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Verdicts & Settlements

Stock dispute nets plaintiff $1.1 million jury verdict  (access required)

Randolph James (pictured) was hired six weeks before trial in Barbara Wortley’s suit against Law Enforcement Associates, Inc. Wortley had a feeling the deck was stacked against her in Wake County. Former state Sen. Tony Rand was chairman of the board of LEA. He is the father of Ripley Rand, a former Wake County judge and now U.S. Attorney for the Middle District. Furthermore, Tony Rand is also Wake County Judge Shannon Joseph’s father-in-law. James said that although Rand made several appearances during the trial, any feeling Wortley had that she wouldn’t get a fair shake were laid to rest by the conduct of proceedings before Superior Court Judge Carl Fox. “We received a very fair, even-handed trial,” James said.

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Alleged defective trampoline bungee cord nets $450,000 (access required)

The plaintiff purchased in the summer of 2009 a Sportspower trampoline (manufactured in China) at BJ’s Wholesale Club in Cary. The plaintiff went underneath the trampoline to attach an accessory called a Flash Litezone, which was designed to be suspended underneath the trampoline by two bungee cords. The accessory was designed to light up when someone jumped on the trampoline.

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Arbitrators say local Alzheimer’s group can keep assets   (access required)

A rift between the national Alzheimer’s Association and its North Carolina chapter has resulted in a favorable arbitration award for Alzheimers North Carolina. A consent order filed in the Wake County Superior Court on June 9 confirmed the arbitration decision. The national organization had sought to recover $1.12 million in fundraising dollars and assets. But a panel of arbitrators decided Alzheimers North Carolina could keep all of its assets. The panel also ordered the national organization to pay $271,322 in arbitration fees and costs, including 50 percent of the local chapter’s attorneys’ fees.

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Plaintiff’s speeding complicates wrongful death case

A car crash that left an 80-year-old man with fatal brain damage has settled confidentially for $1.75 million. The October 2008 crash occurred when a small commercial truck ran a stop sign. The plaintiff, driving from the truck driver's right, hit the truck's front-side corner, causing the truck to flip over and skid to the other side of the intersection. The plaintiff's vehicle stayed upright but sustained massive damage. The plaintiff suffered traumatic brain injury that he never recovered from, said his family's Wilmington attorney, M. Troy Slaughter.

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Debtor wins rare verdict in federal collections abuse case (access required)

A federal jury has returned a verdict in favor of a debtor whose suit against Absolute Collection Service resulted in what attorneys say was the first-ever Fair Debt Collections and Practices Act jury trial and verdict in North Carolina. Plaintiff Diane Russell's victory in the case may change the way attorneys for debtors and collection agencies handle such claims in the future, said Sanford attorney Angela Martin (pictured), who represented Russell.

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$15M verdict against killer means closure for family, recovery from potential book deal (access required)

That murder victim Jimmy Lee Blevins' family will never recover any of the $14.96 million judgment entered earlier this month in a wrongful-death action against his killer isn't a foregone conclusion, according to the family's attorney. "I've heard about a few chapters of a book and rumors of a movie deal in the works," Crumpler attorney David Jolly (pictured) told Lawyers Weekly. The killer, Freddie Hammer, is only two murders short of Charles Manson, he said. "He's a cold-blooded psychopath," Jolly said. "He never showed any remorse to the Blevins family."

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