Savannah, Ga. (August 27, 2021)—Savage, Turner, Pinckney & Savage attorney Zachary R. Sprouse, along with attorney Lloyd Murray of Richmond Hill, recently secured a $3 million jury verdict as lead trial counsel for his client, a thirty-seven-year-old military ENT surgeon.
The Savannah-based trial team secured their just verdict in the State Court of Liberty County on August 10, 2021. The case was tried over three days, including jury selection. The jury returned its verdict in favor of the plaintiff after approximately two hours of deliberation.
This case involved a brutal vehicle-on-bicyclist crash and the serious injuries the plaintiff sustained on November 19, 2016. While riding her bicycle on Islands Highway in Midway, Georgia, the plaintiff was struck head-on by a Lexus attempting to pass a slower moving car. From causes unrelated to the crash, the driver of the Lexus passed away about one month later at the age of eighty-five.
The plaintiff’s left scapula was shattered, she sustained a severe fracture to her left tibia, and her past medical bills amounted to roughly $30,000. No past lost wages went to the jury.
On August 11, 2021, Liberty County State Court Judge Jeffery N. Osteen entered the judgment against the defendant. According to the Court’s Judgment, damages are awarded to the Plaintiff in the amount of $3 million. The defendant is also ordered to pay court costs.
Sprouse has high praise for defense counsel. “The defense was very well represented by an experienced trial lawyer—maybe one of the most gifted civil defense lawyers in the area.”
This is Sprouse’s third consecutive multimillion-dollar jury verdict in the last two years. In August 2019, Sprouse and Brent Savage, Jr. won a $4.25 million verdict in McIntosh County on behalf of an injured worker who sustained a catastrophic injury during a tree felling job. Eight weeks later, the same trial team won a $3 million verdict in Henry County on behalf of an injured truck driver.
In each case, liability, proximate cause, and damages were fiercely challenged.
Defendants can use complexity to their advantage. Recognizing that an advocate’s job includes bringing life to otherwise lifeless jury charges, Sprouse sought guidance from other experts in the field.
“Before each trial, we recognized the need to untangle at least one dangerously complicated legal concept,” Sprouse said.
“Having clear explanations of proximate cause was critical in securing these three multimillion-dollar wins for deserving people.”
Sprouse credits Trial Guides author and accomplished trial attorney, Edward P. Capozzi, for developing and explaining methods to simplify important legal issues.
“Ed Capozzi rescued the definition of proximate cause from the legal jargon that most people instinctively reject.”
Although Sprouse did not use the physical domino demonstration at trial, the team relied on the concept of dominos throughout the trial and used it to explain proximate cause during closing arguments.
Using technology and visual diagrams during trial, the plaintiff’s lawyers reminded the jurors of a chain-reaction they’ve all seen before. All it took was a few photos of dominos collapsing in one unbroken sequence. Imagination and memory did the rest.
The jury got it.
A job is worth more than just the paycheck.
“During jury selection in these two most recent cases, we asked everyone whether they agreed that, to many working adults, a job can give us a sense of enjoyment—a sense of belonging and pride,” Sprouse said. “We returned to some of the juror’s answers on that topic during closing.”
Even though the plaintiff had returned to work and would be able to continue her career as a surgeon, there are still many things she cannot do. “That matters,” said Sprouse.
“If you told me I could still be a lawyer, but I could not handle depositions or trials, sure I could still make money, but how would that impact my relationship with clients?”
That’s worth something.
“I think one of the most important things to do as a trial lawyer is work hard to truly empathize with all the parties, all the witnesses, all the jurors, and the court.
Only at that point can you truly expect the jurors to empathize with your client,” Sprouse said.
Capozzi’s The Domino Theory does not pose as a quick fix or simple guide to winning cases. Like many great trial lawyers, Capozzi leaves readers with a reminder to study the work of other lawyers but also remain true and work on your own style. “Write your own book,” Capozzi says.
“It’s something we’ll continue to work on,” Sprouse added. “If Capozzi is writing another book, I want to read it.”
About Savage, Turner, Pinckney & Savage
Savage, Turner, Pinckney & Savage (www.savageandturner.com ) is a Savannah-based law firm concentrating in complex civil litigation. The firm handles cases involving serious injuries, catastrophic events at the port and other industrial sites, business disputes, professional malpractice, and other high-stakes cases. Each year since its founding in 1993, the firm’s attorneys have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, regularly recording some of the largest verdicts in Georgia.
This verdict is the latest trial result for Savage & Turner, a firm known throughout the Southeast for consistently recording some of the largest verdicts and settlements on behalf of its clients.