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Representative Cases

Plaintiff's Cases:

Edwards vs. Rose Lawn Funeral Home, et. al.          -           Professional Negligence
Escambia County Case # 2005-CA-439

Summary: Plaintiff's wife died and arrangements were made for cremation and visitation at Rose Lawn Funeral Home in Gulf Breeze owned by Alderwoods.  Plaintiff's husband, David Edwards, discovered apparent mix ups in delivering his wife's ashes after the cremation.  The funeral home and its parent company denied any wrong doing.  Mr. Edwards, the former clerk for the U.S. District of the Middle District, retained Mr. Higby who sued the funeral home and its parent company.  A confidential settlement was obtained after mediation in the case.

Bryant vs. Capital Euro Cars                                      -           Automobile Accident
Leon County Case # 2004-CA-2899                                          Personal Injury

Summary: Plaintiff was taken for a test drive in a Porsche Boxter by Capital Euro Cars salesman, Lorenzo Corona.  Corona advised the Plaintiff that he was going to show him how the car could perform, proceeded to take the car 70 miles an hour through an S-curve of a two lane road with a 35 mile per hour speed limit.  The salesman lost control, and the Plaintiff, a seat belted passenger in a two seat vehicle, was injured when the car crashed into a culvert.  Plaintiff had a pre-existing hip implant which proceeded to break down due to osteolysis over several months after the accident.  A substantial confidential settlement was obtained after the court allowed Plaintiff to amend the complaint for punitive damages against Capital's salesman, Mr. Corona.

Bobby Johnson v. The Hardaway Company              -           Auto-Truck Accident
Bay County Case # 93-3437-CA                                                Personal Injury

Summary: Plaintiff was injured while traveling through the West Bay Bridge construction site when a crane positioned in the intra-coastal waterway dropped 6,000 pounds of lumber while swinging the load out over live traffic.  Hardaway failed to use a flagger to stop traffic and used an improper sling mechanism to secure the load of lumber.  Plaintiff suffered a comminuted fracture of the tibial plateau and back injuries.  Plaintiff settled after extensive litigation, but prior to trial for $750,000.00.

Marty Hughes vs. Honeywell International                -           Product Liability - Personal Injury
US District Court Case # 5:00-cv-249

Summary: Plaintiff was injured while performing a pressurization test on an air to air heat exchanger for an F-15 fighter aircraft at King Khalid Air Base in Saudi Arabia.  The Defendant, Honeywell, manufactured a "cap" which separated from the heat exchanger and injured Plaintiff's arm resulting in five surgeries.  Plaintiff, Marty Hughes, retained Cliff Higby and Bob Spohrer of Jacksonville to pursue the claim.  At least four other law firms turned the case down believing it was simply a workers' compensation case.  The Defendant removed the case to Federal District Court and extensive motions were filed on the issue of forum non-conveniens attempting to transfer the case to Saudi Arabia.  Mr. Higby and Mr. Sporher successfully defeated the motions, including using a Georgetown law professor on the issue of Shari-a Islamic law and its inapplicability to the Plaintiff's case.  Plaintiff settled the case after mediation for a confidential lump sum.

Estate of Ira Michael Austin v. Coastal                      -           Product Liability - Wrongful Death
Hellicopters, Inc.                                                                         Aviation
Bay County Case # 93-1808-CA

Summary: Plaintiff's decedent, Mike Austin, was killed in a helicopter crash involving a Bell 47-G.  Coastal Helicopters originally denied they had any liability insurance, but after further investigation, Plaintiff's discovered that Coastal did, in fact, have insurance.  Plaintiff also brought a claim for punitive damages against the Estate of William Rogers (the pilot), which resulted in disclosure of assets in excess of 1 million dollars.  Mr. Higby and attorney Bob Spohrer of Jacksonville retained a metallengist and aviation expert who discovered the clutch drum on the helicopter was defective and had been machined by non-FAA certified mechanics.  The total value of the settlement to decedent's wife, Melanie Austin, exceeded 2.5 million dollars.

