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Lawyer says company’s bankruptcy filing designed to avoid $26-million jury verdict

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What is a bankruptcy discharge ?”


Chicago’s legal community saw one of its lawyer-brethren awarded a multimillion-dollar jury verdict Tuesday evening only to see the award cast into doubt, hours later, by an early-Wednesday morning bankruptcy filing. Both cases involved a former real-estate executive from suburban Hinsdale, Illinois named Marc M. Jacobs.

Taxi Cabs Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Chapter 7 AttorneyThen a partner at downtown Chicago’s Barack Ferrazzano Kirschaum & Nagelberg, Jacobs was on his way home after dinner with a client in August 2005 “when the driver of the taxi he was riding in lost control on an I-294 exit ramp” and crashed after vaulting 32 feet through the air and striking a concrete barrier, according to the Chicago Tribune.

After the crash, Jacobs sued Yellow Cab, the driver and the owner of the cab alleging negligence. “Jacobs suffered severe and permanent brain damage,” his lawyer Robert Clifford told the Tribune. Jacobs’ wife joined the lawsuit, alleging loss of consortium—a claim made by the spouse of an injured party based on the “loss of services, support, affection, society, companionship and consortium.”

A Chicago jury sided with the Jacobs and on Tuesday awarded the couple nearly $26 million—$21.99 million to Mr. Jacobs and $3.96 million to Mrs. Jacobs. Clifford said the couple may never see a dime of the verdict.

The jury’s verdict was read in court at about 7 p.m., according to the Times, and Clifford said court proceedings adjourned about an hour later. At 3:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Yellow Cab filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Chicago. The company alleged in bankruptcy documents that it had assets from $1 million to $10 million but did not have assets sufficient to pay the Jacobs’ judgment.

Clifford told the Times that he believed the timing of the bankruptcy filing showed that it was part of a “long-planned strategy to avoid accountability and responsibility.” The Jacobs will not be able to collect on their judgment until the Yellow Cab bankruptcy case is resolved, a bankruptcy expert at the University of Chicago Law School told the Times.

As in other bankruptcies, secured creditors of Yellow Cab stand to be paid first, leaving the debt of unsecured creditors to be split—depending on the nature and amount of remaining assets—on a pro rata basis or discharged. Clifford said that the bankruptcy filing placed the Jacobs “in a legal limbo by making them [unsecured] creditors to the company,” according to the Times.

Despite several surgeries and rehabilitation, Mr. Jacobs was unable to return to work in the same capacity after the accident. He now volunteers at a local hospital, assisting veterans and children who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, according to the Times.

If you find yourself needing the services of an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.



About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.








Image Credit:

“New York. Seventh Avenue. Times Square (2707792779)” by Tomás Fano – New York. Seventh Avenue. Times Square. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:New_York._Seventh_Avenue._Times_Square_(2707792779).jpg#/media/File:New_York._Seventh_Avenue._Times_Square_(2707792779).jpg



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