The experience and prowess of the lawyers of Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo (FSSV) has been evident in the firm’s recent defenses, further reflecting the firm’s recognition in Texas’ Leaders In The Law 2017.
In May, senior partners William M. Toles and Scott W. Self obtained a defense verdict for FSSV’s client in a trial in state court in Tarrant County, in a case involving allegations of car dealer negligence.
The plaintiff, a pedestrian who was filling her SUV with gas, was struck by a car that FSSV’s client had sold approximately three-and-a-half months before the accident. The car’s owner and her boyfriend, who was driving the vehicle when it struck the plaintiff, alleged that the car’s brakes failed. The plaintiff suffered a number of severe injuries and had medical bills of $491,000 as a result of the accident. The plaintiff alleged that FSSV’s client failed to inspect and service the car properly before selling it and therefore asked the jury to award damages in excess of $6 million. Plaintiff counsel previously demanded $5.75 million prior to trial. Toles and Self showed the jury that the accident was caused by the negligence of the car’s owner and driver, rather than by FSSV’s client. After a week of trial, the Tarrant County jury rendered a defense verdict for FSSV’s client.
In late March, FSSV senior partner Michael Sharp and senior counsel Robyn Wise obtained a defense verdict for FSSV’s client in state court in Collin County. The case arose from a trucking accident that occurred in McKinney, Texas. FSSV’s motor carrier client was operating a tractor-trailer northbound on I-75 when their driver encountered traffic that suddenly stopped for road construction. The truck driver contended that the construction restricted his view of traffic traveling ahead of him. The truck driver took evasive action, but collided with the rear of the Plaintiff’s vehicle.
Plaintiff argued that FSSV’s client was negligent for failing to maintain a proper lookout, failing to apply his brakes in a reasonable manner, failing to maintain proper control of his vehicle, and driving while distracted. Plaintiff claimed injuries to her neck, back and lower extremities. She received extensive medical care and sought recovery for past and future medical expenses, impairment, pain and suffering. Plaintiff’s counsel demanded $1 million prior to the start of trial. FSSV asserted a sudden emergency defense although the presiding judge refused to submit that definition to the jury. after deliberating for approximately 30 minutes, the jury found no negligence on the truck driver.
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