NCDOT pays $652,000 to settle Map Act case

After nearly 20 years of waiting, the Hatcher family finally received the $652,000 in compensation from the NC Department of Transportation. The NCDOT had identified a portion of the Hatcher farmland as being in the path of the proposed Greensboro Urban Loop in a Map Act filing in 1996.

Of the 78 acres of farmland, the state went on to condemn 13 of them to build the beltway. What was once sought after land was now worth drastically less because of this eminent domain action.

Read more about how the Hatcher family eventually received their compensation:
NC Lawyers Weekly NCDOT pays $652,000 to settle Map Act case

Johnson & Johnson Hit with $72 Million Dollar Verdict in Talc Ovarian Cancer Case

Jacqueline Fox used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for over thirty-five years. These products were a daily part of her feminine hygiene routine. They also, according to a St. Louis jury, caused the ovarian cancer that killed Ms. Fox at the age of sixty-two.

Ms. Fox’s legal team presented scientific evidence that showed the use of talc powder over a long period of time increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer by 200%-500%. Ms. Fox’s team also presented internal memos and documents that showed Johnson & Johnson not only knew about the increased risk to women as early as 1975, but that they also actively tried to cover it up.

Johnson & Johnson denied the evidence presented, but the jury sided with Ms. Fox’s family and handed down a $72 million dollar verdict against Johnson & Johnson. Ms. Fox’s case is the first in a series of cases to be heard in St. Louis over the next several years.

Child Custody and Child Support

Tim and Linda were married and had one child. The couple divorced and for a number of years shared a 50/50 custody arrangement of their son. Tim was paying monthly support to Linda for their child. Tim came to us after Child Protective Services (CPS) opened an investigation against his ex-spouse. Not knowing how long the investigation would remain active or the results that would come of it, Tim came to us to best assess his options.

We provided information regarding the law on child custody and advised Tim of the different routes he could take. We were able to get an emergency custody order granted which provided that Tim have sole legal and physical custody of his son.

Being that an emergency order is only in place for a short period of time, we strategically thought about our next step. Knowing that the CPS investigation was coming to a close and the agent could determine that the claims were unsubstantiated, we had to determine the strengths of Tim’s case and what was in the best interest of the child. We were able to go before the Court and obtain a temporary custody order, with Tim continuing to have sole legal and physical custody of his son. To reflect the new custody arrangement, we also moved to modify Tim’s child support payment to where he no longer had to pay support to Linda for their son.

Settlement Agreements

Joe and Elizabeth were married and had one child. Due to unhappy circumstances, the parties separated after a couple of years. Although they were only married for a short period of time, Joe and Elizabeth still acquired property during their marriage.

After Elizabeth came to our firm to assist her, we were able to recognize that there were a number of issues in the case, including equitable distribution (property division), child custody, and child support. The parties did not have communication issues that would prevent them from cooperating with one another. However, having a child involved, along with marital assets and debt that were acquired (including retirement accounts, bank accounts, and personal property), Elizabeth wanted to make sure she knew all of her rights and protected herself.

With our professional advice, Joe and Elizabeth were able to obtain a divorce and enter into a consent order regarding custody of their son. Moreover, we assisted the parties with preparing the necessary documents to achieve a settlement incorporating the issues of child support and property division. Neither party had to appear in court throughout their separation and divorce process.

A young man who was a resident at a group home drown while on an outing with counselors.

A young man who was a resident at a group home drown while on an outing with counselors. The counselors had taken several boys to play in a river as a reward for good behavior. As the boys walked down the river, playing as they went, the counselors walked along a road running parallel to the river.  Between the river and the road were thick woods which dramatically limited the counselor’s ability to monitor the boys as they walked down the river.  Additionally, although the river was not deep, it had loud rapids at spots that made hearing difficult. 

As the boys reached the end exit spot in the river and met up with the counselors, they noted that the young man was missing. A search then and law enforcement was called. The young man, unfortunately, was found drown near a rapid. 

An investigation determined that the counselors had violated several rules of the home, including rules that required them stay within a certain distance of their charges and to maintain visual contact at all times. The wrongful death case settled for $750,000.00.