Mr. Golden is nationally certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, which is accredited by the American Bar Association. Mr. Golden has appeared as lead counsel in dozens of jury trials involving several areas of law, including class actions; traumatic brain injury cases; insurance defense; bad faith; Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act litigation; school law; employment litigation; motor vehicle collisions; trucking accidents; commercial liability; construction claims; slip-and-fall accidents; medical malpractice; civil rights; sexual harassment; 42 U.S.C. 1983; Title VII; Title IX; Americans with Disabilities Act litigation; unlawful interference with prospective business relationships; boundary disputes; outrageous conduct; products liability; wrongful death; assault in the first degree; and other contractual and tort claims.
GOLDEN & WALTERS PLLC
Founding Member, June 1999 – present
- U.S. Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, Signal Branch, 1981-1986; 1st Lieut.
Representative Jury Trials:
- Bad Faith – George and Kay Hofmeister, Plaintiffs, vs. Dasher Express, Inc., d/b/a Dasher Express & Airfreight, Defendants , Commonwealth of Kentucky, Scott Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 00-CI-00030. Verdict: $28,405,505.00. The Plaintiff, George Hofmeister, was involved in a head-on collision with a vehicle driven by an employee of a Lexington trucking company. After three continuances and a lengthy delay before the trial, the trucking company made a net offer of $25,000.00 to settle the Plaintiff’s claim. Eleven days later, at the trial, a purported final offer of $500,000.00 was made by the trucking company and was immediately rejected. Minutes later, the Defendants offered the full limits of their insurance policy of $1 million. After accepting the $1 million, the Plaintiffs were asked to sign a release that included an excess insurance carrier that had not been previously disclosed. A subsequent bad faith claim was filed for the delay and for withholding information about the excess insurance, thereby resulting in the substantial verdict. This matter is on appeal as of November 2007.
- Auto Negligence – Carl W. Richmond, Plaintiff, vs. Peryda M. Pike and West American Insurance Company, Defendants, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jessamine Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 04-CI-00695. Verdict: $0. Mr. Golden represented Ms. Pike, who was 84 years old and was involved in a motor vehicle collision on April 2, 2002 in Nicholasville, Kentucky. She was traveling in a Jaguar and ran a red light at an intersection, striking a vehicle being driven by Mr. Richmond. Since the day of the collision, Mr. Richmond has been unable to work, and has been declared disabled. He sought medical bills in the amount of $129,083.00, as well as other damages that totaled over $1 million. The case hinged on the jury instructions that distinguished between the breach of duty of Ms. Pike as being a substantial factor in causing the “injuries” as opposed to causing the “collision.” The jury found in favor of Ms. Pike, thereby awarding nothing to the Plaintiff, due to the fact that Ms. Pike did not cause his “injuries.” The trial court sustained Plaintiff’s motion for a new trial and the case subsequently settled.
- Auto Negligence – Ronggui Li, Plaintiff, vs. Floyd Goodpaster, Jr., Defendant , Commonwealth of Kentucky, Fayette Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 01-CI-247. Ronggui Li, a post-doctorate fellow, was hit by a car while riding his bicycle through a pedestrian crosswalk. The Defendant was retired and legally blind in his left eye. The Plaintiff retained the forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Robert P. Granacher, Jr., as his expert and sought $2.4 million in damages. Dr. Granacher testified live at trial and was subjected to a cross-examination by Mr. Golden that was later sold as a DVD by The Kentucky Trial Court Review. The cross-examination, which sold for $75.00, is the first such DVD ever offered by the publication. Mr. Golden was able to obtain a defense verdict on behalf of the Defendant.
- UIM Claim – Michael G. Keating, Plaintiff, vs. Nationwide Insurance Company of America, Defendant, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jessamine Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 02-CI-00287. One eyewitness to this motor vehicle accident testified that the Defendant in the underlying action ran the red light by some twenty seconds. As a result of the collision, the Plaintiff was transported by life-flight helicopter to the University of Kentucky Hospital, where he remained comatose for several days. The Plaintiff was treated for a closed head injury, memory loss, depression, dementia, mood disorder, and cognitive dysfunction. The forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Robert P. Granacher, Jr., of Lexington, Kentucky, quantified the brain injury. The Plaintiff sought over $2 million in damages. The underlying carrier, Kentucky Farm Bureau, paid $265,000.00 of its $300,000.00 policy limits. Mr. Golden appeared at trial and defended the UIM claim on behalf of Nationwide Insurance Company. The jury assessed fifteen percent (15%) of fault to the Plaintiff. A defense judgment followed, the adjusted verdict less PIP and comparative fault equaling $17,000.00, falling far short of the $300,000.00 UIM threshold. In fact, the $17,000.00 fell far short of the Plaintiff’s claimed medical bills, which totaled over $50,000.00.
