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Verdicts

Law Practice in Jacksonville

SELECTED 2013-2014

Verdicts and Settlements of One of Florida’s Preeminent Trial Lawyers

Notable Verdicts and Settlements

Disclaimer: The facts and circumstances of your case or potential case may differ from the facts and circumstances of the cases discussed here.  Each case is different and must be evaluated and handled on its own merit.   The results provided below are before deductions for attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs, and are not necessarily representative of the results obtained in all cases. 

Unlike many firms, we only include verdicts and settlements personally obtained my Mr. Phillips and only from the past 5 years.  We have millions of dollars in gross settlements and many of our cases are settlements without the necessity of lawsuit ranging from $10,000 to $1,000,000. For more information, please feel free to contact us.


INJURY/DEATH VERDICTS and SETTLEMENTS


Joynt v. Volusia County– $2.6 Million Trial Verdict (2014)

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Erin Joynt, 36, suffered life-long injuries when she was run-over while sunbathing in Daytona Beach Shores in 2011. Her injuries included multiple skull fractures, mild traumatic brain injury, chest and rib fractures, back injuries, neurological and nerve damage and neuropathy, sensory, speech and hearing loss, collapsed lung and facial paralysis.  The jury awarded $100,000 for Future Medical Costs; $500,000 for Future Lost Earnings; $500,000 for Past Pain And Suffering; and $1,500,000 for Future Pain And Suffering.
 
John Phillips tried the case with a 2-3 year associate. The trial was reported locally and nationally. Cameras recorded it in its entirety.  Prior to the verdict, partial settlements were obtained not included in the above amount.  The County has appealed and the firm may have to seek a claims bill to secure recovery for the client.
10514565_696210613748960_4801584017315869409_n(Complaint) (Verdict)
(Verdict Reporter) (GMA Coverage Link)
(Animation and Presentation)
(Appellate Argument)
(Trial Coverage from Daytona Beach News Journal- 123456789)
 

Glowth v. Outback– $1.75 Million Settlement (2014)

trial

Renee Glowth was seated at an Outback Steakhouse in March of 2012, when a waitress lost balance of a tray, causing the tray and its contents to fall on her. As a business practice, discovery showed that Outback failed to recognize any proper carrying, controlling or handling of food trays in its company manuals. The contents weighed between 15-20 pounds. The general consensus was that the biomechanical cause was not only downward force of the contents, but that the client was somehow to blame. It was a very unusual and biomechanically challenging incident.
 
Ms. Glowth went to the hospital immediately after. Cervical bulges and herniations resulted from the incident. She underwent a discectomy, and subsequently, disc replacement surgeries. Her pain increased after surgery, as did difficulty swallowing. A fusion was likely to be necessary in the future.  She also had left shoulder pain, caused by rotator cuff and labrum tears and other issues. Her biceps tendon ruptured as a result of complications from surgery, necessitating another surgery. Pain continued. Medical bills totaled over $500k.
 
The case settled before trial after an exhaustive effort telling her story. It’s one of the largest documented settlements of its kind.

Ishika Lay v. Linda Banister, et al – Confidential Settlement (2014)

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Ishika “Isis” Lay was training to qualify for and compete in the 2012 Olympics and was seen as a favorite to win gold for the United States in women’s boxing.  Lay was injured in a sparring match and a head injury went untreated, despite complaints associated with clear brain injury. Lay collapsed and lost consciousness during a match as a result of second impact syndrome. The suit claimed Lay should have never been cleared to fight.  Lay suffered permanent brain damage because of the defendants’ negligence.  The case was settled with confidentiality terms in place, which prohibit further discussion.

(Ishika Lay Complaint)
(Settlement Presentation)
(News Coverage 1234)


Kropp v. Coca Cola – $1.1 Million Trial Verdict (2012)

kropp

After a week of trial, an Alachua County jury awarded Gainesville resident, Deborah Kropp, an over $1 Million dollar gross verdict, stemming from an automobile wreck on County Road 225 that occurred on July 20, 2007.  Her attorney was John M. Phillips of Jacksonville, Florida.  Phillips said, “It was 2 years of David versus Goliath.  We had to fight for everything and they had 5 different lawyers working on the case.  Despite it being a rear-end collision, they conducted discovery on tire wear.  They made an issue of private psychological records that were in no way related to the suit or claimed as a part of it just to make the jury not like her.”
 
Coca-Cola admitted it was understaffed and a convenience store was running out of product.  They asked a warehouse worker, with no prior driving experience, a negative driving and criminal history to run product to the store.  As he was returning, he saw the Kropp from about 300 feet.  He failed to slow or stop until about 150 feet, leaving 140 feet of skid marks according to the Police Report.  Worse still, as the driver slammed on the brakes, a toolbox slid onto the accelerator, nullifying the driver’s attempts to stop the vehicle.  Mrs. Kropp’s car was hit from behind and launched into the air.  Coke’s driver was cited for careless driving.
 
