Verdicts and Settlements

This list is not a description or characterization of the quality of the firm’s representation and is in no way a guarantee of a specific result for your case. Every case is different, and our South Carolina injury lawyers and the court will evaluate each case on its own merit.

You may know Chappell, Smith & Arden as Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp attorneys. We have handled thousands of  Workers’ Comp cases  and THOUSANDS of Personal Injury cases since the firm was Established in 1993. But you don’t really know us until you see some of the verdicts and settlements our clients have received.

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Birth Trauma

We represented the family of a child born with profound cerebral palsy
as a result of failure to timely do a
c-section. The mother, being seen at
a U.S. military hospital, failed to receive a timely c-section and as a result,
the unborn child went an extended period of time without oxygen, resulting in severe cerebral palsy. Through litigation under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the case was resolved in a structured settlement in the value of $18,280,000,000, thus assuring the child’s long-term medical care and treatment and the mother’s care for her child’s needs would be met.

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Fork Lift Accident/Negligent Hiring

Chappell, Smith & Arden represented a man injured when a fork lift operator negligently collided with our client, causing severe and catastrophic permanent injuries. In addition to pursuing claims against the fork lift operator, we actively pursued a negligent hiring claim against the fork lift operator’s employer. This settlement is noteworthy because the case was pending in Lexington County, which is widely regarded as the South Carolina county most hostile to Plaintiffs in personal injury cases.

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Chemical Explosion

Chappell, Smith & Arden represented a man severely burned in a work related explosion. After collecting workers comp for the plaintiff, we then collected against a third party welder who started the fire.

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Bridge Collapse

Chappell, Smith & Arden represented the families of individuals injured in the Charlotte Motor Speedway pedestrian bridge collapse of May 29, 2000. In addition to representing individual plaintiffs, Mark Chappell was a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee and served as Liaison to the Court, and conducted discovery and managed documents for all plaintiffs injured in this mass disaster. The settlement figure represents a global settlement figure for multiple plaintiffs.

Notable Settlements

$4,000,000 Class Action Settlement

On June 22, 2012, Chappell, Smith & Arden was appointed Co-Class Counsel in Temporary Services, Inc., et al v. American International Group, Inc., et al.  Chappell, Smith & Arden is one of three firms representing a class of plaintiffs who have alleged that several AIG subsidiaries charged their insureds inflated Lost Cost Multipliers, one of the components of workers’ compensation premium. Following more than four years of litigation, including questions certified to the South Carolina Supreme Court, Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. also gave final approval to a $4,000,000 settlement on behalf of the class members.

FORK LIFT ACCIDENT / NEGLIGENT HIRING

$5,000,000

$3,500,000 Verdict – Motor Vehicle Accident

We represented the victim of a near head-on collision which led to severe trauma and temporary comatose state for vehicle driver. A jury returned a verdict for $3.5 million, at the time the largest automobile verdict of its type in York County.

$2,000,000 SettlementProduct Liability

We represented a sanitation worker who was struck in the head by a steel door while unloading his vehicle at a transfer station. The door, weighing 500 pounds, became disengaged from its locking position while the contents of the dumpster were being unloaded.

$1,620,000 Settlement – Pedestrian Accident/Wrongful Death

This case involved the death of a pedestrian who was hit by a motorist. We successfully settled this case without the need of trial.

$1,284,000 Settlement – Trucking Litigation/Multiple Vehicle Wreck

Mark Chappell and Hugh McAngus, members of Chappell, Smith & Arden’s litigation team, represented a husband and wife injured while attempting to enter I-26 in Orangeburg County, South Carolina when they were involved in a multiple car collision, spun into the interstate, and struck by a tractor trailer.

$1,200,000 Settlement – Wrongful Death-DUI

Mark Chappell and Hugh McAngus represented the family of a husband and wife killed by a drunk driver who was speeding and erratically passing other motorists on I-95 in Colleton County. This settlement represented a complete exhaustion of all available insurance coverage.

$1,150,000 Settlement –Trucking Wreck

Hugh McAngus represented a woman whose car was struck by a large dump truck driver.  At the scene of the wreck, the dump truck driver blamed a phantom black truck that he claimed cut him off, causing him to swerve into our client.  Through the discovery process we were able to obtain convenience store video of the collision that did not show any phantom truck and learned that the dump truck driver had a disqualified CDL license at the time of the wreck.  In addition, we alleged that the company that had hired the driver just six weeks prior to the wreck failed to follow the required hiring regulations and had been warned by a previous employer that the driver had a history of speeding and driving too close.  This settlement represents a payment of all available liability coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage.

