Hyundai Wins Lowndes County Wrongful Death Case
Jun 22, 2004 Hayneville, Alabama
Hayneville, Alabama (June 22, 2004) -- A Lowndes County, Alabama, jury today returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Hyundai in a wrongful death case filed by relatives of Christine Graham, who died in an automobile accident when her 2,300 pound Hyundai Excel pulled into the path of a fully loaded Freightliner tractor-trailer traveling at a speed in excess of 60 miles per hour. Ms. Graham's door came open in the accident, and she was ejected. The plaintiff claimed that the driver's door latch and seat belt systems were defective.
Lowndes County is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous counties in the country for corporate defendants, and in the past has been called a "legal hellhole" by the United States Chamber of Commerce. The plaintiff was represented by the firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, which had received numerous multi-million dollar verdicts in Lowndes County.
The trial was the second trial in this case. The case was first tried in July 2003, when, after eight days of trial and nine hours of jury deliberation, a mistrial was declared with the jurors deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of Hyundai.
Jere White, Harlan Prater and Chandler Bailey defended Hyundai in both trials.