Lightfoot Franklin & White

Trial and Appellate Counsel

Expertise

Catastrophic Injury

Lightfoot regularly handles high-exposure, catastrophic injury cases. These run the gamut from trucking accidents, to train derailments, to product liability cases, to plant explosions, to chemical leaks, to on-the-job injuries. These cases involve either serious personal injury (burns, paralysis, brain injuries, amputations, etc.) or death and frequently carry with them the threat of punitive damages. Lightfoot attorneys have the experience to work up these cases properly and get them resolved favorably either by settlement, trial or appeal. We are frequently brought in shortly before trial to serve as lead trial counsel, co-trial counsel or appellate counsel to make sure that the case is properly tried and that all appellate issues are properly preserved. Many catastrophic cases are included on our list of trials, for example.

  • We obtained a defense verdict in a product strict liability case arising from an LP gas explosion and fire that occurred in Hardeeville, South Carolina. The plaintiffs were two LP gas servicemen who were severely burned in the fire, as well as their respective wives who alleged loss of consortium claims. The two injured plaintiffs' undisputed medical expenses to date were over $2.68 million, and plaintiffs claimed over $1 million in past and future economic loss.
  • We obtained a defense verdict in a product liability case in which the plaintiff, a three-year-old child, was ejected from her vehicle and rendered a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic. The Plaintiff claimed more than $17 million in past and future medical damages, and more than $27 million in total compensatory damages. Plaintiff also asked the jury to award punitive damages. Her lowest pre-trial settlement demand was $12 million.
  • We were brought in shortly before trial to defend a road builder in a hydroplaning case brought on behalf of an injured minor and the estates of his two parents who were killed in the crash. The case was pending in Hale County, Alabama, where there had not been a defense verdict in a civil case in approximately 20 years. The trial resulted in a hung jury, and the case was settled favorably before the re-trial.
  • We were retained shortly before trial in the Huntsville School Bus crash cases in which 33 schoolchildren were either killed or injured. At the time of our retention, the third motion for sanctions was pending and the case was set for trial in 30 days. We avoided sanctions, retained new experts, and presented a vigorous defense that enabled the cases to be satisfactorily resolved.
  • We were retained in a case in Mississippi involving a bus that crashed on the way to a casino in Tunica, leaving 14 dead and 14 injured. Shortly before we were retained, sanctions had been entered establishing that our casino client was vicariously liable for the negligence of the driver. The court put us to trial on the issues of whether the driver was negligent and the amount of the plaintiffs' damages. We inherited a case with no experts and were only able to argue burden of proof; the court did not allow us to argue that the casino was not at fault. The jury returned a defense verdict.

Lightfoot, Franklin & White, LLC

The Clark Building 400 20th Street North Birmingham, AL 35203
205-581-0700 (phone) 205-581-0799 (facsimile)