action Number 2004-125, Circuit Court of Etowah County, Alabama.
Dennis Reed was working as a dump truck driver delivering his load to a landfill owned by Defendant Waste Away Group, Inc. Mr. Reed backed his truck into the landfill beside a vehicle owned and operated by Defendants. Mr. Reed exited his vehicle to open the rear door of his truck and begin dumping. The 700-pound door on the defendant's truck beside him unexpectedly flew open, striking Mr. Reed and pinning him to the ground. The Plaintiffs claimed that Defendants were negligent in that they failed to properly secure the safety latch, which was designed to keep the door from opening. Defendants did not admit responsibility, and countered that the door opening was out of their control. Mr. Reed severely injured his lumbar back, resulting in a disc fusion surgery on the L4-5 vertebrae. Mr. Reed was permanently disabled by the injury and unable to return to work driving his dump truck.

Settled for the Plaintiff for $550,000.00.

Product Liability/Automobile Crashworthiness - Kevin Kite v. Daimler Chrysler Corporation; Don Drennon Motors; Circuit Court of Talladega County, Alabama (CV-04-58)
Kevin Kite and a friend were traveling in a 1999 Jeep Wrangler at approximately 60 mph, when the vehicle lost control and rolled over, end over end. Mr. Kite was in the front passenger seat when the vehicle rolled. The seat back on the Wrangler collapsed due to a rear impact during the first roll. The roll bar, which held the attachment point for a portion of the seatbelt, shifted forward approximately 7 inches. The combination of the seat collapse and roll bar movement effectively removed the seatbelt from Mr. Kite, permitting him to be ejected. State Trooper photographs at the scene of the accident showed the buckle latched, but no one in the seat. The suit filed on behalf of Mr. Kite alleged that the seat back and roll bar system were defectively designed and not sufficiently crashworthy in a foreseeable rollover collision. Mr. Kite lost his left leg, and had multiple fractures throughout his body.

Daimler Chrysler and Don Drennon settled the matter, confidentially, at mediation prior to the trial of the case.

Premises Liability - Family kidnapped from hotel.
A family from Missouri was traveling through Birmingham on their way to their long awaited vacation. They stopped at a local hotel for the night and were all kidnapped at gunpoint from the hotel and ordered by the gunman to drive to a local shopping mall after forcing the father to stop at several ATM's to withdraw money while his family remained at gunpoint. The family was robbed of all their valuables but thankfully escaped with their lives. The hotel has a long history of criminal activity taking place at the hotel. Despite this, the hotel did nothing by way of providing security and did not have anyone monitoring the surveillance system which showed the family being taken by the gunman.

Settlement for Plaintiff just prior to trial.

Automobile/Commercial Trucking Crash:
Our Jefferson County client was injured and later died after an armored truck ran through a red light on a major highway. This lawsuit alleged that the armored trucking company was negligent when it failed to properly screen, hire and train its employees before allowing them to operate armored trucks upon the public roadways. The truck driver was color blind and this was known by his employer both at and throughout the time of his employment with the Defendant. While the crash initially caused a significant shoulder injury, the corrective surgery that our client underwent led to him suffering a major stroke before he unfortunately passed. We worked closely and became very attached to this client's family during this litigation. Our working relationship has blossomed into personal and lifelong friendships with this wonderful family.

Settlement for Plaintiff in a confidential amount just prior to trial.

Product Liability/Wrongful Death - Lomax Phillips v. Miller-Formless Co., Inc., et al.; Circuit Court of Jefferson County Alabama; CV 2014-900026
Our client was a bridge construction worker who was building an Interstate overpass in Montgomery County. While he was using a bridge-wagon which is a large piece of equipment that is designed to hold workers while they do construction work on top of large structures, the "mast" or piece of metal that was designed to hold the riding basket gave way and sheered in two. This lawsuit alleged that the bridge-wagon was defectively designed and manufactured and failed to warn the users of this equipment of that defective design and the faulty materials used in the construction of such an important piece of safety equipment. Our client and another employee fell over 90 feet and were killed upon impact. This family of seven was devastated after the loss of their husband and father.

Settlement for Plaintiff prior to trial.

Product Liability/Workplace Wrongful Death -
Our client was killed in a gas explosion after his supervisors required his to perform work on a large industrial gas pipe line that had not been properly sealed. The project engineers failed to design or adopt simple safety protocols that are meant to keep workers safe and free from flash fires.

Settlement for Plaintiff in a confidential amount prior to trial.

* "These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties and the testimony, among other factors. Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers."