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Patrick Cruise

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in Chattanooga, TN

The Hamilton Firm LLC
2401 Broad Street, Suite 102
Chattanooga, TN 37408
Phone: 423-634-0871
Fax: 423-634-0874
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2016, 2018 - 2021
Licensed in Tennessee Since: 2005
Practice Areas: Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

An attorney at The Hamilton Firm, Mr. Patrick Cruise serves Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the surrounding area. He understands that Tennessee is an economic hub with multiple railroads, interstate highways and heavy traffic, putting people at risk for injuries because of road accidents. He helps his clients with the aftermath of serious injuries and is well known for his work in cases involving:

·       Car, truck and tractor-trailer accidents

·       Construction and industrial accidents

·       Workers’ compensation

·       Premises liability

·       Wrongful death

·       Social Security Disability

·       Insurance bad faith

Mr. Cruise attended the Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center and obtained his Juris Doctor in 2001. For his high ethical standards and professionalism, he achieved an AV Preeminent* peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell and was listed among the Top 10 Trucking Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers. 

With almost two decades of experience, Mr. Cruise has the knowledge to handle cases efficiently and cost-effectively. He is licensed to practice in Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia, and has also published in multiple journals and presented at many educational seminars.

Through his efforts advocating on behalf of his clients, Mr. Cruise has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for his plaintiff clients and is a life member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. He maintains an active membership in the American Association for Justice, the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the Tennessee Bar Association – just to name a few.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 100%Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff
Focus Areas

Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury - Plaintiff, Slip and Fall, Wrongful Death, Construction Accident, Brain Injury, Trucking Accidents, Premises Liability - Plaintiff

Selections

8 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2013 - 2016, 2018 - 2021

About Patrick Cruise

First Admitted: 2001, Louisiana

Professional Webpage: https://thehamiltonfirm.com/attorneys/patrick-cruise/

Educational Background

  • Pacific University, 1998

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Member: American Association for Justice - Trucking Litigation Group, 2018
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Georgia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member: American Association for Justice; Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association; Georgia Trial Lawyers Association; Tennessee Bar Association, 2018
  • Member: American Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, 2018
  • 2013-2018 - Barrister: The Justice Ray L. Brock, Jr. - Robert E. Cooper American Inn of Court, 2018
  • Board Member, Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, 2017

Honors/Awards

  • The National Trial Lawyers' Trucking Trial Lawyers - Top 10, Trucking Trial Lawyers - Top 10, The National Trial Lawyers, 2018
  • Mid South Super Lawyer, 2013-2016, 2018-2020
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum - Life Member, 2019
  • Highest peer rating standard of AV Preeminent, AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Life Member, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 2012

