Judgments & Settlements

Throughout our history, the Law Offices of Peter Miller has consistently fought to obtain just and fair compensation for our clients large and small. In the process, we have garnered millions of dollars for our clients, both in the form of jury verdicts and out-of-court settlements. The cases included here are a sampling of results achieved for our clients. This is a partial list and does not constitute a promise of any kind. Because each case has unique facts, the listed case results do not and cannot represent the value of your case.

Premises Liability

Because Arkansas adheres to the legal doctrine of “caveat lessee", landlords in Arkansas have no duty to provide repairs for rented or leased premises. For this reason, many believe that a landlord in Arkansas cannot be held liable when a person is injured in an apartment. This is not necessarily the case. A landlord can be held liable for failure to repair a latent defect. A latent defect is a defect that existed before the lease was signed, and a defect that could not have been discovered through reasonable diligence. Furthermore, even though a landlord has no duty to repair leased or rented premises, a landlord, who agrees to make repairs can be held liable if those repairs are performed negligently.

For example, a renter complained of water leaks in his apartment. Rather than repairing the plumbing, the landlord merely painted the water spots (negligent repair). A kitchen cabinet eventually fell on the tenant injuring her severely. Investigation of the fallen cabinet revealed that the screws had not been mounted into the wall studs, but only into the sheetrock (a latent defect). Our attorneys were, therefore, able to assert liability for the injuries on the landlord.


Case Studies: ATV Amputation Injury

A little girl, three years old at the time, was riding in front of her dad on an American Sundiro 50cc four-wheel ATV when her foot became entangled in the chain/sprocket. As a result of the negligently designed sharp edged metal sprocket guard, all of the toes on one foot were amputated. It should be noted that there were at least three other similar cases against the same manufacturer in Arkansas and Louisiana. The case was settled in mediation for a lump sum and lifetime structured settlement.

Case Studies: Car/Truck Accident: Brain Damage

The plaintiff was a bright 18-year-old female who was a passenger in an automobile. An 18-wheeler going approximately 65 mph went through an intersection and T-boned the vehicle on the passenger side, causing the Plaintiff to hit her head on the side window bar of her vehicle. The result was a coup-contra coup injury, which caused extensive damage to her brain. She was in a coma for a month and then slowly recovered to the extent that she could function as a mildly retarded person. The case was tried in White County, Arkansas and the largest jury verdict in the history of that county was obtained. A set of annuities was purchased on behalf of the plaintiff which has produced and continues to produce a lifetime income for her.


Case Studies: Defective Ladder Case

A homeowner was atop an extension ladder clearing the gutters of accumulated leaves when the safety devices on the extension ladder failed, causing it to telescope down. The homeowner/plaintiff was thrown to the ground where he received a blow to the temporal region of his skull.

The defendant ladder manufacturer, refused to accept liability stating that the homeowner had failed to properly engage the safety locks.

The Law Offices of Peter Miller hired an engineering firm to do a complete analysis of the ladder and the safety catch functions. In addition, Peter Miller traveled to Mexico and inspected the plant where the ladder had been manufactured and noticed certain manufacturing procedures, which would result in failure of the safety features of the ladder. An extensive discovery was initiated, including interviews with company engineers and plant supervisors. The Plaintiff's physicians were also deposed at length. Approximately a year after a lawsuit was filed, the Law Offices of Peter Miller was invited by the defendant/manufacturer to submit a demand for settlement. Shortly thereafter, settlement was reached in an amount that was agreeable to all parties.


Case Studies: Escaped Gas Case

The plaintiff was an elderly woman who lived alone in a modest single-family home heated by space heaters. The space heaters were the kind that did not have safety shut-off valves. The result was that if the gas was turned on, but the fire was out, the gas would continue to flow out of the space heater.

It was wintertime and the local gas company had to make some repairs on their main line. Without informing the Plaintiff, at approximately 5:00 in the morning, they shut off her gas for a brief period of time, made their repairs and then turned the gas back on. The result was the space heaters, which had been on heating the house were shut off and then turned back on without any flame. As the plaintiff slept, she inhaled quantities of unburned gas.

Natural gas does not have a significant odor onto itself and, as a result, must be "odorized" with a very powerful chemical called "mercaptin". An investigation showed that the gas company had exceeded the normal quantities of mercaptin by a factor of more than 400. The result was that the levels of mercaptin were toxic, causing the plaintiff to develop traumatic asthma, a permanent condition.

