Verdicts & Settlements

DeVore, Acton & Stafford, Charlotte NC Lawyers

The results listed on this page are examples of past successes of our firm. Because every case is different, based on the facts and applicable law, we cannot guarantee positive outcomes. Our past achievements are simply presented to give you an overview of the range of cases we are capable of handling.

Wrongful Death Verdict

Jury awards 6 million dollars to families whose children were killed at an intersection.

In 2013, a Mecklenburg County jury award 6 million dollars to two minors who were killed in a high speed crash. The crash occurred at an intersection where a developer had promised to pay for a traffic signal – but never did. The two week trial was litigated by our firm and Amanda Mingo of the firm Rawls, Scheer, Foster, Mingo & Culp.

Inmate's death results in million dollar settlement.

In a confidential settlement, the family of an inmate received almost one million dollars when a 21 year old died after being strapped in a chair for approximately 36 hours.

Widow and child receive confidential settlement in wrongful death helicopter crash.

When the pilot of a helicopter struck power lines, the subsequent crash killed the passenger. The passenger was survived by his wife and young son. The confidential settlement included the creation of a trust fund for the child to assist in future educational and other needs.

$1.28 million dollars awarded for Wrongful Death

The estate of a 19 year old man was awarded one million dollars by a Mecklenburg County jury after they found that the death of the young man was caused by a truck driver operating a commercial vehicle. There was an allegation that drugs were found in the cab of the truck. After the verdict, the case was settled for the sum of 1.28 million dollars.

Plaintiff Left Quadriplegic By Falling Tree Branch Recovers $10 Million

In 2003, plaintiff was a 31-year-old with a wife and young child. He was a senior in college and worked full time to help support his family. On his way to work, plaintiff was driving down a street when a storm with high winds hit. A large branch which overhung the street broke off of a tree and landed on plaintiff's car. The trunk of the tree was located on private property. Plaintiff was rendered a C-5 quadriplegic as a result of the incident.

Child Had Scoliosis - No Physical Limits, Progression - Changed Procedure - Pedicle Screws Burst - Paraplegia - $6.5 Million Settlement

In May of 2002, the plaintiff was a 4-year-old boy who had suffered from congenital scoliosis since birth. He had no physical limitations as a result of the scoliosis. He was evaluated at an orthopedic clinic where the Defendant physician decided during the very first visit that the child needed surgery to straighten his spine although numerous CTs, MRIs and plain x-ray films showed no progression of his scoliosis. The physician discussed this surgery with the parents on several occasions and documented the surgery that he intended to perform in his office notes.

Child recovers $2 million dollars after contracting HIV virus in blood transfusion

In a confidential settlement, child has recovered approximately $2 million dollars when an unnecessary blood transfusion infested the child with the HIV virus. The identities of all parties may not be disclosed in accordance with the court documents.

$1.913 Million dollar settlement - Auto/Bicycle - Wrongful Death - Personal Injury - Unsafe Intersection

Wrongful death and personal injury action against City of Charlotte for failure to maintain safe intersection by removing trees that obstructed view. Car-bike accident, one child killed, one child paralyzed for life.

71- Year-Old Accident Victim - Misread Spinal Films - Failure To Spot Fractures - Quadriplegia, Resulting Death - $1.575 Million Settlement

This was a claim for the wrongful death of a 71-year-old male. The patient was involved in a motor vehicle accident and was taken to an emergency room via ambulance. Spinal films taken in the emergency department were interpreted as normal. He remained hospitalized for 31 days before his spinal fractures were discovered during a neurological consultation. By this time, the fractures had become dislocated and bone fragments had torn the spinal cord. The patient lived the remaining 15 months of his life in a long term care facility. Patient subsequently died from complications of quadriplegia.

Failure to disconnect high voltage power line downed in ice storm, results in $750,000 recovery for mother of electrocuted worker.

In a confidential settlement, a single mother recovered $750,000 for the death by electrocution of her only son, who was 21 years old. The man was accidentally electrocuted following a severe ice storm. The names of the parties are confidential by agreement.