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Confidential seven-figure settlement for individual injured in a wreck in Tennessee, 2021
  • $978,488.93 Settlement.  On May 23, 2017, Lisa Steketee was driving her tractor trailer east on I-24 in Marion County, Tennessee.  Defendant Sellers was also operating a tractor trailer, for Driving Force, traveling behind the Plaintiff’s vehicle, when he suddenly crashed into the back of Ms. Steketee’s tractor trailer.  Patrick A. Cruise served as co-counsel for the Plaintiff, along with Brad Bradshaw of Missouri, Sketekee v. Floyd Sellers and Driving Force Logistics, 1:18-cv-00104-RLJ-CHS, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Ms. Steketee sustained injury to her neck, back, and shoulder, and underwent a neck discectomy with fusion, and a lumbar discectomy. On behalf of the Plaintiff, counsel demanded settlement in the amount of the defendant’s policy limits, which was refused.  Nearly a year later, early in 2020, the Defendant agreed to pay their limits as the matter was being prepared for trial., 2020
  • Confidential settlement for product liability claim involving spontaneous combustion of FlexSeal causing burn injuries to the Plaintiff., 2020
  • Confidential settlement reached against Lyft when Plaintiff injured as the result of a Lyft driver running over her after she had exited the vehicle., 2020
  • Confidential settlement reached in truck wreck case, where truck pulled out from a chicken farm and failed to yield the right of way to the Plaintiff.  Plaintiff suffered severe injuries., 2019
  • Employee driving company vehicle, drove the wrong way on the interstate, causing a serious wreck and injuries to the plaintiff that required surgical intervention. The case was settled shortly before trial, with the terms being confidential., 2019
  • Confidential settlement for child who sustained burn injuries while at a restaurant in Tennessee., 2018
  • $550,000.00 settlement for Father and Son injured in a car wreck, 2018
  • Confidential Settlement: Mrs. McDonald’s husband died while driving his tractor trailer.  Mrs. McDonald made a claim against OneBeacon for occupational death benefits under a policy of insurance obtained by her husband prior to his death.  One Beacon denied the claim, citing a number of policy provisions and exclusions.  At the conclusion of discovery, One Beacon filed for summary judgment, requesting that the Judge dismiss the claim.  The Court denied One Beacon’s motion for summary judgment concerning the breach of contract claims, finding that some of the provisions in the policy were vague and ambiguous.  The case settled one week before trial, McDonald v. OneBeacon America Insurance Company (No. 4:14cv118)(N.D. Ga.). , 2016
  • Tennessee Backhoe Case Settled for $300,000: An experienced heavy equipment operator was using a backhoe to dump a dogwood tree in Chattanooga when the hydraulics failed, causing the machine to roll uncontrolled down a hill and into a light standard.  The operator was ejected from the machine, and sustained serious injuries.  Plaintiff filed suit against the rental company for failure to maintain the backhoe, which resulted in hydraulic failure.  The rental company denied fault, and blamed the plaintiff as well as the manufacturer of the machine. Just prior to trial the case was settled for $300,000.00, Oliver John Rand v. Action Rental and Sales of Chattanooga, Inc., No. 12-C-1415, Hamilton County Circuit Court., 2015
  • A Canadian truck driver stopped to urinate on the side of I-75 in Tennessee, causing a tragic rear end collision on July 17, 2014. Matt Marcone, age 49, and a father of three, was killed. Self-employed, he was returning home to Florida from Ohio in his Honda Odyssey, when he ran into the rear of the tractor trailer, collapsing the rear underride or “ICC” bar, and killing him instantly.  Witness accounts were conflicting, but the investigating officer assumed Marcone was distracted and hit the trailer at a high rate of speed.  The Canadian truck driver claimed he was running above the minimum speed and had done nothing wrong, and the official accident report found Mr. Marcone to have been at fault. Believing the circumstances demanded further investigation, however, Patrick Cruise and The Hamilton Firm accepted representation on behalf of Marcone’s three children, and filed suit against Contrans Group, Laidlaw Carriers and their driver.  Discovery revealed that the trucking company did not download any data from the event data recorder (EDR/ECM) or “black box” after the wreck, but GPS tracking data and other internal documents obtained from the trucking company showed that the driver had pulled off on the shoulder of the highway just minutes before the wreck to urinate.  He had just pulled back into the right hand traffic lane of I-75 when Marcone crashed into the rear of the trailer.  