WINNING CASES (partial list) Dr. Noelle Nelson has been retained on:
A. Barry Cappello, Leila Noël, Larry Conlan and David Cousineau of Cappello & Noël LLP; Lieff Cabraser LLP; Keller Rohrback LLP and Audet & Partners — $230,000,000 successful settlement, reached after seven years of litigation in the class action lawsuit filed by fishers, fish processors and shoreline property residents (members of two classes) against Plains All American Pipeline, after a corroded pipeline spilled an estimated 15,000 barrels of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean in 2015. The spill devastated the fishing industry and polluted coastal properties from Santa Barbara County to Los Angeles County.
Gerard T. Carmody and Lindsay Combs of Carmody MacDonald P.C. (St. Louis) — $2,300,000 unanimous Jury Verdict in City of Brentwood, Missouri v. TMD Property I, LLC, an eminent domain case involving the taking of 6+ acres of vacant undeveloped property in highly sought-after Brentwood, Missouri. The City’s original offer was $170,000 which increased at trial to approximately $280,000. The property owner, represented by Carmody MacDonald, testified to a range of value between $2,150,000 and $2,300,000. The jury unanimously awarded $2,300,000. Several jurors were moved to tears during the reading of the verdict. In addition to the $2.3 million verdict, TMD Property I, LLC is also due over $230,000 in interest.
David J. Myers (Newport Beach)—successful Defense Judgment on claimed wrongful stopped payments on cashier’s checks provided at a foreclosure sale, and $3.7 million unanimous Jury Verdict , including $1 million punitive damages, for fraud and negligent misrepresentation against a foreclosing lender, and a further $3.0 million Jury Verdict, plus attorney’s fees (tort of another), and including $250,000 punitive damages for fraud, and unanimous verdict for negligent misrepresentation, against the involved foreclosure trustee, in Eshtiaghpour v. DLI Properties (LASC, Santa Monica). The case involved the foreclosure of a fraudulent trust deed without disclosure of concealed material information that effectively destroyed the value of the property.
Dan Hoven and Carlo Conty of Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C. (Helena, Montana) — successful Defense Verdict, in a case involving complications during a tonsillectomy performed on the 22 year old plaintiff by head and neck surgeon, Dr. Ray Kaufman. During the surgery, Dr. Kaufman encountered uncontrolled bleeding which required him to ligate the left external carotid artery. Plaintiff claimed Dr. Kaufman breached the standard of care by cutting too deep beyond the tonsil capsule, thus the bleed. Plaintiff subsequently suffered a stroke as the ligation created a clot, and claimed total disability. Defense argued that a subsequent CT angiogram showed aberrant vasculature near the tonsil bed which could not have been anticipated preoperatively.
Dan Hoven and Oliver Goe of Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C. (Helena, Montana) — successful Defense Verdict, rendered after a 6 day jury trial in Butte, MT, against a spine surgeon alleging a deviation from the standard of care for failing to anti-coagulate following disc arthroplasty. Plaintiff alleged the failure to anti-coagulate upon discharge from the hospital resulted in her contracting bilateral pulmonary embolism and a pulmonary infarct which has now resulted in a chronic pain syndrome. Defense argued the risks of catastrophic injury associated with anticoagulation in a elective spine patient outweighed the risk of pulmonary embolism. Plaintiff sought in excess of $1,000,000 in lost earning capacity, emotional distress and medical costs.
Gerard T. Carmody and Ryann Carmody of Carmody MacDonald (St. Louis) —successful Defense Verdict in Jane Doe 119 vs. Archdiocese of St. Louis, wherein it was claimed a priest molested a sixteen year old girl. After an intense – and tense – two week trial, culminating in a defense closing that the Judge stated was one of the most compelling he’d ever heard, the jury deliberated a mere 1 1/2 hours before coming to their verdict.
Dan Hoven and Carlo Canty of Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C. (Helena, Montana) — 12-0 Defense Verdict in a medical malpractice case against a general surgeon alleging negligent injury of a vagal nerve in a unnecessary Nissen fundoplication surgery causing disabling gastrointestinal symptoms of bloating, pain, diarrhea and constipation, in addition to negligent removal of a perfectly normal gall bladder. Plaintiff sought approximately $2,225,000 in damages for loss of earning capacity, loss of established course of life and pain and suffering.
Debra Bogaards of Bogaards Davis LLP (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict (in her 37th jury trial) in Haile v. Barker, a rear end impact in which plaintiff claimed defendant’s Porsche 911 was speeding at 30 m.p.h. and in which defendant admitted liability. Plaintiff suffered a rotator cuff tear resulting in traumatically induced findings; all medical doctors agreed he was a surgical candidate. Nonetheless, after 5 ½ hours of deliberation, the jurors arrived at the 11:1 defense verdict.
Julie Lichte & Danielle Coffman, Crowley Fleck PLLP (Bozeman, Montana) and Oliver Goe of Browning, Kaleczyc, Berry & Hoven, P.C. (Helena, Montana) — 12-0 Defense Verdict in Stephens v. Casper et al., in which plaintiff’s claim included the performance of an unnecessary hysterectomy without proper consent causing severe and permanent damage to Ms. Stephens. Plaintiff requested $1,830,850 in economic damages, in addition to pain & suffering, emotional distress, loss of course of life, and punitive damages.
Robert Pahlke and Robert Hippe of Robert Pahlke Law Group (Nebraska) — Jury Verdict of $2,037,754.33 for their client Bamford, lnc. against Regent lnsurance Company. Bamford sued Regent for bad faith after the insurer repeatedly refused to settle a claim against Bamford within the policy limits of $6,000,000 – a claim for which a jury returned a verdict of $10,621,000. Bamford and the insurance company then settled the underlying case for approximately $8 million; hence, Bamford had losses of approximately $2 million. The jury asked if it could award more.
