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STS&G News Goodove in the News

Goodove Featured in MADD’s Newsletter “Volunteer Spotlight—December 2021”

Mike Goodove, a partner with the Norfolk Law Firm Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz and Goodove, has been a MADD volunteer in the Tidewater area of Virginia for 29 years. Motivated by the death of his younger brother Jeffrey in an alcohol related crash in 1990, he started the MADD Southside chapter in the Hampton Roads area in 1992 and has remained active to the present time. Professionally, he has dedicated his life to assisting victims, especially victims of impaired drivers.

In addition to his role as MADD Southside Chapter Chairman and spokesperson, Mike has coordinated Candlelight Vigils, law enforcement award ceremonies and Tie One On For Safety Campaigns. He has also served victims, participated in Victim Impact Panels, appeared in and created impaired driving awareness PSA’s, and participated in legislative and law enforcement education.

Mike received the MADD 20th Anniversary “Difference Maker” award. He was a 2014 recipient of the “Leaders in the Law” award as recognized by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly for advocating for impaired driving victims and providing victim support. Mike was also selected as a “Fellow” by the Virginia Law Foundation for accomplishments in the area of impaired driving and victim support.

Mike says he volunteers for MADD because he believes in supporting victims and deterring impaired driving in the future. In thinking on his time with MADD, Mike remembers all of the families that he has been able to assist to make sure that their loved ones are never forgotten. The strength of MADD is the people that make up MADD and he is proud to be a part of our fine organization. 

View link to article on MADD website.

STS&G News

Ufkes Represents Mother who lost Infant in Tragic Car Accident.

10 month-old Amelia White was killed in April when her mother’s car was rear-ended in Isle of Wight County.  The court found the defendant driver guilty of reckless driving and ordered her to complete 100 hours of community service, attend a driver improvement class and pay a $1500 fine.  Although  Gray and her attorney are thankful for a conviction, they do not consider the Court’s punishment sufficient.

View link to the full story by Channel 13 News

STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2021

Michael L. Goodove, Esq. Earns ABOTA Membership

Michael L. Goodove, Esq., a partner of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, P.C., has been accepted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

ABOTA dedicates itself to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment, which guarantees the right to civil jury trials. Members in this prestigious invitation-only group must have tried a minimum number of civil jury trials to conclusion. More than 7,600 lawyers and judges are involved in ABOTA chapters in all 50 states.

“ABOTA is one of the nation’s most effective organizations in championing the ethics, professionalism and principles of the legal profession, and I’m honored to be part of this select group,” Michael Goodove said.

Mr. Goodove has devoted his career to helping injured people. Mr. Goodove specializes in automobile negligence, medical malpractice, product liability, premises liability, admiralty, worker’s compensation as well as complex civil litigation cases.  He has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer”, “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”, “Top Lawyer” and is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Goodove has tried hundreds of cases to verdict and has handled over 7000 personal injuries cases. 

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Michael Goodove nominated and accepted as an “Advocate” into the American Board of Trial Advocates

Congratulations to STS&G partner Michael Goodove for his nomination and acceptance as an “Advocate” into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Membership is extremely selective, by invitation only, and requires a high personal character and an honorable reputation as a trial lawyer.  This year, only 4 lawyers were invited and selected as members in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Mr. Goodove has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict and has been specializing in personal injury law for over 29 years. 

Learn more about ABOTA: https://www.abota.org/Online/About/Who_We_Are/Online/About/About_Us.aspx

STS&G News Virginian-Pilot Archive 2021

Interview with Elizabeth Kalocay Ufkes, personal injury attorney at STS&G, P.C. | Women in Business

At work: Whether I’m negotiating a fair settlement or arguing a case to a jury, facilitating positive outcomes for my clients is what motivates me. I have been recognized in the field of Personal Injury by Super Lawyers magazine, as a “Top Lawyer” by Coastal Virginia magazine, as a “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business and as a “Top 40 Under 40” by Inside Business. Active with the Virginia Beach Bar Association, I co-chair the General District Court Bench-Bar committee.

