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Recent Achievements

All results described are case and client specific and do not guarantee future results for any current or prospective client and do not indicate that the same results can be obtained for other clients in similar matters without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each client's case.

Attorney Mark Barrow recently obtained a defense verdict after jury deliberations at the close of a three-day trial in Richland County, South Carolina. Barrow represented two defendants who permitted a zip line to be installed on their property at the request of a neighbor, who was also a co-defendant in the case. The neighbor purchased the zip line and hired a handyman to install it. The zip line was used for over four years with other injuries to children in the defendants' neighborhood before the plaintiff fell from it and shattered her elbow. The plaintiff alleged both product and premises liability causes of action, contending in part that the defendants chose not to install a seat sold with the zip line. Because the zip line's handle was designed to rotate when gripped by a rider, the plaintiff maintained that it was unsafe for use without a seat or other secondary safety device. A significant portion of the defense focused on explaining the engineering purposes for the design of a rotating handle to the jury, as well as potential hazards posed by the alternate design proposed by the plaintiff's expert. During closing, the plaintiff's attorney requested nearly $500,000. After considering the testimony of ten witnesses, including experts for both parties, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendants.

Partner Bill Sweeny and Associate Benson Driggers recently obtained a defense verdict after a 9-day wrongful death medical malpractice trial. The case involved a sudden death due to cardiac arrhythmia following a ventral hernia procedure. The anesthesiologist, surgeon, their respective practices, and hospital were all sued. The Plaintiff alleged that the defendants were negligent in failing to order a cardiac workup prior to surgery, failing to cancel the morning of surgery due to various signs and symptoms, administering excessive fluids post surgery and discharging the patient without proper clearance and without requiring her to void. After hearing the testimony of 16 witnesses including 8 medical physicians, the jury returned a defense verdict for all defendants after less than an hour of deliberations.

Partner Mark Barrow and associate Ryan Holt recently obtained a voluntary dismissal with prejudice from Plaintiff's counsel in the midst of jury deliberations at the close of a 10-day trial in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina. Barrow and Holt represented a company that blended a chemical for sewer deodorization according to the formula of a co-defendant chemical manufacturer. The client then retained a third-party trucking company it had used for nearly 30 years without incident. The trucker delivered the product to a utility station where it was stored in a series of plastic containers constructed by utility workers using PVC pipe. After offloading the deodorizer, the truck driver used air pressure to clear his hose of remaining chemical, unaware that the Plaintiff had closed off the system. The pressurization caused a valve to rupture and Plaintiff was sprayed with the chemical. He claimed severe respiratory dysfunction and black-boarded $1.3 million in future medical bills and $1 million in lost wages. A vocational rehabilitation expert determined that he was 100% vocationally disabled. In closing, Plaintiff's counsel requested nearly $5 million. After hearing the testimony of 35 witnesses, the jury indicated that it had reached a verdict as to Barrow and Holt's client, but not as to the co-defendant manufacturer. The Plaintiff then voluntarily dismissed Barrow and Holt's client and the jury later returned a defense verdict for the manufacturer. This win was recently featured in the DRI weekly e-newsletter.

Associate J. Eric Cavanaugh recently obtained a dismissal for failure to state a claim in a federal case involving claims alleging violation of the Federal Truth in Lending Act and South Carolina Consumer Protection Code. The Plaintiff also alleged violation of the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Partner Mark S. Barrow and associate J. Eric Cavanaugh recently obtained summary judgment for a major retailer in a premises liability case where the plaintiff alleged a slip and fall occurred at one of the retailer's South Carolina locations.

Partner Mark S. Barrow and associate J. Eric Cavanaugh recently successfully argued a Daubert Motion to Exclude a plaintiff's expert in a federal products liability case.

Attorney Ryan Holt recently obtained a defense verdict for an international manufacturer in a products liability case where a homeowner alleged property damage.

Partner Mark Gende and Associate John Tyler were recently published in the Spring 2014 "Professional Liability Defense Quarterly" Volume 6, Issue 2 for their article Defending the Medical Provider Sued by a Prisoner-Patient.

Partner Martin Driggers was recently published in the Spring/Summer 2014 "US Law" magazine for his article Who's my Patient Anyway? Consolidation in the Healthcare Industry Blurs the Lines in the Provider/Patient Relationship.

Associate Jason Reynolds was published in the Fall 2012 Volume 40, Issue 3 of " The Defense Line S.C. Defense Trial Attorneys' Association" for his article Is the "Independence" of that Driver Being Maintained?

Associate Jason Reynolds recently achieved a dismissal by summary judgment on behalf of our client who struck a pedestrian while driving in Newberry, South Carolina. The pedestrian filed suit alleging negligence and claimed over $400,000 in medical expenses.

Partner Bill Sweeny and Associate John Tyler settled a multi-party lawsuit alleging leakage and property contamination from an in-ground UST fuel tank. They represented one of the main installing subcontractors and settled the case on terms very favorable to the client.

Representing an agency that cares for foster children, Partner Bill Sweeny and Associate John Tyler settled a federal case with Sec. 1983 constitutional violation and sexual abuse allegations with favorable terms for their client.

Associate Jason Reynolds recently achieved a dismissal of a national produce company on grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction and negotiated settlements of $2,000 or less for 20 clients across the country in a 30 defendant Federal lawsuit based on alleged unpaid freight charges.

Partner Bill Sweeny and Associate John Tyler settled an international adoption practices case with allegations of sexual abuse in which they represented an international adoption agency. They successfully petitioned the state court to compel arbitration consistent with contractual terms and federal law. Once the case was removed from the court system, it settled on favorable terms.