David Battaglia of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher — Favorable Settlement for General Growth Properties, Inc. on the eve of trial. Within a week of a scheduled jury trial, and after the completion of ten expert depositions, a California government agency paid $24 million for land taken at a shopping mall in San Jose — nearly five times more than what it had insisted for two years was appropriate compensation.
David A. Thorner and Megan K. Murphy of Thorner, Kennedy & Gano, P.S. (Yakima, WA) — Defense Verdict in a medical liability case tried in Yakima, WA where plaintiffs were claiming that there were bilateral recurring laryngeal nerve injuries during the course of a thyroidectomy performed by a general surgeon. The jury rapidly concluded that Doctor fully complied with the standard of care and was not responsible for the post-operative adverse changes in the patient’s voice.
A. Barry Cappello and Leila J. Noël of Cappello & Noël, LLP, and co-counsel, Proskauer Rose, LLP— Defense Verdict. After an eight-week trial and less than four hours of deliberation, a Santa Barbara Superior Court jury rejected a $27 million lawsuit filed by Johnson & Johnson/Mentor Worldwide LLC against Santa Barbara-based Sientra, Inc. for interference with prospective economic advantage, contract interference, breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Debra Bogaards of Bogaards Davis LLP (San Francisco)– successful $900,000 plaintiff’s Settlement in Felguth v. Epstein, in which defendant aggressively disputed liability. Plaintiff, a Lieutenant in the Fire Dept in Jacksonville, Florida, returning a motorcycle after she’d taken part in the Gay Pride Parade with her domestic partner, was cut off by defendant, who took an illegal left turn in front of her. Plaintiff had consumed a beer right beforehand, and estimated her own speed at 40 mph, well over the 25 mph speed limit. Both accident recon experts agreed that if plaintiff had gone the speed limit, the accident could have been avoided. Plaintiff suffered multiple pelvic fractures and underwent three surgeries. Her medical specials were $180,000. She had no wage loss claim.
Dan Powell of Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell APC (Pasadena, CA)–successful Six Million dollar Settlement in Estrada v. Regents of the University of California et al., a medical malpractice case where a newborn was left unattended by Hospital personnel, which plaintiff claims resulted in profound neurological damage to baby.
John Maynard and Kiely Keane of Crowley Fleck PLLP (Helena, MT)–Defense Verdict in Shea v. Noble, a medical malpractice case tried in Butte, MT. The plaintiffs alleged Dr. Noble, an ophthalmologist, failed to diagnose an infection in a child’s eye after the child presented with conjunctivitis but without history of injury to the eye. Ultimately, the child was diagnosed after surgery with a foreign body and infection in the eye. The child lost the sight in the eye and wears a prosthesis. Plaintiffs’ demand at trial was $4.1 million. The jury found that Dr. Noble was not negligent.
Christopher Faenza and Peter Felchlin of Yoka & Smith LLP (Los Angeles)–Defense Verdict. After a three-week trial and 90 minutes of deliberations, a jury in San Bernardino rejected the claim of negligence on the part of defendant driver. Plaintiff Gutzwiller, an experienced construction worker and superintendent, claimed that the defendant driver was negligent in not vigilently checking all of the mirrors of his tractor-trailer as defendant drove from a stop when the traffic light changed from red to green near a construction site. At that instant, plaintiff Gutzwiller stooped briefly under the trailer to mark the road and was caught under the wheels of the trailer suffering brain, facial, and multiple orthopedic injuries. Gutzwiller’s wife claimed loss of consortium and plaintiffs asked the jury to award $50 million.
Debra Bogaards of Bogaards Davis LLP (San Francisco)– unanimous Defense Verdict (in her 35th trial) in Weiss vs. Franzi, a “road rage” case in which plaintiff claimed that Franzi’s truck rammed into the side of his Suburban three times, then fled the scene. Weiss suffered a severe brain injury when he flipped his race car three years earlier. All medical experts agreed he was an eggshell plaintiff. Weiss, now unemployable, alleges the accident aggravated his pre-existing brain injury and exacerbated his multiple sclerosis. Plaintiff’s demand was for nearly one million. The jury returned a verdict as to negligence in 50 minutes.
Leila J. Noel and A. Barry Cappello of Cappello & Noel (Santa Barbara) —successful $4,800,000 Settlement which the Santa Barbara County and Santa Barbara County Sherriff’s Department agreed to pay to the survivors (and their parents) of a wrong way driver accident, involving a Sheriff’s Deputy, that took two lives and seriously injured two others.
Dave Luce and Meghan Lamping of Carmody MacDonald P.C. (St. Louis), and Spencer M. Taylor and M. Todd Lowther of Balch & Bingham L.L.P. (Birmingham)— $11,106,420 Jury Verdict in TAMKO v. Factory Mutual (FM), a hotly contested business interruption insurance case in which FM claimed that TAMKO’s damages, which TAMKO sought in the amount of $12.2 million, were less than $2.5 million. FM argued that TAMKO did not suffer a loss of production due to an absence of raw material but instead was impacted by the late 2008 economic downturn, and that TAMKO could not demonstrate that it had actually lost any sales. Clearly, the jury did not agree with FM.
A. Barry Cappello andLawrence J. Conlan (co-counsel) of Cappello & Noël (Santa Barbara)–$7,700,000 Jury Verdict in United Studios of Self Defense (USSD) v. Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios, et al. The jury decided unanimously in favor of USSD on almost every cause of action against Z-Ultimate companies and its owners (former USSD executives). The charges included breach of fiduciary duty, constructive fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information, Penal Code 502 (destroying computer records), trademark infringement and civil conspiracy. In addition, the jury found against the owners of Z-Ultimate companies for malice and fraud.
Debra Bogaards of Bogaards Davis LLP (San Francisco) – Defense Verdict in Kahn v. Lawson, a multi-vehicle accident where plaintiff claimed cervical injury with lifetime of pain, and asked jury for over $600K. Jury deliberated just 34 minutes (personal best for Ms. Bogaards) before rendering their unanimous defense verdict.
