United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Orangeburg Division
Tiffany N. Provence, Esq. as Special Administrator of the Estate of DTT-S, 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
Tiffany N. Provence, as Special Administrator of the Estate
of DTT-S, 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 Decedent, DTT-S, 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. DTT-S, a minor age one (1)
month, received injuries in this accident and ultimately died
from those injuries.
Tiffany N. Provence 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
Defendant CTA admits that it manufactured the Subject Tire.
However, CTA denies that the death of DTT-S was 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 Tiffany N. Provence as Special Administrator
of the Estate of DTT-S, in settlement of any and all claims
brought by Tiffany N. Provence, as Special Administrator of
the Estate of DTT-S, including any claims that were brought
under South Carolina Wrongful Death and Survival Statutes.
The full and final settlement amount to be paid to Tiffany N.
Provence, as Special Administrator of the Estate of DTT-S,
and the heirs and statutory Wrongful Death beneficiaries by
and through the Special Administrator, Tiffany N. Provence,
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 the settlement funds to be paid by Defendant CTA
shall be allocated in full to the wrongful death cause of
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 Tiffany N. Provence, as Special
Administrator of the Estate of DTT-S, and of the heirs and
statutory beneficiaries of DTT-S arising, occurring against
the 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 and/or death referenced above.
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 Tiffany N. Provence, as Special Administrator
of the Estate of DTT-S, and the heirs at law, and the
statutory beneficiaries, and have asked this court to approve
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 Beth E. Bernstein of Bernstein
& Bernstein, LLC in Columbia, SC. 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 Estate
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, and an economist to evaluate the economic
loss suffered by the statutory beneficiary. In addition,
counsel for the Estate have conducted extensive written
consideration of the above-mentioned legal services performed
in this case, counsel for Petitioner is 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 Four Thousand, Three Hundred
Sixty-Nine and 01/100 ($4, 369.01) Dollars. I find this
amount to be fair and reasonable.
find that DTT-S died intestate and the statutory
beneficiaries of the Estate shall be determined by the
Probate Court of Richland County (South Carolina). I find
that there are no outstanding creditors of record.
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,