Partner Mark Barrow recently achieved a dismissal with prejudice for lack of subject matter jurisdiction in Federal Court for a national over the road trucking company. Plaintiff claimed medical expenses of over $80,000. As in the Maloney case cited below Barrow and Associate Jason Reynolds successfully argued that the trucking company was protected from a personal injury suit by South Carolina's Worker's Compensation legislation where the Plaintiff, not a trucking company employee, was performing a task normally performed by the trucking company employees.

Partner Mark Barrow and Associate Ryan Holt recently obtained summary judgment for a building owner in a slip and fall case. The Court ruled that the premises owner had no duty to the Plaintiff, whose injury occurred while the building was being leased to a third party.

Partner Mark Barrow and Associate Jason Reynolds recently achieved a voluntary dismissal with prejudice for their client, a national over-the-road trucking company, in a case pending in Federal Court. The attorneys filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that the Plaintiff, a refrigeration repairman who claimed injury during a repair on the client's refrigerated trailer, qualified as a statutory employee under South Carolina's Worker's Compensation Exclusivity Act and therefore the client was immune from civil suit for the Plaintiff's alleged injury. Following the filing and briefing of the Motion to Dismiss the client was voluntarily dismissed.

Partner Ken Wingate and Associate Matthew Myers obtained a $1 million dollar plus default judgment, including interest, against a former CPA who converted over a half-million dollars from an elderly client while ostensibly helping her with estate planning. Myers' painstaking investigation traced the flow of proceeds through dozens of accounts to the ultimate purchase of real estate, a business jet, several classic cars, and various household expenses. In addition to securing the judgment, Wingate and Myers acted to prevent the distribution of the wrongly acquired property in a divorce proceeding. Wingate and Myers are optimistic that much of the judgment will be recovered against the defendant's wrongly acquired property.

Partner Mark Barrow and Associate Jason Reynolds prevailed on a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction of a personal injury case brought in Federal Court by an employee against the parent company of his employer, Maloney v. Landmark Tours & Travel, Inc., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43001 (D.S.C. Apr. 19, 2011). Plaintiff claimed medical expenses of over $50,000.00. Attorneys Barrow and Reynolds successfully argued that the parent company was protected from a personal injury suit by South Carolina's worker's compensation legislation. The Plaintiff appealed the decision, and the appeal was successfully defeated.

Partner Ken Wingate and Associate John Tyler prevailed before the South Carolina Court of Appeals on behalf of a client in a case determining the ownership of a funeral home,King v. King, 2012-UP-365 (Ct. App. June 20, 2012). After a two-day trial, the trial court held that the business is fully owned by the client. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's ruling.

Associate Jason Reynolds recently tried a case to verdict while defending a national trucking company in an admitted liability rear end accident. The final offer from the Defendant the night before trial was $25,000.00 on just over $8,000.00 in medical expenses. Plaintiff's counsel asked the jury to return a verdict of over $65,000.00. They returned a verdict of only $8,815.18.

Partner Mark Barrow and Associate Jason Reynolds secured a very favorable settlement in exchange for a full and final release while defending a national over-the-road trucking company in a "phantom truck" suit. The case was filed in a plaintiff-friendly venue, included nearly $100,000.00 in claimed medical expenses. Plaintiff's original demand was $1 million. The settlement amount was a small fraction of plaintiff's demand.

Partner Mark Gende successfully survived Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to the essential claims of a matter in a Federal bad faith action where one insurance carrier is suing another concerning payments sought under a professional liability policy.

Partner Rett Kendall recently defended a construction case in Horry County involving allegedly negligent installation of electric utilities. The case was tried to verdict and the Plaintiff received an award significantly less than what Defendant last offered to settle the case.

Partner Mark Barrow successfully argued before the South Carolina Supreme Court on behalf of the Defendant-Respondent in the case of Oblachinski v. Reynolds, 391 S.C. 557 (2011). The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's decision to issue summary judgment following a motion argued by Attorney Benson Driggers.

In Wiegand v. USAA Ins. Co., 391 159, 705 S.E.2d 437 (2011), Sweeny, Wingate and Barrow, P.A., prevailed in the Supreme Court on the issue of whether the insurer had made an effective offer of underinsured motorists coverage to its insured. Senior Partner Bill Sweeny argued the case for USAA.

In Ward v. West Oil Co., 387 S.C. 268, 692 S.E. 2d 516 (2010), Attorney Martin Driggers tried the case, in which the Plaintiffs had sought Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars ($800,000.00); they received a verdict for $5,067.31. The disappointed plaintiffs appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the original verdict. Appellants petitioned for certiorari. The Supreme Court vacated the Court of Appeal's opinion, holding that the plaintiffs were not entitled to any recovery because the machines which they had provided were illegal gambling machines so the lease contract was void ab initio.

Melton v. Medtronic, Inc., 389 S.C. 641, 698 S.E. 2d 886 (Ct. App. 2010) was, in part, a medical malpractice action. Sweeny Wingate's client was awarded summary judgment. Plaintiff appealed and Attorney Martin Driggers argued the case before the South Carolina Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, holding that the plaintiff had not adequately established any of his five causes of action.

Ruth J. Person v. Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center was tried in Darlington County by Attorneys Bill Sweeny and Martin Driggers. They achieved a verdict for the Defendant medical center. Plaintiff appealed, alleging pre-trial discovery shortcomings. The appeal was dismissed because of plaintiff's failure to make a timely motion for a new trial.