A. Barry Cappello of Cappello & Noël (Santa Barbara)— Defense Verdict. After a seven-week trial and one day of deliberations, a jury in Santa Barbara rejected anti-trust conspiracy claims by spine surgeon Dr. Alan Moelleken against Cottage Hospital and four of its on-call neurosurgeons. Moelleken claimed that the hospital and surgeons conspired to deliberately keep him from joining the hospital’s on-call medical panel that provides emergency brain and spinal treatment, and in doing so, prevented him from earning as much as $5 million over five years.
The team at Crowell & Moring LLP for their successful pro bono representation of an individual seeking asylum from religious persecution in her home country in the Middle East.
Robert Pahlke and Robert Hippe of Robert Pahlke Law Group (Scottsbluff, Nebraska) and Brittany Shotkoski of Harris Kuhn Law Firm (Omaha, Nebraska) — $21,131,633 Jury Verdict in Douglas County, Nebraska, in Bacon v. DB Industries, et al., a product liability case involving the failure of a self retracting lifeline during a construction project. Defense’s last offer was $250,000.
Thomas P. Beck and Gregory R. Vanni of Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell–successful confidential Settlement of a hotly contested motorcycle accident case involving Dram Shop liability. Plaintiff offered to settle for the defendants insurance coverage of $1M. Defendant offered the insurance coverage two months after Plaintiff’s offer of settlement expired. Plaintiff rejected the offer as being untimely. The case settled shortly before trial for $10M (Ten times the defendant’s insurance coverage).
Ron Mitchell of Blanchard, Robertson, Mitchell & Carter, P.C. (Joplin, MO) — Jury Verdict of $2,500,000 in Epoch Composite Products, Inc. vs National Plastics Color, Inc., a business case in which the jurors found negligence and fraud on the part of the vendor. Highest offer pre-trial was $1.4 million. All rights to appeal have been waived.
Mathew B.F. Biren and Marc Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $750,000 Settlement of a slip and fall case against Walmart and the manufacturer of a leaking refrigeration unit in which fresh flowers were stored, for a plaintiff (previously disabled) who sustained a neck injury requiring a cervical fusion and a shoulder injury.
John A. Case Jr. of the Law Offices of John A. Case Jr. — Jury Verdict in Wayne v. Byrens et al., a business dispute, in which the jury found that there was no partnership, however, they determined that Byrens defrauded Wayne in promising a partnership, and that Wayne earned the reasonable value of his services in quantum meruit, in the amount of $1,500,000.
Gregory R. Vanni of Thon, Beck, Vanni, Callahan & Powell — Jury Verdict in Wolford v. Hardin, in which plaintiff’s vehicle, which had swerved, and hit the freeway center divider, was broadsided by defendant moments after coming to rest. Juror substantial verdict of $1,410,203 was awarded despite defendant’s claim that plaintiff had been traveling at 90 mph, per CHP report, and had no lights on her vehicle when stalled.
Gerard T. Carmody and David H. Luce, of Carmody MacDonald P.C. (St. Louis, MO) — Jury Verdict representing Tamko, a building supply company, versusa former employee, an independent roofing contractor and its owner, all of whom had profited from a kick-back scheme which took advantage of the company’s generous product warranty. In addition to the actual damages of $242,565.65, the jurors awarded $275,000 in punitives against the individuals, which considering public feelings about corporations these days, was particularly gratifying.
Michael Haight and Jay Kenyon of Henness & Haight (Las Vegas, NV) – unanimous Jury Verdict of $3.51 million after 5 ½ hours of juror deliberation, in favor of 60 year-old Roger Johnson, and against JP Flexibles, a New Jersey corporation, as a result of serious right hand injuries Mr. Johnson suffered when the defective high pressure paint hose he was using burst and injected paint into his right hand. Defense counsel argued at trial that Mr. Johnson saw the rupture and intentionally covered it with his bare right hand so as not to “make a mess.”
James W. McCord and Sabra Purifoy of Berman, Berman & Berman, LLP (Los Angeles)– Defense Verdict in a sexual harassment case brought by two students against a private school and one of its teachers. After a two week trial the jury unanimously rejected the plaintiffs’ claims.
Thomas P. Beck and Gregory R. Vanni of Thon Beck Vanni Callahan & Powell – successful $7,250,000 Settlement after answering ready for trial. The case was challenged on both liability and damages, as the three clients (adult front seat passenger and two small girls in rear seat) were passengers in a vehicle that made a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. The driver of plaintiff’s vehicle was an illegal alien, did not speak English, was never a licensed driver, and did not have insurance. On top of that, she was convicted of a felony for child endangerment as a result of this accident, due to seat belt and infant car seat issues.
A. Barry Cappello and Leila Noël of Cappello & Noël – Jury Verdict in Gottesman v. Cathedral Oaks Tennis, Swim and Athletic Club, et al. The firm represented the parents of a four-year old boy who drowned during his first day at summer camp. The jury returned a verdict of $13,885,466 in compensatory damages and an additional $2,341,039 in punitive damages.
Joseph Antonelli of the Law Office of Joseph Antonelli and Kevin Barnes of the Law Office of Kevin Barnes — successful Verdict in Mutuc v. Huntington Memorial Hospital, wherein after 12 days of trial, a judicial decision was made in favor of the plaintiffs, the Mutuc Class, imposing liability on defendant for failure to properly pay straight time and overtime wages to a group of 12 hour employees. The parties reached a $60,000,000 Settlement Agreement and Stipulation prior to trial of the Mutuc phase II and prior to certification of the Kiely action. The Settlement Agreement received preliminary and final approval by the court. The settlement class consists of all non-exempt hourly employees. The defendant hospital illegally reduced the hourly wages of the 12 hour employees whenever the employees worked shifts of 10 hours or more. There were no meaningful settlement offers before trial.
