Articles

Jesse Kirchner and David Savage of Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., named Super Lawyers, Paul Thurmond named a Rising Star

. Posted in TKTY News

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2014

For more information, contact: Melissa Pluta Parker, 843-296-4092 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Elizabeth Boineau, 843.723.1462 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jesse Kirchner and David Savage of Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., named Super Lawyers, Paul Thurmond named a Rising Star

Charleston, S.C. – Jesse Kirchner and David Savage of Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., a Charleston-based law firm representing clients across a host of legal matters, have been selected for the 2014 South Carolina Super Lawyers list, while Paul Thurmond has been named a 2014 South Carolina Rising Star.

Jesse Kirchner, a founding partner of the firm, practices civil litigation with a focus on construction litigation and insurance coverage litigation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina, where he studied political science, and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in the top five percent of his class. There, he was inducted in the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Wig & Robe. Kirchner is a member of the Charleston County Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association, and the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Construction Industry and is admitted to practice in South Carolina and before the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, and before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. He holds an AV preeminent rating and has been named to the Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

David Savage, of counsel to TKTY, handles plaintiff personal injury cases, trucking injuries, nursing home injuries, dram shop claims, and serious auto accident claims. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Charleston and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and was also inducted into the Order of the Coif. A year later, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Justice School. Savage is a member of the Charleston County Bar Association, the South Carolina Association for Justice, and the American Association of Justice. Since 2007, he has been named among the Best Lawyers in America. He has also been recognized among the Best S.C. Attorneys and as a Super Lawyer. Notably, Savage also served in the United States Marine Corps, where he obtained the rank of Captain of Marines.

Paul Thurmond, founding partner, leads the firm’s criminal defense practice. Prior to founding TKTY in 2005, Thurmond served as an assistant solicitor with the 9th Judicial Circuit in Charleston, handling over one thousand criminal indictments with a 92 percent conviction rate. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston and as a part-time prosecutor for the City of North Charleston. Additionally, Thurmond was elected in 2006 to Charleston County Council. In 2009, he was elected vice-chairman. In November 2012 he was elected as a state senator representing District 41, which includes over 70,000 constituents covering both Charleston and parts of Dorchester County. Thurmond earned his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, where he graduated with honors, and his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a member of the Charleston County Bar Association, the South Carolina Bar Association, and the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Thurmond is admitted to practice in South Carolina and before the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina.

Super Lawyers recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their legal practice. The selection process is rigorous and results in third-party validation of their professional accomplishments. It is an honor limited to only five percent of attorneys in the state who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Founded in 2005, Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., manages a broad range of legal challenges, including personal injury, criminal defense, business disputes, property defects, and construction litigation. The firm’s attorneys are committed to applying their focus, intense preparation, and strategic thinking to every phase of the case, from the beginning through trial and beyond. They work with individuals, business clients and associating law firms, with a majority of cases coming from other lawyers. The firm’s offices are located in historic downtown Charleston, S.C. More information is available at www.tktylawfirm.com or by calling 843-937-8000.

###

Thomas Rode joins Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton

. Posted in TKTY News

For Immediate Release: June 11, 2014

For more information, contact: Melissa Pluta Parker, 843-296-4092 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Elizabeth Boineau, 843.723.1462 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thomas Rode joins Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton

Charleston, S.C. – Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., founded in Charleston, S.C., in 2005 and representing clients across a wide range of legal matters, has added Thomas J. Rode as an associate attorney.

Rode, who focuses on civil litigation, business litigation, and appellate practice, began his career in private practice and with the Savage Law Firm, where he practiced criminal defense and plaintiff’s litigation. He has handled matters in both state and federal court in South Carolina. Prior to that, he served as the law clerk to the Honorable Paula H. Thomas of the South Carolina Court of Appeals. Rode holds a J.D. from the Charleston School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude, and a B.S. from North Carolina State University, where he also graduated magna cum laude. A member of the South Carolina Bar Association, the Charleston County Bar Association, and South Carolina Young Lawyers, Rode also serves as an adjunct professor of legal research and writing at the Charleston School of Law. He is admitted to practice before all state courts in South Carolina and before the U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina. A native of Wilmington, N.C., he currently resides in downtown Charleston with his wife, Julie Moore Rode.

