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Phantom Vehicles, Product Liability and What Sets TMC Lawyers Apart

Dalton:
All right. Welcome back. Fm Talk 1065 Mobile Mornings with Dan Brennan and Dalton Orwig. And a pleasure to talk with Desi Tobias with the personal injury law firm. Tobias, McCormick and Comer. Desi, Thanks again for coming in today.

Desi:
Thank you. Glad to be here. I love talking about my cases and the work that I do.

Dalton:
Now, before we get into at least one of those very interesting cases, we're always talking about. How mobile are you? How mobile are you? Well, Tobias, McCormick and Comer very mobile. You've had the same building on Dolphin Street for decades now.

Desi:
That's right. I've been there for 25 years. The building was built in 1852. I've been sitting at the same desk and whatever. But I grew up in Mobile, lived here since I was eight, went to McGill. My wife and I have four children that all have gone through the parochial system or in the parochial system right now. So we love mobile. We're part of Mobile. And I want to be here for the rest of my life.

Dalton:
Well, you have changed so many lives for the better. And I know at the website TMC Lawyers.com that's Tobias McCormick and Comer website. You have some case summaries from some of the cases you've worked over the years. And one really caught my eye. This Phantom vehicles case. So first off, I've never heard the term Phantom vehicles unless you're talking about, like, Wonder Woman in her jet or something like that. But tell me, what is a phantom vehicle? How does it tie into this story? Just an absolutely crazy story of a case you worked here.

Desi:
Yeah. Phantom vehicle refers to something in what we call uninsured motorist law. And it's actually very common. There's a very good law in the state of Alabama, the uninsured motorist statute. Every policy of automobile insurance should have uninsured motorist coverage. It's mandated. And in this case, a uninsured motorist coverage will compensate you if you're injured by someone who is either underinsured or uninsured. And a Phantom vehicle, one that causes an accident and leaves the scene, is considered a Phantom vehicle. And that was what this case was about.

Dalton:
Yeah. Because every day we hear hit and run here, hit and run there. So that seems to be happening fairly often. But in this case, at least there was an eye witness. Right. So what happened? There were two cars, basically Street racing, and they ran this man off the road. He was driving a semi truck, and these racers disappeared. They didn't stick around to see what happened.

Desi:
Yeah. It was interesting how things happen and the perception. But this man, my client, a very nice man, David Parks. He was driving a cylinder truck that had some type of gas in it, very top heavy. And he recalled seeing these two vehicles come push him off the road. He overcompensated. And it just shows the ferocity of what can happen in an accident like that, he rolled off and would not have been seen again until days later. It was such he was ejected from the cab. His shirt was found 30 feet up. And how that happened I don't know, in a tree, but there was some very nice person who saw what happened called 911. She marked the spot where it occurred. And we tried the case against two insurance companies, State Farm and Alpha, and there was 325,000 in coverage at issue. But the witness and those companies found another witness who said no. In fact, it appeared to me like he fell asleep. So it was one of those courtroom moments where we tried this, and we felt we were right we fought for the man. And I always remember how as they tried to dispute her credibility and what she had to say. And then they listen to the 911 tape, and it was clear that she was telling the truth. And again, there was nothing for her in that whole matter other than the truth and the satisfaction that she saved his life. Because if he didn't get the immediate medical treatment, who knows what would have happened to him? We tried that in Baldwin County in October of 2018, and we got a 1.3 million dollar verdict for Mr Parks.

Dalton:
Wow. Wow. What an unbelievable story for her to stick around and help and then stick even further around and help out during the trial. That's a crazy story. And that's a common theme at Tobias, McCormick and Comer going to the mat for your clients. I know you guys also worked some product liability cases as well, right?

Desi:
Yes. We love doing the product liability work. It's very interesting. And often in our society today, you think, Oh, that's certified or that's standard or they made sure it was safe. Well, there's also the product manufacturer and their profit motive, and they're always at odds. And so we do a lot of product liability cases. We've taken them from start to finish. And there are several that we're working on now. One of them involves a ladder that was faulty should have never been used for that purpose. That ladder is no longer on on the market, but it caused, unfortunately, a death before it was pulled. There's another one that we're very active with now about zero turn mowers, and they all should have ROPS on them. Any time you're on top of equipment that is very heavy and can roll over on you, you should have something that protects you in the event that the thing rolls over and crushes you, which is what happened, unfortunately, in this case, that's one we're still very actively working.

Dalton:
I feel like I've come perilously close to that happening, but most of the time I've got that safety bar. So you're right. If you don't have something like that, you could be in big trouble. Why should someone contact Tobias, McCormick and Comer just to see if they have a case?

Desi:
Well, we have the experience in doing it, and experience is important. We also finance the cases, and we have taken one case we have talked about before about a crane that fell over in Mississippi and ejected a man who was horribly injured as a result of that. But we were there quickly, maybe a day or two later, and we worked that case. We had a significant investment, both our own time, and we worked to secure judgment. We spent eight days in court on that case, and it was crazy why counterweights aren't secured. A crane is always about gravity. There's something 100 tons in front of you. Something needs to be behind you.

Dalton:
You would think. Yeah.

Desi:
And in this event, when the crane tipped, they weren't secured. So they came raining down on the cab. We always said, like a deck of cards. But we fought that case through a jury trial, on appeal, ultimately where the time came for them to pay. And they said, they said, wait till the end of the month. We said we're going to start taking cranes. It's been four years.

Dalton:
Wow.

Desi:
So, Yeah, they're very complicated. And you need someone who understands both the law and has the ability to work that case.

Dalton:
Well, Desi Tobias with Tobias, McCormick and Comer, you guys have experience. You're successful. You're local. I would think anything that anyone could ask out of a law firm. If someone wants to contact you, what's the number they need to call?

Desi:
251-432-5001 And easy to find right next to the school math and science

Dalton:
Right there. And easy to find online too at tmclawyers.com Thank you again for coming on with us this morning.

Desi:
Thank you.

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