On Thursday a federal court jury in Gulfport returned a plaintiff verdict of $1,222,314.93 in Stafford v. Government Employees Insurance Co., et al. Here is the original Complaint.

Plaintiff was rear-ended while working for the county in 2012 by someone who was allegedly looking at her phone. Plaintiff sued the driver and several insurance companies based on underinsured motorist claims.

Plaintiff filed the case in Circuit Court in Pearl River County. Lamorak Insurance Co. removed the case to federal court. Here is the Notice of Removal.

Here is the Verdict.

The jury awarded damages of $572,314.93 in actual economic damages and $650,000 in noneconomic damages.

Here is the judgment.

Plaintiff’s counsel was Collin Maley of Maley & Walker in Jackson and the Penton Law Firm out of Bogalusa, La.

Defense counsel included William Allen, Jessica Malone and Chad Williams with Allen and Allen in Broohhaven.

Judge Sul Ozerden presided.


My Take:

I don’t understand defendants removing cases filed in places like Pearl River County or Rankin County to federal court.

If the plaintiff files in state court in a county that is more conservative than the federal court division as a whole, why remove? Particularly since the Fifth Circuit is more likely to affirm a jury verdict than the Miss. Supreme Court.

  • Rogen Chhabra

    Why do they remove to federal court?

    A. The out of state defendants still think Mississippi is a judicial hellhole
    B. The defense lawyers were trained decades ago to remove everything and haven’t changed with the times
    C. Easy billables
    D. All of the above

  • Kittell Law

    Any idea what the injuries were? Total meds? I assume some of the economic portion of the verdict is for lost wages and/or future lost wages?