Volunteer activities: As board president of the nonprofit The Bureau of Books and Big Ideas, formerly REACH, we work to improve literacy among children in Hampton Roads through access to and ownership of books.

Home and family: My husband, Gordie, and I have two children, Maggie and Luke, who attend Star of the Sea Catholic School, where I serve as School Board president and fifth grade room parent. We recently adopted a loveable Belgian Malinois puppy that understands French, despite failing out of the K-9 academy.

Advice for women in business: Waterproof mascara is key to appearing calm and composed. You can never predict what each day will bring beyond a sweaty commute to the courthouse, a lengthy argument in trial, an emotional moment with a client, an evening meeting (or two) and rushing home to take care of your family.

How the coronavirus pandemic has affected my work: My firm embraced technology and changed how we meet with clients, transmit documents and conduct depositions.

Professional growth in five years: As I continue to practice law with my mentor and friend, Michael Goodove, I am excited for the opportunities and challenges that come with each new case — from making dangerous site inspections and meeting fascinating people to adapting to developments in both law and technology.

Downtime: I enjoy going to the beach with my kids, cooking, playing piano and binge watching Netflix.

What really gets under my skin: Being addressed by male colleagues who use old-fashioned pet names like “Babydoll” or “Sweetie.”

View full article from PilotOnline.com

Goodove in the News Archive 2021 Recent Posts STS&G News

Goodove, Ufkes, and Swartz have been recognized as the 2021 Top Lawyers in Coastal Virginia

Attorneys  Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes, and Jeffrey Swartz have been recognized as the 2021 Top Lawyers in Coastal Virginia by CoVABiz, the Business Magazine of Coastal Virginia.  Michael Goodove and Elizabeth Ufkes were recognized as Top Lawyers in the field of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury.  Jeffrey Swartz was recognized as a Top Lawyer in the field of Criminal Law.  Their law firm of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz and Goodove, P.C., specializes in personal injury law and criminal defense. 

Recent Posts STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2021

Michael Goodove and Elizabeth Ufkes have been selected as 2021 Super Lawyers

Attorneys Michael Goodove and Elizabeth Ufkes have been selected as 2021 Super Lawyers. Michael Goodove was selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury.  Elizabeth Ufkes was selected as a Super Lawyer as a Rising Star in the field of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury. Goodove and Ufkes were selected based upon evaluation by other top lawyers and independent research of the candidates. Goodove and Ufkes are listed in the 2020 Super Lawyers Magazine.

Recent Posts STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2020

COVID-19 Update–We are Open to Assist Clients

We Are Open To Assist Clients

The health and safety of our clients is always our top priority.  Our firm will continue providing excellent client service by conducting business as usual.

Our attorneys will continue to fight for the rights of our clients during these uncertain times.  As we await the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 virus and in an effort to comply with the guidelines that have been set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health, our partners and staff are readily available to consult with you by telephone,text or email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Please email or call/text us at 757-275-5000 should you or your loved ones have a legal issue where we can help.

Goodove in the News STS&G News

Goodove and Ufkes seek justice for teen’s family

Lawsuits filed in the drunk-driving crash that killed Great Bridge High School senior Kaitlyn Duffy and critically injured her friend, Sabrina Mundorff, have been settled.

The furniture company that employed the driver agreed this week to pay Duffy’s family $450,000, most of which will be covered by insurance, according to a final order filed in Chesapeake Circuit Court.

Records in Virginia Beach show a suit filed there by Mundorff was settled in late August. A final order, in that case, was entered Oct. 3 but did not mention the settlement amount or terms.

The families were limited in how much they could collect because of the “woefully inadequate” assets and insurance coverage that the company had, according to their attorneys, Michelle McCracken and Michael Goodove. McCracken represented the Duffy family, and Goodove is Mundorff’s lawyer.

“This was never about the money,” Goodove said. “It was an attempt to gain some justice for our clients and to prevent another family from having to go through something like this.”

Duffy, 18, was killed May 19, 2017, when a Great Bridge Furniture box truck driven by Jerode Johnson slammed head-on into her SUV on Indian River Road in the Pungo section of Virginia Beach.