David Battaglia of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher — Defense Verdict in Fiber Technology Corporation v. Parsons Infrastructure & Technology Group, a breach of contract case. FTC sued Parsons for $11.2 million based on the allegation that Parsons breached a contract with FTC to purchase 608 water tanks for a U.S. government Iraqi reconstruction project. Alternatively, FTC alleged that Parsons failed to negotiate in good faith in order to reach a final purchase contract for the tanks. After more than three years of litigation culminating in a five-week trial, the jury returned in just two days with a verdict finding that Parsons had not breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and that Parsons should pay nothing to FTC on its breach of contract claim.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict in Helm vs. Hong, a bicycle-auto dispute in which defendant made a legal right at a stop sign, plaintiff ran through his stop sign and hit defendant’s front fender at a right angle. Plaintiff blamed defendant for not keeping an eye out for Halloween pedestrians and, thus, not seeing plaintiff’s bicycle. Contested on both liability and damages. Mr. Pave is proud of finding and tracking down 26 inconsistencies in plaintiff’s medicals, which although the details bored his all-GenXer jury, allowed him to find the 3 really relevant ones which were vigorously presented in opening statement. Opening statement, according to debriefed jurors, was what won the case.
Brett Carter and Larry Smith of Benson Bertoldo Baker & Carter f– $4.78 million Jury Verdict in Las Vegas. Wrongful death of a 56 y/o female in an motor vehicle collision with a Mojave Electric driver, survived by her husband of 33 years and her 4 adult children. Mojave van failed to stop at a 4 way stop, striking decedent’s truck as she attempted to execute a left turn. Driver of van was unable to say whether he did or did not stop at the stop sign. One witness said he stopped, another said he did not. Jury found 100% against the Mojave driver.
Donna W. Low and John R. Garner ofLow, McKinley, Baleria & Salenko LLP (Sacramento) — Defense Verdict in a medical malpractice case, wherein plaintiffs’ experts testified that Plaintiff was suffering from an acute myocardial infarction when he presented to the ER, as evidenced by the EKG ordered by the triage nurse, that Defendant Physician should have seen the EKG and consulted with a cardiologist before discharging Plaintiff, and claimed that the failure to diagnose an acute MI at the time was a substantial factor in Plaintiff’s current condition. Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award Plaintiffs $1,234,000 in general and special damages.
Matthew B.F. Biren of Biren & Katzman — $3.7 million Jury Verdict in Pomona, on an automobile accident case in which defendant swerved, allegedly in response to being cut off by a phantom vehicle, into the car plaintiff was a passenger in, causing it to go out of control and roll and plaintiff to be ejected, resulting in a brain injury – despite defense claims that plaintiff was a malingerer, based on failed neuropsych symptom validity tests and sub rosa film.
Joseph Antonelli of the Law Office of Joseph Antonelli and Kevin Barnes of the Law Office of Kevin Barnes — successful Verdict in Mutuc v. Huntington Memorial Hospital. The class members won a landmark decision in the class action wage and hour lawsuit against Huntington Hospital. Judge Mac Laughlin awarded the class members $32.8 Million and ruled that the hospital unlawfully lowered the rate of pay of all class members who primarily worked 12 hour shifts. The court held that the hospital intentionally devised a pay plan that paid an artificially reduced rate of pay to all class members.
Debra F. Bogaards of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict in Jansen v. Valle, a three car rear-end collision with plaintiff’s Volvo Coupe sandwiched in the middle. Plaintiff claimed cervical neck strain, low back pain, extremity numbness and tingling, shoulder pain, nausea, dizziness, and brain injury. Plaintiff asked for $800,000, largely due to her cognitive impairment and inability to work again. The jury awarded $22,948, which is below the jurisdictional limit of the superior court, so defense costs are being pursued. Plaintiff spent over $50,000 in expert fees and costs.
Don Fountain and Joe Reiter of Lytal, Reiter, Clark, Fountain & Williams of West Palm Beach, Florida, — successful confidential Settlement reached in a product liability case after Mr. Fountain and Mr. Reiter rested their case and before the defense put any witnesses on the stand.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) in Jordan vs Nguyen, a bumper-to-bumper parallel parking “tapper” morphed into a major 12-day jury trial in San Francisco, resulting in a unanimous Defense Verdict in less than one hour. Plaintiff was in end-stage kidney and liver failure and had multiple, serious medical conditions. In short, plaintiff was dying and could succumb at any time. The ER visit showed “typical low-speed rear-ender” results, but plaintiff later began suffering myelopathic symptoms in all four limbs and was rushed to emergent surgery to avoid quadriplegia. Medical specials were some $300,000. Plaintiff asked the jury for $800,000 to $1 million, due to plaintiff’s shortened life expectancy. The defense cost bill is now being contested at $124,000. The pretrial demand was $800,000 and the offer was $4,000.
Nancy C. Elliott and Dan J. Keefe of Helsell Fetterman (Seattle) — Defense Verdict in a medical malpractice action in which a 50 year old female plaintiff alleged permanent disability, ongoing medical problems, and need for multiple medications for the rest of her life, because of a general surgeon’s failure to properly perform a total thyroidectomy in 1999, and failure to preserve any parathyroid glands. The jury deliberated for one hour 15 minutes and returned an unanimous defense verdict after an eight day trial.
A. Barry Cappello, Matt Clarke, & Dugan Kelley of Cappello & Noël, LLP — $41,000,000 Jury Verdict (Santa Barbara Superior Court) in Core Wealth Management LLC vs. Ronald Heller, et al, in which the jury found that the defendants breached their employment contracts, engaged in a conspiracy to misappropriate Core Wealth’s trade secrets, and misappropriated trade secrets related to the financial management industry. The defendants never made a settlement offer.
