Law Offices of Brad Jackson Recognized for Top Plaintiff Verdict of 2022

Banner announcing Law Offices of Brad Jackson being honored for the Top Verdict of 2022.

The Law Offices of Brad Jackson in Dallas is being recognized for the firm’s role in a wrongful death trial that produced the “Most Impressive Plaintiffs Verdict of 2022” against one of the country’s largest telecommunications companies.

The $7.3 billion verdict handed down last July by a jury in Dallas County Court at Law No. 5 is the largest jury award in the U.S. during the past year, leading the Courtroom View Network’s compilation of its top trials in 2022.

Firm founder Brad Jackson represented the family of Betty Thomas along with lawyers from Dallas’ Mullen & Mullen in the lawsuit against Charter Communications. Chris Hamilton and Ray Khirallah of Dallas-based Hamilton Wingo lead the trial team in the multi-week trial.

Punitive Damages Verdict Follows Forged Document Evidence

Jurors in Dallas County Court at Law No. 5 awarded Mr. Jackson’s clients $7.3 billion in damages after finding Charter 90 percent liable for the death of Ms. Thomas, 83, who was killed in 2019 by one of the company’s repair technicians who stole her credit cards before going on a spending spree. The technician, Roy Holden, pled guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison in April 2021.

Evidence in the trial showed that Charter officials failed to conduct a proper background check, which would have revealed a series of troubling actions by Mr. Holden at prior jobs. The company also ignored Mr. Holden’s multiple pleas to supervisors about his worsening financial problems and personal issues.

Prior to awarding the multibillion-dollar punitive damages award, the jury was presented with evidence that Charter attempted to use forged documents to prevent the case from being tried in public.

Based in Dallas, The Law Offices of Brad Jackson provides decades of experience representing clients in Texas and across the nation. Brad Jackson is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The firm handles many types of business disputes, as well as cases involving serious personal injury and wrongful death.


Multimillion-Dollar Jury Verdict Follows Missed Deadline in Personal Injury Case

A high-profile Dallas lawyer has filed for bankruptcy protection while facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over an important missed deadline in a personal injury case.

Attorney Levi McCathern II is perhaps best known for representing the Dallas Cowboys and team owner Jerry Jones. He also earned some unflattering notoriety in 2011 after being cited and fined for illegally killing a giant alligator.

McCathern recently was the subject of a feature story in The Dallas Morning News about his representation of Lubbock-based West Star Transportation. The company’s insurer hired McCathern in 2009 to defend a personal injury lawsuit filed by a driver who suffered a serious brain injury after falling off a truck.

The driver’s attorney reportedly presented McCathern and his clients with $250,000 personal injury settlement offer that included a specific deadline. McCathern failed to respond in writing before the deadline and instead called to say that his client would agree to the proposed settlement. He then followed up to accept the offer in writing less than an hour after the deadline, but an appeals court ruled it was too late.

With the settlement off the table, the case went to trial in Lubbock in 2012. The jury awarded a $5.5 million verdict to the driver and his wife after finding West Star negligent. The verdict was affirmed in a judgment signed in 2015, and the trucking company appealed. The judgment now stands at roughly $7 million with the addition of interest. Family-owned West Star says that amount is enough to put it out of business.

Former Clients Target Lawyer

After the judgment was entered, West Star sued McCathern for legal malpractice. The company says McCathern exposed it to an “excess judgment” by not responding to the settlement offer in time. West Star is seeking nearly $20 million in damages.

The case was set to go to trial last month, but it was put on hold after McCathern filed for personal bankruptcy protection in Dallas. According to court records, he faces more than $1.7 million in bankruptcy debts and an IRS tax lien against him and his wife for $1.2 million. He has yet to provide a full accounting of his debts and assets in the case.

McCathern, who also has been sued by West Star’s insurance company, declined to comment for the Morning News story. His attorney said McCathern filed for bankruptcy protection because his insurance company wouldn’t cover West Star’s malpractice claim.

Meeting Deadlines Key for Every Attorney

Although settlement talks are in the works, this case no doubt will end up impacting everyone involved for years to come. The driver and his wife are still waiting for the money that was approved by a judge and an appeals court. The employees at West Star are unsure how long they’ll continue to have a place to work. And a notable Dallas attorney may end up defending a $20 million legal malpractice lawsuit after filing for bankruptcy protection.

It’s hard to believe this all could have been resolved nearly a decade ago except for a single missed deadline. This complicated case shows how important it is for attorneys to be organized and to make sure they closely monitor clients’ cases to make sure nothing is overlooked.

