4121 Okemos Road, Suite 13 | Okemos, Mi 48864
Phone: (517) 347-6900
Fax: (517) 347-2704
This is a case Mr. Clark brought in behalf of an injured motorcyclist and his passenger against the United States Air Force. Mr. Clark's client was driving his motorcycle and was traveling north on a dual lane highway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A United States Air Force bus was at an intersection controlled by a stop sign and was traveling west and pulled out into the intersection to effectuate a left hand turn. The two vehicles crashed causing the motorcycle to catch fire and throw the driver and passenger over the bus and down the street. Mr. Clark's client was a 28 year old electrician who sustained burns to his torso, injury to his arms, shoulders and legs, along with a mild brain injury.
It was the position of the United States Air Force that the motorcyclist was traveling at a high rate of speed, that he was under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics and therefore there was no liability on the driver of the United States Air Force bus. After extensive discovery for a period of years, reviews by medical experts, automobile accident experts and a one week of trial, it was concluded by the trial court that the motorcyclist was not at fault and the United States Air Force bus driver was. Mr. Clark proved and the court agreed that Mr. Clark's client was not speeding, that he was not intoxicated, and furthermore he had not ingested any illegal drugs.
This was proven at trial from medical reports obtained from the second hospital that the motorcyclist was sent to because of his severe injuries and burns. The original hospital located in Myrtle Beach indicated that Mr. Clark's client had been drinking and that he had ingested opiates. The second hospital did tests in regards to his condition. The second hospital indicated that there was no alcohol but there were there in fact opiates in his system. After much contested discovery, and litigation, it was determined that the Myrtle Beach hospital, the hospital where many United States Air Force personnel physicians worked, had probably "mixed up" the blood from two Jane Doe and John Doe who were in the hospital that same night. The identity of Mr. Clark's client could not be ascertained because the fire and the crash had destroyed his client's wallet. It was determined from a review of all the medical bills from the first hospital that there was a charge in the medical bill for the use of morphine shot given to the motorcyclist when he first came in due to the extreme amount of pain that he was in, and thus explaining the opiates in his system.
The law at the time required that Mr. Clark prove that his client was not in any way responsible for the collision or was at fault in anyway, any fault on Mr. Clark's client would have barred recovery. The court after trial determined Damages at $2.75 million dollars for the driver, and the passenger also received a verdict of $800,000. The highest offer ever received from the United States Government was $100,000.
The plaintiff represented by David Clark was a victim of a defective machine. Mr. Clark's client was working in an auto machine parts plant when the machine malfunctioned or double clutched, crushing Mr. Clark's clients left hand. The machine's operation required that the operator place the piece onto a mandrel of the machine with his left hand and the machine would be engaged. On this occasion, when the operator was putting the piece on the mandrel it engaged early crushing his hand. The machine would not disengage and thus the hand caught in the machine had to cycle through the entire metal forming process.
The defendant indicated that there was no way that the machine double clutched and there was no way for the defendant to set up a protection mechanism because this was a generic machine and was used to form many different parts. It was crucial to the defendant's defense that they had no way of knowing what the end use of the product was going to be and therefore they could not design any sort of safety mechanisms such as a double hand engagement system.
After hiring experts, multiple motions for discovery, including going to the Michigan Court of Appeal, Mr. Clark was able to get information plus other information from other litigants in other States, it was finally determined that the machine manufacturer had scores of left hand crushed injuries. Furthermore, after determining that the experts by the defendant had not been telling the truth about the prior injuries, it was also determined through an extensive search of corporate records that the various companies that put this machine and its dies together were all owned by the one multinational corporation. They were subsidiaries. And they had received a large order for a particular part and therefore, their defendants claim of lack of knowledge that they did not know how the machine would be utilized was found to be false. The highest offer from the machine manufacturer prior to litigation was $0. The highest offer from the manufacturer after case evaluation was $67,000. The case settled for $2.1 million dollars.
