Archived Story

County man receives $500K in Circuit Court

Published 9:32pm Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Tallapoosa County man was awarded $500,000 in one of the largest jury verdicts ever rendered in Dadeville.

On March 26, the Circuit of Court of Tallapoosa County ordered Culligan’s International and its subsidiary, Culligan Store Solutions, to pay the award of $500,000 to Ray Carlisle and Water Systems of Birmingham in a case centered on two counts of interference with contracts.

The plaintiff in the case, Water Systems of Birmingham, is in the business of selling water softeners and other equipment to schools, restaurants, hospitals and residences. The softeners are used in restaurants and high school cafeterias to ensure the cleanliness of plates and eating utensils and in hospitals to sterilize surgical instruments.

Culligan was accused of interfering with Carlisle and Water Systems of Birmingham’s customers, which had severely impacted his gross sales.

“It’s always hard to win a case against an international company with all the resources they have at their disposal. It makes you feel like David going up against Goliath,” said attorney Tim Davis of Alexander City, who represented Carlisle along with Andy Campbell and Jay Smith of Birmingham.

“I’m always confident in our jury system and I’m proud of the men and women in Tallapoosa County who give up their valuable time to serve on a jury,” Davis said in a release. “This was especially true in this case where the issues were so complex and convoluted.”

The jury deliberated for approximately three and a half hours before reaching their verdict. Circuit Judge Ray D. Martin presided over the trial, which was held during the winter civil jury term for Tallapoosa County in Dadeville.

The defendants have 30 days to file for a new trial and 42 days to file an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.