Mica Nguyen Worthy Obtained Defense Results in Two NC Cases for No Settlement Payments

May 1, 2018 07:17 PM
Mica Nguyen Worthy

IADC member Mica Nguyen Worthy, a partner at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, obtained defense results in two North Carolina cases for no settlement payments: a voluntary dismissal with prejudice and a summary judgment affirmed on appeal.

Case:                   Premises Liability
Counsel:              Mica Nguyen Worthy
Firm:                    Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP
HQ                       Raleigh
Headline:             Defense obtained voluntary dismissal of the case without payment of settlement
Result                  Voluntary dismissal with prejudice

Plaintiff alleged he slipped on ice on hotel property and fell, causing bodily injuries. His attorney made a demand for policy limits to the carrier for the hotel. Defense counsel was retained and was able to determine that the Insured was not properly named in the lawsuit, that it was not a misnomer, that no misrepresentation or fraud had caused the wrong company to be listed, and that the statute of limitations had passed as to the correct entity. After discussion with the Plaintiff’s counsel, who refused to dismiss the case and continued to make a policy limit demand, defense counsel then filed a Motion to Dismiss and set it for hearing. On the day of, but shortly before the hearing, Plaintiff’s counsel took a voluntary dismissal with prejudice to avoid the hearing.

Case:                   Construction/ Flooding trespass, nuisance and negligence 
Counsel:              Pat Flanagan, Mica Worthy
Firm:                    Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP
HQ                       Raleigh
Headline:             Summary Judgment on lack of expert testimony to prove proximate causation
Result                  Summary Judgment affirmed on appeal

Final summary judgment granted, appealed and affirmed by the NC Court of Appeals. The NC Supreme Court also declined the petition to review the case. Plaintiffs alleged significant property damage when a historic flood washed construction debris from a large commercial development over and onto their land. Defense counsel for the owner and developer of the construction project retained experts to analyze the surrounding designated wetlands, water flow patterns through various metal pipes through the Plaintiffs’ real property, prior flooding on the Plaintiffs’ property, and sedimentation deposits, among other factors. The NC Court of Appeals held specifically that due to these complex circumstances, the property owners suing the owner of the adjacent property could not raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding proximate cause without expert testimony, which they did not obtain or offer in the case. In light of the evidence, Plaintiffs’ lay testimony could not raise a genuine issue of material fact. Accordingly, the summary judgment in the Defendants’ favor was affirmed.

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