Estate of Christopher Jones v.                                    -           Auto-Truck Accident
Southern  Tire, Inc.                                                                       Wrongful Death
Okaloosa County Case # 2008-CA-2759

Summary: Christopher Jones was traveling to work on Interstate 10 early in the morning in March of 2007.  Jones passed over a hill six miles east of Crestview and came upon a large semi-tractor tire which he could not avoid.  The tire was laying in the inside east bound lane of I-10, and impact with the tire caused Jones air bags to deploy and his truck to swerve out of control towards the South shoulder of I-10.  Initially, Plaintiff had no way of knowing who deposited or left the tire in traffic on I-10.  The Highway Patrol had closed their investigation.  Mr. Higby hired a private investigator, who went to every repair facility 50 miles east and west of the accident scene, and it was ultimately learned that a tractor trailer for Southern Tire, Inc. out of Mobile, Alabama, had, in fact, encountered a repair very near the accident site.  Forensic investigation through expert witnesses established that the tire in possession of the Plaintiffs after the accident matched exactly with respect to tire manufacturer serial numbers the tires on Southern's trailer in question.  After the depositions of the corporate representatives and driver for Southern were taken, the case settled in excess of Southern Tire's policy limits.

W. C. Harlow v. GeoWaste of Fl, Inc.                       -           Auto-Truck Liability
Bay County Case # 97-1337-CA                                               Personal Injury

Summary: Plaintiff, Shirley Harlow, was a candidate for lung transplant surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, due to a condition known as idiopathic  pulmonary fibrosis.  She wore an "oxilite" air tank to assist with her breathing and walked three miles a day in preparation for her lung transplant surgery.  She had lost over sixty pounds conditioning herself for the lung transplant surgery.  Mrs. Harlow was broad sided by a large street sweeper truck owned by GeoWaste which ran a red light in Lynn Haven, Florida.  The doctors at Mayo Clinic advised that Mrs. Harlow could not be a viable candidate for lung transplant surgery, which assured Mrs. Harlow she would be dying from her pulmonary fibrosis condition. The case was tried before a Bay County jury, and just before closing arguments, GeoWaste's insurance company paid $850,000.00 to avoid a large verdict.  Mr. Higby expedited the case under Florida Judicial and Administrative rules, and the check was received exactly one day to the year after Mrs. Harlow's accident.

Estate of Stewart/Cotter v. Etheridge Cabinet           -           Motorcycle Accident
(no suit filed)                                                                              Wrongful Death

Summary: Teresa Cotter was married at common law to Randall Stewart in the State of Texas.  They had lived in Florida for over two years, but had never been formally married in the state.  Stewart was killed on his motorcycle on Thomas Drive when an Etheridge Cabinet truck pulled in front of him and violated his right of way.  Stewart was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but Mr. Higby obtained expert witness testimony which proved that a helmet would have made no difference in the outcome of the accident.  Mr. Higby also petitioned the court to recognize Teresa Cotter and Randall Stewart's common law Texas marriage and have Ms. Cotter appointed personal representative of Stewart's estate.  The case settled for $500,000.00 before suit was filed.

Gypsy Wotring v. USAA                                           -           Auto Accident - Uninsured
Bay County Court Case # 2005-2533-CA                                 Motorists

Summary: Plaintiff, Gypsy Wotring, was severely injured when a drug dealer trying to evade police in a high speed chase ran a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 98 and Everitt Avenue.  Mrs. Wotring obtained multiple soft tissue injuries, but ultimately was left with a condition known as lymphedema.  Mrs. Wotring and her husband had uninsured motorist coverage with USAA.  Mr. Higby successfully pursued a claim on their behalf and the case settled for a confidential amount at mediation.

Jeff Prumatico v. Keefer, et. al.                                  -           Auto Accident - Personal Injury
Walton County Case # 01-CA-202

Summary: Plaintiff, Jeff Prumatico, was injured in Destin when the Defendant, Keefer, ran the red light at Highway 98 and the intersection for Sand Destin.  Mr. Prumatico was driving a truck owned by his employer, Treasure Island Marina, and therefore received workers' compensation benefits.  Mr. Higby sued the Defendant Keefer and achieved a confidential settlement which adequately covered all workers' compensation liens and Mr. Prumatico's future claims.