Orthopedics -- Failure To Properly Treat Leg Fracture -- Deformity -- $160,000 Award

The plaintiff alleged the defendant failed to properly treat a tibia/fibula fracture in a 17-year-old male. A seventeen degree deformity of the tib/fib area of the leg resulted in a 35 percent permanent partial disability.

Child recovers $750,000 from City of Hickory for Brain Injury caused by Obstructions at Intersection.

A stop sign and intersection was hidden by overgrown foliage which prevented a motorist from seeing the minor plaintiff on his bicycle. The child suffered a serious brain injury as a result of the accident. The case had previously been rejected by two other law firms.

Rear-End Collision -- Neck And Back Injuries -- History Of Disk Disease -- Binding Arbitration -- $224,000 Award

This claim arose from a rear-end collision while the plaintiffs' vehicle was stopped. The plaintiffs were a 64-year-old female driver and her 63-year-old husband. Both plaintiffs had a history of degenerative disk disease. Both suffered neck and back injuries, requiring cervical discectomies.

Failure to install traffic signal which led to death of mother, baby and teenager resulted in 6 million dollar verdict (tried with Amanda Mingo)

Laparoscopic Tubal Ligation Procedure - Ureter To Bladder Severed - Failure To Discover And Repair - $100,000 Verdict

Surgeon severed ureter to bladder while inserting trocar during attempted laparoscopic tubal ligation; failure to discover and repair. After client was unable to void, emergency surgery was necessary to correct the problem. Patient fully recovered.

Medical Malpractice - Carotid Blockage - Delayed Diagnosis Of Stroke Symptoms - Paralysis - Poorer Outcome - $200,000 Mediated Settlement

Medical malpractice. A delay in diagnosing a blockage of the carotid artery resulted in exacerbated symptoms from a stroke. The patient recovered $200,000 in a confidential mediated settlement.

Medical Malpractice - ER Delayed Treating Neck Fractures, Pain - Paralysis - $500,000 Mediated Settlement

Medical malpractice. In a confidential settlement in Cleveland County, a patient received a mediated settlement in the amount of $500,000 when an emergency room delayed in treating severe neck injuries.

Dogs Attacked Child - Mother - Lacerations - Fractures - Nerve Damage - $400,000 Confidential Settlement

Child and mother were mauled by two Rottweilers. Child: lacerated and separated left ear, skull fractures, severed facial nerve causing facial paralysis to the left side of the face, psychological injuries.

Medical Malpractice - ER Failed To Diagnose Stroke - Several Risk Factors - Discharged - Partial Paralysis - $250,000 Settlement

Medical malpractice. Partial left side paralysis as a result of failure to diagnose stroke.

Laparotomy - Marshall Marchette Krantz Procedure (Bladder Tack) Suture Through Ureter - Second Surgery Necessary - Colitis - $150,000 Settlement

Medical Malpractice; plaintiff injured during laparotomy and Marshall Marchette Krantz Procedure (Bladder Tack). Surgeon sutured through ureter, subsequent surgery necessary to remove stitches, plaintiff developed colitis in hospital

Nursing Home Resident Employee Opened Door, Knocking Plaintiff Down -- Fractured Hip -- $75,000 Confidential Settlement

This claim arose from a hip fracture in an 81-year-old female nursing home resident. According to the plaintiff's counsel, an employee of the defendant nursing home entered the resident's room, striking her with the door and causing her to fall and fracture her hip. Fractured hip requiring surgical repair.

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

Court of Appeals affirms right of paraplegic to recover insurance proceeds after accidental shooting.

After client was accidentally shot while visiting the home of a friend, an issue arose as to whether the homeowners insurance policy would insure the injuries the client suffered. In reversing the trial judge's decision that such coverage did not exist, the North Carolina Court of Appeals found that the accidental shooting was a covered event. The case was ultimately resolved in a confidential fashion.

Warehouse Insured Receives $1.3 Million After Bad Faith Verdict Against Carrier for Warehouse Collapse

Plaintiffs' warehouse experienced a sudden collapse which the plaintiff contended was covered in their commercial general liability insurance policy. Plaintiffs contended the carrier had failed to pay the claim under the terms of its policy or to follow the recommendation of the defendant's independent adjuster who told the carrier it would be on "thin ice" to deny the claim. Verdict rendered on March 12, 2004.