As lawyers, we owe an extra duty of care to the people who entrust us to protect their legal rights. Answering clients’ questions, keeping them updated on their cases, and meeting important deadlines should be the goal of every attorney.


Houston Jury Awards Nearly $90 Million in Tractor-Trailer Death


A recent verdict of nearly $90 million handed down by a Houston jury against trucking giant Werner Enterprises Inc. is only the latest reminder of the incredible devastation caused by wrecks involving drivers operating a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, or other heavy truck.

The six-week trial in Harris County District Court ended with jurors awarding damages to the family of Houston resident Jennifer Blake for physical pain, mental anguish, and future medical expenses.

The case against Werner Enterprises focused on a December 2014 crash in Ector County near Odessa. Ms. Blake was driving in the eastbound lane of Interstate 20 with her three children when her pickup reportedly veered across an icy roadway. The Blake’s truck slid into the path of a Werner tractor-trailer driven by a student driver who was making a delivery to California.

Ms. Blake and her eldest son suffered extensive brain injuries in the wreck, which also claimed the life of her youngest son and left her daughter a quadriplegic who will need 24-hour care for the rest of her life.

The Nebraska-based company claimed no responsibility for the crash, which on its face seems reasonable since its driver stayed on his side of the road and stopped his truck as soon as possible after the impact.

But, as with any lawsuit, there was another side to the story. Attorneys for the Blake family told the jury that the driver should have been traveling on a different road based on the icy conditions. They also claimed he was exceeding the speed limit, and that a Werner employee told the tractor-trailer driver to take the I-20 route.

Tractor-Trailer Verdict Factors, Appeal Coming

The high-dollar verdict no doubt was influenced by evidence that Werner had not provided the driver with a CB radio or outside thermometer to help monitor road conditions. Jurors also had to be feeling tremendous sympathy for the Blake family based on the deaths of their two children and their daughter’s lifelong need for expensive medical care.

Werner already has announced the company’s intention to appeal the verdict. It is also entirely possible that the trial court may decide to reduce the award before any judgment is issued based on a variety of factors.

While Werner has a number of avenues to try to get the verdict amount lowered (or even dismissed), cases like this provide further proof of the inherent dangers when passenger vehicles and tractor-trailers share the same roads. As this case reminds us, we all need to be a little bit safer whenever we get behind the wheel, for the good of everyone.

Behind Dallas Appeals Court’s $288 Million Ruling Against Credit Suisse

appeals court, dallas, ruling

A verdict of nearly $40 million issued four years ago in Dallas recently was affirmed as a $288 million judgment against Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse. Of course, as with most legal appeals, the story continues.

The case over a failed Las Vegas real estate deal ended its current local run with the recent 35-page ruling authored by Justice Elizabeth Lang-Miers of the 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas.

The next stop apparently will be in Austin at the Supreme Court of Texas since Credit Suisse almost immediately announced its intention to appeal.

Failed Deal Leads to Vegas-sized Judgment

The ruling addresses Credit Suisse’s failed attempt to void the original 2014 verdict and eventual judgment in favor of the Dallas investment firm Highland Capital Management. Jurors awarded $40 million against Credit Suisse after finding the company duped Highland into investing $250 million to help refinance a Las Vegas resort.

When Lake Las Vegas went belly up as part of the 2008 financial crisis, Highland sued based on allegations that Credit Suisse knowingly manipulated the property’s perceived value by relying on a faulty appraisal, among other claims.

Even though the state district jury in Dallas agreed with Highland, the case continued to go through additional legal wrangling. The trial court eventually approved the verdict amount and signed a 2015 judgment for more than $288 million after ruling that Highland was owed additional damages beyond the $40 million jury award.

Why Appeals Cases Take So Long

With a jury verdict, court judgment and favorable appeals court ruling, some might think Highland is about to pocket a hefty chunk of change. Not so fast. In the land of appeals, as this case perfectly illustrates, the devil is in the details.

In every Texas case when a trial court enters a judgment where money is awarded, the losing party can post a court-approved supersedeas bond or cash deposit to cover the amount.

By doing so, companies such as Credit Suisse can prevent winning parties like Highland from enforcing a judgment while the case is on appeal. Like a lot of big companies, Credit Suisse can find $288 million between its couch cushions, which is one of the many reasons why appeals can take so long to resolve.

Now that Credit Suisse has announced its intention to appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, and since it can appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in the event of an adverse ruling, it may be years before this legal saga reaches its eventual end.

Although the legal profession strives to uphold the idea that “justice delayed is justice denied,” the truth is that any court case can be delayed if one or more parties have the financial wherewithal and internal fortitude to continue the fight through appeals. Eventually, it’s up to our courts to decide the justice part.