Test – Verdicts

Wrongful termination of prison doctor results in $3.3 million verdict. Madera County.

Prison doctor of 15 years is fired and not told why; unanimous verdict on breach of contract against California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Plaintiff surgeon had treated females in two state prisons.

Case Name: Muhammad Anwar, M.D. v. State of California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Court and Case Number: : Madera Superior Court/ MCV034056
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, November 08, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 22 August 2006
Type of Action: Employment, Wrongful Termination
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Dale J. Blea
Plaintiffs:
Muhammad Anwar, M.D., 59, general surgeon
Defendants:
State of California
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $3,300,000
Trial Time: 15 days.
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 days.
Jury Polls: 12-0 on Breach of Contract, Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and State Constitutional Due Process; 9-3 on total damages.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth LLP by Michael F. Ball, Fresno.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Oviedo Law Group, Inc. by J.R. Oviedo, Jr., Fresno.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Jolene Fraser, CPA, Sacramento.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Susan Thompson, CPA, Fresno.

:
Plaintiff, Muhammad Anwar, M.D., is a general surgeon. Defendants, State of California and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, provide medical services to inmates in California’s State prisons. Madera Multi Specialty Medical Group (MMSG) is a group of physicians in Madera County which was formed by Dr. Anwar for the purpose of negotiating medical specialty service contracts with the Defendants. MMSG’s physicians provide medical specialty services to inmates at two women’s prisons located in Madera County. These prisons are Central California Women’s Facility and Valley State Prison for Women. Written agreements exist concerning the provision of medical services to the prisoners in these correctional facilities. Dr. Anwar began providing services to Central California Women’s Facility in 1990, and began with Valley State Prison for Women when it opened in 1995. Dr. Anwar then formed his MMSG (group of 30 – 40 specialists) upon the request of the state in 1998.
On July 5, 2005, Sampath Suryadevara, M.D., the Chief Medical Officer of Central California Women’s Facility, verbally told plaintiff that his surgical services to inmates of Central California Women’s Facility were no longer needed. On August 11, 2005, plaintiff was verbally told by a representative of Valley State Prison for Women that notice had been received from defendants’ offices in Sacramento that plaintiff could no longer provide surgical services to inmates of Valley State Prison for Women. MMSG still provides services to the two prisons. Only Dr. Anwar was excluded from providing further services.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That no reasons for the terminations were given; that plaintiff was denied due process by defendants. That he had a right to notice of the reasons he was terminated; further, that defendants violated not only the contract but also the implied contract of good faith and fair dealing.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That they never had any contract with Dr. Anwar, and thus did not owe him due process or fair procedure.

Loss of income; loss of opportunity to build a private practice outside of his prison work over 15 years.

Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $4,311,150 as calculated by plaintiff’s expert through Feb. 2012/ $2,354,020 was calculated by defense expert for lost written contract time of July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2008.
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $2,751,415

Plaintiff Demand during Trial: Plaintiff asked the jury for a minimum of $2.1 million for past wage loss.
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Per plaintiff, defendants never made an offer, but at one point indicated that they had $150,000 in authority. Plaintiff’s demand was $1.3 million, with an indication that he would negotiate off that number.

Worksite hand injury and a unanimous jury verdict. Napa County.

Worker making a delivery ended up with a crushed hand when he tried to help a warehouse employee. Jury awarded over $1 million and found the defendant completely at fault.

Case Name: Gonzalo Mayorga v. Biagi Bros. Inc.
Court and Case Number: : Napa Superior/ 26-54399
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Type of Action: Industrial Accident
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Francisca P. Tisher
Plaintiffs:
Gonzalo Mayorga, 50, truck driver
Defendants:
Biagi Bros. Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $1,483,495
Net Verdict: $483,495
Economic Damages:
$483,495
Non-Economic Damages:
$1,000,000
Trial Time: 6 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours
Jury Polls: 12-0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Kuvara Law Firm by Daniel Slijepcevich, San Rafael
Attorney for the Defendant:
Murchison & Cumming, LLP by Kasey A. Townsend, San Francisco

:
On March 9, 2010, plaintiff delivered a container of wine cases to a warehouse owned by Biagi Bros. Inc. While there, he reached his non-dominant, right hand into the clamp of a forklift to straighten out a plastic slip sheet that separated cases of wine. While his hand was in the clamp, the forklift operator engaged the clamp, which crushed plaintiff’s hand.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Employee forklift operator asked for plaintiff’s help in straightening out the plastic slip sheet before engaging the clamp.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Plaintiff was not asked for assistance, acted of his own accord and should be considered at least comparatively negligent.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Mayorga was taken to the hospital by ambulance. His right hand was near amputation, but surgeons were able to re-attach it. He underwent five months of physical therapy as well as a second surgery to loosen adhesions and improve mobility.

Plaintiff claimed his hand is dramatically disfigured and that he is only able to use his right hand to grasp small objects lightly with his thumb and forefinger. He also claimed daily residual pain that has prevented his return to work as a truck driver and kept him from his former hobby of boxing.

Woman trips at night on raised sidewalk. Jury awards $493,000 and defendant made no offer. Los Angeles County.

61-year-old woman trips on raised sidewalk at night, breaking her arm. Defendant apartment complex denied fault for tree roots raising the sidewalk.

Case Name: Barbara Ferren v. Valley Village South Apartments, a California General Partnership; City of Los Angeles; County of Los Angeles; State of California/CALTRANS, and DOES 1 through 100, Inclusive
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior, Van Nuys/ LC085961
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Type of Action: Dangerous Condition Public Property, Sidewalk Accident, Slip and Fall
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Frank J. Johnston
Plaintiffs:
Barbara Ferren, 61, disability claims adjuster
Defendants:
Valley Village South Apartments, a California General Partnership; Seltzer Doran Company
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $493,287
Net Verdict: $443,147 plus $99,049 in costs and CCP 998 interest.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 90% Valley Village South Apartments/Seltzer Doran Company; 10% contributory negligence by plaintiff.
Economic Damages:
Past Lost Earnings: $10,000

Future Lost Earnings: $10,000

Past Medical: $17,037

Future Medical: $96,250
Non-Economic Damages:
Past: $60,000

Future: $300,000
Trial Time: 4 1/2 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 30 minutes
Jury Polls: 12 – 0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Law Office of Bryman & Apelian by Mark D. Apelian, Calabasas
Attorney for the Defendant:
Belofsky & Hanker, LLP by David A. Belofsky, Torrance

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Stephen Kay, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, Los Angeles
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Kay Jewell Greeley, civil engineer, landscape architect, certified arborist, Simi Valley
H. Harvey Cohen, Ph.D., safety engineer, San Diego

:
On October 23, 2008, at approximately 7:30 p.m., plaintiff had parked her car along the east side of the 8800 block of Variel Avenue, near the corner of Gresham Street, in the city of Los Angeles to visit her daughter. After the visit, plaintiff crossed the street and walked along the east side of Variel Avenue to get back to her car. As she attempted to do so, her left foot made contact with a lift in the sidewalk causing her body to be propelled forward. In an attempt to break her fall, and to protect her face, plaintiff put her arm out in front of her and then made contact with the sidewalk.

Plaintiff yelled out for help and a Good Samaritan assisted her in calling plaintiff’s daughter who took her to West Hills Medical Center where x-rays revealed a proximal humeral neck fracture (upper arm) just below the humeral head.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the sidewalk in question was raised nearly 2 inches due to the roots of a tree located on defendant’s property approx. 15+ feet away from the lifted sidewalk.

That defendants had a duty to properly maintain and inspect the subject property;that defendants knew that an approximately 2-inch sidewalk displacement was a tripping hazard and knew the consequence could be serious injury or death; that defendants had notice of the hazard; and that defendants failed to repair the dangerous condition.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That it was not their tree’s root that caused the lift; that the sidewalk lift condition was not dangerous. That a street light was in close proximity and illuminated the sidewalk. That it was the City of Los Angeles’s responsibility to maintain the sidewalk. That plaintiff did not use due care while walking down the sidewalk.

Defense also argued causation: that plaintiff had a preexisting shoulder injury.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Fractured humerus requiring a closed reduction of right shoulder & physical therapy.

Plaintiff’s orthopedic doctor (Stephen Kay) advised plaintiff that she has reached a point of maximum medical improvement from conservative management of her humerus fracture and that she could expect no improvement with time. He advised her that with continued worsening over time, she could benefit from at least one surgery (a right Hemi-arthroplasty) and perhaps a second one a number of years later.

Plaintiff has a history of a right shoulder subacromial decompression, debridement of partial rotator cuff tear and distal clavicle excision that occurred in approximately 2005. Within the first two weeks after that surgery, Ms. Ferren was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder. She underwent an approximately four-month course of physical therapy treatments.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: First $495,000, then $350,000
Defendant §998 Offer: None
Additional Notes
Judgment entered on April 1, 2013.

White LA city employee claims racial discrimination against Caucasians. $3.25 million. Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles city gardener, a 63-year-old white man, says Hispanic foreman discriminated against him; that the City regularly discriminated against Caucasian employees in his department.

Case Name: James Duffy v. City of Los Angeles
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District / BC454369
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, August 12, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 03 February 2011
Type of Action: Discrimination, Racial, Employment, Highlighted Verdicts
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Ross M. Klein
Plaintiffs:
James Duffy, 63, gardener
Defendants:
City of Los Angeles
Abel Perez, Foreman
Kevin Regan, Assistant General Manager (plaintiff’s direct supervisor)
Laura Bauernseind, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $3,255,000 in favor of plaintiff on four counts
Economic Damages:
$380,000
Non-Economic Damages:
$2,875,000
Trial Time: 8 1/2 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 days
Jury Polls: Unanimous in favor of plaintiff on claims of disability and racial harassment, retaliation and discrimination by the City of Los Angeles and three of his supervisors.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Shegerian & Associates by Carney R. Shegerian, Santa Monica.
Urbanic Law by James Urbanic, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Office of City Attorney by Stacey Anthony and Jorge M. Otano, Los Angeles.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Craig Snyder, Ph.D., forensic psychology, Beverly Hills.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
James Rosenberg, M.D., forensic psychiatry, Woodland HIlls.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Tamorah Hunt, Ph.D., forensic economist, Santa Ana.

:
Plaintiff, a Caucasian man age 63, who had worked as a gardener for the City’s Department of Recreation and Parks for 19 years, claimed that he was forced to retire after a number of discriminatory and harassing incidents by his supervisors had taken place. After Duffy suffered a head injury in an on-the-job accident, causing him to suffer from short-term memory problems, he claimed the discrimination and harassment escalated. Duffy claimed he had complained to the defendants several times about the discrimination and harassment he had endured due to both his racial background and his disability, but the City had taken no action.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That racial discrimination began around 2004 when Defendant Perez became plaintiff’s foreman; that Perez and most other workers were Hispanic and Perez discriminated against plaintiff based on race, once stating, “I hate white people” and refusing assistants to plaintiff in his work while providing assistants for Hispanic gardeners. That after his head injury, defendants harrassed him by telling him he had not been given assignments when he had or that he had failed to complete assignments that he had never actually been given.

That Defendant Bauernseind was upset with plaintiff when he refused to loan $5,000 to Bauernseind and that she falsified documents to make him ineligible for a pay raise.

That Defendant City of Los Angeles engaged in intentional racial discrimination by maintaining a systematic and continuous policy and goal of firing and demoting Caucasian employees. That the City took no action after plaintiff’s numerous complaints about the harrassment he was undergoing.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendants denied all of plaintiff’s allegations. Defendants denied that they engaged in any discrimination or any other unlawful act. Defendants also denied that they caused plaintiff damages, and they contested the amount of damages plaintiff claimed.

Water district pipe leaks, damages commercial buildings. Contra Costa County.

Public water line leak alleged to damage commercial buildings. $331,000 net verdict after defendant had offered $1 million per CCP 998.

Case Name: Kelly v. Contra Costa Water District
Court and Case Number: : Contra Costa Superior Court / C10-01388
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, August 09, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 10 May 2010
Type of Action: Dangerous Condition Public Property, Real Estate Condemnation, Highlighted Verdicts
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Laurel Brady
Plaintiffs:
Wayne Kelly and Byron Kelly, owners of StoreMaster self storage.
Defendants:
Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) operated a water pipeline adjacent to plaintiffs’ property.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $414,000 For trespass of water, only.
Net Verdict: $331,200
Award as to each Defendant:
Judgment entered 8/9/13.

Jury verdict – Found liability only on the trespass cause of action, and found for defendant on the nuisance and dangerous condition of public property causes of action. Jury determined damage award.

Bench verdict – For defendant as to the inverse condemnation cause of action.

Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 20%
Economic Damages:
$331,200
Trial Time: 23 days.
Jury Deliberation Time: 6 hours.
Jury Polls: Most were 12-0.
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant filed a cost bill, seeking offset of $113,118, effectively reducing the judgment to $218,082. Plaintiffs have appealed the Court’s ruling for the defendant on the inverse condemnation cause of action.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Law Office of Don Odell by Don Odell, Pleasanton.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Bold, Polisner, Maddow, Nelson, and Judson by Craig Judson and Sharon Nagle, Walnut Creek.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Daniel Rhoades, M.S., geotechnical engineer; Pleasant Hill.
Charles Allen, B.S., civil engineer, general contractor, San Rafael.
John Schneider, B.A., general contractor; Fremont.
Carl Touhey, B.S. , real estate broker; Emerald Hills.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Patrick Lucia, Ph.D., geotechnical engineer, San Francisco.
Deron Van Hoff, M.S., civil engineer; San Francisco.
Michael Hughes, B.S., civil engineer; San Francisco.
Paul Brown, B.S., civil engineer, construction, Concord.

:
Plaintiffs constructed a mini-storage facility in Pittsburg, California, in the early 1990s. There was a dispute as to when the plaintiffs first noticed cracking in the foundations of their property, but evidence was presented of patching of cracks prior to the water leak being discovered.

Defendant CCWD was first called to the property on 12/24/04 because the onsite manager noticed water ponding near the entrance to the property. Defendant monitored the property for the presence of water over the next few years and investigated the condition of the pipeline. Defendant was unable to determine the cause of the leak, but eventually determined that a repair was required, and made that repair in April, 2008.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Contra Costa Water District operated a water pipeline adjacent to plaintiffs’ property, a mini-storage facility. Plaintiffs alleged the pipe leaked and caused damage to their property.

Plaintiffs’ experts testified that leaking water from CCWD’s pipe traveled underground along an abandoned, buried roadway and caused damage at distant portions of plaintiffs’ property.

Plaintiffs contended that they could only repair the property by vacating all tenants and replacing the foundation throughout the site.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Contra Costa Water District admitted that its water pipeline leaked for 3 1/2 years, but contended that the leak was small and only caused minimal damage at the site adjacent to the leak. Defendant further asserted that the majority of the damage at the site was caused by soils settlement and poorly constructed foundations.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
None.
Plaintiffs originally sought $4.2 million, which was limited to $2.72 million during trial. Plaintiffs claimed $1.4 million in repair costs, $120,000 in lost rental income during repairs, and $1.2 million lost rental income during a “re-rental” period after repairs were completed.

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $3,200,000
Plaintiff Demand during Trial: None.
Defendant §998 Offer: $1,000,000
Defendant Offer during Trial: High ($1,500,000) – Low ($500,000)
Additional Notes
Because defendant obtained a verdict lower than its CCP Section 998 offer, defendant is entitled to recover its costs. Further, the Court’s ruling in favor of defendant on the inverse condemnation cause of action precludes plaintiffs from recovering approximately $700,000 – $800,000 in attorney’s fees and litigation costs.

A critical issue in this case was the cause of damage at the site. Defense attorney said that discussions post-trial with jurors revealed jurors found defense expert Deron Van Hoff to be a particularly credible witness. The other major issue was how to repair the property. Jurors also revealed that they found the damage estimates by plaintiff’s expert to be high.

Defense attorney said that jurors did not find credible the expert testimony that plaintiffs would lose $1.2 million during the ten-year re-rental period after proposed repairs.

US Military Jet Crash nets $17.8 million award. San Diego County.

A San Diego-area family lost their home and four family members to a military jet crash. United States of America admitted sole liability. Judge had to determine reasonable compensation.

Case Name: Don Yoon et al v. United States of America
Court and Case Number: : USDC Southern/10cv1578 JM
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Type of Action: Negligence
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Jeffrey T. Miller
Plaintiffs:
Don Yoon, an individual, and as Successor in Interest of Decedents Youngmi Lee Yoon, Grace Yoon and Rachel Yoon; Sanghyun Lee, an individual, and as Successor in Interest of Decedent Seokim Kim-Lee; Yumi Lee, an individual; Baekgwan Lee, an individual; Ju
Defendants:
United States of America
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $17,800,000 ($9,615,000 to Don Yoon; $3,780,000 to Sanghyun Lee; $1,500,000 to Yumi Lee; $1,500,000 to Baekgwan Lee; $1,500,000 to Jun Hwa Lee and nothing to Yangrae Kook.)
Award as to each Defendant:
$9,615,000 to Don Yoon;

$3,780,000 to Sanghyun Lee;

$1,500,000 to Yumi Lee;

$1,500,000 to Baekgwan Lee;

$1,500,000 to Jun Hwa Lee;

nothing to Yangrae Kook.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Panish, Shea & Boyle, LLP by Brian J. Panish, Los Angeles
Law Offices of Raymond Feldman by Raymond Feldman, Santa Monica
Attorney for the Defendant:
U.S. Dept. of Justice by Debra D. Fowler and Bruce A. Ross, Washington, D.C.

:
On December 8, 2008, a United States Marine Corps F/A 18D Hornet fighter jet crashed into the Yoon family home, north of San Diego, in University City. The crash incinerated the home and killed residents, Youngmi Lee Yoon, Grace Lee, Rachel Lee as well as Seokim Kim-Lee who was visiting from Korea.

The United States admitted sole liability for all damage and the deaths, due to the negligence of military personnel. The Plaintiffs were the spouses of decedents as well as decedent, Seokim Kim-Lee’s adult children and mother.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Youngmi Lee Yoon, Grace Yoon and Rachel Yoon as well as Seokim Kim-Lee, all died in the crash.
Don Yoon’s home was incinerated.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $56 million

UPS supervisor receives $18 million verdict for wrongful termination/retaliation. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff claimed violations of safety regulations and wage/hour law after working many years for UPS. After a failed attempt at a class-action, plaintiff filed individual suit and encouraged many other managers to do the same. Plaintiff said he was fired after an incident fabricated by defendant. Jury awards substantial punitive damages.

Case Name: Michael Marlo v. United Parcel Service, Inc.
Court and Case Number: : Central District of California/CV-09-7717 DDP
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, August 24, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 09 January 2009
Type of Action: Employment, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Wrongful Termination
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Dean Pregerson
Plaintiffs:
Michael Marlo,48
Defendants:
United Parcel Service, Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $18,098,478
Economic Damages:
$1,701,425
Non-Economic Damages:
$500,000
Punitive Damages:
$15,897,053
Trial Time: 6 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2.5 days

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Duckworth Peters Lebowitz Olivier LLP by Mark C. Peters, San Francisco
Furutani & Peters, LLP by John A. Furutani, Pasadena
Attorney for the Defendant:
Paul Hastings LLP by Elena Baca and Lisa Brown, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Phillip Allman, Ph.D., economics, Oakland
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Christopher Haan, Ph.D., economics, Chicago, IL

:
Plaintiff Michael Marlo was a UPS supervisor who worked for UPS for 22 years. Marlo filed a class-action wage-and-hour lawsuit in 2003. The class was decertified in May 2008, and Marlo then proceeded as an individual plaintiff. The individual case first went to trial in May 2009.

In mid-2008, after decertification, Marlo encouraged other UPS supervisors to file their own lawsuits against UPS in an attempt to change allegedly unsafe working conditions at the company. Fifty-four UPS supervisors filed individual lawsuits against UPS between August and October 2008. Marlo also made complaints about workplace safety concerns and safety violations to UPS and to multiple government agencies.

Some of these complaints included inadequate heaters for employees working in sub-freezing temperatures, employees working well over 40 hours per week, and employees driving UPS trucks after working more than 60 hours per week, violating DOT regulations.

Plaintiff was denied promotion for a number of years, and was terminated on Nov. 12, 2008, a few months before his wage-and-hour case was scheduled for trial.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant retailiated against plaintiff for his actions and that he was wrongfully terminated. That defendant falsely asserted plaintiff threatened a customer as a pretext for the termination. That UPS conducted a sham investigation; that they hired an outside investigation firm, but withheld key eyewitness information from the investigators that would have disproved the allegations against plaintiff.

That the UPS district manager and the human resources district manager believed plaintiff’s lawsuit was a distraction and other UPS supervisors weren’t working as hard due to plaintiff’s lawsuit; that they viewed plaintiff’s lawsuit as negatively impacting employee morale, going against UPS culture and posing a monetary concern for the company.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff had not been promoted due to conflicts with peers, and that when he was approached in 2008 about being promoted, he rejected the idea.

That plaintiff initiated an unprovoked, aggressive incident with a customer who came into the facility in October 2008. That this incident included plaintiff verbally assaulting the customer, pointing in an aggressive manner and verbally threatening the customer. That plaintiff then confronted and intimidated the employee who witnessed and reported the incident though he’d been asked to keep the incident investigation confidential.

That the October incident was investigated by an outside investigator with no affiliation and that no information was withheld.

That plaintiff was found to have engaged in gross misconduct and broke many company policies during the October incident. That plaintiff was terminated due to his misconduct during this incident, not due to his lawsuit.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $650,000
Defendant §998 Offer: None

Unsafe lane change into path of motorcylist results in paraplegia. $9 million. Los Angeles County.

Driver changes lanes to turn right, cutting off motorcycle that then collides with car. Plaintiff, age 25, paraplegia.

Case Name: Carlos Madrigal v. Richard Tang and Anna Tang
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District / BC445794
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, October 04, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 17 September 2010
Type of Action: Vehicles – Lane Change, Vehicles – Motorcycle
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Terry A. Green
Plaintiffs:
Carlos Madrigal, 25, employed as a driver.
Defendants:
Richard Tang and Anna Tang
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $9,349,169.65 plus pre-judgment interest and costs of $1,331,482.15
Trial Time: 11 days
Jury Polls: 9-3 on liability

Attorney for the Plantiff:
The Homampour Law Firm by Arash Homampour, Sherman Oaks.
Madison Law Group by Kyle K. Madison, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
McClaugherty & Associates by Jay S. McClaugherty, Arcadia.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Lawrence Miller, M.D., pain management, Santa Monica.
Bennett Williamson, Ph.D., psychology, Los Angeles.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Marshall Grode, M.D., neurosurgery, Los Angeles.
Thomas Hedge, M.D., rehabilitation, Northridge.
Stephen L.G. Rothman, M.D., radiology, Los Angeles.
Lester M. Zackler, M.D., neuropsychiatry, Sherman Oaks.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Jan Roughan, R.N., life care planning, Monrovia.
Janice Wexler, vocational rehabilitation, Burbank.
David Fractor, Ph.D., economist, Pasadena.
Joseph Yates, accident reconstruction, Yorba Linda.
Robert Caldwell, accident reconstruction / human factors, Lafayette, CO.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Alessandor Anfuso, vocational rehabilitation, Diamond Bar.
Gregory W. Applegate, arborist, Tustin.
Stephen Michael Cook, general contractor, Canoga.
David F. Grimes, land surveyor, Los Angeles.
Stacey Helvin, life care planning, Anaheim.
Terence C. Honikman, Ph.D., accident reconstruction, Santa Barbara.
Paul Kayfetz, Ph.D., accident simulation, Bolinas.
Keith McKibben, motorcycle safety / accident reconstruction, Santa Ana.
David Royer, P.E., traffic safety, Santa Clarita.
Mark S. Sanders, Ph.D., human factors, Encino.
Karen Smith, M.S., economist, San Marino.

:
On July 13, 2009, Defendant Richard Tang (while operating a vehicle registered to Anna Tang) was traveling westbound on Vernon Avenue. Defendant was traveling in the number one lane, subsequently moving into the number two lane, and then turning right onto a driveway when plaintiff’s motorcycle collided with the rear passenger side panel and tire of defendants’ vehicle.

Plaintiff did not have motorcycle insurance and was limited to past and future medical expenses and loss of earnings.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Defendant Richard Tang was negligent in operating his motor vehicle by making an unsafe lane change directly into plaintiff’s lane of travel.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That he was not in the center lane, but in the curb lane and that plaintiff was negligent in the operation of his motorcycle by attempting to unsafely pass defendant’s vehicle in a move commonly known as “gutter sniping.”

Defendant also disputed the amount and nature of plaintiff’s future medical care and loss of earnings.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff suffered a complete spinal injury and is paraplegic.

Claimed – Past Medical: $99,880.15
Claimed – Future Medical: Disputed.
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $144,283.50
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: Disputed.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $999,999.00 on 12/21/2010 and $1,999,999.00 on 08/19/11.
Defendant §998 Offer: $100,000 on 12/10/10.

Unarmed robbery suspect shot by Culver City police. Minor children awarded $8.8 million. Los Angeles County.

An unarmed robbery suspect is shot by a Culver City police officer. Other officers on the scene did not perceive the suspect as a threat. $8.8 million awarded by Federal jury.

Case Name: Kandace Simplis, et al. v. Culver City Police Department, et al
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ CV 10-­‐9497-­‐MWF (MANx)
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, May 09, 2013
Type of Action: Civil Rights, Excessive Force, Police Shooting, Wrongful Death
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Michael Fitzgerald
Plaintiffs:
Kandace Simplis (mother of one of the decedent’s children), and four minor children of decedent
Defendants:
Culver City Police Department, Officer Luis Martinez
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $8,825,000
Non-Economic Damages:
$2,000,000 in past and future non-­economic damages for each of the four children.

$825,000 in survivorship damages for the decedent.
Jury Deliberation Time: 2.5 hours
Jury Polls: Unanimous in favor of Plaintiff.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP by Matthew McNicholas, Los Angeles
Law Offices of Dale Galipo by Dale Galipo, Woodland HIlls
Attorney for the Defendant:
Carpenter, Rothans & Dumont by Steven Rothans and Jill Williams, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Roger Clark, police procedures, Santee
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Clarence Chapman, police procedure, Santa Monica

:
On April 25, 2010, plaintiffs’ decedent, LeJoy Grissom, 27, was the passenger in a green Sebring vehicle stopped by Culver City Police for suspicion of armed robbery of an electronics store. Once out of the vehicle, he was shot and killed by police gunfire.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Plaintiffs alleged the deadly force was excessive and unnecessary. During the felony traffic stop, five separate officers were set up in positions of advantage with weapons drawn and trained on the vehicle’s occupants. Mr. Grissom was ordered to open the passenger door and exit, which he did. Once he was out of the vehicle, he was shot and killed with a single trigger‐pull of an MP5 submachine gun, which released a 3-round burst of bullets. The bullets struck center mass, killing Mr. Grissom.

The shooting officer, Luis Martinez, testified that the passenger exited the vehicle and faced away from the officers in a westerly direction for 20 – 30 seconds, then spun rapidly to his right to face officers, with his right hand cupped, dropping his right hand, and that something shiny and silver was in his hand. The shooter testified this “was the first immediate threat of death or serious injury,”and that is why he decided to shoot. The other four officers participating in the felony stop testified that the male passenger had immediately faced them in an easterly direction; his hands were up and palms open and flat, and that nothing was in his hands. They also testified that his hands lowered somewhat on one or two occasions, but that when he was ordered to put them back up, he complied. They also testified that they could see his hands and see they were empty. Further, they affirmatively testified the suspect never faced away for 20 – 30 seconds, did not have his right hand cupped, and that they never saw anything in his hand.

At the time of the shooting, 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday, Officer Martinez was at the end of a double shift that began the night before at 7:00 p.m., and had been awake for at least 18.5 hours. Further, in the 42 hours immediately before the shooting, Martinez had only slept for 8 total hours, having worked Friday night as well. Based on this testimony, plaintiffs argued that the “first immediate threat” of “facing away, then spinning rapidly to his right with something shiny and silver in his hand” never occurred, making the force unnecessary. None of the other officers fired shots. No gun was recovered at the scene. Nothing shiny or silver was recovered at the scene.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That Officer Martinez did not use excessive force.

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $800,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $300,000
Additional Notes
Plaintiffs’ attorney Dale Galipo told the Los Angeles Times that he had worried the jury would be swayed by Grissom’s criminal life and the danger the officers may have believed themselves to be in when they pulled him over. Galipo said that at the time of the stop, police were aware Grissom was suspected of committing a rash of armed robberies. Attorney McNicholas said it was later determined that Grissom did, in fact, rob the electronics store that day.

Case was filed on November 18, 2010 in state court – removed to federal court on December 10, 2010.

UM excess-limits carrier refuses to pay wrongful death, then interpleads policy limits. $451,112 bad-faith judgment. Los Angeles County.

Family sues for bad faith when insurer refuses uninsured motorist claim for wrongful death; insurer further claims that Medicare lien had to first be satisfied, and so interpleads disputed policy limits.

Case Name: Diane Murray, Howard Murray and Celia Murray v. United States Liability Insurance Company
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles County Superior Court, Central District / BC 453799
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, November 05, 2012
Type of Action: Insurance – Bad Faith, Claims Handling
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Debre K. Weintraub
Plaintiffs:
Diane Murray, Howard Murray and Celia Murray (adult children of decedent).
Defendants:
United States Liability Insurance Company
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $451,112: $150,000 verdict. $50,000 to each plaintiff, plus interest and attorney’s fees. Total recovery of $1,996,481 including disputed policy limits.
Trial Time: 26 days

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Grassini & Wrinkle by Lawrence P. Grassini and Roland Wrinkle, Woodland HIlls.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Hollins Law by Andrew S. Hollins and Kathleen Mary Kushi Carter, Irvine.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Stephen D. Prater, insurance, San Jose.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Barry Zalma, insurance, Encino.

:
The three adult plaintiffs (each in their 50s) were the children of Kathleen Murray, who was struck as a pedestrian by an uninsured motorist in May of 2009 and died a month later.

Plaintiffs made a claim for the uninsured motorist benefits
of $1,500,000, under their mother’s auto policy. The primary carrier eventually paid its $500,000 limits. The excess carrier, Defendant USLI, refused (or delayed in paying), claiming that, because excess UM policies are not subject to the Insurance Code,
that wrongful death damages were not covered and that the policy only covered the (substantial) medical and funeral expenses.

Defendant USLI also argued that it couldn’t pay the medical expenses because of a Medicare lien which plaintiffs
refused to resolve. Plaintiffs sued USLI for the benefits and for bad faith. USLI filed an interpleader action against the plaintiffs and Medicare, impleading the disputed policy limits. Medicare removed that action to federal court. The federal court eventually remanded the interpleader action back to the state court, where it and the bad faith action proceeded to trial.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
USLI unreasonably denied and then delayed payment of the UM benefits.
Defendant’s Contentions:
It was reasonable to question whether wrongful death benefits were covered under the policy given the controlling policy language. Moreover, USLI owed a direct duty to Medicare to protect Medicare’s interest and it would have been a violation of that duty to pay the benefits only to the plaintiffs.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Emotional distress.

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $99,999,999 per defense counsel.
Additional Notes
In addition to the verdict, plaintiffs settled with a third party in the wrongful death case for an undisclosed amount.

Trip and fall on drain in lawn at mobile home park. $311,899 awarded. San Diego County.

Self-employed plumber trips over uncovered drain in large lawn at mobile home park. Collar bone fracture and shoulder tear requiring surgery. No claim for lost earnings.

Case Name: Don Hemphill v. Wright Family LLC dba Roadrunner Club; et al.
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior Court / 37-2012-00054705-CU-PO-NC
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 25 June 2012
Type of Action: Premises Liability, Highlighted Verdicts
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert Dahlquist
Plaintiffs:
Don Hemphill, 53, self-employed plumber
Defendants:
Wright Family LLC; Roadrunner Club LP
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $311,899.67
Net Verdict: $311,899.67
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
Economic Damages:
Full past meds of $151,899.67

Full future meds of $20,000.

No past or future loss of earnings claimed.
Non-Economic Damages:
Past non-economic of $100,000.

Future non-economic of $40,000.
Punitive Damages:
Not applicable.
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 5 hours
Jury Polls: 12-0 negligence; 11-1 causation and damages
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff motions for attorney fees and costs of proof

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Kohn Law Office by Russell S. Kohn, Oceanside.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Brady, Vorwerck, Ryder & Caspino by Timothy X. Lane, Orange.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Jon Kelly, MD, orthopedics, San Diego.
Thomas Schweller, MD, neurology, San Diego.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Raymond Vance, MD, orthopedics, San Diego.
Michael Lobatz, MD, neurology, Encinitas.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Steven George, landscape contracting, San Diego.
Lawrence Lievense, medical billing, Camarillo.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Glenn Asakawa, landscape architecture, San Diego.
Agnes Grogan, medical billing, Long Beach.

:
Plaintiff, a 53-year-old self-employed plumber resided in defendant’s mobile home park in Borrego Springs. Plaintiff fell after he stepped into an uncovered drain hole in a huge common area lawn. The drain hole was hidden by grass that had grown over it. Several pieces of the drain fitting had been broken off.

Defendant’s employees mowed the lawn directly over the drain hole on large riding mowers at least twice a week for many months before the incident. Nobody knew what happened to the drain cover, or how the drain fitting became damaged.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Plaintiff claimed that defendant negligently maintained its property and created an unreasonably dangerous condition.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defense claimed it was not negligent because it had no notice of the uncovered drain hole before the incident. Defense also contested the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Fractured right clavicle (collarbone) and right shoulder labral tear resulting in frozen shoulder and need for future arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff also claimed a vestibular right inner ear injury causing balance problems.

Claimed – Past Medical: $151,899.67
Claimed – Future Medical: $20,000
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: Plaintiff waived his claim for past loss of earnings.
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: Plaintiff waived his claim for future loss of earnings.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: None.
Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $1,000,000 per plaintiff counsel. $1.2 million per defense counsel.
Defendant §998 Offer: None.
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $2,500
Defendant Offer during Trial: $150,000
Additional Notes
Plaintiff’s counsel attributes the low non-economic damage award to Judge Dahlquist’s preclusion of certain testimony from the plaintiff’s father and wife as to the effects of plaintiff’s injuries on his life as “cumulative”.

Plaintiff attorney also notes that “Judge Dahlquist gave a palpable vibe that he did not like plaintiff’s case” and that “the jury sensed it.”

Defendant attributes low non-economic damages to the impeachment of plaintiff who denied that he told a pain specialist less than a month after the accident that he had not had opiates for many months and wanted opiates. The pain specialist called plaintiff’s pharmacy and found out plaintiff had been given 60 Vicodin the day before and 60 Vicodin 10 days before. The pain specialist then refused to treat plaintiff. In addition, says defense counsel, the pain and suffering damages were low because plaintiff had a long history of previous injuries including two back surgeries, neck pain and prior hearing loss.

Defense counsel further notes that Judge Dahlquist was fair and impartial and did not show any favoritism; that he did not allow a single side bar conference.

Defense counsel says that, in closing argument, plaintiff’s counsel requested the jury to award plaintiff $1,236,899.

Tractor-trailer strikes bicyclists, killing one and injuring the other. $182,000 verdict for injured cyclist. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff and her boyfriend were bicycle riding and struck by a tractor trailer. Plaintiff’s boyfriend died. She suffered injuries and was awarded $182,000. Separate settlement for wrongful death. Los Angeles County.