Gerard T. Carmody and Dave Luce, of Carmody MacDonald P.C. — Defense Verdict in LaMonte Young, Sr. v. American Airlines, a race discrimination case involving the use of hate-related speech during a verbal altercation between employees. The plaintiff, an African American, admitted calling a coworker an offensive term based on sexual orientation. Plaintiff claimed that his Caucasian coworkers used race-related hate speech, but plaintiff’s claims could not be corroborated. Plaintiff was terminated and the coworkers received lesser discipline. American had recently enhanced its rule against the use of hate speech to require automatic termination regardless of length of service or work record. Jurors described the case as very difficult given the severity of the discipline plaintiff received.
Scott Feldmann of Crowell & Moring LLP — Defense Verdict in Newhope Corporation, et al. v. Yamaha Electronics Corporation USA, a distributor termination case asserting promissory fraud and promissory estoppel. Nonsuit granted. Newhope and its co-plaintiff sought $4.5 million in compensatory damages, plus punitives. Other Japanese companies settled when Newhope made demands, but Yamaha refused on principle to settle.
John M. Feder & Ronald H. Rouda of Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & Zanobini (San Francisco) — $18,026,205.80 Jury Verdict in Alice Mowatt v. City of Los Angeles, et al., in which plaintiff, a 19 year old English tourist, suffered severe brain injuries when struck by an SUV while crossing at night in a marked pedestrian crosswalk. During voir dire the State of California (owner of the road) settled for $1,500,000 and the driver paid the policy limits of $100,000 plus a personal contribution of $75,000, leaving the City of Los Angeles as the only defendant. The case was extremely challenging as defense argued that the safety record of the road was quite remarkable – 164 million cars had driven through the area with only two prior pedestrian accidents, neither of which showed any indication that there was a dangerous condition at the crosswalk.
Gerard Carmody and Kelley Farrell of Carmody MacDonald P.C. ( St. Louis ) — $2,300,000 unanimous Jury Verdict in State of Indiana v. Kimco of Evansville, Inc., an eminent domain case involving the taking of property from a shopping center, in which the State’s offer was $58,000. In addition to the $2.3 million verdict, the shopping center is due $896,860 in interest from the State.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict in Synchef vs. Najma International Inc. , in which plaintiff claimed severe injury from an accident in which plaintiff’s Cadillac was clipped by a Ford van delivering dry cleaning. Plaintiff was an undisputed “eggshell,” with a severe spondylotic condition and extensive and severe degenerative osteoarthritis. The jurors concluded that plaintiff kept critical information away from his own Drs., and that defense’s Drs. had superior data from which to determine causation. The demand was consistently $1,100,000. Defense is now seeking costs of $35,000.
Matthew B.F. Biren of Biren/Katzman — $1,882,050 Riverside Jury Verdict in Perez vs. 24 Hour Fitness, where the plaintiff sustained a neck injury necessitating a 3 level fusion when the backboard of an incline bench press broke.
Steve Heller and Shayne Heller LaChapelle of The Heller Law Firm (Calabasas) — $1.25 Million Settlement of a personal injury case in Lassen County. One of the challenges in this case was establishing the value of the case either at trial or settlement. There have only been about 15 civil cases tried to verdict or settled in the last 10 years in this small county.
Gerard T. Carmody and Kelley Farrell of Carmody MacDonald PC (St. Louis) — successful confidential Settlement (post focus group), involving an Internet distribution of pornography by high school students amongst themselves, and an ill-advised “investigation” by school authorities resulting in an unwarranted expulsion.
Matthew B.F. Biren of Biren & Katzman — $508,000 Jury Verdict (Santa Barbara) in Linen ‘N Things, for a 69 year old plaintiff who sustained brain damage as a result of micro strokes caused by a small package falling off a shelf at defendant’s store, striking her in the head and causing a previously undiagnosed cerebral aneurysm to leak blood, which was surgically resolved without complication.
Shelley Kramer of Muhar, Roberts, Fama, Kramer & Monty (San Francisco) — successful $1,737,500 settlement in cross-action for contractual indemnity arising out of Parks v. UPS, et al.
Scott A. Edelman of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher — $106,000,000 Jury Verdict (Santa Ana Federal Court) in Intertainment vs. Franchise, in which the jury ruled that Franchise Pictures had engaged in fraud by inflating movie budgets: $77,000,000 of the award was for compensatory damages, $29,000,000 for punitives.
Matthew B.F. Biren & Marc J. Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $450,000 Settlement in Meislin v. Villegas for a plaintiff who sustained a brachial plexus palsy in a collision accident between his bicycle and a dump truck which while staging for a construction project was illegally stopped in a bike lane.
Matthew B.F. Biren & Marc J. Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $8,105,000 Settlement (parties confidential) of a 16 year old girl who sustained a closed head injury causing cognitive deficits after falling from a Psycho Swing — a portable amusement ride — as a result of her harness not being properly clipped to the ride’s frame.
Greg Amundson of Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman – successful confidential Settlement in Workman vs. POMA, in which he reached a 5-figure settlement down from a long-standing 7-figure demand.
J. Patrick Jacobs of McNamara, Spira & Smith — Jury Verdict in Moe (cross-complainant/defendant) vs. Keas (cross-defendant/ plaintiff), an indemnity cause of action. Arrested for felony drunk driving, Mr. Moe purportedly admitted to the Sheriff that he ran a red light. It was proved that the Sheriff had been untruthful about the admission; Jacobs’ accident reconstructionist prevailed on a timing sequence. All damages that had been paid to the negligent free passenger were recovered ($609,000).
Matthew B.F. Biren & Marc J. Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $1,200,000 Jones Act Verdict in Mraz v. Catalina Channel Express, awarded in a binding Court trial. The case involved claims that the plaintiff injured her back in two separate accidents and that she sustained bilateral carpel tunnel injuries and a shoulder injury as a result of continuing trauma caused by an ergonomically unsafe work environment
Michael Sutton of Sutton and Murphy — favorable defense confidential Settlement in a a personal injury case involving a scald incident. The case settled after three days of jury selection and prior to opening statements.
