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Jury Awards Over $5,000,000 in Wrongful Death Case Against Defendant and USAA


In a decision that required only four (4) hours of deliberation, a Paulding County, Georgia jury awarded over $5,000,000 to Attorney Lance Cooper’s clients, the parents of a 15 year old boy entering his sophomore year of high school who was killed in an auto accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs.


The defendant admitted causing the death of the young man but denied that there was any pain and suffering.  Mr. Cooper astutely included a punitive damage claim which allowed him to present punitive evidence even though the defendant had admitted liability.  The trial began at 1:30pm on a Monday afternoon and evidence presentation was completed by 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.  Plaintiffs’ proof included testimony by the medical examiner and eight (8) damage witnesses including an economist and the parents.


After the four-hour deliberation, the jury in this very conservative venue returned a verdict that included just over $250,000 for pain and suffering and funeral expenses (the amount requested in closing argument).  However, the jury also awarded in excess of $5,400,000 on the wrongful death claim including punitive damages which was approximately TWICE the lost earning capacity projected by the economic expert.


Once again, Lance Cooper, founding member of The Cooper Firm, in Marietta, Georgia has taught a painful lesson to an insurance carrier about doing the right thing.   This verdict has received significant media coverage and was featured on  Click here to view the interview in its entirety.


Mr. Cooper concentrates his practice representing plaintiffs in substantial personal injury and wrongful death cases.  He is a former president of theGeorgia Trial Lawyers Association as well as the Cobb County Trial Lawyers Association.   Lance has also been included in the Georgia Super Lawyers by Atlanta Magazine from 2006 to 2011.


Congratulations Lance from your friends at Advocate Capital, Inc.!


Donna A. Jones
Vice President, Operations


About Dan A. Taussig

Mr. Taussig has been a shareholder, Chairman of the Board of Directors and a member of the Credit Committee of Advocate Capital, Inc., since 2000. His daily activities at Advocate include credit underwriting, relationships with senior lenders, subordinated debt holders, shareholders and with the Company’s legal counsel and public accounting firm. Additionally, he frequently meets with clients throughout the United States.

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