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General Negligence: Estate Administrator's Negligence Against A Widow
General Negligence | Insuarnce Money Mismanaged By Estate Administrator | Wayne Powell | Powell Law Group | Richmond VA.jpg


 In 2015, attorney Wayne Powell filed a lawsuit against the administrator of an estate who had been qualified to distribute the estate of her deceased brother-in-law. The brother-in-law had died as a commercial seaman and left only a surviving spouse as his beneficiary. The sister-in-law became the administrator of the estate, as the widow lived out of the U.S.  Pursuant to Virginia law, the spouse was the only person entitled to the proceeds of his estate, since he died without a will. 

After the accidental drowning, an insurance company issued a check for $300,000.00, which the administrator deposited into the estate account. The administrator failed to report the proceeds to the Commissioner of Accounts and never paid any of the proceeds to the widow.  When the widow learned about this, she consulted with Powell Law Group, and Mr. Powell was retained to represent her. 

Mr. Powell filed a lawsuit against the administrator for failing to disclose where and how the money had been spent. The court entered a summary judgment for $300,000.00 against the administrator for the entire amount of the insurance proceeds based on her failure to do what she should have done as administrator.  This is an example of a favorable result as the result of the administrator’s negligence committed against the widow.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of an unlawful estate or trust administration process, attorney Wayne Powell can help you get justice. Contact Powell Law Group today for a free consultation. 

Personal Injury Laws

Personal injury claims arise from the “common law.” The common law develops through history by traditions rather than legislation.

The basic doctrine is that individuals who live in a civilized society have a duty to act reasonably toward one another so as not to cause injury, whether physical or damage to property.

When there is a question about whether there has been a breach of the duty of one person (tort-feasor) to act reasonably to a victim (injured party) by act or omission, a jury (trier of fact) can be called to determine if there has been a violation and, if so, the jury will be instructed by the judge about how to determine liability, and the jury will determine resulting damages, if any. Sometimes the victim may want the judge to be the trier of fact.

We think that learning how state laws and national laws impact a case can help our clients understand the steps we at Powell Law Group take to make sure our clients get the best possible legal representation.  If you think you have a Personal Injury case, call us today for a FREE legal consultation.  (804) 794.4030

Auto Accidents | Truck Accidents | Premises Injuries | Product Liabilities

Personal Injury: $2,800,000

In 2015, attorney Wayne Powell was the trial lawyer for a tragic case where a tractor trailer collided with a private automobile resulted in the tragic death of a Virginia resident and large car pile up with multiple injuries. The accident occurred close to a construction area where the careless truck driver failed to apply brakes and yield to traffic that had the right of way.  Ultimately, the truck driver did not move over to another lane in sufficient time to avoid the collision with the client and other cars on an interstate highway.


Workers' Compensation: $854,000

In 2014 attorney Wayne Powell was able to resolve a claim regarding a client who fell three stories from a manufacturing machine at the factory where he worked, causing him permanent brain damage which required continuing care for him.

SIGNIFICANCE:  This is another case where Mr. Powell and the firm arranged for a lump sum and annuity payments for 20 years which included repatriation by the client to his home country and arrangements made by Mr. Powell  through the client’s embassy to receive adequate housing and continuing treatment upon repatriation.

Workers' Compensation: $940,000
Personal Injury | Fall from Roof

In 2013, attorney Wayne Powell resolved a workers' compensation claim in which the client fell two stories from a roof, suffering a serious brain and spinal injury, which caused hemiplegia. The settlement amount combined a lump sum payment and annuity payment to the client and his family, which would pay his cost for treatment and living expenses for 20 years.  

SIGNIFICANCE:  The calculation of the settlement was based on the cost of living in the client’s home country.  Resolution of this case is significant, since Mr. Powell arranged for the client to be able to return to his home country, through the client’s country’s embassy.  In addition, the Powell Law Group was able to assist in obtaining a suitable retrofit of his house in his home country before repatriation, and also resulted in the appointment of a guardian and conservator to assist in the client’s repatriation.


Personal Injury: $2,550,000
Personal Injury | Toxic Fumes

In 2012, attorney Wayne Powell successfully settled cases for several clients who were office workers exposed to the inhalation of toxic fumes which infiltrated below a roof replacement site above their offices.  The inhalation caused various degrees of brain damage in six employees of the business where the roof replacement was taking place.  

Personal Injury: $4,500,000
Personal Injury | Gang Attack

In 2009, attorney Wayne Powell successfully tried a negligence case in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia in conjunction with attorney Patrick Regan.  They were successful in receiving a jury verdict in favor of the client, a patron of a Washington night club.  The plaintiff suffered brain damaged after he was assaulted by a criminal gang outside a club in Washington, DC while there was no security stationed outside to protect the patron as he was leaving.

Significance:  As in Virginia, Washington, DC, does not normally allow a cause of action against a premises owner for injury received by a patron outside of the premises.  In this case, the evidence showed that the club and premises owner normally had security stationed outside of the club since there was a high level of criminal activity outside of the club. The Court allowed evidence of this lack of security on the night of the attack in the context of criminal activity in the neighborhood of the club.   Prior to the assault on the client, there was routinely security offered by the club, both inside and outside the club, to prevent criminal activity from affecting the patrons.

Personal Injury: $1,000,000
Personal Injury | Brain Injury |

In 2006 attorney Wayne Powell successfully resolved a personal injury claim which had begun after a worker's compensation claim that arose from the plaintiff’s catastrophic brain injury which occurred at work. The case was rare in Virginia, since it arose as the result of an exploding multi-piece commercial wheel rim system designed and marketed by a major international manufacturer.   The client was changing the commercial tire when the three piece rim system exploded, causing serious brain damage,  removing part of his skull and brain, leaving him irreversibly brain damaged.  [NOTE:  The client, who was single, died before the settlement was distributed, so travel overseas was necessary to distribute the settlement funds to the client’s parents and siblings in accordance with Virginia law.]

SIGNIFICANCE:   This was one of the first cases in Virginia which resulted from the widespread manufacture of multi-piece wheel rim systems by several American and international manufacturers, which had previously resulted in successful multi-district litigation against the manufacturers.

Personal Injury Case: $200,000
Personal Injury | Murder

In 2004 attorney Wayne Powell successfully resolved a personal injury case in which our client was killed by a bounty hunter, contracted by a bonding company, which had hired him to retrieve a fugitive who had not returned to court when ordered.  The plaintiff’s decedent was falsely identified by the bounty hunter, who shot him in cold blood.  The case was brought against the bonding company for negligent hiring.  The murdered man left a widow and six children without a husband and father.

SIGNIFICANCE:  The case settled with the bonding insurer, but if it had been tried, this would have been  a case of first impression in which a bonding company might have been forced to pay a judgment to a family because of a criminal act of a third party actor.   [NOTE:  Shortly after the settlement, new statutory requirements of bounty hunter licensing in Virginia which had been enacted at about the time of the client’s husband’s death, became law.]  

Leah MuhlenfeldMurder Case