At Brown & Jennings, our clients are our heroes. We appreciate how difficult it can be – the financial hardship, the endless doctor’s appointments, the grief and loss. Yet, time and time again, we hear from our clients, that while fair compensation is important, “if this could happen to me and my family, to my children, it could happen to anyone. That is why I came to see you.” And that is why, at Brown & Jennings, our clients are our heroes.
Brent Brown, Andy Jennings, and the staff at Brown & Jennings are humbly grateful that they have had the opportunity to assist many individuals during what is often the most difficult time in their lives. In doing so, we earnestly hope that we have made these lives, and the community in which they live, significantly better.
Here are a few of the stories of our clients* who have graciously agreed to share them with you:
When Amy’s parents left her at the church parking lot to board a 15 passenger church bus to a Bible camp, they had no idea that decisions made years before by a major vehicle manufacturer to modify and cobble together a vehicle without any safety engineering, would change the family’s lives forever. As the 15 passenger bus carrying the Bible camp children returned to the Roanoke Valley, it suddenly and unexpectedly swerved out of control, rolled, and as it did so, tossed children out the windows. Our intensive investigation revealed that this tragedy, like a number of others with the same vehicle type, was caused in part, by an impermissibly high and rear-ward center of gravity incorporated into the vehicle that had originally been designed by the manufacturer to be a cargo van. The manufacturer, throughout the litigation, rejected the assertion as well as the plaintiff’s expert findings that since this vehicle was no longer a cargo van, but had been modified with an unusually high rear-ward center of gravity to be a passenger bus, it needed dual rear wheels for stability, especially at high speeds. Interestingly, as this case was resolved the manufacturer put a new 15 passenger bus on the market with the very dual rear wheel safety feature we proposed during the litigation.
A truck driver on the go all his life, John was devastated from the consequences of his stroke, and especially the immobility that accompanied it. Accordingly, he and his sister were excited when they found that they could purchase a specially designed, battery powered “personal mobility vehicle” to help him get around. It was outfitted with a rearview mirror, reflection lights, and walker carrier. When John, fatally injured, was found at the bottom of an incline next to his overturned personal mobility vehicle his sister was devastated and no one understood what happened. Our investigation, assisted by an electrical engineer, proved that what John and his sister believed was a Godsend of personal mobility for John’s handicap, was the instrument of his death. The personal mobility vehicle was shown to have a design flaw because it was equipped with an electronic brake that could suddenly shut off and fail to operate, especially going down hills.
When Sherry took her EMT training and volunteered day and night shifts for the local rescue squad, she came to better appreciate the threat to the community caused by drunk and drugged drivers. But she had no idea that she would need rescuing when she was struck at high speed by a drugged driver. So as she was recovering from her injuries, she decided to do something about it. With the assistance of Brown & Jennings she brought a case for compensation and punitive damages against the drugged driver that had injured her and her child. After a jury trial verdict exceeded the amount of the insurance coverage, an agreement was entered that would require a reasonable measure of personal responsibility from the defendant, followed by suspension of any additional amounts so long as there was no repeat by the defendant of his highly dangerous conduct.
Before Tammy and her husband left their 4-year-old at daycare, they thoroughly investigated the proprietors and felt secure in their child’s safety. But their life turned upside down in grief and sorrow when a safety device meant to prevent a riding lawnmower’s turning blades to stop, did not, resulting in the death of their child. We learned through the litigation process that the manufacturer knew of the very substantial risk posed by their product-design that only allowed the safety device to work on flat ground. Nonetheless, they had allowed the deadly mower to be sold and used in the Roanoke Valley, where the ground is often anything but flat.
*The above are real Brown and Jennings cases. For privacy reasons, the names of those involved have been changed.