The Law Offices of Peter Miller represented the plaintiff in Court in Pine Bluff against the gas company, as well as the subcontractor hired to do the repairs. A jury awarded the plaintiff a significant sum of money against the subcontractor, finding them guilty of negligence.


Case Studies: Log Truck Case

The client was a 30-year-old mother of a small child who worked at a lumber mill. One morning during the winter months, while it was still dark, she was driving her normal route to work. A log truck pulled out of a side road in front of her, and as it was making its turn her car went underneath the over-hanging logs.

The woman was unable to see the headlights of the log truck because the log truck had already made its turn. The log truck did not have its statutory side running lights on, and most significantly, the log truck did not have a light or lantern hanging off the back of logs that were extending beyond the back of the flatbed trailer.

The top of the plaintiff's automobile was torn off, and she received very significant facial injuries. Miraculously, she was not killed; however, she had extensive damage to her facial bones, was blinded in one eye, and because of nerve damage, she permanently lost the ability to smell and taste.

The Law Offices of Peter Miller prepared the case for trial, but was able to settle it for an undisclosed sum that was satisfactory to all parties.


Case Studies: Pedestrian Child Hit by Pickup Truck

The incident occurred in Phillips County, Arkansas. A five-year-old child was standing with his babysitter when the child ran into the street. A pickup truck driven by an intoxicated employee of a farming corporation hit the child, damaging his spinal cord, which resulted in paraplegia. The Defendant Driver took the position that he was driving safely and that the child had darted out in front of him and that, therefore, the accident was not his fault. Because the child was five-years-old, he was not held responsible for his actions. The pickup truck driver had ingested several beers and was somewhat impaired with respect to his reaction time. After a thorough investigation, the farming corporation agreed to a substantial settlement, which was put in a Special Needs Trust to benefit the child.


Case Studies: UPS CASE

An elderly man was driving a small pickup truck on Highway 55 headed towards Memphis. A double-tandem 18-wheeler driving approximately 10 mph above the speed limit and asleep at the wheel came upon him. Approximately three or four seconds before impact, the driver of the 18-wheeler realized that an accident was about to happen and attempted to steer around the pickup truck catching the corner of the pickup truck and hurling him, like a pool ball, across the highway, up into the air and over into a ditch. The driver of the pickup truck was trapped inside the over-turned pickup truck and the passenger, his 85-year-old wife, was thrown out of the vehicle.

The driver of the UPS vehicle swore under oath that he was driving the speed limit and that Plaintiff/Driver of the pickup truck was "crawling along down the highway well below the speed limit". The Law Offices of Peter Miller obtained a printout from the "black box" or data recorder of the truck, which proved conclusively that the truck driver had been speeding and had not recognized the danger until two or three seconds before impact. The elderly driver of the vehicle died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, and his passenger/wife recovered fully. The case was settled in the very high six figures.


Case Studies: Phone Repairman Case

The plaintiff was a rural telephone repairman who was hit by an 18-wheeler log truck, as it careened down a hill traveling in excess of 75 mph. The log truck impaled the plaintiff’s repair vehicle and hurled it more than 100 yards before it came to a stop. Miraculously, the plaintiff was not killed. However, he suffered a very serious and debilitating shoulder injury, after which he was permanently impaired. The defendant trucking company refused to accept liability, pleading that the plaintiff was at fault and that the trucker was trying to steer around him when the accident occurred.

The Law Offices of Peter Miller tried the case to a jury of twelve individuals and obtained the largest jury verdict in the history of Van Buren County on behalf of the Plaintiff.


Case Studies: Various Parties vs. American Airlines

On June 1, 1999, an American Airlines MD 80 crash-landed at the Little Rock Airport. Sixteen people were killed and approximately 130 people injured. The Law Offices of Peter Miller formed a partnership with a Texas law firm, Bodoin, Burnside and Burge, and represented the family of one decedent and ten of the injured victims. Most of the cases were settled before trial. Two of the cases went to trial and resulted in satisfactory plaintiffs verdicts.

One of the cases, Kristin Mattox vs. American Airlines, was tried in Federal Court. The jury arrived at a verdict of $11,000,000, the largest single victim award in the history of Arkansas jurisprudence.

 

 
 

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