The following is a sampling of the types of cases we have taken on. The cases illustrate our successful offensive tactics and our experience as effective plaintiff's attorneys. We are determined to provide a high level of service to all of our clients and will not accept a case unless we feel we can win it.
Breach of Contract
Propane Partners, based in Tulsa, OK, sued SCANA, South Carolina’s largest
utility company in 2003, in a contract dispute arising over the bidding process
and ultimate sale of SCANA’s propane businesses.
now known as Energy Transfer Partners, was approached by SCANA through a SCANA
subsidiary, Cornerstone Ventures, about purchasing five of SCANA’s propane
companies. As part of the solicitation, Heritage and Cornerstone signed a confidentiality
agreement that all information connected with the bid process was to be kept confidential.
After a lengthy and expensive process – Heritage told Cornerstone it wished
to buy the companies and offered an initial bid. After further negotiations, the
two sides came to agreement on all outstanding issues and shook hands. The SCANA
senior management team told Heritage, “we have a deal.” The two sides
continued to work on finalizing the written documents, agreeing that Heritage
would meet with propane employees prior to announcing the agreement publicly.
However, SCANA kept delaying the final contract. It turned out that Heritage had
been used only as a “stalking horse” to garner a higher bid from another
buyer. All the time, expense and expertise that Heritage had expended had only
been used to facilitate transactions with a second bidder, enriching the bidder
and SCANA at Heritage’s expense. Breach of contract, fraud and punitive
damages awarded--$48 MILLION
Agent Mistake—Hurricane Coverage Denied
Among the cases Mr. Suggs has successfully prosecuted
for small businesses is OSCO v. Cincinnati Insurance Co. (reported at 450 S.E.3d
66). In that case, a local meat packing and processing plant suffered damage to
the contents of its freezers due to a hurricane. The insurance agent who sold
OSCO its policy had made a mistake in the address of the plant, although the plant
and premises surrounded the end of a dead end street, and had always had the same
address for the entire premises. The insurance company insisted that it would
only pay for lost inventory on one side of the street, and refused to pay the
other, and undisputed, parts of the loss until the insured accepted the insurance
company's position. A jury found Cincinnati Insurance Co. to be not only negligent
in its handling of the claim, but also willful and reckless. The company's behavior
turned a $231,000 claim into a $2.1 million claim due to the resulting award of
consequential damages and punitive damages.
Building Covered—Not the Contents?
example is Cock N Bull Steakhouse v. General Ins. Co. (reported at 466 S.E.2d
727). A locally owned restaurant suffered a fire loss. The insurance company paid
$275,000 for the restaurant's building coverage, but refused about $50,000 in
payment, alleging the items claimed were "contents" and not covered.
The items included refrigerators and other "fixtures," which under the
law are considered real estate. The restaurant owner first hired a private adjuster,
who had no luck convincing the insurance company of its erroneous interpretation.
This time the insurance company's bad faith converted a $50,000 debt into $1.5
million in punitive damages and was upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court
Janet, Jenner, & Suggs, LLC does not offer
any guarantee of case results. Past success in litigation does not guarantee success
in any new or future lawsuit. Our web site describes some of the cases that the
attorneys of Janet, Jenner, & Suggs LLC have worked on in the past. Our description
of those cases is summary in nature. You should be aware that the results obtained
in each of the cases we have worked on were dependent on the particular facts
of each case. The results of other cases will differ based on the different facts