Case Name: Montana Jones v. Robert Duane Zambrano and Ruan Transport Corporation
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court – Compton/ TC024756
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, September 07, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 23 September 2010
Type of Action: Vehicles – Tractor Trailers
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. William Barry
Plaintiffs:
Montana Jones, 16
Defendants:
Robert Duane Zambrano, truck driver
Ruan Transport Corporation, employer of Mr. Zambrano
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $182,466
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: The jury found negligence and causation as to Zambrano; negligence but no causation as to plaintiff.
Economic Damages:
Past medical: $29,466

Future medical: $30,000
Non-Economic Damages:
Past: $60,000

Future: $63,000
Trial Time: 10 days for second trial after mistrial in the sixth day of first trial.
Jury Polls: Negligence: 12-0; Causation: 11-1; Comparative negligence: 10-2; Causation: 12-0; Damages: 12-0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Stolpman, Krissman, Elber & Silver, LLP by Tom Stolpman, Long Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
McElfish Law Firm by Raymond McElfish, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
James London, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Pedro
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Charles Lane, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Beverly Hills
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Tim Reust, accident reconstruction, Valencia
Corinne Hickson, Ph.D., clinical psychology, Torrance

:
Plaintiff, age 16, was riding her bicycle eastbound with her boyfriend on the south sidewalk of Del Amo Boulevard in Dominguez Hills. They rode into the crosswalk to cross the street. Defendant Zambrano, operating a tractor trailer owned by his employer, Ruan Transport Corp., was making a right turn from southbound Susana Road to westbound Del Amo when he struck the bicyclists in the crosswalk, killing plaintiff’s boyfriend and injuring plainitff Montana, who was thrown from her bicycle into the intersection.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant stopped for the red signal for southbound traffic 5 feet past the limit line and therefore was not legally able to negotiate a right turn on red; that he did so without adequately checking for pedestrians or bicyclists on the sidewalk, thereby entitling plaintiff to be given a negligence per se instruction, which was given by the Court.

Although a Los Angeles County ordinance prohibits bicyclists from riding on the sidewalk, the California Supreme Court has held in dicta that the only class of persons sought to be protected by the ordinance are other pedestrians, and therefore no negligence per se instruction was appropriate. Since the bicyclists were on the sidewalk and in the crosswalk, signals for traffic on the roadway did not apply to them, and the pedestrian walk/don’t walk signals also did not apply to bicyclists. Although there were obstructions to the field of vision of the driver, the bicyclists were visible to him from his cab for more than 5 seconds before the impact with plaintiff’s bicycle.

That plaintiff was entitled to emotional distress she suffered as a result of the accident and from seeing her boyfriend killed. The Court ruled that she could recover only for emotional distress arising from her physical injuries.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That the driver came to a stop as required by law, and looked for oncoming traffic and at the sidewalk. His vision was obstructed by a fence, shrubs and a tree on the adjoining property. That plaintiff should not have been riding on the side of the street facing traffic; she had a red signal when she entered the crosswalk. That plaintiff’s claimed injuries and emotional distress were exaggerated.

That regarding the Los Angeles County ordinance, the dicta ruling did not say what the court believed it said. Therefore, the bicyclist could not comply with or be deemed to have violated any vehicle or traffic code because bicyclists were not supposed to be on the sidewalk to begin with. (That issue has been preserved for appeal.)

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff claimed permanent injuries to her right wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome), a shoulder impingement and to her neck. With medical and chiropractic treatment continuing through trial.

She will require surgery on the wrist and the shoulder in the future.

The defense expert, Charles, Lane, testified that Montana had minor soft tissue injuries which were resolved shortly after the collision.
Plaintiff continues to see a therapist to deal with nightmares and fears she has from her experience in the accident and will require life-long counseling.

Claimed – Past Medical: $29,466
Claimed – Future Medical: $300,000
Additional Notes
Plaintiff will seek attorneys fees based on denials of Requests for Admissions.

The defense will seek a new trial and/or Judgment NOV and attorneys fees incurred during a mistrial due to questions asked which were deemed by the Court (under the Long rule) to violate its order prelcuding any mention of the death of plaintiff’s boyfriend, Jakob Weathermon (whose parents settled before trial.)

Skateboarder in crosswalk runs into defendant’s SUV. Jury awards $41,800 net after contrib negligence. Orange County.

Skateboarder, 25, enters uncontrolled crosswalk and strikes SUV passing through the crosswalk. Jury’s gross award was 10 times defense offer, but jury placed 30% contributory negligence on plaintiff skateboarder.

Case Name: Darin Blue v. Joshua Schwab
Court and Case Number: : Orange County Superior Court/ 30-2011-00528875
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, December 21, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 12 December 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – vs. Pedestrian
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Luis Rodriguez
Plaintiffs:
Darin Blue, 25, marketing associate
Defendants:
Joshua Schwab
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $59,742
Net Verdict: $41,819 after reduction for contributory negligence.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 30% as to plaintiff; 70% as to defendant.
Non-Economic Damages:
$25,000
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours
Jury Polls: 12-0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie by Michael C. Bock, Newport Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
Maguire & Associates by Brian Fujita, Costa Mesa

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Daniel Levin, DDS, maxillofacial surgery, Huntington Beach
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Carl Cover, accident reconstruction, Colorado Springs, CO
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Gerald Bretting, accident reconstruction, El Segundo

:
On August 6, 2010, in Newport Beach plaintiff entered an uncontrolled crosswalk, riding his skateboard. Plaintiff struck the side of defendant’s SUV while using the marked crosswalk as defendant drove through the crosswalk.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Defendant failed to yield the right of way.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Plaintiff ran into side of vehicle and was himself entirely responsible for the accident, as he left a place of safety and entered into oncoming traffic.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Fractured cheekbone, broken teeth, assorted scrapes and bruises.
Veneers to be replaced every 7-10 years, follow-up monitoring work.

Claimed – Past Medical: $11,500
Claimed – Future Medical: $27,000

Defendant §998 Offer: $5,000

Relatives ordered to transfer home and pay $34,375 in elder abuse case. Ventura County.

Elderly mother’s home is purchased with her money but placed in daughter and son-in-law’s names; they delay or refuse transfer of home until the court orders transfer of deed nunc pro tunc and awards $34,375.

Case Name: Untalan v. Gutierrez
Court and Case Number: : Ventura County Superior Court/ 56-2011-00407089-CU-PO-VTA
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 01 November 2011
Type of Action: Elder Abuse
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Mark Borell
Plaintiffs:
June S. Untalan, 88
Defendants:
Charles C. Gutierrez
Marie U. Gutierrez
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $34,375 plus transfer of the house (about $500,000), plus attorney’s fees
Economic Damages:
$9,375, plus transfer of the house to the elder (worth about $500,000), plus attorney’s fees in an amount to be determined by the Court under EADACPA.
Non-Economic Damages:
$25,000
Trial Time: 8 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1.5 days
Jury Polls: 11-1 on most issues
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Anticipated Attorney’s Fee Motion; Stipulation to Enter Judgment against only Charles C. Gutierrez on Elder Abuse and Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Nettesheim & Nettesheim by Christoph T. Nettesheim and Christine M. Nettesheim, Ventura
Attorney for the Defendant:
Arnold LaRochelle Mathews VanConas and Zirbel, LLP by Dennis LaRochelle, Oxnard

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
None
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Todd Cuffaro, real estate finance, San Diego
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
None

:
At the time her husband died, the elderly plaintiff decided to move to California from her native Guam. In 1985, while she was wrapping up her husband’s estate in Guam, defendants (her son-in-law and eldest daughter) offered to help her buy a new home. Initially, they used at least some of their own money to make the down payment, and they took out the loan in their name, although plaintiff moved into the home.

Plaintiff sold her properties in Guam and from the proceeds gave defendants about $150,000 for the house. She repaid the down payment in 1992. She made all of the tax and insurance payments from 1985 to the present. Mortgage payments on the house were in dispute (see contentions below).

In 2008, defendants secretly put the house in their family trust, set up to benefit only defendants and defendants’ children, not plaintiff or her other children.

In October 2011, defendants served plaintiff with a notice to quit or pay rent in 3 days. No one ever claimed she was a renter, until that day. Plaintiff then filed suit.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That over the years, plaintiff asked to have the house put in her name, and was told by defendants that she could not because she allegedly would not qualify for a loan. According to expert testimony (the only expert), that was untrue, and from 1992 to the present she would have qualified for a loan and could have taken over the house and had it in her name.

That defendants knew (having experience buying and/or selling dozens of real properties around the country) plaintiff would have qualified for a loan years before 2011, and that they deceived her about that in order to keep the house in their name as a power play in the family or out of greed, or both.

That defendants owed her fiduciary obligations in that they held title to the property that was admittedly hers, and that they breached that duty by failing to act in her best interest and transfer the property to her when demanded.

That when in February 2011, plaintiff finally demanded that the house be put in her name, defendants promised they would, but delayed and deferred, giving numerous explanations for why they could not do it.

That in September and October 2011 plaintiff mailed the mortgage payments to defendants (evidenced by post office proofs of mailing), but defendants denied receiving them. One of the two payments was returned by the post office after three attempts at delivery of certified mail to defendants’ home. The other was delivered according to the post office’s confirmation of delivery procedure.

That defendants violated the elder abuse statute because they kept her property for a wrongful use. That their excuses for failing to return the property to her were just that, excuses designed to keep the property in their name until the plaintiff died. Excuses included: possible tax consequences to defendants, possible increases in property tax to plaintiff, her inability to qualify for a loan, and their claims that they paid (without any proof) the first year’s mortgage, tax and insurance payments, and their claim that they were never repaid the down payment, despite a 1992 entry in a check register showing payment. Plaintiff was alive at trial.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That defendants made the mortgage payments for the first year because it took plaintiff one year to sell some of her Guam property. (Defendants used their money to make another year of payments in 1989, but plaintiff paid them back for those advances.)

That they were just trying to help their mother buy the house in 1985; that they always acted in her best interest; that they believed that she would not qualify for a loan; that if they gave their mother the property back when demanded, they would have owed capital gains taxes; that they were owed about $20,000 plus interest from the first year’s mortgage and tax payments, and another $20,000 from the down payment.

That the only way to avoid capital gains taxes was to procure a court order correcting the name of the 1985 grantee by inserting plaintiff’s name rather than defendants’. Plus plaintiff needed to secure sufficient funds to pay off the mortgage of $115,000 since the loan was in defendants’ name. That they told plaintiff that the transfer would be made if plaintiff took over or paid off the mortgage loan that was in defendants’ name and if plaintiff would be responsible for any capital gains tax.

That it was defendant Marie Gutierrez’s siblings (plaintiff’s other children) who convinced plaintiff that defendants were trying to steal plaintiff’s house. Plaintiff then stopped communicating with the defendants. All communications were then conducted by the siblings who accused defendants of being liars and thieves. The siblings told plaintiff that she would never get the title in her name despite the defendants stating in writing on 2/17/11 that they had no right to the house and that the house belonged to plaintiff.

That defendants served plaintiff notice to quit or pay rent because plaintiff stopped paying the mortgage. After the notice to pay was served, plaintiff started to pay the mortgage again.

Plaintiff suffered economic damages in the form of increased interest payments (because defendants were not owner-occupiers, the two times they refinanced her home in 1998 and 2002, they ended up paying a higher interest rate). Those economic damages amount to $9,375.

Plaintiff also suffered emotional damages from being deprived of ownership rights to her home, and having the fear that she would not be able to control her home, sell it, put it in her will, etc.
Additional Notes
Per plaintiff’s counsel, although at the outset of trial, defendants claimed they were owed money from the down payment and the first year’s mortgage payments, etc., they gave that claim up by the time the parties rested. Similarly, while they had refused to transfer the house to plaintiff before or stipulate to an order transferring the house to her before trial, on the day of closing, they agreed to an order from the Court changing title to the house so that it would be in Mrs. Untalan’s name alone, effective 1985. The house is worth about $500,000.

Per defense counsel, defendants’ responsibility for the outstanding mortgage of $115,000 and their exposure to capital gains taxes ended with the equitable order that defendants sought and plaintiff finally agreed to on the eve of trial.

Per plaintiff’s counsel, at mediation, plaintiff offered to accept $100,000 plus the house, with plaintiff assuming responsibility for the mortgage ($115,000) and waiving attorney’s fees (at that time $140,000). At mediation, defendant offered to transfer the house and the mortgage responsibility, and demand waiver of fees, but no cash. During jury selection, plaintiff offered to let defendant keep the house (and the mortgage), and waive all other claims (including fees), in exchange for $500,000. Defendant did not counter.

Defendants claim that they succeeded in securing the court order they always sought, i.e., that title be transferred to plaintiff, nunc pro tunc, to 1985 and that plaintiff be responsible for paying off the current mortgage balance of $115,000. Per defense counsel, plaintiff would not agree until the eve of trial to such an order. At the outset of the litigation, plaintiff demanded that defendants be responsible for paying off the mortgage and accused defendants of misappropriation of funds, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and so forth. Plaintiff’s complaint asserted 13 causes of action, all of which were abandoned by plaintiff during trial except for elder abuse, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty. Plaintiff did not recover on the fraud count.

Record $28 million verdict for a single plaintiff against a religious organization. Alameda County.

Plaintiff was molested as a child by an adult from her church during door-to-door community visits. The written policy of The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society on secrecy regarding known abuse was at issue.

Case Name: Jane Doe v. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., et al
Court and Case Number: : Alameda County Superior Court HG11558324
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, June 14, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 28 January 2011
Type of Action: Sexual Abuse
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert McGuiness
Plaintiffs:
Jane Doe
Defendants:
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc.
The Fremont California Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, North Unit
Jonathan Kendrick
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $28,000,001
Net Verdict: $28,000,001
Award as to each Defendant:
$130,000 economic damages jointly to all defendants; $6,870,000 non-economic damages (60% to Kendrick; 27% to Watchtower; 13% to Congregation) $21,000,001 punitive damages against Watchtower only.
Economic Damages:
$130,000
Non-Economic Damages:
$6,870,000
Punitive Damages:
$21,000,001
Trial Time: 3 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 days
Jury Polls: 11-1 on negligence; 10-2 on malice; 10-2 on punitive damages
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Pending.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Furtado Jaspovice & Simons by Rick Simons and Kelly Kraetsch, Hayward
Attorney for the Defendant:
James McCabe, San Diego for Congregation
Jackson Lewis LLP by Robert Schnack, Sacramento for Watchtower
No appearance by Kendrick

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Lynn Ponton, UCSF, Psychiatry
Laura Fraser, LCSW, San Diego
Laura Walton, M. D., Kaiser-Downey
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
None
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Anna Salter, Ph. D., standard of care, Wisconsin
Carl Lewis, Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome, Half Moon Bay
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Monica Applewhite, Ph. D., standard of care, Texas

:
Jonathan Kendrick was reported to Watchtower New York and the North Fremont Congregation to have molested a 13-year -old girl in 1993. This information was kept secret from the Congregation members. Kendrick then repeatedly molested plaintiff, another Congregation member, between 1995 and 1996, when she was 9 and 10 years old.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Watchtower’s written 1989 national policy of keeping secret the identities of known child sex abusers within its Congregations allowed Kendrick to molest a second victim from within the same small Congregation, during “field service,” the door-to-door preaching that is done by Jehovah’s Witnesses. That this policy of secrecy was adopted by Watchtower to hide the existence of sexual abusers within its organization and to prevent lawsuits by child sex abuse victims who would not know that Watchtower had actual knowledge of prior sexual molestations by the same perpetrator.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That the policy of secrecy is not for the purpose of keeping abusers secret, and the molestation of another girl 2 years earlier had no relationship to the abuse of plaintiff. Defendants also disputed that Kendrick molested plaintiff during field service.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
2 years of serial, invasive sexual abuse at ages 9 and 10.
Lifetime PTSD, chronic; depression; a period of substance abuse between 2003 and 2010.

Claimed – Past Medical: 0
Claimed – Future Medical: $130,000 present cash value
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: 0
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: 0
Additional Notes
This is the largest verdict in a single victim child sex abuse/ religious organization case in the country.

Rear-end accident results in disputed injury, offer of $20K. $1.2 million awarded by jury. Los Angeles County.

Rear-end accident occurs when defendant suddenly pulls in front of plaintiff in order to make a left-hand turn. Plaintiff rear-ended defendant. Plaintiff delayed treatment, and defendant contested injuries, offering only $20,000. Jury awarded $1.2 million.

Case Name: Natalia North v. Francis Vogl
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles County Superior, West L.A./ SC 112792
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, December 14, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 27 May 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Auto vs. Auto
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Bobbi Tillmon
Plaintiffs:
Natalia North, 42, dog hiker
Defendants:
Francis Vogl
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $1,120,000
Economic Damages:
$72,000: past medical
$43,000: future medical
$50,000: past loss of earnings
$500,000: future loss of earnings
Non-Economic Damages:
$85,000: past
$370,000: future
Trial Time: 6 days.
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.
Jury Polls: 12 – 0 on cause; 11-1 and 10-2 on certain damages.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Girardi Keese by Shawn J. McCann, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Wade and Lowe by Victor Anderson and Geoffrey Hill, Irvine

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Jamshid Hekmat, M.D., orthopedics (shoulder), Encino
Tye Ouzounian, M.D., orthopedic surgery (foot), Tarzana
Steven Silvers, D.P.M., podiatatric surgery, Santa Monica
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Keith Liberman, M.D., orthopedics, Beverly Hills
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
John Brault, M.S., biomechanics, Mission Viejo
David King, forensic engineering & biomechanics, Laguna Hills
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Thomas Murtaugh, biomechanics, Los Angeles

:
On February 18, 2010, at approximately 9:45 a.m., on Pacific Coast Highway near its intersection with Coastline Drive in Malibu, plaintiff was traveling southbound in a 1995 Toyota Land Cruiser. The defendant was also traveling southbound in a rented Chevy Malibu. Defendant was traveling on plaintiff’s right, in the number two lane, when he changed lanes in front of plaintiff and attempted to make a left turn from the number one lane. Plaintiff then collided with the rear end of defendant’s vehicle.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant committed motor vehicle negligence by braking in front of plaintiff and making a left turn outside of the left turn pocket. Plaintiff’s expert opined the Delta-V was between 4 and 6.

That as a direct result of the collision, plaintiff suffered injuries including a labrum tear of her left shoulder and injury to her right-foot sesamoids as a result of the impact.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Initially, that plaintiff was liable for the accident because she rear-ended defendant; that she did not leave enough space between her vehicle and his.

Prior to trial, defendant admitted liability but contested the nature and extent of injury. Defendant claimed that the forces involved in the collision, which only caused scratches to plaintiff’s vehicle, were not sufficient to cause injury. Further, defendant contended that any injury plaintiff had was not caused by the collision because she went hiking immediately after the collision and again the next day.

Plaintiff also gave two recorded statements within a week of the collision stating that she was not injured. Additionally, there was also approximately a four-month delay in treatment of the sesamoid injury. Defendant claimed the likely cause of plaintiff’s injuries were her dog-hiking business and her work as a banquet server.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Tear of the superior labrum; facture/bipartite sesamoid injury; headaches; soft-tissue neck sprain.

Plaintiff first treated with a chiropractor eleven days after the accident for ongoing neck and back complaints. She then treated with an orthopedic doctor after her complaints did not resolve with chiropractic treatment.

Five months after the collision, plaintiff underwent an arthroscopic repair of the superior labrum. The surgery successfully resolved her shoulder complaints.

Approximately one year later, plaintiff underwent a right-tibial partial sesamoidectomy, right-fibular partial sesamoidectomy, right first-MTP-joint chondroplasty and microfracture of medial condyle and lateral condyle.

Plaintiff continued to have complaints regarding pain in her right foot and her doctors opined that she may require future surgeries.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $225,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $20,000
Additional Notes
Defendant’s insurer is American National Property and Casualty Companies. Policy limit was $250,000 plus a million-dollar umbrella.

Psych hospital nurse improperly assesses patient, who then attacks another patient. $5.9 million verdict. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff was admitted to defendant psychiatric hospital for depression. A violent patient was placed in the room with plaintiff. Plaintiff suffered head injuries after attack by the new patient.

Case Name: Andrew L. Gerard v. BHC Alhambra Hospital, Inc.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior/ SC110387
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Bobbi Tillmon
Plaintiffs:
Andrew L. Gerard, 48, college math assistant
Defendants:
BHC Alhambra Hospital, Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $5,990,769
Economic Damages:
$2,990,769
Non-Economic Damages:
$3,000,000
Trial Time: 10 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Bernard & Bernard by Stephen Bernard and Alena Klimianok , Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP by Louis Robert DeStefano , Los Angeles.
Wheeler, Trigg & O’Donnell, LLP by Kevin J. Kuhn, Kara J. Rosenthal, Denver, CO.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
David Rudnick, M.D., psychiatry, Santa Monica
Deborah Budding, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Manhattan Beach
Philip Cogen, M.D., Ph.D., psychiatry , Los Angeles
Nancy Henry, R.N., Ph.D., psychiatric nursing, Torrance
H. Ronald Fisk, M.D., neurology, Los Angeles
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Edwin C. Amos, III, M.D., neurology, Santa Monica
Daniel Auerbach, M.D., psychiatry, Encino
Kyle Boone, Ph.D., clinical neuropsychology, Torrance
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
David T. Fractor, Ph.D., economics, Pasadena
Karen Luckett, life care planning, Santa Barbara
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Ted Vavoulis, M.S., economics, Los Angeles
Stacey R. Helvin, life care planning, Yorba Linda

:
On July 30, 2010, plaintiff was admitted to a UCLA Hospital for evaluation and treatment for his depression and suicidal ideation. Shortly thereafter, plaintiff was placed on a 72-hour hold. Plaintiff was later transferred to defendant facility BHC Alhambra Hospital, Inc. for further care.

On July 29, 2010 at 5 p.m., Bobby Hurtado was brought by ambulance to the Providence Holy Cross Hospital emergency department (Providence) and admitted with diagnoses of self-inflicted stab wound to chest and acute psychosis. Hurtado had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Hurtado was placed in physical and chemical restraints. Hurtado’s Providence physician reported that, “the patient claims to be hearing voices, raising the specter of an acute psychosis.” While at Providence, Hurtado suddenly became agitated, jumped off the gurney, ripped out his IV catheter and ran into the hallway. It took several off-duty police officers to restrain him and place him back on the gurney. Hurtado was provided with a one-to-one sitter and an ICU-level admission along with Haldol and Ativan medications. He had been previously prescribed antipsychotic medication, but had not been taking any medication for several months.

On July 30, 2010, Hurtado was transferred to defendant facility BHC Alhambra Hospital for further psychiatric intervention and care. Daisy Lao, R.N., BHC’s charge nurse on staff the night of the incident, was responsible for assessing and evaluating patient risk assessment factors to ensure patients’ placement is appropriate for everyone’s safety. Lao designated Hurtado a low risk on the Assault/Violence risk scale based on her 30-minute interview with him during which she stated he appeared to be calm and cooperative. She did not base her evaluation on the recent history of Hurtado in the transferring hospital. The CEO of defendant BHC testified that a 30-minute “snapshot in time” interview as means of risk assessment for, among other things, assault/violence risk was a policy of BHC. Following Nurse Lao’s evaluation of both Mr. Hurtado and plaintiff, they were placed in the same room.

In the early morning hours of July 31, 2010, BHC staff found plaintiff (Gerard) lying on the floor, face down and bleeding from a head wound. Hurtado was standing over plaintiff. Plaintiff Gerard was assessed as having a loss of consciousness and being responsive only non-verbally. Based on the investigation that followed, plaintiff had offered to share some food with Hurtado, who struck plaintiff because, “he [Gerard] got in my face.”
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Nurse Lao was negligent in her risk-violence assessment of Hurtado in that she chose to ignore Hurtado’s recent history of behaviors at Providence Hospital, directly resulting in his placement in the same room with plaintiff.

Defendant’s Contentions:
That Lao and BHC’s conduct was within the standard of care, and that Hurtado’s conduct was a superseding cause.

Defendant contested the nature and extent of injury: that plaintiff did not suffer any cognitive function deficits, that all of the deficits and personality disorders were, at least in part, a result of his pre-existing psychiatric condition.

Further, that plaintiff will be able to get back to work both as a private math tutor and in a position of a math assistant at Santa Monica College or its equivalent without any further reduction in income by March 2013 after completing three to four months of recommended cognitive therapy.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
As a result of the assault, plaintiff sustained multiple skull and facial fractures and major intracranial damage. He was placed on life-support and spent 28 days at the USC Hospital, followed by a prolonged convalescence period.

Plaintiff was diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury manifesting in the extensive loss of brain matter and frontal lobe syndrome. Currently, plaintiff is having a multiplicity of problems in all aspects of his life, including but not limited to, severe personality and executive function deficits. His ability to control behavioral impulsivity and determine appropriateness of certainly behaviors has sharply diminished. He experiences headaches, dizziness, and is light sensitive.

Plaintiff claimed that he needs future medical care and home assistance for at least five hours a day, seven days a week.

Loss of future income: Plaintiff contended that he should be able to return to work as a private math tutor with 57 percent reduction in income. He will not, however, be able to regain like employment at Santa Monica College which he lost due to his injuries.

Claimed – Past Medical: $288,689
Claimed – Future Medical: $1,301,850
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $163,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $1,237,230

Defendant Offer during Trial: $1,200,000

Production worker fired for insubordination awarded $482,511. Los Angeles County.

57-year-old production worker is fired when he fails to clean out a storage trailer after being told to do so; he says that he was physically injured off-the-job and unable to perform the task.

Case Name: Kivman v. Worldwide Aeros, et al.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC483187
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, April 25, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 20 April 2012
Type of Action: Employment, Wrongful Termination
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Victor E. Chavez
Plaintiffs:
Arkady Kivman, 57, production technician
Defendants:
Worldwide Aeros Corp.; Aeros Aeronautical Systems Corp.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $482,511
Net Verdict: $482,511
Economic Damages:
$152,511
Non-Economic Damages:
$330,000
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Yadegar Minoofar & Soleymani LLP by Navid Yadegar and Navid Soleymani, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Russakow, Green & Tan by Mark Russakow, Pasadena

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Anthony Reading, Ph.D., clinical psychology, Beverly Hills
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Susan Bleecker, CPA, Pasadena
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Brian Kleiner, Ph. D, human resources, Los Angeles

:
Plaintiff was injured in 2007 and required disc-fusion surgery. He took a medical leave and returned to work in 2008 with restrictions. Plaintiff was injured again in 2010 with blood poisoning and an arthritis flare-up. He took a two week medical leave and returned to work with restrictions. Plaintiff was again injured in 2011 with a torn tendon in his shoulder. Shortly after his last injury, and before plaintiff had a chance to seek treatment, plaintiff’s boss asked him to clean out a forty-foot storage trailer. Plaintiff was unable to complete the task and was fired.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That he told his employer about the injuries in 2007 and 2010. He contended that defendants ignored his requests for accommodation. Plaintiff said that in 2011, when he was injured, he did not tell anyone because he thought he would get better. When his boss asked him to clean out the storage trailer, he told his boss that he had hurt himself and needed to see a doctor. His boss got mad and terminated him.

Plaintiff contended that he had received numerous bonuses, letters and raises further, that there were only two reprimands in his file, neither dealing with performance.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff did not inform them of his injuries in 2007 and 2010. That when, on his last day, they asked him to clean up, plaintiff refused and never told them about his injuries. Thus, they fired him for insubordination.

Defendants argued that plaintiff was performing poorly and that he had received many warnings. They further argued that they kept him around only as a charity because without the job he wouldn’t have money to support himself. That when he refused to clean the trailer, they eliminated his position and fired him.

Lost income and emotional distress.

Claimed – Past Medical: $4,392
Claimed – Future Medical: $13,780
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $80,505
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $53,834
Additional Notes
Defendants did not make any offers of settlement before or during trial.

Plaintiff sought policy limit for neck and head injuries. After offer of $70,000, jury awards $160,000. San Diego County.

Plaintiff was rear-ended on the freeway. The impact caused neck and head injuries that continue to affect plaintiff.

Case Name: Matthew Jensen v. Jonathan Coburn
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior Court – Vista/ 37-2011-0054633
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, December 06, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Auto vs. Auto
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Edward Mass, III
Plaintiffs:
Matthew Jensen, 28, graphic designer
Defendants:
Jonathan Coburn
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $160,000 General Verdict
Trial Time: 4 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2.5 hours
Jury Polls: 10-2. Per plaintff counsel, the other 2 jurors wanted to award $220,000 and $275,000.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
BISNAR | CHASE by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
Cassidy | Warner & Associates by Kent Warner, Redlands

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Arlen Green, D.O., pain management, Santa Ana
Martin Backman, M.D., neurology, Santa Ana
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Stephen Rothman, M.D., radiology, Los Angeles
Richard Greenfield, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego

:
On June 20, 2009 plaintiff’s disabled vehicle was parked on the emergency shoulder of I-5 southbound near San Onofre when it was rear-ended by the defendant. Liability was not disputed.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the crash caused plaintiff to sustain a 3-4mm cervical disc bulge and scalp laceration and concussion with residual headaches and neck complaints.

Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries and that plaintiff only treated with a chiropractor until came near trial when plaintiff saw a neurologist and treated for pain management.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Neck symptoms due to a 3-4mm disc bulger at C6-7 and residual headaches from his concussion. Plaintiff will require future treatment including epidural injections for ongoing neck pain and occipital blocks for headaches.

Claimed – Past Medical: $47,000
Claimed – Future Medical: $51,000

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $100,000 (insurance policy limit)
Defendant §998 Offer: $70,000
Additional Notes
Excess verdict against Allstate insurance as the policy was $100,000. BISNAR | CHASE took over from another law firm and had for 3 months before trial

Plaintiff gives away a horse that becomes a champion, then wants it back. Defense. Los Angeles County.

A case of horse sense? Plaintiff gave away a barrel horse that she couldn’t care for. A professional barrel horse rider later bought it and the horse became a champion. Plaintiff then wanted her horse back or payment for the horse. Defense.

Case Name: Tammy Lowe v. John Growney, David Murdoch and Christy Colgate
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court / BC466901
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, May 13, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 08 August 2011
Type of Action: Breach of Contract
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Mary Ann Murphy
Plaintiffs:
Tammy Lowe
Defendants:
John Growney, David Murdoch and Christy Colgate
Type of Result: Bench Verdict

Gross Verdict: Defense Verdict
Trial Time: 4 days

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Laura Akers, Esq., Rancho Santa Fe
Attorney for the Defendant:
Madrid Law Firm, PLC by Eduardo M. Madrid and Erica L. Madrid, Chino

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Lance Graves, Equine Expert, Hartshorne, Oklahoma
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Sharon Camarillo, Equine Expert, Lockeford

:
Plaintiff gave a rodeo barrel horse to defendant Growney, a stock contractor, because the horse had a propensity to buck and was deemed dangerous. Defendant Growney gave the horse away to defendant Murdoch who sold the horse to defendant Colgate, a professional rodeo barrel racer.

When plaintiff saw defendant Colgate competing and winning on the horse, she filed suit to get the horse back. In the interim, plaintiff posted on Facebook that 3 defendants had “hijacked” & “embezzled” her horse.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That she entered into a second of two “lease for feed” agreements with Defendant Growney, whereby Growney was to use the horse and maintain it for a period of time.That she had previously entered into a similar agreement with Growney, who had returned another horse to her at the expiration of the agreement. That she entered into the second agreement because she had suffered several personal tragedies that prevented her from caring adequately for the horse, and she thought Growney would take good care of it.

Plaintiff’s expert testified that the value of the horse was between $80,000.00 and $120,000.

Plaintiff always retained registration papers showing ownership to the horse.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant Growney contended horse had been given to him to find a new home for it because of its propensity to buck. Defendant Growney gave it away to one of his cowboys, defendant David Murdoch.

Defendant David Murdoch sold the horse for $5,000 to his then-girl friend and professional barrel racer, Chirsty Colgate. Defendant Christy Colgate contended that she was a bona fide purchaser. She bought the horse from defendant Murdoch who she believed had a right to sell the horse to her.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff claimed that she lost the value of her horse. Plaintiff claimed that the horse was worth $120,000 and with interest and loss of income, she was claimed damages of $170,000.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $160,000 (per defense counsel). Per plaintiff’s counsel: $20,000 to Defendant Colgate; $10,000 to Defendant Murdoch; $45,000 to Defendant Growney.
Defendant §998 Offer: Mutual dismissals with each side to bear their own attorneys’ fees and costs.
Additional Notes
Defendant Colgate filed a Cross-Complaint for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. However, before final argument, defendant/cross-complainant Colgate told her counsel not to ask for monetary damages and she wanted nothing from the plaintiff.

Defense counsel nevertheless asked for $1.00 in damages, which was awarded by the Court. The Court found in favor of defendant/cross-complainant against the plaintiff.

Out-patient gynecological surgery results in death of 40-year-old. Defense. Fresno County.

Woman is discharged home after surgeon punctures left internal iliac artery; bleeds to death. Surgeon settles out; defendant anesthesiologist says there were no signs of a problem when he discharged her.

Case Name: Thomas Caruso v. Hoa V. Pham, M.D., Community Regional Medical Center
Court and Case Number: : Fresno Superior Court / 12CECG01086
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 03 April 2012
Type of Action: Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death, Highlighted Verdicts
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Jeffrey Y. Hamilton
Plaintiffs:
Thomas Caruso, spouse of decedent patient, Nicole Caruso.
Defendants:
Hoa V. Pham, M.D, anesthesiologist
Clovis Community Medical Center
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: None. Defense Verdict.
Trial Time: 12 days.
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours.
Jury Polls: 12 – 0 for defendant, Hoa V. Pham, M.D.; 11-1 for defendant Community Regional Medical Center.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Davis & Winston by Joseph A. Davis, Beverly HIlls.
Attorney for the Defendant:
McCormick, Barstow, Sheppard, Wayte & Carruth LLP by Michael F. Ball, Fresno (for Hoa V. Pham, M.D.).
Baker, Manock & Jensen by William M. White, Fresno (for Community Regional Medical Center).

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Marlyn Cheng, M.D., anesthesiology, Los Angeles.
Felice L. Gersh, M.D., gynecology, Irvine.
Timothy P. Luckett, BS, RN, Rancho Cucamonga.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Don F. Mills, M.D., anesthesiology, Newport Beach.
Donna Shoupe, M.D., gynecology, Los Angeles.
Rita Kae Restrepo, RN, Alameda.
Christopher Swalwell, M.D., pathology, San Diego.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Joseph J. Penbera, Ph.D., economist, Fresno.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Karl Erik Volk, economist, Walnut Creek.

:
Plaintiff, Thomas Caruso, claimed that Clovis Community Medical Center and Anesthesiologist, Hoa V. Pham, M.D., were negligent in the care and treatment of his wife, Nicole Caruso, age 40, after laparoscopic gynecologic surgery which led to her death. The operating OB-GYN surgeon, Howard Michael Synn, M.D., punctured the patient’s left internal iliac artery. The defendants were unaware of the injury, and with no signs or symptoms of any post-operative problems, they discharged the plaintiff’s wife to home that same day. The following morning, she went into hypovolemic shock due to internal bleeding and died. The surgeon settled with the plaintiff before trial.

Plaintiff asked the jury for $450,000 in general (non-economic) damages and $2.5 million in special damages for loss of income and household services.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Plaintiff alleged that Dr. Pham was negligent in his post-operative care of the decedent with regard to the pain medications prescribed and in his discharge of her from the PACU to the level- two step-down unit (also called the short stay surgery area) before her final discharge to home.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendants denied liability. That when Dr. Pham discharged decedent to the step-down unit there were no signs or symptoms contrary to her being stable.