This is a case where a school bus rear ended a parked vehicle causing a serious automobile accident on the side of a country road. The driver of the car had parked on the side of the road while waiving to her grandfather who was working in the fields on his tractor. The school bus rear ended the vehicle, crushing Mr. Clark's client, a 17 year old girl, who was a passenger in the back seat. Plaintiff suffered severe head injuries, scarring to the face and mouth, two broken legs and other internal injuries. Plaintiff was able to return to school one year later and then attended Michigan State University.
After extensive use of discovery, a one-week trial ensued before a jury. After trial for one week, a verdict for $368,000 was returned with $12,000 for costs for a total verdict of $380,000 which was at the time one of the highest awards in Isabella County. The highest offer made prior to filing suit, $0, highest offer from case evaluation was $50,000.
This is a motorcycle case that originated from an accident that happened in Tennessee. Mr. Clark's clients were traveling south on a two lane highway in the mountains. A truck traveling north and both vehicles were descending into a twisting turn. At the time they both came to the curve the truck and the motorcycle collided, with the trailer wheels coming over and crushing the left side of the motorcycle. It was the claim of Mr. Clark's client that the truck came over the center line striking the motorcycle, injuring the driver, crushing his left leg. It was the position of the defendant that it was the motorcycle that had moved across the double yellow line and that there was not liability on the driver of the truck. Mr. Clark and the plaintiffs set up cameras in the area of the highway where the accident took place demonstrating that trucks often and most of the time travel too quickly down the incline of the roadway because of the steep embankment and would go across the double yellow line to prevent the truck from going over into the dirt near the mountain cliff. Experts hired by the plaintiff testified the accident happened on the motorcycle's side of the road. The highest offer prior to suit was $0. The final settlement was $450,000.
This was a three day trial in Sarasota, Florida concerning real estate rights on Marco Island. Mr. Clark's client family had an option on certain property that was the last of property on Marco Island that had been zoned for elderly living. Plaintiff was going to lose the property without getting a loan to help him preserve the property until the sale of the property to a healthcare facility could take place. This process was taking a very long time because the residence in this very exclusive area of the island did not was a "retirement home" near them.
A loan was arranged with a very wealthy individual at very steep and exorbitant rates of return and/or interest. Plaintiff proceeded to sell the property for a profit of $1.1 million dollars and then was sued for $3.3 million dollars, it being the claim of the lender that he was entitled to triple damages for conversion of monies he claimed was due to him. Plaintiff brought and defended the suit by claiming that he did not owe the interest as calculated by the defendant, that he had a right to sell the property, that the interest rate was usurious and that the defendant did not substantially help in regards to selling of the property and therefore was not entitled to a very substantial bonus.
After four days of trial, a verdict was returned stating that he did not have to pay the bonus and furthermore did not have to pay usurious interest rates for the loan that he had acquired and his was allowed to keep the proceeds from the sale of the property that they had worked so hard to get.
This was hit and run accident in Ingham County. Mr. Clark represented the family of an under skilled semi-employed person walking home to his brother's house. The defendant, a wife of a predominant business man, hit and killed the plaintiff and ran. The defendant claimed that there was no liability in that she did not leave the roadway and the plaintiff wandered into travel portion of the roadway thus being hit. Defendant denied extreme intoxication, in that she was not detained until the day after the accident and denied that the damages for wrongful death could exceed more than $100,000 given the fact that the plaintiff had no wife and no children, and had been semi-unemployed or unemployed most of his life.
After extensive investigation, finding bar receipts, digging up reluctant witness (friends of the defendant) it was proven that large amounts of alcohol were consumed by the defendant and was proven with the expert testimony, which was in dispute, over where the accident took place plaintiff was able to settle the case for $400,000.
