Defense verdict following two-week wrongful death trial
Facts: HCF’s client was Forsyth Furnishings which is a furniture store located on Highway 20 in Cumming, GA. The plaintiff was an on-duty motorcycle police officer responding to a fight call while driving down the center line of Hwy. 20. The officer’s lights and sirens were on. A vehicle operated by a co-defendant turned left while the officer was approaching from behind. The officer struck the motorist and the officer’s path was diverted into the parking lot of Forsyth Furnishings. The officer struck a vehicle parked in the lot. The owner of the parked vehicle was also the owner of Forsyth Furnishings. The officer died as a result of the final collision with the parked vehicle.
Plaintiff alleged that Forsyth Furnishings was negligent for maintaining its parking lot within the right of way of Highway 20 and for allowing obstructions (i.e. parked vehicles) to be maintained in that right of way.
Alleged injury/damages: Death of on-duty officer. $8 million claim for hedonic and economic damages.
Last offer/Last demand: Plaintiff demanded client’s $1.5 million liability policy limits. The insurer for Forsyth Furnishings offered $35,000.
Result: Defense verdict
Court: Superior Court of Forsyth County, Georgia
Attorneys: Richie Foster and Zach Matthews for Forsyth Furnishings; Steven Liebel for plaintiff