Loss of income and household services.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: Separate $1 million 998 demands to Dr. Pham and to the hospital, reduced later to $475,000 each.
Defendant §998 Offer: None.

Motorcycle struck by pickup; course and scope of employment at issue; $11.9 million. Contra Costa County.

Motorcyclist, 35, is struck by defendant company’s pickup, but defendant says driver was retired and not in course and scope of employment. Catastrophic head and spine injuries. $11.9 million verdict.

Case Name: Sean Choy v Mori Hatsushi and Associates Inc., Masaru Hatsushi, Mori Hatsushi and Tomiko Hatsushi and M. Hatsushi Landscaping
Court and Case Number: : Contra Costa Superior Court/ CIVMSC07-02532
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, December 10, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 28 November 2007
Type of Action: Negligence, Vehicles – Motorcycle
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Steven Austin
Plaintiffs:
Sean Choy
Defendants:
Mori Hatsushi and Associates Inc.
M. Hatsushi Landscaping
Masaru Hatsushi
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $11,900,672
Award as to each Defendant:
Award was against all defendants jointly.
Economic Damages:
$2,900,671
Non-Economic Damages:
$9,000,000
Trial Time: 15 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 6 days
Jury Polls: 10-1- (1 abstained) on Negligence and Substantial Factor; 12-0 on Employment.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Kirby, Kirby and Kirby by Steven C. Kirby and Aimee E. Kirby, Redondo Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
Hughes & Company by Ralph Hughes, Pleasanton (for Mori and Tomiko Hatsushi)

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Jeremo Barakos, M.D., neuroradiology, San Francisco
Brian Mcguiness, M.D., trauma surgery, Walnut Creek
Ramin A. Behmand, M.D., plastic surgery, Walnut Creek
Ralph Kiernan, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Redwood City
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
None.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Larry Neuman, accident reconstruction, Loomis
Patrick Mason, economics
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Mike Olivera, accident reconstruction, Danville

:
Sean Choy, 35, was riding his motorcycle to his construction job on Nov, 7, 2007, when he was broadsided on Pacheco Boulevard at South Buchanan Circle in Pacheco by a Mori Hatsushi & Associates pickup truck driven by employee Masaru Hatsushi.

Hatsushi, who died before the trial started, was the 72-year-old uncle of the firm’s owners, Mori and Tomiko Hatsushi.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Masaru Hatsushi was in the course and scope of his employment with Mori Hatsushi and Associates on day of the accident and was carrying corporate-owned equipment to a job site, Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek, at the direction of Mori Hatsushi, the President of Mori Hatsushi and Associates Inc.

That Masaru Hatsushi was an employee of the company who had been removed from its insurance policy because of his poor driving record.

That there was no documentation to support the claim that he had retired the week before the accident.

Defendant’s Contentions:
That Masaru Hatsushi was not working for Mori Hatsushi and Associates and that as corporate officers they were not personally liable for negligent retention and ratification.

That the landscaping firm was not liable for Choy’s injuries because Masaru Hatsushi had retired from the company a week before the accident and was in the process of returning equipment when he struck Choy.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff was in a coma for six weeks after the collision. He suffered brain damage, facial and spinal fractures and a punctured lung. He lost his spleen and his left arm was paralyzed.

Complete loss of use of left arm, brain damage, loss of spleen, fractures of spine and right arm, massive fractures of facial bones.

Inability to work and play like a normal human being. Anger issues related to brain damages, emotional distress from injuries.

Claimed – Past Medical: $463,671
Claimed – Future Medical: $1,000,000
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $145,117
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $604,558

LAPD officer uses excessive force on disabled man in search for robbery suspect. $1.68 million verdict. Los Angeles County.

LAPD officers enter home searching for robbery suspect; suspect’s father, disabled by a stroke, is manhandled and injured.

Case Name: Harris v. Alex Tellez, City of Los Angeles
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC451880
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, November 08, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 23 December 2010
Type of Action: Excessive Force
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Charles Palmer
Plaintiffs:
Allen Harris, 53
Defendants:
City of Los Angeles
Alex Tellez
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $1,686,000.00
Economic Damages:
Past: $63,000

Future: $33,000

Non-Economic Damages:
Past: $750,000

Future: $750,000
Punitive Damages:
$90,000 against Defendant Tellez only.
Trial Time: 15 days.
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day.
Jury Polls: 12-0 on Battery; 10-2 on Civil Rights; 12-0 on damages; 9-3 on punitive damages.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris Hoffman & Harrison by V. James DeSimone, Venice.
The Luti Law Firm by Tony Luti, Hollywood.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Office of the City Attorney by Surekha Pessis, Los Angeles.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Kenneth Sabbag, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Pasadena.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
William Stetson, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Burbank.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Roger Clark, Lieutenant, Sheriff’s Dept., Los Angeles.

:
On November 10, 2009, LAPD officers were serving a valid search warrant at plaintiff’s residence.The search warrant was based on the mistaken belief that Mr. Harris’s son was involved in a robbery. While in plaintiff’s home, defendant officer Tellez forced plaintiff’s semi-paralyzed arm behind his back.
Plaintiff had suffered a stroke in June of 2009, resulting in semi-paralysis of his left side.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Officer Tellez forced the injured arm behind plaintiff’s back, clamped the handcuff on his left wrist so tight as to cause nerve damage, slammed him into a wall and refused to loosen the handcuff on his left wrist, despite plaintiff’s plea of pain.

Mr. Harris testified during the trial that he was about to take a shower so he did not have his leg brace on which assisted him when he walked, when he heard a loud banging at the front door. He further testified that as he exited his bedroom, he was confronted with an officer pointing a shotgun at him, yelling commands to “put your hands behind your back turn around and walk backwards towards my voice.” Mr. Harris promptly raised his right hand and explained that, “I can’t put my hand behind my back, I had a stroke, and I can’t walk backwards.”

Plaintiff testified that as the commands were repeated, plaintiff’s two sons, who were also present at the apartment, also yelled to the officers, “He can’t put his hands behind his back, he’s disabled, and he had a stroke.” Plaintiff testified that he was nonetheless aggressively dragged out of his apartment and that Officer Tellez grabbed his injured left arm, twisting his wrist, and forcing his spasming, semi-paralyzed left arm behind his back.

A neighbor who testified at trial, observed that while this was occurring, Mr. Harris was imploring “I can’t put my hand behind my back, you’re hurting me.”

The evidence at trial demonstrated that Officer Tellez ignored all the information given and after forcing plaintiff’s arm behind his back, slammed him against a stucco wall and single-cuffed him, clamping the cuffs down in an improper and excessively tight manner. Mr. Harris complained that the cuffs were too tight and hurting him. Finally, about 10 minutes later, another set of cuffs were put on plaintiff, however, the left cuff, which was cutting into his wrist, was never loosened. After the handcuffs were removed, plaintiff continued to complain about the pain and swelling of his wrist, but his complaints were ignored.

Defendant’s Contentions:
That defendant Tellez did not touch or handcuff plaintiff. That plaintiff was not injured in this incident. That officers had the right to handcuff him in connection with the service of search warrant.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff suffered a reopening of a clavicle fracture he had suffered in September of 2009 when he was mugged as well as permanent nerve damage in his wrist. Medical doctors testified at trial that the handcuffing of Mr. Harris caused him to suffer nerve damage. Plaintiff testified that he suffered burning pain in his clavicle which did not heal for six months, as well as wrist pain and a loss of movement in his wrist resulting from the nerve damage caused by the handcuffs.

Claimed – Past Medical: $27,000.00
Claimed – Future Medical: $17,500.00
Additional Notes
The Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded $1,596,000 in compensatory damages for medical bills, physical pain, and mental and emotional harm. On November 8, 2012, the jury awarded $90,000.00 in punitive damages against Defendant Officer Alex Tellez.

The jury also found the officer battered Mr. Harris, and that he acted with malice and oppression for his harmful conduct. The jury verdict on the civil rights claim provides for an award of attorney’s fees under the California Civil Code Section 52.1.

Post Trial Motions: Plaintiff will file a Motion for Attorneys Fees pursuant to Civil Code Section 52.1

LAPD officer shoots 13-year-old boy playing with pellet gun after dark. $19.2 million net award. Los Angeles County.

13-year-old boy with pellet gun is shot by LAPD officer on street after dark. Circumstances of shooting are disputed. Quadriplegia. $19.2 million net after contributory negligence.

Case Name: Rohayent Gomez Eriza v. City of Los Angeles and Victor Abarca
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles County Superior Court, Central/ BC453870
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, December 14, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Sunday, 02 January 2011
Type of Action: Civil Rights, Police Shooting
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Joseph Kalin
Plaintiffs:
Rohayent Gomez Eriza, 13
Defendants:
City of Los Angeles and Victor Abarca (police officer).
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $24,000,000
Net Verdict: $19,200,000 after contributory negligence.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: The jury found 5% fault on the part of plaintiff and 15% fault on the part of his mother.
Economic Damages:
$14,000,000 – future medical and lost wages.
Non-Economic Damages:
$10,000,000.
Punitive Damages:
Punitive damages trial against the shooting police officer is scheduled for January 14, 2013.
Trial Time: 3 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 3.5 hours per plaintiff’s counsel; 1 day per defense counsel.
Jury Polls: 9-3 on unreasonable force; 9-3 on negligence.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Gregory W. Moreno & Associates by Arnoldo Casillas and Christopher Moreno, Montebello
Attorney for the Defendant:
Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Eliezer Nussbaum, M.D., pulmonology, Long Beach
Kimberly K. Bedell, M.D., rehabilitation, Long Beach
Toni Guajardo-Gonzalez PhD., psychology, Pasadena
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Suzi Kim, M.D., rehabilitation, Long Beach
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
John Gardiner, Ph.D. P.E., biomechanics, Laguna Hills
Liz Holakawicz, life care planning, Carlsbad
Timothy Lanning, economics, Santa Ana
Roger Clark, police practices, Santee
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Harry Anderson Markel (in-house, LAPD), police practices

:
On the evening of December 16, 2010 at 7:30pm plaintiff Rohayent Gomez, a 13-year-old Hispanic boy standing 5’7″ and weighing 209 pounds, was playing cops-and-robbers in front of his home with two friends of the same age. He lived in the Glassel Park section of Los Angeles, an area known for gang and criminal activity. The three boys were shooting Airsoft pellet guns at each other from opposite sides of the street. The Airsoft guns are realistic-looking pellet guns with brightly colored tips.

When plaintiff stepped into street from behind a van, he was shot by defendant officer Abarca. (The circumstances leading to the shooting were related differently by plaintiff and defense. See contentions.)

The officers were on routine patrol and were not responding to any criminal activity in the area of the shooting.

The bullet hit plaintiff in the upper left shoulder and traveled toward his spinal column. The bullet struck his spine and shattered the vertebrae in his upper chest (T3/T4), pulverizing his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed from the upper chest down.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That police used excessive and deadly force.

That as plaintiff paused on the sidewalk to put more pellets in his Airsoft, he stood behind a van. That he heard someone call out to him and stepped out from behind the van and was shot immediately.

That plaintiff did not know the police had arrived. He did not learn that he had been shot by the police until he regained consciousness as he was being handcuffed.

At trial, counsel for plaintiff presented the testimony of a biomechanical engineer who contradicted the officer’s version of the shooting. The engineer showed that the bullet’s trajectory
did not match the officer’s account, which was that he and plaintiff were standing in front of each other and that plaintiff’s right shoulder was slightly forward as the officer shot. The physical evidence indicated that plaintiff’s left shoulder was forward, that the trajectory of the bullet was left to right and downward, and that plaintiff had to be standing about three feet to the officer’s left. This put plaintiff directly at the corner of the van, where plaintiff testified he’d stepped out from before he was shot. Plaintiff’s version of the shooting was corroborated by the physical evidence.

Eye witnesses also contradicted the officers’ account of the shooting. One eyewitness confirmed that the officers exited their patrol car and drew their firearms immediately. Both officers
denied doing this. Defendant Abarca, the shooter, admitted that if they had done this, they would have been in violation of the LAPD’s policy against premature drawing and displaying of
weapons. The same eyewitness also contradicted the shooter as to the use of a flashlight…confirming that no flashlight was used by the officer. Two eyewitnesses confirmed that the officer only gave one command “Don’t [expletive] move!” and then fired his gun.

Defendant’s Contentions:
That the three individuals seen by the officers initially ran when they saw the police approaching. That the three were ordered to come out where they could be seen and to show their hands. That the plaintiff remained behind a van despite multiple commands from police to show his hands and walk out from behind the vehicle.

That although the plaintiff’s gun had a brightly-colored tip to indicate that it was a replica, darkness and the almost identical color of the plaintiff’s clothing and the gun’s tip made it impossible for the colored tip to be seen by the officers.

That when the plaintiff finally did emerge from behind the van, he did so with the replica gun initially concealed in his sweatshirt pocket. He then revealed the gun. Fearing for his life, the police officer fired a single shot that struck the plaintiff in the chest, paralyzing him. Defendant officer contended that he and plaintiff were standing, facing each other and that plaintiff’s right shoulder was forward when the officer fired.

Defendants said that approximately a year after plaintiff was shot, officers responding to a domestic dispute at plaintiff’s home spoke with plaintiff. Plaintiff told them that, on the night of the incident, he was scared and had run from the police.

As to contributory negligence, defendants called the Airsoft gun store owner who testified that his store does not sell to people under 18, and that his store advises its customers that Airsoft guns cannot be used in public places. He further testified that all patrons are given a list of facilities where Airsoft guns can be used.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Gunshot wound; lung puncture, lobectomy; severed spine; paraplegia; physical therapy; scar and disfigurement.

After the shooting, plaintiff was taken by ambulance to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. Doctors determined that plaintiff sustained a single shot to his upper left shoulder and
through his left clavicle that punctured the top part of his left lung which then tore through the T-3 and T-4 vertebrae and severed his spinal cord. Plaintiff was in the hospital for three weeks during which he was intubated and underwent a lobectomy to remove the upper left lobe in his lung. Plaintiff was left paralyzed from the chest down by the injury. After he was discharged from the hospital, plaintiff spent three months in a rehabilitation center.

The plaintiff’s medical experts testified that he is permanently paralyzed and will remain in a wheelchair the rest of his life. Plaintiff continues to have respiratory problems caused by his
lung intubation period in the hospital. Plaintiff sustained scarring in his bronchial tubes that makes it difficult for him to clear fluids from his chest. Plaintiff will need ongoing respiratory monitoring.

The defense did not dispute the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries.
Additional Notes
Per plaintiff’s counsel there was a settlement demand for $5,000,000 and no offer from defense.

Per defense counsel, plaintiff did not make any settlement demands at any point in time and defendants did not make any offers.

Laborer doing electrical work is electrocuted on job site. $14.3 million awarded. Fresno County.

A laborer instructed to work on a door bell is electrocuted on job site; no workers’ comp coverage. Developer/contractor is held liable.

Case Name: Consuelo Martinez, individually and as Successor In Interest to Francisco Martinez Moreno; Trinidad Moreno; and Sophia Martinez, a minor, by and through her Guardian Ad Litem Consuelo Martinez v. Herndon Partners, LLC, Amador Electric, Does 1-100
Court and Case Number: : Fresno Superior Court / 10 CE CG 03837
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, May 30, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 29 October 2010
Type of Action: Construction Site Accident, Premises Liability, Wrongful Death
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Mark W. Snauffer
Plaintiffs:
Consuelo Martinez, wife of decedent, 32
Sophia Martinez, daughter, 4
Trinidad Moreno, mother, 47
Defendants:
Herndon Partners, LLC
Amador Electric
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $14,327,859.
Net Verdict: $14,327,859
Award as to each Defendant:
100% responsibility on Herndon Partners, LLC. Defense verdict for Amador Electric.
Economic Damages:
Economic Losses: $3,303,855
Non-Economic Damages:
Non-economic losses: $10,000,000
Trial Time: 28 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours

Attorney for the Plantiff:
The Veen Firm, PC by Craig M. Peters and S. Anoush Lancaster, San Francisco.
Attorney for the Defendant:
LeClairRyan, LLP by Charles H. Horn, San Francisco.
Wood Smith Henning & Berman, LLP by Charles A. Leath, Fresno.
Petrie, Dorfmeier & Morris, LLP by J. David, Fresno.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Gerald Fulghum, C.S.P., safety engineering, Sacramento.
Thomas Yankowski, M.S., C.V.E., vocational rehabilitation, Oakland.
Alan L. Nelson, M.S., C.V.E. , vocational rehabilitation, Oakland.
Robert W. Johnson, MBA, forensic economist, Los Altos.
John Nicholas, electrical expert, Henderson, NV.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
James E. Flynn, engineering, Fresno (for Defendant Amador Electric).
Wesley W. Walter, electrical engineering, Fresno (for Defendant Amador Electric).
AI Tichenor, engineering, Fresno (for Defendant Amador Electric).
Douglas Douty, electrical contracting, Fresno (for Defendant Amador Electric).
Nora C. Ostofe, economist (for Defendant Herndon Partners).
Kerry Wolf, general contracting, Clovis (for Defendant Herndon Partners).
Mark Loose, engineering, Menlo Park (for Defendant Herndon Partners).
John Bobis, safety engineering, Rancho Murieta (for Defendant Herndon Partners).

:
Mr. Martinez, age 28, was electrocuted underneath a Malibu home that was being fully renovated when he was instructed to perform electrical work on a doorbell. Despite being hired to perform basic clean-up of the job site, testimony revealed that Mr. Martinez and his co-workers were required to perform dangerous tasks outside of their scope of employment including welding, roofing and electrical work without safety training, safety equipment or competent supervision.

Mr. Martinez died from his injury. It occurred one day prior to the completion of the project, one day before he was scheduled to return to his family in Fresno.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Plaintiffs proceeded to trial on a variety of negligence theories including uninsured employer and negligent exercise of retained control.

Testimony established that Herndon Partners, LLC controlled and directed work at the project, including knowingly assigning skilled work to the untrained and unsupervised laborers on the project.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Herndon Partners contended that it had hired a construction company, solely owned by Herndon Partners’ sole owner, to act as general contractor on the project and was therefore shielded from liability.

(Plaintiff attorney notes that there was little documentary evidence to support this claim.)

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Death by electrocution.
Economic losses, past and future earning. Loss of father, son, husband. Loss of household support.

Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $142,899
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $2,000,000

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $3,300,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $500,000
Additional Notes
Judgment entered on June 12, 2013 adding $990,270.31 in 998 interest.

The jury’s findings of fact: Herndon Partners was acting as the owner/builder on the project, was decedent’s employer (while lacking workers’ compensation insurance), and retained control over safety.

The jury compensated The Martinez Family with over $13 million. The Fresno Superior Court entered judgment awarding $13,337,589 in damages and, in holding with the recent Martinez v. Brownco Construction Co. Inc. Supreme Court Ruling, $990,270.31 in 998 pre-judgment interest. This judgment brought the verdict to $14.3 million: Plaintiff attorney notes that this is the largest wrongful death verdict in Fresno for the last decade.

Jury verdict of $3.5 million for parents of 18-year-old bicyclist killed by tractor-trailer. Los Angeles County.

Tractor-trailer hits 18-year-old on bicycle, killing her.

Case Name: Juan Medina and Ramona Medina v. Pile Trucking, Inc., Earl Pile Trucking, and Alvin Flynn
Court and Case Number: : U.S.D.C., Western District / 11-CV-06329 PJW
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, November 02, 2012
Type of Action: Bicycle Accident, Vehicles – Intersection, Vehicles – Right Turn, Vehicles – Tractor Trailers, Wrongful Death
Judge or Arbitrator(s): District Court Judge Patrick J. Walsh and Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi
Plaintiffs:
Juan Medina and Ramona Medina, parents of 18-year-old decedent, Sophia Medina.
Defendants:
Pile Trucking, Inc., Earl Pile Trucking, and Alvin Flynn (driver of truck for Pile Trucking).

Gross Verdict: $3,947,577.48 (verdict of $3,500,000.00 plus $347,577.48 in costs and pre-judgment interest)
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 75% to Defendant Flynn and 25% to Decedent Sophia Medina.
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendants’ motion for a new trial was denied by the Court. Plaintiff was awarded an additional $347,577.48 in costs and pre-judgment interest.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
The Homampour Law Firm by Arash Homampour, Sherman Oaks.
Law Offices of Michael J. Rand by Michael J. Rand, Encino.
Law Offices of Z. Dean Hakkak by Z. Dean Hakkak, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Maranga Morgenstern by Robert A. Morgenstern, Woodland Hills.
Yoka & Smith by Christopher Faenza, Woodland Hills.
Snyder Law by Gregory M. Smith and Barry C. Snyder, Santa Barbara.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
David King, P.E., accident reconstruction, Laguna Hills.
V. Paul Herbert, C.P.S.A., motor vehicle safety and compliance, Quincy.
Jason A. Droll, Ph.D., human factors, Laguna Hills.
John Kennedy Howard, bicycling standards, Encinitas.
Jim McCarthy, CCE, forensic cellular examination, Ladera Ranch.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Gerald P. Bretting, P.E., accident reconstruction, El Segundo.
Michael A. Callahan, BSME, accident simulation, El Segundo.
John R. Clingerman, CFCE, forensic cellular examination, Rochester, NY.

:
On July 6, 2009, Decedent Sophia Medina, age 18, was riding her bicycle northbound on the sidewalk on the east side of Goodrich Boulevard in the City of Commerce. As she approached the intersection of Goodrich and Olympic Boulevard, Defendant Flynn was driving his tractor-trailer (in the course and scope of his employment for Pile Trucking, Inc.) northbound on Goodrich Boulevard and parallel to (or to the left of) Sophia.

Defendant Flynn made a right turn onto Eastbound Olympic and ran over Sophia who had entered the crosswalk on her bicycle either on a flashing pedestrian signal or a red light.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Defendant Alvin Flynn was negligent in making his turn too fast and he should have seen Sophia Medina riding her bike prior to reaching the intersection and starting his turn.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Decedent Sophia Medina was negligent in entering the crosswalk against a red light and she should have seen and kept track of Defendant Flynn before entering the crosswalk.

Plaintiffs sought general damages for the loss of their daughter’s love, comfort, companionship, society, affection, solace, advice, counsel, care, protection, and support.
Additional Notes
Plaintiffs repeatedly demanded the Defendants’ $1 million in policy limits. Defendants offered only $300,000. Plaintiffs also made CCP Section 998 offers to Defendants before removal to Federal Court for the policy limits.

Jury verdict for over $500,000 in motorcycle crash; defense 998 offer was only $21,001 for back injury. Santa Clara County.

Defendant found 90% liable for hitting motorcycle in front of her after they both waited to make a left turn.

Case Name: Joe Egan v. Joy Bowen
Court and Case Number: : Santa Clara Superior/109CV135244
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, January 20, 2012
Type of Action: Vehicles – Motorcycle
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Brian C. Walsh
Plaintiffs:
Joe Egan, 40, construction site trash hauler
Defendants:
Joy Bowen
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $573,330
Net Verdict: $515,997
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Jury found Joy Bowen 90% liable; 10% as to plaintiff.
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: 12-0 liability, 11-1 damages
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: $657,500 (prejudgment interest/costs). All paid by State Farm as of this writing.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Abronson Law Offices by Louis S. Abronson, Los Gatos
Attorney for the Defendant:
Philip M. Andersen & Associates by Michael R. Welch, Pleasanton

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Steven Graboff, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Huntington Beach
Carol R. Hyland, M.A., M.S., life care planning, Lafayette
Robert L. Murray, D.C., chiropractic, Sunnyvale
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Bruce McCormack, M.D., neurosurgery, San Francisco
Paul J. Mills, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Palo Alto

:
Date of incident: March 8, 2007

Facts: Joe Egan was stopped in a left turn lane, waiting to make a left turn. When the light turned green, Joy Bowen struck him from behind with her sport utility vehicle. The motorcycle was propelled forward.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant was negligent in moving forward when it was not safe to do so.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was also negligent as he began to drive forward, then stopped abruptly.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff had pre-existing spinal degeneration and a prior accident, but had not suffered any symptoms prior to this accident. With this accident, he sustained a T12 fracture, lumbar disc bulges, sprains and strains. He was left with ongoing back pain as well as a decrease in mobility.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $50,000
Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $791,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $21,001
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $7,500

Jury finds school district negligently hired bus driver who then molested 8-year-old girl. San Joaquin County.

School district settles for $4.75 million after jury finds that it was negligent in hiring a school bus driver who later molested a special-needs child on the bus.

Case Name: Diana C. v. Lodi Unified School District, et al.
Court and Case Number: : San Joaquin Superior Court,/ 39-2011-00267549
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 20 October 2011
Type of Action: Negligence, Sexual Abuse
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Barbara Kronlund
Plaintiffs:
Diana C.
Defendants:
Lodi Unified School District, Richard Dale Evans
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: Lodi USD 90% liable, Richard Evans 10% liable
Net Verdict: Settlement after verdict, Lodi USD payment of $4,750,000.00 to plaintiff.
Award as to each Defendant:
Lodi USD settlement with Plaintiff for $4,750,000 after first phase verdict was reached finding Lodi USD 90% liable for the abuse. Richard Dale Evans found 10% liable for the abuse. Damage award against Evans to be determined by Court after completion of bench trial.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Lodi USD 90% liable, Richard Evans 10% liable.
Trial Time: 4 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 hour

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Manly & Stewart by Vince William Finaldi and John C. Manly, Newport Beach.

Meleyco Law Firm by Kenneth Meleyco, Stockton.

Attorney for the Defendant:
Stubbs & Leone PC by Marina Pitts, Walnut Creek.

Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
Lenore Terr, M.D., psychiatry, San Francisco

Defendant’s Medical Expert(s):
Anlee Kuo, M.D., psychiatry, San Francisco

:
Sixty-one-year-old Richard Evans worked for defendant Lodi Unified School District as a school bus driver. In the course of his work, Evans transported 8-year-old Diana C., who was a special-needs child, to her special-needs classroom. On November 3, 2010 and on unkown prior dates Evans sexually assaulted and molested Diana on the school bus.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the School District was liable for negligently hiring Evans; that defendant ignored the fact that Evans had been charged in 2000 with solicitation for having sex with a prostitute inside his delivery truck.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That Evans’s prior record did not make his sexual molestation of the child forseeable.

That Evans revealed his prior record upon application for employment with the District in 2003. That the District performed a criminal background check through the California Department of Justice, which confirmed the charge had been dismissed and expunged.

That Evans’s misdemeanor is not an enumerated sex offense precluding employment under the California Education Code, section 44010.

That the CHP conducted a second background check, interviewed Evans and issued a temporary school bus driver’s certificate. That the DMV then issued Evans a permanent license.

That Evans worked as a substitute bus driver for the District for seven years with no complaints of any inappropriate sexual conduct with students. That Evans’s misdemeanor conduct in 2000 with an adult prostitute did not make his molest of an eight-year-old foreseeable.

That the District worked closely with the police in their investigation and terminated Evans the day the molest was reported.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Psychological and emotional injuries and pain and suffering.
Additional Notes
Per defense counsel: With respect to the apportionment of fault assessed by the jury between Evans and the District, had proceeded to judgment against the District, the apportionment would have constituted grounds for an appeal under case law, including, but not limited to, Pamela B. v. Hayden (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 785 and Scott v. County of Los Angeles (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 125.

Plaintiff’s case continues as to Evans, seeking $15,000,000 in compensatory damages and $10,000,000 in punitive damages.

Plaintiff counsel responds:

This (cite) is not correctly (summarized by defense counsel): That case stated the verdict was not supported by substantial evidence, and there the jury apportioned 99% fault to the employer and 1% to the perpetrator. Here, we have 10% to the perpetrator and 90% to the employer. Also, the verdict was supported by more than enough substantial evidence.

Jet ski crashes into boat that suddenly turns in front of it. $21.7 million product liability and negligence. Los Angeles County.

Drunk grandfather towing grandkids in raft suddenly turns in front of jet ski on Colorado River near Blythe. Jet ski passenger suffers brain damage. Jet ski manufacturer sued for product liability.

Case Name: Fabiola Esparza v. Polaris Industries Inc., Douglas Lane
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court / BC 429211 (consolidated with BC 429478)
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 05 January 2010
Type of Action: Boating Accident, Products Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. J. Stephen Czuleger
Plaintiffs:
Fabiola Esparza, 15-year-old high school student.
Defendants:
Douglas Lane
Polaris Industries Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $21,726,230
Award as to each Defendant:
After Prop. 51, the total net award was $11,086,230.88 against Polaris and $15,566,230.88 against Lane.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 56% Douglas Lane; 20% Andrew Gutierrez; 24% Polaris
Economic Damages:
Past medical: $744,394.88
Future medical: $5,481,836

Past loss of earnings: -0-
Future loss of earnings: $1,500,000
Non-Economic Damages:
Past: $500,000
Future: $13,500,000
Trial Time: 20 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 6 days
Jury Polls: 11-1 on causation and defect. 9-3 that Polaris was not negligent in designing the 2001 Virage. 10-2 that Polaris was not negligent in failing to retrofit the Virage. 12-0 that Lane was negligent. 10-2 that Gutierrez was reckless.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Grassini, Wrinkle & Johnson by Lawrence P. Grassini, Lars C. Johnson and Roland Wrinkle, Woodland HIlls.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Bowman and Brooke, LLP by Paul G. Cereghini, Jeffrey C. Warren, Phoenix, AZ (for Polaris).
Bowman and Brooke, LLP by Susan V. Vargas, Marion V. Mauch, Gardena (for Polaris).
Calendo, Puckett, Sheedy & DiCorrado, LLP by Christopher M. Sheedy, Glendale (for Douglas Lane).

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Richard D. Catalano, M.D., ER medicine, Loma Linda.
Lester Zackler, M.D., neuropsychiatry, Sherman Oaks.
Sharon K. Kawai, M.D., rehabilitation medicine, Fullerton.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Nita Boles, regulatory process, Plano, TX.
Edward W. Karnes, Ph.D., CHFP, human factors, Morrison, CO.
Christopher D. Barry, PE, marine architecture, Edgewater, MD.
Ron Simner, regulatory process, Saratoga.
William H. Dobson, Jr., CMI, LPI, accident reconstruction, Mandeville, LA.
Ramesh J. Kar, PhD, PE, FASM, BCFE, FACFE, materials science, Anaheim.
Wilson Carlyle Hayes, Ph.D., biomechanics, Corvallis, OR.
Bernard F. Pettingill, Jr., Ph.D.., medical economist, Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Kevin Breen, PE, jet ski expert, Fort Myers, FL. (For Defendant Polaris Industries Inc.)
Scott H. Evans, former Coast Guard captain, East Lyme, CT. (For Defendant Polaris Industries Inc.)
Elizabeth H. Raphael, M.D., biomechanics, Palo Alto. (For Defendant Polaris Industries Inc.)
Robert K. Taylor, MS, PE, accident reconstruction, Novi, MI. (For Defendant Polaris Industries Inc.)
Nicholas J. Carpenter, Ph.D., accident reconstruction, Laguna Niguel. (For Defendant Douglas Lane)

:
On July 4, 2008, plaintiff was riding as a passenger on a Polaris
Virage jet ski or personal watercraft (PWC) on the Colorado River, operated by then-17-year-old Andrew Gutierrez, when it collided with a 2004 Sea-Doo Utopia jet boat being operated by Douglas Lane, who was towing his three grandchildren on an inflatable raft. Lane had a blood alcohol content of 0.224% (three times over the legal limit) and pled guilty to three felonies for causing the accident and injury to the PWC riders.

Witnesses testified that Gutierrez was speeding, doing figure eights and jumping waves when the river was extremely crowded. Lane suddenly turned in front of Gutierrez. One witness testified that he saw the Utopia turn suddenly and the crash was “instantaneous.”

Gutierrez was unable to steer away from the oncoming boat once he released his throttle. Defendant boat driver, Douglas Lane and his son/passenger Steven Lane both testified that Gutierrez was turning the handlebars but that the direction of the PWC did not change. There was also expert testimony that the inbound speed of the PWC versus the impact speed was hugely different, suggesting that Gutierrez had released the throttle (during which time he would not be able to steer away).

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department concluded that Lane and Gutierrez were the sole causes of the accident for violating the rules of navigation and further determined that off-throttle steering played no role in the accident.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Defendant Lane was negligent for operating his boat while
having a blood alcohol level over three times the legal limit and for turning in front of the PWC.

Further, that Polaris was negligent in its design of the Virage and negligent in failing to retrofit the Virage with an off-throttle steering (OTS) device (thus,it would lose its ability to steer when an inexperienced operator would let off of the throttle in an emergency).

That the PWC should have had retractable rudders, a brake (reverse bucket) or a throttle reapplication device.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant Lane contended that Gutierrez and Polaris, not he, caused the accident. Lane contended that Gutierrez appeared to be heading directly at the towable raft that his grandchildren were riding in, and that he defensively turned his boat in front of the PWC to protect the grandchildren.

Defendant Polaris contended that the accident was caused by the negligence of Lane and recklessness of Gutierrez; that the Virage was a safe, well-designed watercraft; that the U.S. Coast Guard made a finding that PWCs without OTS were not defective; that OTS devices don’t work and don’t help prevent accidents; that the manual and on-board warnings tell the operator that they need thrust to steer; that none of the OTS devices plaintiff talked about were feasible for use on the Virage when it was manufactured; that given the speed of the PWC and how suddenly and unexpectedly Lane turned in front of it, the crash was unavoidable and no OTS would have made any difference; and that the 2001 Virage performed better off-throttle than competitors’ models with OTS.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Patella, elbow, rib, sacral and hip fractures and traumatic brain (frontal lobe) injury.

Plaintiff will require ongoing medical treatment including consultations with a neurologist and psychologist/psychiatrist, physical and occupational therapy.

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: None.
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: There was a confidential offer by Defendant Polaris.

Insurer delays payment after business loss; $5 million bad-faith verdict after $250K offer. Riverside County.

Defendant insurance company delays payment on a valid claim. Jury verdict for over $5 million.

Case Name: Palm Springs Pump v. Peerless Insurance Company, et al.
Court and Case Number: : Riverside Superior Court/ INC 1109263
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, April 12, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Type of Action: Insurance – Bad Faith, Claims Handling
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Daniel Ottolia
Plaintiffs:
Palm Springs Pump
Defendants:
Peerless Insurance Company

Gross Verdict: $5,036,498
Economic Damages:
Lost Profit: $1,376,498
Attorneys Fees: $160,000

Punitive Damages:
$3,500,000
Trial Time: 9 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours
Jury Polls: 12-0 on liability and damages

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Liddy Law Firm by Donald G. Liddy and Yasmine A. Hussein, Pasadena
Shoop | APC Law Corporation, by David R. Shoop, Beverly HIlls
Attorney for the Defendant:
Lindahl Beck, LLP by Kelley K. Beck and Paul J. Fraidenburgh, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
David F. Peterson, J.D., Insurance Claims Handling/ Bath Faith Expert, Oakview
Peter D. Wrobel, CPA/Economist, Los Angeles
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
David A. Reilly, Insurance Claims and Coverage Expert/Insurance Consultant, El Cajon
Christopher K. Money, C.P.A., C.F.E., Accountant, Newport Beach
Robert A. Kadlec, Mechanical Engineer, Santa Monica

:
Defendant Peerless Insurance Company sold an insurance policy to Plaintiff Palm Springs Pump to insure a drill rig used to drill water wells. This was one of several policies plaintiff purchased from defendant.

On December 9, 2010 the drill rig was damaged in an accident. Plaintiff made a claim to Peerless for insurance benefits under the policy. Plaintiff lost the use of the drill rig and the company suffered lost profits as they waited over six months.

