Published Decisions

Proven Results

Over the years we’ve helped many individuals obtain justice. Here is a selection of some of our most memorable and significant cases.


Supreme Court of Virginia.
Katina GREEN, Administrator of the Estate of
Christie D. Green
v.
George INGRAM, et al.
Record No. 040480.

March 3, 2005.

In this wrongful death action, personal injury trial attorneys Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. and Margaret Cuthbert Broaddus of Cuthbert Law Offices in Petersburg, Va. won a critical appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia. They argued the trial court should have allowed them re-try their case after the first jury hung when presented with the question of whether Sgt. George Ingram of the Richmond Police Department SWAT Team had acted with gross negligence in the 1998 death of an 18-year-old mother. Sgt. Ingram fired five breaching rounds into the wooden kitchen door of an occupied apartment. Fragments from one round hit the mother in the chest and killed her. In an opinion handed down on March 3, 2005, the Supreme Court of Virginia agreed with Cuthbert and Broaddus and remanded the case for trial. Cuthbert and Broaddus ultimately obtained a $1.5 million verdict.


Supreme Court of Virginia.
Abe SHEPARD, Administrator of the Estate of
Ernestine Shepard
v.
CAPITOL FOUNDRY OF VIRGINIA, INC., et al.
Record No. 002776.

Nov. 2, 2001

In this wrongful death personal injury appeal handed down on November 2, 2001, the Virginia Supreme Court reinstated the full jury verdict won by personal injury trial attorneys Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. and Margaret Cuthbert Broaddus of Cuthbert Law Offices in Petersburg, Va. The case centered on the death of Ernestine Shepard, who died just 16 hours after her aorta was torn in an auto accident involving a flatbed tractor trailer truck that was stopped for a prolonged period of time in a travel lane of a major street in downtown Petersburg. A hit-and-run driver rammed Ms. Shepard’s pickup from behind, impelling it into the illegally parked tractor trailer. Cuthbert and Broaddus settled with the hit-and-run driver (who had only a modest insurance policy) and went after the driver of the tractor trailer and his employer (who had a huge insurance policy). The jury returned its verdict against the driver of the tractor trailer and his employer. The verdict totaled $1.7 million, plus interest. The trial judge reduced the total award by more than $1 million. On appeal attorneys Cuthbert and Broaddus argued that the trial court abused its discretion in finding the jury verdict was excessive and in cutting the prejudgment interest to zero. The Supreme Court of Virginia agreed and restored the jury’s verdict. This is the second largest verdict ever obtained in Petersburg Circuit Court (the largest having been obtained by Cuthbert and Broaddus in the case of Pulliam v. Coastal Emergency Services of Richmond, Inc).


Supreme Court of Virginia.
Karl B. PULLIAM, Executor of the Estate of Elnora
R. Pulliam
v.
COASTAL EMERGENCY SERVICES OF
RICHMOND, INC., et al.
Record No. 980659.

Jan. 8, 1999.

In this wrongful death action, personal injury trial attorneys Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. and Margaret Cuthbert Broaddus of Cuthbert Law Offices in Petersburg, Va. led the way in an appellate fight that challenged the constitutionality of the state’s cap on medical malpractice damages. This was a medical malpractice case arising out of the Emergency Room at Southside Regional Medical Center in Petersburg, Virginia. This important appeal drew interest from multiple parties and numerous amicus briefs were filed. The Supreme Court of Virginia upheld the cap in a January 8, 1999 opinion. The jury’s verdict of over $2 million dollars is the largest verdict ever returned by a Petersburg jury.


United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.
Verle J. BAILEY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Shirley CHATER, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 94-2241.

Argued June 7, 1995.
Decided Oct. 18, 1995.

Margaret Cuthbert Broaddus of Cuthbert Law Offices in Petersburg, Va. successfully appealed the denial of a client’s Social Security benefits. The claimant suffered from diabetes, hypertension and glaucoma. Medical evidence indicated she had been hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis in late 1989. She was unable to perform substantial work after that incident but did not have more thorough examinations until May 1992. An Administrative Law Judge set a disability date of December 1991 – or two years after the date the claimant alleged she became disabled. The court ruled the ALJ’s decision was wholly arbitrary and not supported by substantial evidence. The onset of the claimant’s disability was ambiguous, the court said, and the Administrative Law Judge should have relied on a medical advisor to determine the correct date. “In cases such as this one, medical advisors are the prescribed mechanism for reaching the required evidentiary threshold; their services may not be dispensed with by fiat,” according to the opinion.


United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Claireather M. WILKINS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 90-1476.

Argued June 4, 1991.
Decided Dec. 17, 1991.

Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. of Cuthbert Law Offices in Petersburg, Va. was successful for his client in this appeal involving a claim for Social Security disability benefits. The U.S. Fourth Circuit ruled en banc (that is, the entire court participating) that an Administrative Law Judge had erred in concluding that Claireather M. Wilkins was not entitled to disability insurance benefits. In deciding the appeal in Ms. Wilkins’ favor the court stated: “[W]e conclude that the ALJ’s finding that Wilkins’ disability did not begin until March 28, 1987 is not supported by substantial evidence.” That finding was crucial to collecting disability insurance because Wilkins’ disability insured status ended on December 31, 1986. An en banc decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals is highly unusual. This decision, handed down in 1991, is the last en banc decision that the Fourth Circuit has issued in a Social Security disability case.


United States Court of Appeals,
Fourth Circuit.
Stroun A. FLOWERS, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 89-1413.

Argued Nov. 3, 1989.
Decided May 29, 1990.

Charles H. Cuthbert Jr. of Cuthbert Law Offices in Petersburg, Va. won this appeal that secured disability benefits for his Social Security client. An Administrative Law Judge initially ruled that Cuthbert’s client, Stroun A. Flowers Jr., was not disabled within the meaning of the Social Security Act. Cuthbert argued that Mr. Flowers was disabled due to seizures and other health problems. In a May 29, 1990 opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with Cuthbert’s position, holding that, as a matter of law, a claimant is disabled if mildly mentally retarded and also unable to do past relevant work. This was a landmark conclusion which remains good law throughout the nation.