Court of Appeals Affirms Punitive Damage Award of $225,000 Against Insurance Company for Bad Faith.

After death of his daughter, the claimant sued insurance company for failing to timely pay $2,000 in undisputed claims. The jury awarded $225,000 in punitive damages. The award was affirmed by both the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court. Lovell v. Nationwide, 334 N.C. 682.

Injured Party Entitled to Higher Underinsurance Limits by Failure of Insurance Agent to Obtain Waiver

The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that person who was injured in an automobile accident was entitled to higher limits of underinsurance to cover his injuries, when the insurance adjuster failed to have the insured properly reject the coverage. McNally v. Nationwide, 142 N.C.App. 680, 544 S.E.2d 807

Employee's Appeal Unlocks Company's Automobile Insurance Benefits

An Iredell County man who was hit on his motorcycle while running a job errand has recovered $1.2 million. The case illustrates the various insurance pools workers can turn to after job-related auto accidents. The case settled after the Court of Appeals determined that up to $1,283,500 million in underinsurance coverage was available from a policy held by the employer.

$540,000.00 Property Damage- and -$250,000.00 - Bad Faith-Insurance Case

Engineer and his wife suffered a fire loss and had disparate estimates of repair. Matter was arbitrated and award for home against insurance company was $540,000.00. It was discovered through the process that the insurance company was acting in BAD FAITH and in violation of Chapter 58 of the North Carolina General Statutes. A second cause of action in tort was begun and later settled for an additional payment of $250,000.00.

Insurance agent's fraud in processing insurance application and claim results in 1.5 million dollar verdict.

Employment/Contract

Court strikes residential restrictions.

Upon remand from the Court of Appeals, a Mecklenburg County Judge ruled that subdivision restrictions that were more than 30 years old, could not be enforced against developer of the Marketable Title Act.

A developer whose land was being condemned for road widening, settles dispute with NCDOT for more than twice the original offer.

Firefighter Terminated - Based On Polygraph Test - Lost Wages, Benefits - Settled

The plaintiff, a fireman, was fired based solely on the results of a polygraph examination. The federal judge of the Western District of North Carolina ruled that such actions violated the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Frank Rickey Anthony v. City of Gastonia Fire Dept. et al (U.S. Western District; 3:93CV299MU).

Forged NASCAR Signature on Hat Results in Recovery.

In a confident settlement, a client received his money back and damages for having paid for NASCAR driver's signature to be placed on souvenir hats to be mass produced and sold across the country. After the money was paid and hats reproduced, it was learned that the driver had someone else sign his name, rendering the hats bearing the driver's purported signature - worthless.

Richard Petty Portrait Returned

After client discovered the president of client's newly formed racing memorabilia company had been convicted of bank fraud, the client demanded the resignation of the president and the return of the company's primary asset, a portrait of Richard Petty being used to create posters celebrating Petty's career in racing. After litigation initiated, the portrait was returned to rightful owner.

Theft of Satellite Signal of Syndicated Radio Show, "John Boy and Billy" Prevented.

After a local radio station discovered that a radio station in the Midwest was pirating the satellite feed of its syndicated morning radio show, a lawsuit in United States Federal Court was instituted to prevent the theft.

Family Recovers Bulk of 1.2 Million Dollar Estate - Despite Language in Will Leaving Property to Ex-Police Chief

The family of a Gaston County woman who left a $1.2 million estate has settled with a former Gastonia police chief that she named as her sole heir. The 77-year-old woman died Jan. 17, 1993. She left personal property valued at $646,967 and real estate worth another $573,000, to C.C. "Buck" Elmore. In a settlement approved Feb. 18, Elmore gets to keep one-third of the estate. The remainder goes to 21 collateral kin - the decedent's brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews. Many of them had never met or even heard of their relative before her death.

Construction Defects

Church not liable to contractor.

After a builder completed Phase I of a church building project, a dispute arose between the parties as to whether the builder could demand profit from the construction of Phase II which was performed by another contractor. At the conclusion of the contractor's evidence, the court dismissed the claim and awarded costs of litigation to the defendant church.

