Pittsburgh Team Secures Unanimous Defense Verdict in Assault and Battery Case

Pittsburgh, Penn. (October 27, 2022) - Pittsburgh Partner Sunshine R. Fellows and Associate Shane Miller recently secured a unanimous defense verdict in an assault and battery matter. The plaintiff in the case was a federal law enforcement officer who was seated next to Lewis Brisbois’ client on a flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta.

As Law360 article describes, the plaintiff and her husband alleged that Lewis Brisbois’ client groped her during the flight while he was intoxicated. They also sued the airline and the airport bar that served the defendant alcohol before his flight. The plaintiffs sought damages for civil assault, battery, as well as loss of consortium, and demanded an award in the seven-figure range. The bar subsequently settled with the plaintiffs, and Lewis Brisbois’ client and the airline proceeded to trial.

During the three-day trial, Ms. Fellows and Mr. Miller overcame challenges associated with the defense of the case, including the existence of facts that were unfavorable to Lewis Brisbois’ client. Following the trial, the eight-member jury deliberated for only an hour and 15 minutes before returning a unanimous defense verdict, awarding no damages to the plaintiffs. The jury found that Lewis Brisbois’ client did not assault the plaintiff on the flight or commit a battery against her. In addition, the jury rendered defense verdicts for the airline and the bar, which remained on the verdict slip despite their pre-trial settlement with the plaintiffs.

In addition to Ms. Fellows and Mr. Miller, the Lewis Brisbois trial team included several dedicated paralegals and legal assistants who helped secure this win for the client.

Ms. Fellows is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ Labor & Employment Practice. With 20 years of experience advising management clients in the area of labor and employment law, she regularly defends employers in state and federal court litigation and administrative proceedings.

Mr. Miller focuses his practice on defending companies in employment-related lawsuits. He has represented clients in administrative hearings, as well as in trial and appellate courts throughout Pennsylvania.

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