Representative Case: Thibeau and Phone Ninjas, LLC v. Bryant
Practice Area: Business Law
Our Charlotte-based law firm is equipped to and experienced in handling a variety of business law cases. We are able to represent firms, based here and internationally, who do business in Charlotte, as well as represent individuals going head-to-head with large companies, small businesses, and individiuals. In this case, our firm was retained to obtain justice for wrongs committed against an individual and his business.
In terms of settlement, this case never really got close. Both sides believe that they were the ones who are hurt by the other and neither wanted to pay money. Therefore, this is the type of case that happens to march to trial, and this one went to trial on the week of March 9, 2020.
SeiferFlatow, PLLC earned a decisive victory in Mecklenburg County Superior Court which resulted in a $200k award after presenting details in a case involving harassment against an individual and his business.
Case Note: The jury’s deliberation in this case, as well as the conclusion of the six day trial, took place under extenuating circumstances. The pandemic, named COVID-19, had shuttered court operations, however this trial was allowed to conclude. The jury’s deliberation lasted 90 minutes.
The suit of Thibeau and Phone Ninjas, LLC v. Bryant resulted in an award of $200k for loss of earnings and emotional distress. Mr. Thibeau retained Mathew Flatow, Managing Partner, and Arcangela Mazzariello, Of Counsel, to represent him in this case.
The case writeup appeared in North Carolina Lawyer’s Weekly. For a full copy of the article, click here.
To get a clear picture on how the jury arrived at a decision in this case, please reference NC 18-CVS-7647.
Interested in reading the full financial stakes in this case?
See case writeup here.
Definitions for the Case
In this case: At the close of evidence, we brought a motion for directed verdict. We argued that Doug had not made his case on the essential elements of defamation. Essentially, he could not prove that anything Jerry said about him either wasn’t true or was Jerry’s opinion. He also failed to prove that any of the allegations were published by 3rd parties. Finally, he failed to prove that any of the allegations occurred within the statute of limitations. The judge dismissed Doug’s defamation claim against Jerry.
What it is: Assault is the fear of being hit.
In this case: Doug made it very clear on the witness stand that he was sucker punched. By being sucker punched, the SeiferFlatow team argued to the judge that he never could have seen Jerry coming, and therefore, it was not possible that he could be afraid. Since he couldn’t meet the essential elements of assault, attorneys argued that the cause of action should be kicked out.
Doug’s attorney agreed to withdraw the assault claim.
Once the assault claim was dismissed, and the attorneys argued to the judge that the punitive damages case should also be dismissed. Even though a battery had certainly occurred, in their pleading, they only allege punitive damages for assault. Therefore, there is no way that they could present the issue of punitive damages to the jury on the basis that they had to correctly. Further, this case is not a punitive damages case as they had not reached the higher level of aggravation that is needed to show willful conduct. Once again, the judge agreed and threw out the punitive damages case.
What it is: Battery is physically being struck.
In this case: The plaintiff was awarded a fair amount for the battery that occurred- $500 for his initial medical visit after the fight.
The Bottom Line
This case demanded stamina, an aggressive pursuit of justice, and the ability to secure expert guidance to help define elements of the case.
SeiferFlatow works for each and every client to secure the best possible outcome. We are ready, willing, and prepared to take a case to trial whenever necessary, however we also realize the value of coming to resolution before trial when possible and in the best interest of our client.
If you are a business or individual needing representation, we are ready to help.