Condominium lawsuit settled

In a confidential settlement, a condominium homeowners association entered into a settlement of money and services from a contractor and architect for water leaks into their homes. The settlement was valued at several million dollars and included judgments against two defendants for 2.5 million dollars. The alleged defects including improperly installed bricks, flashing and improper waterproofing.

Sinkhole Case Successfully Settled

After a week of trial, the owners of a restaurant that nearly collapsed into a 40 foot deep sinkhole, confidentially settled with all defendants. The case involved the failure of a storm drain located nearly four stories beneath ground that blew apart during a heavy rainstorm creating the sinkhole. The sinkhole was featured on the national news by CNN which described that the sinkhole had swallowed a brand new Corvette parked in the parking lot. The settlement was feature in the Hickory Record.

Defective Residential Condo Complex Construction Moisture Rotten Wood, Structural Failure $1.87 Million Confidential Settlement

Brief Statement of Claim: The plaintiff, a condominium complex, filed suit for defective construction, including moisture intrusion. Rotten wood led to structural failure of building.

Builder Agrees to Major Reconstruction of Condominium Complex

A national builder agreed to reconstruct a large 200 plus condominium project after the discovery of water intrusion behind walls. As part of a confidential settlement, the builder, architect and several of the subcontractors agreed to pay for or perform the repairs on the multiple buildings and to pay the attorney fees of the plaintiff.

Law firm Collects over $5 Million Dollars for Homeowners with Stucco Houses

By handling scores of synthetic stucco cases, the law firm of DeVore, Acton & Stafford has recovered well in excess of $5,000,000 for homeowners in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties whose homes were clad in EIFS or other stucco finishes.

Homeowners Vindicated in Successful Defense

When clients invited out of town guests to the grand opening of their new, multi-million dollar home, one of the guests fell through an unsecured railing from the second floor balcony and suffered serious injuries. Injured party sued builder of home and our clients, the homeowners. Week long trial resulted in substantial settlement from builder but no liability to clients/homeowners.

Peepholes Lead to Recovery

After peepholes were discovered in over 200 rooms of large hotel, a settlement of an undisclosed and confidential sum was obtained on behalf of eight guests in the hotel.

Condominium homeowners association wins verdict against contractor and subcontractors for faulty workmanship.

Workers Compensation

William Acton Receives Specialization Certification in Workers Compensation

A number of workers' comp lawyers have joined the ranks of specialists, breathing new life into the 13-year-old State Bar program. The Bar certified 68 new specialists. That included 44 attorneys who sat for the workers' comp exam, the newest specialty area. About three percent of North Carolina's licensed attorneys now have certification status.

Trucker's Eye Injured On Loading Dock - Loss of Use - $550,000 Settlement

A 59-year-old male truck driver was struck in the eye by a dock board pin while on a loading dock. He is permanently disabled due to his injury. Total loss of use of right eye.

Worker Gets Disease Benefits for Warehouse Dust, Grime

A warehouse worker whose asthma symptoms became disabling after years of breathing heavy dust could recover occupational disease benefits, the Industrial Commission has ruled. The holding in Smith v. Eckerds Distribution Center (North Carolina Lawyers Weekly No. 1-08-1738, 8 pages) is the latest to affirm occupational disease compensation — even though the diagnosis rests in part on the temporal link between the worker's job and symptoms.

Investment and Securities Negligence

Securities - Inappropriate Investment - Retirement Funds - All In Stocks - 40 Percent Technology - Broker Allocated Against Brokerage Analysis - $267,045 Arbitration Award - Interest

Claimant responded to a telemarketing call from a national brokerage firm, Merrill Lynch. After meeting with a local broker, the claimant paid $250 for a portfolio analysis of his retirement account. The analysis recommended a portfolio of no more than 40 percent equities (mutual funds). Despite its brokerage's own recommendation, the broker invested claimant in 100 percent equities, of which 40 percent were technology-related. In a matter of approximately 18 months, the value of the retirement fund lost $267,045. There were other allegations that the broker had not taken advantage of breakpoints to reduce his commission.

