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Mother T-Boned and Killed by Speeding Driver in Disputed Liability Case

As evening traffic moved along Memorial Drive road in DeKalb County, Georgia, a Ford Taurus, driven with reckless abandon, weaved through the lanes. The vehicle’s speedometer needle climbed, surpassing the 45 mph speed limit to a harrowing 72 mph. On the opposite side of the road, Rosie Minor, at the wheel of her Hyundai Elantra, commenced a lawful left turn under a solid green light. The Ford Taurus changed lanes to overtake another vehicle and, like a missile, collided with Ms. Minor's Elantra. The impact sent her car into a devastating spin before it came to a tragic halt against a utility pole.

Ms. Minor lay amidst the wreckage, dead upon impact. The heartbreak extended beyond the crash site, reaching into the lives of Ms. Minor's loved ones, who would never again feel the warmth of her presence.

The family of Rosie Minor reached out to Thomas Giannotti and Jeb Butler of Butler | Kahn, known for their expertise in handling grave personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. The duo took up the case shortly after Thanksgiving of 2020. With a disputed base of fault, they engaged a leading accident reconstruction expert, Nick Earnhardt, and a human factors expert, Bill Messerschmidt. Their goal was to dissect the events from both sides that resulted in the horrific accident.

Police reports from the scene of the accident skewed the case against Jeb and Tom, placing Rosie Minor at fault. However, as the duo investigated further, they retrieved the Defendant vehicle's “black box” — the event data recorder. The data in this crucial piece of evidence revealed the Defendant's high speed before the crash. Further analysis of phone records also showed that the Defendant used her cell phone during the collision.

The duo possessed compelling evidence of negligence by the Defense. However, the initial police report was a golden ticket for the Defense — even if it was inaccurate. Jeb and Tom aimed to weave their evidence into a story that could persuade any jury their client was not at fault. However, to do that, they needed an animation. Thus, Jeb and Tom sought DK Global to help them visualize their narrative which no juror could ignore. Together, they created a set of visual aids to play during their experts’ testimonies.

The animation began with an overview of the collision's intersection, transitioning to a bird's-eye view that captured the Defendant's vehicle speeding and weaving through traffic. It illustrated the Defendant’s dangerous maneuvers across lanes, ultimately leading to the crash with Rosie Minor’s car. The presentation included a detailed replay of the collision, complemented by photographs of the damaged vehicles and a scene-by-scene breakdown that visualized key factors of Nick Earnhardt’s report. For a strong finish, a hypothetical scenario demonstrated how the accident would have been avoided if the Defendant had adhered to traffic laws.

The case went all the way to trial, where Jeb and Tom played the animation for the jury. As the twelve peers deliberated, the tension was palpable. The Defense, perhaps realizing the weight of evidence against them, finally approached the table with an offer reflective of the case's severity. After brief negotiations, the parties agreed to settle for $10,000,000. It was a vindication of truth, a testament to the value of visual evidence, and a tribute to the life and memory of Rosie Minor.

Jeb Butler is a founding partner at Butler | Kahn, primarily focusing on personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has been honored as a Young Litigator of the Year by the Georgia YLD, recognized as an On the Rise / 40 Under 40 by the Daily Report, and acknowledged as a Legal Elite by Georgia Trend. Jeb's expertise and dedication have led to his selection as a Super Lawyers Rising Star and one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers. With an impressive track record, Jeb has secured over $200 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients.

Thomas Giannotti is an attorney at Butler | Kahn specializing in personal injury and wrongful death cases. He has a diverse legal background and previous experience in family law and criminal defense cases. He has secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for his clients. Tom is a University of Georgia alumnus, who tried his first case as a student prosecutor. He is an active Georgia Trial Lawyers Association member and a volunteer mock trial coach at Walton High School.

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"Having an animation that encapsulated the entire collision was really helpful not just to present to the jury but also for that witness work."
Jeb Butler - Butler | Kahn
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