This was a work-van to truck accident that took place on I-94 near Battle Creek, Michigan. Mr. Clark's client was driving West in a work-van and was rear-ended by a truck causing Mr. Clark's client's vehicle to lose control, go up the embankment on the North side of the road and then the van slowly traveled across the west bound expressway, through the grassy median portion of the expressway and into Eastbound traffic and was hit head on by another truck killing Mr. Clark's client. It was the position of the defendant that the truck that the plaintiff was driving was driving at extremely low rates of speed and caused the accident by driving below the posted speed for expressways. Furthermore, it was the position of the defendant that they did not hit the vehicle at any great rate of speed and could not have caused the vehicle to lose control and go across the side the expressway, ultimately causing death. There were no witnesses to this accident other than the drivers of two striking vehicles.
This matter was tried over a period of two days where it was demonstrated from examination of the State Police officer that his report which stated there was only 60 feet of skid marks was wrong and there was actually 600 feet of skid marks and this testimony dove tailed into Mr. Clark's expert accident reconstructionist that this was a high speed collision. It was then the theory of Mr. Clark that because of the high rate of speed for the collision and the van being hit from behind that a unsecured latter found in the truck, from the force of hit from behind, flew forward hitting Mr. Clark's client in head knocking him unconscious and that the cruise control on the vehicle which was activated caused the van it to continue down the highway, swing onto the embankment causing the van to be diverted across the road and median into head on traffic.
Highest offer prior to trial was only $50,000. The case was finally settled at the end of plaintiff's proofs at trial; the case was settled for the maximum allowed under the policy of insurance which was $360,000.
This is a truck on truck accident wherein Mr. Clark's clients' at 4:00 am on I-94, rear ended the defendant's truck. Mr. Clark's client was killed in a fireball that ensued from the collision and there were no witnesses to the collision other than the defendant's driver. According the State Police, Mr. Clark's driver was speeding when he rear ended the defendant's truck and thus was presumed to be at fault for the collision. It was Mr. Clark's position that the defendant's truck was traveling at a greatly reduced speed and was traveling at a speed less than the minimum for the expressway and it was the defendant who was at fault even though the plaintiff was speeding going approximately 75 mph on I-94. The collision was so horrific that it caught fire killing the plaintiff and leaving no testimony from the plaintiff's perspective. Extensive investigation of all the State Police records, who investigated this collision extensively, indicated that the defendant's driver had been driving for approximately two days or potentially more without any sleep. This information was not from the driver's logs (which Mr. Clark thought was doctored), but from the driver's itinerary, toll passes, and delivery tickets for his drop off and pick up of freight. Furthermore, after expensive investigation a trucker was located and found in Chicago, who was not noted by the police, who actually missed the defendant's truck traveling at a very low rate of speed approximately 5 minutes prior to the accident.
The defendant further claimed that the plaintiff was under the influence of marijuana a year after the suit. The State Police crime lab in the original report only noted that there was no alcohol in the blood stream of Mr. Clark's driver. However, after approximately one year, it was claimed that the Crime Lab missed a urine analysis report and showed positive for canniboids. Again, after further investigation and many depositions of the Crime Lab personnel, it was determined that it was probably the urine of another driver and/or person had been mislabeled by the Michigan State Police. The case settled for a few dollars within the maximum amount of insurance available to the truck for $380,000.
Mr. Clark represented a prominent husband and wife who were both charged with arson to their business. The business, at the time of fire, was unfortunately in foreclosure and there were two policies of insurance on the property. It was the theory of the prosecution that the couple needed money and that they set fire in the attic of the business next to the furnaces. They thought they used flammable liquid gasoline to start the fire and the delay mechanism was the thermostat that was turned down. The thermostat then came on when the building cooled thus giving Mr. Clark's clients a chance to get out of the building and then "discover" the fire. It was the claim of the prosecution that flammable liquid patterns could be found on the walls and that there was flammable liquid found on top of the water in the room below the furnaces. Photos were produced to provide evidence of this point.