Defendant had an answer as to the cause of the failure and that it was a covered loss approximately one month after the claim was made. They spent the next several months delaying payment on the claim and hiring additional experts who made the same determination as the first expert back when the claim was filed.

Even after they accepted coverage 6-7 months after the claim (all the while fully aware that the company was losing money drastically as days went by – but there was no concern about this since Peerless was not liable for business interruption coverage), it took another few months to actually make full payment on the claim.

The amount paid on the underlying policy was $490,000.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant insurance company unreasonably and in bad faith delayed and mishandled the claim, hired biased experts, hid relevant evidence and acted with malice and oppression in delaying payment for over six months.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That it handled the claim appropriately and paid plaintiff company all the benefits that were owed.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $5,000,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $125,000

Hot tea spilled in restaurant causes burns, irreparable scarring. Jury awards $140,000. Los Angeles County.

Waitress in a cabaret bringing hot water for tea, spills it onto patron’s lap, causing burns and scarring.

Case Name: Williams v. Reynolds dba M Bar & Restaurant
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court / BC 477082
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 03 April 2012
Type of Action: Food Handling, Premises Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Michael Harwin
Plaintiffs:
Lindsay Williams, 24, nurse
Defendants:
Joe Reynolds dba M Bar & Restaurant
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $140,000
Net Verdict: $107,410
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 25% comparative negligence on non-party patron who bumped waitress
Economic Damages:
Medicals: $5,643

Lost wages: $4,000
Non-Economic Damages:
$115,356
Punitive Damages:
None
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff to augment judgment to include interest and expert costs per CCP 998 and CCP 3291

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Kusion & Campana by Eugene L. Kusion, Redondo Beach.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Law Offices of Steven Sandler by Steven Sandler, Woodland Hills.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
None
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Mark Burns, BSME, JD, CXLT, CPSI, safety engineer, Marina del Rey.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
None

:
On November 3, 2011 plaintiff, a 24-year-old nurse, went to see a show at defendant’s cabaret restaurant. While plaintiff was sitting at her booth, a waitress spilled a mug of steaming tea water on plaintiff’s lap.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant was negligent in the operation and management of the premises in that it controlled all aspects of the kitchen,food preparation, delivery of drinks, seating of patrons and admission of patrons onto the premises. That the training of employees was below standards and that the waitress failed to follow safety rules and policy in delivering the tea water.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That another patron bumped into waitress and caused the incident.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
6″ X 6″ second-degree burn to thigh with residual scarring that cannot be corrected by plastic surgery.
Small 2″ spatter burn on abdomen.

Claimed – Past Medical: $5,643
Claimed – Future Medical: None, as nothing can be done for scar.
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $4,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: None

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $75,000
Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $100,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $12,000 (at mediation)
Defendant Offer during Trial: $30,000
Additional Notes
Plaintiff expert testified that the incident was easily preventable had employees been properly trained as to how to take hot drinks onto the customer floor (i.e., using tray, container with lid for drink, assuring safe water temperature, assuring all aisleways clear of people and chairs.)

Hollywood creative director wrongfully terminated for reporting boss’s coke use; $450,000 verdict; settlement before punitive phase. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff is terminated after he complains of his boss’s drug use at work. Plaintiff contends that his boss’s connections to lucrative clients and involvement in a company merger was major factor in plaintiff’s being terminated.

Case Name: Andrew MacDonald v. Ascent Media Group, Inc., et al
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC444911
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 03 September 2010
Type of Action: Employment, Wrongful Termination
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Mary Strobel
Plaintiffs:
Andrew MaDonald, 45, visual effects creative director.
Defendants:
Ascent Media Group, Inc., Ascent Media Group, LLC, and Method Studios
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $450,000 for general and special damages. Confidential settlement before punitive phase.
Economic Damages:
$425,000 ($300,000 past; $125,000 future).
Non-Economic Damages:
$25,000 for past emotional distress.

$0 for future emotional distress.
Punitive Damages:
Jury found plaintiff entitled to punitive damages, but a confidential settlement was reached before jury determined amount.
Trial Time: 8 days.
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours.
Jury Polls: 11 – 1 on liability; 10 – 2 on damages.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Geragos & Geragos APC by Mark Geragos, Pat Harris and Ben Meiselas, Los Angeles.
Macias Counsel, Inc. by Sean Macias, Pasadena.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Proskauer Rose by Anthony Oncidi, Jeremy Mittman and Adam Freed, Los Angeles.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
John T. Chrissey, MBA, MS, economics, Sierra Madre.
Anthony Reading, Ph.D., psychiatry, Beverly Hills.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Amy M. Aukstikalnis, Ph.D., economics, Los Angeles.
Francine Kulick, Ph.D., psychiatry, Santa Monica.

:
Plaintiff was employed as a creative director for defendant, a Hollywood post-production visual effects company. Plaintiff was terminated from his employment by defendant on March 27, 2009. The night before his termination, plaintiff had complained to a senior executive at the company that his supervisor, Alex Frisch, was using cocaine at work. Frisch is best known for his visual effects work in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.

Frisch has repeatedly denied any such drug use, as reported by the media, and says that any such allegations are false.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was wrongfully terminated in violation of public policy for reporting the drug use of his boss, Frisch; that Frisch was the “face of the company” and was responsible for lucrative company-client relationships and instrumental in a pending merger. That plaintiff was fired in order to protect the reputation and employment of his boss so that a pending merger with a larger company would be completed successfully; that Frisch’s coke use was well known to others in the company.

That defendant’s contention that plaintiff made a videotape of his boss in the restroom was false. That he had only said, in frustration when his reports of drug use were not taken seriously, “What do you need me to do to prove it to you, videotape it?”

Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was terminated for videotaping his boss in the restroom and threatening to put the video on Youtube and for audiotaping another executive of the company without either executive’s knowledge or permission.

That defendant was concerned about protecting the privacy of employees and fired plaintiff for violating privacy by videotaping his boss in a bathroom stall and audiotaping another executive without their knowledge or permission.

Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $300,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $125,000

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $245,000 per defense counsel.
Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $1 million on first day of trial per defense counsel.
Defendant §998 Offer: $40,000

Hair transplant goes wrong for 70-year-old patient, results in med-mal gross verdict of $2.7 million. Los Angeles County.

Patient suffers stroke after hair transplant surgery. Pre- and post-op negligence to blame.

Case Name: Ghorban Ali Salmanzadeh v Bosley Medical Group et al.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC445812
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 01 September 2010
Type of Action: Loss of Consortium, Medical Malpractice
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Terry Green
Plaintiffs:
Ghorban Ali Salmanzadeh, 70, jeweler; Julie Salmanzadeh, spouse.
Defendants:
Bosley Medical Group, Terrence Aragoni, M.D., Bosley Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $2,720,000 per plaintiff’s counsel; $2,515,000 per defense counsel.
Net Verdict: $1,200,000 per plainitff’s counsel; $1,171,000 per defense counsel. Reduced per MICRA and for contributory fault.
Award as to each Defendant:
Joint and several liability for Bosley Medical Group and Dr. Aragoni.

Bosley, Inc. defense verdict as to negligence. Nonsuit as to fraud claim for misrepresenting the invasive nature and scope of the hair transplant procedure.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 45% by Mr. Salmanzadeh, 10% by Mrs. Salmanzadeh
Economic Damages:
Past Medical: $200,000
Future Medical: $500,000
Past Wage Loss: $120,000
Future Wage Loss: $400,000
Non-Economic Damages:
Pain, Suffering & Emotional Distress: $900,000
Loss of consortium: $600,000

Both were capped at $250,000 due to MICRA.
Trial Time: 4 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: 9-3 for plaintiff.
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Both sides filed motion for new trial and JNOV. None of the motions were granted. There were motions to tax costs.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Peters & Peters by Barbara Peters, Santa Monica
Attorney for the Defendant:
Beach | Whitman | Cowdrey, LLP by Tom Beach and Sean Cowdrey, Oxnard

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Hyman Gross, M.D., neurology, Santa Monica
Sherman Elspas, M.D., anesthesiology, Van Nuys
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Michael Gold, M.D., neurology, Santa Monica
Donald Mills, M.D., anesthesiology, Orange County
Sheldon Kabaker, M.D., hair transplantation surgery, Oakland

:
On February 5, 2010, the 70-year-old plaintiff underwent an elective hair transplant procedure. His wife was present for the procedure.

Dr. Aragoni was the Bosley physician performing the operation. Plaintiff revealed his medical conditions: hypertension, diabetes, and age. Although he was hypertensive at intake, he was given a medication for his blood pressure and the procedure began.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That plaintiff’s medical condition prior to surgery put him at a higher risk for stroke and that medical defendants failed to recognize the signs of a stroke.

That there was no adequate physical exam given and
only rudimentary history was taken in violation of the standard of care to do a complete physical. There was no patient monitoring of vital signs during the procedure.

That during the procedure plaintiff began convulsing, but the procedure did not stop and the condition was not diagnosed or treated. That at the time of discharge there was no adequate physical exam, although the patient showed signs of systolic hypertension. Upon leaving he could not get up out of the chair unassisted, could not walk unassisted, and could not talk. He was sent home.

Expert testimony by Dr. Gross established plaintiff had a stroke at Bosley Medical. The stroke affected the Broca’s area of his brain which affects speech as well as his motor areas on the left side of the brain (left middle cerebral artery).

His condition went undiagnosed for several days, although Mrs. Salmanzadeh’s call to Bosley Medical Group resulted in a statement that his failure to come out of anesthesia was a result of pain medications and “not to worry.” As a result, Mrs. Salmanzadeh did not take him to the hospital for a few days although he got worse when the pain medication wore off. By then it was too late to administer a clot buster which could have reversed his injury if administered within 3-4 hours of onset of the stroke.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendants denied that they caused the stroke, claimed the stroke occurred several days later; claimed they met the standard of care and that Mrs. Salmanzadeh should have taken her husband to the hospital sooner; also that Mr. Salmanzadeh did not take proper care of his hypertension and diabetes.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Stroke of the left middle cerebral artery that was not reversed by clot buster drugs within 3-4 hours as required. Mr. Salmanzadeh has limited speech, is unable to walk without dragging his right leg, has limited ability to write, and has limited ability to communicate. Physical and speech therapy have had limited success. It is believed that he also has some memory impairment. He has difficulty feeding himself and with personal hygiene tasks.
Unable to return to work as a jeweler and unable to manage real estate property owned by the couple.

Wife claimed loss of consortium.

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $11,000,000 per defense counsel.
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Waiver of costs.
Additional Notes
Court entered judgment on the verdict on April 19, 2013.

Freeway rear-ender leads to low offer but $169,289 verdict for neck injuries. Orange County.

Freeway rear-ender with admitted liability leads to dispute over neck injury. $30,000 offer (CCP 998) but $169,289 verdict plus interest.

Case Name: Sally Gordon v. Morteza Hosseini
Court and Case Number: : Orange County Superior/ 30-2011-00505721
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, November 16, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 06 September 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Auto vs. Auto
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert Moss
Plaintiffs:
Sally Gordon, 60, bookkeeper
Defendants:
Morteza Hosseini
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $169,289
Economic Damages:
Past: $53,289

Future: $86,000
Non-Economic Damages:
$30,000
Trial Time: 3 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 6 hours
Jury Polls: 6-0
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant paid plaintiff an additional $18,816 in CCP 998 penalties.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Law Office of John P. Burns by John P. Burns, Newport Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
Maguire & Associates by Tobin Ando, Costa Mesa

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Brent Smith, D.C., treating chiropractor, Irvine.
Brian Irvine, D.C., chiropractor, Torrance.
Standifored Helm, M.D., treating pain management specialist, Laguna Woods.
Jeffrey Gross, M.D., treating neurosurgeon, Laguna Niguel.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Charles Rosen, M.D.,
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
John Gardiner, Ph.D.,
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
None.

:
Plaintiff’s car was rear-ended on the 405 freeway in Irvine. Property damage to plaintiff’s Honda Accord was in the amount of $1,800. Plaintiff sustained neck injuries. Defendant admitted liability.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That plaintiff suffered a serious, life-long neck injury in the collision; that plaintiff was entitled to compensation for her past medical bills and past and future pain and suffering.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant contested severity of injury. Defense medical expert testified that plaintiff received no more than a strain/sprain which should have resolved after eight weeks of chiropractic treatment and that her hand and arm symptoms were from carpal tunnel syndrome.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Injury to cervical spine of neck, causing neck pain, left trapezius muscle pain, left arm pain and radiating numbness and tingling in plaintiff’s left arm and hand.

Post-accident MRI of plaintiff’s neck showed 3.5 mm disc bulge. Nerve-block procedure showed nerve damage in plaintiff’s neck at spinal level C5-C6.
Plaintiff’s counsel had plaintiff’s car re-inspected after repairs had been done and discovered that the internal rear bumper had not been replaced as was required. Defendant’s carrier paid plaintiff an additional $369 for the additional property damage shortly before trial.

Claimed – Past Medical: $53,289
Claimed – Future Medical: $320,000 in life-long pain-management injections.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $99,750
Defendant §998 Offer: $30,000

Failure to diagnose cancer leads to amputation of finger and $150,000 jury verdict. Los Angeles County.

Defendant plastic surgeon treated plaintiff’s finger for 18 months, including performing four surgeries, before referring to another specialist who correctly diagnosed cancer.

Case Name: David DiGregorio v. Joel Aronowitz, M.D.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC441576
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, November 08, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Deirdre Hill
Plaintiffs:
David DiGregorio, 54, actor/producer
Defendants:
Joel Aronowitz, M.D.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $150,000
Award as to each Defendant:
$150,000 against Dr. Joel Aronowitz.
Economic Damages:
$100,000 for future medical expenses.
Non-Economic Damages:
$50,000 for past pain and suffering.
Trial Time: 8 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: 9-3

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Altman Law Group by Bryan C. Altman, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Taylor Blessey LLP by Denise Taylor, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Leo Indianer, M. D., dermatopathology, Encino
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Malcolm LeSavoy, M.D., F.A.C.S., reconstructive surgery, Encino
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Dr. Barbara Luna, Ph.D., CPA, Sherman Oaks

:
Plaintiff was referred to defendant doctor, a board-certified plastic surgeon, in August 2007 for treatment of a swelling in his right middle finger. Over a period of 18 months, the defendant examined and treated plaintiff’s finger, diagnosed him with chronic perinychium, and performed four separate but very similar surgeries.

During this time, the plaintiff continued to experience significant pain and his swelling never healed. In fact, his swelling continued to get worse until the defendant referred him to Dr. Stuart Kuschner (not a defendant), a surgeon specializing in hand surgery. Dr. Kuschner immediately ordered an MRI and also ordered a biopsy which revealed a large and deeply imbedded squamous cell carcinoma. Having been advised to pursue radiation treatment to try to stave off amputation of his finger, the plaintiff underwent approximately 30 radiation treatments, but to no avail as his cancer remained. Ultimately, it was necessary for him to have a partial amputation of his finger.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant provided negligent treatment and misdiagnosed plaintiff’s ailment.

That an initial biopsy performed by defendant was only a partial or incomplete biopsy, and that defendant never had any tissue tested or completely biopsied despite treating the plaintiff for approximately 18 months and despite the fact that the defendant operated on the plaintiff’s finger four times during this same period.

That had the defendant correctly treated the plaintiff, his cancer, which was determined to be a slow-growing cancer, would have been able to be detected and treated with micrographic surgery and the plaintiff would have avoided amputation.

Further, that as a result of the cancer going undetected and because of the size, depth and perineural involvement of the cancer, there is a reasonable medical probability that plaintiff will suffer metastasis and die prematurely.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That defendant’s treatment of plaintiff’s finger met the standard of care.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Amputation of finger and risk of recurrence of cancer.
Pain and suffering.

Plaintiff was deeply affected by the condition of his finger. First, surgery on the fingers can be extremely painful since there are a large number of nerves in the fingers and the plaintiff underwent four separate surgeries on his finger by the defendant. Second, the pain affected his day-to-day life, his interaction with his children, and his job prospects. In addition, the anticipation of the amputation and the amputation, itself, as well as the radiation, ensuing pain and discomfort were all agonizing to the plaintiff. Finally, the prospect of having to prepare his family for his premature demise and the prospecct of future cancer treatments, have been overwhelming.

Claimed – Future Medical: $100,000

Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $20,000

Driver overreacts to being cut off by unknown driver, collides with plaintiff. $76,984 net. Orange County.

An unkown driver cuts across two lanes of traffic, cutting off defendant driver who swerves and strikes plaintiff driver. Defendant found 50% negligent. $76,984 net after 50% comparative negligence by unknown driver.

Case Name: Estora Pugh v. Jillann Benson
Court and Case Number: : Orange County Superior Court / 30-2011-00491993
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 18 July 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles – Lane Change
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. James DiCesar
Plaintiffs:
Estora Pugh, 60
Defendants:
Jillann Bensen
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $89,484
Net Verdict: $76,984
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Unidentified 3rd Car: 50% Responsible
Economic Damages:
Medical Specials: $37,864

Loss of Earnings: $26,619
Non-Economic Damages:
$25,000
Trial Time: 5 Days
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 Hours
Jury Polls: 11-1 on liaiblity; 11-1 on damages
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff’s Memo of Costs (pending)

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Bisnar | Chase, LLP by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Michael Maguire & Associates by Steven Trotter, Costa Mesa.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Steven Becker, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Irvine.
Khang Lai, D.O., pain management, Irvine.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Michael Weinstein, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Newport Beach.

:
On Sept. 22, 2009, in the Tustin Marketplace, defendant was northbound on Jamboree in the number two lane when she was cut off by another vehicle traveling in the third lane that crossed over three lanes to make a left turn in front of her vehicle.

Defendant swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting the vehicle, in turn, striking the car of plaintiff. The third vehicle, which cut off defendant’s car, left the scene of the incident.

Plaintiff declined treatment at the scene, but reported hip pain a month after the accident. An x-ray four months after the accident showed that she had suffered a hairline fracture in her hip.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Defendant overreacted to the car that cut her off: Without looking, she swerved into the lane next to her and collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That defendant was not negligent because of the “sudden emergency” created by the third car (the unknown driver) that cut her off. That she would have been hit if she did not swerve. The police report attributed a statement to plaintiff essentially stating that she took evasive action as well because she anticipated the defendant would take evasive action in response to being cut off.

Defendant also contested the nature and extent of injury; that this was a minor impact collision that could not have caused a hip fracture. Further, that medical records suggested plaintiff’s inability to work was due to work issues and not the accident.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Neck, back and shoulder injuries requiring treatment and therapy. A hairline hip fracture to the hip requiring surgery.

Claimed – Past Medical: $66,000
Claimed – Future Medical: $20,000
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $71,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $10,000

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $250,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $15,000
Additional Notes
This was the underlying incident that led to a pending defective hip replacement (Depuy) case against Johnson and Johnson in LA Superior Court.

Dog bites drunk woman at party; jury awards $120,000, finds no contributory negligence. San Diego County.

Plaintiff was at a party and opened the wrong door as she tried to leave the room to smoke. She accidentally entered the garage of defendants and was attacked by their pit bull, suffering injury to her lip and chin. No contributory negligence was found on the part of the plaintiff despite her high blood alcohol level.

Case Name: Paulette Morales v. Lizet Medina, et al
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior Court – Vista/ 37-2011-00555607
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, January 10, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Type of Action: Dog Bite
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Robert Dahlquist
Plaintiffs:
Paulette Morales, 19, Costco Associate
Defendants:
Lizet Medina, Fidel Medina, Alma Medina
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $120,000
Economic Damages:
$7,500: past medical.

$15,000: future medical.
Non-Economic Damages:
$97,500
Jury Deliberation Time: 2.5 hours
Jury Polls: 9-3 on damages; 9-3 on liability.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
BISNAR | CHASE by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
Law Offices of Borton Petrini, LLP by Jason A. Cohen, San Diego

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Bruce Dubin, M.D., plastic surgery, Newport Beach
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Ian Macyntire, Ph.D., toxicology, San Diego

:
On July 19th, 2009, plaintiff was at a party in the yard of defendants’ home. She was drinking along with the rest of the guests. After a noise complaint was made by the neighbors, the party was brought inside the house. Plaintiff wanted to smoke and went to what she thought was the grandmother’s room, but she opened the wrong door and entered the garage, where she was bitten by the defendants’ pit bull. At the emergency room, plaintiff’s blood alcohol level was .189, as measured four-and-a-half hours after the attack.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendants were strictly liable under California’s Dog Bite Statute and that her intoxication did not contribute to the injury.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was contributorily negligent and that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by the fact that she opened the wrong door due to her intoxication.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Injuries to lip and chin requiring plastic surgery.

Claimed – Past Medical: $7,500
Claimed – Future Medical: $15,000

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $300,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $85,000

Doc botches hernia surgery, damaging nerves. No offer. $573,208 verdict. Los Angeles County.

General surgeon performs hernia repair but damages nerve, leaving plaintiff in constant pain and impairing his daily activities. $573,208 gross verdict, later reduced per MICRA.

Case Name: Farshid Enteghami v. Adel Jabour, M.D.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court – Chatsworth/ PC052066
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 06 December 2011
Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Randy Rhodes
Plaintiffs:
Farshid Enteghami, 55, pool maintenance
Defendants:
Adel Jabour, M.D.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $573,208
Net Verdict: $273,208 (noneconomic damages reduced to $250,000 per MICRA)
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
Economic Damages:
Unreimbursed Medical Expenses: $16,503

Loss of Earnings: $6,705
Non-Economic Damages:
Past noneconomic damages: $300,000

Future noneconomic damages: $250,000
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day
Jury Polls: Negligence 9-3; Causation 10-2; Damages 11-1
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: No post trial motions or appeal. The total judgment reduced pursuant to MICRA plus expert witness fees, ordinary costs and prejudgment intererest have been paid.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Snyder Dorenfeld LLP by Bradley A. Snyder, Agoura Hills
Attorney for the Defendant:
Schmid & Voiles by Patrick W. Mayer, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
David Grischkan, M.D., general surgery, specializing in hernia surgery, Cleveland, OH
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Kenneth Deck, M.D., general surgery, Laguna HIlls

:
Plaintiff underwent right inguinal hernia surgery (open surgery) on April 30, 2009. After the surgery, plaintiff continued to experience pain and discomfort which required three additional surgeries, imaging studies, nerve blocks and pain medication.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the surgery was performed below the standard of care. The theories of liability were: (1) Defendant damaged nerve(s) during the surgery and failed to recognize the injury before closing; (2) Defendant affixed the mesh with absorbable sutures which allowed the mesh to fold up, migrate and cause injuries; (3) Defendant failed to close the transversalus fascia during the surgery; and (4) Defendant failed to provide appropriate post-operative care.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That nerve injury was one of the known risks of the surgery. Further, that informed consent was obtained. That the standard of care permitted defendant to use absorbable or nonabsorbable sutures to affix the mesh. Defendant denied that the mesh balled up as a result of his surgery. Defendant claimed that he closed the transversalus fascia and provided appropriate post-operative care.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Nerve damage in the right inguinal area into the right thigh causing constant pain and impairing his activities of daily living.

Claimed – Past Medical: $16,503
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $6,705

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $199,999.99
Defendant §998 Offer: Waiver of costs.

Disputed cause and extent of injury equals low offer in motorcycle accident. Verdict $187K. Los Angeles County.

Defendant motorist suddenly pulls into carpool lane to avoid collision with vehicle in front of him; cuts off motorcyclist in the carpool lane, who then rearends defendant. Defendant claims comparative fault by plaintiff, contests injuries, makes lowball offer.

Case Name: Joseph Hubbard v. Alan Parrish
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court / VC059513
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, August 08, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 15 September 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Motorcycle
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Patrick Madden
Plaintiffs:
Joseph Hubbard, 27, store clerk
Defendants:
Alan Parrish
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $187,800
Award as to each Defendant:
$187,800
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Argued by defendant, but none found by the jury (negligence, but no causation).
Economic Damages:
Past Medical: $80,000

Future Medical: $20,000
Non-Economic Damages:
Past: $72,800

Future: $15,000
Trial Time: 6 Days
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours
Jury Polls: 11-1 on liability and damages
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff’s motion for CCP 998 costs

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Bisnar | Chase, LLP by H. Gavin Long, Newport Beach.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Mark Weiner & Associates by Gina Calderon, Glendale.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Edwin Ashley, M.D., hand surgery, Anaheim.
Arlen Green, DO, pain management, Laguna Niguel.
Bruce DeCarlo, M.D., physical medicine and rehabilitation, Costa Mesa.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Nick Shamie, M.D., spine surgery, Los Angeles.
Stuart Kuschner, M.D., hand surgery, Los Angeles.
Stephen Rothman, M.D., radiology, Los Angeles.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Nick Carpenter, accident reconstruction, Laguna Niguel.
Nancy Michalski, R.N., medical billing, Los Angeles.

:
On October 18, 2009 plaintiff was riding his motorcycle in the carpool lane, northbound on the 605 freeway. As traffic began to slow in the fast lane, defendant, to avoid a collision in front of him, entered the carpool lane causing plaintiff to rear end the defendant.

Plaintiff suffered a neck injury requiring physical therapy and injections. He also suffered a wrist injury resulting in surgery.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was not at fault for the collision. That plaintiff was lawfully traveling in the car pool lane. That plaintiff began to slow down once he saw traffic slowing down in the car pool lane. That defendant cut in front of plaintiff in order to avoid causing a collision with the vehicles ahead of him in the fast lane, and that plaintiff could not avoid impacting the defendant’s vehicle.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was partially at fault for the collision. That plainitff rear ended the defendant as he tried to pass defendant when plaintiff saw defendant enter the carpool lane. That plaintiff failed to slow down when he saw traffic abruptly slowing in the fast lane.

Defendant disputed the nature and extent of plaintiff’s injuries claiming only neck sprain/strain, and that the hand surgery due to wrist injury was unnecessary as there was no medical evidence of the arthritis for which the fusion was allegedly performed.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
2-3mm C6-7 disc bulge. Physical therapy and 2 EPSI injections. Traumatic arthritis of the wrist resulting in surgery.

Claimed – Past Medical: Per plaintiff’s counsel: $80,000. Per defense counsel: past medical bills claimed by plaintiff were $110,974 and the defense conceded reasonable past meds of $52,000.
Claimed – Future Medical: Per plaintiff’s counsel: $20,000. Per defense counsel: $100,000

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $100,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $25,000 Per defense counsel: Defendant’s 998 was served pre-hand surgery, which occurred on June 6, 2013 and specials for which were not presented until the eve of trial. Reasonable medical specials at time of defendant’s 998 offer were $30,000.
Additional Notes
Insurer – State Farm.

Defense verdict in claim of racial discrimination by city librarian. Los Angeles County.

Case Name: Nora Cofie v. City of Los Angeles
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court /BC 441369
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 09 July 2010
Type of Action: Discrimination, Racial, Emotional Distress, Employment, Harassment
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard L. Fruin
Plaintiffs:
Nora Cofie
Defendants:
City of Los Angeles
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: Defense verdict.
Trial Time: 6 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 22 minutes
Jury Polls: 9-3
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: None.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Ernest Franceschi, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office by Douglas Lyon and Jorge Otano, Los Angeles.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
None
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
None

:
Plaintiff Nora Cofie worked at the City Library beginning in 2001. She was terminated in 2010. She has not worked since she lost her job. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit based on racial discrimination. Plaintiff’s supervisors were black and coworkers were of various ethnicity.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That she was terminated because of her African heritage, and was constantly harassed based upon her race while working for the City Library. Plaintiff testified she was called “African Monkey” on at least 2,000 occasions, and that coworkers and supervisors would call her “boogie dancer” and other racially-charged comments on at least 5,000 occasions. That she reported the harassment on three occasions but the City refused to take action.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff never reported the comments. She complained only of general workplace personality conflicts, and she continually yelled at, screamed at, and/or harassed her coworkers. That plaintiff refused to perform her work duties, would cause problems at work, called in sick each week, and generally gamed the system until she was terminated when she refused to show up for her own Skelly termination hearing.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff claimed the harassment caused her to slip and fall and injure her leg, and she limped during trial, three years after the incident. She claimed she suffered severe emotional distress which prevented her from ever working again.

Claimed – Past Medical: No evidence offered.
Claimed – Future Medical: No evidence offered.
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: No evidence offered.
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: No evidence offered.

Defense verdict in breach of contract claim involving sale of dental practice. San Francisco County.

Plaintiff claims breach of contract after buying defendant’s periodontal practice. Jury finds for defense.

Case Name: Doina Panaite, DDS v. George K. Merijohn, DDS, et al.
Court and Case Number: : San Francisco County Superior Court / CGC-10-502257
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 04 August 2010
Type of Action: Breach of Contract, Breach of Warranty, Fraud, Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Suzanne Bolanos
Plaintiffs:
Doina Panaite, DDS
Defendants:
George K. Merijohn, DDS; George K. Merijohn, DDS, P.C.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: Verdict in favor of Defendant.
Award as to each Defendant:
Defendant is awarded all attorney’s fees and costs incurred as a result of this lawsuit. Defendants awarded $385,754.25 in attorney’s fees and $71,411.89 in costs pursuant to CCP 998.
Economic Damages:
Plaintiff claimed economic damages in excess of $1 million.
Punitive Damages:
Jury found no basis for punitive damages.
Trial Time: 14 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Motion for Attorneys’ Fees Motion to Tax Costs Ex-Parte Motion re: Bond Motion for New Trial

Attorney for the Plantiff:
O’Connor & Associates by John O’Connor, San Francisco.
Attorney for the Defendant:
The Goldman Law Firm by Ronald P. Goldman and Jennifer M. Ellis, Tiburon.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Gary Schaub, dental practice broker, Portland, OR.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Tim Giroux, dental practice broker, Yuba City.

:
This case arose out of the alleged breach of contract and fraud against defendant in sale of a periodontal practice. Plaintiff alleged that defendant misrepresented the value of the practice and failed to disclose material problems with the practice.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant falsely represented his practice to her. That defendant “hyped” up his practice and defrauded her by making plaintiff think the practice was more profitable then it actually was. That defendant “made the material promises in the Contract without the present intent of performing them.” That defendant interfered with plaintiff’s practice and patients.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant denied all of plaintiff’s contentions and contended that the practice sale was very successful in that plaintiff was producing millions in income, placing her practice in the top 3% of the country.

Breach of contract, fraud and deceit. Plaintiff asked for general, special, and punitive damages.

Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: Over $300,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: Hundreds of Thousands

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: Over $1,000,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Waiver of costs.

Defense verdict after policy limit offer of $50k was refused in rear-ender with disputed causation. San Diego County.

Freeway rear-ender injures plaintiff, age 50, with long history of back pain complaints. Liability admitted but causation and extent of injuries disputed.

Case Name: Juvenal Hernandez v. Juan Pacheco
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior Court /37-2011-00102264
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 09 December 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Auto vs. Auto, Vehicles – Freeway
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Ronald L. Styn
Plaintiffs:
Juvenal Hernandez, 50
Defendants:
Juan Pacheco
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: Defense verdict, no causation.
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 30 minutes
Jury Polls: 11-1 no causation
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant will seek expert fees and costs for beating the CCP 998 offer. That judgment will be partially offset by Plaintiff’s stipulated award of $11,335 which arose out of negotiations for reduction of medical specials under Howell v. Hamilton Meats.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Law Office of Michael E Moore by Michael E. Moore, San Diego.
Law Office of Frank De Santis by Frank De Santis and Thomas De Santis, Chula Vista.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Law Offices of Scott D. Schabacker by Scott D. Schabacker, San Diego.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
John Finkenberg, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Howard Tung, M.D., neurosurgery, San Diego

:
Plaintiff and defendant were involved in an automobile collision on Interstate 8 in San Diego on April 29, 2011. The defendant’s Nissan rear-ended the plaintiff’s Oldsmobile (Delta V estimated at 12-14mph). The defense admitted liability but contested causation and damages.

Plaintiff, a Hispanic male with a second grade education who testifed through an interpreter, had been on SSI Disability since 2001. He was obese and had been seen repeatedly, for years before the accident, by health-care providers for complaints of chronic back pain.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the accident aggravated his pre-existing chronic spinal pain and necessitated two spine surgeries and forced him to incur medical bills of $170,000.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That the plaintiff asserted pre-existing symptoms and a prior injury from a protracted 2000-2005 worker’s compensation claim, and that plaintiff’s chronic pain pattern before the accident was the same as the symptoms reported after the accident. That as a result of the accident, plaintiff should not have required anything more then non-surgical treatment for a sprain or strain.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff claimed neck and back injuries and two spine operations. He had a cervical fusion at C4-5 and a lumbar laminectomy at L4-5. He also had extensive medical treatment, chiropractic care, injections and four MRI studies.

Claimed – Past Medical: $170,000 reduced to $61,000 under Howell v. Hamilton Meats.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $175,000.
Defendant §998 Offer: $50,000 policy limit.
Additional Notes
The plaintiff demanded more than the defendant’s insurance policy limits. The policy limit offer was tendered repeatedly.

Costco customer struck by vehicle in outdoor food court. $2 million verdict plus $590K settlement. Los Angeles County.

A Costco customer sitting at an outdoor dining table is struck by an out-of-control motorist. Plaintiff claims barriers were insufficient to protect patrons from parking lot traffic.

Case Name: Ruben Soto, Brunilda Soto, and Anabel Soto v. Costco Wholesale Corporation and Robert Alan Livingston
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court, North Central District / EC048420
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Type of Action: Premises Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. William D. Stewart
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $2,000,000
Award as to each Defendant:
$2 million verdict against Costco and $590,000 settlement with Livingston.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 75% against Livingston and 25% against Costco
Economic Damages:
Past loss of earnings: $136,838

Future loss of earnings: $500,000

Past loss of household services: $29,397

Future loss of household services: $9,800

Past medical expenses: $384,841

Future medical expenses: $699,633
Non-Economic Damages:
Past non-economic damages: $136,838

Future non-economic damages: $30,000

The jury awarded plaintiffs Anabel and Brunilda $30,000 each.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
The Homampour Law Firm by Arash Homampour, Sherman Oaks.
Law Offices of Thomas C. Zaret by Thomas C. Zaret, Santa Monica.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Baraban & Teske by Jeffrey H. Baraban, Pasadena (for Costco).
Demler Armstrong & Rowland by Robert W. Armstrong, Long Beach (for Robert Alan Livingston).

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Stephen Kay, M.D., orthopedic, Los Angeles.
Bennett Williamson, Ph.D., psychology, Los Angeles.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Boyd W. Flinders, II, M.D., orthopedic, Burbank.
James R. High, M.D., psychiatry and neurology, Santa Monica.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Lawrence Miller, M.D., life expectancy, Santa Monica.
David J. King, P.E., accident reconstruction, Laguna HIlls.
Brad Avrit, P.E., hazardous conditions, Marina del Rey.
Robert Reiter, bollard safety, Claremont.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Robert F. Douglas, P.E., accident reconstruction, Long Beach.
Thomas F. Fugger, Jr., P.E., traffic accident reconstruction, Valencia.

:
The incident occurred on April 17, 2007 at approximately 11:15 a.m. at the Costco store located in Burbank, California. Plaintiffs Ruben Soto, his wife Anabel Soto and their 20-year old daughter Anabel Soto were seated and having lunch at one of the outdoor tables at the Costco food court.