Duffy and Mundorff had spent the day at the beach with friends and were driving home. The two were set to graduate from Great Bridge High School less than a month later.

Mundorff remained hospitalized for months before being sent to a rehabilitation center in Georgia.

Johnson’s blood-alcohol level tested at 0.10 to 0.11 more than two hours after the wreck, according to a toxicologist. It would have been .12 to .16 at the time of the crash, she said. He also had cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drug Valium in his system. His father, a passenger in the truck, also was injured.

The 32-year-old pleaded guilty earlier this year to numerous charges, including aggravated involuntary manslaughter, DUI, hit and run, drug possession, and driving with a suspended license. He was sentenced in September to 47 years in prison, the maximum.

Mundorff’s mother, Debbie Leger, declined to disclose settlement information in her daughter’s lawsuit, other than to say it was a minor amount considering the significant physical and emotional damage her daughter suffered, and the impact those wounds will continue to have on her. The teen suffered a traumatic brain injury that meant having to relearn how to walk, talk, and eat. One arm had to be fused at a 60-degree angle. Damage to her peripheral vision means she’ll never be able to drive.

“All the money in the world won’t make up for what we have been through and what the Duffy family has been through,” Leger said.

Mundorff also will be required to reimburse their health insurance company with some of the funds she receives, Leger said.

Now 19, Mundorff started school at Virginia Tech this semester. It was a year later than she’d planned, but an amazing feat considering the many months of hospitalization, rehabilitation and therapy she had to undergo, her mother said. She plans to major in biology and hopes to be a doctor, which was Duffy’s goal, too.

“She loves (college) and she’s doing great, but she has a lot of issues, and it is much harder for her than it would have been before the accident,” Leger said.

Leger started a support group for young people with traumatic brain injuries and their caregivers called “TBI Survivors and Thrivers.”

Records in the Duffys’ suit show Great Bridge Furniture agreed to pay $50,000, and their insurance provider will pay $400,000. The suit, filed last year, had sought $30 million.

Settlement funds will go to Duffy’s parents and brother. Nearly $176,000 of that will be deducted for lawyer fees and costs and reimbursement for funeral expenses, according to the final order filed in Chesapeake.

After a settlement hearing in the case Wednesday, Duffy’s parents, Tammy and Scott, said that while appeals in the criminal case may be looming, the civil settlement was one step closer to peace.

“We’re just happy to get this chapter closed,” Tammy Duffy said.

Still, Scott Duffy said, the lawsuit doesn’t take away their loss.

“I don’t want it, really,” he said of the settlement money.

“I just want her back.”

STS&G News

Nurse, SENTARA sued over traumatic abortion.

The patient felt nervous enough. She was 4 1/2 months pregnant with a deformed fetus, lying on a hospital bed, waiting for an abortion. She knew it would be traumatic.

Into her room walked a nurse who, she says, turned her morning into a horror.

The nurse criticized the patient for choosing the abortion, told her she would never get over it, said she would have to celebrate her dead child’s birthday just as she celebrated her living child’s, the patient says.

Then, she says, the nurse started crying and said she was opposed to abortion. The nurse said she had never assisted in an abortion and told the patient that she would have to help her through the difficult procedure.

That was in December 1994. This month, the patient – using the pseudonym Jane Doe – sued Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and the nurse, Nancy C. Benson of Norfolk, for medical malpractice and other alleged misdeeds.

She is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages.

This is the same abortion that prompted another lawsuit earlier this year. In that case, the nurse sued the hospital, claiming religious discrimination: She says she was fired for refusing to help with the Doe operation. That case is pending in federal court.

All sides agree that the nurse was taken off the abortion soon after the incident, suspended, then quit a few days later.

The patient sued Dec. 6 in Circuit Court under a pseudonym to protect her privacy. She says, in court papers, that she feared the nurse would withhold pain medication and would not help her through the procedure.

“This really doesn’t come down to whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice,” said Doe’s attorney, Michael L. Goodove. “She (the patient) has made a lawful decision to terminate a pregnancy and she should not be subject to someone else’s views. . . . A professional nurse should never, ever subject a patient to this kind of treatment.”

