Out of tragedy comes the kind of good deed that makes people, and puppies, smile and maybe wag their tails.
The Joye Law Firm, a North Charleston-based personal injury law practice, recently donated $100,000 to the Charleston Animal Society to honor a client who died and the animals he loved. The gift is revitalizing the pet shelter’s playground where the client’s dogs once frolicked after their owner tragically passed away.
Thanks to the firm’s donation, the playground is now called the “Gina and Luca Play Yard, in Memory of Johnny Scott.”
Scott, a Charleston resident whose broad smile warmed his customers at Coliseum Liquors near the Tanger Outlet, died in September 2021 from injuries sustained in a car crash. Even as he was fighting for his life at a local hospital, his main concern was making sure his two Cane Corsos received loving care.
Joye Law Firm attorney Jeff Gerardi handled Scott’s case.
“For Johnny, like many of us, his dogs were more than pets. They were family,” Gerardi said. “This contribution will go towards helping other families and pets during difficult times, which we feel is a fitting way to honor Johnny’s memory and help preserve his legacy.”
When Scott died last year, the animal organization took in Gina and Luca. They made sure they both found good loving homes. And recently, Gina returned to Charleston and visited the shelter to play.
“She was received like a celebrity and tons of Charleston Animal Society team members came out to greet her,” said one observer. Unfortunately, Luca recently passed away from cancer.
Commendation for the Charleston Animal Society
“The Animal Society did a lot of good during such a bad situation,” said attorney Ken Harrell, managing partner of the Joye Law Firm. “The people of Charleston are extremely fortunate to have a world-class animal rescue organization right here in our backyard.
“Our firm has proudly supported theirs for the past 15 years, but getting a first-hand view of how they went above and beyond in these tragic circumstances gave us pause. We knew we needed to recognize the good they did for our client and his dogs, as well as the thousands of people in our community during their time of great need.”
The firm’s $100,000 donation comes on his behalf from a confidential settlement in a personal injury case brought by the Scott estate. His family received their full share of the settlement.
The generosity of the company has a great impact
The Charleston Animal Society says it is still in awe of the generosity of the Joye Law Firm’s gift to help animals have a different kind of joy on the playground.
“It never ceases to amaze me how much light and love can come out of such a dark and sad situation,” said Kay Hyman, director of the organization’s community engagement program. “Johnny loved his dogs and just wanted to know that they would be taken care of before he died.
“His dedication to his family of dogs and the honest representation of his wishes by Jeff Gerardi and the Joye Law Firm will leave a legacy of hope for animals for years to come.”
Chairman and CEO Joe Elmore agreed.
“We see a lot of pain and suffering in animals, most of the time caused by people,” he said. “However, we also see more people, like our friends at the Joye Law Firm, stepping up every day to help ease our pain and suffering.
“Without compassionate people, the plight of animals would be a very dark place. Joye Law Firm is a light for animals.”
About Joye Law Firm
Joye Law Firm has provided legal services to the people of South Carolina for over 50 years. Founded in 1968, the law firm has offices in North Charleston, Columbia, Clinton, Myrtle Beach and Summerville.
As part of the firm’s commitment to community service, Joye Law Firm established joy in the community—a year-round program that encompasses educational scholarships and other community activities supported by the company. The initiative is designed to enrich the lives of all involved and raise awareness of the needs of the communities we serve.