As plaintiffs were having lunch, Defendant Livingston entered his vehicle which was parked adjacent to the food court dining area. Defendant Livingston put his car in reverse, lost control, and plowed into the food court dining area directly behind him. Ruben suffered serious injuries as a result of the collision. Investigation of the surrounding areas revealed that the food court was in close proximity to the parking lot and lacked protective barriers. Shortly after the incident, Costco installed crash barriers around the perimeter of the food court area.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the incident was highly foreseeable and the cost for installing the crash barriers around the perimeter of the food court was minimal. Defendant Costco had placed every patron within their food court at a high risk for injury as there was a high volume of traffic in the adjacent parking lot.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant Costco contended that millions of customers had been to this Costco and there were no prior similar incidents at any Costco anywhere in the world. It contended that the lack of barriers was not a dangerous condition/hazard. Defendant Costco further contended that the sole cause of the incident was Defendant Livingston’s negligent operation of his vehicle, in that he was impaired on prescription medication.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Ruben Soto suffered serious injuries, including multiple complex lacerations and fractures to his face requiring extensive facial surgery, a fractured pelvis requiring open reduction and internal fixation.
Anabel and Brunilda had negligent infliction of emotional distress claims (Dillon v. Legg).

Claimed – Past Medical: $384,000
Claimed – Future Medical: Disputed.
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $136,138
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: Disputed.

Breaking chair leads to verdict of $85,529. Los Angeles County.

Shopper sat in a mall food court. When the chair leg broke, she suffered injuries that continued to plague her.

Case Name: Eileen Thomas v. Westfield, LLC
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior/SC111058
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, March 29, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 14 January 2011
Type of Action: Premises Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Richard A. Stone, Jr.
Plaintiffs:
Eileen Thomas, 49, school teacher
Defendants:
Westfield, LLC
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $85,529
Trial Time: 3 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 1/2 hours

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Nagler & Associates by Daniel L. Nagler, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Demler, Armstrong & Rowland by Timothy J. Lippert, Long Beach

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Walter O’Brien, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Richard C. Rosenberg, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Tarzana
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
John Brault, biomechanics, Mission Viejo

:
Date and place of incident: Nov. 1, 2009/ Westfield Century City Mall

Facts: Plaintiff was sitting at a food court table when the left, front leg of the chair she sat in broke.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Westfield should be held liable for the chair breaking. When the chair broke, plaintiff had to hold tightly to the edge of the table in order to avoid hitting the floor. The force and tension she used holding on, caused injury to her neck, shoulders, back and arms.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant admitted liability, but argued that the incident was minor and that plaintiff’s treatment was unnecessary and excessive.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff visited her chiropractor the day after the accident. She was found to have multiple bulging discs in her neck, as well as soft tissue strains to her neck, shoulders, arms and back. She underwent 15 months of physical therapy and missed 17 ½ days of work. Plaintiff continues to experience residual pain, anxiety and trouble sleeping.
Lost earnings from missed work due to injuries, pain and suffering.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $35,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $15,000

Boy, 15, holding toy gun is shot in Palmdale by LA County sheriff’s deputy. $1.1 million award. Los Angeles County.

A 15-year-old boy playing cops and robbers on his bicycle with friends in Palmdale was shot by a sheriff’s deputy after he allegedly pointed the toy gun at two officers.

Case Name: William Fetters v. County of Los Angeles and Deputy Scott Sorrow
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ BC 437875
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 17 May 2010
Type of Action: Civil Rights, Police Shooting
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Ernest Hiroshige
Plaintiffs:
William Fetters, 15
Defendants:
Deputy Scott Sorrow
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $1,127,600 + fees and costs
Net Verdict: $1,127,600
Award as to each Defendant:
$1.127 million against LA County. In addition plaintiff will seek attorneys fees and litigation costs.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
Economic Damages:
$2,600 in medical bills. The jury awarded the maximum allowed.
Non-Economic Damages:
$1,125,000
Punitive Damages:
Jury was hung on this; will have a new trial.
Trial Time: 23 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 7 days
Jury Polls: 9-3 liability; 11-1 damages
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant anticipates post-trial motions and an appeal. Per plaintiff’s counsel, defendants refused to settle. Per defense counsel, there have been no post-verdict settlement discussions.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Goldberg & Gage by Bradley Gage, Woodland Hills.
Law Offices of Robert R. Shiri, APC by Robert Shiri, Santa Monica.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Collins Collins Muir + Stewart LLP by Catie Mathers and Nicole Davis Tinkham, South Pasadena.

Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
None.

Defendant’s Medical Expert(s):
Catherine Scarf, Ph.D., clinical psychology, Los Angeles

Bradley Roth, M.D., sugery, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Technical Expert(s):
Otis Dobine, former LAPD officer (use of force).

Defendant’s Technical Expert(s):
Gil Juarado, retired LASD commander (use of force).

Sgt. Paul Delhauer, LASD (crime scene reconstruction).

:
On May 10, 2009 plaintiff, then a 15-year-old male high school student, was playing a game of “cops and robbers” with his friends on bicycles in Palmdale. He was holding a realistic looking toy gun as officers approached. The deputies claimed they saw the gun, felt it was putting individuals in danger and investigated. They claimed that when they told the boy to stop, he turned suddenly and pointed the gun at the deputies. Defendant deputy then shot plaintiff one time. His injuries were minimal.

The plaintiff was criminally prosecuted with three charges of brandishing a weapon.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That plaintiff listened to the deputies’ commands and did not threaten them. The plaintiff claimed that when the deputies came up to him, he dropped the gun as instructed and then he was shot.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That when deputies told the boy to stop, he turned suddenly and pointed the gun at the deputies who were in fear for their lives.

Defendants were not allowed to present evidence regarding plaintiff’s admissions and criminal prosecution to the jury.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Removal of a bullet lodged near the skin. Admitted medical bills totaled $2,760.

Emotional distress, pain and suffering.

Claimed – Past Medical: $2,760

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $49,999
Additional Notes
Defendants claim they will appeal. This is the second excessive force case Bradley Gage has handled against Deputy Sorrow. The first case resulted in a judgment for $1.6 million.

Bicyclist and his wife awarded over $4.75 million after car driver deemed responsible for accident. San Diego County.

Bicyclist runs into driver’s door of a moving vehicle. Bicyclist had right of way. Defense admitted liability on eve of trial but disputed extent of injuries; made 998 offer of $750,000.

Case Name: Gabriel Varela and Bernice Varela v. Birdi & Associates Inc., Moninder Birdi, and Hertz Vehicles LLC
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior Court / 37-2012-00090344-CU-PA-CTL
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Type of Action: Bicycle Accident, Loss of Consortium, Vehicles – Intersection
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Joan M. Lewis
Plaintiffs:
Gabriel Varela, 42, U.S. Navy Commander and his wife, Bernice Varela
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $4,775,399
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: The jury found Birdi to be 100 percent at fault for the collision.
Economic Damages:
Gabriel Varela: $1,355,598 future medical cost

$405,801 future lost earnings
Non-Economic Damages:
Gabriel Varela: $800,000 past pain and suffering

$2,200,000 future pain and suffering

Bernice Varela: $14,000 Loss of Consortium

Trial Time: 3 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 1/2 days
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendants intend to file a motion for new trial. Plaintiffs will be filing a memorandum of costs and motion for sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure Section 2033.420.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Law Offices of Robert Hamparyan by Robert Hamparyan and Laura Sasaki, San Diego.
Law Office of Kane Handel by Kane Handel, San Diego.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Willis | DePasquale, LLP by Larry N. Willis and Shane M. Biornstad, Orange.
Gentes & Associates by Stephen A. Gentes, San Diego.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Michael Lobatz, M.D., neurology, Encinitas.
Brad Cohen, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Poway.
Douglas Dobecki, M.D., pain management, San Diego.
Nancy Markel, Ph.D., neuropsychology, San Diego.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Jonathan Schleimer, M.D., neurology, San Diego.
William Bowman, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego.
Thomas Hedge, M.D., physical medicine, Northridge.
Dean Delis, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Encinitas.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Eugene Vanderpol, accident reconstruction, Carlsbad.
Thomas Jennings, driving and cycling safety, St. George, UT.
Michael Willoughby, Ph.D., economist, San Diego.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Gerald Bretting, accident reconstruction/bicycle safety, Los Angeles.
David Krauss, Ph.D., human factors, Los Angeles.
David Weiner, economist, Los Angeles.

:
On February 8, 2010, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Plaintiff Commander Varela was riding his bicycle northbound on Catalina Boulevard near the intersection of Orchard Avenue in San Diego, California. Defendant Moninder Birdi, who was operating a Hertz rental vehicle, was traveling westbound on Orchard Avenue. Varela collided with the driver-side door of the vehicle being operated by Birdi in the northbound traffic lane on Catalina Boulevard.

Commander Varela and his wife, Bernice Varela, filed suit against Birdi, Birdi & Associates Inc., and Hertz Vehicles LLC. Plaintiffs alleged Birdi was negligent in the operation of his vehicle, and that he was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Hertz was voluntarily dismissed from the action.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Commander Varela claimed that he had the right-of-way at the subject intersection, since Birdi had a stop-sign on Orchard Avenue while traffic on Catalina Boulevard was uncontrolled at that intersection. Plaintiffs claimed Birdi failed to yield the right-of-way and drove into Mr. Varela’s path of travel, causing the collision. The police report for the accident placed fault on Birdi for failing to yield.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant Birdi stipulated one week prior to trial that he acted negligently in connection with the collision, but argued that plaintiff was comparatively at fault for riding his bicycle too fast and not paying attention.

That Mr. Varela made a good recovery from his injuries, and was able to return to work as a Navy Commander. Defendant disputed plaintiff’s claimed cognitive impairments. Also, that Mr. Varela should be awarded no damages for future lost earnings and minimal damages for future medical care and his pain and suffering.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Comminuted intertrochanteric fracture of the right femur; comminuted displaced mid-shaft femur fracture; frontal bone fracture; frontal sinus fracture; upper and lower lip lacerations (through-and-through); right knee meniscus tear; left wrist fracture; concussion; mild traumatic brain injury; cognitive deficits; occipital neuralgia; chronic pain; sleep disorder.

Mr. Varela underwent surgery on his hip and femur, having hardware implanted, on February 9 and 18, 2010, partial hardware removal surgery on November 24, 2010, and arthroscopic right knee surgery on May 8, 2012.

Mr. Varela also underwent multiple surgical procedures on his lips to repair the damage and for scar revision. He also claimed cognitive deficits, occipital neuralgia, chronic pain, and sleep disturbances as a result of the collision.

Claimed – Future Medical: $1,800,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $479,000

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,025,000 on September 14, 2012.
Defendant §998 Offer: $750,000 on March 1, 2013.
Additional Notes
Insurers: Mercury Insurance for Birdi (auto)

Hartford Insurance Group for Birdi (commercial)

Auto mechanic wins $6.8 million verdict against Ford Motor Co. for mesothelioma. Alameda County.

Plaintiff was an auto mechanic with decades of asbestos exposure from Ford parts such as brakes, clutches and gaskets. He was forced to give up his auto repair business when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Majority of jury verdict was for pain and suffering.

Case Name: Patrick Scott and Sharon Scott v. Allied Packing & Supply, Ford Motor Company, et al.
Court and Case Number: : Alameda County Superior Court/ RG12613671
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, November 19, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 23 January 2012
Type of Action: Products Liability, Toxins
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. George C. Hernandez, Jr.
Plaintiffs:
Patrick Scott, 69, auto mechanic
Sharon Scott
Defendants:
Ford Motor Company at trial (all other defendants were dismissed or otherwise resolved before trial).
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $6,825,000
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 22% to Ford; 19% to plaintiff.
Economic Damages:
$1,225,000 lost income, household services, and medical costs.
Non-Economic Damages:
$5,000,000 pain and suffering $600,000 loss of consortium
Trial Time: August 17, 2012 to November 19, 2012
Jury Polls: 9-3 against Ford as to product liability claims; 12-0 against Plaintiff as to comparative negligence.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Kazan, McClain, Lyons, Greenwood & Harley by Justin Bosl, Oakland.
Sales & Satterley by Joseph Satterley, Louisville, Kentucky.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Nixon Peabody by Ron Lopez, Ross Petty and David Pereda, San Francisco.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Allan Smith, M.D., Ph.D., epidemiology, Berkeley.
Barry Horn, M.D., pulmonology, Berkeley.
Eugene Mark, M.D., pathology, Boston, MA.
Michael Yim, M.D., pulmonology (treating physician), Vallejo.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Alberto Marchevsky, M.D., pathology, Beverly Hills.
Mary Jane Teta, Dr.P.H., epidemiology, Middlebury, CT.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
William Longo, Ph.D., materials science, Atlanta, GA.
Michael Ellenbecker, Sc.D., CIH, industrial hygiene, Lowell, MA.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Denis Rushworth, marine engineering, Dowell, MD.
Bryan Hardin, Ph.D., toxicology, Hilton Head, SC.

:
Plaintiff was a career auto mechanic until he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in the fall of 2011. Since then, he has been unable to work. He has always been a “car guy”; he began fixing his personal cars as a teenager before he even had a driver’s license. After serving in the U.S. Air Force and working for nine months at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, he opened his first auto repair shop in 1966 in Sausalito. Later that year, he moved his shop to San Francisco. In 1978, plaintiff opened a one-bay auto shop in St. Helena, California, which he ran until his diagnosis. Throughout his career, plaintiff worked primarily on American-made vehicles, including many Ford cars and trucks. The Ford cars and trucks had asbestos brakes, clutches, gaskets, and other parts. Evidence at trial showed that Ford was a member of the National Safety Council in 1948, when that organization published a paper on the harmful effects of asbestos in brakes.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Ford’s products were defectively designed to include the use of asbestos; that Ford failed to warn of such defects, and that Ford was negligent. Further, that Ford had been aware that asbestos causes mesothelioma since 1960, yet continued to sell asbestos parts until 2001.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That brake mechanics are not at increased risk of developing mesothelioma, so exposure to asbestos from Ford vehicles did not contribute to plaintiff’s mesothelioma. That plaintiff’s mesothelioma was caused by his 9 months of work in a shipyard in 1965.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Malignant Mesothelioma.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,000,000 for Patrick Scott and $500,000 for Sharon Scott
Defendant §998 Offer: $12,500 to Patrick Scott and $2500 to Sharon Scott
Additional Notes
Per defense counsel: Plaintiffs’ proposed judgment after offsets: $1,232,000

Plaintiff counsel notes that other American car manufacturers, in particular, Chrysler and GM, were not included in this action because they had declared bankruptcy before the action was filed.

$90 million to security guards in class action over break time. Los Angeles County.

Security company required guards to be “on duty” during rest breaks, violating Labor Code. Award made by judge in judgment.

Case Name: Jennifer Augustus v. American Commercial Security Services
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior / BC 336416
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, July 06, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 12 July 2005
Type of Action: Class Action, Employment
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. John Shepard Wiley, Jr.
Plaintiffs:
Jennifer Augustus (lead plaintiff, class of 15,000)
Defendants:
ABM Security Services, Inc. d/b/a American Commercial Security Services
Type of Result: Bench Verdict

Gross Verdict: $89,742,126 + attorneys’ fees and costs to be awarded
Net Verdict: $89,742,126 + attorneys’ fees and costs to be awarded
Economic Damages:
$55,887,565 + $31,204,465 interest
Punitive Damages:
Labor Code sec. 203 penalties of $2,650,096

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Roxborough Pomerance & Nye LLP by Drew E. Pomerance, Michael B. Adreani, and Marina N. Vitek, Woodland Hills
Attorney for the Defendant:
Littler Mendelson, PC by Keith A. Jacoby, Dominic J. Messiha, Heather M. Davis, and Carlos Jimenez, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Bruce Deal of Analysis Group, Inc., economic analysis, Menlo Park
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Michael P. Ward, Ph.D., economics, Los Angeles

:
Defendant employer had a company-wide policy and practice which required its security guard employees to remain on call at all times, including during rest breaks. Plaintiff Class of security guards claim they were not provided off-duty rest breaks as required by Labor Code sec. 226.7 because they were required to remain on call and therefore not relieved of all duties. Plaintff security guards were required to carry radios, cell phones, pagers or otherwise be available at all times and were subject to being called back at any time.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That “on call” is not “relieved of all duties” as required by California law. That Defendant employer was required to ensure its employeees were relieved of all duty and failed to do so. Alternatively, Defendant employer was required to obtain an exemption from the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement as it had done in the past but failed to renew or reapply. That based thereon, plaintiffs are entitled to one additional hour of pay for every shift for which they did not receive an “off duty” rest break.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That, so long as the rest breaks were not interrupted, there was no violation.

Statutory damages pursuant to California Labor Code sec. 226.7 of one hour of additional pay at employee’s regular rate of pay for each day which employee was not provided a rest break in compliance with the labor code.

$8.75 million verdict in L.A. Sheriff excessive force/wrongful death case. Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies, in an unmarked car, pursued plaintiffs’ decedent as a DUI/robbery suspect. When decedent’s car crashed, he was surrounded by multiple sheriff’s cars. Decedent backed his vehicle into a sheriff’s car and deputies opened fire, killing him.

Case Name: Montalvo v. County of Los Angeles
Court and Case Number: : LASC, South Central District, Compton/ TC023708
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 06 November 2009
Type of Action: Civil Rights, Excessive Force, Police Shooting, Wrongful Death
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Lynn Olson
Plaintiffs:
Annette Montalvo
Child #1
Child #2
Defendants:
County of Los Angeles
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $8,756,600
Trial Time: 5 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 days
Jury Polls: 10-2

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Taylor & Ring by John C. Taylor and Louanne Masry, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Harold G. Becks & Associates by Harold G. Becks, Los Angeles.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Roger Clark, police policy, practice and procedure, Santee.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Clarence Chapman, police policy,practice and procedure, Santa Monica.

:
On April 26, 2009, plaintiffs’ decedent, Alfredo Montalvo, age 29, a forklift operator and private security guard, was shot and killed by nine Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies in Lynwood. Montalvo is survived by his wife and 2 young children, ages 4 and 7.

Two deputies in an unmarked vehicle attempted to pull over Montalvo who they believed was driving drunk or fleeing from a robbery. After a short pursuit, Montalvo’s vehicle crashed and was trapped between two parked cars. Twelve sheriff’s vehicles and 16 deputies surrounded Montalvo’s car. Montalvo backed his vehicle into a sheriff’s car and, upon impact, deputies opened fire. Nine deputies fired 61 rounds at Montalvo. Montalvo was unarmed.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That as the unarmed decedent was attempting to comply with the commands of the deputies to get out of his car, which was trapped between two parked cars, he backed his car up and impacted the unmarked sheriff’s vehicle parked a few feet behind.

The coroner testified that a gunshot wound to Montalvo’s left arm/head indicated that his arm was most likely raised when he was shot.

Plaintiffs contended that the deputies used excessive force and violated Montalvo’s civil rights.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant’s deputies claimed the amount of force used was justified.

Economic and non-economic wrongful death damages.
Additional Notes
Result: Verdict for Mrs. Montalvo: $2,756,000 Verdict for Child #1: $3,000,300 Verdict for Child #2: $3,000,300 Total Verdict: $8,756,600 The jury also made a finding that Montalvo’s civil rights had been violated.

Information on settlement demands and offers could not be published due to a confidentiality agreement.

$8.3 million verdict when worker falls as he tries to escape runaway construction hoist. San Francisco County.

A 39-year-old construction worker falls 50 feet from an out-of-control construction hoist. Injuries result in an amputated arm and severe depression. Swedish manufacturer of the product denies liability, but is found 57% negligent by jury.

Case Name: Kammerer v. Alimak Hek AB
Court and Case Number: : San Francisco County Superior Court / CGC-07-470119
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, August 23, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 17 December 2007
Type of Action: Construction Site Accident, Products Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. James McBride
Plaintiffs:
Robert Kammerer, 39
Defendants:
Alimak Hek AB
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $8,328,591
Net Verdict: $7,495,732
Award as to each Defendant:
Alimak Hek AB (57%): $2,095,732 (economic) + $3,420,000 (non-economic) = $5,515,732.

Sheedy, Inc. (33%): $2,748,435 credit against past lien and future WC payments. Sheedy was not a defendant at trial due to being plaintiff’s employer.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 10% as to plaintiff
Economic Damages:
$499,287 Past Economic Damages

$1,829,304 Future Economic Damages
Non-Economic Damages:
$2,500,000 Past Non-Economic Damages

$3,500,000 Future Non-Economic Damages

Trial Time: 19 court days
Jury Deliberation Time: 4.5 days
Jury Polls: 12-0 on negligence, design defect, defect causation; various on other. See notes.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger by Michael A. Kelly, Richard H. Schoenberger and Andrew P. McDevitt, San Francisco, CA
Attorney for the Defendant:
Dryden, Margoles, Schimaneck & Wertz by Frank E. Schimaneck, Susan E. Foe and Randy Wertz, San Francisco, CA

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Alex Barchuk, M.D., physical medicine, Kentfield
Marc H. Jacobs, M.D., psychiatry, San Francisco
Cornelius Olcott, IV, M.D., vascular surgery, Stanford
Karen L. Aznavoorian, M.A., life care planning, Fresno
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Raymond Gaeta, M.D., pain management, San Mateo
Bruce T. Adornato, M.D., neurology, Palo Alto
Mark H. Strassberg, M.D., psychiatry, San Francisco
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
C. Stephen Carr, Ph.D., elevators/lifts/conveyors, Palo Alto
Mark A. Rhodes, Ph.D., P.E., electrical, Livermore
Phillip H. Allman, III, Ph.D., economics, San Francisco
Karen M. Preston, P.H.N., R.N., physical rehabilitation, Sacramento
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Fred P. Smith, P.E., mechanical, Alpine, UT
Raymond Pietila, Ph.D., electrical, Roseville
Al Marchant, standards, Shelton, CT
James McGowan, M.A., C.R.C., vocational rehabilitation, Santa Rosa
Mark A. Cohen, Ph.D., economics, Lafayette

:
On Dec. 27, 2005, plaintiff Robert Kammerer, 39, a construction hoist operator, was injured while operating an Alimak Scando 4000 construction hoist at the San Mateo Library jobsite. Plaintiff claimed that as he was transporting a co-employee to the roof, the hoist malfunctioned and would not respond to input from the operator.

Unbeknownst to plaintiff, an electric component within the hoist had short-circuited, rendering the manual controls and safety interlock system inoperable. The electrical failure also rendered the high and low limit switches, door interlock switch and stop button inoperable. The hoist climbed upwards out-of-control. The hoist was equipped with a mechanical lever that acted as a manual shut-off to control the main power. Plaintiff claimed he pulled the lever, but the hoist continued climbing. (Per defense counsel, plaintiff could not actually recall whether he pulled this particular lever.)

Finally, plaintiff opened the hoist gate as the machine passed the roof landing. Opening the door did not cut off power as it was supposed to. Plaintiff feared the hoist was going to come off of the mast and so he attempted to exit the moving hoist. He then fell, roughly 50 feet, landing on the concrete below. The hoist continued upward until it hit the top of the mast and stopped. Plaintiff’s co-employee, who remained in the hoist, did not sustain any physical injuries.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the hoist’s electrical circuitry violated American National Standards Institute requirements that existed when the hoist was manufactured in 1971. That as early as 1963, ANSI required a backup electric circuit breaker to prevent just this type of problem in the event of a failure.

That defendant was liable for a design defect under both the risk-benefit and consumer-expectation test. The cost of adding an additional electrical component was minimal and there was no risk in doing so. Moreover, an ordinary consumer, like Kammerer, would expect the hoist to stop when the stop button was depressed.

That Alimak was negligent in failing to inform owners that the design of the mechanical power lever had been changed in subsequent models of the hoist. Alimak had issued a service message but could not prove that the message had been delivered to its customers.

That prior to the jury trial, Alimak Hek AB denied manufacturing the subject hoist; Alimak claimed that the hoist was manufactured by Linden-Alimak AB, which was a different company. The court ruled against this claim prior to trial (see notes).
Defendant’s Contentions:
That there was no negligence or design defect attributable to Alimak.

That per expert for ANSI, who serves on the ANSI committee, the ANSI standards referenced by plaintiff did not apply to the SCANDO 4000 and even if they did, the SCANDO 4000 met them by inclusion of the main power lever.

That plaintiff’s injuries were caused by his own negligence along with the negligence of his employer, Sheedy Inc. That the electrical component failed because Sheedy utilized non-original equipment manufacturer repair parts and failed to perform maintenance as specified in the SCANDO 4000 manual. The operation manual instructed owners and operators to inspect the electrical component every 400 hours. The last inspection, according to Sheedy’s maintenance documents, occurred more than two years before the incident. The component that failed had not been replaced in over three years. Defense’s mechanical engineering expert testified that Sheedy should have modernized the 33-year-old hoist to bring it into compliance with current Cal-OSHA guidelines. This expert further testified that Sheedy failed to adequately train plaintiff and had it done so, his injuries would have been avoided entirely because he would have understood that the hoist could never come off the top of the mast.

That per plaintiff’s supervisor at Sheedy, plaintiff had loosened the bolt on the final limit switch, which made it inoperable in turning off power to the motors. That this was said to have been done because the final limit switch was automatically engaged every day when the car went below the final limit, due to a problem with the brake, which required plaintiff to loosen the bolt each time to get it powered up again. This process was said to take 15-30 minutes each time, which was too long a delay for contractors who needed the elevator to be in service at all times.

That the the hoist was manufactured by Linden-Alimak in 1971 in Skelleftea, Sweden.

The only remaining defendant at time of trial was Alimak Hek HB, which is a different company than Linden-Alimak.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff was airlifted to Stanford Hospital. He sustained a right elbow dislocation with transection of all arteries and veins, all muscle attachments distal to the elbow, the brachial artery, as well as the median, ulnar, and radial nerves. He also sustained an open fracture of right tibia/fibula and a head laceration.

Arm amputation: Plaintiff’s right arm (his dominant arm) was amputated in a mid-humeral, above-elbow amputation that day and he underwent open reduction and internal fixation/intramedullary nailing of right tibia/fibula. He underwent a left hand endoscopic carpal tunnel release with placement of Arthrex Mini Tight Rope implant.

Plaintiff remained at Stanford until Jan. 6, 2006, at which point he was transported to the acute rehabilitation unit of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Fulton for ten days. Plaintiff claimed chronic, right-upper-extremity, severe neuropathic pain, left thumb trapeziometacarpal joint arthrosis secondary to overuse, myofascial pain syndrome involving right paraspinal muscles and right upper trapezii, and low back pain.

Plaintiff claimed that his physical condition and the medications he required as a result of the pain led to his development of major depressive disorder.

Claimed – Past Medical: $377,256
Claimed – Future Medical: $1,926,411
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $116,526
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $0 – $1,304,890 depending on work life expectancy and future medicals

Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $5,000,000 in past general damages; $200,000 to $500,000 annually for life expectancy of 31 more years (during closing argument per defense counsel.)
Additional Notes
Plaintiff’s counsel reports they impeached defense’s ANSI expert with deposition video clips in which he testified that ANSI did apply. Plaintiff also presented video deposition testimony from the head of research and development for Alimak Hek AB, where he confirmed that ANSI applied.

The parties agreed to have the issue of the identity of the manufacturing defendant tried to the court before jury selection. During discovery, plaintiff’s counsel made two separate trips to Sweden to depose employees of Alimak Hek AB. Through that testimony and records from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, plaintiff established that Alimak Hek AB was directly responsible as the entity which manufactured the hoist, independent of any issues of successor liability under a Ray v. Alad theory. After hearing the evidence and arguments, the court held that plaintiff had proven direct liability.

JURY POLLS: 12-0 on negligence; 11-1 on negligence causation; 12-0 on design defect and design defect causation; 11-1 on negligent failure to warn; 11-1 on negligent failure to warn causation; 12-0 on negligence of employer Sheedy ; 12-0 on negligence of employer Sheedy causation; 10-2 on negligence of Kammerer; 10-2 on negligence of Kammerer causation; 12-0 on damages; 12-0 on apportionment.

$8 million verdict for insurance bad faith after elderly man’s home is destroyed by fire. Los Angeles County.

Insurance company delayed and low-balled payment for re-building of home after fire; also intervened in plaintiff’s case against a separate defendant, attempting to recover more for itself at plaintiff’s expense.

Case Name: Robert Christopher v. Residence Mutual Insurance Company
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior/B223849
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, March 16, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Type of Action: Insurance – Bad Faith, Claims Handling
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Ruth Ann Kwan
Plaintiffs:
Robert Christopher, 86, Marine Corps veteran and retired character actor
Defendants:
Residence Mutual Insurance Company
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $8,062,050
Trial Time: 1 week
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 days
Jury Polls: 10-2
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff recovered a judgment in the underlying action against the third-party tortfeasors.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP by Brian S. Kabateck and Joshua H. Haffner, Los Angeles
Geragos & Geragos by Mark Geragos and Pat Harris, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Fonda & Fraser LLP by Michael A. O’Flaherty, Glendale
Law Office of Jack T. Humes by Jack T. Humes, Agoura Hills

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Guy Kornblum, insurance bad faith, San Francisco
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
None

:
Date of incident: Jan. 17, 2008

Facts: A 33-foot long, construction-company dump truck crashed into the home of Plaintiff and his partner, Patricia Freiling as it carried 15 tons of dirt from a work site and rounded a downhill corner. The crash severed a gas line, causing an explosion. Christopher and Freiling were briefly trapped in the home by fire and smoke and suffered minor injuries in their attempt to escape.

Defendant Residence Mutual, Christopher’s homeowner insurer, paid approximately $220,000 on his claim, but held back some monies and charged Christopher almost $20,000 for the work of an engineer and contractor. Christopher sued the driver of the truck, the trucking company, the City of Los Angeles, and the developer that hired the trucking company (Christopher v. Salmeron).

Defendant Residence Mutual intervened for reimbursement of amounts paid under policy, per its subrogation rights. Residence Mutual contested Christopher’s third-party claims at trial in Christopher v. Salmeron, to drive down his recovery and get part of the $750,000 in liability insurance to satisfy Residence Mutual’s subrogation claim.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant delayed, low-balled, and underpaid plaintiff and improperly paid third parties out of his policy limits. That defendant placed its own interests above plaintiff’s interest in the Christopher v. Salmeron action by attacking his third-party claims to drive down his damages so that defendant could get part of the $750,000 in Salmeron’s liability limits. Plaintiff contended that this delayed his receipt of the $750,000 in third-party insurance, thereby preventing him from rebuilding his home, and causing him to continue to incur $4,500 per month in rent, among other damages.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That defendant did not breach contract or act in bad faith.

Defendant §998 Offer: $125,466.43, and a waiver of Residence Mutual’s subrogation claim.

$75,290 jury verdict for employment disability discrimination; stipulated judgment of $175,000 prior to punitive damages phase. Orange County.

Plaintiff was fired from her job one day after requesting medical leave.

Case Name: Maly Sun v. Transit Air Cargo Inc.
Court and Case Number: : Orange Superior/30-2011-00446922-CU-OE-CJC
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, March 08, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 02 February 2011
Type of Action: Discrimination, ADA, Employment
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Tam Nomoto Schumann
Plaintiffs:
Maly Sun, 36, data entry clerk
Defendants:
Transit Air Cargo Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $75,290 jury verdict with stipulated judgment of $175,000 prior to punitive damages phase.
Trial Time: 5 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 5 hours

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Fernandez & Lauby, LLP by Brian J. Mankin, Riverside
Attorney for the Defendant:
Law Office of Nicholas J. Mosich by Nicholas J. Mosich, Santa Ana

:
Plaintiff was fired from her job one day after requesting medical leave.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant committed disability discrimination and failed to comply with the California Family Rights Act, which may provide time off for treatment of certain medical conditions.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That defendant already had a plan in place, before her medical leave request, to terminate plaintiff due to a need to reduce size of staff as well as past performance issues.

Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $40,000

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $140,000 at MSC.
Defendant §998 Offer: $5,000

$74.5 million med-mal verdict to child born with cerebral palsy. San Luis Obispo.

In-utero heart rate fluctuates dramatically but medical team fails to hasten birth. Child born with cerebral palsy.

Case Name: Blunt v. Haupt
Court and Case Number: : San Luis Obispo Superior/CV 10-0071
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, April 20, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 09 February 2010
Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Charles S. Crandall
Plaintiffs:
Andrew and Jennifer Blunt, on behalf of their daughter, Sofia Blunt.
Defendants:
Kurt Haupt, M.D., Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $74,525,000
Economic Damages:
$63,000,000
Non-Economic Damages:
$11,525,000
Trial Time: 7 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days (Less than 10 hours total per defense)
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Reductions for MICRA. Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center – Confidential settlement, 3 weeks into trial.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP by Nicholas C. Rowley, Robert J. Ounjian, and Rodney G. Ritner, Beverly Hills (at trial)
Michels & Watkins by Philip Michels, Shirley K. Watkins and Jinheung N. Lew, Los Angeles (pre-trial workup)
Attorney for the Defendant:
Bertling & Clausen by Peter G. Bertling, Santa Barbara (for Dr. Haupt)
Hall, Hieatt & Connely by Jay A. Hieatt, San Luis Obispo (for Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center)

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Barry Schifrin, M.D., perinatologist
Maureen Sims, M.D., neonatologist
Carter Sneed, M.D., pediatric neurologist
Sharon Kawai, M.D., physiatrist
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Maurice Druzin, M.D., perinatologist
William Rhine, M.D., non-retained treating neonatologist
Mary Kay Dyes, M.D., pediatric neurologist
Kimberly BeDell, M.D., physiatrist
Linda Olzack, R.N., life care planner
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Peter Formuzis, economist
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Jenny McNulty, economist

:
Date and place of incident: April 19, 2009, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Facts: During birth of the Blunt’s baby, there was an irregularity that caused cerebral palsy. The birth factors that played into this result were in dispute between plaintiffs and defendants.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the in utero heart rate of the Blunt’s baby fluctuated dramatically before birth and the defendant doctor did not hasten the birth of the baby or perform a proper examination of the blood cord, resulting in cerebral palsy in the newborn.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That the baby was diagnosed with an airway obstruction following birth and multiple resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful. Her heart rate was greater than 100 beats per minute during the first 5 minutes of her life, but dropped to 0 because of the NICU team’s inability to establish an airway. The baby had a heart rate of 0 for a minimum of 18 minutes. Once an airway was established, the baby’s heart rate returned to normal and she was subsequently transferred to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford Medical Center where neuroprotective treatment was initiated in a timely fashion.

The fetus did not have any evidence of “fetal distress” on the fetal monitor tracing as testified by the charge nurse, attending labor and delivery nurse and Dr. Druzin. This was a Class 2 tracing according to ACOG Guidelines and did not warrant an expedited delivery via an episiotomy, forceps, vacuum or cesarean section. The defendant did not testify during trial. The cerebral palsy was caused by an airway obstruction which prevented enough oxygen from getting to the brain for more than 18 minutes.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Daughter born with cerebral palsy.
Future medical costs and future loss of earnings.

Claimed – Future Medical: $51,000,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $10,000,000

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,000,000
Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $1,000,000
Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $3,000,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $0
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $0
Defendant Offer during Trial: $2,000,000
Additional Notes
The Rest of the Story

In regard to verdict amounts, defense counsel reported: The non-economic damages will be reduced to $750,000 pursuant to MICRA. There will also be a considerable offset applied to economic and non economic damages awarded by the jury because of the confidential settlement between the plaintiffs and Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. The economic damages figure represents $53,000,000 for the gross value of the child’s future medical care costs and $10,000,000 for the gross value of her future lost earning capacity. Judge Crandall refused the defendant’s request to have the jury decide the present cash value of these damages. He would only allow the jury to decide present cash value if the defense waived their right to request periodic payments of the judgment pursuant to MICRA. In addition, before allowing the jury to decide present cash value, Judge Crandall required the defense to waive their right to appeal his decision regarding this issue, including requiring the defendant and Insurance Company to sign a written waiver of their appellate rights. According to plaintiffs’ economist the present cash value of the future medical expenses was $14,087,506 and the present cash value of the lost earnings capacity was $1,308,980. Also, the jury determined that the child’s life expectancy was 63 years even though the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses testified the child’s life expectancy was significantly reduced to a range between 45 and 50 years. In addition, the plaintiffs’ economist based his economic projection on the assumption the child would live until the age of 47.5.

