Since 1981 Means Gillis Law, PC has handled an extensive number of litigation matters. Listed below is a short summary of several notable litigation matters that we have handled, which demonstrate the extent of our litigation experience.

These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among other factors.

LOCKHEED MARTIN CASE

Means Gillis Law, PC represented five (5) plaintiffs, including the families of two (2) victims killed and two (2) victims who were left with serious permanent injuries, as a result of the racially motivated shootings at the Lockheed Martin facility in Meridian, Mississippi, on July 8, 2003, by one of its employees, Doug Williams. The families and victims sued Lockheed Martin for failure to provide for the safety and security of its employees and for allowing the creation and perpetuation of the racially charged work environment, which resulted in fourteen (14) people being shot, including Williams, who turned the gun on himself. An independent investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concluded that African-American employees were racially harassed, intimidated and threatened with death, and that Lockheed Martin was aware of the severity and extent of the racially charged and hostile environment created by Williams. Because of the company’s inadequate handling of the matter, Lockheed Martin permitted the racially charged atmosphere to grow in intensity, culminating in the shooting of 14 people (EEOC letter, June 6, 2004).

HOOD V. GREYHOUND
BUS DEATH AND INJURY CASES IN TENNESSEE & GEORGIA

In October of 2001, six (6) people were killed and numerous others were injured when a bus crashed in Tennessee after the driver was attacked by one of its passengers. We were hired by the families of the three passengers who died in the crash. Although many other lawyers thought we would not be able to prove that the bus company was at fault, through use of very aggressive discovery tactics, we uncovered evidence that during the five (5) previous years, the company’s bus drivers had been attacked by passengers at a rate of at least once per month. Despite these attacks, the company negligently failed to provide a shield which would have prevented passengers from reaching and being able to attack its drivers.

Nursing Home Abuse Cases

The nursing home resident was physically abused by one of the employees of the nursing home. We were able to prove a pattern of abuse and neglect of the nursing home resident.

A nursing home resident died of aspiration pneumonia caused by the nursing home’s failure to prove appropriate treatment and services for a patient who was fed by a nasal gastric tube. We were also able to prove a pattern of abuse and neglect of this patient.

Nursing home resident died from sepsis related to pressure sores received at a nursing home. We were able to prove that the nursing home failed to provide the treatment and services necessary to prevent the development of pressure sores and further failed to treat and provide services to heal pressure sores developed while a resident at the nursing home. We were also able to prove a pattern of abuse and neglect.

We obtained a settlement for our client whose mother died of sepsis caused by bed sores and urinary tract infections while in a nursing home.

Health Care Provider & Fraud Cases

Our client was told by physicians at a hospital that she would deliver her third child vaginally and with the assistance of a nurse mid-wife rather than a doctor despite the fact that her second child was delivered by way of Cesarean section. Despite obvious signs of fetal distress on the fetal heart monitor, the nurse midwife negligently failed to recognize that our client’s uterus had ruptured and that placental abruption had occurred. The baby was delivered with catastrophic birth injuries by way of Cesarean section. The case settled because we were able to show that the hospital was negligent in forcing our client to have a vaginal delivery without the care of a physician.

A well-known health insurer sold outpatient riders to its health insurance policy. Hidden within the fine print of the insurance contract was a provision that the policy would only pay if the insured incurred a “room charge” during outpatient visits. We were able to prove that the insurer knew that its insured would not have a room charge during the course of an outpatient visit.

THE RICHARD M. SCRUSHY CASE

H. Lewis Gillis served as integral member and spokesperson of the legal defense team for former HealthSouth CEO, Richard M. Scrushy, who was tried in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Alabama. The Scrushy case was the first case of its kind, as never before had a CEO been charged under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Gillis ad the Scrushy team successfully defended against the government’s efforts to criminally prosecute Scrushy and to freeze Scrushy’s assets, estimated to total more than $295 million. The strength and delivery of the defense’s arguments and their ability to successfully challenge the credibility of the prosecution’s witnesses’ testimony let to a successful acquittal for Scrushy on all criminal charges stemming from the alleged $2.7 billion accounting fraud at the company he founded.
*Our Firm was not involved in representing Richard Scrushy in the subsequent criminal matter in which Mr. Scrushy was convicted.

THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH SERVICES LITIGATION

In 2001, approximately forty-seven (47) former juvenile detainees filed suit in various state and federal courts claiming that, while being incarcerated at the DYS Chaldville facility, they were physically and/or sexually abused by various DYS employees. The plaintiffs asserted Title IX claims against DYS, and various constitutional and state law claims against DYS supervisors and employees.
Means Gillis Law, PC was appointed by the Attorney General of Alabama to represent DYS and the supervisory defendants in this complex litigation matter. To date, the firm has been successful in having the supervisory defendants dismissed on the grounds of qualified immunity in the federal courts. Other options for summary judgment are currently pending in the respective courts.
In addition, Means Gillis Law, PC also represented DYS in a series of Title VII cases that have been filed against DYS by employees who were terminated for their involvement in this matter.

THE WASHINGTON D.C. MARTIN LUTHER KING
NATIONAL MEMORIAL PROJECT FOUNDATION

The firm is proud that Means Gillis Law, PC partner Tyrone C. Means serves as a current board member and counsel for the Washington D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation (MLK). The Foundation’s mission is to build a monument in memory and in the spirit of the great civil rights leader and humanitarian, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The monument is intended to be a place for visitors worldwide to come and be energized by the late Dr. King’s message of hope, justice, and democracy. The MLK Memorial will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where numerous American heroes are honored and memorialized.

GOVERNOR

The firm represented the Governor in a Quo Warranto action involving the Board of Trustees at Alabama State University. The firm successfully petitioned the Circuit Court of Montgomery to place the Governor’s appointee to the Board of Trustees, and successfully defended the Order of the trial court before the Alabama Supreme Court.

JOHN WHITE V. CITY OF MONTGOMERY

Means Gillis Law, PC defended the city and several police officers in a 2003 civil rights case in which a a man alleged that he was wrongfully prosecuted for stealing several thousand dollars’ worth of merchandise from a retailer. After being initially denied summary judgment by the trial court, the defendants appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court, which remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to reconsider its denial of summary judgment. On reconsideration, the case was dismissed on the grounds of qualified immunity.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

The firm successfully represented Montgomery County and the former chairman of the County Commission in a case alleging fraud and breach of contract involving the recruitment of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing and the land purchased for the construction of the Hyundai Plant in Montgomery, Alabama.

Automobile Accident Case

The driver of an automobile was catastrophically injured when the automobile rolled over and its roof crushed him causing a serious spinal injury. We were able to prove that the automobile manufacturer improperly designed and manufactured this type automobile.

The driver of an automobile was catastrophically injured when his vehicle rolled over and he was ejected from the vehicle. We were able to prove that the injuries occurred as a result of the vehicle manufacturer’s decision to install a defective door latch that would fly open during impact.

SUV Accident Case

The driver of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) was killed and is two young sons were injured when his SUV rolled over after he attempted to avoid striking a clothes dryer that had not been properly secured in the bed of a pickup truck after it was purchased at a department store. We were able to prove that the department store was negligent in failing to secure the dryer before the truck left its premises and also that the roof structures of the SUV were not properly designed to withstand the forces of a foreseeable rollover accident.

Drunk Driving Case

Two teenagers were fatally injured following a rear-end collision with a drunk driver. We were able to prove that the drunk driver caused the wreck that fatally injured the two teenagers.

SUV Rollover Case

The driver of a sport utility vehicle (SUV) suffered catastrophic head injuries and died several days later after the roof of his vehicle collapsed in a rollover accident. The rollover occurred when he attempted to avoid striking another vehicle that pulled into his path. We were able to prove that the manufacturer of the SUV failed to design the roof structures of the vehicle in such a way that they would withstand the forces of a foreseeable rollover accident.

Automobile Fire Case

We were hired to represent a Florida Highway Patrol officer who suffered second and third degree burns over some sixty percent (60%) of her body when her patrol car burst into flames after it was rear-ended by a drunk driver. An obstacle we faced was the officer’s previous lawyer’s failure to preserve the car as evidence. The manufacturer of the patrol car settled the case after we obtained evidence that it knew that the vehicle was susceptible to post collision fuel fed fires, but failed to relocate the fuel tank from a position behind the rear axle to a position between the front and rear axles. In the face of this evidence, the company offered a pretrial settlement.

18 Wheeler Cases

A three-year old child was struck and fatally injured by an 18-wheeler while she crossed the street. Through the aggressive use of discovery, we were able to prove that the driver of the truck had driven excessive mileage and was suffering from fatigue at the time of the accident. We were also able to show that because of his fatigued condition, the driver failed to maintain a proper lookout while driving through an urban area frequented by shoppers and their children.