$875,000 Settlement – Trucking Accident

Plaintiff was struck head-on by a cable company truck in the mountains of South Carolina causing serious and permanent injuries. In addition to negligent hiring claims, we pursued claims of negligent maintenance of the vehicle.

bridge collapse

$150,000,000

$800,000 Settlement – Snorkle Lift Accident

We represented a foreign national laborer who was severely injured when the snorkel lift he was operating tipped over while using a negligently placed and maintained snorkel lift.

$750,000 Settlement – Wrongful Death Motor Vehicle Collision

We represented the family of a man who was killed in a motor vehicle accident while he was traveling to work. We actively investigated this case and were able to achieve a satisfactory settlement prior to filing a lawsuit.

$700,000 –Settlement/Declaratory Judgment Action

In this case, CSA represented a young man who had been shot outside of a bar and grill.  We initially brought suit against the bar and a neighboring strip club that provided security to the bar.  The insurance companies for the bar and strip club did not provide a defense to our first lawsuit and claimed that their policies did not provide coverage for our client’s injuries.  CSA took that case to trial and recovered a large verdict.  Then we set about attempting to collect the verdict from the bar, strip club, their joint owners, and the insurance company that alleged their policy did not provide coverage.  After instituting supplemental proceedings and successfully opposing a summary judgment motion, the insurance company paid this large settlement.

$600,000 Settlement – Motor Vehicle Wreck

We achieved this recovery for our client who suffered significant injuries in a motor vehicle accident.

$550,000 Settlement – 18 Wheeler Collision

We represented a woman injured in a T-bone collision with an 18-wheeler on Highway 378. We quickly retained several damages experts, including a vocational expert, life care planner, and economist, and resolved this case without having to file a lawsuit.

head-on collision / with trauma

$3,500,000

$550,000 Settlement – DUI Motor Vehicle Wreck

Hugh McAngus represented a man who was rearended by a drunk driver. Our client suffered permanent injuries requiring surgery to both shoulders. After offsets, we achieved a settlement equivalent to a $550,000.00 jury verdict.

$545,000 Settlement – Police Pursuit Gone Bad

We represented the family of a remarkable four year old who was brain damaged as a result of a vehicular collision caused by a police pursuit gone bad. We were able to discover, through the litigation process in obtaining 911 tapes as well as in-car video, exactly how a two-county, fifty minute police chase, involving up to ten police cars led to the near-fatal collision and severe injuries to this young man. This case was resolved under the State Tort Claims Act for substantial funds to compensate the parents for their losses as taking care of this child, but also to provide the young man additional rehabilitation and educational opportunities and to assure that his future is well taken care of.

$510,000 Settlement – Wrongful Death Four Wheeler Accident

We represented the family of a teenager who died in a four wheeler accident at a birthday party. After the case resolved, the boy’s parents were featured on Good Morning Americafighting for stronger and safer ATV safety laws. Through the efforts of these parents, the South Carolina legislature has twice passed ATV safety laws which were unfortunately vetoed byGovernor Mark Sandford. Through the perseverance of our clients “Chandler’s Law” was passed and signed into law in 2010.

$500,000 Settlement – Recycling Yard/Heavy Equipment Accident

We represented a truck driver who was injured while picking up a load of steel beams at a recycling yard. He was injured when the operator of a back hoe struck the load of beams causing them to crush our client’s leg. The man suffered significant leg injuries, including a fracture and compartment syndrome, which required multiple surgeries. We were able to achieve this result within three months of being associated by another attorney’s office.

hartford insurance bad faith

$14,500,000

$500,000 Settlement – Logging Truck Wreck

Mark Chappell and Hugh McAngus represented a woman and her granddaughter who were t-boned by a logging truck in the middle of an intersection. We pursued claims against the driver and the logging truck for negligent hiring, retention, and training.

$500,000 Settlement – Multiple Care Interstate Pile-up

We represented a man severely injured in a multi-car pile-up on I-85 in Virginia.

$475,000 Settlement – Premises Liability/Inadequate Stage Protection

We represented a terrorism investigator and security specialist for the Department of Justicewho suffered severe hip, shoulder, and ankle injuries after falling from an unguarded stage. As our client attempted to leave a crowded stage after giving a panel discussion before an audience of federal prosecutors and investigators, he fell from the back of the unguarded stage. We filed suit against the facilities management company that erected the stage and the property owner. Through aggressive discovery, we were able to learn that the facilities management company had possession of guardrails in a storage closet adjoining the auditorium, but neglected to install them.

$450,000 Settlement – Products Liability/Depalletizer Head Injury

We represented people in a number of elevator-related injuries. Most recently we represented a gentleman who was nearly decapitated while repairing an elevator used in the bottling industry. Our client was attempting to repair a stuck depalletizer. To do so, he was required to lean his head and body into the depalletizer shaft below the stuck depalletizer lift. As he was leaning into the shaft, the lift freed and crashed down on his head. Because of design failures, stored energy in the elevator was released while he was beneath it, causing him severe injuries. The matter has been resolved through the litigation process.

military class action

$56,000,000

$450,000 Settlement – Medical Device Products Liability

We represented an elderly nursing home patientwho suffocated in her nursing home bed when the bed’s inflation system failed.

