This is a personal injury 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.
$2.1 Million Defective Machine Settlement Against a Multi-National Machine Manufacturer
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.
$380,000 Verdict in Automobile Accident After 4 Day Trial – Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
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.
$450,000 Motorcycle Accident Settlement in Tennessee, Moved to Wayne County
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.
$1.1 Million Dollar Verdict after 4 Day Trial in Regards to Real Estate Rights in Florida
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.
$400,000 Hit and Run Automobile Accident Settlement
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.
$360,000 Van to Truck Accident Verdict – 3 Day Trial in Battle Creek, MI
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.
$500,000 Semi to Semi Collision Settlement
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 $500,000.
$360,000 Defective Cat Walk Settlement in Clinton County, Michigan.
40+ Other Settlements and Verdicts of $100,000 – $300,000 in Personal Injury Cases
Multiple Maximum Workers Comp Awards of $200,000
Many Social Security Disability Appeals