Thomas Patrick Beck and Gregory R. Vanni of Thon, Beck & Vanni — $6,656,880 Jury Verdict in Grassi v. UDO, a trip & fall case where the defense claimed that plaintiffs fabricated the facts. The verdict included $1,250,000 for the loss of consortium claim. There was no finding of comparative fault.
David C. Smith of McNamara, Spira & Smith — Jury Verdict in Los Angeles County Superior Court for $177,000 in emotional distress damages in a debt collection case, Castillo vs. Fairbanks Capital Corporation. Motion for attorneys’ fees and costs is pending.
Tony Stuart of the Stuart Law Firm — $1,300,000 Jury Verdict in Box vs. Heiman, a legal malpractice case involving an accident on an amusement park ride The case may represent the only successful verdict based on allegations that a fixed amusement ride was dangerously designed. The ride involved was Universal Studios’ “Jurassic Park – The Ride.”
Debra F. Bogaards of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict in Simonini v. Putzi in Marin County Superior Court. Defendant admitted liability for running a red light. Plaintiff claimed a torn rotator cuff and wanted $150,000. The defense medical expert agreed that Plaintiff needs surgery. Causation of injury was disputed and jurors concurred.
Debra Bogaards of Pave& Bogaards (San Francisco) —the equivalent of a Defense Verdict for her deceased elderly driver who failed to yield the right of way at a stop sign, causing a scooter operator to undergo 4 surgeries for his patella fracture, as well as femur fracture. The defense initially offered $288,000 for a full liability case, since only the elderly driver had a stop sign, and the elderly driver told the police officer afterwards: “I’m too old to drive.” Plaintiff wanted just $25,000 more, so the case went to trial. The jurors awarded only $20,000 in pain and suffering, the total award against the defendant was a mere $35,000.
David J. Myers of the Law Offices of David J. Myers — $1,000,000 Jury Verdict in Vance v. Mruvka, for breach of fiduciary duty in the operation of a motion picture and TV production company.
Matthew B. F. Biren of Biren & Katzman — $485,500 Jury Verdict in Anak v. Rodriguez, et al., a personal injury case. It was the second highest verdict ever in Judge Farrell’s very conservative court.
Huey P. Cotton of Cozen O’Connor — successful confidential Settlement, which happened one week into a federal court trial in Sacramento, in Florin/Inacomp v. IBM, a business case involving breach of contract claims.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — 26th consecutive Defense Verdict, a red light/green light traffic dispute in Marin. The claimed injury was a torn glenoid labrum, followed by a surgical repair which caused further damage in a 30-year-old pipefitter’s shoulder, precluding plaintiff from engaging in future overhead work. Claimed loss of future earnings was $1.5 million. After five days of testimony, the jury took 13 minutes to return an 11-1 verdict for the defense. The jury rejected the testimony of an independent eyewitness– a pedestrian who turned when she heard brakes and allegedly saw that plaintiff had the green light.
Roger Clark of the Law Offices of Clark & Goldberg — successful $3,000,000 Settlement during the first week of a scheduled six week jury trial, in Accent vs. Lilly Industries, a product defect case.
Kathleen Maicher and John Schmoll of Spangler, Jennings & Dougherty, P.C. (Indiana) — Defense Verdict in McCambridge v. Butterfield, a wrongful death medical malpractice case which had already been tried twice: the trial court setting aside the first trial’s jury verdict in favor of the defendant, the second resulting in a hung jury. This was a particularly satisfying win for the defense because the medical Review Panel had found that Dr. Butterfield violated the applicable standard of care when he failed to diagnose onset unstable angina. The third time was indeed a charm.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) –25th consecutive Insurance Defense Verdict, a wrongful death action which was his most difficult trial ever. Plaintiffs were the two small children, age 7 and 9, of a 28-year-old deceased woman passenger on the rear of a Harley-Davidson. Mr. Pave’s 5 experts, all with 30 or more years of experience, each stated that they never worked so hard or for so long in any prior trial. Plaintiff asked for $8,677,000.00. The jury deliberated for 1-1/2 hours and returned a 12-0 defense verdict, stating it was very difficult to overcome the enormous sympathy factor but that they were obliged to follow the law.
Gerard Carmody of Bryan Cave (St. Louis) — $4,100,000 Jury Verdict in MHTC v. KRC Creve Coeur 830, Inc., et al., an eminent domain case involving the taking of property from a shopping center, in which the government’s original offer was $878,000.
Debra F. Bogaards of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco)– Defense Verdict in Lofrano v. Pizzo, in which her elderly client’s car hit both a dog and pedestrian. The client left the scene and when the police located her at home later that evening, the police noted that she had wiped the bumper clean! Plaintiff lost consciousness, and had to be taken by helicopter to the ER. Plaintiff suffered a broken nose which required surgery, a large laceration down to the bone on his forehead, and multiple soft tissue injuries. Plaintiff asked the jury to award $250,000.
Dr. Bruce Fagel of Law Offices of Bruce G. Fagel — $59.3 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict in Greenwell vs. John Muir Medical Clinic.
Matthew B.F. Biren of Biren & Katzman — $224,022 Jury Verdict in Jamieson vs. Jackson for a plaintiff with a prior 14 year back condition (diagnosed herniated L4/5 disc sympto-matic at the time of the accident) who needed a microdiscectomy following an accident where a limousine inched forward as plaintiff was still entering it.
Steve Heller of the Law Offices of Stephen Heller — $2.3 Million gross med-mal wrongful death claim in Burrows vs. Henry Mayo Hospital, et al. The court assessed the liability of defendant Barry Herman, MD (OB/GYN) at 40%, Cheryl Cochrane (ER) at 30%, and Henry Mayo at 30%. Defendants Cochrane and Henry Mayo settled during trial for $450,000 and $387,500 respectively. The court’s decision as to credits and Dr. Herman’s ultimate share of responsibility is pending.