Sentara agrees that the nurse was out of line, even though it is a co-defendant in the new case. The company says it took swift action against the nurse for acting improperly.

“Sentara suspended (Benson) for imposing her views and judgment on a patient,” says a legal brief by Sentara’s attorney, William M. Furr, in the discrimination case. “(The nurse’s) conduct was totally inappropriate.”

The nurse’s attorney did not return repeated phone calls.

Taken together, the two lawsuits put Sentara and the nurse in awkward legal positions.

First, it means Sentara must defend itself against two lawsuits involving the same abortion. The suit filed by Benson says Sentara acted too strongly against the nurse. The suit filed by the patient says Sentara didn’t act strongly enough to protect her from the nurse.

Second, the two lawsuits put the nurse in an odd spot: She is suing Sentara in one case, but she is a co-defendant with Sentara in the other.

“Litigation makes strange bedfellows,” said a Sentara attorney, William E. Rachels Jr.

“The hospital is certainly caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Goodove, the patient’s attorney.

The nurse’s lawsuit was filed in March and is pending in federal court in Norfolk. A judge heard arguments last week and will rule soon on Sentara’s motion to throw the lawsuit out. The trial is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Court documents, including sworn depositions by the nurse, patient and her family, spell out what happened in the hospital room the morning of Dec. 22, 1994.

Jane Doe was about 20 weeks pregnant – halfway to her baby’s birth – but there were problems. Medical examinations found severe abnormalities in the fetus, including spina bifida, water on the brain and clubfeet, Goodove said.

After much agonizing, the patient and her husband decided to abort.

At Norfolk General, Nancy Benson was one of five nurses in the labor-and-delivery unit. She was assigned to the abortion.

Benson did not want to do the abortion, she says in her lawsuit. She says she had strong religious and moral objections. She says Sentara knew her feelings, yet ordered her to help with the Doe abortion.

Sentara says in court papers that Benson never told her supervisors how she felt and certainly never filed her objections in writing. If she had, Sentara says, the nurse never would have been assigned to abortions. Sentara also says that Benson could have swapped assignments with another nurse.

Benson says there was not enough time and, anyway, it violated her religious beliefs to ask someone else to help with an abortion.

About 7:30 a.m., Benson started an intravenous line and began giving the patient medications. What happened next is spelled out in Sentara’s legal brief in the discrimination case:

The nurse said, “I don’t do these,” meaning abortions. The nurse told Jane Doe that the abortion would always be with her, that she would never forget it, that it might be traumatic and it might come up later in her life.

The nurse also told Doe that she would need to celebrate the dead child’s birthday the same as her living child’s.

The nurse questioned the fetus’ deformity, according to the legal brief. She told Doe that there are boys and girls at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters born with this defect and they are beautiful. She told Doe there was some doubt as to the fetus’ birth defect and asked if Doe had gotten a second opinion.

At that point, the brief says, Doe asked Benson if she was opposed to abortion, and Benson said yes. The nurse started crying, told Doe she would have a hard time dealing with this and said she might never get over it. She asked the patient to help her – the nurse – get through the procedure.

John and Jane Doe complained and the nurse was removed. She was later suspended and eventually quit.

Benson says she was forced out because of her religious views. Sentara says Benson’s conduct was intolerable.

“Health care providers have a right to their religions,” Sentara’s legal brief states, “but they do not have a right to impose their religious views on their patients.”

The new lawsuit has not yet been served on Benson or Sentara, so they have not yet replied.

Meanwhile, a third lawsuit involving abortion at Norfolk General has been settled out of court.

In that case, another nurse – Deborah J. Michael of Gatesville, N.C. – claimed Sentara fired her for refusing to help with abortions. It was filed in March at the same time as Benson’s lawsuit and was scheduled for trial this month.

“Sentara was ready and willing to take this case to trial,” Furr said, “but agreed to a resolution of this case when Ms. Michael decided to conclude the lawsuit for personal and emotional reasons.”