United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
Aljana F. Edwards, Guardian ad Litem for TLC-E, a minor under the age of fourteen years, Petitioner,
Continental Tire the Americas, LLC; COSSI Holdings, LLC d/b/a SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service and SpeeDee Worldwide Corporation d/b/a SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service, Defendants.
ORDER APPROVING SETTLEMENT
MATTER comes before the court on the verified Petition of
Aljana F. Edwards, as Guardian ad Litem of the minor TLC-E,
seeking approval by this court of a proposed confidential
settlement agreement between Petitioner and Defendant
Continental Tire the Americas, LLC (hereinafter
“CTA”). Based on the record and the testimony
presented, I make the following findings.
or about July 19, 2012, in Calhoun County, South Carolina,
the minor TLC-E, was involved in an accident while traveling
as a passenger in a 1998 Ford Explorer (“Subject
Vehicle”) operated by Sharhonda Tervell Turnipseed.
Petitioner alleged the left rear tire (“Subject
Tire”) experienced a tread separation, thereby causing
the accident. TLC-E, a minor age twelve (12), received
physical and psychological injuries as result of this
Aljana F. Edwards alleged that the Subject Tire was defective
and that the tire failure was a cause of the said accident.
The underlying complaint alleges claims against CTA sounding
in negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty.
Defendant CTA admits that it manufactured the Subject Tire.
However, CTA denies that the injuries suffered by TLC-E were
the result of any negligence or recklessness on its part. CTA
specifically denies that the Subject Tire was defective and
denies liability. CTA, nevertheless, in the interest of
compromise, has offered to pay a confidential settlement
amount presented to the court to Aljana F. Edwards as
Guardian ad Litem of TLC-E, in settlement of any and all
claims brought by Aljana F. Edwards, as Guardian ad Litem of
TLC-E. The full and final settlement amount to be paid to
Aljana F. Edwards, as Guardian ad Litem of TLC-E, is a
settlement of all claims against Defendant CTA.
Defendant CTA is self-insured in an amount in excess of the
settlement reached in this case.
find that Petitioner fully understands that the payments are
made to effect a full and final settlement and disposition of
any and all claims of Aljana F. Edwards, as Guardian ad Litem
of TLC-E, arising, occurring against Defendant CTA, its
affiliates, entities, divisions, their respective heirs,
agents, apparent agents, servants, shareholders, employees,
former employees, officers, board members, and their heirs,
predecessors, successors and assigns and all other persons,
firms, entities, and insurers, as a result of the injuries
referenced above, and any and all injuries which are known at
this time or which may later develop.
Petitioner certifies, represents and warrants that any valid
subrogation claims/liens in this matter, including any
Medicaid and/or Medicare claims/liens, resulting from the
injuries to TLC-E, shall be paid from the settlement
appears that Petitioner and Petitioner's attorneys have
fully investigated the matter, and that, after giving careful
consideration to all aspects of the situation, have concluded
that the settlement is fair and advantageous from the
standpoint of Aljana F. Edwards, as Guardian ad Litem of
TLC-E, and have asked this court to approve the same.
Petitioner is represented by Ronnie L. Crosby, Randolph
Murdaugh, IV, R. Alexander Murdaugh and Austin H. Crosby of
Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, PA in
Hampton, South Carolina and Java O. Warren of the Law Office
of Java Warren in Charlotte, North Carolina. Defendant CTA is
represented by attorneys from Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge
& Rice, LLC and Clyde & Co. US, LLP.
Counsel for Petitioner have rendered services for the minor
which include: deposing numerous fact witnesses including
investigating officers, occupants of the subject vehicle, and
eye witnesses; hiring an accident reconstruction expert, a
forensic tire expert with experience in manufacturing and
design of tires, an economist to evaluate the economic loss
to the minor child, and a life-care planner to evaluate the
minor's projected medical treatment relating to the
minor's physical and psychological injuries. In addition,
counsel for the minor child have conducted extensive written
consideration of the above-mentioned legal services performed
in this case, counsel for Petitioner are seeking approval of
both legal fees totaling 40% of the confidential settlement
amount, and costs. I find these amounts to be fair and
This action was prosecuted along with seven other cases that
arose from the same accident. In the interest of judicial
economy, all of the cases were consolidated for discovery
purposes. The costs associated with bringing the action was
prorated among the different cases. The costs assigned to
this individual case are Thirteen Thousand, Four Hundred
Thirty-Three and 58/100 ($13, 433.58) Dollars for Peters,
Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, PA and Five
Thousand, Four Hundred Eighty-Nine and 39/100 ($5, 489.39)
Dollars for Law Office of Java O. Warren. I find these
amounts to be fair and reasonable.
parties have provided to the court a Confidential Release,
Waiver and Indemnity Agreement on which they have agreed. The
court finds the terms of that agreement are fair, reasonable,
acceptable, appropriate and in the best interests of the
Upon observing and interviewing the parties and their
attorneys, I have concluded that the settlement proposed is
fair and just and in the best interest of Aljana F. Edwards,