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Atlanta Truck Accident Lawyers > Blog > Auto Accidents > $162M Settlement Reached in One of Georgia’s Deadliest Auto Accidents: Attorneys Discuss Hurdles in Litigation 

$162M Settlement Reached in One of Georgia’s Deadliest Auto Accidents: Attorneys Discuss Hurdles in Litigation 

Daily Report: June 27, 2024

“This case was very different by the time it got to the end of the case than it was at the beginning,Alan Hamilton of Shiver Hamilton Campbell in Atlanta said. “We didnt go after the easy money, we didnt go after the simple, quick settlement; we went after the hard fought settlement and we had to learn a lot about the case.” 

What You Need to Know 

  • In 2021, a van carrying 16 women from the sober living group We Are Living Proof made a late lane change and flipped over. 
  • The van burst into flames upon crashing, leaving seven women dead and others badly injured. 
  • Attorneys pressed for fault by the vehicle’s systems, including its fuel and steering system, which they believed helped them achieve the $162 settlement. 

Beasley Allen announced this week they have secured a $162 million settlement for the victims of one of Georgias deadliest automobile accidents that killed seven women and badly injured nine others in 2021. 

The accident occurred when 16 women traveling to an addiction treatment meeting were flipped over in a 2003 Dodge Ram van after the driver lost control of the vehicle. The van slid across two lanes of traffic on Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County, causing it to catch fire. 

The passengers were part of a sober living home called We Are Living Proof and were on their way to a meeting in Buford, Georgia. Seven passengers were killed inside the vehicle, with survivors taken to a hospital. 

In the aftermath, Beasley Allen was retained for five wrongfuldeath cases, and Shiver Hamilton Campbell in Atlanta was retained for two wrongful-death cases. Each firm handled four injury suits. 

The settlement is believed to be the largest for any single automobile accident in Georgia’s history, according to Beasley Allen. Many details of the settlement remain confidential. 

Managing attorney for the firm‘s Atlanta office Chris Glover noted the chemistry of counsel in securing the settlement. “This case again shows me how well this team works. It isnt the first time. It wont be the last,” Glover said in a written statement. Things work out well when you have your priorities in order. At work. that’s putting those seven women who died and eight who were injured first. We did that, and it shows.” 

Glover told the Daily Report that the biggest hurdle for the legal team was navigating multiple defendants and negotiating the settlement between all of them. It was very easy for them to point fingers at each other and avoid responsibility for themselves, and so negotiating that dilemma for our clients was the hardest part of the case,” he said. 

Glover said a lesson other attorneys can glean from the case and the ultimate settlement is to broaden their outlook on complex cases. This case was very different by the time it got to the end of the case than it was at the beginning,” he said. “We didnt go after the easy money, we didn’t go after the simple, quick settlement; we went after the hard-fought settlement and we had to learn a lot about the case. 

Co-lead counsel Alan Hamilton of Shiver Hamilton Campbell described the case as “among the most tragic [he has] ever handled. 

It was an honor to work together on this case to achieve what we believe is justice for these deserving women,Hamilton said. They did nothing to contribute to this horrific incident, yet their lives were either lost or derailed. This is why I’m a lawyer.” 

Hamilton echoed Glover in stating the lesson from the case is to leave no stone unturned.According to Fox 5 Atlanta, the attorneys also challenged the design of the vans steering system, and alleged that its fuel system allowed gas vapors to ignite and cause the vehicle to burst into flames upon impact. 

That’s one case, but that case would have very limited value,Hamilton told the Daily Report. “Lots and lots of lawyers probably would have just stopped there and taken that insurance, but we were able to peel back many layers of the onion when it comes down to vehicle design, maintenance and servicing issues, tires and many different aspects of the puzzle. 

The attorneys said that the defendants continually denied liability throughout the litigation. 

“Our system isn’t perfect in the sense that it cant undo tremendous loss and harm, but obviously no justice system could, and it‘s the best in the world,Hamilton said. We’re privileged to be stewards of that system and to work within it for regular people that we get to help.” 

Glover worked alongside Beasley Allen attorneys Greg Allen, Alyssa Baskam and Stephen Mulherin, while Hamilton was joined by attorneys Kyle Wallace and Sarah Adle of Shiver Hamilton Campbell, along with Scott Pryor of Scott Pryor Law Group in Peachtree Corners, Georgia. 

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