Founded in 2005, Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., manages a broad range of legal challenges, including personal injury, criminal defense, business disputes, property defects, and construction litigation. The firm’s attorneys are committed to applying their focus, intense preparation, and strategic thinking to every phase of the case, from the beginning through trial and beyond. They work with individuals, business clients and associating law firms, with a majority of cases coming from other lawyers. The firm’s offices are located in historic downtown Charleston, S.C. More information is available at www.tktylawfirm.com or by calling 843-937-8000.

###

Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton adds associate attorney

. Posted in TKTY News

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2014

For more information, contact: Melissa Pluta Parker, 843-296-4092 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Elizabeth Boineau, 843.723.1462 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton adds associate attorney

Charleston, S.C. – Christopher C. Romeo has joined Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., a law firm based in Charleston, S.C., representing clients across a wide range of legal matters, as an associate attorney. Romeo, who previously served as an assistant public defender in Brevard, Hendersonville, and Columbus Counties, N.C., will focus his practice on criminal and personal injury cases. Romeo earned his J.D. from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, and his B.S. in international affairs from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, where he minored in Italian studies. As an undergraduate, he also studied at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy. Romeo is licensed to practice in both North Carolina and South Carolina and is a member of both state bar associations. A native of Hendersonville, N.C., Romeo currently resides in Mt. Pleasant with his wife Morgan Elizabeth Lee Romeo and their young son. Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, P.A., manages a broad range of legal challenges, including personal injury, criminal defense, business disputes, property defects, and construction litigation. The firm’s attorneys are committed to applying their focus, intense preparation, and strategic thinking to every phase of the case, from the beginning through trial and beyond. They work with individuals, business clients and associating law firms, with a majority of cases coming from other lawyers. The firm’s offices are located in historic downtown Charleston, S.C. More information is available at www.tktylawfirm.com or by calling 843-937-8000.

###

Condo owners awarded $7.7 million

Written by Bluecrab Kit on . Posted in TKTY News

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS STORY ON THE POST AND COURIER WEBSITE

Mark Teseniar was skeptical when his telephone rang in 2007. On the line were his tenants who had just moved into a Johns Island condominium that he and his wife, Nan, own at Twelve Oaks at Fenwick, off Maybank Highway.

"They complained pretty quickly of mold and air-quality issues," Teseniar said. "I really didn't believe it at first. This was a pretty new unit."

Just in case, he decided to have some experts check it out.

"They discovered issues," he said.

Lawyers were called in. They, in turn, hired local architect Myles Glick, whose forensic analysis uncovered "a tremendous number of defects," Teseniar said Friday.

Those construction flaws mushroomed into a lawsuit that yielded a $7.7 million verdict last week against the company that installed the exterior stucco at Twelve Oaks at Fenwick.

"The jury gave us every nickel we asked for," said Jesse Kirchner, one of the attorneys representing the Teseniars and other property owners.

The award came on top of about $8 million that 16 other businesses previously agreed to pay to settle claims against them, Kirchner said.

The remaining defendant, Professional Plastering & Stucco Inc. of Sanford, Fla., elected to take its chances in front of a local jury. It lost, and an appeal is likely.

The company's president, Donnie King, and its attorneys did not respond to requests for comment Friday.


The case was not limited to the condo owned by Teseniar, a local teacher who was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. The defects affected the entire 216-unit development, which was built within the past decade. Kirchner said the property includes a dozen residential buildings and a clubhouse.

"It was in pretty bad shape," he said.

The shoddily installed stucco allowed water to intrude behind walls, deteriorating trusses and other key wooden support structures, according the lawsuit.

Kirchner said residents began to notice water stains and mold building up on the interior walls. The damage was not obvious from the outside.

"If you looked at the buildings from the parking lot they really looked in good shape," he said. "It isn't until you peel back the skin of the buildings do you see the true nature of the problem."

He attributed the bulk of the defects to sloppy workmanship and lax supervision.

