Truck Accident Case

We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.

We Take the Hard Cases

At Stephenson Rife, we’re not accustomed to the words, “That case is too hard.” Our law firm takes on cases that other attorneys shrink from in all the legal matters we handle.

That’s because we feel strongly that our legal services make our client’s lives easier. We want to relieve the stresses that legal matters can present. When we accept a case, know that we can make situation easier.

You don’t have to go it alone. We’ve helped individuals with all types of legal matters.

Multimillion-Dollar Settlement For Survivors

“M.A.,” a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico.

Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The Stephenson Rife firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased. Stephenson immediately began an aggressive investigation and preparation for trial. The discovery phase of the litigation included successfully petitioning the court to have important documents turned over by the defense. We took more than 60 depositions in five different states. Experts from across the country were hired and prepared for trial. Because of Stephenson’s tireless advocacy, shortly before the trial was to commence, the defendants settled the case for $48.5 million.

Stephenson Rife Client Awarded $2.5 Million in Damages

Deborah Cochrane was involved in a collision on I-69 when Ramirez J. Gomez — driving a tractor-trailer — struck the vehicle behind her, causing a chain reaction collision.

Cochrane suffered severe injuries and sought the help of Stephenson Rife in a case against Gomez and the logistics company he worked for, seeking damages for her injuries.

The attorneys at Stephenson Rife worked tirelessly to advocate for Cochrane and, after an extensive trial, the jury awarded Cochrane $2.5 million in damages. The defendants filed a motion arguing the verdict was excessive, which the trial court denied – illustrating the solidity of the defendant and Stephenson Rife’s case. On appeal, the defendants claimed the trial court erred in denying their motion, arguing the damages were excessive. However, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision, stating that there was evidence supporting the jury’s award, and declined to disturb it.

Stephenson Rife is honored to have played an integral role in obtaining a $2.5 million verdict in her favor — a testament to our firm’s commitment to achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. At Stephenson Rife LLP, we stand by our clients every step of the way, ensuring that their voices are heard, and their interests are fiercely protected.

Personal Injury Cases

Blackford County jury returned a verdict for client for an amount over four times the last offer from the insurance company. Our client, JR, a 40 year old lady, went with friends to Mel’s Keg in Hartford City, Indiana. Mel’s is a small bar and grill near downtown Hartford City. JR and her female friend, KS, met a group of high school friends at Mel’s. Shortly after JR and KS arrived at Mel’s, KS’s stepsister of 25 years, RTB, came into the bar with a group of her friends to celebrate her birthday.

Unfortunately, later that evening KS and her stepsister, RTB, got into a heated argument which eventually turned into a physical altercation. The altercation was broken up by the groups of friends who had come to Mel’s Keg with both women. Immediately after the two women were pulled apart, RTB grabbed a beer mug and threw it across the room at her stepsister but missed and struck our client in the face, severely cutting her upper lip and breaking off a front tooth. The entire argument and physical altercation was captured on surveillance tape.
JR went to the ER but her injury was so severe that she was referred to an oral surgeon for treatment. JR was taken to Indianapolis the following day where the through-and-through laceration of her lip was sutured. She eventually had a root canal and a cap placed on her front tooth. JR has undergone one revision surgery to minimize the scar, and will likely need the cap replaced over the course of her life time. She was left with a noticeable scar on her lip. JR’s medical expense totaled $8,900.

Suit was filed against JR’s stepsister and Mel’s Keg. At mediation and before trial the most offered to settle JR’s claim was $35,000. The jury returned a verdict in her favor for $157,000, assessing 55% of the liability to one stepsister, 35% to the other stepsister, and 10 % to JR, resulting in a net verdict over two times the amount offered by the RTB’s insurance company.

Product Liability Cases

A large chain tire retailer sold an “almost new” eight year old tire to an unsuspecting buyer in Nevada.

As the young man was driving his Ford Bronco along a two-lane state road, the tire failed causing him to lose control and go left of center striking a motorcycle killing “J.M.” and his wife.

Stephenson was hired and went to Nevada to examine the wreck and the tire. The family had been advised initially that the age of the tire would prevent the successful prosecution of a wrongful death action against the manufacturer. Thorough research and the employment of national experts led to the conclusion that the original assessment was incorrect. A thorough expert analysis of the tire, along with a trip to the tire manufacturing facility and obtaining the factory specifications for the tire, allowed Stephenson to produce objective evidence that the tire had been improperly manufactured by the manufacturer’s own standards. Stephenson, with the assistance of highly specialized computer animation, put together a state-of-the-art visual presentation that showed objectively how the tire failed to meet the manufacturer’s own standards. This technology demonstrated clearly the magnitude of defects in the tire and how easy it would be to show a jury the reason for the tire failure.

The case settled after the presentation of the computer animation.

Faulty Crane Design Causes Significant Injury

Our client was critically injured when the main lift arm of a man lift attached to a large piece of mine machinery broke as our client was being transported from nearly 20’’ in the air to the ground. After a thorough investigation, we were able to establish that the support arm failed to meet design requirements. Our client received a confidential settlement.

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