Godwin, Thompson Obtain $3 Million Verdict in Logging Accident Case In Johnston County

May 12, 2022

John Paul Godwin of Hardison & Cochran, PLLC and Sanford Thompson of Sanford Thompson PLLC obtained a verdict of $3 million in Johnston County Superior Court in April on behalf of a plaintiff truck driver injured in an accident at a logging facility. Godwin is a member of NCAJ’s Auto Torts & Premises Liability Section. Thompson is a member of NCAJ’s Auto Torts & Premises Liability Section and Professional Negligence Section.

Insurance carrier: Nautilus

Nautilus filed a declaratory judgment action in the Middle District shortly before the case was set for trial. Nautilus is relying upon two manuscript exclusions to contest coverage. There are counterclaims.

Facts of the Case: On Feb. 14, 2018, Keave Bayes was a truck driver who had gone to a logging deck operated by the defendants. Pulp wood was loaded on Mr. Bayes’ trailer by a log loading machine set up on the passenger side of the trailer. A large log fell onto the driver’s side of the trailer and hit Mr. Bayes’ head. Mr. Bayes had no memory of the incident. At trial, plaintiff relied on evidence of Mr. Bayes’ habits at logging decks to contest contributory negligence.

Amount: $3 million

Injuries: Traumatic Brain Injury with permanent short term memory deficits and some motor weakness

Case name: Keave W. Bayes v. Kenneth Darrell Andrews and Craig Rutland

Court: Johnston County Superior Court, 20CVS 1358

Date of verdict: April 5, 2022

Judge: Judge Gregory Bell

Special damages: Medical expenses of $429,650.98

Most helpful experts: Dr. Sivakumar Jaikumar, neurosurgery; Dr. Patrick O’Brien, rehab medicine

Report submitted by: John Godwin