Special Cases

Although vehicle accidents, medical malpractice and crime victims account for the majority of his cases, Mr. Waterman accepts other personal injury matters that involve catastrophic injuries. Examples include product liability, civil rights, government fraud, and premises liability actions.

Generally speaking, product liability claims arise when a manufactured item is designed and/or fabricated defectively and thereby causes catastrophic personal injuries. Common examples of potentially defective products are drugs, vehicles, machinery, and hazardous materials.

Among other things, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, sophisticated user, state of the art, and other defenses make product liability cases difficult ones for less experienced practitioners to handle. Mr. Waterman is in his third decade of handling product liability cases of vehicle, chemical, drug and other manufacturers.

Classically, civil rights claims arise when a government worker on-the-job violates a victim’s constitutional rights and thereby causes catastrophic personal injuries. Prominent examples of civil rights violations are police officers using deadly or permanently disabling force unnecessarily and jailers providing inadequate medical care resulting in death.

Among other things, the qualified immunity doctrine makes such excessive force cases particularly difficult ones for practitioners who are inexperienced in federal court in general and/or in civil rights in particular. Mr. Waterman has handled excessive force cases over a decade, including one that resulted in a favorable published appellate opinion; and currently is investigating and litigating two shooting deaths by troopers, one in North Carolina and the other in Stafford, Virginia.

Government fraud claims arise when an employee and/or contractor defrauds federal, state or local government of money or property and are caught by a “whistleblowing” client, who can file a qui tam action to recover the full misappropriated value. Premises liability claims arise when a victim is injured by a property defect known by the owner and/or manager.