In regard to the plaintiff’s perinatologist expert witness, defense counsel reported: Judge Crandall excluded any evidence that Dr. Schifrin had been censured by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for giving dishonest testimony in a prior medical malpractice action.

$7.5 million verdict for chiropractor’s slip and fall in Starbucks. San Diego County.

A Starbucks customer fell on a tile floor that the manager had just mopped. The customer hit his head on the floor and was knocked unconscious. The defense offered $100,000, but the jury decided was worth over $7 million.

Case Name: Anthony Zaccaglin, et al v. Starbucks Coffee Company
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior/37-2009-00084460-CU-PO-NC
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, December 23, 2011
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 03 March 2009
Type of Action: Premises Liability, Slip and Fall
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Timothy M. Casserly
Plaintiffs:
Anthony Zaccaglin, age 48, chiropractor; Lisa Zaccaglin (wife)
Defendants:
Starbucks Coffee Company
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $7,456,231. (Includes $1 million to wife for loss of consortium.)

Attorney for the Plantiff:
The Gomez Law Firm by John H. Gomez, James Iagmin and Jessica Sizemore, San Diego
Attorney for the Defendant:
Law Offices of Shayne Figgins by Shayne Figgins, Universal City

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Monte Buchsbaum, M.D., PET scans, San Diego
Doreen Casuto, R.N., life care planning, San Diego
Robert B. Hall, Ph.D., M.A., B.A., vocational rehabilitation, San Diego
Michael Lobatz, M.D., neurology, Oceanside
Martin Magy, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Vista
Elise Reed, D.O., Vista
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
David D. Fox, Ph.D., clinical psychology and neuropsychology, Glendale
John Hochman, M.D., psychiatry, Los Angeles
Kenneth Nudleman, M.D., neurology, Santa Ana
Amy M. Sutton, BSN, MA, Ph.D., CLCP, CRRN, life care planning, Long Beach
Alan D. Waxman, M.D., PET scans, Los Angeles
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Alex Balian, MBA, retail store custom and practice, West Hills
Ted Kobayashi. P.E., accident reconstruction, Livermore
Heather Xitco, MBA, CPA, economics, San Diego
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Steven Molina, Ph.D., vocational rehabilitation, San Clemente
Kenneth A. Solomon, Ph.D., P.E., accident reconstruction, biomechanics, Woodland Hills
Paul Zimmer, forensic document examination, San Diego

:
On March 20, 2008, the manager of a Starbucks in Vista mopped a spill on the floor. She set a cone 4-6 feet away from the mopped area. Plaintiff stepped into the area, slipped and hit his head on the tile floor. He was unconscious for up to 30 seconds.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Defendant did not mop all liquid standing on floor and did not clearly mark the area or attempt to keep customers away from the spill.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Floor was not wet or slippery. That plaintiff did not suffer permanent injuries.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Ongoing symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury including defective memory, lapses in concentration and judgment, emotional lability, sensitivity to light and sound, and fatigue.
Loss of Consortium.

Claimed – Past Medical: $216,759
Claimed – Future Medical: $683,717
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $215,199
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $1,123,677

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1.8 million
Defendant §998 Offer: $100,000

$7.5 million jury verdict for motorcycle injury. San Diego County.

Motorcycle rider rounded a curve and a shuttle driver made a left turn into his path. was penile injury to the plaintiff that affected his sex life. Defense made no offer. Jury awarded large non-economic damages.

Case Name: Matthew Wall v. Pedro Flores Miramontes; Group 1 Automotive Inc; Rancho Auto Group
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior/ 37-2009-00068436-CU-PA-EC
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, December 16, 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Motorcycle
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Jay M. Bloom
Plaintiffs:
Matthew Wall, 27, noncommissioned officer in the Navy
Defendants:
Pedro Flores Miramontes, auto driver; Ranch Auto Group and Group 1 Automotive Inc., owners of dealership employing Miramontes.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $7,553,117
Net Verdict: $7,553,117
Economic Damages:
$53,117
Non-Economic Damages:
$7,500,000

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP by Nicholas C. Rowley, Beverly Hills
Law Offices of Courtney E. Yoder, PC by Courtney E. Yoder, Santa Cruz
Law Offices of Howard A. Kitay by Howard A. Kitay, El Cajon
Law Offices of Kimberly K. Barrows by Kimberly K. Barrows, El Cajon
Attorney for the Defendant:
Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP by Stanley A. Calvert, San Diego

:
On August 30, 2007 Plaintiff drove around a curve in San Diego on his Harley Davidson. Defendant driver was driving a shuttle and made a left turn directly into plaintiff’s path.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Defendant was negligent in driving. His employers were vicariously liable for his actions.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Plaintiff was speeding and not paying attention. Plaintiff should be held 100% at fault.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff suffered a fractured pubic ramus bone and a crushing injury to his penis which resulted in artery and nerve damage. Surgical repair to his penis was done and deemed successful, but plaintiff claimed that the surgery ended up shortening his penis.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $999,999
Defendant §998 Offer: $0

$6.9 million verdict against school district (LAUSD) when 10-year-old male student is molested by teacher. Los Angeles County.

Ten-year-old male student is molested by teacher on and off campus. School principal reported a prior, suspicious incident involving the male teacher. Jury finds school district 30% at fault for not taking earlier action.

Case Name: Walter “Matt” Doe v. Los Angeles Unified School District, et al.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior/ BC 424823
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 30 October 2009
Type of Action: Sexual Abuse
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Suzanne G. Bruguera
Plaintiffs:
Matt Doe, age 10, student
Defendants:
Los Angeles Unified School District and Forrest Stobbe (teacher).
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $23,000,000
Net Verdict: $6,900,000
Award as to each Defendant:
$6,900,000 as to LAUSD; Stobbe was dismissed prior to trial as he pled no contest in the criminal matter and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 30% to LAUSD; 70% to Forrest Stobbe.
Non-Economic Damages:
$23,000,000
Trial Time: 15 days.
Jury Deliberation Time: 4 hours.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Estey & Bomberger by Stephen J. Estey and Michael Bomberger, San Diego
Attorney for the Defendant:
Backus, Bland, Navarro & Weber by David Ernst and Stephen L. Backus, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Paul R. Abramson PhD, causation and damages, UCLA
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Charol Shakeshaft, Educator Sexual Misconduct (school district policies and practices), Virginia Commonwealth University
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
William Bainbridge, School District Standard of Care, St. Augustine, FL

:
Ten-year-old plaintiff was repeatedly sexually assaulted by his male fifth grade teacher in an elementary school classroom during the 2008-2009 school year as well as on summer excursions to amusement parks after school let out in June 2009.

Two years before the molestation began, the principal saw the teacher putting a student in his private car, but took no action because she knew the teacher was friends with the girl’s parents.

At beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, a 10-year-old girl complained that, while she was in line with other students in the classroom, defendant male teacher put her hair into a ponytail and tapped her one time in the upper hip/buttock area. The principal testified she called LAPD with this information and also mailed a Suspected Child Abuse Report (SCAR) to LAPD. The principal sent a SCAR report to other LAUSD executives and administrators.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the principal of the elementary school and other LAUSD executives and administrators had prior notice of improper conduct which presented a danger to students, yet chose not to adequately monitor or supervise his conduct. That as a result, plaintiff was molested. That LAUSD was responsible for the off-premises molestation because it began on school premises.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That the acts of teacher Forrest Stobbe were criminal, intentional and he alone was 100% at fault. That if liability was found, Stobbe was 95% at fault.

That prior hip touch incident was reported to the police, and after the police told the principal to handle it administratively, the principal investigated and found that based on numerous statements taken, the touching of the female student was insufficient to tell the employees that Stobbe would harm children.

Defendant’s school practices expert testified that the principal properly reported the hip touch incident to the police and Stobbe was monitored in a reasonable manner. Additionally, the District asserted that it was not responsible for the acts of abuse that took place during the summer after the school year ended after the plaintiff graduated from elementary school. While plaintiff suffered emotional distress for the sexual abuse, he also had significant problems in his home life and an untreated ADHD condition.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Continuing psychiatric residuals from sexual abuse.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $2,000,000
Defendant §998 Offer: None
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $1,500,000
Defendant Offer during Trial: $2,000,000

$6 million jury verdict for truck driver whose employer insisted he make deliveries in dangerous weather. Sacramento County.

Employer required hazardous materials truck driver to make deliveries in severe storm, then insisted he return for more after his shift even though he informed employer he had been drinking after work. He was fired for not returning to work.

Case Name: Webb v. Ramos Oil Company
Court and Case Number: : Sacramento Superior Court / CV 09‐521
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, July 13, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Sunday, 28 December 2008
Type of Action: Employment, Wrongful Termination
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Daniel P. Maguire
Plaintiffs:
Danny Webb, currently 50, truck driver/delivery
Defendants:
Ramos Oil Company
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $6,241,655 (Plus §998 Interest 10% per annum beginning June 16, 2010: $532,770; Plus Attorney Fees ‐ TBD; Plus Litigation Costs – TBD)
Economic Damages:
$163,852 (Past Wages: $58,012; Future Lost Wages: $105,840)
Non-Economic Damages:
$2,500,000 (Past Mental Suffering: $1,000,000; Future Mental Suffering: $1,500,000)
Punitive Damages:
$3,577,803
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 hours on July 12, 2012 for economic/non-economic damages. 1 hour on July 13, 2012 for punitive damages phase.
Jury Polls: Unanimous as to all liability findings for (1) wrongful termination in violation of public policy, (2) violation of labor code sections 6310 and 6311, and (3) violation of labor code section 1102.5(c).

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Bohm Law Group by Lawrance A. Bohm, Sacramento
Law Office of Erika M. Gaspar by Erika M. Gaspar, Sacramento
Law Offices of Gregory R. Davenport by Gregory R. Davenport, Stockton
Attorney for the Defendant:
Holden Law Group by Kimberley Ann Worley and J. Edward Brooks, Auburn

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Charles Mahla, Ph.D., economics, Sacramento
Jan Null, CCM, meteorology, San Francisco
John Cargile, trucking safety, Grass Valley
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Craig Enos, C.P.A., Folsom
Paul Herbert, C.P.S.A., trucking safety, Quincy

:
Plaintiff worked as a hazardous materials (fuel) tanker-truck driver for Ramos Oil Company, headquartered in West Sacramento in Yolo County. Ramos Oil Company has a fleet of approximately 40‐50 tanker trucks which are used to deliver fuel in Northern California and to Carson City, Nevada. Mr. Webb had worked for the company 13 years when he was terminated on January 7, 2008.

On Friday, January 4, 2008, the Sacramento valley experienced a severe storm with winds at 60 to 70 miles an hour, heavy rainfall and flooding. Due to the severity of the storm, Sacramento and all surrounding areas experienced highway closures and over 350,000 power outages.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That plaintiff worked his delivery shift from 3:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. during the storm on January 4, 2008.

That during his deliveries of combustible and flammable fuels, plaintiff experienced heavy winds that caused his truck to rock and created a fear of tipping. Plaintiff saw flying debris, downed power lines and cars swerving back and forth along different portions of his route.

That during fueling, plaintiff struggled against strong winds and rains in the hooking up and managing of the heavy hoses and fittings. While on the road, plaintiff heard news reports advising that CHP was telling commercial vehicles to stay off the roads. He also heard other fuel companies were calling their drivers in for the day due to the severe and dangerous weather conditions.

That at one of plaintiff’s first deliveries, a power line snapped and hit the driver’s mirror of his vehicle, creating a flurry of sparks. Shaken, plaintiff called in to dispatch complaining it was too dangerous to be driving a hazardous materials truck in the severe weather and asked to return to the yard.

That plaintiff was denied permission to return and was instead instructed to continue his route. That plaintiff was waived off of another delivery because the customer stated it was too dangerous to fuel. Throughout the morning, plaintiff made other calls in to dispatch complaining that it was too dangerous to make deliveries. Each time plaintiff was told to continue with his deliveries.

That at the end of his 8-hour shift, plaintiff returned to the truck yard and complained one more time to dispatch and the Transportation Manager that it was just too dangerous to be sending trucks out in the severe weather. Plaintiff was told to
clock out and go home.

That over three hours later, while having beers with his wife and friends at Bob’s Bar in Elk Grove, plaintiff received the first of three calls from Ramos Oil Company instructing him to come back to work. Plaintiff informed dispatch that he could not come back to work because he had been drinking beer and that the weather conditions were too unsafe. Plaintiff indicated he would be willing to come in the next morning to make deliveries. The other two calls came from his supervisor, the Transportation Manager, who demanded plaintiff return to work even though he had been drinking. Plaintiff was told to “get his ass back to work or else.” That plaintiff was told if he did not return on January 4, he should show up at 9:00 a.m. the following Monday, instead of his regular start time at 3:00 a.m., and that this was a direct order from the Ramos Oil Company President. That plaintiff was fired the morning of January 7, 2008.

That after his termination by Ramos Oil Company, Mr. Webb
eventually found new employment hauling infectious waste for medical offices, coroners, animal clinics and other similar businesses.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff concocted a series of events to keep from having to work on the day of the storm, including falsely claiming a power line had snapped, making unreasonable complaints about
the weather while out on the route, and later lying about having been drinking. That plaintiff had failed to complete his deliveries on January 4.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $275,000 (June 16, 2010)
Defendant §998 Offer: $100,000 (November 14, 2011)

$552,000 for physician’s assistant’s negligence resulting in delayed surgery for wrist injury. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff suffered a wrist injury and sought treatment which did not improve her condition after five months. She had been treated by a P.A., never seen by a physician up to that point. After the fruitless five months, she was finally seen by a hand specialist who immediately recommended surgery.

Case Name: Galvan v. Mora
Court and Case Number: : L.A. Superior Pasadena/ GC045519
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, January 13, 2012
Type of Action: Medical Malpractice
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Jan A. Pluim
Plaintiffs:
Maria Galvan, 51, unemployed assistant bank manager
Defendants:
Blanca Mora, P.A.; Pacific Orthopedic Medical Group
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $552,000
Net Verdict: $479,500
Award as to each Defendant:
Against both defendant Mora and her employer, Pacific Orthopedic Medical Group.
Economic Damages:
$229,500.00
Non-Economic Damages:
$322,500. Reduced to $250,000 per MICRA.
Trial Time: 9 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1.5 days
Jury Polls: 10-2 (negligence), 9-3 (causation), 12-0 (damages)

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Ammirato & Palumbo by Vincent A. Ammirato, Pasadena
Attorney for the Defendant:
Moore McLennan, LLP by Raymond R. Moore, Glendale

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Paul Broadus, M.A., vocational rehabilitation, Los Angeles
Milan Stevanovic, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Los Angeles
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Stuart Kuschner, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Beverly Hills

:
On April 14, 2009 plaintiff fell and sustained an intra-articular fracture of the dorsal radius of her right wrist as well as a stress fracture of the left wrist. She received emergency room treatment and was referred to Pacific Orthopedic Medical Group for follow-up treatment.

On April 16, plaintiff went with her husband to Pacific Orthopedic Medical Group, where she was seen by defendant Mora, a physician’s assistant. Defendant examined plaintiff, took x-rays and performed a closed reduction before re-splinting the wrist.

On April 23, plaintiff returned and was attended again by defendant, who performed another closed reduction with anesthetic and placed the wrist in a cast.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Believed that defendant was a doctor rather than a physician’s assistant and was not told otherwise. Defendant recommended surgery, but when plaintiff asked the difference between surgery and casting, she was told that the injury would heal the same with either treatment except that casting would take longer. Plaintiff chose casting.

After five months of treatment, plaintiff again saw defendant, who at that point consulted with an orthopedist outside of the exam room. Plaintiff was then referred to hand specialist, Dr. Milan Stevanovic who admonished defendant for not having plaintiff seen by a physician prior.

After consultation with Dr. Stevanovic, plaintiff underwent osteotomy surgery with a plate and ten screws.
Defendant’s Contentions:
The words “physician’s assistant” and “PA” were on paperwork, prescriptions and defendant’s gown. Surgery was recommended, but plaintiff chose casting.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Loss of range of motion and grip strength in right wrist and hand as well as a 6-inch scar. Plaintiff claimed that she could not operate a computer keyboard to work.

Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $ 505,000

$55 million against security company at apartment complex after gang shooting. San Bernardino County.

Teenager shot by gang member at apartment complex after security guard fails to break up gang party or warn residents of danger. $1 million policy limits opened up after insurer fails to settle.

Case Name: Antonio Steward vs. Stratus Security Services, Inc.
Court and Case Number: : San Bernardino Superior Court / SCVSS145226
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 22 December 2006
Type of Action: Assault and Battery, Premises Liability, Security
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. John Pacheco
Plaintiffs:
Antonio Steward, 17
Defendants:
Stratus Security Services, Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $55,151,509
Net Verdict: $29,868,461
Award as to each Defendant:
This was a trifurcated proceeding. The First Phase was “Alter Ego”, Second Phase “Liability” and the Third Phase “Damages”.

In phase one, the court found that both corporations were one and the same entity and that both individuals would be held personally liable.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: The jury apportioned fault 49% on the security defendants, 49% on the defendant shooter, Roosevelt Turner and 2% on the plaintiff.
Economic Damages:
Past Medical Expenses: $545,022

Past Loss of Earnings: $159,473

Future Medical Expenses: $3,208,760

Future Loss of Earnings: $1,306,787
Non-Economic Damages:
Past non-economic damages: $4,931,467

Future non-economic damages: $45,000,000
Jury Deliberation Time: Liability – 2 hours; Damages – 3 hours.
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Post-trial motions are pending.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Gary A. Dordick, A Law Corporation by Gary A. Dordick, Beverly Hills.
Law Offices of James Muller by James Muller, Glendale.
Law Office of Sandor C. Fuchs by Sandor Fuchs, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Bradley & Gmelich by Barry A. Bradley and Shirley R. Sullinger, Glendale (for defendants Stratus Security Services, Inc. and Sally Antoon).
Musick, Peeler & Garrett, LLP by Scott MacDonald, Laura Kim and Adam D. Wieder, Los Angeles (for defendants Sherif Antoon and A&A Protective Services, Inc.).

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Lawrence Miller, M.D., physiatrist, Santa Monica.
Graham Woolf, M.D., gastroenterologist, Los Angeles.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Thomas Hedge, M.D., rehabilitation, Northridge.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Joanne Latham, M.S., life care, Encino.
Jubin Merati, economist, Los Angeles.
R. Bruce Ramm, security expert, Orange.
Gregory Lee, violent crimes/gang expert, Pebble Beach.
Karl Schulze, CPA/alter ego expert, Los Angeles.
Keith Vinnecour, prosthetics, West Hills.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Constantine Boukidis, Ph.D., economist, Los Angeles.
Gene Bruno, life care, Encino.
Ricardo Chavez, prosthetics, Northridge.
Russell M. Fransden, Esq., alter ego Expert, Pasadena.
Gregg McCrary, violent crimes/gang expert, Fredericksburg, VA.
John Reith, CPA/alter ego, Pasadena.
Douglas H. Bryant, security expert, Moorpark.

:
Plaintiff was a 17-year old high school student who lived at Aventerra Apartment complex in Fontana. On August 26, 2006 he was sitting on the stairs of the apartment complex at approximately 12:30 a.m., hanging out with two friends. At the same time, a large group of males that appeared to be gang members were having a party outside one of the apartment units, in violation of numerous house rules for the apartment complex.

The Stratus Security Guard, Darrell Hill, approached the individuals having the party. Thereafter, Darrell Hill left the area, walked past the plaintiff and went to his car which was located in one of the other apartment complexes. Thereafter, plaintiff was shot nine times by a member of the local Crips gang.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant Stratus Security Inc., its owner Sally Antoon and A&A Security Services and its owner Sherif Antoon were all essentially one and the same entities, with significant comingling and overlapping of assets, employees and effort.

That the security guard failed to perform the duties that were required of him by not breaking up the party, not identifying who the ten individuals were visiting, not calling 911 to report what he believed to be gang members partying on the premises. That he failed to remain in the area to observe and report and when he left the area walking by the plaintiff, he failed to warn and failed to advise plaintiff that he was not permitted under apartment rules to loiter on the stairs after 10:00 p.m. Plaintiff further contends that one of the individuals at the party was the same individual that approached plaintiff and shot him nine times.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That Stratus and A&A were separate corporations and that all corporate formalities were followed.

That the Stratus Security Guard was only a “courtesy patrol” and his only duties were to be the “eyes and ears” of management and to do various minor activities like close the pool at 10:00 p.m. and close the laundry room after 10:00 p.m. That the courtesy patrol was only there to report improper activity to the management and not to prevent crime.

Defendants also disputed that the individuals the security guard had approached at the outdoor party were the same individuals that shot plaintiff. Finally, defendants argued that the shooting was not foreseeable and that it was an unpreventable random act of violence.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Mulitple gunshot wounds to chest and stomach as well as testicles, scrotum, shoulder and foot. Plaintiff had approximately 40% of his stomach removed and underwent 56 surgical procedures. Plaintiff will undergo numerous additional internal surgeries in the future. Both legs were amputated above the knee due to gangrene.

Plaintiff suffers from shoulder pain, back pain, stomach pain, rectal pain, and phantom pain from the missing limbs. Plaintiff must eat a very restrictive diet and suffers from extensive digestive issues.

Claimed – Past Medical: $545,022.34 (Stipulated)
Claimed – Future Medical: Future Life Care Plan $3,488,767
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $159,473
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $1,306,787

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,000,000 policy limits demand which was rejected, then a CCP 998 demand for $8,500,000 which was also rejected.
Plaintiff Demand during Trial: Offered to settle for $10,000,000 during the deliberations on the liability phase.
Defendant Offer during Trial: $1,000,000 at start; $2,000,000 while the jury was deliberating on the liability phase.
Additional Notes
Insurer: Arch Insurance Group.

$522,689 verdict in low-speed, admitted-liability intersection accident. Sacramento County.

In a low-speed collision with undisputed liability, defendant turns right into plaintiff’s car. Back injury results in years of treatment for back pain and then disc surgery.

Case Name: Lillie Moore v. Richard Mercer
Court and Case Number: : Sacramento County Sup. Court/ CMS 00081045
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Type of Action: Vehicles – Right Turn
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. David De Alba
Plaintiffs:
Lillie Moore, 29, restaurant hostess
Defendants:
Richard Mercer
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $522,689
Economic Damages:
Past Medical: $122,689

Future Medical: $45,000
Non-Economic Damages:
Past: $185,000

Future: $175,000
Trial Time: 6 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 & 1/2 days
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Motion for new trial denied

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Piering Law Firm by Robert Piering and John Beals, Sacramento
Attorney for the Defendant:
Nageley Meredith & Miller by Lawrence Hensley and Andrea Miller, Sacramento

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Phillip Orisek, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Folsom.
Mark Diaz, M.D., rehabilitation, Saramento.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Vicki Schweitzer, RN, health care management, Redding.

:
In September, 2008, plaintiff and defendant were stopped at a red light, side by side. The light phased green and defendant attempted to turn right, hitting plaintiff’s car. Both testified that the collision was at 5-10 mph. Property damage to plaintiff’s car was $1200. Property damage to defendant’s car, $800. Plaintiff was a belted front seat passenger. No injuries or complaints of pain were reported by anyone at the scene.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That plaintiff suffered from ongoing back pain due to injury during the accident.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Admitted liability and disputed extent and causation of injuries. That Dr. Orisek charged excessive fees for his services.

That plaintiff’s ultimate disc surgery was unrelated to the accident.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff developed back pain a few days after the accident and was seen by Mark Diaz, M.D. a few days thereafter. Plaintiff was referred to physical therapy and she also saw a chiropractor.

A few months later, she was referred to Phillip Orisek, M.D. for low back pain. Dr. Orisek recommended conservative care of more physical therapy, which plaintiff underwent at various times for the next 3 ½ yrs. One physical therapist said when he finished with her she was pain free, and able to engage in all activities, so surgery was avoided. Ultimately plaintiff returned to Dr. Orisek for single level disc surgery (L5/S1 disc) in February, 2012.

Claimed – Past Medical: $191,000
Additional Notes
Plaintiff’s pre-surgical settlement demand was $149,000.

Defense initially offered $90,000, then increased to $300,000 ten days before trial.

$5.5 million verdict after teacher engages in ongoing sexual contact with teen student. San Bernardino County.

High school teacher engages in ongoing sexual contact with a female freshman. District disputes extent of plaintiff’s injuries and offers $100,000 before trial.

Case Name: Emily H. v. Chino Valley Unified School District
Court and Case Number: : San Bernardino (Rancho Cucamonga)/ CIV-RS-1105580
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 09 June 2011
Type of Action: Sexual Abuse
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Janet Frangie
Plaintiffs:
Emily H., 14 y.o. minor
Defendants:
Chino Valley Unified School District; and John Hirsch
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $5,590,000
Net Verdict: $5,590,000
Award as to each Defendant:
CVUSD: $3,390,000 Hirsch: $2,200,000

Per defense counsel: The jury found the plaintiff’s parents to have been negligent, but did not apportion any fault to them since they did not conclude it was a substantial factor.
Economic Damages:
Future therapy expenses: $90,000
Non-Economic Damages:
Past emotional distress: $3,000,000

Future emotional distress: $2,500,000
Trial Time: 3 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: 10-2

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Taylor & Ring by David M. Ring, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Bell Orrock & Watase Inc by Dennis Popka, Riverside.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Charol Shakeshaft, school policies, Virginia
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Patricia Jaffe, school policies, Culver City
Veronica Thomas, Ph.D., psychology, Tustin

:
Plaintiff Emily was 14 years old and a freshman at Chino Hills High School when her science teacher, John Hirsch, engaged in unlawful sexual activities with her. Hirsch was 40 years old.

Hirsch was subsequently arrested and convicted of unlawful sex with a minor and served a year in jail.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the school district was liable for its negligent retention and supervision of Hirsch.

In October 2010 the District learned of inappropriate emails sent by Hirsch to plaintiff. Hirsch was disciplined and ordered to stay away from the girl. Within weeks, Hirsch had the girl back in his classroom at lunch frequently. In February, the district informed Hirsch it was terminating his employment, effective at the end of the school year. Hirsch then began engaging in illegal sexual acts with the girl both in the classroom and off the school site. In June, Hirsch was caught using a ladder to try to climb into the girl’s bedroom at her home.
Defendant’s Contentions:
The School District claimed it appropriately disciplined Hirsch for the emails and never learned of any other misconduct by him for the remainder of the school year. The District disputed the nature and extent of the girl’s claimed injuries and damages.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Severe emotional distress.

Claimed – Past Medical: $5,000 (waived by plaintiff); $10,000 per defense.
Claimed – Future Medical: $90,000

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $2,000,000 per defense counsel.
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $100,000
Additional Notes
Emily was 17 years old at the time of trial.

Per defense counsel: The trial court ruled that the defendants could not raise comparative fault as a defense in a negligence action and this, among other legal issues, will be the subject of appellate review.

$5 million awarded to elderly parents when scuba diver dies due to defective equipment. Los Angeles County.

Scuba diver dies off Catalina Island when breathing apparatus fails; diver had pre-existing heart condition. Defense offered $93K, but jury awards $5 million to decedent’s elderly parents.

Case Name: Horace Myers, Joanne Myers v. Förvaltningsobolaget Insulan AB dba Si Tech
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court South District/ NC043612
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, February 01, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 07 July 2010
Type of Action: Products Liability, Wrongful Death
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Roy L. Paul
Plaintiffs:
Horace and Joanne Myers, parents of 50-year-old decedent
Defendants:
Förvaltningsobolaget Insulan AB dba Si Tech
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $5,000,000
Economic Damages:
None.
Non-Economic Damages:
$5,000,000
Trial Time: 14 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours
Jury Polls: 12-0 on both strict product liability and negligence.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Grassini & Wrinkle by John M. Raders, Woodland Hills
Attorney for the Defendant:
Michele Nelson Bass, Aspen, CO (trial counsel); Lesser & Associates, PLC, by Richard A. Lesser and Steven M. McGuire, Redondo Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Jay N. Schapira, M.D., cardiology, Los Angeles
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Daniel G. Blanchard, M.D., cardiology, San Diego
Tom Neuman, M.D., hyperbaric medicine, San Diego
Defendant’s Medical Expert(s):

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Ian Morrison, mechanical engineering, Signal Hill
Jon J. Smith, pathology and autopsy protocol, Ojai
Plaintiff’s Technical Expert(s):

Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Bill N. Oliver, engineering, Escondido
Craig Nelson, M.D.,pathology and autopsy protocol
Defendant’s Technical Expert(s):

:
Plaintiffs’ decedent son, Robert Myers, age 50, died while scuba diving off Casino Point in Catalina on March 6, 2009. At the time of the fatal dive, Mr. Myers was wearing a dry-suit hose manufactured by defendant Forvaltningsobolaget Insulan AB d/b/a Si Tech. This action for wrongful death ensued. Plaintiffs are the 87-year-old parents of Mr. Myers, who died single and without children.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Plaintiffs contended that their son died as a result of the admitted defect in defendant’s breathing apparatus. Plaintiffs acknowledged that their son had pre-existing coronary artery disease which was determined by autopsy.

Plaintiffs, while disputing the nature and extent of the coronary artery disease, contended that their son’s undisclosed medical condition made him susceptible to cardiac arrhythmia prompted by the failure of the breathing apparatus, which in turn resulted in his death.

The lead investigator for dive fatalities for Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Sheriff’s detective David Carver, testified that following the fatal accident, the Si Tech flow restriction orifice was found in the second stage of the Scuba Pro regulator purchased by the decedent. He testified that he then dove with the decedent’s equipment within a week of the fatal dive, and that doing so was akin to “breathing through a straw.” Detective Carver opined that the breathing device would not sustain life at the depth encountered by the decedent.

Plaintiffs also disputed defendant’s contention that their son knowingly concealed any heart-related problem on medical questionnaires completed for scuba dive classes.
Defendant’s Contentions:
At trial, defendant company Si Tech admitted that its product was defective but disputed causation and contended that its product, though defective, did not fail on this dive.

Defendant contended that decedent’s death resulted from sudden cardiac arrest due to pre-existing coronary artery disease unrelated to their product. Si Tech presented videos of three of its four experts successfully diving with the decedent’s actual equipment to depths equal to or greater than those during the fatal dive, without incident. A similar video made by the dive shop owner who sold the equipment to the decedent in Chicago, using exemplar equipment, was also shown.

Loss of consortium for wrongful death of 50-year-old son.

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $5,000,000.00 mediation on 2/21/12.
Defendant §998 Offer: $93,192.57 per plaintiff by §998 on 12/21/11.
Additional Notes
In closing argument, plaintiffs requested an award of exactly $5,000,000.00 divided equally between the parents.

$4.5 million verdict for minors abused by school teacher. San Diego County.

Continued parental concerns over a teacher’s attention to female students went unanswered by authorities at an elementary school in Carlsbad. School district found liable by jury.

Case Name: Emma & Jaiden v. Carlsbad Unified School District
Court and Case Number: : San Diego County (North County: Vista); Case No. 37-2010-60474-CU-PO-NC
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, June 18, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 01 September 2010
Type of Action: Negligence, Sexual Abuse
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Timothy Casserly
Plaintiffs:
Emma
Jaiden
Defendants:
Carlsbad Unified School District
Raymond Firth
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $4,500,000
Net Verdict: $4,500,000
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Carlsbad Unified: 40% at fault; Raymond Firth: 60% at fault
Economic Damages:
$200,000 each plaintiff
Non-Economic Damages:
Emma: $2,500,000; Jaiden: $1,600,000
Trial Time: 5 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 days
Jury Polls: 12-0 liability; 10-2 damages
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: N/A

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Taylor & Ring by David M. Ring and Louanne Masry, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Stutz, Artiano, Shinoff & Holtz by Daniel Shinoff and Paul Carelli, San Diego (for CUSD)
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP by Marilyn Moriarty, San Diego (for Raymond Firth)

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Dr. Clark Clipson, psychologist, San Diego
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Dr. Glenn Lipson, psychologist, San Diego
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Dave Cowles, school liability, Vista

:
Raymond Firth was a teacher employed by Carlsbad Unified School District from 1999 to 2007. He taught 3rd grade.

In Fall 2006, the assistant principal walked into Firth’s classroom during recess and found Firth with a girl on his lap. After plaintiff Jaiden reported the abuse in Fall 2007, an investigation ensued, but Firth was not immediately charged with any crime due to lack of evidence. He was placed on administrative leave by the school district.

After another victim came forward in 2008, Firth was criminally charged. Then plaintiff Emma came forward in 2009 and reported that she, too, had been a victim. Firth eventually plead guilty and was sentenced to prison. Firth groped Jaiden one time outside of her clothing. Firth molested Emma many times.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Firth molested Emma during school year 2006-2007 when she was a student in his class. That Firth molested Jaiden in Fall 2007 when she was a student in his class, and that Jaiden immediately reported the abuse.

That Between 2001 and 2007 a few parents complained to the school’s principal about Firth’s interactions with girls. That Firth frequently had his female students sit on his lap during class. ThatHe was often in the classroom with one or just a few girls before school or during recess or lunch. That at least one parent was uncomfortable with this and told the principal.

That the school district was negligent in its supervision of its teacher. The school’s principal received several complaints over the years about Firth’s improper interactions with girls (sitting on his lap, alone in the classroom, excessive physical contact), yet did little or nothing to end the misconduct. In Fall 2006 the assistant principal observed Firth with a girl on his lap and reported that to the principal, but the principal again did little or nothing in response. Then, a parent reported similar misconduct by Firth to another teacher, who failed to report it to the principal. The school district failed to take adequate action to end the improper behavior by Firth.

Plaintiffs contended that their government tort claims were excused from being late because the school district caused the parents to delay in presenting the claims. Plaintiffs contended that they suffered severe emotional distress and PTSD as a result of the molestations.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant school district contended that it had not received any complaints about Firth. The principal spoke to Firth about the importance of keeping proper physical boundaries with students each time the issue was raised and Firth agreed to do so. At no time did the principal or anyone else from the school suspect anything improper was taking place. Firth was a well-liked teacher and had satisfactory performance reviews. The school was not negligent as it properly supervised its teachers and had no way of knowing or even suspecting that Firth was molesting girls.

Defendant school district also contended that each plaintiff filed a late government tort claim and that each claim was therefore time-barred. The school district contended that plaintiffs’ emotional distress was caused, in part, by their parents’ divorces. Finally, the school district contended that Firth was 100% responsible for any of the plaintiff’s damages, as Firth committed criminal acts.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Severe emotional distress; post traumatic stress disorder; depression

Claimed – Past Medical: None
Claimed – Future Medical: Future therapy costs
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: None
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: None
Additional Notes
Additional note: Defense expert, Dave Cowles, was the Superintendant of neighboring Vista Unified School District from 1998 to 2006.

$4 million verdict for wrongful death on dangerous roadway. San Diego County.

Active-duty marine, age 22, loses control on wet roadway and hits telephone pole. Ongoing problem of flooding on road as well as decedent’s driving and state of mind (attentiveness) while driving are examined in trial against county.

