The Patterson Harkavy Legacy in the Appellate Courts

Patterson Harkavy has been representing people and unions in North Carolina’s state and federal court systems for over 50 years. Our legacy includes many successful civil appeals, resulting in appellate decisions that have changed the law in the state. In a number of cases, we were retained by trial counsel when their case went up on appeal:

2017: Defending a Family’s Jury Verdict from Being Overturned

In Haarhuis v. Cheek, 255 N.C. App. 471, 805 S.E.2d 720 (2017), we were retained to help defend a $4.25 million jury verdict in a wrongful death action. The Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in our favor, accepting arguments on a host of issues regarding jury voir dire, evidentiary disputes, jury instructions, closing arguments, and the size of the verdict.

2017: Establishing Presumption for Medical Benefits

In Wilkes v. City of Greenville, 369 N.C. 730, 799 S.E.2d 838 (2017), we were retained to help reverse a ruling from the Industrial Commission that denied a workers’ compensation claimant medical compensation and temporary total disability benefits. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in our favor, resolving issues of first impression in favor of the claimant.

2014: Promoting Access to Discoverable Evidence in Malpractice Cases

In Hammond v. Saini, 367 N.C. 607, 766 S.E.2d 590 (2014), we were retained to help the plaintiff obtain a key document in a medical malpractice case. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in our favor, finding that the defendant hospital was required to produce a critical document it prepared shortly after the incident in question.

2012: Protecting a Motorist’s Right to Arbitrate Insurance Disputes

In Creed v. Smith, 222 N.C. App. 330, 335, 732 S.E.2d 162, 165 (2012), we were retained to help the plaintiff pursue underinsured motorist coverage for his injury. The Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in our favor, reversing the trial court and finding that the plaintiff could compel binding arbitration with his own UIM carrier as well as his employer’s UIM carrier.

2009: Establishing that Constitutional Claims Can Defeat Immunity Defenses

In Craig v. New Hanover Cty. Bd. of Education, 363 N.C. 334, 336, 678 S.E.2d 351, 353 (2009), we were retained to help the plaintiff pursue constitutional claims for his injuries at school. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in our favor, holding that state constitutional claims may be pursued when regular tort claims are blocked by sovereign immunity.

Disclaimer

These results represent the firm’s history and commitment to fighting powerful interests on behalf of people who are comparatively powerless. But every case is different, and no outcome is ever guaranteed, and the results for these clients do not guarantee similar results for other clients.

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