Favorable settlement reached for Norfolk Southern in largest single tort case in South Carolina history

01/01/08

D.S.C. -- United States District Court for the District of South Carolina

Common Carrier Liability

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It was the largest single tort case in South Carolina history: Textile manufacturer Avondale Mills and its property insurer, Factory Mutual, sought costs of remediation and business interruption of over $500 million plus punitive damages from Norfolk Southern following the highly publicized derailment involving two of its trains in Graniteville.

Attorneys for Avondale brought the case in state court, but Hollingsworth LLP trial lawyers helped Norfolk Southern remove it to federal court and keep it there, despite determined efforts by Avondale to return it to state court.  See Avondale Mills, Inc. v. Norfolk Southern Corp., No. 1:05-2817-MBS (D.S.C. March 6, 2006) (Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion to Remand).

Prevailing on significant pre-trial motions, including Daubert motions that excluded or limited testimony from Avondale’s experts, we went to trial; but after extensive cross-examinations of plaintiffs’ fact and expert witnesses, Avondale agreed to a confidential settlement four weeks into the anticipated three-month trial. 

Hollingsworth LLP has successfully defended some of the world’s largest companies in suits involving personal injury, medical monitoring, and property damage claims arising from exposures to allegedly hazardous substances.  When the stakes are high and the issues are complex, our experience allows us to keep a clear focus on the resolution that best serves our clients’ interests.

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