Keith A. Pittman

299 South Main Street

Suite A

Alpharetta, GA 30009

(770) 814-7001

keith@cheeleylawgroup.com

Practice Areas

Products Liability, Road Wrecks, Premises Liability and Other Personal Injuries, Medical, Legal and Other Professional Malpractice, Fraud and Other Business Torts, Construction and Other Commercial Disputes

Bio

After careers as an educator and in the hospitality industry, Keith Pittman attended the University of Georgia School of Law, graduating Order of the Coif.  Keith has been practicing law for over 23 years. He has been an Adjunct Professor at the law schools for the University of Georgia and Georgia State University since 2005. Keith joined Cheeley Law Group, LLC as Of Counsel in August, 2016.

Keith first practiced with Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick & Morrison, where he worked on fraud, products liability, medical malpractice and other cases.  

Keith joined Butler, Wooten, Overby & Cheeley as an associate in 1994, where his primary practice was automotive products liability and catastrophic road wreck cases. Keith represented clients in 10 states, including as lead associate responsible for scene investigation and other case workup.  One of Keith’s trials at Butler Wooten (with Bob Cheeley) was Bibbs v. Toyota, which resulted in the largest compensatory verdict in Georgia history (almost $47 million).

2000 saw a change in his practice when Keith moved to Griffin, Cochrane & Marshall as a senior associate (and later Of Counsel). Keith represented clients in commercial lawsuits, arbitrations and other business disputes, including for fraud, conversion, deceptive and unfair trade practices and similar business torts. Keith’s clients included some of the largest contractors in the world.

In 2004, Keith joined Lamar Archer & Cofrin, a boutique Atlanta firm that specializes in complex civil litigation. Keith continued his work as a trial and appellate lawyer, representing entities and individuals on a variety of matters, including for class actions, partnership and shareholder disputes, professional liability, premises liability, road wrecks, construction disputes and business torts.

Experience Highlights

Keith Pittman has participated in the following matters as lead counsel, co-counsel, appellate counsel, associated counsel and/or associate counsel:

Products Liability

•    Claims for defective fuel tank location where driver died in fire resulting from rear collision where trailer latch punctured fuel tank; tried to multi-million dollar verdict.
•    Claims in Texas for defective seat belt failure where SUV rolled over and driver was cut in half by seat belt that failed to stay on driver’s pelvis; settled during jury selection.
•    Claims in Massachusetts for defective door latch and seat belt failures where driver was brain damaged and in vegetative state after minor side impact caused second collision with tree; tried to verdict and resulted in confidential settlement after post-trial discovery regarding evidence concealed by automaker prior to trial.
•    Claims in South Carolina for rollover and seat belt failure resulting in driver’s death; confidential settlement after motion for default filed regarding evidence concealed by automaker.
•    Claims for defectively designed steering wheel hub and seat belt failure resulting in death of driver in otherwise survivable collision; confidential settlement during discovery period.    
•    Claims for defective door latch where failure resulted in driver’s ejection and death; confidential settlement.
•    Claims for defective door latch where failure resulted in driver’s ejection during rollover event and driver was crushed by vehicle; confidential settlement.
•    Claims for rollover propensity in SUV where driver killed during rollover; confidential settlement.
•    Claims for defective door latch and seat belt failures where mother ejected from vehicle during collision suffered brain damage; settled during jury deliberations though jury announced verdict of almost $47 million.
•    Multiple claims for defective fuel tank locations in pickup truck in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Oklahoma, etc.; assisted with discovery, motions, similar incident depositions; several cases tried to multi-million dollar verdicts, others resulted in confidential settlements.
•    Claims by growers against pesticide manufacturer for contaminated product that destroyed ornamental crops; settled while jury deliberating.
•    Claims against drug company for medicine that caused daughter to kill her mother; confidential settlement.