35562_543179639052059_18784591_nOur client ultimately underwent 3 surgeries and was recommended three more.  Medical bills totaled over $250,000.  Coca-Cola called a few days before trial and raised their offer from $35,000 to $75,000.  We refused and the gross verdict was $1.1 million dollars.  Coca-Cola appealed and the case was resolved for an undisclosed amount.
(Kropp Second Amended Complaint)  (Kropp Verdict)
(Verdict Reporter)
(Documentary Link)


(Name Withheld) v. (Name Withheld) – Confidential Settlement (2011)

courtOn August 13, 2011, (Name Withheld) and his girlfriend (Name Withheld) were simply a couple enjoying life’s quiet moments sitting at a red light.  Moments later, their worlds would change as they were recklessly and carelessly rear-ended by a drunk driver.  (Name Withheld) rear-ended the couple at approximately 60 miles per hour, decimating the Jeep Cherokee the victims were sitting in at a stoplight.

Attorney Phillips received a call and visited the victims in Shands Hospital, advising them and trying to help them find smiles, despite the pain, as (Name Withheld) was bed ridden for 16 days. He ultimately had a 4 level fusion of the thoracic spine, a procedure where the back is held together with rods and screws and bone is harvested to attempt to cement the levels together.
 
(Name withheld) had insurance on his commercial vehicle involved in the crash and Lawyer John Phillips settled one of his clients’ cases for $1,000,000 on October 10, 2011 and the other for $75,000 on the same day.  No trial was necessary and closure was quick- less than 2 months.  Other lawyers his clients met with evaluated the case at $500,000 and said it’d take years to resolve.  Phillips doubled that offer and settled both cases quickly.  As it settled so quickly, the firm reduced its fee to 25% and had minimal costs.
 
John’s client provided this interview for use during pre-suit mediation:
(Article)

Roebuck v. Lo – $939,276 Trial Verdict, Over $1 Million Final Judgment* (2011)

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On August 13, 2008, a 31-year-old mother of two was rear-ended at a stop light on Atlantic Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida. The next day, she sought treatment from her primary care doctor, as well as chiropractic treatment and pain management care from Physician’s Group. In April 2009, she had a two level percutaneous laser microdiscectomy performed on her lower back in Tampa, Florida. She continued to treat with Physician’s Group for Piriformis Syndrome, a painful condition that affects her left hip. She has had between 12 to 15 pain injections in her back and hip and will require pain medications for life. A jury in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida awarded her $939,276.78 in damages.  The final judgment was over $1 million dollars, Mr. Lo’s insurance carrier (State Farm) appealed and we settled for an undisclosed amount well in excess of the Defendant’s policy limits.
 
(Article)
*co-tried to verdict while at Morgan & Morgan*


GUN VIOLENCE RELATED RECOVERIES


Estate of Jordan Davis v. Michael Dunn – Confidential Policy Limits Settlements (2013, 2014)

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Michael Dunn pulled into a gas station parking lot where Jordan Davis and his friends (also clients of John Phillips) were sitting in the car playing rap music.  Dunn initiated argument and said “you aren’t going to talk to me like that.” He then fired 10 times (striking 9 times) into an occupied (and ultimately fleeing) vehicle. The three direct shots hit and killed Jordan Davis.  The high school kids pulled around the corner, noticed Jordan was dying, called 911 and returned to the store.  Dunn drove away, never calling police, going back to his hotel to eat pizza and traveled back home the next day, learning from the news in the hotel room he had killed Jordan.  He was in town for his son’s wedding, which was only the second time he has seen him since he was 13.   Upon arrest, Dunn claimed he saw a gun (which did not exist), an entitlement to protection under Stand Your Ground and has vigorously asserted justified homicide and that Stand Your Ground applies.
 
We sued Dunn for the wrongful death of Jordan Davis, as well as for the infliction of emotional distress and assault of the other occupants.  We also sued for defamation as Dunn and his agents orchestrated untruths during his criminal trial. Dunn auto insurance carrier settled all claims for policy limits.  Other parties (subject to a confidentiality agreement) also settled for policy limits.
 
(Complaint)
(News Coverage 123)


Estate of Kalil McCoy v. Alfred Mears, Jonathan Brooks, Kennard Mahone, Frederick Wade and the owner of the subject vehicle and guardian of Fredrick Wade – Confidential Policy Limits Settlement (2014)

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During the early morning hours of June 20, 2012, Frederick Wade was driving with Kalil McCoy was in the passenger seat. Wade was trying to help Mahone and McCoy — who just a month earlier had been named prom king and queen at Andrew Jackson High School — spend the night together.  After Wade picked him up from Mahone’s girlfriend’s house, McCoy supposedly rolled her window down to speak to the girlfriend. An argument ensued and Wade fired the gun, killing McCoy. The other Defendants then helped Wade hide the body.  We sued all involved.  A fairly precedented policy limits settlement was reached against the auto insurance carrier for the owner of the vehicle / Wade’s guardian. The case continues against the others.
 