Banking Negligence Results in $265,800 Verdict

After an employee embezzled money through a complicated bank fraud scheme, the employer brought suit against the bank for improper banking procedures under the Uniform Commercial Code. The trial resulted in a verdict of $265,800 verdict in favor of defrauded customer. Estate of Doug King v. Wachovia

Disability/ERISA

Claimant Wins Disability Suit

The Western District Court of the United States Federal courts ruled that injuries for accident and degenerative disc disease rendered claimant totally disabled under a disability insurance policy. The carrier had denied the disability claim and the matter was decided by Judge Max Cogburn. Wadford v. Continental Insurance Company , 261 F. Supp. 402.

Victory for Disabled Police Officers

Trail v. North Carolina Retirement System . In a class action, the Superior Court of Mecklenburg County ruled that benefits of disabled police officers could not be reduced from the benefits they were promised at the time the officers vested in their retirement program.

Condemnation

Property Owner Wins $530,635.55 for Condemnation of a Lake.

After the City of Charlotte placed a value of less than $30,000 on a lake being condemned for airport expansion, a jury returned a verdict of $530,635.55. The case was appealed and affirmed by the Court of Appeals in City of Charlotte v. Whippoorwill Lake , 150 N.C. App. 579.

Owner Wins $700,000 Condemnation Verdict from City.

An owner who lost his warehouse due to airport expansion, obtained a verdict in excess of $700,000, nearly double the amount of the previous offer.

Medical Negligence

IV Infiltration in Emergency Department yields $170,000 (2012)

67 year old African American female has her IV infiltrate while it was unattended and left unchecked for hours; As a result it caused severe tissue necrosis of the left arm requiring surgery.

Over Prescribed medication yields $180,000 (2012)

Elderly female suffers permanent neurological injury as a result of the over prescription of a medication; she had showed signs and symptoms of impairment a year earlier.

Product liability Drug warning regarding the use of YAZ yields $289,000 (2013)

Young female suffer blood clots as a result of taking birth control pills that had serious complications and side effects that the manufacturer failed to correct or adequately warn.

Medical instrument causing urological injury yields $450,000 (2012)

Young African American female suffers permanent urological damage from the improper use of a Medical catheter during a routine surgical procedure.

Pharmacy error causing kidney damage yields $100,000 (your case in 2013)

Middle aged professional female suffered permanent kidney damage in the form of reduced functionality as a result of a pharmacy filling error for a kidney medicine.

$425,000 - Wrongful death - Nursing error Sleep Apnea, failure to insure post op patient was wearing CPAP machine while hospitalized post-operatively

A 60 year old female was admitted to the hospital for neck surgery. She suffered from sleep apnea and brought her CPAP machine with her to the hospital. She informed the staff that she had to wear it at night. The surgery went fine. At 11:30 p.m. she was given an injection of Demerol. When the nurse checked on her at 5:30 a.m. she was unresponsive and was not wearing her CPAP machine. The staff at the hospital had not insured that she was wearing her machine and failed to perform proper neurological checks on her in the post operative period. She died as a result of the brain injury she suffered. She was employed in the medical records department of a local neurosurgery group. She was survived by her adult son and daughter.

$450,000 - Wrongful death - Emergency Room Auto Accident - Hematoma-Head Injury - Failure to order Brain CT

A 69 year old man was involved in a rear end auto collision. He was taken to the emergency room via ambulance. He complained of head ache in the emergency room and had low blood pressure. He was on anticoagulants. No head studies were performed and he was discharged. While waiting for his daughter to pick him up, he was found unconscious in the emergency department waiting room. He later died as a result of an undiagnosed bleed in his brain. He was 69 years old and employed as a caddie at a country club. He was survived by his adult daughter.

$800,000 - Wrongful Death - Nursing Care- Drug Overdose /Error Ativan/Lorazepam Overdose

A 68 year old man was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. He was put into a drug induced coma to allow him to be intubated while he recovered from the pneumonia. The nurses on duty administered 473 mgs of Ativan over a 24 hour time period. The patient became comatose and never regained consciousness. At the time of his death, he was retired but working part-time. He was survived by his wife and adult children.