Matthew B.F. Biren and Marc J. Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $12,000,000 punitive damage Jury Verdict in Doe Food Co. vs. Zurich Ins. Co., following the bad faith verdict against Zurich for having tried to deceive insured food company into believing that the value of recalled product was covered by a limited ($50,000) coverage rather than its $4 million property coverage, and saying the claim was was barred by exclusions when they knew the threshold conditions for their application did not exist. Verdict followed summary judgment for plaintiff on contract issues, which were then settled before trial for $505,000.
Debra Bogaards of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict in Thomas vs. Marshall, an auto accident involving neck surgery, in which plaintiff’s demand was for $350,000. Jurors deliberated for 9-1/2 hours, returning $6,500 for plaintiff.
Ronald Schwartz of the Law Offices of Ronald Schwartz, Newport Beach, and Shina Goldman — $1,400,000 Jury Verdict in Granard vs. Calderon, an Orange County Superior Court case involving a woman who suffered brain injuries when a garage door fell off a truck traveling in front of her vehicle. The door struck the plaintiff driver’s side door, causing her injuries.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — 11 to 1 Defense Verdict (plus costs) in Alterio v. Agudelo, a Superior Court case involving a rear-end collision and an RN plaintiff.
Clifford A. Blackman of Blackman Legal Group and Bruce A. Bailey — $3.1 Million dollar ‘package’ Settlement in Jaso v. Kaiser Permanente, in which doctors repeatedly failed to file statutorily required reports about a patient who suffered from lapses of consciousness, the end result being a head-on car accident wherein the passenger of another car was rendered quadriplegic.
Ronald B. Schwartz of the Law Offices of Ronald B. Schwartz (Newport Beach)– $495,000 Settlement in Faber v. Sequoia Hospital, Duc Nguyen, M.D., et al. (Note: The concurrent case against Aetna was settled under a confidentiality agreement to the satisfaction of the parties.)
Theresa J. Barta of The Law Offices of Theresa J. Barta – unanimous Jury Verdict in Ron Charles & Clear Valley Stables v. LA Turf Club (Santa Anita), a case involving an injured horse. It took just 2 hours for the jury to award $330,000, where the statutory offer had been $101,000.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — $750,000 Settlement in Borgonia v. Jain, an auto vs. auto head-on case involving a “chance” fracture of L2.
Peter S. Forgie of Law Offices of Forgie, Jacobs & Leonard — $525,000 Settlement in Shura v. Schwartz, M.D., a dead baby/hysterectomy case.
Dr. Bruce Fagel of Law Offices of Bruce G. Fagel– $675,000 Settlement in Rogers v. a hospital and clinic in San Diego, a wrongful death case.
Thomas P. Beck and Gregory R. Vanni of Thon, Beck, Vanni, Phillipi & Nutt — Jury Verdict with ensuing Settlement of $23,250,000in Gibilisco v. Thomason, a personal injury case involving a collapsed conveyor resulting in paraplegia and death.
Veronica Gray and Sherry Bilbeisi of Resnick & Gray — Defense Verdict in Gnash v. Webster, a disputed property case, in which their client, Webster, was declared by the court to be 1/2 owner of the property at issue.
Pamela Thatcher of Law Offices of Pamela A. Thatcher — Defense Verdict in Thompson v. Jacobs, et al. a wrongful death case involving the suicide of a psychotherapist’s former patient.
Theresa J. Barta of The Law Offices of Theresa J. Barta — $1.56 Million Verdict with a confidential Settlement of the punitive phase,in Kohut, M.D. v. Beaver Medical Group, a wrongful termination case.
D. Stuart Candland of Law Offices of Craddick, Candland & Conti — Defense Verdict in Keys v. Cartwright, M.D., a medical malpractice case involving an allegation of negligent diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict in Pensabene v. Aleandri, a rear-end auto accident with a claim of knee surgery and a year off work by the owner of a bakery business.
Gerard Carmody and Douglas King of Bryan Cave (St. Louis) — $75,000,000 Jury Verdict in Biomedical vs. GE Marquette, a breach of contract case.
Matthew B.F. Biren and Marc J. Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $1,438,157.20 Jury Verdict in Hebb v. TUSD, a golf cart/pedestrian accident in which plaintiff arguably sustained a closed head injury causing cognitive problems and seizures.
Linda Bauermeister of Barber & Bauermeister – Defense Verdict in Bowen Vs. Federal Express Corporation, in a van/pedestrian case where Plaintiff’s long standing demand had been of $5,000,000.
John M. Feder of Rouda, Feder, Tietjen & Zanobini (San Francisco) — $250,000 Settlement in Pherwani v. Wayburn, an auto accident case with virtually no property damage, where the Delta V was only 1 mph.
Debra Bogaards of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Defense Verdict in Galea vs. Suleiman, an auto accident where plaintiff had immediate symptoms and neck surgery within 8 months.
Pamela Thatcher of Law Offices of Pamela A. Thatcher — favorable Settlement of Elliott v. Pinho, et al., a wrongful death case, in which she successfully negotiated plaintiff’s demand down from $1,000,000 to a mere $150,000.
Matthew B.F. Biren and Marc J. Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $3,282,314 Settlement in Mineo v. Monterey Peninsula Unified et al., a Personal Injury case involving a 12 year old boy who lost his eye after he was struck in the face by a golf club swung by another student during golf instruction in their P.E. class.
Philip Michels of Law Offices of Michels and Watkins — $4.25 Million Jury Verdict in Arce vs. LAUSD, a Wrongful Death of a Child case.
Debra Bogaards of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Dismissal after assignment of a San Jose courtroom in Gausman vs. Bruno, a cervical disc herniation with true radiculopathy and scheduled surgery as well as psychological injury case.
