NOTABLE CASE RESULTS

(Updated 6/8/17)

BREACH OF CONTRACT

Client was a contractor hired by a Town to construct a Streetscape Project. Included in the Project was the widening of an existing road. Poor soil was discovered in the roadbed. The Town refused to pay Contractor for the additional costs. The Town forced Contractor to complete the Project at Contractor’s expense. Jury verdict against the Town for $100,000.00 reduced to $90,000.00 and against the engineer for $50,000.00, for a total of $140,000.00.

BUSINESS DISPUTES

Clients Husband and Wife owned and operated a commercial construction company with a partner through an LLC. The company owned some valuable assets. When the partner was unable to get along and began causing problems for the company, he was expelled. However, the partner kept a vehicle and wanted a payout for his interest. We filed a Declaratory Judgment Action to determine our rights. We tried the case. We achieved a determination that we were in the right.

COLLISIONS

1. Client was T-Boned at an intersection. The impact aggravated a pre-existing injury to the ankle and foot. After filing suit, we settled with primary insurance carrier for $100,000.00, and we settled with client's underinsured insurance coverage for $75,000.00. Total recovery was $175,000.00.

2. Client was driving on I-26 when she collided with a disabled vehicle and then was rear-ended by a truck. Her car was crushed like an aluminum can. It was a miracle she survived. Client’s medical bills exceeded $35,000.00. Although client tested positive for alcohol, we successfully recovered $100,000.00, which was the maximum coverage available under the applicable insurance policies.

3. Client was run off of I-95 by a tractor-trailer which turned over and caught fire. Client’s vehicle was totaled. Client suffered soft tissue injuries and chronic fatigue syndrome. Client’s medical bills were $11,000.00. We settled Client’s claim for $90,000.00.

4. Client had pre-existing back injuries when she was in a fender-bender. Although the force of the impact was not strong enough to damage her bumper, she required surgery. We recovered a total of $75,000.00, which was the maximum amount of insurance coverage available.

5. Husband and Wife were run off of the road by a tractor-trailer truck which never stopped. As such, the case was a “John Doe” claim against Husband’s and Wife’s uninsured coverage. Wife was airlifted to the hospital for her neck and facial injuries. Wife’s medical bills were $10,000.00, and Husband’s medical bills were $950.00. For the Wife, we recovered $67,500.00. For the Husband, we recovered $20,000.00.

6. Client was walking down the sidewalk when she walked in front of an SUV pulling out of a parking lot. The SUV hit her and dragged her out into Ashley River Road, breaking her ankle. We recovered $50,000.00, which was the total amount of insurance coverage available.

7. Client was rear-ended and suffered soft-tissue injuries. Her medicals totaled $3,200.00. We settled this claim for the policy limits of $25,000.00.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

In front of his congregation, a preacher falsely accused three trustees of taking $300,000.00 from the church, even after verifying with the church treasurer that no money was missing. The trial judge dismissed the case, ruling that the defamation could not be considered without interfering with church governance or religious doctrine. We appealed. The S.C. Court of Appeals ruled in our favor. The preacher appealed to the S.C. Supreme Court. The S.C. Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the S.C. Court of Appeals, ruling in our favor. Essentially, the decision means that a preacher cannot harm a parishioner in church and then be shielded from liability just because the injury occurs at church. This decision made new law in S.C.

CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS

1. An oral surgeon hired a commercial contractor to construct a two-story addition to his commercial building. The addition was on the verge of collapse due to faulty framing, termite infestation, and water intrusion. It was stripped to the studs and rebuilt. After suing the parties involved, we negotiated and collected a settlement totaling $239,500.00.

2. Clients hired a builder to build a marsh-front home. The home had various defects. After suing the parties involved, we negotiated and collected a settlement totaling $107,765.00.

3. Clients bought a newly built vinyl-clad, two story house from the builder. After moving in, they noticed water intrusion. After suing the parties involved, we negotiated and collected a settlement totaling $103,695.00, which was close to the purchase price of the house.