$147,500 - Spinal Cord Injury - Failure to Diagnose - Motorcycle Accident - Emergency Room Negligence

A 60 year old male was involved in a motorcycle accident. He loss consciousness and was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. He was treated and released. That night while at home he began to lose sensation in his extremities. He was taken to a different hospital where they diagnosed his spinal cord injury. He still has limited function in one arm and one leg.

$490,000 - Wrongful Death - Patient Bled to death during Laparoscopic Surgery

A 66 year old female underwent laparoscopic surgery for a hernia. Upon insertion of the trocar, the surgeon injured several vessels and arteries and the patient bled to death. She was a travel agent who was survived by her adult children.

$380,000 - Loss of Kidney - Blocked Ureter - Urology

A 17 year old male underwent surgery for testicular cancer. Following the surgery in the post op period, the patient's signs and symptoms of a ureter obstruction were not diagnosed by the treating urologist even though it was evident on a radiologic study. The patient ended up losing his kidney as a result of the blockage.

$399,000 - Wrongful Death - Methotrexate toxicity - Nursing home, pharmacy negligence

A 75 year old female suffered methotrexate toxicity while a resident in a nursing home. She had recently been discharged from the hospital and the physician's discharge medication orders were misinterpreted by the nursing home. The pharmacy providing the drugs to the nursing was also negligent in that they should have recognized she was receiving too much methotrexate. She was hospitalized but did not survive. She was survived by her adult children.

$250,000 - Perforated Uterus during Dilatation and Evacuation - Gynecologic Negligence

A 28 year female underwent D&E at 16 weeks due to a lethal malformation of her fetus. During the procedure, the gynecologist perforated her uterus and removed parts of her colon causing such damage that she had to undergo a subtotal colectomy.

$75,000 - retained surgical sponge - hospital negligence

A 35 year old female underwent hernia repair. A surgical sponge was left behind causing her to suffer abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. A second surgery was performed to remove the sponge.

$47,500 -Gynecologic Malpractice - defective medical instrument

A 31 year old had an HTA procedure performed and suffered severe burning of her vaginal area and buttocks. She suffered severe pain for several weeks following the injury and was left with noticeable scarring in the areas.

$640,000 - Gentamicin Toxicity - Failure to monitor levels results in ototoxicity

A 40 year old male was prescribed gentamicin for a foot infection. The orthopedic physician ordered that peak and trough levels be drawn by the home health agency. These were not done and the physician never realized he was not receiving weekly reports of his levels. The patient developed ototoxicity and now experiences balance impairment which has left him unable to work or drive.

$550,000 - Trucker's Eye Injured On Loading Dock - Loss Of Use

A 59-year-old male truck driver was struck in the eye by a dock board pin while on a loading dock. He is permanently disabled due to his injury.

$150,000 - Auto Accident - Rear End Collision

A 66 year old male was rear ended and struck his head on the back windshield of his pick up truck causing bilateral subdural hematomas for which he underwent brain surgery. He was left with memory loss.

Real Property

Confidential Sink Hole Settlement

During closing arguments of week long trial involving sink hole in Hickory, North Carolina that nearly swallowed restaurant, the parties reached a confidential settlement with the City of Hickory.

Condemnation Settlement

When commercial building lost a small portion of land but the view of the building was blocked from main highway by permanent construction of light rail system, client recovered $326,00 during litigation when only $18,450 had been offered prior to lawsuit.

Personal Injury

Dog Bite in South Carolina yields $138,000 (2013);

48 year old female is injured while is visiting friends in a golf community in South Carolina; A neighbor's very large dog leaves its unfenced yard and runs up behind the female jumping on her back knocking her down and causing her knee to impact into the sidewalk. She ultimately has to undergo a knee surgery.

Off duty Police Officer collects $225,000 after bicycle accident

After much of the skin from a leg was removed (degloved) and being struck on his bicycle by a young driver, the police officer received $225,000 in settlement of his injuries.

Store patron who fractured hip in fall settles personal injury claim.

Man paralyzed from accidental gunshot wound wins jury verdict.