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Joel O. Wooten

Joel Wooten’s Legal Cases

4 total

  • Jay Auto Group, Inc. v. American Suzuki Motor Corporation

    Practice Area:
    Business
    Date:
    Jul 06, 2012
    Outcome:
    Cash Settlement--Amount Confidential
    Description:
    Plaintiff-franchisee alleged that Defendant did not use good faith in its business dealings with Plaintiff, negligently and/or fraudulently misrepresented sales numbers of other Suzuki dealerships to induce Plaintiff's continued investments in the Franchise, and discriminated in the allocation of vehicles in violation of its contractual and statutory duties. After Plaintiff successfully defended against Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and discovery commenced, the case settled for a confidential amount.
  • Toole v. JMIC

    Practice Area:
    Class Action
    Date:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Outcome:
    Cash Settlement--$45,000,000
    Description:
    When Plaintiff and Class Representative Ken Toole purchased a motor vehicle in 2001, he also purchased single-premium credit life and disability insurance. He paid an up-front premium at the time of purchase for the credit insurance coverage over the term of his loan. When Toole later paid his loan off early, under the terms of the insurance contract, he was entitled to receive a refund of the unearned premium. As it did with many of its other insureds, JMIC failed to refund the unearned premium to Toole. During lengthy discovery, Plaintiff's counsel proved that the insurance company owed tens of thousands of its insureds millions of dollars of unearned premiums. A nationwide class was certified by the trial court in 2005, and in 2006, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the certification of the nationwide class. After more than 4 years of contentious litigation and extensive discovery, JMIC was forced to produce a database with information on thousands of potential class members. JMIC finally agreed to pay $45 million into a Settlement Fund to settle the case. The Court and Class Counsel will supervise a settlement administrator who will determine the amount of and pay unearned refunds to those class members/insureds that are due but have not received an unearned premium refund. JMIC is also required to take steps to provide additional prospective relief to make sure that insureds that terminate early in the future do get the refunds of unearned premium to which they are entitled. The settlement was preliminarily approved by the Court on October 31, 2007.
  • Buckner v. Resource Life Insurance Co.

    Practice Area:
    Class Action
    Date:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Outcome:
    Cash Settlement--$47,750,000
    Description:
    Plaintiff Dorothy Buckner brought this class action on behalf of herself and a group of Resource Life insureds who did not receive a refund of their unearned credit insurance premiums when they paid off their insured car loans early. Defendant Resource Life contended that language in its credit insurance contract meant that it had no obligation to refund its insureds' unearned credit insurance premiums unless and until its insureds wrote it and requested a refund. Plaintiff's counsel prevailed on that key issue and established that the Defendant had no right to keep its insureds' money. A Class was thereafter certified by the Superior Court of Muscogee County, Georgia. During discovery, Plaintiff's counsel learned that Resource Life was concealing important evidence it had previously told both the Court and Plaintiff's counsel it did not have. Plaintiff's counsels' determination to find this hidden evidence and resulted in what is believed to be the largest sanction in Georgia history being entered against Resource Life for misconduct and discovery abuse. The trial court's orders granting that sanction and certifying a class action were upheld by a unanimous panel of the Georgia Court of Appeals. Resource Life paid $47,750,000 into a Settlement Fund to settle the case. The Settlement provides that Settlement Class Members have the opportunity to receive the unearned credit insurance premiums they are owed by Resource Life.
  • Glynn County Board of Commissioners v. Allied\Honeywell

    Practice Area:
    Environmental and Natural Resources
    Date:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Outcome:
    Cash Settlement--$25,000,000
    Description:
    A cash settlement was obtained for the Glynn County Commission for environmental damages to 9 parcels of county property, including a county-owned park on Blythe Island and portions of the historic Altamaha Canal. The southeast Georgia county sued Allied Chemical, now Honeywell International, Inc., for thousands of pounds of mercury and PCB Aroclor 1268 discharged by Allied, starting in 1956, from its chlor alkali chemical plant into the Turtle River and the adjacent marshes. In addition to the cash payment, Honeywell was also required to immediately commence efforts to pump and treat a large underground pool of caustic brine, mercury and other chemicals that leaked from its plant during operations there and that now endanger the groundwater and aquifers under the former chemical plant site.