Michael L. Goodove, a partner with the Norfolk law firm of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, P.C. was selected by The National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and has been admitted as a Member to the Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers. The National Trial Lawyers is a professional organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from across the country who exemplify superior qualifications as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyers. Mr. Goodove specializes in the areas of personal injury and criminal law.
For Immediate Release:
Michael L. Goodove, Esq. has been nominated and selected to “The Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the American Association of Trial Lawyers. Membership is obtained through special invitation and is extended only to those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications. Michael Goodove specializes in personal injury law and has assisted thousands of clients in almost every area of personal injury law including but not limited to automobile cases, products liability, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, legal malpractice and actively practices on both State and Federal Courts.
Author: MATTHEW ROY AND JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT
A man facing his seventh drunken-driving charge after the crash Tuesday that killed a high school student was charged with driving drunk three weeks ago, but regained his freedom within hours by posting a $1,000 bond.
Roy Lee Everett, 30, was charged Tuesday with running a red light, driving under the influence and 10 other violations in the crash that killed 16-year-old Landon Chambers and injured his brother, Barney.
Everett is being held without bail in the Norfolk City Jail.
Everett has been behind bars before. He has three previous DUI convictions in Virginia Beach. And he was arrested for drunken driving most recently on April 14.
That’s when, court records say, Norfolk Officer W.E. Whiteside stopped him for driving recklessly at the wheel of a Jaguar.
Whiteside smelled alcohol.
“I asked if he had been drinking and he stated yes, 4 Mike’s Lemonades in an hour,” Whiteside wrote in papers filed in Norfolk General District Court.
A Department of Motor Vehicles records check showed Everett’s three prior convictions for DUI, Whiteside noted, as well as three previous convictions for driving on a suspended license.
In addition to the third-offense DUI, Whiteside charged Everett with driving after his driving privileges had been suspended.
Magistrate J.D. Bullock Jr. set Everett’s bond at $1,000 at 3:16 a.m. on April 14, according to court records. Everett posted bail through a bonding company at 4:57 a.m. and was freed.
Michael Goodove, an attorney and president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said anyone charged with a third-offense DUI, a felony, should not be allowed to post a bond and be freed from custody.
“Our position is the criminal justice system’s paramount responsibility is to protect lives,” he said. “Research has shown that your hardcore, repetitive drunk-driving offenders are the folks most
likely to injure or kill somebody.”
Three weeks after his release, police contend, Everett drove a pickup through a red light at North Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road into the path of the Chambers brothers, who were traveling in a Honda Civic. The impact crumpled their car and flipped the pickup on its side. Witnesses said Everett climbed from the pickup’s rear window and ran. Citizens cornered him behind a carpet store until police arrived to arrest him.
Bullock could not be reached for comment.
Chief Magistrate Beth B. Pennington said she spoke with him briefly about the bond and intends to meet with him in the coming week.
“At this point, I have to trust the magistrate’s judgment,” she said. “He’s been a magistrate for a while.”
By setting bonds, magistrates try to ensure that defendants show up in court, she said, noting they don’t determine guilt or innocence. She said they consider the length of time a defendant has lived in the area, family ties, any prior record and their likelihood to appear in court.
“No matter how high it’s set, a person can still bond out,” Pennington said.
This week’s DUI charge is the latest in a long list of serious driving infractions for Everett, stretching back to at least 1994.
During the past eight years, Everett has been convicted multiple times for a variety of charges, including reckless driving and speeding.
Everett’s three DUI convictions in Virginia Beach started with a charge in 1994. Five years later, in May 1999, Everett was charged with DUI, second offense.
In December 1999, he was charged again with DUI, second offense.
That last charge resulted in Everett getting the maximum jail penalty for second-offense-DUI – 12 months in jail, according Judge Albert D. Alberi, who sentenced Everett in Virginia Beach General District Court.
But Alberi suspended 11 months of the time and allowed Everett to serve the resulting monthlong sentence on weekends in the Virginia Beach City Jail.
It was not clear on Friday why Everett was not charged that December with DUI, third offense.
