D. Andrew Williams
Drew spends the majority of his time handling construction and premises liability matters, but also litigates business, product and professional liability cases. Drew has successfully defended a large Exterior Insulation and Finish System (EIFS/synthetic stucco) manufacturer in over 100 class action lawsuits involving residential homes. He also represents this company and related entities in other lawsuits involving both commercial and residential projects in his role as statewide counsel. Additionally, Drew represents general contractors, subcontractors, professionals and other construction product manufacturers in litigation involving alleged product failure, negligent construction, professional negligence, water intrusion, toxic molds and contract disputes. He has worked with a wide array of experts in defending these claims in both state and federal court, arbitration and mediation. Drew is currently serving a third term as the national Co-Chair of the Construction Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and has spoken at several national meetings on construction related topics.
In premises liability matters, he defended a restaurant involved in the largest Salmonella outbreak in South Carolina history, involving over 100 claims, including several class actions and two purported deaths. Drew has successfully tried to verdict numerous adulterated food, false arrest and slip/trip and fall cases, including a recent week-long jury trial in which he obtained a very favorable verdict in a significant claim of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Today, Drew serves as statewide counsel for a grocery store chain and a major professional and food service corporation. He also leads the Firm’s Food, Beverage and Consumer Products practice group and has presented a myriad of seminars relating to this vertical market.
Drew began his legal career as a judicial law clerk and learned early on that he loved being in the courtroom. In law school, Drew won the South Carolina and regional mock trial competitions and advanced to the finals of the ABA/IFDC/ACTL/TYLA National Trial Competition. He built upon those litigation skills by trying many automobile accident and premises liability matters early in his career. To date, he has tried to verdict more than 80 civil cases in both state and federal courts, and has mediated hundreds of others. He understands the complexities involved in multi-party litigation, and is very aware of the different strategies and tactics involved in these high stakes claims. While he certainly knows his way around the courtroom, Drew also understands that many times his clients’ needs are best met without having to endure a trial. It is with this understanding that Drew works closely with his clients to develop the most effective and efficient strategy to handle each case.
Although Drew is originally from Oklahoma City, he completed all of his higher education in South Carolina and has lived exclusively in the Palmetto state for the last 28 years. Drew is actively involved in his community, currently serving on the board of directors for Harvest Hope Food Bank and previously serving on the board of the Township Auditorium Foundation. He is also a graduate of Leadership Columbia, Class of 2010. Drew has practiced with Turner Padget since 1996 and has served as the chair of the Firm’s legal recruiting committee since 2003. Drew has been named as one of South Carolina’s 40 Litigation Stars by Benchmark Litigation for the past two years and has recently been included by Best Lawyers of America for Construction Litigation in 2013.
- Successfully defended a construction product manufacturer in a case before the Court of Appeals which determined that a national class action settlement constituted a good faith settlement with a homeowner who failed to opt-out, despite the lack of any payment for this particular home, and further that said settlement barred any subsequent contribution claims against manufacturer by the general contractor.
- Convinced subcontractor to dismiss claims of contractual indemnity, equitable indemnity, breach of warranty, breach of contract and negligence against sub-subcontractor client responsible for window installation in Government building after filing motion, memorandum in support and reply memorandum in Federal Court which established subcontractor had not suffered any liability or damages that could be passed through to sub-subcontractor.
- Appeared before the Supreme Court representing a grocery chain whose employees attacked a customer in the store with box cutters in a case that affirmed that employees were acting outside the course and scope of employment and, therefore, did not subject the employer to liability.
- Achieved a very successful trial verdict in a week long premises liability case defending a claim of alleged RSD/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome where Plaintiff contended merchant, who admitted to a known door defect, was ultimately responsible for her paralysis that resulted from the improper monitoring of an intrathecal pain pump prescribed to treat her RSD/CRPS allegedly caused by the initial injury sustained while using the defective door.
- Successfully protected a Mom and Pop restaurant involved in South Carolina’s largest Salmonella outbreak by personally establishing and administering the settlement claims process to insure that the limited insurance funds were not depleted before all 120 claims, including 2 alleged deaths, several class-action lawsuits and numerous judicially approved minor settlements were resolved.
- Obtained dismissal from the Federal Court in an action against manufacturing client accused of negligence, civil conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Argued successfully before the Court of Appeals in one of South Carolina’s seminal cases defining what constitutes the “ownership, use or maintenance” of a motor vehicle for the purposes of uninsured motorist coverage.