$140,000,000 Jury Verdict – Premises Liability / Wrongful Death
Shiver Hamilton Campbell attorneys Jeff Shiver and Darrell Hinson secured the largest jury verdict in Georgia in 2023. The case involved the death of George Hughes, a 63-year-old man who died in a fire at an apartment complex where he lived as a tenant.
Mr. Hughes’ family retained SHC to get answers to questions about the circumstances leading to Mr. Hughes death. We assembled a team of engineers and forensic investigators to determine the cause of the fire and examine whether the apartment complex had any responsibility relating to Mr. Hughes death.
Even though city and state inspectors did not issue a citation or notice of violation to the apartment complex, SHC’s relentless investigation revealed the apartment complex violated mandatory rules and regulations relating to fire detection and fire suppression equipment.
SHC filed a lawsuit against the complex on behalf of Mr. Hughes family for wrongful death and to recover for Mr. Hughes pain and suffering before he died.
The apartment complex and its insurer denied any blame and hired four different law firms to defend it, including a large firm with offices across the nation.
A DeKalb county jury found the apartment complex was negligent and its negligence was the proximate cause of Mr. Hughes death. The jury returned a verdict of $75,000,000 for the life of George Hughes, $25,000,000 for his pain and suffering and found the apartment complex acted in bad faith and awarded the plaintiff $40,000,000 in attorneys fees based on the contingent fee contract.