(McCoy Complaint)
(News Coverage 123)
 

BREACH OF CONTRACT / COMMERCIAL DISPUTE CASES


Lex & Terry (Radio Show Hosts) v. 1010 XL (Radio Station) – Confidential Settlement (2011)

Attorney John Phillips on Lex and TerryRadio duo Lex and Terry were happy to be back on air in Jacksonville and regularly spoke about the town they lovingly called “Freakville,” despite being syndicated nationally. However, they were forced to file suit against 1010XL radio station, claiming that the station improperly canceled the contract that would have paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars and failed to pay them thereunder for months.  Their attorney, John Phillips, filed the lawsuit against Seven Bridges Radio LLC, the owner of WJXL (1010 AM), also known as 1010XL.

The contract called for the station to pay about $800,000 plus bonuses for the right to air the show. The payment was to be $12,500 every two weeks throughout 2012 and 2013. The contract also included bonuses for ratings and half of all advertising dollars above the $1 million mark. “They said listeners wanted to hear sports rather than a shock jock sort of thing,” he said. “But they knew what Lex and Terry’s show was. “If you buy a car, you can’t take it back three months because you don’t like the color.”

(Lex & Terry Complaint)

(News Coverage 123)


INJUNCTIVE RELIEF / APPEALS / BULLYING


Melissia Thomas on behalf of Aria Jewett v. Paris Cannon – Injunctive Relief Won for Client, Reversed on Appeal with Compelling Argument by the Court (2013)

Bullying Lawyer JacksonvilleAfter a violent attack on our client, Aria Jewett, a middle school student in Jacksonville, we were hired to get an injuction against the bully.  More threats were being made and the Duval County School System was doing little about it.  After a one day trial, a judge said he’d seen enough.  He banned the teenage attacker from the public schools in the entire county. “This child is a threat to all of the children at any school. The injunction is a permanent injunction barring this child from returning to any public school in Duval County,” Davis wrote in his ruling.
 
This wasn’t Cannon’s first attack. In fact, she liked to film the attacks with cell phone videos, taken by her gathered around friends.  Despite this, the school district’s superintendent, Nikolai Vitti, said the judge went too far and the case was appealed. We argued that the law was meant to protect victims like Aria Jewett, but the appellate court said the Legislature needed to to more.  Read the Opinion here:
 
(Jewett Appeal)
(News Coverage 123)


COPYRIGHT / TRADEMARK CASES


Rick Wilson and The Associated Press v. George Zimmerman– Cease and Desist (2013)

Angela Corey overlap[1]

Photographer Rick Wilson (represented by us) and The AP (not represented by us) whose took a photograph of State Attorney Angela Corey, which was used as the basis for an identical “paint-by-numbers” painting by George Zimmerman was a clear copyright violation.  Zimmerman had previously sold artwork on eBay and we notified Zimmerman that he should expect legal action if he continues to use the photo. “You just can’t do that,” Phillips said. “You just can’t take somebody else’s work and make it your own.”
 
If Zimmerman moves forward with plans to sell the image, “the next step would be to, in conjunction with the AP, to file suit against him,” Phillips said.  Wilson said he hired the attorney “to provide me guidance and assistance through this process, not specifically to file a lawsuit against George Zimmerman.”  Thus, far our letter has worked.
 

Fernando Sosa, operator of the website PoliticalSculptor v. Katy Perry (2015)

left sharkThree powerful words which can work both ways- cease and desist. As a confidential settlement was reached, we can’t discuss much, but we took over a case where Katy Perry and her team sought to shut down a Florida-based 3D printing and figurine design company which made novelty “Left Shark” figurines. Team Katy claimed the happy, dancing shark meme born of Katy Perry’s Super Bowl XLIX halftime performance was hers and hers alone. The matter got more complicated with Team Perry used our client’s figurine in a trademark application, resulting in settlement.
 

CRIMINAL DEFENSE CASES


For obvious reasons, we do not publish details of many of our criminal cases.  However, this is a unique one and we have permission from the client.

State of Florida v. Southworth (2014)

Jordan Davis Tribute

An anonymous artist known as Keith Haring’s Ghost pained utility boxes in Jacksonville, in honor of artist Keith Haring, painting over the ugly grey and graffiti covered boxes with art. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office his graffiti appeared on 11 traffic control boxes owned by the City of Jacksonville.  After months of investigation, police arrested our client Kevin “Chip” Southworth.  Southworth was originally charged with a felony, but it was lowered after advocating the amount of damage caused to the utility boxes was less than $1,000 to a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief.
After extensive negotiation, he entered a no-contest plea and the judge withheld adjudication, meaning no criminal conviction will appear on his record.  More importantly, Chip started a conversation about art in public places.

State of Florida v. Members of the JAX19 (2015)

The JAX19 was a group made up of all ages and races, who were arrested after standing with signs on a Jacksovnille bridge, demonstrating against racial injustice. Eighteen of the Jax 19 were arrested and charged with obstructing traffic while the 19th protester, Siddie Friar, was charged with battery on a police officer for allegedly punching an officer in the face during the protests.

We handled several cases, including Ms. Friar’s. All charges of all of our clients were with withheld adjudication. Ms. Friar discusses it here:


Call us and ask us what verdicts and experience we have in your particular case.