Don Fountain and Joe Reiter of Lytal, Reiter, Clark, Fountain & Williams of West Palm Beach, Florida, and Kevin Meenan of Law Offices of Kevin Meenan in Pasadena, California — $15 Million Plus Jury Verdict in Mapa v. Dunlop Tire Co., El Monte Ford et al., a Personal Injury case involving an exploding tire.
Veronica Gray of Resnick & Gray — $3 Million Plus Jury Verdict in Azer/Schainuck v. Fischman et al., an Unfair Business Practices and Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage case.
Roger Clark of Bienstock & Clark — favorable Settlement in Bibbs vs. Charter Communications, a Sexual Assault, Negligent Supervision case, in which Clark’s client Charter Communications didn’t have to pay a dime.
Dr. Bruce G. Fagel of Fagel & Associates — $12,298,262 Medical Malpractice award in Thompson v. Upland Outpatient Surgical Center, Inc.
Kimberly A. Miller of Miller & Reivitis, and Youngdahl & Sadin — favorable confidential Settlement in Penry v. Burlington et al., a FELA case.
Reed E. Schaper of Curiale, Dellaverson, Hirschfeld, Kelly & Kraemer, LLP– favorable confidential Settlement in a wrongful termination case with claims for income participation and equity interest.
Dexter B. Louie of O’Connor, Cohn, Dillon & Barr — Defense Verdict in Sorenson vs. Kace, M.D. et al., a case involving allegations of psychiatric malpractice.
Roger Clark of Bienstock & Clark — directed Verdict in King vs. Charter Communications. The court directed verdict at the end of a two week trial in this sexual harassment/ wrongful termination case.
Lawrence A. Goldberg of Goldberg & Goldberg — favorable confidential Settlement in a Personal Injury case involving a landlord’s failure to maintain an apartment window which shattered, injuring an eye surgeon.
Dr. Bruce G. Fagel of Law Offices of Bruce G. Fagel– $2.1 Million confidential Settlement in a Medical Malpractice case.
M. Lawrence Lallande Sr. of Perona, Langer, Beck & Lallande — $950,000 Settlement in Melaya v. Burgmann, a personal injury case (automobile/truck) involving physical and work-related complications resulting from the near amputation and consequent successful re-implantation of plaintiff’s right pinky finger.
J. Patrick Jacobs of McNamara & Spira — successful Summary Judgment on behalf of a defendant in a wrongful death case (involving 4 plaintiffs) with multi-million dollar exposure.
Margaret Henry of Law Offices of Margaret Henry — favorable confidential Settlement in a wrongful termination case involving race and sex discrimination.
Michael P. McNamara and Kirsten Spira of McNamara & Spira — confidential Settlement in a partnership dissolution case proceeding with a cross complaint for breach of fiduciary duty.
James W. McCord of Peterson & Ross — successful Settlement of a major insurance brokerage malpractice case.
Daniel W. Doyle of D’Antony & Doyle — favorable confidential Settlement in a sexual harassment case involving a minor.
Kara A. Pape of McHale & Connor and Damien Morozumi of Law Offices of Damien Morozumi — Defense Verdict in a case against a tour bus company, where plaintiff claimed it negligently operated a tour company and tour bus that resulted in traumatic injuries to one of its minor passengers. A Federal Court jury returned a verdict of $301,000 for the minor and $30,000 for his mother against a demand in excess of $2 Million and an offer of $1.275 million.
Thomas P. Beck of Thon, Beck, Vanni, Phillipi & Nutt — $2 Million Personal Injury Verdict in Leo Cheng v. UPS.
Pamela A. Thatcher of Law Offices of Pamela A. Thatcher– $1.1 Million Wrongful Death Unanimous Verdict in a failure to diagnose testicular cancer, Dougan v. Ricks.
Matthew B.F. Biren and Marc J. Katzman of Biren & Katzman — $2.3 Million Wrongful Death and Personal Injury Settlement in Richardson and Martin v. Marathon LeTourneau Company, et al.
Robert S. Gianelli of Gianelli & Morris — favorable $2.75 Million Settlement in an Insurance Bad Faith case.
Debra Bogaards of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — Personal Injury Verdict ruling out causation for knee surgery in Castle v. Fields.
Dr. Bruce Fagel of Law Offices of Bruce G. Fagel — $8.7 Million Medical Malpractice Verdict in Novell v. Halstead.
Arnie Schwartz of Mazursky, Schwartz & Angelo — $2.2 Million Personal Injury Settlement in Makhdoumian v. Fink.
Ellen A. Pansky of Pansky & Markle for her favorable confidential Settlement in a legal malpractice case.
Sean M. Burke of Law Offices of Sean M. Burke — favorable confidential Settlement in a medical malpractice/failure to recognize child abuse case.
Theresa J. Barta of The Law Offices of Theresa J. Barta — $3.5 Million Federal Court Verdict in Fontana Products v. Spartech Corporation.
J. Patrick Jacobs of McNamara & Spira– Defense Verdict in Hart/Archdale v. Beggs/Stinson/ Arrow Ready Mix, a personal injury case involving a high speed head-on truck vs automobile accident in which the plaintiffs sustained severe permanent injuries.
Robert M. Pave of Pave & Bogaards (San Francisco) — disputed intersection Defense Verdict (including $77,000 in costs) in Ceglarz v. Sanders, involving complex issues of permanent brain injury, loss of vision, neuropsychological deficits in memory and concentration, orthopedic injuries and complex neurological injuries.
Gerard T. Carmody and Kelley Farrell of Bryan Cave (St. Louis, Missouri) — sex and age discrimination Defense Verdict in Aten v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Michael P. McNamara & J. Patrick Jacobs of McNamara & Spira — $6.65 Million Insurance Bad Faith Jury Verdict in Trent v. Prudential
Michael J. Bidart of Shernoff, Bidart, Darras & Arkin — $120.5 Million Bad Faith Jury Verdict in Goodrich v. Aetna