Barry Broglin v. Trawick, et. al.                                 -           Product Liability - Personal Injury
Baldwin County Case #CV-01-805

Summary: Plaintiff, Barry Broglin, was working for his employer laying fiber-optic cable in Baldwin County, Alabama.  Mr. Broglin was driving a Caterpillar backhoe which veered off the dirt logging road he was on and ejected Mr. Broglin due to a faulty seatbelt, and a faulty brake lock down mechanism.  Mr. Higby retained Birmingham Attorney, David Elloitt, of the law firm Burr & Forman, and the two firms brought a claim on Mr. Broglin's behalf under an exception to Alabama workers' compensation law.  The exemption provides there can be direct liability against an employee where a fellow employee has disabled a safety device on a piece of equipment.  The Plaintiffs settled the case in excess of 1.5 million dollars after Plaintiffs' expert demonstrated that the employer had willfully disabled the brake lock down mechanism.  This was done through detailed photographs taken by the expert witness during investigation of the backhoe.

Sandra Haire v. Scott Haire                                        -           Divorce - Commercial Litigation
Okaloosa County Case # 07-DR-1037

Summary:   Mr. Higby was hired to conduct financial discovery in this divorce case where Petitioner, Sandra Haire's ex-husband claimed he had a negative net worth.  After much discovery, including depositions of the ex-husband's accountants and the husband himself, including third party discovery to casinos and other entities, Plaintiff achieved a settlement in excess of 3.5 million dollars for Mrs. Haire.  Mr. Higby worked in conjunction with prominent Atlanta attorney, Leigh Baier, on this case.

Barbara Stoner v. Curt Miller Oil Company, et. al.    -           Auto-Truck Accident  -
Bay County Case # 96-1863-CA                                              Wrongful Death

Summary: Barbara Stoner's son, Jarred Stoner, was 18 and traveling as a passenger late one night in Panama City when the Camaro he was traveling in was broadsided by William Culley, of Curt Miller Oil Company.  Culley was driving a semi-tractor trailer from the Panama City fuel depot north on Harrison Avenue.  Stoner and the driver of Camaro were traveling east across Harrison Avenue at the intersection 13th Street.  Plaintiff sued Culley and Miller Oil Company, and determined through deposition and discovery that the truck driver was 67 years old, diabetic, and blind in one eye.  Additionally, Mr. Culley was using a "radar detector" device in his tractor trailer rig which was carrying a full load of gasoline in the center of the city.  The case settled for a confidential amount just before trial.

Michael Meints v. David Melvin/Brandon Bruner     -           Construction Litigation -
Jackson County Case # 08-681-CA                                        Professional Negligence

Summary: This engineering malpractice case resulted from a failure of the Defendants to obtain an appropriate development order for the Plaintiff, Michael Meints, who built six town homes an Compass Lake in Jackson County, Florida.  The Plaintiff completed construction on his project, but could not get a Certificate of Occupancy for over eight months after the project was completed due to errors by the engineers.  Meanwhile, all of Plaintiffs contracts on the six units fell through, and Plaintiff was left with the obligation for the note and construction mortgage on the project.  A confidential settlement was reached after mediation, and one month prior to a bench trial in Jackson County, Florida.

Timothy Lewis vs. Continental Insurance (CNA)      -           Workers' Compensation
Bay County Case # 2004-1294-CA

Summary: Tim Lewis was a heavy equipment operator for Pettibone Construction when he was injured while driving his company vehicle north on Highway 231.  The Defendant driver hydroplaned and came all the way across the median resulting in a head-on collision and multiple fractures to Plaintiff's wrist.  Plaintiff's employer, Pettibone Construction, maintained uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $500,000.00.  Plaintiff settled his case with the UM carrier for $450,000.00.

Fiser vs. ________________________                      -           Professional Negligence -
Case No.:   ______________________                                   Commercial

Defense Cases:

Raymond Kendrick v. Edgewater Beach Resort
Bay County Case # 86-1679-CA

David Jordan v. Chateau Motel
Bay County Case # 90-2641-CA

Randall Ryman v. Corrections Corporation of America
Bay County Case # 04-2683-CA

______________ Johnson v. Corrections Corporation of America
Bay County Case # 96-2979

Estate of Chad Littles v. Corrections Corporation of America
Bay County Case # 03-316-CA

Sturgis v. Corrections Corporation of America (no case #)

Andem adv. Cunningham
Santa Rosa County Case # 07-284-CA

Panama City Port Authority adv Berg Steel Corp.
Hillsborough County Case # 08-014246

Panama City Port Authority adv. Hayward Baker, Inc.
Bay County Case # 03-3106

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