It was the position of Mr. Clark's clients that they did not know what caused the fire but they did not set it. After hiring an expert in cause and origin of fires, it was Mr. Clark's position that the furnaces were faulty and caused the fire by setting fire to boxes stored next to the faulty furnace. Using photographs of the police, Mr. Clark was able to prove the "flammable liquid" patterns found on the wall came from a burnt out waste basket, and other patterns were caused by papers stored on top of file cabinets, and the burn marks were too even to come from "flammable liquids". The flammable liquid found on the water was kerosene from a heater tipped over in putting out the fire and the insurance companies had made a mistake in providing two policies of insurance at the same time. Lastly, Mr. Clark argued to the jury that furnaces had an open and continuous pilot and gasoline would catch fire before his client could even get out of the attic.
After a two week trial a verdict of not guilty was returned. A civil suit was filed after the verdict against the insurance companies and Mr. Clark was able to collect from the insurance companies over $400,000 for the loss his clients suffered due to the fire.
Mr. Clark's client had retired due to a disability. He and his wife had a child with down syndrome that they were taking care of in their elder years. Mr. Clark's client home caught on fire and was destroyed. Mr. Clark's client's daughter was in the residence at the time of the fire and his client went back into the home to save her and then started saving his personal property when he collapsed in the front yard. The insurance company refused to pay claiming that this was arson. Mr. Clark filed suit and was able to get the insurance copay to pay for the $110,000 loss. After settling the insurance claim, Mr. Clark's client was charged with arson and defrauding the insurance company. It was the theory of the prosecution that Mr. Clark's client attempted to start the fire because he was having financial problems and his special needs daughter was a burden to him. It was the claim of the prosecutor that Mr. Clark's client spread gasoline throughout the house and set the fire as he was leaving through a door that led to the garage, and that he left the gas can near the back porch door which was adjacent to the door that led to the garage. During trial, it was demonstrated via photographic evidence that the gas can was probably moved and that the fire really started in a faulty light fixture. Mr. Clark entered evidence that his client did not need money and that the gas can was moved probably by the fire fighters trying to put out the fire and that the flammable liquid patterns on the floor were not in fact caused by flammable liquids. After two weeks of trial, the verdict of not guilty was rendered after the defense was able to prove or indicate that the fire stemmed from a faulty light fixture. After the case was over, Mr. Clark and his attorney filed suit against the local and state fire marshal claiming that they moved evidence. This case was settled for an amount not to be disclosed.
Mr. Clark's client was young farmer who was charged with arson of a barn. Defendant was undergoing financial difficulties at the time and it was the claim of the prosecution that he burned the barn for money. This matter was tried for 3 days week before the prosecution dismissed the case and offered misdemeanor charges.
Mr. Clark's client was charged with raping and kidnapping a young woman that he had been dating. He was facing 20 years to life in prison. The parties had been drinking heavily the night of the incident. It was the contention of the victim that Mr. Clark's client, while the victim was intoxicated, forcibly took her from the bar where they were drinking back to his house, hit her breaking her collar bone and nose, raped her, and then after doing all that, offer her a ride home. The she claimed he put her in his truck and took her to a deserted field and kicked the victim out of his truck.
At trial, Mr. Clark was able to demonstrate that the victim and his client knew each other and had had a stormy relationship in the near past and that the victim had been drinking and voluntarily went home with his client. While at home, the parties did have intercourse, but a fight ensued when Mr. Clark's client threatened and did call her new boyfriend about the evening. It was the position of Mr. Clark that his client wanted to apologize, but the parties started a new fight, that she pushed him, he pushed back and that a large stereo speaker fell and hit the victim causing her injuries. It was raining and it was Mr. Clark's client's position that he offered to the victim a ride back home, they got in another fight in the truck on the way back home and he got mad and kicked her out of the truck. It was also demonstrated at trial that the alleged victim had offered to drop the charges, if Mr. Clark's client would give her his house and his boat. After a one week trial a verdict of not guilty was entered.
