R. Jonathan Franco

As a personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyer, Jonathan Franco’s tenacity has resulted in seven-figure and high-six-figure settlements and jury verdicts awards for injury victims. He says that such victories are won through a combination of human understanding, intense focus, and always staying current on how the practice of law evolves.

“We are very flexible and adaptive as a law firm,” Jonathan says. “We don’t hesitate to use technology to help meet our goals and tasks. As plaintiff’s attorneys, we try to be as on top of the most current methods for taking cases to trial. We want to be cutting-edge with our trial strategies.”

For Jonathan, staying involved in all things law makes him a strong part of Haug, Farrar & Franco, PLLC, which he joined as a partner in 2017. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, he’s maintained a constant presence in legal organizations and has earned statewide and national honors. These include serving on the executive committee, board of governors, and public policy committee for the Mississippi Association for Justice (MAJ). He was also an editor for MAJ’s annual Voir Dire publication and continuing legal education chair for the organization’s annual convention. Jonathan received the group’s 2023 Stone Pony award and was named 2018 “Rising Star” recipient for his work in personal injury litigation. 

Jonathan explains that his reason for gravitating toward a career as a lawyer is because “it best suits my strengths. As a student, my strengths were reading comprehension and writing. I was also very involved with debate in high school.

“I’m an analytical person and love working through issues from an analytical perspective,” adds Jonathan, who resides with his wife, Ashley, and daughter, Alexandra, in Ocean Springs. “Given all of that, a career in the law seemed like a natural fit.”

Jonathan is also on the board of directors for the Southern Trial Lawyers Association and has been on the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the Mid-South region from 2019-23. Within the local community, Jonathan belongs to the Ocean Springs Rotary Club, where his leadership portfolio includes serving as past president and board of directors member.

Among the personal injury practice areas in which Jonathan helps Mississippi Gulf Coast citizens:

Trucking and Commercial Vehicle Cases

Jonathan has substantial experience representing victims of commercial motor vehicle crashes such as tractor-trailer crashes. He applies the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) in successfully prosecuting tractor-trailer crashes. The FMSCRs are federal regulations that govern the maintenance, hiring, and driving practices of trucking companies and truck drivers. Jonathan will investigate the trucking company and their driver to make sure they did not place profits over safety.

Premises Liability Cases

Jonathan has also obtained significant recoveries in premises liability cases involving unsafe conditions on a property.  He applies building code violations and engineering violations to hold premises owners accountable for unsafe properties. Jonathan will determine whether the coefficient of friction standards were violated, the riser and tread height were proper, safety rails were properly built, and the lighting was proper, among other safety variables.

Medical Malpractice

Jonathan has recovered millions of dollars on behalf of families of medical malpractice victims, including wrongful death claims. Medical malpractice has become more of a niche practice area in Mississippi due to the pre-suit notice requirements, nuances of litigation, caps on damages, and the expense of litigation. However, Jonathan enjoys these cases’ medical and scientific aspects and takes great satisfaction in helping victims receive justice. Attorneys often refer medical malpractice claims to him because of his significant experience in this field.

Car Wreck Cases

Jonathan’s book of successful claims includes hundreds of cases for Mississippi Gulf Coast residents involved in car crashes. Each auto accident case involves its own sets of facts and challenges. Jonathan does not recommend settlements unless they make the client whole. If an insurance company is not willing to pay a reasonable settlement amount in a motor vehicle accident case, Jonathan will file a lawsuit and fight to recover a satisfactory settlement.

Workers’ Compensation and Maritime Injuries

Jonathan maintains a substantial workers’ compensation practice and represents injured longshoremen, industrial workers, and oil refinery employees across the state. He takes particular pride in helping injured workers whose employers and their insurance carriers are denying medical treatment and disability benefits. Jonathan says he would rather fight for the injured Mississippi worker than for a big corporation or insurance company.  Jonathan also represents shipyard and maritime workers who fall within the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. He has experience representing claimants in Jones Act actions and general maritime/boat injury claims.


