Verdicts And Settlements
- Unanimous victory in the United States Supreme Court. On March 27, 2018, Chief Justice Roberts handed down a unanimous decision in favor of the firm’s client. Andrew Simpson wrote all of the briefs at both the certiorari stage and on the merits and argued the case before the Court. As the respected Above The Law website put it, “To be given an opportunity to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court is an honor few lawyers get. Winning is a greater honor. But winning with a unanimous decision is the ultimate honor. And this honor goes to Andrew Simpson a solo practitioner in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
- Successful Arbitration in defense of a personal injury claim. On January 21, 2022, the firm received an Arbitrator’s award in favor of its client, finding after a four-day arbitration hearing that a personal injury claimant’s injuries were due to his own negligence (100%) and not due to any negligence on the part of the firm’s client.
- Great result defending a vessel owner in an admiralty action. In the first trial to be held in the District Court of the Virgin Islands after the COVID-19 outbreak, the firm defended a Vessel Owner alleged to have negligently secured two large vessels in a marina during Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane. The court found that the vessel owner was not negligent and awarded contract damages that were roughly 20% of what the plaintiff marina owner was seeking.
- Defense win for a condominium association accused of civil rights violations. After a three day trial in January 2020 in the District Court of the Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, the firm succeeded in getting all counts of an eleven count civil rights complaint filed against a condominium association and its board of directors dismissed. The court also awarded the firm’s client over $126,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Another rare defense verdict – in a civil sexual assault case. On January 27, 2017, a Virgin Islands jury returned a defense verdict in a case in which a 65 year old woman was suing the firm’s client, a 94 year old man, accusing him of sexual assault at a dinner party. This was the second trial of the case as a year earlier, the jury hung, with only one juror holding out for the plaintiff. The second trial was held amidst growing public attention across the nation to issues of sexual assault and thus presented a dangerous environment to defend such a case. At the conclusion of the second trial, the jury was again hung; in an effort to avoid a third trial, Andrew Simpson advocated that the court allow the parties five additional minutes of closing argument to try to address issues that the lawyers felt might be causing the jury to remain deadlocked. The court agreed and within an hour of the additional closing argument, the jury returned a verdict for the defense and agreed that the plaintiff had not proven that there was any assault.
- From complaint to appellate victory in less than 90 days. On August 26, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in favor of our client and reversed the district court, reinstating the firm’s client to the ballot for Governor of the Virgin Islands. The case was handled on an emergency basis from the filing of the complaint on May 30, 2014 through the district court proceeding and appeal, with the final decision from the Third Circuit rendered less than 90 days after the initial complaint was filed. Andrew Simpson used the firm’s technology to draft the appellate briefs while vacationing on a “road trip” around Lake Michigan, at one point downloading research while logged into a closed diner’s wifi hotspot from its parking lot.
- Summary judgment for hotel resort. On February 7, 2014, the District Court of the Virgin Islands granted our client’s motion for summary judgment in a premises liability case arising out of a slip and fall in a bathtub at a hotel resort. The court agreed that the slippery nature of a bathtub under ordinary conditions of use is an open and obvious condition that does not give rise to liability. The plaintiff argued that the fact that the resort offered bathmats on request proved that the resort knew there was an unreasonably dangerous condition; however, the court agreed that the availability of tools to make an area safer is not evidence that the area was unsafe. This case supports the oft-overlooked point that the duty a landowner owes is to provide a reasonably safe premises — rather than a safer or the safest premises.