- Auto Negligence – Brenda Shepherd, Plaintiff, v. James Hale and Childers Oil Company, Defendants, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Perry Circuit Court; Civil Action No. 99-CI-0546. Mr. Golden represented the defendant oil company in a case where its 18-wheel tractor-trailer ran a red light on Christmas Eve and struck the plaintiff’s vehicle, ejecting her 40 feet onto the roadway. The plaintiff suffered a permanent closed-head injury, a lacerated scalp from her forehead to the base of her skull, a lacerated spleen, fractured ribs, fractured pelvis, and a collapsed lung. She was hospitalized for two weeks and spent three days in intensive care. The forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Robert Granacher, testified live at trial on behalf of the Plaintiff. The last time Dr. Granacher testified live at trial in Perry County, the plaintiff obtained a $6.0 million verdict. The plaintiff also called a vocational expert live. Mr. Golden countered with his own forensic psychiatrist, a neurologist, an orthopedic surgeon, and a vocational expert. The plaintiff asked for an award of $7.5 million, but the jury awarded less than $24,000.00. The case was ultimately settled.
- School/Employment Law – Melinda Lewis Cobb, Plaintiff, vs. Russell W. Behanan, in his Individual Capacity and in his Official Capacity as Director of Middle Schools for the Fayette County Public Schools; Peter Flynn, in his Individual Capacity and in his Official Capacity as Superintendent of the Fayette County Public Schools; and Board of Education of Fayette County, Kentucky, Defendants, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Fayette Circuit Court, Civil Action No. 99-CI-01504. Verdict: $3.5 million and an additional $550,000.00 awarded in attorneys’ fees. The Plaintiff, Melinda Cobb, was the principal of Leestown Middle School, hired in 1997 by the Fayette County Board of Education. The school had a history of problems and Ms. Cobb was instructed to correct the problems. Ms. Cobb was met with resistance at every turn from a small group of teachers and a small group of parents who were apparently satisfied with the status quo. In retaliation for her unpopular efforts, police officers met Ms. Cobb in her office on a Monday morning and conducted a frisk search of her body, and searched all of her belongings, her office and her motor vehicle. The search revealed a handgun in the glove compartment of Ms. Cobb’s automobile. However, the police involvement that occurred on a Monday was, according to Ms. Cobb, in retaliation for Cobb appealing a bogus evaluation on the prior Friday. Superintendent Flynn was notified that a gun in the glove compartment of a motor vehicle was not a statutory violation but merely violated the school board’s policy. Flynn was further notified that in order for there to be a statutory violation, Cobb had to have taken the gun into the school. The day after Dr. Flynn was notified of these facts, Ms. Cobb’s supervisor brought forth a witness who claimed that Cobb had taken a gun into the school building six months prior. The grand jury refused to indict Ms. Cobb on felony charges. Ms. Cobb successfully appealed her termination before an administrative tribunal. Thereafter, she pursued her civil claim for a whistleblower violation and for wrongful use of administrative proceedings. Because Cobb’s immediate supervisor and the soon-to-be new Superintendent of Fayette County had admitted that they destroyed documents, the trial court gave an inference instruction that the documents that were destroyed would be favorable to Cobb. Cobb received an award of $500,000.00 in punitive damages against the Fayette County Board of Education on her whistleblower claim. She prevailed against her immediate supervisor and the Superintendent on the claim for wrongful use of administrative proceedings, being awarded a total of $3 million. The award to Ms. Cobb was reduced by the Court of Appeals to $500,000.