Case Name: Keith Schultz, Tobie Deala v. County of San Diego, et al.
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior/37-2010-00060181-CU-NP-NC
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, March 29, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Type of Action: Dangerous Condition of Public Roads, Highways
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Earl H. Maas, III
Plaintiffs:
Keith Schultz and Tobie Deala (parents of decedent, Samantha Schultz)
Defendants:
County of San Diego, San Luis Rey Downs Enterprise LLC, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $4,000,000
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: The jury found 80 percent at fault against the county and 10 percent each against the decedent and defendant golf course (settled out).
Non-Economic Damages:
$4,000,000 ($2,000,000 to each plaintiff)
Trial Time: 9 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: San Luis Rey Downs Enterprise LLC (golf course) – Settlement: $200,000 prior to trial San Diego Gas & Electric Company (owner of the utility pole which decedent struck) – Settlement: $100,000 prior to trial

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Booth & Koskoff by Roger E. Booth, Torrance
Attorney for the Defendant:
Office of County Counsel by George W. Brewster, Jr., San Diego

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
None
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Mark A. Kalish, M.D., psychiatry, San Diego
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Charles Dickerson, accident reconstruction, Mesa, AZ
Richard F. Ryan, highway design, Vancouver, WA
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Glenn Follen, tire performance, Austin TX
Arnold A. Johnson, traffic engineering, Fair Oaks
Jene Lyle, hydrology, Irvine
Arnold W. Siegel, accident reconstruction, Encino

:
Date and place of incident: April 22, 2010/Camino del Rey in Bonsall, San Diego County.

Facts: When driving home from work at Camp Pendleton, 22 year-old Marine Corporal Samantha Schultz collided into a utility pole on Camino del Rey in Bonsall. She died the next day as a result of her injuries. There was approximately ¼-inch of water on the road at the time of the crash due to an overflow from nearby Moosa Creek as a result of a recent rainstorm.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the crash which caused the death of plaintiffs’ daughter was due to a dangerous condition of public property, namely flooding on Camino del Rey, a road owned and maintained by Defendant County of San Diego.

The county and the owner of an adjacent golf course (Defendant San Luis Rey Downs) had been in discussions for over four years about this flooding issue and how to solve it. As there was a history of at least 15-20 hydroplaning crashes at or near the location, plaintiffs contended that the county had notice of the foreseeable risk and hazard and should have remedied the situation.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That there existed no dangerous condition of the road, as the accident rate on Camino del Rey was reported to be less than the statewide average for similar roads; denied that the amount of water on the road was a risk for drivers exercising reasonable care. The number of crashes claimed by plaintiff is anecdotal and comes from the testimony of a county road crew member. Further, that those crashes involved a variety of circumstances including dry weather/dry road, and many were of driver error.

Accident reconstructionist testified that decedent was traveling between 55 and 65 mph, accelerated into the curve and may have made a panic turn when she saw a large truck coming toward her in the curve.

Defense psychiatrist testified that text messages sent by the decedent on the day of the crash, describing her emotional turmoil over a breakup with her boyfriend and mentioning a medical procedure for cervical cancer that she underwent earlier on the day of the crash, substantiated she was distracted emotionally and was inattentive in her driving. Further, that she had been seen for mental health on the day of the accident and went to the pharmacy to pick up medications.

County contended that it had placed temporary “Flooded” signs on the roadway early on the morning of the crash (there was conflicting testimony on this contention during trial).

County claimed that defendant golf course (settled out) bore substantial fault for having failed to maintain the creek or take significant action in response to watercourse violation notices from the county in 2006 and 2008. Golf course defendant had asserted in ongoing discussions with county that it was effectively prevented from performing the needed maintenance due to a myriad of environmental restrictions.

County contended (based on Government Code section 835.4(b)) that its conduct with regard to addressing the flooding problem on Camino del Rey was reasonable in light of its budgetary constraints and the substantial cost involved in permanently solving the flooding problem.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Loss of daughter’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,300,000 ($650,000 to each plaintiff)
Defendant §998 Offer: $100,000 ($50,000 to each plaintiff)
Additional Notes
The Rest of the Story

According to plaintiffs’ counsel, although the defense expert psychiatrist centered much testimony on the likely distracted mental state of the decedent and ant inattentiveness in driving, her commanding officer testified that decedent never let her personal life affect her ability to do her difficult job as a Marine.

$4 million award against SC Edison when “stray electrical current” forces plaintiff from her home. Los Angeles County.

Woman says utility company failed to tell her the electrical history of her house, which the utility had once owned; she claims “stray electrical charges” forced her to abandon the home and caused her physical and emotional injury.

Case Name: Simona Wilson v. Southern California Edison Company
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court – Torrance/ YC 065545
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, March 18, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 16 September 2011
Type of Action: Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligence
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Stuart M. Rice
Plaintiffs:
Simona Wilson, 31
Defendants:
Southern California Edison
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $4,050,000
Economic Damages:
None.
Non-Economic Damages:
$1,050,000
Punitive Damages:
$3,000,000
Trial Time: 8 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: Nuisance: 12-0; Negligence: 10-2; Punitive damages: 9-3.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Grassini & Wrinkle by Lars C. Johnson and Brian Hong, Woodland Hills.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Lim Ruger & Kim LLP by Christopher Kim and Arnold Barba, Los Angeles.

Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Stephen Waxman, M.D., Ph.D., neurology, West Haven, CT
Said Beydoun, M.D., neurology (treating physician), Los Angeles
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Douglas N. Bennett, P.E., electrical engineering, Long Beach
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
John D. Loud, P.E., electrical engineering, Menlo Park

:
Plaintiff and her three young children lived in a single family house on Knob Hill Avenue in Redondo Beach. The house was located adjacent to a Southern California Edison (SCE) power substation. Plaintiff claimed that she felt electrical current coming from her shower head. Plaintiff confronted her utility company — Southern California Edison — about the problem, and was told that the issue was due to neutral to earth voltage (“stray electrical currents”) running through her property, and that this condition might explain why there was electricity on her bathroom water lines.

Plaintiff eventually left the home after an independent home inspector told her to “get out” immediately. Plaintiff ultimately lost the home to foreclosure. (Plaintiff was approximately $168,000 under water on her mortgage when she moved out, per defense counsel.)

Plaintiff eventually hired a lawyer and went to the media to bring attention to the problem. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit alleging negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and nuisance. She sought both compensatory and punitive damages.

In the course of discovery, plaintiff learned that the home was once owned by SCE; that SCE rented the home to tenants for many years before selling the home in 1999; that
prior tenants and prior owners had complained about getting shocked in the home on several occasions dating back to the early 1980s; and that SCE once considered demolishing the home and keeping the property as a “buffer” between the neighborhood and the Edison Substation next door. Edison never
disclosed this history when it sold the home (to a prior owner) and never told Ms. Wilson about the extent of prior complaints.

Per defense counsel, Edison did not disclose the shock history when selling the home in 1999 as the company thought the problem had been fixed. Edison had provided a homeowner previous to plaintiff with a written letter confirming the remediation work Edison performed following a complaint about shocks in 2004 and that there was no safety hazard from stray voltage. There were no more complaints of shocks from stray voltage until March 1, 2011, after plaintiff remodeled her bathroom. At that time, Edison explained the 2004 remediation work to plaintiff.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
Plaintiff complained for nusiance, negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Southern California Edison denied liability, arguing that it always responded to complaints in the past and thought the problem was resolved. Edison also denied it breached any applicable standard of care, and denied that the plaintiff suffered any injuries, or that low-voltage electricity could have caused any of the symptoms alleged by plaintiff.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff was initially diagnosed with nerve damage, which her doctors later theorized may have developed into a secondary condition called Erythromalalgia or EM. EM can cause pain, tingling and discoloration in the hands and feet. There is no known cure. At the time of trial, however, plaintiff’s doctors were not able to say that plaintiff suffered an electrical injury. Medical tests conducted by her doctors were all negative, and the doctors remain uncertain of what is causing her current symptoms.

Plaintiff also claimed emotional distress and anxiety.

Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $1,000,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $100,000 per plaintiff counsel.
Defendant Offer during Trial: $1 million per plaintiff counsel (see notes below).
Additional Notes
Settlement offer notes:

Per plaintiff’s counsel, at two mediation sessions Edison made no offers. On the first day of trial, Edison offered Ms. Wilson $100,000 to settle . That offer was rejected. During trial, Edison offered $1 million contingent on confidentiality. That too was rejected.

This information is incorrect per defense counsel who states that plaintiff served Edison with a Statement of Damages claiming she had suffered damages in the amount of $100,000,000 (one-hundred million dollars).

During trial:

Per plaintiff’s counsel, Edison called a world-renowned neurological specialist in the field of Erythromalalgia (EM): Doctor Steven Waxman of Yale Medical School, who testified plaintiff does not have EM, and that she suffered no medical injury as a result of her exposure to electricity. Edison also called John Loud, an electrical engineer with Exponent (formerly Failure Analysis). Loud testified that stray voltage is a common phenomenon, associated with most modern electrical distribution systems, and that Edison’s system was typical. As for injuries, Loud conducted a demonstration in the courtroom, which involved him putting electrical current through his body. Mr. Loud showed the jury the muscles in his arm contracting at voltage levels similar to those found at the home, and argued there was “no harm” from that current. Loud testified that electrical current is often used in the medical field for rehabilitation and other treatment purposes. Loud said this is not a safety issue, but a mere “customer service” issue.

Per defense counsel, Edison called plaintiff’s treating specialist, neurologist Said Beydoun, M.D., who testified that plaintiff does not have any nerve injuries and does not have secondary EM. Expert neurologist Dr. Waxman testified that there was no evidence to support a conclusion that low voltage electricity caused plaintiff’s symptoms.

Defense counsel points out that plaintiff called no medical experts and did not call the independent home inspector who told her to “get out” to testify.

$36 million for Indian couple hit by big rig. Severe spinal injury. Riverside County.

Plaintiffs were visiting relatives in the U.S. when their passenger vehicle was struck on freeway by a tractor-trailer truck. Plaintiff wife suffered severe spinal injuries and requires constant care. Defendant trucking company denied liability and offered a $250,000 settlement pre-trial. Jury found trucking company 100% liable.

Case Name: Jaishree Sheth v. Schneider National Carriers, Inc.
Court and Case Number: : Riverside County Superior Court / RIC 10020226
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, June 29, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Type of Action: Negligence, Vehicles – Tractor Trailers
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Sharon J. Waters
Plaintiffs:
Prakash Sheth, 64, retired chemist
Jaishree Sheth, 58, former financial consultant
Defendants:
Schneider National Carriers, Inc.
Jimmy Eugene Morgan, driver of truck for defendant Schneider National Carriers, Inc.
Gamanial Jekisondas Shah (relative of plaintiffs, who was driving car plaintiffs traveled in)
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $36,482,302.56
Net Verdict: $36,482,302.56.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 100% Liability as to Schneider National Carriers, Inc.
Economic Damages:
$5,482,302.56 (see breakdown in notes below)
Non-Economic Damages:
$31,000,000.00 (see breakdown in notes below)
Trial Time: 16 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 days
Jury Polls: 12-0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Panish, Shea & Boyle LLP by Brian J. Panish, Thomas A. Schultz, and Ryan A. Casey, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Snyder Law, LLP by Barry Clifford Snyder, Santa Barbara (for Defendant Schneider National Carriers, Inc.)
Horton, Oberrecht, Kirkpatrick & Martha by Kimberly S. Oberrecht, San Diego (for Defendant Gamanial Shah)

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Sanjog Pangarkar, M.D., pain management and rehabilitation, Los Angeles
Harris Ronald Fisk, M.D., neurologist, Los Angeles
Jan Roughan, R.N. life care planner, Monrovia
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Timothy Davis M.D., pain management and rehabilitation, Santa Monica
Donald Miller, M.D., neurologist, Glendale
Mary Jesko, R.N., life care planner, Los Angeles
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Alvin Lowi III, P.E., accident reconstruction, El Segundo
John Brault, MS, biomechanics, Mission Viejo
Peter Formuzis, Ph.D, economist, Santa Ana
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Thomas Fugger, Jr. P.E., accident reconstruction, Valencia (for Defendant Schneider)
John Tyson, BS, MS, PE., accident reconstruction, Los Angeles (for Defendant Shah)
Edward L. Workman, Ed. D., vocational rehabilitation, San Clemente
Michael Willoughby, Ph.D., CFA, economist, La Jolla

:
On March 26, 2010, plaintiffs Jaishree and Prakash Sheth, a married couple, were visiting relatives in the United States and were on their way to the Orange County, California airport to take a family vacation to Hawaii. The Sheths were passengers in a vehicle driven by one of their U.S. relatives, Defendant Shah, when a collision occurred between a big-rig owned and operated by defendant Schneider National Carriers, Inc. and the vehicle carrying the Sheths.

The accident occurred on Interstate 10, in the city of Beaumont.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the Schneider tractor trailer improperly attempted to pass the car, crossed over into the Sheth’s lane and hit their vehicle. That the impact of the truck caused the Sheth’s vehicle to spin out of control across the freeway where it hit the median barrier and was struck by another vehicle.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant Schneider contended that its driver committed no negligent act, never attempted to change lanes,and that the vehicle driven by defendant Shah swerved into its driver’s lane, causing the collision.

Defendant Shah contended that he never left his lane and that the Schneider big-rig improperly attempted to pass his car, crossed over into his lane and hit his car, causing it to spin out of control across the freeway, where it hit the median barrier and was struck by another vehicle.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff Prakash Sheth suffered minor physical injuries in the collision. Plaintiff Jaishree Sheth suffered a C5-6 fracture, spinal fracture and spinal cord injury in the March 26, 2010 accident. When she arrived at the hospital, Mrs. Sheth was completely paralyzed. She underwent two emergency surgeries, experienced respiratory failure and was hospitalized for two months. Mrs. Sheth still requires 24-hour attendant care, is unable to control her bowel and bladder, and still has not regained full use of her hands or limbs and has no fine motor skills.
Plaintiff Prakash Sheth also had a claim for loss of consortium.

Claimed – Past Medical: $5,478.56 (Prakash Sheth); $469,490.00 (Jaishree Sheth)
Claimed – Future Medical: $4,810,992.00 (Jaishree Sheth)
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $18,746.00 (Jaishree Sheth)
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $80,171.00 (Jaishree Sheth)

Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Schneider National offered $250,000.
Additional Notes
The jury awarded Mr. Sheth:

Past Medical: $5,478.56

Past Pain and Suffering: $1,000,000.00

Future Pain and Suffering: $1,000,000.00

Loss of Consortium: $1,000,000.00

The jury awarded Mrs. Sheth:

Past Loss of Earnings: $18,746.00

Future Loss of Earnings: $80,171.00

Past Loss of Household Services: $8,000.00

Future Loss of Household Services: $89,425.00

Past Medical: $469,490.00

Future Medical: $4,810,992.00

Past Pain and Suffering: $6,000,000.00

Future Pain and Suffering: $22,000,000.00

Plaintiff’s counsel believes this to be the largest personal injury verdict in Riverside County.

$3.9 million verdict when Wyndham Vacation Resorts breaches contract, commits fraud against travel wholesaler. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff, a wholesale travel sales company, sold certificates to defendant Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s timeshares for many years. When the recession hit, defendant broke oral and written contracts, costing plaintiff a majority of its business as it had worked almost exclusively for defendant.

Case Name: Casablanca Express, Inc. vs. Wyndham Vacation Ownership, et al
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles County Superior/ BC 436168
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, October 22, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 01 April 2010
Type of Action: Fraud
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Victor E. Chavez
Plaintiffs:
Casablanca Express, Inc.
Defendants:
Wyndham Vacation Ownership
Wyndham Resort Development Corporation
Wyndham Vacation Resorts
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $3,907,000. Settled confidentially before punitive damages phase.
Economic Damages:
$3,907,000: $3,192,000 for fraud; $715,000 for contract damages.

The jury found that Wyndham breached the right of first refusal provision of the agreement by secretly using other travel certificate companies without offering Casablanca the right of first refusal. The jury found that Wyndham acted with “fraud, oppression, or malice” sufficient to justify punitive damages.

proceeded to a punitive damage phase which included the evidence of Wyndham’s net worth. After the punitive phase of the trial, and while the jury was deliberating on punitive damages, settled for a confidential amount.
Punitive Damages:
Case settled for a confidential sum while jury was deliberating on punitive damages.
Trial Time: 20 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 5 days
Jury Polls: 12-0
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Case settled for a confidential sum while jury was deliberating on punitive damages.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack by Paul Traina, Scott A. Marks, and Richard P. Kinnan, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Terra Law, LLP by David Draper and Martin Dioli, San Jose.

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Chris Hamilton, forensic accounting and fraud examination, Simi Valley.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Edward Westerman, forensic accounting and fraud examination, San Francisco.

:
Over a 19 year period (1989 – 2008), Casablanca Express and Wyndham built a business relationship whereby Casablanca helped Wyndham market and sell its timeshare products. Casablanca sold Wyndham Travel Certificates for use in its marketing and sale of timeshares. Casablanca agreed to and did serve as the travel agency for the Wyndham Travel Certificates, and Casablanca serviced the travel certificates by arranging for and fulfilling all the proper accommodations and travel called for by the travel certificates.

At Wyndham’s request, Casablanca worked almost exclusively for Wyndham. As part of the contract between the parties, Wyndham agreed to give Casablanca a “wind-down” severance agreement, whereby Wyndham would pay Casablanca for three years after terminating its relationship with Casablanca so as to allow Casablanca time to rebuild its business with other clients. Wyndham also promised to give Casablanca the right of first refusal to sell all travel certificates used by Wyndham.

In October 2008, claiming it needed help during the recession, Wyndham requested that Casablanca waive the wind-down clause in exchange for promises of a long-term, growing and exclusive business relationship going forward. Shortly after Casablanca agreed to delete the wind-down provision of the agreement (and give up other financial entitlements) in exchange for the promise of a long-term, growing and exclusive business relationship going forward, Wyndham abruptly ceased doing business with Casablanca.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant breached numerous oral and written contracts and acted with fraud.

Plaintiff claimed that during the parties’ business relationship, Casablanca maintained a 100% successful service rate for all the travel certificates sold to Wyndham.

That Wyndham had intentionally misrepresented facts to Casablanca about the long-term, growing and exclusive business relationship going forward, and, that Wyndham fraudulently concealed its secret intent to terminate the business relationship at the time it got Casablanca to waive the wind-down clause (and its other financial entitlements).

Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant contended that they did not breach any oral or written contracts and did not commit fraud in their dealings with plaintiff.

$280,000 verdict against trustee who mishandled trust funds. Tehama County.

When professional trustee of family trust uses funds to invest in his own investment company, family cries foul!

Case Name: Russell Family Trust v. Richard A. Cox
Court and Case Number: : Tehama Superior Court / PR 14010
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Type of Action: Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Jonathan W. Skillman
Plaintiffs:
Darla Jean Dykier, a beneficiary of the Russell Family Trust
Defendants:
Richard A. Cox
Type of Result: Bench Verdict

Gross Verdict: $280,209.31 including interest, costs and attorney fees.
Award as to each Defendant:
Against Richard A. Cox: $93,857.00 damages; $28,157.00 prejudgment interest; $37,537.50 attorney fees; $3,742..53 costs; $116,915.28 Trustee Fees. The court found that defendant had not made proper and full disclosures of his business transactions and dealings to plaintiff Russell Family Trust, and that he breached his fiduciary duty.
Trial Time: 2 days

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Freedman Law Firm by Michael E. Freedman, San Francisco
Attorney for the Defendant:
John C. Schaller, Chico

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
John Bentley, real estate appraiser, Janesville

:
On November 24, 2008 Richard A. Cox was appointed as Trustee of the Russell Family Trust which consisted of a marital trust and decedent’s trust. Mr. Cox was a professional fiduciary and acted as Trustee in a number of other trusts.

On March 9, 2009 defendant Cox withdrew $89,075.25 from The Russell Decedent’s Trust and deposited the money into his Bank of America account that he used to run his company, Fiduciary Investments, Incorporated. Fiduciary Investments, Inc.’s assets consisted of a small cash reserve (under $500), and real property in Portola, California.

After withdrawing the $89,075.25 from the Russell Trust account, defendant issued stock in his company, Fiduciary Investments, Inc. to The Russell Decedent’s Trust. Over the next four-day period, defendant used $70,572 to pay off other trusts that he had invested in Fiduciary Investments, Incorporated. He paid those other trusts off at full value or at carry value, despite the fact that the real estate assets in Fiduciary Investments, Inc. had been declining for several years. After paying off these other trusts, he also used the plaintiffs’ money to pay himself $8,469. The remaining $10,000 was used by defendant to run Fiduciary Investments, Inc.

On July 6, 2009 defendant withdrew another $11,682 from The Russell Trust and deposited the money into his company’s Bank of America account. He paid $5,175 to plaintiff trust and $5,175 to another trust that he managed. In 2010 he paid back to plaintiff trust $1,725, calling it a dividend.

On August 25, 2011 defendant dissolved Fiduciary Investments, Inc. and transferred a 50% interest in the Portola real estate to himself as Trustee of The Russell Decedent’s Trust. Defendant redeemed the shares of Fiduciary Investments, Inc. which were owned by the Russell Decedent’s Trust with the conveyance of this one-half interest in the real property. The current fair market value of the property is $55,000 according to trial testimony, and the 50% interest transferred to the Russell Decedent’s trust is worth $27,500.

In the 2009 accounting for The Russell Decedent’s Trust, and again in 2010, defendant listed the value of Fiduciary Investments, Inc., which consisted of the real property in Portola, at $100,757.25. He did not have the properties appraised but relied upon letters from the real estate agent who sold him the properties; even this agent indicated that the value of the properties was declining.

Prior to the commencement of the Petition for Suspension and Removal, defendant did not disclose to the beneficiaries or to the court that Fiduciary Investments, Inc. was his own wholly managed and operated real estate business.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant’s actions should result in removal of trustee by the Court for breaching the duty of loyalty; conflict of interest; disclosure; Uniform Prudent Investment Act; and self-dealing. [Probate Code Sections 15642(b)16002, 16004, 16045].

Plaintiff asked that defendant be found in contempt of court for failure to turn over trust documents.

Plaintiff asked that the court set aside settlement of accounts due to fraud; asked for punitive damages.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant denied wrongdoing and contended that no damages were suffered. Defendant denied charge of contempt for failure to turn over trust documents.

Surcharge damages of $93,857. Plaintiff asked forfeiture of trustee compensation of $116,915, plus attorney fees and costs.
Additional Notes
Defendant was found not guilty of contempt and punitive damages were not awarded, though requested by plaintiff.

$27 million awarded against assisted-living facility for negligence in care of Alzheimer’s patient. Sacramento County.

Alzheimer’s patient, 81, suffers a severe decline in her physical health after only three months in assisted-living facility. Jury awards $27 million, mostly punitive damages.

Case Name: Joan Boice, et al v. Emeritus Corporation
Court and Case Number: : Sacramento Superior Court/ 34-2009-00063714
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, March 08, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Thursday, 12 November 2009
Type of Action: Elder Abuse, Wrongful Death
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Judy Holzer Hersher
Plaintiffs:
Joan Boice, Eric Boice, Mark Boice, Nancee Boice (Joan and Myron’s adult children)
Defendants:
Emeritus Corporation
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $27,088,943.81
Economic Damages:
None.
Non-Economic Damages:
Pain and suffering: $3,875,000

Wrongful death: $250,000
Punitive Damages:
$22,963,943.

Note: It was noted by plaintiffs’ counsel that the actual verdict amount of $27,088,943.81 was provided by the jurors as a message to the defendant company. Joan Boice was 81 years old when she died, and the jury is said to have wanted to commemorate her in the verdict figure.
Trial Time: 33 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days for phase 1 – compensatory and special findings; 4 hours for punitive damages.
Jury Polls: 12/0 on all findings except damages, compensatory 10-2 on wrongful death; 11-1 on pain and suffering; 10-2 on punitive damages. The “no” votes all wanted to award more money.
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Pending

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Clement & Associates by Lesley Ann Clement, Sacramento.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Lewis Brisbois by Bryan Reid, Rima Badiwiya, and Kim Wells.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Kathryn Locatell, M.D., geriatrics and internal medicine, Placerville
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
John Fullerton, M.D., geriatrics and palliative care, San Rafael
Mary Ann Ransbury, R.N., wound care, San Bernardino
Richard Tindall, M.D., neurology, San Bernardino
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Robert Johnson, MBA, economist (for punitive damages phase), Palo Alto
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
John Grant, regulatory expert (DSS licensing), Seal Beach
James Moore, MBA, assisted living facility expert, Fort Worth, TX

:
Joan Boice and her husband Myron Boice, moved into Emeritus Assisted Living Facility in Auburn, CA, on September 12, 2008, from another assisted living facility. She walked into Emeritus with her walker. She left Emeritus on December 4, 2008 with multiple full-thickness pressure ulcers, contractures, and a 20-pound weight loss. Joan died on February 14, 2009.

(Myron Boice died shortly before complaint was filed.)

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Joan Boice had received excellent care at her prior assisted living facility, but was neglected at Emeritus because of a corporate scheme to understaff its facilities, while marketing to elders and their families that Emeritus was the leader in assisted living and dementia care, and that its staff was highly trained and provided its residents with an activities-focused program.

None of the staff had the state-mandated training or the training set forth in Emeritus’s own policies, nor did the staff meet the qualifications set forth in Emeritus’s own written job descriptions.

The staff did not have the time or the training to protect Joan Boice from health and safety hazards, including assisting her with ambulation in her walker or providing her with activities. She declined rapidly due to severe understaffing, that included multiple nights with no staff to oversee the care of 17 dementia residents in the Memory Care Unit where Joan Boice lived and only 2 staff members for nearly 80 elders across a three-story building.

There were few if any activities for the residents, and the staff was not trained nor had the time to assist residents with their activities of daily living, like eating, walking, and bathing.

That Emeritus violated state safety regulations and laws. That Emeritus violated their own policies and procedures. That Emeritus corporate officers, directors and managing agents, directed, authorized and ratified, the malicious, oppressive and fraudulent conduct that resulted in Joan Boice’s neglect and death. That Emeritus’s neglect was a substantial contributing factor in Joan Boice’s death. The pressure ulcers she developed were treated by unlicensed staff for nearly two months before any notice was given to the physician or the family.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That Emeritus acted at all times within the law and the standard of care. That care met state standards, but there were some documentation issues with the care. Joan Boice died as a result of a mixed dementia caused by strokes, coupled with her Alzheimer’s disease, that caused spontaneous pressure ulcers and no amount of care would have prevented her death or a negative outcome.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Joan Boice lost 20 pounds in 3 months, developed contractures, lost her ability to walk, and developed multiple full-thickness pressure ulcers and died two months after leaving Emeritus as a result of these injuries.
Additional Notes
Trial was scheduled to commence on October 22, 2012; Judge Judy Hersher heard Emeritus’s 29 motions in limine and plaintiffs’ one motion in limine and the Court and parties resolved the majority of legal issues, including jury instructions, before jury selection began on January 2, 2013. Emeritus filed five substitutions of attorney over the nearly four-year litigation. Emeritus announced its intent to appeal the verdict.

$21.8 million award for wrongful termination of customer service rep. Los Angeles County.

Customer service rep takes doctor-approved leave of absence for panic attacks; defendant says she abandoned her job and fires her. $750,000 offered before closing arguments. $21.8 million award.

Case Name: April Rodriguez v. Valley Vista Services Inc. and Zerep Management Corp.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court, Central/ BC473793
Date of Jury Verdict: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Friday, 18 November 2011
Type of Action: Employment, Wrongful Termination
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Susan Bryant-Deason
Plaintiffs:
April Rodriguez, 32, customer service representative
Defendants:
Valley Vista Services, Inc.
Zerep Management Corp.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $21,798,446
Net Verdict: $21,798,446
Award as to each Defendant:
Punitives – Valley Vista: $7,570,261; Zerep: $9,000,000
Economic Damages:
$528,185
Non-Economic Damages:
$4,700,000
Punitive Damages:
Valley Vista: $7,570,261

Zerep: $9,000,000
Trial Time: 26 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 days for initial phase, 1 day for punitive phase
Jury Polls: 11-1 for initial phase, 11-1 for punitive phase
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorney Fees

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Shegerian & Associates by Carney R. Shegerian, Santa Monica
Attorney for the Defendant:
Wilson Elser et al LLP by Steven Joffe, Los Angeles

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Dr. Warren Procci, M.D., Ph.D., forensic psychiatrist, Pasadena
Dr. Anthony Reading, Ph.D., forensic psychologist, Beverly Hills
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Dr. David N. Glaser, M.D., forensic psychiatrist, Encino
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Dr. Tamorah Hunt, Ph.D., forensic economist, Santa Ana
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Richard B. Danehy, J.D., human resources expert, Santa Barbara
Constantine M. Boukidis, M.A., forensic economist, Los Angeles

:
In May 2004, plaintiff April Rodriguez was hired as a customer service representative by Valley Vista Services, a City of Industry-based waste disposal company.

In December 2010, plaintiff requested a leave of absence and other accommodations because she was suffering from panic attacks. Her doctor placed her on a leave of absence. Plaintiff was terminated from employment in January 2011, allegedly due to job abandonment.

Rodriguez sued Valley Vista Services Inc., and its parent company, Zerep Management Corporation. Plaintiff brought causes of action for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, retaliation and wrongful termination.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Valley Vista Services failed to communicate with plaintiff after her leave of absence. That her claim of disability was met with skepticism by her supervisor and she was fired as a result of her request for a leave of absence.

That she had not abandoned her job; that in the period before she was fired, a period in which she had not been cleared by her doctor for return to work, plaintiff attempted to reach her supervisor almost daily and her attempts at communication were ignored.

Plaintiff contended that there was a pattern of abuse by defendants directed at employees who tried to take time off for disability or medical leave.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was terminated due to job abandonment.

Extreme financial hardship. resulting in major depressive disorder due to her termination and discrimination. Her former husband, who was also employed by Valley Vista, did not contribute any spousal support or assist in raising her four children. Plaintiff sought $269,463 in compensatory economic damages, in addition to past and future noneconomic damages.

Defendant Offer during Trial: $750,000 on the eve of closing arguments per plaintiff’s counsel.

$2.5 million to two bank employees for wrongful termination, discrimination. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff employees experience age and ethnicity discrimination from two higher-ups. When one employee rats out supervisor for falsifying data, retaliation follows in the form of termination.

Case Name: Nimet Behar, et al. v. Union Bank, et al.
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court – Stanley Mosk/ BC 427 993
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 14 December 2009
Type of Action: Employment, Wrongful Termination
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Abraham Khan
Plaintiffs:
Nimet Behar, 49
Clorinda Greek, 63
Defendants:
Union Bank
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $2,563,630. The jury determined that plaintiffs never invested directly with their bank customer’s business.
Economic Damages:
Nimet Behar: $801,608

Clorinda Greek: $187,022
Non-Economic Damages:
Nimet Behar: $800,000

Clorinda Greek: $775,000
Trial Time: 19 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 5 days
Jury Polls: 9 in favor of plaintiffs, 3 in favor of defense
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Motion for Attorneys’ Fees

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Shegerian & Associates by Carney R. Shegerian, Santa Monica.
Urbanic & Associates by James Urbanic, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP by Tracey Kennedy and Matthew Tobias, Los Angeles.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Craig Snyder, Ph.D, retained psychologist, Beverly Hills
Chun Ryu, M.D., non-retained psychiatrist, Santa Ana
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Anthony Reading, Ph.D., psychology, Beverly Hills

:
Nimet Behar, a 49-year-old woman at the time of the incident, worked for defendant bank for four years, from November 23, 2005 through September 16, 2009, as a priority banking manager.

Clorinda Greek, a 63-year-old woman at the time of the incident, worked for defendant bank for 13 years, from June 24, 1996 through September 16, 2009, as a priority banking associate.

In mid-July of 2009, plaintiff Behar told the bank branch manager that her immediate supervisor was falsifying numbers in order to be eligible for a larger percentage of a bonus pool. Plaintiff’s branch manager agreed to meet with Behar, then at the last minute told Behar that the supervisor would also be at the meeting. The supervisor was very angry at the falsification accusation. After that, her attitude toward Behar changed, and she became very nitpicky and demanding.

In September of 2009, defendants terminated Behar and Greek, stating that they violated company policy by allegedly investing in a bank customer’s business, violating Union Bank’s policy against conflicts of interest. The incident in question had happened more than two years before Behar and Greek were fired. Additionally, management had been aware of the investment at issue for at least two years.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the defendant bank’s branch manager as well as the immediate supervisor of plaintiffs engaged in discriminatory behavior toward plaintiffs. The branch manager made it clear that he preferred to work with Persian employees (Ms. Greek was born in Nicaragua and Ms. Behar was born and raised in Cyprus). That their direct supervisor said, “I like training young people” and their branch manager said, “I want younger sales people, they are hungry.”

That at all times, plaintiffs performed their duties in an exemplary manner and were never written up or otherwise disciplined.

That defendants discriminated, harassed and retaliated against them based on their ages, national origins and ancestries, wrongfully terminated them in violation of public policy and caused the plaintiffs to engage in self-defamation (by forcing plaintiffs to repeat the false pretense given for their termination to other potential employers), all of which resulted in harm to plaintiffs.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendants deny all of plaintiffs’ allegations and damages. Defendants deny that any action on their behalf was taken illegally, and likewise deny that plaintiffs suffered the damages.

Emotional distress.

$2 million verdict after theology professor is fraudulently hired, his rare books are taken and he is beaten. Los Angeles County.

Plaintiff was hired and agreed to supply theological university with his rare collection of texts. Once university had possession, they immediately fired plaintiff and beat him when he tried to retrieve his property.

Case Name: Yong Pyo Hong v. Moses Joon Suk Lee, World Christian Theological University, Young Soo Lee, Korean Christian Church
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Central/BC390377
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 07 May 2008
Type of Action: Assault and Battery, Fraud
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Rex Heeseman
Plaintiffs:
Yong Pyo Hong, 55, professor of theology
Defendants:
Moses Lee, director of defendant World Christian Theological University; Korean Christian Church; Young Soo Lee
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $2,132,834
Award as to each Defendant:
$602,250 compensatory damages against World Christian Theological University; $20,000 compensatory damages against Moses Lee; $10,000 against Young Soo Lee.
Punitive Damages:
$1,500,000
Trial Time: 6 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 day

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Henry M. Lee Law Corporation by Henry M. Lee, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Law Offices of James C. Lee by James C. Lee, Diamond Bar

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
James Cho, D.D.S., dentist, Los Angeles
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
None
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
David Bundy, Ph.D., religious texts, Pasadena
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
None

:
Plaintiff provided to defendant university his personal library of theological texts, treatises and publications, worth up to $800,000 after he believed he was hired as an administrator by the school director, defendant Moses Lee.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant Moses Lee hired plaintiff fraudulently in order to gain possession of his valuable texts, which were needed by the university to obtain accreditation to issue F-1 foreign student visas. After plaintiff moved several thousand of his books to the university, he was fired and physically removed from the premises. After several attempts to recover his texts, plaintiff was beaten by defendants Moses Lee and Young Soo Lee, causing severe dental damage to plaintiff.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff was never hired; that all texts were returned to plaintiff; that there was no beating of plaintiff.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Dental damage, including lost teeth.
Loss of theological texts and unpaid wages.

Claimed – Past Medical: $20,000
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $2,250

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $150,000 and return of all texts.

$167 million record verdict for wrongful termination of surgical aide at Catholic hospital. Sacramento County.

Physician’s assistant in surgical unit says hospital ignored her repeated written complaints about verbal sexual harassment by doctors, lax safety practices and meal-and-rest breaks.

