Allen & Allen tops Virginia’s million-dollar settlements in 2023

  • March 28, 2024
  • News

We are thrilled to announce that The Allen Law Firm secured more million-dollar settlements than any other Virginia law firm in 2023. Virginia Lawyers Weekly compiled last year’s Million-Dollar Settlements, which clearly demonstrates the tenacity and knowledge demonstrated by our attorneys and legal teams.

The criteria for making the Million-Dollar Settlement list includes:

  • The settlement must be at least $1 million.
  • The settlement had to have taken place in Virginia or had strong Virginia ties.
  • The settlement must have been reached in 2023.

From wrongful death lawsuits to tractor-trailer crashes, our achievements were prominent throughout the list. Below, we’ve provided details from each of the instances in which we triumphed for the injured.

Derrick Walker, Jason Konvicka, and James Kessel

Attorneys (from left) Derrick Walker, Jason Konvicka, and James Kessel

Tied at #13 for $3.25 million

Trucker unable to return to work after crash

Type of action: Personal injury

Attorneys: Derrick L. Walker and Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond

Summary: This case arose out of a tractor-trailer collision that occurred when a commercial driver lost control of his 18-wheeler while traveling southbound on Interstate 81. After losing control of his vehicle, he crossed the grassy median, entered the northbound travel lanes and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle essentially head on.

The plaintiff sustained significant physical injuries. The plaintiff’s brain injury medicine experts classified his head injury as mild to moderate with permanent cognitive deficits and other brain injury-related sequela. Those experts agreed that the plaintiff, also a commercial driver, would be unable to return to commercial driving or any other form of competitive employment.

Defense experts contested the plaintiff’s traumatic brain injury diagnosis. Specifically, they argued that because he did not lose consciousness following the crash and had essentially a normal Glascow Coma Score, his injury did not meet the diagnostic criteria for a traumatic brain injury.

The plaintiff incurred approximately $200,000 in past medical expenses and projected future medical expenses of approximately $786,000 which were vigorously contested.

#17 at $2,999,969.85

Truck driver injured after being struck on interstate

Type of action: Personal injury, commercial vehicle crash

Court: Henrico Circuit Court

Attorneys: Jason W. Konvicka and Jennifer G. Capocelli, Richmond

Summary: The plaintiff was operating a trash truck on Interstate 295 North. As he merged onto I-295, the trash truck he was operating contacted a car traveling in the middle lane. He and the driver of the other vehicle subsequently pulled onto the left shoulder to exchange information. Roughly 10 minutes later, someone who was operating a dump truck for T.D. Harris Hauling, Inc., lost control of his vehicle and skidded off the highway, and onto the left shoulder, striking our plaintiff. The defendant claimed that he lost control when braking after an unidentified “white box truck” slowed suddenly in front of him.

The plaintiff was diagnosed and treated for traumatic injuries. He remained hospitalized for almost two months and underwent surgeries and procedures.

Following discharge, the plaintiff underwent six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation. He continues to recover from his injuries and will never work again as a trash truck driver. Although future medical care will be required, it was not claimed due to the amount of available liability/excess insurance coverage.

#27 at $1.775 million

Woman killed in head-on collision

Type of action: Wrongful death

Court: King William County Circuit Court

Attorney: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond

Summary: The decedent was killed in a head-on collision when a teenage driver ran off the road to the right and sideswiped a tree, which redirected his vehicle across the double yellow lines into the front of her car. Both vehicles flipped over and plaintiff’s decedent’s car caught on fire. She was killed immediately.

At the time of the crash, the defendant was driving his girlfriend’s parent’s vehicle, which had $500,000 in combined single limits. $75,000 of that policy was paid to the passenger in the decedent’s vehicle for his injuries and $425,000 was offered as part of the wrongful death settlement. That was all the insurance coverage plaintiff could initially identify.

Through discovery, plaintiff identified multiple other insurance policies. Defendant’s girlfriend’s parents had a $1 million umbrella policy, which was offered in full. Plaintiff’s counsel also learned that defendant’s parents were divorced and defendant lived in each household approximately 50% of the time. After a coverage dispute, all insurance carriers in both households tendered their coverage, for a total settlement of $1.775 million.

Tied at #28 for $1.75 million

Delivery driver sustained head injury in crash

Type of action: Personal injury

Court: Prince William County Circuit Court

Attorneys: James M. Kessel and Robert C.T. Reed, Richmond

Summary: Plaintiff was a man originally from Jamaica who lived in Pennsylvania and worked as a delivery driver. His delivery route took him through Virginia each night. He was driving his delivery van through an intersection in Northern Virginia when the defendant disregarded a red light and crashed into the driver’s side of his vehicle.

Plaintiff lost consciousness and sustained a serious head injury because of the crash. Head CT scans at the ER revealed bilateral subarachnoid hemorrhages. He also sustained a left fourth rib fracture. He was admitted to the hospital for five days before being discharged to spend two weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation center near his home. After he returned home, physical therapy was going well and he was improving until he began having an unbearable headache. His son took him to the ER where a head CT scan showed that he had bilateral subdural hematomas compressing his brain. After ten days in the hospital, he was discharged to a rehabilitation hospital where he remained for another six days.

Tied at #30 for $1.7 million

Car crash caused death of healthy fetus

Type of action: Fetal death

Court: Albemarle County Circuit Court

Name of mediator: James W. Barkley

Attorneys: Richard Armstrong and David Irvine, Charlottesville

Summary: Defendant lost control of his vehicle and T-boned our the plaintiff’s vehicle. Two independent witnesses saw the crash and liability was not disputed in this matter.

