Clawson Fargnoli Opens 2nd Location in Walterboro, SC

Clawson Fargnoli is excited to announce the opening of our new law office in Walterboro, SC! This is something of a homecoming for Christy, who grew up in Walterboro and still has many friends and family there. While we already handle a wide variety of cases across the state, this new office will give us a permanent presence in Colleton County. We look forward to working with our esteemed colleagues in the Colleton County Bar and to becoming a part of the Walterboro business community. Our office is located at 128 North Memorial Avenue and is open by appointment. Reach us at our Walterboro office by calling (843) 605-0161.

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Clawson Fargnoli, LLC Included in South Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s Top 25 Verdicts and Settlements of 2018

Clawson Fargnoli has been included in South Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s Top 25 Verdicts and Settlements of 2018 with our hard fought settlement of $1,400,000.00 in an impaired driving / police pursuit case. An excerpt from the article follows below, but we would like to take this opportunity to again remember Mr. Steve, a loving husband, father and grandfather who was cherished by his community and who brought joy to students and staff at his high school on a daily basis.

South Carolina’s Top Verdicts & Settlements 2018

By: David Donovan February 14, 2019

Insurance, municipal fund pay $1.4M for head-on crash

The estate of a man killed when his vehicle was struck head-on during a police pursuit has settled its wrongful death claims for a total of $1,400,000, his attorneys report.

On April 6, 2017, Liberty police well exceeded 100 mph while chasing 29-year-old Nicholas Blackstock through town for a faulty brake light. According to reports, officers had gotten word from another police department that Blackstock might have had drugs in the vehicle. The chase, which lasted approximately 10 minutes, ended shortly after Blackstock and a pursuing officer crossed the centerline on U.S. Highway 123. The chase continued for about a mile, against oncoming traffic, before Blackstock crashed into 59-year-old Steven Richardson, killing him. Attorneys for Richardson’s estate, Samuel Clawson Jr. and Christy Fargnoli of Clawson & Fargnoli in Charleston, said that Blackstock was under the influence of a “variety of drugs,” including methamphetamine, at the time of the crash.

Clawson and Fargnoli said that Richardson’s insurer, Auto Owners, tendered the full $300,000 limits of underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, but only $50,000 of the UIM property damage because the issue of pro rata allocation of punitive damages across coverages was a novel question that had been certified to the South Carolina Supreme Court in a different case.

After the court determined in Geico v. Poole that these damages should not be allocated pro rata, the attorneys said, Auto Owners tendered the remaining $250,000 of UIM property damage coverage. Blackstock’s insurer, Geico, tendered $50,000 for bodily injury and property damage limits. Richardson’s estate also claimed that Liberty’s police officers were negligent in the “initiation, conduct, and failure to terminate” the high-speed pursuit, asserting that Blackstock’s initial violation, an equipment violation, was far outweighed by the danger a high-speed chase posed to the public.

“Multiple occurrences were alleged under the South Carolina Tort Claims Act in an effort to obtain multiple actual damage caps,” Clawson and Fargnoli wrote in an email. “The South Carolina Municipal Insurance Risk Financing Fund tendered $750,000 on behalf of the City of Liberty to settle all claims pre-suit.”

Clawson said that the firm is proud to have maximized the value of the various claims by “advancing arguments relating to the recovery of punitive damages from property damage coverage under an insurance policy and multiple occurrences” under the Tort Claims Act. “We were not the first to advance these arguments, but hopefully our work on these claims will assist future plaintiffs in obtaining full value on their claims and not allow insurance companies and government entities to hide behind policy language and statutory law to improperly limit their exposure,” Fargnoli said.


Amount: $1.4 million

Case name: Tracy Mattison as Personal Representative of the Estate of Steven Richardson vs. Nicholas Blackstock and City of Liberty

Court: Pickens County Circuit Court

Case No.: 2017-CP-39-01339

Date of settlement: Aug. 1, 2018

Most helpful experts: Geoffrey Alpert, criminal justice professor at the University of South Carolina and police misconduct expert witness

Attorneys for plaintiff: Samuel Clawson Jr. and Christy Fargnoli of Clawson Fargnoli in Charleston

Attorneys for defendant: Kyle Thompson of Willson Jones Carter Baxley in Greenville for Nicholas Blackstock; James P. Walsh of Clarkson Walsh & Coulter in Greenville for Auto Owners; Jim Jolly of Logan Jolly & Smith in Anderson for the City of Liberty and the officers individually

Think of Clawson Fargnoli for life altering personal injury and death cases across the state, including police pursuit and motor vehicle accident cases.

The photograph above is of the painting “Mr. Steve,” an acrylic on canvas work by one of the students at the high school where Steven Richardson was employed for many years. This painting now hangs on the school’s Wall of Fame, where Steve will always be remembered as a custodian, a co-worker and, above all, a true friend who brought joy on a daily basis to students and staff alike.
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Clawson Fargnoli Attorneys Recognized by Martindale-Hubbell with AV Preeminent Ratings​

Martindale-Hubbell has recognized Clawson Fargnoli attorneys, Sam Clawson, Jr. and Christy Fargnoli, with AV Preeminent ratings. According to Martindale-Hubbell, this rating signifies that a large number of the lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability and legal experience. Martindale-Hubbell states that its Peer Review Ratings are the gold standard in attorney ratings, having recognized lawyers for their strong legal ability and high ethical standards for more than a century.

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Clawson Fargnoli Attorneys Named Rising Stars by Super Lawyers

Clawson Fargnoli, LLC is proud to announce that attorneys Sam Clawson, Jr. and Christy Fargnoli have once again been named to the Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars! The Rising Stars list recognizes less than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state. According to Super Lawyers, attorneys are selected using a patented multiphase process involving peer nomination, peer evaluation and independent research. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel. Clawson Fargnoli, LLC appreciates the confidence our colleagues have shown in us with this honor.

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