$250,000 Settlement Legal Malpractice - 2007
Plaintiff was represented by a major San Antonio law firm in an automobile personal injury suit. The injuries occurred on Loop 1604 when a trailer came off the hitch of a truck travelling the opposite direction of the Plaintiff's direction of travel, careened across the median, and hit the Plaintiff's vehicle head-on. Plaintiff and her mother were severely injured. The defendant law firm tried the case to a jury, the Honorable Phyllis Speedlin, Presiding, and turned down a substantial settlement offer made to the Plaintiff at trial of the underlying personal injury suit. Judge Speedlin directed a verdict against the Plaintiff at the conclusion of the Plaintiffs' case. The Plaintiffs appealed. The Fourth Court of Appeals agreed, and held that the Plaintiffs had produced "No Evidence" of negligence of the Defendant, because they had called no expert witness to explain how the trailer came off its hitch. In the malpractice case against the firm, we hired an engineering firm to examine the evidence--photos of the bumper of the truck, the hitch, and the trailer--which showed no deformation whatsoever. The experts examined examplar hitches and reviewed data regarding the hitch and the bumper of the truck. The experts determined that the absence of deformation proved conclusively that the defendant had never hitched the trailer to the ball in the first place, and that there were no safety chains used, which is negligent. The defendant law firm hired an engineer, who essentially agreed with the Plaintiff's engineer. The case settled for approximately $250,000.00. The Plaintiffs received, net after attorneys' fees and expenses of $130,000.00, approximately $120,000.00.