Ward and Smith Secures Appellate Victory, Case Highlighted by NC Lawyers Weekly

Close up shot of the statue and the words Law and Justice at the NC Supreme Court in Raleigh, NC
North Carolina Supreme Court, Raleigh, NC

Ward and Smith takes pride in representing clients at all levels of the North Carolina court system.

We’re pleased to share that one of our recent appellate successes has been featured in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, a reputable publication that focuses on significant legal updates within the state.

The case involved an elderly couple who were victimized in their home after hiring a Health-Pro home aide. The aide orchestrated a home invasion and armed robbery in September 2016, leaving the couple severely injured.

Personal injury attorney Jeremy Wilson successfully secured a $750,000 verdict for the couple in a jury trial that took place in Pitt County in April 2018. However, the verdict was subsequently appealed and overturned by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which was then further appealed and overturned by the North Carolina Supreme Court. This case has yielded a clarification of the case law related to negligent hiring, supervision, or retention, according to the report. From the article:

The Keith’s appealed to the North Carolina Supreme Court. The Supreme Court overturned the Court of Appeals and reinstated the jury’s verdict. The Supreme Court concluded that the Keiths had presented a claim for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention, and, while these claims do have additional requirements under North Carolina law, the Keith’s presented sufficient evidence to reach the jury.

The Supreme Court found that the Court of Appeals had erred in applying an overly restrictive interpretation of Little v. Omega Meats. The Supreme Court concluded that the jury verdict should be reinstated. In its opinion, the Supreme Court clarified case law concerning what evidence must exist to establish a valid claim for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention. With interest, the Keith’s jury verdict totaled at over $1 million. 

The Supreme court clarified case law and the required standard, including that an employer may owe a duty of care to a victim of an employee’s intentional conduct, “when there is a nexus between the employment relationship and the injury.” 

While the Supreme Court opinion doesn’t expand on employer liability, it clarifies this area of the law, which is vital for the legal community, employers, and members of the public. 

From: Lawsuit Results in Clarification of NC Law, by Haviland Stewart, NC Lawyers Weekly Reporter

In addition to Jeremy, Chris Edwards, and Alex Dale handled the appeal, representing the plaintiffs before the Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Click here to read can read the entire article.

Ready to get started?
Contact our team today.