Case Name: Ani Chopourian v. Catholic Healthcare West d.b.a. Mercy General Hospital and Mercy General Hospital
Court and Case Number: : U.S. District Court, Eastern District, Sacramento/ 2:09-CV-02972-KJM-KJN
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Type of Action: Defamation, Employment, Sexual Harassment
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Kimberly J. Mueller
Plaintiffs:
Ani Chopourian, 45, cardiac surgical physician assistant
Defendants:
Catholic Healthcare West, Mercy General Hospital
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $167,720,488
Economic Damages:
$3,720,488
Non-Economic Damages:
$39,000,000
Punitive Damages:
$125,000,000
Trial Time: 11 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 3 days
Jury Polls: 12-0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Bohm Law Group by Lawrance A. Bohm, Sacramento
Law Office of Erika M. Gaspar by Erika M. Gaspar, Sacramento
Law Offices of Gregory R. Davenport by Gregory R. Davenport, Stockton
Attorney for the Defendant:
La Follette, Johnson, De Haas, Fesler & Ames by Judith “Julie” C. Martin, Mary E Greene and David Ditora, Sacramento

Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Charles Mahla, Ph.D., economics, Sacramento
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Aaron Abbott, Ph.D., jury consulting
David Moore, forensic document examination, Fair Oaks

:
Plaintiff worked as a Cardiac Surgery Physician Assistant in the Cardio Vascular Operation Department of defendant’s Mercy General and Mercy San Juan Hospitals in Sacramento. Plaintiff worked for the hospital from August 2006 until her termination on August 7, 2008. Plaintiff was a high school valedictorian, and holds an undergraduate degree from UCLA, a Masters of Architecture from UCLA, and a Masters of Medical Science from Yale University Medical School, Physician Associate program.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
During her employment and on a daily basis, plaintiff endured sexually inappropriate behavior in and out of the operative suite. Outside of surgery, male coworkers made repeated unwelcome and crude sexual advances and propositions. Vulgarity, obscene facial gestures, buttocks slapping, objectification of women and trash talk were daily occurrences, frequently in front of or involving managers of the department. During open heart surgery in the operative suite, unwelcome sexual behavior was a daily occurrence for a prominent heart surgeon whose daily salutation was “I’m horny.” In addition to detailed reports concerning lack of sex with his wife, this heart surgeon regularly discussed his sexual adoration of coworkers and pop stars. Witnesses confirmed a Harvard-educated heart surgeon also made frequent inappropriate references to women’s breasts and had a particularly misogynist attitude concerning females including pop star Rihanna, who according to this Harvard surgeon, “got what she deserved” after she was brutally beaten by pop star Chris Brown. According to witnesses, the assistant surgeon spoke frequently of his sexual exploits and affinity for prostitutes. Other medical staff members made frequent sexually inappropriate jokes and comments, sometimes, when patients were “crashing” during surgery.

During her two year employment in cardiac surgery, plaintiff submitted 18 written complaints concerning patient safety, employee safety, abuse of women and hospital conditions. She reported distinct factual circumstances including failure to provide an assistant surgeon (Title XXII Cal. Reg. Requirement), unnecessary vein harvest, unnecessary broken ribs, torn veins, torn heart, needle stick, dropped radial artery, intimidation, humiliation and other verbally abusive treatment, in particular by a heart surgeon educated at the prestigious Columbia University. In addition, plaintiff complained about the failure to provide sufficient meal breaks and rest breaks in violation of state law. Plaintiff’s final complaint was stamped received by the human resources department less than one week prior to her termination.

Performance write-ups, internal email, and notes created by management provided the basis for internal publication of false facts concerning plaintiff’s work performance and professional abilities. Because of these false statements, plaintiff was unable to find work for nearly a year, at which time she began employment with Radiological Associates of Sacramento (RAS) providing gynecological surgery assistance in various hospitals, including the CHW’s Mercy San Juan Hospital. Plaintiff worked for RAS for eight months until her employment ended when hospital privileges were denied by CHW’s privileging committee. Immediately after plaintiff produced evidence in support of her case during the discovery phase, hospital leadership decided that her efforts to preserve evidence supported a denial of privileges. No member of the privileging review committee was aware or informed of the exception to medical privacy violation for whistleblowers provided under federal medical privacy law. The denial of plaintiff’s privileges was the first time in hospital history that a physician assistant has had a privileging application denied. Since denial of her privileging and the loss of her position at RAS, plaintiff has not received an interview despite her prestigious educational background and excellent clinical performance.
Defendant’s Contentions:
No harassment occurred and all appropriate remedial measures were taken to prevent harassment.

Defendant only received some of plaintiff’s written complaints. Moreover, defendant contended plaintiff was actually terminated for not being a team player in that she slept in the break room, insisted on lunch breaks, showed up late for work and failed to report while on-call the weekend after submitting her final written complaint.

Plaintiff claimed severe emotional distress before and after her termination of employment. The severe emotional distress caused significant and appreciable interference with her enjoyment of life, including sleep disorder, nightmares, digestive problems, depression, anxiety, and premature menopause.
Additional Notes
The Rest of the Story

The jury unanimously decided Choupourian was subject to a hostile work environment, retaliation for protected workplace complaints, defamation and intentional interference with economic advantage. The jury found 368 meal period violations, 200 rest period violations and provided a finding that failure to provide breaks was willful.

Verdict breakdown in detail:

Sexual Harassment: Total – $41,250,000
Compensatory Damages: $10,000,000
Punitive Damages: $31,250,000

Title VII Retaliation: Total – $14,970,488
Past Wages: $549,360
Future Lost Wages: $3,181,128
Compensatory Damage: $5,000,000
Punitive Damage: $6,250,000

Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy: Total – $42,970,488
Past Wages: $549,360
Future Lost Wages: $3,181,128
Compensatory Damages: $8,000,000
Punitive Damage: $31,250,000

Retaliation for Report Regarding Patient Safety (Health & Safety Code 1278.5): Total -$36,970,488
Past Wages: $549,360
Future Lost Wages: $3,181,128
Compensatory Damages: $2,000,000
Punitive Damages: $31,250,000

Intentional Interference with Economic Advantage: Total – $17,970,488
Past Wages: $549,360
Future Lost Wages: $3,181,128
Compensatory Damages: $8,000,000
Punitive Damage: $6,250,000

Defamation: Total – $24,750,000
Compensatory Damages: $6,000,000
Punitive Damages: $18,750,000

$135,250 for brachial plexus injury when metal bar falls from retail shelving. Riverside County.

Pet store customer injured when metal bar falls from shelving unit under construction; defendant says she shouldn’t have been in the store.

Case Name: Rutan v. Baker
Court and Case Number: : Riverside Superior/ RIC524225
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, December 09, 2011
Type of Action: Premises Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Craig G. Riemer
Plaintiffs:
Aurora Rutan, in her 40s, day-care provider
Defendants:
Kathleen Baker, James Baker, Spoiled Pets and Accessories
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $135,250
Net Verdict: $104,819 – reduced due to comparative negligence (22.5%).
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: 10-2 on most votes

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Kyle J. Scott Law Firm by Kyle J. Scott, Newport Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
Bonnie R. Moss & Associates by Mark R. Devey, Riverside

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Ernestina Saxton, M.D., neurology, Los Angeles
Castoria Seymore, M.D., pain management, Inglewood
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Jeffrey A. Bounds, M.D., neurology, Loma Linda

:
On Feb. 17, 2008 plaintiff went into the defendant pet store. A metal bar fell off a shelving unit and hit plaintiff.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
No sign was present regarding work being done on the shelving unit and no one advised her to not enter or remain in store.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Plaintiff entered store when it was closed for remodeling. Defendants claimed to have told plaintiff to leave the store. Plaintiff’s symptoms were due to pre-existing problems such as stress and Bell’s Palsy.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Brachial plexus injury, causalgia, chronic pain syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, headaches, neck injury, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, and shoulder injury.

Claimed – Past Medical: $87,500 after Howell reductions.
Claimed – Future Medical: $60,000.00

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1 million

$12 million for med mal and medical device product liability, including punitives. San Diego County.

Device intended to minimize swelling after orthopedic surgery causes non-freezing cold injury. Doctor prescribes it despite prior settlement for malpractice over same device and type of injury.

Case Name: Whitney Engler v. Breg, Inc.; David Chao, M.D.; & Oasis, MSO, Inc.
Court and Case Number: : San Diego Superior Court / GIC870982
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 16 August 2006
Type of Action: Fraud, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Ronald S. Prager
Plaintiffs:
Whitney Engler
Defendants:
Dr. David Chao
Oasis, MSO, Inc.
Breg, Inc.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $12,696,220
Award as to each Defendant:
Inapplicable since the jury returned with verdicts of strict products liability, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud, wherein Proposition 51 is not applicable.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: Jury found Dr. Chao: 50%; Oasis: 10%; Breg: 40%
Economic Damages:
$68,270
Non-Economic Damages:
$5,127,950
Punitive Damages:
Dr. Chao: $500,000; Breg, Inc.: $7,000,000; Oasis, MSO, Inc.: $0
Trial Time: 2 months
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 days for the 1st phase: 2 hours for punitives.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Law Office of Marc O. Stern by Marc O. Stern, La Jolla
Attorney for the Defendant:
Neil, Dymott, Frank, McFall & Trexler, APC by Clark Hudson and Jonathan Ehtessabian, San Diego (for Dr. Chao)
Law Offices of Adrienne D. Cohen by Adrienne D. Cohen and Danielle Dalton, Santa Ana (for Oasis MSO, Inc.)
Morris, Polich & Purdy, LLP by Roger Perkins, Mark Hellenkamp, and Michael Hurvitz, San Diego (for Breg, Inc.)
Bowman and Brooke, LLP by Randall L. Christian, Austin, TX (for Breg, Inc.)

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Gordon Campbell, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Palo Alto
Priscilla Ray, M.D., psychiatrist, past chairperson of the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, Houston, TX
Daniel Lozano, M.D., Trauma Surgeon, expert on treatment of non-freezing cold injuries, Allentown, PA
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Michael P. Kimball, M.D., orthopedic surgery, San Diego (for Dr. Chao)
Leonard Deftos, M.D., J.D., endocrinology, on medical ethics, San Diego
Kenneth Zafren, M.D., emergency room physician, cold injury expert (for Breg)
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Robert Pozos, Ph.D., physiology, bioengineering, San Diego
Kenneth R. Diller, Sc.D., biomedical engineering, Austin, TX
Alison Vredenburgh, Ph.D, CPE, warnings expert, Carlsbad
Roberta Spoon, C.P.A., economist, San Diego
Arthur S. Shorr, hospital and medical quality assurance, Woodland Hills
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Tack C Lam, M.D., occupational health, biomechanics, Los Angeles (for Breg)
Dennis Coleman, hospital/clinic quality assurance (for Oasis)

:
On May 23, 2003, plaintiff, a 15 year old, underwent minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures including a medial meniscectomy, plica resection, chondroplasty and removal of loose body material from her knee. A Polar Care 500 device (mechanized cold therapy device) was prescribed by defendant Dr. Chao as part of plaintiff’s post-surgery treatment. The device consists of an ice chest, a pump, tubing to carry the cold water from the ice chest to the surgical site and a device to wrap around the surgical site through which the cold water is circulated.

The Polar Care 500 is a Class II prescriptive device, requiring a physician’s prescription. Dr. Chao’s clinic, defendant Oasis, sold and rented Breg’s Polar Care 500 to surgical patients, and provided the device to plaintiff.

On June 9, plaintiff and her parents noted blistering on the medial aspect of the knee. On June 11, plaintiff’s mother noted on her calendar “red angry wet wound” in the area of the blisters.

On the morning of June 12, 2003, plaintiff woke up to find a large black eschar (dead skin) underneath where the Polar Care 500 pad was placed (in the same area as the blisters). Her parents called Dr. Chao and brought her in to see him on an emergency basis. Dr. Chao made an immediate referral to Dr. Eddelson, a plastic surgeon (not a defendant), who in turn referred her to another plastic surgeon, Dr. Gocken (not a defendant). Dr. Gocken performed surgical debridement and said additional surgery would be required. Plaintiff underwent two additional scar revision surgeries.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant Dr. Chao recommended to the plaintiff and her parents that they use the Polar Care 500 as it was was better than a bag of ice or frozen peas because it could be used continuously; that it should be used as much as possible following the surgery to minimize swelling, including sleeping with the device in place around the knee, in order to maximize her chances of making a full recovery.

That plaintiff used the device continuously, and within a week started exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of a non-freezing cold injury. Plaintiff returned to see Dr. Chao on May 30, 2003, exhibiting the classic symptoms of non-freezing cold injury. Plaintiff contended that Dr. Chao misdiagnosed the injury and told plaintiff and her mother to keep using the Polar Care 500, which they were renting from Dr. Chao’s clinic. This continued until the emergency visit on June 12.

That in response to plaintiff’s question as to the cause of her eschar injury, defendant told her he had never seen anything like it before, and referred her to a plastic surgeon for consideration of a full thickness skin graft.

That the Breg Inc. Polar Care 500 device was dangerous when used as directed; that Breg knew that the longer a patient used the device, the greater was the risk of developing non-freezing cold injuries; that even after learning of injuries from the device, Breg never changed the instructions/warnings on the device.

That defendants Dr. Chao and his clinic, Oasis were involved in an unlawful prescription scheme to profit from selling and renting Polar Care 500 devices; further, that the manner in which the device was rented/sold violated state law and medical ethics.

That defendant Dr. Chao knew the Polar Care 500 device could cause injury because he had been sued by an earlier patient (Jeff Warner) who had been prescribed the same device and suffered a non-freezing cold injury (also known as trench foot) and almost lost his leg; that the earlier case had been settled with Dr. Chao in 2002, only about a year before he prescribed the device to plaintiff with the same usage instructions.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff had misused the cold-therapy device; that use of the Polar Care 500 could not cause a non-freezing cold injury if used per instructions. Further, defendant Chao maintained that plaintiff told him she had used the device at too cold a temperature; alternately, that she had used the device with the wrong surgical dressings.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Per Plaintiff Counsel: Plaintiff has had numerous medical procedures performed over the years to minimize the scar over the knee. She will have to have two additional revision surgeries in the future to maximize the function and appearance of her knee. She has residual neuropathy (hyperesthesia and dysathesia).

Per Defense Counsel: Surgical debridement of wound; two scar revision sugeries. Defense claimed that plaintiff has no physical limitations; that she returned to high school track and tennis and later participated in collegiate equestrain competitions.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: Dr. Chao’s insurance policy limits of $1,000,000
Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $4,000,000
Additional Notes
Pre-trial settlement offers:

Dr. Chao offered: to waive costs and not file a malicious prosecution action if plaintiff dismissed with prejudice.

Breg, Inc. offered: $150,001, on April 21, 2010;
$275,001, on April 26, 2010; and
$500,001, on September 16, 2010.

Oasis offered $50,000 on June 3, 2010.

According to plaintiff’s counsel, there are currently more than 250 additional cases, which have been consolidated in a “mass tort” action pending in the San Diego Superior Court against Breg, Inc.

Both plaintiff and defense counsels note that this was a highly contentious trial, and each claimed improper behavior by the other side.

$11.3 million for driver injured when truck’s defective wheel hub fails. San Francisco County.

A garbage-truck driver was awarded $11.3 million for back injuries sustained when his truck’s front wheel failed due to a defective hub. The 998 offer was only $350,000, and the offer at trial was $1 million.

Case Name: Mariolle v. Volvo Truck, Consolidated Metco and Wittke Manufacturing
Court and Case Number: : U.S. District Court, San Francisco / 09:1209 MMC
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, May 18, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Type of Action: Products Liability
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Maxine Chesney
Plaintiffs:
Raymond Mariolle, 46, Local 70 Teamster employee of Waste Management
Defendants:
Volvo Truck North America, Consolidated Metco, Wittke Manufacturing, Waste Management
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $11,397,854
Net Verdict: $10,857,854 (with a $540,000 workers’ compensation credit to be applied to past and future benefits)
Award as to each Defendant:
The defendants are jointly and severally liable for economic damages of $2,397,854. The defendants are liable for their respective share of fault for non-economic damages
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: ConMet (manufactured wheels hubs) 52%, Volvo (manufactured truck) 30%, Wittke (modified the truck) 12%, Waste Management 6%
Economic Damages:
$2,397,854
Non-Economic Damages:
$9,000,000
Trial Time: 12 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 10 hours
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: None by defendants. Plaintiff filed to amend verdict to add names of defendants which were left off of the judgment.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Boxer Gerson LLP by Gary B. Roth and John M. Anton, Oakland
Attorney for the Defendant:
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard &Smith LLP by Anthony Sonnett and Trevor Ingold (for Volvo Truck), Los Angeles CA
Bradley, Curley, Asiano, Barrabee & Gale LLP by Michael King (for Wittke and Waste Management), Larkspur CA

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Plaintiff’s treating physicians (names not provided)
Michael R. Klein, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., orthopedics (DME, called on the issue of causation), Carmichael
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Dr. Harry L. Smith, Ph.D., M.D., radiology, San Antonio, TX
Michael R. Klein, Jr. M.D., orthopedics
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Scott Buske, vehicle design
Carol Hyland, vocational rehabilitation
Dr. Margo Ogus, economist
Robert Lindskog, accident reconstruction
Gary Moran, biomechanics
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Charles Bird, PE, vehicle design
Dennis C. Schneider, Ph.D., bioengineering, San Luis Obispo
Erik Volk, M.A., economist, Lafayette

:
Date and place of incident: October 29, 2007, on a road near Livermore (CA) airport

Facts: Plaintiff, a garbage-truck driver for 22 years, was driving his 57,500 pound garbage truck when the front wheel hub fractured, causing the right front wheel to detach. The garbage truck crashed down to the pavement, injuring plaintiff.Please show claims, contentions and all disputed matters under contentions rather than facts. Facts stated here should be only those in evidence.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That defendant companies were aware the wheel hubs should not be used at the capacities they were rated for, as evidenced by emails between engineers of defendants Consolidated Metco and Volvo Truck.

The vehicle was made in 2001 and the manufacturers were advised in 2004 that the hubs and wheel assembly of the vehicle was failing in similar vehicles; that three-and-a-half years lapsed between the notice of the defect and the plaintiff’s injury-causing event. In spite of actual knowledge of the nature, scope and degree of the risks presented, the defendants did not attempt to recall the product or warn of the danger. Plaintiff contended that this demonstrated willful disregard for the rights and safety of the drivers of the garbage trucks and the vehicles that share the highway with them.

As to injuries, that plaintiff suffered a compression injury to the spine. Plaintiff has undergone three surgeries thus far and will require more. His constant pain has kept him from working.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That the vehicle was not defective; that defendants had no notice of the defect and that the accident was not the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries; that there were insufficient forces in the event to cause injury; that plaintiff’s injuries were of a previously undiagnosed degenerative condition; that plaintiff was not injured in the event beyond a sprain/strain injury of two year’s duration; that plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Bulging disc at L5, facet disruption, spondylolisthesis and radicular pain.

Claimed – Past Medical: $ 101,826
Claimed – Future Medical: $ 420,000
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: $ 278,000
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: $ 1,545,028 Other: $53,000 (loss of household services) $1,500,000 (loss of consortium for spouse)

Plaintiff §998 Demand: None
Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: $7,800,000
Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $7,100,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $350,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: Joint offer of $1,000,000
Defendant Offer during Trial: Renewed joint offer of $1,000,000
Additional Notes
The Rest of the Story

Per plaintiff’s attorney: turned on the credibility of the parties. The plaintiff had been a garbage man for twenty-two years and had never had an injury to his back. He had recently undergone knee surgery with an orthopedic surgeon and there were no complaints of back injury.

$10 million verdict when wheelchair harness strangles disabled boy on school bus. Orange County.

School bus driver improperly secures disabled child into wheelchair on bus; shoulder harness strangles the boy who suffered from Angelman Syndrome and could not move or cry out for help.

Defendant, before admitting liability and causation on eve of trial, had sought an offset of $3.7 million based on the future medical cost plaintiff parents would not incur owing to their child’s early death.

Case Name: Cisler v. Capistrano Unified School District
Court and Case Number: : Orange County Superior/ 30-2011-00498422
Date of Jury Verdict: Friday, December 07, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Tuesday, 09 August 2011
Type of Action: Wrongful Death
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Geoffrey Glass
Plaintiffs:
Melissa and Daniel Cisler, parents of decedent child
Defendants:
Capistrano Unified School District

Gross Verdict: $10,000,000
Non-Economic Damages:
$2,000,000 to each parent for past non-economic damages

$3,000,000 to each parent for future non-economic damages
Trial Time: 2 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 1 1/2 days
Jury Polls: 12-0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Panish Shea & Boyle LLP by Brian J. Panish, Thomas A. Schultz, and Erika Contreras, Los Angeles
Attorney for the Defendant:
Woodruff Spradlin & Smart by Daniel Spradlin, Costa Mesa

:
Kevin Cisler, age 3 and a special-needs/disabled child, died during a school-bus ride home in a Capistrano Unified School District bus. Kevin was strapped into his wheelchair by the bus driver. He died while in the bus.

Plaintiffs’ decedent was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome when he was one-year old and was receiving early intervention through the Capistrano Unified School District. At the time of his death, Kevin was not mobile and not verbal.

Kevin was plaintiffs’ only child at the time of his death.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That negligence by defendant school district caused the wrongful death of plaintiffs’ three-year-old son.

That after being improperly strapped into his wheelchair, he was left unsupervised and unmonitored by defendant’s employee, a bus driver, for over 40 minutes. The Orange County coroner concluded that Kevin died as a result of positional asphyxiation, by which he literally hung to death on his wheelchair chest harness.

Plaintiffs Melissa and Daniel Cisler brought a wrongful death claim against the Capistrano Unified School District.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Defendant school district denied liability and causation for approximately 18 months. Defendant contended until the eve of trial that Kevin Cisler’s pre-existing disability caused his death.

At trial, defendant admitted liability and causation, arguing only damages.

Loss of love, comfort, affection, society and moral support of plaintiffs’ three-year-old son.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $7,000,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $1,000,000
Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $1,500,000
Additional Notes
Per plaintiff counsel:

Only after depositions that uncovered gross negligence did defendant admit liability and causation.

Before admitting liability and causation, defendant retained seven experts to contest plaintiffs’ claimed non-economic damages. Defendant made two primary assertions.

First, they sought a $3.7 million dollar offset against plaintiffs’ non-economic damages for the future cost of Kevin’s medical care which, the defendant claimed, the parents were saved from as a result of defendant’s negligence.

Additionally, a psychiatric expert was hired to opine that the plaintiff parents’ lingering emotional issues were really unresolved feelings of conflict over his pre-existing disability.

Ultimately, after each of the defendant’s seven experts were deposed, defendants chose not to present these arguments and witnesses at trial.

$1.6 million verdict to conference attendee injured when vehicle jumps curb at hotel. Orange County.

Hotel guest sitting on bench is pinned against wall when driver, attempting to park, jumps curb. Hotel found 25% liable for failing to provide a barrier. Leg and hip joint fractures.

Case Name: Khuong Nguyen v. Peninsula Hotel Management, LLC and Dzung Truong
Court and Case Number: : Orange Superior/30-201000387330
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Date Action was Filed: Sunday, 11 July 2010
Type of Action: Premises Liability, Vehicles – vs. Pedestrian
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. David R. Chaffee
Plaintiffs:
Khuong Nguyen, 43, a video editor/cameraman
Defendants:
Peninsula Hotel Management, LLC dba Ramada Plaza
Dzung Truong
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $1,600,037.
Award as to each Defendant:
75% liability as to Dzung Truong; 25% as to Peninsula Hotel Management.
Economic Damages:
$950,037 ($495,167 past, $454,870 future)
Non-Economic Damages:
$650,000 ($450,000 past, $200,000 future)
Trial Time: 8 Days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: 11-1

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Curd, Galindo & Smith, LLP by Alexis Galindo and Richard Wynn, Long Beach
Attorney for the Defendant:
Belofsky & Hanker, LLP by David A. Belofsky, Torrance (for Peninsula Hotel Management)
Parker Straus, LLP by Heather M. Roth, Glendale (for Dzung Truong)

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Van Vu, M.D., pain management, Huntington Beach
David Zamorano, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Orange
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Hillel Sperling, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Tarzana
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Brad P. Avrit, P.E., civil engineering/safety engineering, Marina Del Rey
Jesse L. Wobrock, Ph.D., biomechanics, accident reconstruction, Los Angeles
Darryl L. Zengler, M.A., forensic economics, Pasadena
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Ned Wolfe, M.E., mechanical engineering, Signal Hill

:
Plaintiff was attending a business meeting at a restaurant in the Ramada Plaza Hotel. He went outside to smoke in an area with a bench and ashtray, adjacent to the parking lot. Defendant Dzung Truong tried to park his car in a handicap parking space near where plaintiff was smoking. Defendant’s vehicle went over the curb of the parking space and pinned plaintiff to the wall of the hotel.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That Defendant Peninsula Hotel Management failed to protect guests and violated Garden Grove municipal code by failing to install a protective barrier between the parking space and the walkway area.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That the curb between the parking space and walkway complied with building code.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff underwent immediate open repair of the right fibular/tibia fracture at UCI Medical Center. Three days later, he underwent repair of the acetabular fracture with internal fixation.

Claimed – Past Medical: $495,164
Claimed – Future Medical: $454,870

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $700,000
Defendant §998 Offer: $60,000

$1.3 million verdict to special ed student molested by another student. Los Angeles County.

Nine-year-old special ed student is sexually assaulted at after-school program run by LAUSD. School district admits negligent supervision, offers $225,000 per CCP 998.

Case Name: S.G. v. Los Angeles Unified School District
Court and Case Number: : Los Angeles Superior Court/ PC050252
Date of Jury Verdict: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Type of Action: Sexual Abuse
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Norman P. Tarle
Plaintiffs:
S.G., a 9-year-old special education student
Defendants:
Los Angeles Unified School District
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $1,381,250
Award as to each Defendant:
$731,250 against LAUSD, found 50% liable.
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: 50% comparative liability against LAUSD.
Economic Damages:
Future Therapy: $81,250
Non-Economic Damages:
$1,300,000
Trial Time: 10 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: 12-0

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Taylor & Ring by David M. Ring and Louanne Masry, Los Angeles.
Attorney for the Defendant:
Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt by W. Keith Wyatt, Los Angeles.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Brian Jacks, Ph.D., psychology, Beverly Hills.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
Stan Katz, Ph.D., psychology, Beverly Hills.

:
Plaintiff was a 9-year-old, female special education student. She was sexually assaulted by a 10-year-old male student on campus of their elementary school during the after-school program run by the LAUSD during the 2009-2010 school year.

LAUSD admitted fault for its negligent supervision before trial. The trial was solely to determine damages.
Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That she suffered serious emotional distress from the sexual assaults.
Defendant’s Contentions:
That plaintiff had done well with therapy and showed few signs that the incidents were still affecting her at the time of trial (3 years post-incident).

Emotional distress.

Claimed – Past Medical: $6,000 for past therapy (waived)
Claimed – Future Medical: $81,250 for future therapy

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,750,000.
Plaintiff Demand during Trial: $525,000.
Defendant §998 Offer: $225,000.
Defendant Offer during Trial: $250,000.

$1.25 million verdict when shopping mall owner sexually harasses manager, demands sex. Riverside County.

Jury awards substantial punitives against shopping mall owner who demands sex from mall manager in return for pay raise.

Case Name: Karen Moran v. Sureshchandra Shah
Court and Case Number: : Riverside County Superior Court / INC087504
Date of Jury Verdict: Monday, August 05, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Type of Action: Sexual Harassment
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. John G. Evans
Plaintiffs:
Karen Moran, 34, mall manager/leasing agent.
Defendants:
Sureshchandra Shah, employer and part-owner of shopping mall.
Type of Result: Jury Verdict

Gross Verdict: $1,250,000
Contributory/Comparative Negligence: None.
Economic Damages:
None.
Non-Economic Damages:
$250,000 for emotional distress.
Punitive Damages:
$1,000,000
Trial Time: 17 days
Jury Deliberation Time: 2 days
Jury Polls: Mulitple polls; majority were 11-1.
Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Defendant to file motion for new trial. Plaintiff to file attorney’s fees motion under FEHA. At time of report submission no post verdict settlement discussions have occurred.

Attorney for the Plantiff:
McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP by Patrick McNicholas, Los Angeles.
Law Offices of John W. Dalton by John W. Dalton, Solana Beach.
Law Office of Jason L. Oliver by Jason L. Oliver, Pasadena.
Attorney for the Defendant:
The Reis Law Firm, PC by Sean Reis, Rancho Santa Margarita.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
None.
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
None.
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
None.
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
None.

:
Plaintiff worked as mall manager/leasing agent at Town Center Mall in Yucca Valley from June 7, 2007 until her termination on January 18, 2008.

Defendant was part-owner of the mall.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That from the time plaintiff was hired, defendant mall owner subjected her and other employees to incidents of sexual harassment.

The turning point occurred in early December 2007, when defendant propositioned plaintiff for oral sex in exchange for a raise. Plaintiff refused and the next day defendant threatened to fire her. His conduct escalated from that point, including calling her vile, gender-based names, directing vulgar profanity at her, demeaning her based on her gender, and sending her, and other women, sexually explicit emails. At trial, eight other women, who were prior, contemporaneous and subsequent victims, testified as to defendant’s sexual misconduct towards them and toward plaintiff.

In phase 1 of the trial, plaintiff contended she was sexually harassed by the defendant-owner. Ultimately, defendant terminated plaintiff. Plaintiff suffered emotional distress as a result of defendant’s offensive and abusive conduct.

In phase 2, punitive damages, plaintiff claimed defendant had sufficient wealth, and that the conduct was sufficiently offensive to warrant a punitive damage award.
Defendant’s Contentions:
In phase 1, defendant denied liability and claimed plaintiff suffered no damages. Defendant contended the opportunity for interaction with plaintiff was minimal. He denied making any offer of a raise for oral sex and his counsel claimed in opening statement that the evidence would show that plaintiff had brought the lawsuit because she was “pissed” for having been fired by defendant.

In phase 2, defendant further contended that his financial condition was such that punitive damages should not be awarded.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Emotional distress.

Claimed – Past Medical: N/A
Claimed – Future Medical: N/A
Claimed – Past Lost Earnings: N/A
Claimed – Future Lost Earnings: N/A
Additional Notes
Two mediations went forward on August 10, 2011 and June 8, 2012, respectively, but were unsuccessful. In May 2013, plaintiff offered to participate in another mediation if there were a “bracket” of $300,000 – $900,000. Defendant declined the offer.

Plaintiff is in the process of preparing a motion for attorney’s fees and costs for work and expenses covering the five years was litigated. Defendant has stated his intention to file a motion for new trial.

$1.2 million award to young driver for neck and back pain with surgery following rear-ender. Sacramento County.

Logging truck rear-ends car at low speed but with heavy impact. Female, 19, has surgery for cervical injury but pain persists. Jury awards $1.2 million.

Case Name: Elliott v. Lewis, Rick Vance Trucking, and Rick Vance
Court and Case Number: : Sacramento Superior Court/ 34-2011-00107465
Date of Jury Verdict: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Date Action was Filed: Monday, 25 July 2011
Type of Action: Vehicles – Truck vs. Auto
Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Trena Burger-Plavan
Plaintiffs:
Samantha Elliott, 19, cosmetologist
Defendants:
Robert Lewis, truck driver
Rick Vance Trucking, and owner, Rick Vance

Gross Verdict: $1,208,401
Economic Damages:
$708,401 (past medical: $146,770; future medical: $517,731; future lost earnings: $43,900).
Non-Economic Damages:
$500,000
Trial Time: 2 weeks
Jury Deliberation Time: 22 1/2 hours

Attorney for the Plantiff:
Bohm Law Group by Lawrance A. Bohm and Charles S. Bracewell, Sacramento.
Law Offices of Ed Smith by Edward A. Smith, Sacramento (Co-Counsel of Record).
Attorney for the Defendant:
Diepenbrock & Cotter, LLP by Mary L. Diepenbrock and John P. Cotter, Sacramento.

Plaintiff’s Medical Experts:
Charles Rosen, M.D., orthopaedic surgery, UC Irvine
Defendant’s Medical Experts:
F. Karl Gregorius, M.D., neurosurgery, Stockton
Philip Weinstein, M.D., neurosurgery, UC San Francisco
Plaintiff’s Technical Experts:
Robert Lindskog, P.E., engineering, Santa Clara
Gary Moran, Ph.D., biomechanics/anatomy, San Francisco
Richard Andersen, M.S., vocational rehabilitation, Westminster
Dorajane Apuna-Grummer, R.N., CNLCP, Life Care Planning, Sacramento
John Hancock, Ph.D., economics, Gold River
Defendant’s Technical Experts:
Tami Rockholt, R.N., medical billing, Portland, Oregon
Gregory Sells, vocational rehabilitation, Sacramento

:
Plaintiff was rear-ended by defendant’s fully loaded, 73,000-pound logging truck on August 20, 2009. The estimated speed at collision was between 6 and 7 miles per hour. Plaintiff was driving a Nissan Maxima sedan which was pushed forward into a Toyota Prius. All vehicles sustained minor physical damage. Plaintiff’s vehicle was declared a total loss due to bending of the frame.

Plaintiff complained of neck pain on the scene of the collision and was treated at a Kaiser Hospital Emergency Room in Roseville, CA. At the time of the collision, plaintiff had just begun her career as a cosmetologist at an upscale salon in El Dorado Hills, CA. Plaintiff’s work included manicures and pedicures.

Plaintiff’s Contentions:
That the decline in plaintiff’s condition after surgery was due to subsidence (sinking) of the artificial disc and abnormal cervical curvature (kyphotic deformity). That the artificial disc would fail sometime in the next 5 to 40 years.

At the close of defendants’ case, plaintiff moved for a directed verdict as to causation of injury. The motion was granted by the court, leaving the sole issue of nature and extent of plaintiff’s damages to be decided by the jury.
Defendant’s Contentions:
Just before trial, defendants admitted to the negligent operation of the logging truck. Defendants continued to dispute causation of injury and the nature and extent of damages.

Defendant contended that plaintiff had an excellent surgical outcome; that all current pain was related to repetitive work trauma due to her occupation as a cosmetologist doing nails and hair.

Also, that plaintiff’s post-surgical problems were due to her working conditions and that plaintiff’s current physical problems were exaggerated for trial. That the life-care plan provided by plaintiff’s experts and their $2,300,000 claim for future medical care was manufactured for purposes of litigation. At trial, defendant argued to provide plaintiff approximately $414,000 total compensation.

Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:
Plaintiff, who had no history of prior neck problems, experienced persistent pain in her neck and arms. Pain interfered with her ability to sleep. Over a year later, numbness in her arms and severe headaches interfered with her ability to enjoy life and work. After conservative treatment by Kaiser failed to remedy the problems, plaintiff consulted with Orthopaedic Surgeon Phillip J. Orisek (Folsom, CA). After concordant discography confirmed disc disruption, plaintiff received a one level artificial disc replacement at the C5/C6 level. Following surgery, plaintiff’s neck pain and headaches were initially resolved.

Approximately one year after surgery, plaintiff began to experience neck pain and headaches in steadily increasing frequency and severity. Plaintiff also experienced persistent low back pain and soreness. Plaintiff had a pre-existing fracture and low back pain three years prior to the collision.

Plaintiff §998 Demand: $1,499,999 (February 4, 2013)
Defendant §998 Offer: $526,000 (January 30, 2013)
Additional Notes
Defense Insurance Provider: Praetorian Insurance Company.