$417,500 Wrongful Death SettlementTractor Trailer Collision

The family of a man killed in a near head on collision with a flat bed tractor trailer came to Chappell, Smith & Arden when the police investigation into the cause of the collision left them with many questions. The highway department found that our client’s husband was at fault in the wreck for crossing the center line of the highway. Through aggressive discovery and investigation, and with the use of accident reconstruction, trucking safety, and human factors experts we were able to determine that the trucking company was hauling a large bridge section in violation of its DOT permitting requirements, that the bridge section at all times hung over the center line, and that a lack of lighting or other warnings decreased the visibility of the wide load. This case settled at mediation shortly before trial.

$400,000 Settlement – Bicycle v. Vehicle Wreck

Hugh McAngus represented an elderly bicyclist who was struck by a driver that was not paying attention while driving into the glaring sun.

$335,000 Settlement – Texas Roadhouse Murder/Negligent Hiring and Retention

We represented the estate of a young man who was killed by a Texas Roadhouse employee. The case involved negligent hiring and negligent retention of a Texas Roadhouse employee.

We were able to prove that not only should this individual not have been hired but a number of actions taken by him while on the job should have indicated to any employer that he was a risk to fellow workers as well as customers. In representing the family, Chappell, Smith & Arden was able to ascertain not only the exact occurrence of events surrounding his hiring and his employment status, but believe that this case set precedent for employers in being held more responsible for their hiring, obtaining criminal records as well as more supervision over employees. The case was resolved for a considerable sum.

$300,000 Settlement – Motor Vehicle Accident

We represented a man who suffered significant injuries requiring an extended hospitalization and surgery. We brought suit against the driver of the vehicle who caused the multiple car collision and his employer for negligent hiring. Through diligent discovery we were able to learn that the driver’s employer did not conduct an adequate background screening. This case was settled prior to trial.

multiple vehicle wreck

$1,284,000

$300,000 Verdict – S.C. Tort Claims Act Case

We received this trial result for a client who suffered a thumb injury in a motor vehicle accident. This case is notable because the jury awarded $300,000.00 in damages when our client had only incurred $13,000.00 in medical expenses.

$200,000 Settlement – Concrete Burn/Negligent Warnings

We represented a man who sustained severe chemical burns to his legs while using ready mix concrete. Our client ordered ready mix concrete to help his brother lay a patio and sidewalk. The ready mix concrete company delivered the concrete, and their driver stayed on site watching our clients expose themselves to the wet concrete. Only after the job was complete and our clients had been exposed to the concrete for a number of hours did the driver deliver a receipt containing warnings about possible skin irritation and burns. We brought claims against the driver that delivered the concrete and his employer based on the concrete company’s failure to warn our client about the hazardous nature of ready mix concrete.

This list is not a description or characterization of the quality of the firm’s representation and is in no way a guarantee of a specific result for your case. Every case is different, and our South Carolina injury lawyers and the court will evaluate each case on its own merit.

For a FREE consultation email -or- call 1-800.531.9780.

Confidential Amounts

Railroad Accident and Chlorine Gas Spill

We represented an individual who suffered severe respiratory injuries and other losses in the January 6, 2005, Graniteville, South Carolina, train disaster and resulting chlorine gas spill.

Elevator Misleveling

Mark Chappell and Hugh McAngus represented a man who was rendered a partial quadriplegic when he tripped and fell while exiting an elevator at a hotel. Our client alleged that the elevator misleveled when it opened, causing him to trip as he exited. We pursued claims against the national corporate elevator maintenance company and the hotel, utilizing experts in vertical transportation safety, toxicology, life care planning, vocational rehabilitation, and economic loss.

Multicar Pileup Death Cases

Mark Chappell represented individuals injured in two separate vision obliteration cases caused by gas clouds at air separation plants in South Carolina.  On Interstate 26, 27 cars were involved in a pileup leading to multiple deaths and multiple injuries. Through the litigation process and discovery, plaintiffs were able prove a release of gas during the loading of a tanker trailer caused the collision.  As a result, plaintiffs in the litigation received multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.

Catwalk Design, Construction and Premises Liability

Mark Chappell and Hugh McAngus represented a 16 year old rising high school junior who fell off of an unlit and unguarded catwalk above a school auditorium. Our client fell less than one week after this new school opened. Our litigation team was able to establish that the design of the catwalk guardrails was improper, and that the construction and inspection of the catwalk was deficient. We pursued claims against ten separately represented defendants and waded through thousands of pages of documents to find the cause of the construction failure and achieved a significant recovery for our client.