4. A chiropractor hired a commercial contractor to construct an office building. After suing the parties involved, we negotiated a settlement in the amount of $110,000.00, even though the majority of the defects were cosmetic and were not the result of an “occurrence.”

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

1. Client (6' 5" 240 lbs.) was arrested for fighting with police officers, for pulling a knife and for resisting arrest. He was facing 15 years in prison. Before sentencing, we were able to encourage him to get sober, to attend private counseling and to actively participate in AA. He was sentenced to 3 years probation. Now, he is a sober, married father who attends AA regularly to help himself and others who need encouragement.

2. While under the influence of illegal drugs, Client killed his father by bashing his head with a pipe bender while father was asleep. Client was charged with Murder, Burglary 1st and Grand Larceny. He was facing life in prison. We negotiated a plea to murder for 30 years with the other charges being dismissed.

3. Client was tried in his absence and sentenced to 6 months on traffic charges. We were able to reopen the case and to negotiate a resolution which removed the jail time.

4. Client was accused of sexually molesting his 4-year-old son. Unlike other criminal charges, this one requires proving innocence. We proved Client’s innocence through a polygraph and through a battery of tests designed to detect pedophilia. After Client tested clean, the charge was dismissed and expunged. We were able to show that Client’s Wife coached the son to make the allegations to give Wife an advantage in a divorce and custody action. Also, we were able to show that the arresting officer did not follow proper procedures when interviewing the son.

5. Client was accused of sexually molesting his girlfriend’s son. Unlike other criminal charges, this one requires proving innocence. We proved Client’s innocence through a polygraph and through a battery of tests designed to detect pedophilia. After Client tested clean, the charge was dismissed and expunged. We were able to show that the son’s Father fabricated the allegations to keep Client away from son’s Mother.

6. Client was a college graduate charged with PWID Marijuana and PWID Marijuana in proximity of a school. We were able to get the Client into Pre-Trial Intervention. Upon successful completion, the charges were dismissed and expunged.

7. Client discharged a firearm into his condo. The round narrowly missed his next-door neighbors who were in the adjacent condo. The case turned on criminal intent. Because we showed that Client was depressed and in a drug-induced stupor, Client was found not guilty.

8. Client faced 45 years and a fine of $11,000.00 after going on a drug-induced binge and being arrested for 9 counts of B&E MV, Obtaining Goods by False Pretenses and Possession of Stolen Property. The Solicitor sought “intensive prison time of 5-8 years” plus restitution. We were able to get the judge to see that the root of the problem was Client’s substance abuse problem for which he needed treatment. In turn, Client received 3 years followed by probation with no restitution with an opportunity for substance abuse treatment. Client served approximately 1.5 years of this sentence. Today, he is sober, working and taking college classes.

9. Client faced 10 years for taking $152,000.00 from employer. Even though an Employee Theft Insurance Policy covered the loss, the Solicitor sought either full restitution to reimburse the insurance company or prison time. We successfully argued for a probationary sentence, that the restitution was limited to Employer’s out-of-pocket loss ($7,500.00), and that the insurance company could bring a civil action to collect on its payout under the policy. Client received a probationary sentence with restitution of $7,500.00.

10. Client faced a federal fraud charge for taking $163,000.00 from the U.S. Department of Labor. This charge carried 20 years under the U.S. Code and 15-21 months without probation under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, plus forfeiture of his real and personal property, plus a $250,000 fine. We successfully argued that a variance from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines was appropriate and we received a 5-year probationary sentence with restitution, no fine and no forfeiture of property.

11. Client faced 10 years for CDVHAN after being accused of putting a handgun into the mouth of his live-in girlfriend. After a careful review of the facts, we were able to get the charge dismissed and expunged.

12. Client faced 10 years for Burglary 2nd resulting from a drug-induced binge. He was a convicted felon who had served prison time on two different occasions. We negotiated a plea to Burglary 3rd with probation. The key to this successful outcome was Client’s voluntary, ongoing participation in rehab which we recommended at the time of his arrest.

DUI DEFENSE

1. Client took the FSTs and blew .19. We discovered a defect in the DataMaster Machine. Client underwent intensive alcohol treatment. The charge was amended to Reckless Driving.

