In a lawsuit in DeKalb County State Court a verdict of $ 4,800,000 was awarded where the Plaintiff claimed that the owner of a lot failed to warn of the danger on the lot that ultimately caused the death of her husband from a wound resulting from a gunshot, and the Defendants failed to respond to the Plaintiff’s complaint resulting in a Default Judgement against the Defendants which is very unusual in this type of case.
The case was Elizabeth Whatley-Fenty v. Brandon Marshall and Investga.com, No. 13A458, and the date of the verdict was November 13, 2013.
The facts as summarized are as follows that on February 24, 2011, Travis Fenty, age 44, the driver of a tow truck, was trying to remove junk cars on a lot on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in Atlanta, GA when he was shot in the chest causing his death. Philmore Reed, age 74, was the man who shot Mr. Fently and Mr. Reed was the previous owner of the lot whom was still on the property due to his refusal to vacate after a foreclosure whereby the property was sold to Defendant Brandon Marshall and Marshall’s investment company.
Plaintiff Elizabeth Whatley-Fenty, who was Travis Fenty’s widow, sued Marshall and Investga.com for Wrongful Death. The Defendants failed to respond to the Plaintiff’s complaint, which is very unusual in a case of this magnitude, and, therefore, a Default Judgement was entered against the Defendants.
A Default Judgement is highly unusual in a case of this magnitude since a Default Judgement can not, in many cases, be opened by the court or discharged in Bankruptcy. Therefore, the Defendants in this case presented no defense, not even throwing themselves at the mercy of the court, and further have subjected themselves to the type of Judgement that can not be discharged against them or their company and will most likely follow them for the rest of their lives until collected.
Even if they have nothing now, except the lot and the cars on the lot, in which the Plaintiff can pursue to collect, they most certainly have the lot, and the property on the lot, in which they bought where the Plaintiff can place a lien to collect the hefty judgement.
They also most likely have homes that the Plaintiff can place liens upon in an effort to collect the judgement. Any cars, other vehicles, or property that the Defendants own can have liens placed on them as well. Finally, and sometimes most devastating, any wages that they earn can be garnished until this massive judgement is paid in full.
Yes, there are people out there that are “judgement proof” but these do not seem like the type of Defendants that fall into that category just with owning the lot, and cars that are on the lot as well. It is very unusual in a case of this magnitude that the Defendants failed to present any type of defense at all leading to a Default Judgement as the end result.
Following the entrance of the Default Judgement, the Honorable Janis C. Gordon held a damages hearing and awarded $ 4,800,000 to the Plaintiff.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are successful in all types of Wrongful Death actions so if you or a loved one has been involved in a Wrongful Death situation, then please Contact Us for your free legal consultationby any or all of the following means: Contact Us on our Website; by email at juliericelaw.com; by phone at (770) 865-8654, and/or (813) 363-6664; or by the Contact Form on this blog.
We are here to assist you, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.