Tractor Trailer Collision

We represented a long time truck driver whose vehicle was struck from the rear by a loaded refrigerated tractor trailer hauling double trailers. Our client suffered severe neck injuries requiring surgery and was unable to return to his occupation. Through depositions, documents, and with the use of an accident reconstructionist we were able to counter the Defendant’s assertion that a brake failure and not the Defendant’s negligence was the cause of the collision. The case was settled for a confidential amount.

Construction Site Heavy Equipment Accident

We represented a construction foreman who was severely injured when he was trapped between a track hoe and the rear tire of a motor grader while working on a highway road widening project. We brought claims against the operator of the motor grader and his employer. The case settled for a confidential amount.

College Campus Death

We represented the family of a college freshman who, on her first night at college, fell from an unprotected window at her residence hall dormitory. Our firm represented the family both in a quest to find out exactly what happened, but also to have the University acknowledge their shortcomings as well as take preventive measures to make sure this did not happen on campus again. Resolution of the case was reached in part where a scholarship will be awarded in perpetuity in their child’s name as well as a freshman award given in her name. As an outcome of this tragic event, steps have been made at other universities and colleges to protect their students from such events as well as legislation passed during the 2007 legislative year, requiring that all deaths on college and university campuses be investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division rather than the local police or campus security.

Tire Defect/Tread Separation Rollover

Chappell, Smith & Arden’s litigation team achieved this settlement against a major tire manufacturer and a tire retailer. Our clients were traveling on I-26 nearOrangeburg when one of the rear tires on their SUV failed causing the vehicle to rollover. We utilized experts in the technical fields of tire failure analysis, accident reconstruction, and vehicle controllability to reach a settlement that fairly compensated our clients.

Tractor Trailer Rear End Collision

We represented a woman who suffered significant injuries when the 18 wheeler she was operating was struck from the rear by another tractor trailer who told the investigating officer that he had dozed off at the wheel. We utilized experts in the field of trucking safety and regulations to prove that the defendant driver violated several applicable Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. This suit was resolved before trial for a confidential amount.

Other Cases of Interest

Alpaca Murders

Mark Chappell was retained to represent an alpaca farmer who raised alpaca both for their cria and their wool. The animal owner discovered his entire alpaca herd killed by a neighboring dog. The case was placed in litigation and only after extensive discovery and expert testimony, was the animal owner able to recover for the loss of his beloved animals.

Radiation Exposure

Mark Chappell represented an individual suffering from malignant melanoma secondary to exposure to radiation in Oconee #2 Nuclear Plant. This case, the only one tried in South Carolina, involved epidemiological testimony on the statistical probability issue of exposure to radiation and subsequent cancer. Because of this litigation more stringent requirements on exposure levels are now in place in nuclear power plants.

Electric Arc Cases

Mark Chappell represented a power line worker who was severely injured on an electric arcing case because of a malfunctioning transformer. Through the litigation process it was learned that defective design in the transformer led to its failure and the arcing of 14,400 volts into the skull of the electrical worker.

Lock Out/Tag Out

Mark Chappell has represented a number of employees injured and killed while working on machinery of either their employers or as subcontractors. The very common cause of these deaths is failure to have proper lock out/tag out mechanism and design features to prevent the energizing of dangerous machinery. Mark has represented a number of people who have been injured/killed in the timber industry, either being injured/killed by loading machinery and/or wood chippers.

Escalator Injuries

Mark Chappell has represented the family of a small child who’s hand became entrapped in an escalator at a local airport. Through discovery, it was determined that failure to place appropriate guarding led to the entrapment. This matter was resolved at trial.

Drug Interaction and Mis-filling

Mark Chappell has represented a number of people in his career who have been severely injured as a result of dangerous drug interactions or the mis-filling of prescriptions.

Chemical Exposure

Bill Smith and Mark Chappell have represented workers who have been injured/killed from chemical exposure.

Cranes and Snorkle Lifts

Mark Chappell, in his career, has represented a number of people for injuries received as a result of crane incidents involving double buckling or negligent operation as well as recently representing two foreign nationals severely injured as a result of toppling of a snorkel lift used as a man lift.

DSS – Beating Death by Foster Parent

Mark Chappell represented the family of an 8-year old beaten to death by a foster parent. Litigation was brought against both the School District which failed to inform the authorities, but also against the SCDSS for negligence in their hiring, training and retention of foster care workers.

Fuel-fed Fire Deaths

Mark Chappell has represented individuals killed as a result of defective design of fuel systems in automobiles.

Agricultural Deaths

Mark Chappell has represented individuals killed as a result of entrapment in agricultural machinery because of poor guarding and design, ranging from agricultural tractors and equipment to on-the-road modular cotton haulers.