DUI, third offense, became a felony when state law was changed by the General Assembly in July 1999. It carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and can be lodged against any drunken driver who has two prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years.
Mark T. Del Duca, a Virginia Beach lawyer and former Beach prosecutor, explained Friday that Everett’s December DUI charge in 1999 may have occurred before his May 1999 offense had made its way through the court system.
If that were the case, it may have been impossible for Everett to be charged with DUI, third offense, in December 1999, Del Duca said.
Everett also was charged with second-offense DUI in Norfolk in January 1998, but the count was dismissed, online court records say.
Another DUI charge, in Emporia in August 1997, was dismissed, according to online court records.
Reach Matthew Roy at mroy(AT)pilotonline.com or 446-2540.
Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0305100125
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has settled an unusual medical malpractice lawsuit that accused the hospital and a nurse of mistreating an abortion patient in 1994.
The lawsuit, filed in 1996, accused a labor-and-delivery nurse who opposed abortion, Nancy C. Benson, of criticizing and harassing a patient who was about to undergo an abortion.
The lawsuit accused Sentara of not protecting the patient from the nurse and of negligently hiring, supervising and training her.
The case was settled confidentially last week. It is not known how much money Sentara paid to the complaining patient, who was identified in court papers as Jane Doe.
“We were very satisfied with the resolution of this matter,” said Doe’s attorney, Michael L. Goodove. “We felt we were dealt with very fairly by Sentara.”
The nurse’s attorney, Dante M. Filetti, said his client did not participate in the settlement. She was voluntarily dismissed from the case just before it was settled.
“I’m just really happy that the matter is closed,” Filetti said. “It was a tough matter for her.”
Sentara’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
This is the second lawsuit concerning this particular abortion and this nurse. The first case was a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by Benson against Sentara. Benson claimed she was forced out of the hospital because she refused to help with abortions. Benson lost that case in January 1997 when a judge ruled she was properly suspended for her unprofessional behavior and “complete lack of judgment” in this particular abortion.
The incident happened Dec. 22, 1994. The patient was 4 1/2 months pregnant with a deformed fetus. Benson was assigned to help her prepare for an abortion.
In her lawsuit, the patient said Benson did not help. She said Benson criticized her for choosing the abortion, told her she would never get over it, and said she would have to celebrate her dead child’s birthday just as she celebrated her living child’s.
Then, the lawsuit said, the nurse started crying and said she was opposed to abortion, acknowledged that she had never assisted in an abortion before and told the patient that she – the patient – would have to help her – the nurse – through the difficult procedure.
The patient and her husband complained, Benson was taken off the abortion and suspended. She quit a few days later.
Benson has said in an interview and court papers that the hospital knew she opposed abortions, yet constantly pressured her to help with them. She said she refused several times, then finally was forced to help with this one.
Benson said she did not harass the patient but tried to help the woman understand what she was about to go through. She said the hospital forced her out of her job because of her religious beliefs.
In January 1997, U.S. District Judge John A. MacKenzie ruled that the nurse was wrong.
“Benson was not fired for refusing to care for an abortion patient,” MacKenzie ruled. “Quite the opposite, she was disciplined for the type of care that she did render to the patient. In fact, the discipline of suspension came about for her complete lack of judgment in the 15 minutes” in which she cared for the patient. “By her conduct,” the judge wrote, “Benson created anxiety in the mind of a patient awaiting sensitive surgery and she created a customer service disaster for her employer.”
Benson appealed, then settled with Sentara before the appeal could be heard.
The patient then sued Benson and Sentara in December 1996. The lawsuit said Benson was negligent for forcing her personal beliefs onto a patient about to undergo an abortion, for criticizing the patient’s decision to have the abortion, and for failing to provide nursing care and comfort. Benson and Sentara denied the charges.
Even though the case was 14 months old, it was never set for trial.
This is the second lawsuit concerning this abortion and this nurse.
The first case was a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the
nurse, Nancy C. Benson, against Sentara. Benson claimed she was
forced out of the hospital because she refused to help with
Copyright (c) 1998 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 9802120524