This branch of United Bank at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna is where Parkersburg resident Mary Miller alleged in a lawsuit she fell and injured herself during a 2006 visit. As a result of her injuries, both Miller and her husband, Hubert, made a claim against United for $3 million. An out-of-court settlement in the case was reached on May 11 with the sides agreeing not to discuss the terms. (Photo by Lawrence Smith)
PARKERSBURG – A out-of-court settlement has been reached in a Wood County personal injury case in which an elderly woman was seeking a multi-million judgment against the state’s largest financial institution after mysteriously falling during a visit to one of its branches.
On May 11, Wood Circuit Judge J.D. Beane dismissed the case of Miller v. United Bankshares, et. al. Originally scheduled to begin trial two days earlier, the dismissal came as an apparent result of a settlement reached during a scheduled mediation conference on April 20 at the Huntington law firm of Lamp, O’Dell, Bartram, Levy and Trautwein.
United’s attorney, James A. Muldoon, with the Charleston law firm of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown and Poe, confirmed that a settlement was reached. However, due to confidentially agreement, he could not disclose the terms.
In the complaint she filed in January 2008, Mary L. Miller, 81, of Parkersburg, alleged while visiting United’s branch at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna two years earlier, she fell unexpectedly to the floor after speaking with an unidentified employee. During the 16 months of litigation, no explanation was given as to what, or who, caused Miller’s fall.
Nevertheless, Miller alleged due to the fall, she “suffered great medical expense, great pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, a great annoyance and inconvenience and other damages.” Among the manifested damages she suffered were “a broken hip, two blood cots in the lungs and two bouts of pneumonia.”
Also, the suit alleged that as a result of Mary’s injuries, her husband Hubert, 87, “has suffered a loss of companionship, love and affection, and other consortium.” He was a co-plaintiff in the suit.
Because United had “unfairly failed to compensate [the Millers] in spite of their obvious ability to do so, the Millers put a price tag on their damages at $3 million. Parkersburg attorney Dean A. Furner assisted the Millers in filing the suit.
With dual headquarters in Washington, D.C., and Charleston, United Bankshares is the parent company of United Bank, Inc., whose main branch and principal office is located on Market Street in Parkersburg. United Bank was named a co-defendant in the suit.
According to its Web site, United holds $8.1 billion in assets in the 114 branches it has in West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland and Washington.
Wood Circuit Court, Case No. 08-C-40