Analysis by an accident reconstruction expert suggested that the tractor trailer was actually running at a very slow speed, contrary to what the truck driver claimed. Discovery also revealed that Laidlaw company policy prohibited truck drivers from stopping on the side of the road except in case of an emergency.  The GPS data also established that the spot where the driver had stopped to urinate was within sight of an exit ramp where there was a truck stop with restrooms. Facing those facts, Contrans/Laidlaw suggested mediation and the case was settled in November 2015.  The terms and amount of the settlement for Matt Marcone’s minor children are under seal, Eileen Marcone v. Laidlaw v. Contrans Group, Inc. f/k/a Contrans Income Fund, Laidlaw Carriers Van LP and Gheorghe Vaduva, Civil Action No. 1:15-CV-0067, United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee.    , 2015
  • $3.5 Million Verdict in Texting While Driving Case On September 7, 2012, in Hamilton County Circuit Court (Tennessee), a jury returned a verdict of $3,500,000 for Marcus Black, who sustained a severe head injury when his motorcycle struck the rear of the vehicle ahead of him on one of the bridges in Chattanooga.  The chain reaction was triggered by a texting driver in the traffic ahead of Mr. Black.  The texting driver drove off, so her identity was unknown and she was never located.  A suit was filed against Mr. Black’s uninsured motorist insurer. Eyewitnesses testified concerning the actions of the unidentified Jane Doe driver, and the jury found Jane Doe 75% at fault for the wreck, while allocating 25% fault to Mr. Black. Damages were reduced to $2,625,000 under Tennessee’s comparative fault rules and judgment was entered accordingly. Mr. Black was represented by Patrick Cruise, who achieved an outstanding result for Mr. Black while increasing public awareness of the dangers posed by texting while driving, 2011
  • Industrial Premises Tort Case Settled for Confidential Sum: The plaintiff sustained a back injury while attempting to load his tanker with hydrochloric acid (HCL) at the defendant’s facility in Memphis, Tennessee on July 15, 2009. As the plaintiff was standing on the HCL loading ramp, the metal grating on the ramp platform suddenly gave way, causing injury to his lower back.  Extensive medical treatment and spinal surgery were required. The injuries were such that the plaintiff was unable to return to work. Plaintiff brought suit alleging that the defendant was responsible for maintaining the loading platform and had created the dangerous condition by previously improperly repairing the area where the Plaintiff was injured.  The defendant denied liability and fault.  The case was settled in May of 2012.  All matters relating to the terms and conditions of the settlement are subject to a confidentiality agreement, Barrow v. Velsicol Chemical, LLC, 2:10-CV-02540, United States District Court (W.D. Tenn), 2012
  • Jury finds Nationwide Insurance guilty of bad faith for refusing to pay Christmas fire loss, awards damages of $784,767.65 Jury Verdict of $784,676.65 was returned in a fire loss case against Nationwide Insurance Company in the Circuit Court of Hamilton County, Tennessee in a six day trial concluded on November 9, 2011, O’Neal v. Nationwide. The fire originated in a Christmas tree that Mrs. O’Neal had just put up the night before the fire in December 2009. Nationwide refused to pay, contending that a family member had intentionally set the house on fire. The jury concluded otherwise as Plaintiff’s expert had found a melted plug blade in an electrical receptacle adjacent to the tree that Nationwide’s expert had missed. The evidence suggested an electrical origin due to a short or arcing at the receptacle. The verdict included a bad faith penalty of 18%. Hubert Hamilton and Patrick Cruise served as trial counsel for Mrs. O’Neal., 2011
  • Jury Awards $792,500 for Motorcycle Driver with Severely Fractured Ankle A Walker County jury awarded damages totaling $792,500, on March 11, 2010, for a 39-year-old self-employed roofer/sheet metal fabricator injured in a bad wreck two years before. On a Sunday afternoon, the plaintiff had taken his Harley motorcycle out for a ride over to his mother’s house. As he cruised along a rural roadway near Chickamauga, Georgia at a safe speed, a Buick Skylark, driven by an 88-year-old man, suddenly turned left directly in front of him. The impact shattered the plaintiff’s left ankle. The orthopedic trauma surgeon was able to use steel plates and screws to put the bimalleolar ankle fracture dislocation back together, but the plaintiff was left with a painful arthritic ankle with limited mobility. The jury awarded $50,000 for medical expenses, $37,500 for lost earnings to date, $379,000 for future lost earnings, $20,000 for pain and suffering to date, plus $306,000 for future pain and suffering. The biggest challenge faced was overcoming sympathy for the defendant, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, after defense counsel made a big show of the fact that the defendant was ill. The trial judge prohibited further appeals to sympathy and the jury took seriously our admonitions not to let “outside reasons” influence their determination of the proper amounts of money required to balance out the harms and losses the plaintiff suffered, and justice was served. Hubert Hamilton and Patrick Cruise served as trial counsel for Mr. Currie, Currie v. Farmer, Case 08 CV 7097, Walker State Court, LaFayette, Georgia., 2009