Road Wrecks

•    Truck wreck claim against regional carrier for failure to train and negligence of driver where driver and passenger were almost killed in automobile crushed during tractor trailer rollover; resulted in confidential settlements for both vehicle occupants.  
•    Truck wreck claim against national carrier for failure to train and negligence of driver where automobile’s passenger was killed and driver was seriously injured in collision where truck driver lost control and crossed median on interstate; resulted in confidential settlement.
•    Truck wreck claim against speeding dump truck driver for wrongful death; verdict at trial upheld on appeal (Metro Atlanta Trucking Co., Inc. v. Kyzer, 217 Ga. App. 630 (1995)).
•    Several auto wreck claims where target defendant employer refused liability on grounds that striking vehicle’s driver was outside scope of employment at time of wreck; resulted in verdicts at trial or confidential settlements.
•    Other multiple auto wreck claims against striking vehicle’s drivers, all of which resulted in verdicts at trial or confidential settlement either pre-suit, during discovery or at mediation.
•    Claims brought on behalf of child struck by vehicle while riding a mini-bike (Nalley v. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 221 Ga. App. 537 (1996)).

Premises Liability

•    Fall in department store where national chain failed to have proper inspection or training procedures; confidential settlement after obtaining discovery regarding lack of procedures.
•    Claims by pedestrian against national hotel chain hit by hotel shuttle for poor lighting and failure to train shuttle drivers; confidential settlement after obtaining order requiring disclosure of other similar incidents and internal investigation of subject event.
•    Negligent security claim against mental health hospital for allowing juveniles to escape, which patients then terrorized resident in nearby neighborhood; confidential settlement during trial preparations.
•    Claim brought against developer for potential property buyer’s injuries sustained in riding accident where developer failed to use properly trained equestrian personnel to conduct marketing trail rides; confidential settlement during discovery. 
•    Premises and product liability claims for elderly woman injured when electronic door closed on her; confidential settlement after discovery.

Other Personal Injury

•    Claims against subcontractor where worker struck and killed by improperly secured beam that fell at construction site; confidential settlement.

Professional Liability

•    Legal malpractice claims against law firm for handling of estate and trust matters; confidential settlement after dispositive rulings in plaintiff’s favor.
•    Dental malpractice action involving claims for nerve damage caused by improper surgical procedures used by dentist; settlement during jury deliberations after successful appeal (Stolte v. Fagan, 311 Ga. App. 123 (2011); rev’d, 291 Ga. 477 (2012); on remand, 322 Ga. App. 775 (2013)).  
•    Dental malpractice for failure to diagnose periodontal problems that resulted in loss of teeth; confidential settlement after discovey.
•    Medical malpractice and Georgia Fair Business Practices Act claims brought against osteopath that held himself out as M.D.; resulted in confidential settlement after plaintiff prevailed on dispositive motions.
•    Legal malpractice claim for failure to prosecute underlying premises liability claim against hotel owner for fall on steps not properly maintained (Jenifer v. Fleming, Ingram & Floyd, P.C., 552 F.Supp.2d 1370 (2008)); resulted in confidential settlement.
•    Medical malpractice claim for improper cancer treatments; confidential settlement after successful appeal (Lee v. McCord, 292 Ga. App. 707 (2008); rev’d in part, 286 Ga. 179 (2009); on remand, 304 Ga. App. 377 (2010)).
•    Defended professional malpractice claim against architect as part of owner’s lawsuit against all involved with construction project (contractors, engineers, etc.); confidential settlement of all claims at mediation (which acknowledged architect’s lack of responsibility for the construction problems).
•    Medical malpractice claim for child with permanent cognitive impairment resulting from improper treatment when a baby; confidential settlement after discovery.

Business Torts

•    Claims brought by owner of properties against contractor for fraudulent billing; confidential settlement before trial.
•    Partnership dispute where partners that failed to fulfill their obligations were removed from partnership and relinquished all rights to partnership assets.
•    Distributor successfully litigated breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims against supplier; confidential settlement after close of discovery.
•    Franchisee claims against franchisor in Michigan for breach of duties and fraudulent offering circular; confidential settlement during motions.
•    Shareholder dispute between co-owners of successful business where managing executive accused of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, conversion, self-dealing and other improprieties; confidential settlement for the benefit of the injured shareholder.
•    Franchisee claims against franchisor for breach of duties; settlement during appeal.
•    Defended real estate agent and managing partner of various real estate partnerships in multiple lawsuits claiming breach of fiduciary duty and other tortious conduct, including on appeal (Cochran Mill Assoc. v. Stephens, 286 Ga. App. 241 (2007)); multiple claims dismissed by courts after which the remaining claims were settled.
•    Unfair and deceptive practice claims on behalf of specialty subcontractors against industrial equipment supplier in Massachusetts; resulted in confidential settlements.
•    Trade secrets claim by regional vendor against national vendor in Florida district court. 
•    Securities fraud class action for disclosures regarding product development.
•    Fraud claims brought by local developer against national real estate development company that reneged on oral agreement to share development for parcel of multiple properties pulled together by developer.

