On Thursday February 7, 2019, a Hinds County jury in Jackson returned a unanimous $2 million verdict for the plaintiff in Kirkland v. Barnett.

Plaintiff Carole Kirkland alleged that Defendant Mary Judith “Judy” Barnett ran a red light at the intersection of Pascagoula and State Street in downtown Jackson causing their cars to violently collide.  Ms. Kirkland suffered a broken wrist and a knee injury that left her with a permanent impairment.  She presented proof of $31,000 in past medical bills and $20,000 in future medical treatment.

After deliberating less than an hour, the jury found that Ms. Barnett was negligent for the crash and awarded Ms. Kirkland damages for her past medical bills, future medical bills, pain and suffering, and permanent impairment.

Ms. Barnett filed a counterclaim alleging her light was green and that Ms. Kirkland caused her to suffer injuries.  The jury found that Ms. Kirkland was not negligent and awarded $0 to Ms. Barnett on the counterclaim.

Barnett’s insurer was Allstate. Allstate’s pretrial offer was $5,000.

Rocky Wilkins of Morgan & Morgan represented the Plaintiff Carole Kirkland.  Sam Thomas defended the counterclaim for Ms. Kirkland.

Scott Rogers of Vernis & Bowling represented the Defendant Judy Barnett.  Toby Gamill represented Ms. Barnett on the counterclaim.

Senior Circuit Judge Tomie Green presided.

My Take:

Big win for Kirkland. Back to the drawing board for Allstate on case valuation.

How could Allstate be so sure it would win a swearing match?

You know who doesn’t like the $5,000 pretrial offer? Math.

  • Gulf Stream

    Big win although that verdict seems doomed to remittiur.

  • Pieter T

    Astounding plaintiff’s win, and congratulations to Rocky Wilkins (a genuinely nice guy). Is this the same Judy Barnett who is an attorney? If so, did she take the stand? For anyone who has practiced opposite her, that may explain some of the award.

    Agree a remittiur is likely.

    • Gulf Stream

      That’s the one. There’s an article on CL

    • Kimberly

      This is the same Judy Barnett. I would love to read the trial transcript for this case.