2. Client was a nurse who was found in car in a ditch. We discovered that no one saw Client driving. Client underwent intensive alcohol treatment. The charge was amended to Reckless Driving.

3. Client took FSTs and blew. Because we discovered a procedural error, we negotiated a plea to Careless Operation with a fine. The DUI charge was dismissed and expunged.

4. Client took FSTs and blew. Because were able to show the arresting officer/DataMaster Operator forced Client to blow and because we discovered an issue with the DataMaster Machine, the DUI charge was dismissed and expunged in lieu of a plea to Reckless Driving.

5. Client was a lawyer who politely declined FSTs and the DataMaster. After Client was found Not Guilty, the DUI charge was expunged.

6. Client was a financial advisor who took the FSTs but did not blow. We negotiated a plea to Reckless Driving with alcohol counseling. The DUI charge was dismissed and expunged.

7. Client ran off of the road and flipped her car. She was taken to the ER by EMS for treatment to her eye and face. After being treated, she blew. We negotiated a plea to Reckless Driving with alcohol counseling. The DUI charge was dismissed and expunged.

8. Client was a business owner who took the FSTs but did not blow. At trial, we were able to get the judge to direct a verdict in Client’s favor. The DUI charge was expunged.

9. Client was a computer programmer who side-swiped another car. She took the FSTs but did not blow. We negotiated a plea to Reckless Driving with alcohol counseling. The DUI charge was dismissed and expunged.

PREMISES LIABILITY

Client was shopping in the Charleston Air Force Base Commissary when she slipped and fell on what appeared to be bloody water. The Commissary never produced the video of the fall, claiming it had not been preserved. Through discovery, we showed that improper packaging of chicken was a recurring problem. By showing this, we used the principal of “inquiry notice” to negotiate a settlement of $26,500.00 with all military medical bills and Tricare Health Insurance Liens being waived.

Client was a guest at a hotel when she slipped and fell on the pool deck, injuring her head. The trauma affected her short-term memory and her ability to organize and to multi-task. Although the hotel removed and replaced the pool deck after the injury, we were still able to negotiated a settlement of $60,000.00.

PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

1. Client was a contractor who performed a streetscape project for a Town using plans drafted by the Town’s Professional Engineer. The Plans had errors which caused the finished Project to be aesthetically unpleasing to the eye. Although Client notified the Town’s Engineer on numerous occasions of the errors in the plans, Client was ignored. Eventually, the Town’s Engineer blamed Client by characterizing the errors as workmanship errors. The jury found the errors to be design errors and returned a verdict for $100,000.00 reduced to $52,000.00.

2. Client was a Professional Engineer who was sued by a group of homeowners over his design of a drainage system after their homes flooded during a rainstorm. Although the homeowners claimed damages in the amount of $500,000.00, we were able to settle the matter for $110,000.00. Doing so limited the exposure of both the engineer and his insurance carrier. Defending this case required an understanding of water flow throughout a sizeable drainage basin which contained several large subdivisions.

WRONGFUL DEATH

1. Client was an elderly passenger in a vehicle which was T-Boned at an intersection. The impact killed Client. We stacked all of the insurance coverage for the vehicles involved to recover a total of $100,000.00.

2. Client was murdered while incarcerated at a high-security prison. The murder was the result of an extortion scheme conducted by inmates with cell phones inside a high-security prison acting with others outside of the prison. We determined that cell phones were being smuggled into the prison by visitors and by the guards themselves. We were able to locate a key document. The Client made a written request to the warden to be transferred to another dorm, because he knew his life was in danger. The warden denied the request and took no further action to investigate the threat. Client was choked to death in his bunk. The killers were never prosecuted. Despite Client's criminal history and despite the State having a different interpretation of this key document, we recovered $55,000.00.

Contact us for a free case review.

SANDERS LAW FIRM, LLC 843-573-8828

Sanders Law Firm, LLC represents clients in the Charleston, South Carolina area, including Barnwell County, Beaufort County, Berkeley County, Charleston County, Clarendon County, Colleton County, Dorchester County and Georgetown County

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