Our client’s loved one was the driver of a car carrying four (4) other people. He was killed when an 18-wheeler performed in improper lane change and struck the vehicle he was driving. The case settled after we were able to prove that the driver of the 18-wheeler was fatigued and had not been properly supervised and trained.

Our client, a successful professional, suffered numerous catastrophic injuries when her SUV was struck head on by a large truck driven by the employee of a large asphalt company. Through the use of aggressive discovery tactics, we were able to determine that the company was negligent in failing to properly train the employee, who had a very unsafe driving record and had demonstrated that he was irresponsible. The case settled prior to trial.

A Mississippi 18-wheeler fatally injured a young couple on I-65 near Bowling Green, KY. We were able to prove that the trucking company hired an incompetent truck driver who failed to adequately do pre-trip inspections, falsified truck logs and was otherwise fatigued. We were able to prove the truck driver was driving at an excessive speed causing him to pull over into the median and broadside this young couple.

Defective Water Heater Case

Our Clients purchased a water heater and attached it to an LP gas system. The gas water heater was made for natural gas, but did not include a warning of the difference between LP gas and natural gas. The company that old the unit advertised that the hot water heater could not be installed by the consumer. We were able to prove that there is a difference in the way LP gas and natural gas combust. We were also able to prove that without proper instructions, hot water heaters could not be easily installed. Evidence we uncovered also showed that the LP gas company negligently inspected the installation of the hot water heater. As a result of the negligence of the LP gas company, and because of the negligent design and warning of the hot water heater, one family member died and four others were seriously injured.

Defective Skylight Case

A worker at an industrial site fell through a skylight and suffered catastrophic injury. The skylight was improperly designed, installed and maintained.

Apartment Complex Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Cases

Two people died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a water heater that was defective and improperly maintained. Although the family occupying the apartment had called the gas company to inspect the water heater, it was not brought up to working order. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of the two people who died and were able to prove that the owner of the apartment complex was negligent in the maintenance of the water heater and that the gas company was negligent in its inspection of the water heater.

A family of three rented an apartment house that was governed by the federal government Section 8 program. The family died one evening from carbon monoxide poisoning because a space heater had been vented into a capped off chimney. The carbon monoxide (product of combustion) was unable to escape through the chimney and was returned into the family’s bedroom. We were able to prove that the landlord negligently capped the chimney, that the housing authority negligently inspected the apartment for occupation and that the gas company negligently inspected the space heater and venting system.

Defective Tire Case

The rear wheel tandem of a commercial dump truck disengaged and rolled over a pedestrian and fatally injured him in the presence of his minor child. We were able to prove that the trucking company negligently performed its pre-trip inspection and also, that the tire service center that serviced the wheel negligently stripped its mounting lugs.

Rollover Case

Two people were killed as a result of injuries suffered in a conversion van rollover. We were able to prove that the van manufacturer failed to manufacture, test and assemble conversion vans that were safe for use. Specifically, the conversion van used a window system that would pop out upon impact thereby allowing its occupants to be ejected and killed.

Hotel Pool Injury Case

A Georgia high school student on a band trip suffered severe brain injury when he almost drowned in a hotel swimming pool in Texas. The hotel negligently failed to properly maintain the pool. The water in the pool had become so cloudy that efforts to rescue the student were delayed for critical minutes. We were able to prove that the hotel’s negligence in failing to properly maintain the pool delayed timely rescue attempts resulting in the student’s catastrophic brain injury.

Aircraft Case

An Alabama native soldier stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY died in an airplane crash in Newfoundland, Canada. We were able to prove that the airplane crash was caused by an improperly maintained aircraft. We were also able to prove that the crew of the airplane failed to properly de-ice the plane before takeoff.

Apartment Complex Fire Cases

An eight-year-old was killed in a fire in an apartment complex that had not been built in compliance with existing fire codes and standards. Through our aggressive investigation of the incident, we were able to prove that the apartment complex did not have a fire sprinkler system or a secondary means of exit as required by the applicable fire code and standards. The absence of a sprinkler system and a secondary means of exit prevented the eight-year-old from escaping the flames.

A handicapped man was trapped in an apartment complex fire and burned to death. In this case, we were able to prove that the apartments in the complex were not equipped with working smoke detectors or a sprinkler system and that burglar bars on the windows blocked the secondary means of exit from the apartments.