Mr. Clark's client was upstairs in his house that he shared with his girlfriend. His current girlfriend and his former girlfriend were downstairs and got into a very heated argument. The police were called and the two women were subdued by the police and the police knew that a male was upstairs, and immediately went upstairs. Mr. Clark's client was upstairs in bed at the time of the incident. It was the position of the police that when they went upstairs to find the male, Mr. Clark's client was awake in the bed with a pit bull and refused to come downstairs. Then the police claim Mr. Clark's client was upset and attacked them and that they subdued Mr. Clark's client with two police officers, billy-clubs, and pepper spray. It was the position of Mr. Clark's client that he was a heavy sleeper, could not see well and being grabbed by the police to awake him he struck back in self-defense, not knowing that the party trying to awaken him was the police. After three days of trial, Mr. Clark proved, via an open mike tape, that the police were acting very quickly and if the dog was in fact in the room it would have attacked the police. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.
Mr. Clark's client, a driver of an automobile, was accused of driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .20. He was driving down a winding road. It was alleged that Mr. Clark's client lost control of the vehicle, went through a fence due to the fact that he was intoxicated, and that he had a blood alcohol content greater than .08. Later, Mr. Clark's client went to a gasoline station to retrieve a wrecker to help him with the car. He was then arrested by the police and charged with drunk driving. After two days of trial, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, finding that the defendant was not guilty. Mr. Clark was able to show that it was not unusual for persons to miss the curve where the accident happened and that the farmer had to admit that the fence had been knocked down multiple times by persons who had missed the turn. They jury also returned a verdict of not guilty on the blood alcohol because they did not believe the prosecution was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alcohol content was illegal at the time of the driving.
Mr. Clark's client was charged with arson and habitualized under Michigan law so that the penalty would be life in prison. Mr. Clark's client was alleged to have burned a home that he owned as a rental and was under construction. It was the claim of the prosecution that Mr. Clark's client was in financial need and that he burned the property for money. At trial, it was demonstrated by Mr. Clark that his client had been assaulted and confronted by a next door neighbor who did not like the idea that he might be renting to African American people and that the next door neighbor had been found to be legally insane in the past. Much research was conducted into the next door neighbor's past, and it was found that when he was released from the sanatorium several years prior to this fire, another unsolved fire had been started after the neighbor had had a fight with an African American in a bar. An African American home was burned down after the dispute in the bar near the insane neighbor. Much of the discovery issued went to the Court of Appeals prior to trial. After five days of trial, a directed verdict of not guilty was entered by the trial court.
Mr. Clark's client was arrested after he had been frequenting a drug house that was staked out by the police. After Mr. Clark's client left the home, he got into a car that the police say was swerving and the driver acting strange and Mr. Clark's client appeared to be stuffing something in his pants. A stop of the car was effectuated by the police and a pat down search of Mr. Clark's client took place. The police found no indication of drugs on Mr. Clark's client after the first search. It was claimed by the police, later on after Mr. Clark's client was arrested, that Mr. Clark's client admitted that he did have cocaine in his pants. At the time of the preliminary exam, Mr. Clark raised the issue of illegal search, no Miranda warnings after the arrest, and the police were not telling the truth about an alleged confession. After this matter was bound over to Circuit court, a hearing was noticed on the issues raised at the preliminary examination, the matter was dismissed at the time of the circuit court hearing.
Mr. Clark represented a State police officer who was a person of high interest. The police officer and his wife were going through a divorce when his wife was shot to death at a local zoo. Defense counsel was able to organize a defense team and was able to diffuse the situation and to this date no charges have been brought against their client. This was headline news in Newsweek magazine, National TV, and multimedia locally both statewide and nationwide.
Defendant was accused of attempting to steal a coat by way of threats of a knife. After the preliminary examination, this matter was dismissed.
This is a medical marijuana case. Mr. Clark's client was growing medical marijuana outside in an unlocked and unsecured place, his front yard. Mr. Clark fought the charge based on an illegal search with the result of a plea to a civil infraction.