  • $240,000 Settlement for Worker with Valley Fever In 2011, the employee spent months working in California, and was exposed to coccidioides, also known as Valley Fever.   Around Thanksgiving, he became very sick.  It took months for the medical professionals to determine the diagnosis, and when they finally did, the workers’ compensation insurance company refused to acknowledge that the condition was related to the employee’s work in California.  Patrick Cruise filed a lawsuit on behalf of the injured worker, and hired a specialist from Vanderbilt to determine causation and impairment. Although the employee suffered from permanent lung damage, and permanent impairment, he was able to return to work.   Just prior to trial, the Court ordered the parties to mediation.  The mediation resulted in a settlement of $240,000.00.
  • $300,000.00 Settlement for Severe Ankle Injury The Plaintiff, a retired school teacher, was driving home on a residential road in Hamilton County, Tennessee, when another driver inexplicably turned left in front of her.  As a result of the crash, the plaintiff sustained a closed ankle fracture dislocation, which necessitated open reduction internal fixation surgery.   The case was settled prior to trial for $300,000.00.  Patrick A. Cruise represented the Plaintiff.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Published in The Prairie Barrister, Vol. 27, No. 1 Spring 2021.  , Co-Authored with Hubert E. Hamilton, Should a Truck Wreck Case be Handled Like a Car Wreck Case, The Prairie Barrister, Spring 2021, 2021
  • June 2011: Mr. Cruise was one of three presenters/teachers at the continuing legal education course titled Social Security Boot Camp, which took place in Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • October 2012: Mr. Cruise presented at the TAJ Workers’ Compensation Seminar in Nashville.
  • Article written with Hubert E. Hamilton discussing how a truck wreck case must be handled much differently than a typical car wreck case. , Co-Authored with Hubert E. Hamilton, Should a Truck Wreck Case be Handled Like a Car Wreck Case, The Tennessee Trial Lawyer (Winter 2020), Trial Lawyers, 2020
  • Webinar on Maximizing the Value of Your Case, Presenter, How to Maximize the Value of Your Case, Webinar by Advocate Capital, Plaintiff Lawyers, 2019
  • Author and Editor of Chapter 6: Settlement Techniques and Strategies, which will appear in Handling Motor Vehicle Accident Cases.  , Author and Editor, Chapter 6: Settlement Techniques and Strategies, Thomson Reuters, Lawyers, 2019
  • By Hubert E. Hamilton and Patrick A. Cruise, Author, How to Properly Prepare Your Personal Injury Client to Testify, The Tennessee Trial Lawyer (Winter 2018/19), Trial Lawyers, 2018
  • Co-written with Hubert E. Hamilton, Author, Preparing Your Personal Injury Client to Testify, Idaho Trial Lawyers Association Journal, Trial Lawyers, 2015
  • Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.  Co-written with Hubert E. Hamilton, Author, Preparing Your Personal Injury Client to Testify, Trial Talk: Volume 64, Issue 5, Trial Lawyers, 2015
  • Preparing your Personal Injury Client to Testify written with Hu Hamilton and Published in the Fall, 2014 Edition of Verdict: The Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Author, Preparing Your Personal Injury Client to Testify, Verdict: The Journal of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, 2014
  • Panelist, Panelist, 17th Annual Workers' Compensation Edu. Conf., 2014
  • Presenter, Tennessee Workers' Compensation, Tennessee Association for Justice, 2012
  • NOSSCR Social Security Forum, Volume 34, No. 10 - October 2012, Author, Can the ALJ Rely on the Vocational Consultant's Forum to Satisfy Step 5?, NOSSCR Social Security Forum, 2012
  • Social Security Disability Boot Camp, Speaker, Social Security Disability Boot Camp, 2011
  • Ruminations on Overstreet., Author, Ruminations on Overstreet, Tennessee Association for Justice, 2009

Industry Groups

  • Construction
  • Insurance
  • Transportation
  • Trucking
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Office Location for Patrick Cruise

2401 Broad Street
Suite 102
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Phone: 423-634-0871

Fax: 423-634-0874

Last Updated: 11/8/2021

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