Mississippi College School of Law, J.D., 2013

University of Alabama, B.A. Political Science with English minor, 2007


Mississippi, 2013


U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals


Southern Trial Lawyers Association, 2014-present

  • Board of Directors, 2023-present

American Association for Justice, 2013-present

  • Member, Motor Vehicle and Premises Liability Section
  • Member, Medical Malpractice Section

Mississippi Association for Justice, 2013-present

  • Secretary and parliamentarian, Executive Committee
  • Board of Governors, 2015-present
  • Editor, annual Voir Dire publication, 2020-21
  • Treasurer, New Lawyers Division, 2019-20

Ocean Springs Rotary Club, 2013-present

  • Board of Directors: 2015-19
  • President, 2018


“Prepping Your Life Care Planner for Cross-Examination,” Mississippi Association for Justice Voir Dire magazine, Summer 2016

“Medical Malpractice in Conscience Sedation,” Mississippi Association for Justice Voir Dire magazine, 2017


Mahli, LLC v. Admiral Ins. Co., CIVIL ACTION No. 1:14cv175-KS-MTP (S.D. Miss. Aug. 25, 2015)

  • In this federal verdict, Jonathan represented the plaintiff, whose hotel burned down. The insurance company claimed the plaintiff had committed arson and refused to pay the full value of his losses. A federal jury determined that the plaintiff had not committed arson and that the hotel was a total loss.

Petterson v. Petterson, 2018 WL 5262603, 2018, Miss Ct. App.

  • This is a landmark Mississippi Court of Appeals decision. In this divorce case, Jonathan successfully argued that his client’s husband actively invested his seven-figure IRA, which was accumulated prior to the marriage. The husband contested this allegation and stated his investment was passive and should not be considered marital property. The trial court ruled in the plaintiff’s favor, determining that she had provided sufficient evidence that her husband had actively invested his IRA. Further, the significant appreciation that occurred during the course of the marriage was marital property. The Court of Appeals affirmed (cert denied by the Mississippi Supreme Court).

Stonestreet v. United States, 1:20cv65-LG-RPM (S.D. Miss. Oct. 6, 2021)

  • In this federal opinion in a premises liability/Federal Tort Claims Act case, the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment. The subject incident occurred at a grocery store when the plaintiff was getting eggs out of a cooler. The eggs are kept on a rolling egg cart in the cooler section. The cart suddenly rolled backward, causing the plaintiff to fall forward into the cooler. In its Motion to Dismiss, the U.S. Attorney’s Office claimed that the independent contractor exception applied because Eggland’s Best, an independent contractor, stocked the egg racks. Defendant also claimed discretionary function immunity in its choice of vendor. In the Motion for Summary Judgment, the defense argued that (1) no one else has ever been injured interacting with the egg carts and that the plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of her own injuries; (2) the egg carts weren’t a dangerous condition; (3) engineering and retail experts testified that the standard of care for egg cart safety was met; and (4) the store had no notice of a dangerous condition and such a condition was not foreseeable. Jonathan argued that (1) there are wheel locks on the egg carts that should have been used but were not; (2) the sole safety measure the store had in place is a very thin “L-bracket” that sits behind one of the cart’s four wheels and is not sufficient to stop an egg cart from moving backward; (3) the egg cart was very low on eggs at the time of the incident, which was right before close of business when inventory is low and thus was light and moveable; (4) plaintiff’s retail expert said that locking mechanisms are the standard of care and plaintiff’s engineer/human factors expert performed testing on an exemplar cart and found that the plaintiff could have easily rolled the cart over the thin L-bracket by using only a small fraction of her weight and thus the L-bracket was an inadequate safety measure; and (5) the incident was foreseeable as the plaintiff had testimony from employees of the commissary that children and other adults previously pressed upon the egg coolers when trying to get the freshest eggs, sometimes putting their whole torso into the egg rack.


Work Injury
Overseas Accident
Premises Liability
Work Injury