Record-Setting $13.3m Verdict in Rural South Georgia County


A contract mill worker was severely burned when the mill failed to drain and flush the chemical tank they asked him to work on. This caused hundreds of gallons of a hot caustic chemical to spill onto our clients’ body.

The mill’s highest pre-trial offer was $2m. Their insurance company believed the verdict would never exceed that amount, claiming that “rural conservative juries” give small verdicts that benefit insurance companies. We believed they were wrong, and we proved it.

Not only was the jury’s verdict the highest verdict in county history, but it was also the 7th largest premises liability verdict in the Southeast in 2019. As a result of the jury’s verdict, the mill finally (but quietly) recognized that it was wrong, and it changed its procedures so that an incident like this could never happen again.

“Drew was associated in the representation of a client that was severely burned while working at a South Georgia industrial plant. Drew’s unstoppable work ethic and persistent discovery of facts took the value of the client’s case to an entirely new level. As a result of Drew’s diligence, we were able to obtain a jury verdict over $13,000,000. This would have never occurred without Drew’s involvement.”

— Chad Shenton; Young Thagard Hoffman Smith Lawrence & Shenton; Valdosta, Georgia

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