Breaking NewsLaw.com and associated brands will be offline for scheduled maintenance Friday Feb. 26 9 PM US EST to Saturday Feb. 27 6 AM EST. We apologize for the inconvenience.

 
X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
A Florida attorney who worked on what has recently been voted the most frivolous lawsuit in recent memory says he wouldn’t do it over again, but he insists that the case has been dramatically distorted. In 1995, the Reverend William Christian and Carolyn Christian sued a seeing-eye-dog school for negligence after a blind man, in training with a new dog at a mall, stepped on and fractured Christian’s toe. The couple sought $160,000 in reimbursement for pain, suffering, humiliation, disability and medical bills. In an online poll of 6,135, orchestrated by the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch (http://www.mlaw.org/), C hristian v. Southeastern Guide Dogs was voted, by a 42 percent to 23 percent margin, as being so ridiculous that even a dog wouldn’t file it. The poll adapted James Percelay’s tart descriptions of five cases in a new book, “Whiplash! America’s Most Frivolous Lawsuits.” Bradenton, Fla., lawyer Don Grieco is named in the news clips as the Christians’ lawyer, even though all other attorneys in the case say that his boss, Melton Little, filed the case, oversaw its discovery, and took it to mediation. Little did not return phone calls by press time. “I understand that, at first look, it’s a horrible case,” said Grieco, who was a junior lawyer at the time. Yet, Grieco insists that the case was not frivolous. “I’ll tell you what: It had some merit. If it wasn’t the blind, it’d be a decent case,” he contended. He said that it was fundamentally about mis-supervision: one trainer simultaneously watching several blind novices who were training their dogs. Grieco’s description contrast with most public descriptions of the case. Florida Governor Jeb Bush cited it as an example of society’s shameful momentum; dozens of international news outlets ran stories right from the Christians’ yard — the vast number scorning the Christians for suing the school after the blind man died. Absent from most other retrievable descriptions of the case are the facts that Vernon Henley, the blind man, suffered from diabetes, weighed well over 200 pounds, and had trouble controlling his legs. The trainer had several opportunities to avert the fateful collision, Grieco asserted. Percelay’s tale ends with the client, abashed by the publicity, giving up and settling. No, Grieco insisted, it was the lawyers who withdrew, after securing a $5,000 settlement offer from the school’s insurance company. But the couple held out for more. “We had gotten money on the table,” said Grieco, who said his firm advised them to “take it and run.”

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.