On Friday a Covington County jury returned a combined verdict of $138,000 in favor of two plaintiffs in Parker v. Culpepper Enterprises, Inc. Here is the Complaint.

The case was filed in Jones County and later transferred to Covington County.

The case involved a dispute relating to the failure of defendants to pay wages and benefits to plaintiffs over the course of several years. The defendant made no offer to settle and the case proceeded to trial.

A unanimous jury rendered verdicts of $65,000 ($40,000 economic; $25,000 emotional distress) for one plaintiff and $73,000 ($48,000 economic; $25,000 emotional distress) for the second plaintiff.

Cory Ferraez with McHard, McHard, Anderson and Associates in Hattiesburg represented the plaintiffs. Wayne Easterling from Hattiesburg represented the defense.

Judge Eddie Bowen presided.

My Take:

Good win for the rookie plaintiff lawyer. I worked on a case with Wayne Easterling 20 years ago and found him to be an astute and talented attorney.

But don’t get too cocky. I won my first trial in a tough case. Of course, I decided I was bullet proof. As Will Raiford famously told me when I acted like a jack-ass when I lost my second trial: “sorry buddy, but you can actually lose these things.” That wasn’t the last time I learned that lesson.

Now that I think of it, I remember Wayne Easterling telling me how bad it was to lose on the plaintiff’s side compared to the defense. He was right.

Losing always sucks. But once you experience a loss on the plaintiff’s side, losing a defense trial is…just…not…the same.