"It's really just an ... inattention to detail," Kirchner said

Professional Plastering & Stucco's trial started May 9 and wrapped on Friday the 13th. Mount Pleasant attorney Phillip W. Segui, who also represented the condo owners, said a turning point came when jurors were handed samples of rotted wood taken from the property.

"They were able to hold in Ziploc bags structural framing that looked as if it had turned to chewing tobacco," Segui said. "I think that got their attention."


Teseniar said owners will use the proceeds from the litigation to fix the damage. The repair bill is estimated at about $15 million.


"We've been through the wringer, but we're only halfway there," he said. "We still have to fix things."

Trucker settles claim for brain injury, post-traumatic stress

Written by Bluecrab Kit on . Posted in TKTY News

A truck driver who walked away from his overturned tractor-trailer after colliding with steel sheets that spilled from another truck has settled for $700,000 on claims that he suffered a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Plaintiff Gary D. Morgan of Buncombe County, N.C., claimed he was driving west on Interstate 26 at about 3:30 a.m. Jan. 27, 2005, when the other truck’s cargo of steel sheets spilled across both westbound lanes near Orangeburg.

Morgan’s truck struck the sheets and flipped, throwing Morgan around inside the cab, according to the complaint. Morgan banged his head, said Charleston lawyer Matthew E. Yelverton, who represented the plaintiff along with co-counsel Cameron G. Boggs of Greenville.

What happened next became a key issue in the case, Yelverton told South Carolina Lawyers Weekly.

“He subsequently gets out of the truck, walks around, talks to the cops, denies EMS transport and goes home,” he said. “You would think the guy’s got an alleged [traumatic brain injury] and a serious loss of earning capacity and that it’s pretty much of a no-brainer, but it was complicated by the fact that he walked away from the accident and there was some delay in diagnosis of the brain injury,” he said.

“Really, the only injury that the defendants were buying was the post-traumatic stress disorder.”

The driver and his spouse sued several defendants in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas, claiming negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and loss of consortium.

At one point, defendants included the driver who was transporting the steel, the trucking company that employed him, a leasing company that owned the tractor-trailer that spilled the steel, a steel fabrication company and two steel distributors. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendant-driver was going too fast for conditions and that he and other defendants who loaded the cargo failed to properly secure it. They also asserted that either the leasing company or the trucking company, or both, failed to properly screen, train or supervise the driver.

In their answers, the defendants denied the claims. Michael P. Horger, a lawyer for the defendant-driver, and Karl S. Brehmer, a lawyer for the trucking company, did not return phone calls seeking comment prior to deadline for this issue.

The case, Gary Morgan and Kathy Morgan v. Williams Express et al., Civil Action No. 2008-CP-10-3546, went through a series of mediations and settled in November, Yelverton said. The settlement was reported to Lawyers Weekly earlier this month. Under the settlement, the plaintiffs released four remaining defendants in return for $700,000, according to court documents.

Issues

 Prominent in the defendants’ case as to damages was a video showing the plaintiff driving a lawnmower next to a road, according to Yelverton. “He said, ‘I can’t mow the front yard because it’s near the road and I’m terrified of being near the road,’” said Yelverton. “And they come up with a video of him on a riding lawnmower, riding up on the road and across the street.” Morgan had said in a deposition that he was unable to drive any more as a result of the accident.

That wasn’t the only problem. The plaintiff’s claim of brain damage lacked documentation such as an MRI because of the delay in diagnosis after Morgan declined treatment at the scene, Yelverton said.

“It was because the doctor said that by the time he got to her it wouldn’t have been an accurate diagnostic,” he said. Also, Morgan received no stitches and had no scars to show a jury, although testimony indicated a cut on his head was bleeding after the collision.

“Why did we settle for $700,000? The case might have been worth more, except I would certainly have had to prove the brain injury, which could have been tough,” he said.

Yelverton said some of the expert testimony he lined up was “great.” But “there were some not-so-great reports as well,” he said. Another big challenge was identifying and finding the defendants. Yelverton was unable to locate the defendant-driver and the trucking company and had to serve them by publication. After they made an appearance, Yelverton identified additional potential defendants but was delayed in naming one, which allegedly participated in loading the truck, until after the three-year statute of limitations had expired.

That defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, but Yelverton said the court denied the motion after he argued that he had properly substituted the defendant for another under Rule 15(c) of the S.C. Rules of Civil Procedure.

“Their argument was that I didn’t substitute them and that I added them, which would then not allow you to relate back, as contemplated by 15(c),” to the original filing of the lawsuit, he said.

Settlement Report

Brief statement of claim: Trucking case

Principal injuries (in order of severity): Post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury

Special damages: Minimal: Medicals of approximately $10,000; lost wages projection of $345,000.

Tried or settled: Mediated settlement

County and court where tried or settled: Charleston County Court of Common Pleas Case name and number: Gary Morgan and Kathy Morgan v. Williams Express et al., Civil Action No. 2008-CP-10-3546

Date concluded: November 2009

Name of judge: Mediated by Sam Clawson of Clawson & Staubes

Amount: $700,000

Experts: David Dorrity of Transportation Resources, Inc.

Insurer: Canal, Praetorian, Hanover

Attorney for plaintiff: Matthew E. Yelverton of Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton (Charleston)

Additional information: The plaintiff claimed that an 18-wheel tractor-trailer lost its load of flat steel while entering Interstate 26 from U.S. Highway 301 in Orangeburg. The plaintiff claimed that the load was negligently secured and negligently loaded.

The plaintiff also alleged that the driver of the tractor-trailer was negligently hired, trained and supervised. The plaintiff did not seek medical treatment until the day after the accident.

The plaintiff claimed that he began displaying symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury in the months following the accident. The plaintiff said he sought treatment through his family doctor and the federal Veterans Administration and eventually underwent examination by a neurologist and a neuropsychologist who diagnosed him with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. One doctor assigned a 60 percent whole-person impairment rating.

The plaintiff claimed he was permanently vocationally disabled based upon the report of Randy Adams, MED, CVE. Dr. Charles L. Alford assigned a present value of $372,484 to plaintiff’s lost earning capacity. The plaintiff also obtained a life-care plan from Linda W. Erickson, RN, CCN, CLCP, with anticipated future medical care routine totals of $700,000. The plaintiff said the defendants disputed his injuries. A defense expert reported that the plaintiff suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder but not from a traumatic brain injury. Also, the plaintiff said the defendants obtained a surveillance video that showed him participating in activity inconsistent with the limitations he testified to in his deposition.

The case was resolved in multiple mediations and involved several unusual issues, as follows:

* Relation back: The plaintiff was unable to identify the loading company for more than three years after the accident. The plaintiff opposed the company’s motion for summary judgment based on the statute of limitations, arguing the relation-back aspect of S.C. Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c). The summary-judgment motion was denied.

* Coverage denial: Also, the insurer for the defendant truck driver and his employer, the defendant-trucking company, denied coverage. The insurer argued that the vehicle involved in the accident was a substitute vehicle not covered under the policy. The plaintiff argued that a federal regulation, MCS-90, mandated coverage and made a timed demand pursuant to the Tyger River doctrine. The insurer claimed that MCS-90 put them in a suretyship position, thereby removing the insurer from the scope of the Tyger River doctrine.

Submitted by: Matthew E. Yelverton

Originally Published February 15, 2010 By Fred Horlbeck, SC Lawyers Weekly

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice from a law firm nor the formation of a lawyer / client relationship.

Every case is different. Any result that the endorsed lawyer or law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one matter does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

The law firm of Thurmond Kirchner Timbes & Yelverton, PA, provides legal counsel and representation for residents of low country communities throughout South Carolina, including Charleston, SC, and North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Myrtle Beach, Conway, Moncks Corner, Summerville, Daniel Island, Sullivan's Island, Georgetown, Hilton Head, Beaufort, Isle of Palms, James Island, Johns Island, Columbia, Florence, Darlington, Aiken, Greenville, Spartanburg, SC, Berkeley County, Dorchester County, Horry County, Jasper County, Hampton County, Allendale County, Richland County, Florence County, Darlington County and Kershaw County.