- UIM Claim – Ulysses Savage, et al., Plaintiffs, v. USAA, et al., Defendants, Commonwealth of Kentucky , Pike Circuit Court; Civil Action No. 97-CI-0362. The plaintiff had open-heart surgery and had traveled from Pikeville to Lexington for a thirty-day checkup. After meeting with his thoracic surgeon, and receiving a clean bill of health, he began traveling back to Pikeville. The tortfeasor pulled from an inferior roadway across the highway, causing the plaintiff’s vehicle to T-bone the tortfeasor’s vehicle. The resulting collision allegedly caused the plaintiff to have an additional open-heart surgery. Three cardio-thoracic surgeons testified at the trial, as well as orthopedic surgeons, family practitioners, psychiatrists, and cardiologists. Mr. Golden acted as lead counsel for all defendants, including USAA, who was one of two named UIM carriers. Although liability appeared clear, the jury found the plaintiff to be 40% at fault and made an award of $8,782.00 in medical bills for Ms. Savage and $6,081.00 in medical bills for Mr. Savage. These were the same amounts USAA was seeking from the tortfeasor’s carrier, Allstate, on its PIP subrogation claim. Therefore, the jury awarded the plaintiffs nothing and awarded USAA 100% of its PIP subrogation claim. This case is also notable in that Mr. Golden also defended USAA during this trial against claims of bad faith, which the Pike Circuit Court refused to bifurcate from the underlying claims. Despite this fact, Mr. Golden obtained a defense verdict for USAA on these bad faith claims as well.
- Civil Rights – John Doe Nos. 1-17, Plaintiffs, v. Hon. Pam Miller, et al., Defendants, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky at Lexington, Case No. 00-166. Mr. Golden was lead counsel for plaintiffs in a civil rights action regarding claims of sexual abuse by Ron Berry, an employee of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, spanning a time period of approximately 30 years. The lawsuit alleged that the government provided funding to Ron Berry’s organization, thereby enabling him to use his position of authority to sexually molest children. After intensive discovery, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government paid $2.4 million to settle the case. The case involved complex issues regarding class certification, governmental immunity, and statute of limitations issues. The case posed significant logistical challenges due to the number of witnesses, the 30-year time span covered by the allegations, and the voluminous documentation provided during discovery.
- Construction Claim – Pikeville Methodist Hospital, Plaintiff, v. META Associates, Inc., Defendant , Commonwealth of Kentucky, Pike Circuit Court; Civil Action No. 97-CI-01179. Mr. Golden served as plaintiff’s counsel for Pikeville Methodist Hospital regarding a construction claim against one of the general contractors. The defendant settled on the first day of what was to be a three-week trial, after Mr. Golden previewed for defense counsel a summary of his intended opening statement.
- Slip-and-fall Claim – Lisa Tucker, Plaintiff, v. Childers Oil Company, Defendant , Commonwealth of Kentucky, Floyd Circuit Court; Civil Action No. 99-CI-0077. Mr. Golden defended the oil company in a slip-and-fall claim. Plaintiff pulled into the BP gas station owned by the defendant to fill her car with gas. She claimed she slipped on an oily spot and suffered a comminuted wrist fracture. Result: a defense verdict.
- Auto Negligence – Jamyl Sydboten, Plaintiff, v. Amanda Bishop, Defendant , Commonwealth of Kentucky, Fayette Circuit Court; Civil Action No. 98-CI-0097. Mr. Golden represented the defendant in this motor vehicle collision case. A vehicle driven by Ms. Bishop struck the plaintiff, Sydboten. The plaintiff served as golf pro at the Andover Country Club and had ambitions of playing on the PGA tour. He submitted proof of medical bills in the amount of $21,022.00, plus a claim of over $1.0 million in additional damages associated with the alleged ruin of his golf career. Result: Sydboten was awarded $1,000.00 for his medical bills, $1,000.00 for pain and suffering, and was apportioned 30% of the comparative fault.
- Products Liability – James A. Mitchell, Plaintiff, v. Bouldin & Lawson, Inc., Defendants , Commonwealth of Kentucky, Bourbon Circuit Court; Civil Action No. 96-CI-00089. Mr. Golden defended this product liability action regarding Bouldin & Lawson’s manufacturing of soil-mixing machines that were sold in Kentucky. A young man working at a plant nursery was on top of one of the soil-mixing machines when his leg slipped through the grate and was amputated. Mr. Golden defended the case by asserting that the height of the machine was a safety feature that would have prevented the accident. Result: a defense verdict.
- Civil Rights – Vickie Wilson, et al., Plaintiffs, v. David Webb, et al., Defendants, U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, Bowling Green Division, No. 1:94-CV-45-M. Mr. Golden represented two students in this civil rights action against their teacher, Tony Luttrell. The trial lasted two weeks in federal court and over 150 witnesses were listed to testify. Result: $451,000.00 verdict against the teacher and an award of $180,000.00 in attorney’s fees. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari.
Additional cases will be submitted upon request.