The plaintiff suffered her own personal injuries, but the most significant damage was the loss of her 7-month-old, healthy fetus. EMS workers found the plaintiff in the driver’s seat, who reported pain in her abdomen, and right ankle pain. EMS workers noticed slight discoloration in her belly button area, with tenderness, but also noted the area was rigid.

The ambulance rushed the plaintiff to U.Va. hospital. She was transferred for a CT scan and upon return, no fetal heart rate was noted, and her uterus was noted to be firm and tender. A bedside ultrasound revealed no fetal cardiac activity.

After the trauma team treated her injuries, she was moved to labor and delivery. Delivery was induced and the dead fetus was delivered. U.Va. allowed the plaintiff to spend time with her dead baby, and give her a name.

The autopsy determined that the fetus died of “acute placental abruption due to motor vehicle collision.”

Tied at #34 for $1.5 million

Motorcyclist ejected from bike in crash with SUV

Type of action: Personal injury

Court: Lynchburg Circuit Court

Attorneys: David M. Williams Jr., Fredericksburg

Summary: The plaintiff, a web developer, was injured in a motor vehicle collision in Lynchburg. The defendant, driving an SUV, failed to yield the right of way and made a left turn in front of the plaintiff’s motorcycle resulting in the collision. The plaintiff was ejected from his motorcycle and lost consciousness.

As a result of the collision, the plaintiff sustained multiple objective injuries. The most significant injuries included fractures to his pelvis, thoracic/lumbar spine, ankle/foot and tibial plateau. He also sustained an ACL rupture, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and scrotal edema. He was admitted to U.Va. Hospital for approximately three weeks where he underwent multiple surgeries. He was then transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital for another month before being discharged to home.

The defendant was insured under an Erie liability policy with limits of $500,000 and a $1 million umbrella policy that was subsequently located. Those limits were tendered after filing suit.

Tied at #34 for $1.5 million

Driver killed in industrial accident

Type of action: Wrongful death, industrial accident

Court: Richmond Circuit Court

Attorney: Jason W. Konvicka, Richmond

Summary: This wrongful death case arose out of an industrial accident that occurred at a commercial construction site in May 2022. The decedent was killed instantly when the vehicle he was operating was crushed by a larger construction vehicle. The decedent was 24 years old, single and had no children. Beneficiaries included the decedent’s mother, father, and adult sister. The case was settled for $1.5 million.

Tied at #43 for $1.4 million

Pedestrian struck crossing Henrico County street

Type of action: Personal injury, pedestrian accident

Court: Henrico Circuit Court

Name of mediator: Judge J. Michael Gamble (Ret.)

Attorney: Richard Armstrong, Charlottesville

Summary: The plaintiff was hit while crossing the westbound lanes of Broad Street at the intersection of Spring Oak Drive, just across from Short Pump.

After dinner, the family decided to walk to Short Pump Town Center located across Broad Street from their apartment.

When the family arrived at the median between eastbound and westbound Broad Street, they paused, checked the light for westbound traffic, saw it was red and then proceeded into the westbound lanes of Broad Street. Witnesses stated that the light for Broad Street traffic turned green as the family left the median.

As the plaintiff reached the middle lane of through traffic, the defendant did not stop and hit her, causing her to fly into the air and land on the pavement.

Numerous witnesses gave varying accounts of the incident, but they consistently stated that the lights controlling traffic on Broad were red when the family started to cross.

Plaintiff emphasized Virginia law that the right of way granted to pedestrians when crossing roadways continues even when the traffic lights turn green.

Tied at #47 for $1.3 million

Tow truck operator struck on I-95

Type of action: Personal injury, declaratory judgment

Attorneys: Courtney A. Van Winkle and Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond

Summary: A tow truck operator who was standing next to a disabled RV on the shoulder of Interstate 95 was struck by the defendant’s car. Defendant fled the scene and was later identified. The settlement was for all available insurance coverage: $100,000 from the defendant’s carrier, $920,000 from plaintiff’s employer’s underinsured motorist policy, $50,000 from plaintiff’s personal UIM policy, and $230,000 from the UIM policy on the disabled RV (Progressive). Progressive denied coverage on the basis that plaintiff was not occupying or using the RV, since he was there to tow it. Plaintiff filed a declaratory judgment action against Progressive, which was litigated in the Eastern District of Virginia. The court ruled that plaintiff was both “using” and “occupying” the RV at the time of the incident and granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. Progressive and the carrier for plaintiff’s employer split the “credit” for the $100,000 liability policy, but the settlement was for the total amount of available insurance coverage.

Tied at #65 for $1 million

Tractor-trailer blocked road, causing collision

Type of action: Personal injury

Court: Amelia County Circuit Court

Attorney: James Mick Kessel, Richmond

Summary: Plaintiff was traveling westbound approaching an intersection in Amelia County. At the same time a tractor-trailer operated by defendant stopped at a stop sign controlling his direction of travel at the intersection. Defendant failed to yield the right of way to plaintiff and pulled across the westbound lanes of the highway, completely blocking plaintiff’s direction of travel. Plaintiff didn’t have time to react and struck the left rear of the trailer.

Plaintiff was transported from the scene to Chippenham Hospital’s Trauma Center where it was determined that she had sustained multiple serious injuries to her spine and pelvis. Plaintiff was admitted to Chippenham Hospital for two weeks during which time she underwent multiple surgeries to repair her damaged pelvis and spine. Plaintiff was then transferred to Sheltering Arms for inpatient care and rehabilitation before being discharged to at home care.