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Blake Williams, Prince Glover Hayes Attorney, Settles Personal Injury Case for $325,000

PGH attorney Blake Williams recently settled a personal injury case for $325,000.  Blake represented a young child who was badly injured in an accident which occurred in a Jefferson County retail establishment.  The child was injured when he lost his balance and attempted to brace himself on a display rack with merchandise hooks, which were holding sheriff badges.  The display hooks were exposed without any protection on the end of the hook, such as a rubber stopper or price tag plate. As a result, anyone coming into contact with the hooks was likely to be hurt.

Blake’s young client unfortunately fell onto one of these hooks, which penetrated his eye socket. The young child was unable to free himself.  While the young child was screaming in pain and fear, his father was forced to physically pull his son loose from the hook. As he did this, there was an audible “pop” sound. Fortunately, the young child did not lose his eyeball and his eyesight was not affected. However, he was forced to undergo multiple operations for a tear duct laceration and full laceration of his eyelid. He also experienced continued tearing up in his eye and understandable mental and emotional trauma.

After reviewing the case, Blake decided to file a lawsuit against the retail establishment along with the company that manufactured the display that had the exposed metal hooks.  Blake’s argument was that the manufacturer and retail store allowed a dangerous and hazardous condition (the exposed metal hooks) to be present at the store, creating an opportunity for a customer to be injured.

After extensive discovery and the taking of several depositions, the parties attended mediation (voluntary, formal settlement talks) in an attempt to resolve the case. Blake did not believe an adequate settlement offer was made at the mediation and decided to continue preparing the case for trial. That preparation included expert witness opinions and depositions. Blake’s expert witness, who was extensively qualified in retail establishment safety, testified that the exposed metal hooks were a dangerous condition and that the type of injury that the young child suffered was a known risk. Blake’s expert was able to rely on multiple authoritative journal articles which set out multiple cases where young children were injured from exposed metal hooks on displays in retail establishments. After this discovery, and testimony from Blake’s young client’s good team of treating doctors, the parties again discussed trying to reach a settlement agreement. Those talks resulted in Blake reaching a settlement agreement that was more than double the highest offer made at the previous mediation.

Since Blake’s client was a minor, a court had to approve of the settlement for the minor. The judge appointed a guardian ad litem to review the settlement to ensure that it was in the best interests of the young child. In recommending the settlement to the court, the guardian ad litem had this to say about Blake’s representation:

Plaintiffs’ counsel exhibited an extremely high level of legal, engineering and medical knowledge, skill and thoroughness in conducting their initial investigation, identifying a plausible theory of liability, and overcoming numerous challenges to obtain a proposed settlement.  The Plaintiffs’ team spent at least 750 hours investigating and prosecuting the case over the course of nearly five years.  Plaintiffs’ counsel were diligent in pursuing their investigation, prosecuting their case, negotiating a settlement and in managing the post-mediation process. The legal experience of Blake Williams and the Prince Glover Hayes law firm are first-rate.  They have an impeccable record of success at a high level.  The liability issues required a mastery of engineering and design standards, national safety regulations, and an ability to engage and cross-examine experienced expert engineering experts.  Mr. Williams’ degree in mechanical engineering made him an ideal choice to lead the Plaintiffs’ team in this case.  The $325,000 settlement is a significant achievement in today’s personal injury litigation environment.  To achieve a result of this magnitude, a plaintiff must persuade professional insurance adjusters and case evaluators armed with the results of thousands of settlements and verdicts in similar cases, that the negotiated settlement is warranted.

We are grateful for the high praise from the guardian ad litem, who is also a respected attorney in Jefferson County.  Blake’s hard work and determination paid off and we are pleased his client was compensated for this tragic event.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to the wrongdoing of another, call Blake or any of the other personal injury attorneys at Prince Glover Hayes for a free consultation.