Firm News

Dean & Gibson, PLLC is pleased to announce Jeremy Foster as the firm's newest partner.

Jeremy partnerJeremy is a great asset to Dean & Gibson and he is a valuable addition to the firm's leadership. He works hard to get great results for his clients, and has been very effective in obtaining positive outcomes.
Throughout his career, Jeremy's practice has been heavily concentrated in the areas of products liability, construction defect, premises liability and motor vehicle accidents. Most recently, he has defended large and small commercial companies, multiple franchise entities, public schools and boards of education. Jeremy has extensive trial experience and remarkable success on behalf of a variety of clients.
Jeremy received his B.A. degree from Roanoke College, and his Juris Doctor from University of Miami School of Law. He and his family have made Charlotte, North Carolina their home for almost ten years.

Thanks to Rod Dean, the plane from the "Miracle on the Hudson" Finally Arrives in Charlotte!

Most of you are aware of the incident involving flight 1549 from New York to Charlotte that crash landed on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 after both engines failed due to striking a flock of birds. Due to the extraordinary skills of the pilots, the plane landed intact and all passengers and crew survived. The incident became known as the "Miracle on the Hudson".

In recent weeks, news articles have circulated indicating that the plane involved in the crash landing is being transported to Charlotte and will be placed in the Carolinas Aviation Museum at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. What you may not have heard is just how Charlotte managed to beat out the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and other prominent aviation museums around the country to secure this plane. Also, how our senior partner, Rod Dean, played a significant role in bringing the plane home to Charlotte.

Rod, who has experience as a pilot, is a member of the Board of Directors for the Aviation Museum and provides legal counsel to the Museum on a number of different issues. It was Rod who first suggested to the Museum Board that they should bring the plane, or at least a part of it, to Charlotte. He suggested that Charlotte would be a natural home for the aircraft given that the plane was on its way to Charlotte when it landed in the river, as well as the fact that many of the passengers on the flight were residents of Charlotte. US Airways, the owner of the plane, also has its largest hub in Charlotte. Rod and the other members of the Aviation Museum, through a lot of hard work and diligent negotiation, were able to persuade the insurance companies and U.S. Airways that the plane rightfully belonged in Charlotte.

Once the agreement was reached to bring flight 1549 home to Charlotte, Rod worked with the parties to draft all of the necessary legal documentation to obtain and transport the plane to its final destination at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. The final transport, preparation and display may not be completed until the end of 2011.

The attorneys and staff at Dean & Gibson, PLLC are proud of the contribution Rod has made in bringing home this piece of history.

Recent Dean & Gibson, PLLC Cases

Mike Gibson recently obtained a defense verdict in a trial involving claims for Intentional and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress. The case involved the death of a fishing guide on an expedition in Alaska. The young man was killed by a shotgun discharged at point blank range. While out fishing with the group, the victim walked away from the other members and was found alone with the gun immediately after the others heard the gun discharge. The death was ruled a suicide and this was reported to the family by the owner of the guide service, who had been on the expedition and who knew the victim's family. The family rejected the cause of death and sued the owner of the guide service and his wife for falsely reporting the death was suicide. Plaintiffs alleged the shooting was an accident and that the owner made up the story of suicide in order to avoid liability for the death. The defense was able to show the jury that the death was in fact a suicide and that the alleged emotional distress was caused by the loss of a loved one, not by being told about it after the fact. After a dramatic two week trial that involved compelling photographic and physical evidence, testimony from witnesses in Alaska and a number of competing experts, the jury ruled in favor of the defense.

Mike Gibson also recently concluded a 6 week trial involving construction defect claims in which the Plaintiff was seeking over $5 Million in damages. The case involved a golf course built in a flood plain, damaged by significant mud and sediment after repeated flooding events. Mike Gibson represented one of three defendants involved in the construction of a silt retention pond that Plaintiff alleged was the cause of the flooding and damage. In fact there were clear defects in the retention pond. Defendants argued the flooding was due to the course being in a flood plain as was shown by the fact that the golf course continued to flood even after repairs were made to the retention pond. The Defendants all disputed who was responsible for the alleged defects in the pond, with the co-defendants pointing the finger at Mike's client and refusing to make any significant contribution towards settlement. Finally, all Defendants argued that Plaintiff's damages were severely over-inflated. Although the golf course was located in the rural part of a county, far away from any metropolitan areas, and despite figures showing low annual revenue, Plaintiff contended the course would generate revenue in the future comparable to professional courses. After 6 weeks of trial and testimony from approximately 20 fact and expert witnesses, Mike succeeded in holding the jury verdict to less than 14% of what Plaintiff was claiming. Although the jury found the client liable, Mike was also able to convince the jury that the 2 co-defendants were liable as well, reducing the client's exposure to 1/3 of the verdict.

Mike Gibson is a Partner with Dean & Gibson, PLLC , and has been with the firm since 1989. Mike practices in the areas of general civil litigation, insurance coverage, construction litigation, trucking accidents and regulation, professional liability, and catastrophic injury and death.