LEWISTON, Maine – Berman & Simmons’ $22.5 million court victory on behalf of an electrical lineworker has been recognized among the National Law Journal’s Top 100 Verdicts of 2014.
The recognition represents a major achievement for the Berman & Simmons law firm, and also in the career of attorney Benjamin Gideon of Freeport.
Gideon was the lead attorney for Michael Hemond and his wife Tracey in a civil action against Frontier Communications. In 2006, Hemond lost his lower legs when he was electrocuted while on the job in northern Vermont. Gideon discovered that Frontier and other companies failed to safeguard the substation where Hemond was injured. In February of 2014, following a three-week trial, a jury awarded $22.5 million to the family. It was the second largest jury verdict in Vermont history.
This is the second time that Berman & Simmons, the leading personal injury law firm in Maine, has been recognized in the Law Journal’s Top 100 Verdicts list. Attorney William Robitzek won a $56 million jury award in 2003 on behalf of wild blueberry growers, in a case against blueberry processors that conspired to fix prices. Berman & Simmons is a 16-lawyer firm with offices in Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor.
Leaders at Berman & Simmons believe they are the only small law firm in Maine to have appeared on the Top 100 Verdicts list.
“To earn distinction on the list, not only once but twice, says a great deal about the caliber of the lawyers at Berman & Simmons over time, and our ability as a firm to take on the biggest, most complex cases, and to win,” said Craig Bramley, the firm’s managing director. “We are focused on getting the best possible results on behalf of our clients, no matter the stakes or the resources of our adversaries.”
The National Law Journal, founded in 1978, is among the most widely read publications serving the legal profession in the United States. The NLJ publishes the Top 100 Verdicts list once each year, ranking the highest jury awards out of thousands of verdicts.
Gideon was the lead attorney in the Hemond case, and was assisted by Berman & Simmons attorney Timothy Kenlan and John Evers of Shoup, Evers & Green in Burlington, Vermont.
“It was such a vindication of the battle we fought for so long,” Gideon said. “In that moment, you realize the power of our legal system. Here is a 13-person jury taking millions from one of the wealthiest corporations in the U.S., and giving it to a working class couple in Richford, Vermont. It doesn’t happen a lot, and it takes a long time to get there, but it’s powerful.”
New England Cable News documented Mike and Tracey Hemond’s visit to the Berman & Simmons law firm in July 2014. Click here to watch the segment.
Berman & Simmons, P.A. is a firm of 16 attorneys with offices in Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor, Maine. The firm has represented the people of Maine in all types of plaintiff’s cases for 100 years. Berman & Simmons has been listed under all litigation headings in Best Lawyers in America since its first publication and has been cited in Chambers USA as “the best plaintiffs’ personal injury and medical malpractice firm in Maine.”