Other Litigation

•    Class action brought regarding online travel companies’ persistent failure to pay city and county government hotel excise taxes, the end result of which was a settlement in which the online travel companies agreed to pay such taxes for a period of time.
•    Section 1983 claims brought by victims of police shooting where one killed and two others injured; settled after successful appeal. 
•    Section 1983 claims brought by victim of police treatment while in custody; confidential settlement.
•    Discrimination claims for customers’ treatment by management at national restaurant chain.

Insurance Coverage

•    Several coverage disputes regarding insurers’ failures to pay additional living expenses, full construction costs and/or personal property losses for repairs to residences destroyed by fire; generally recovered all amounts sought.
•    Coverage dispute over defendant law firm’s malpractice coverage (Fleming, Ingram & Floyd, P.C. v. Clarendon Nat’l Ins. Co., 850 F. Supp.2d 1367 (2011)); resulted in finding of coverage at trial.

Construction

•    Represented contractor against claims brought by homeowners; settled after successful appeal (Chaney v. Harrison & Lynam, LLC, 308 Ga. App. 808 (2011)).
•    Represented specialty subcontractor for claims against sub-subcontractors for failure to fulfill obligations; resulted in confidential settlements at mediation.
•    Prosecuted electrical specialty subcontractor’s claims against subcontractors in Saudi Arabia and Thailand, all of which claims settled.
•    Arbitrated defective design and construction claims against window wall manufacturer for work on office and hotel tower; obtained award at arbitration.
•    Obtained judgment for contractor against subcontractor alleging breach of contract.
•    Arbitrated Florida industrial plant owner’s claim against contractor for breach of construction contract and overbilling; resulted in confidential settlement before hearing.
•    Obtained judgment for contractor in Louisiana state court against subcontractor alleging breach of contract to award bid to sub. 
•    Breach of contract and fraud claim by contractor against engineering firm (Capital Constr. Co. v. Professional Serv. Indus., Inc., 254 Ga. App. 44 (2002)); resulted in settlement.
•    Performed contract analysis of design-build contract for Canadian power plant to determine viability of potential claims that could be brought by or against design-build engineering firm and participated in negotiated resolution of same.
•    Breach of contract claims on behalf of specialty subcontractor contractor in Massachusetts; resulted in confidential settlement.

Professional

•    AV® Rated in Martindale-Hubbell
•    Georgia State University College of Law, Adjunct Professor, Product Liability and Business Tort Seminars (2011-present)
•    Member, Lawyers Club of Atlanta (2008-present)
•    University of Georgia School of Law, Adjunct Professor, Business Torts Seminar (2005-2011)
•    ABA Forum on the Construction Industry  (2000-2003)
•    Georgia Trial Lawyers Association  (1993-2000)
•    American Trial Lawyers Association  (1993-2000)
•    Georgia SSI Kids Disability Project  (1997-98) (Pro Bono)
•    Barrister, Lumpkin Society American Inn of Court  (1996-98)

Keith has also written articles for, and made presentations on, legal and professional issues for the American Bar Association, the Georgia Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.

Community

Keith has been active with his sons’ schools, including St. Pius X High School, and his parish, St. Thomas More in Decatur, Georgia. He has also had multiple leadership positions with youth sports organizations, including Druid Hills Youth Sports and the Metro Catholic Basketball League. Keith has coached youth sports extensively since the late 1980s, including approximately 50 baseball teams, 40 basketball teams and several soccer teams.

Education

•    University of Georgia School of Law - J.D., cum Laude; Order of the Coif; 1993
•    Georgia State University - M.Ed. (English Education); 1983
•    Emory University - B.A. (English); 1979

Bar Admission

•    Georgia (1993)

Court Admissions

•    Supreme Court of Georgia
•    Georgia Court of Appeals
•    United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit  
•    United States District Courts for the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia
•    Pro hac vice admissions in several other states 

Personal

Keith and his wife Carol have resided in Decatur and Avondale Estates, Georgia, for 35 years. They have three sons and one grandson. Keith likes time with his family (and walks with his dog Trey). His interests include travel, education, reading literature, basketball and Braves baseball.