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Trials Digest


Bus crushes pedestrian

Settlement: $10,500,000

A 23-year-old pedestrian in a crosswalk was struck and dragged at least 10 yards by an AC Transit bus, sustaining severe crush injuries (Nichols v. Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, Plaintiff’s attorney: Brian Panish).

Homeless homicide

Verdict: $4,575,000

A 26-year-old unarmed homeless man was beaten, kicked, struck multiple times with a baton, and left in a jail cell to die by several City of Eureka police officers (Cotton v. City of Eureka, Northern District Federal Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Vicki I. Sarmiento).

Delayed C-section

Verdict: Defense

A family alleged that the failure to timely perform a C-section resulted in a severely brain-damaged infant (Zimbalist v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Michael A. O’Flaherty).

Motorcycle fatality

Settlement: $2,850,000

A motorcyclist stopped on I-5 in front of a vehicle with its hazard lights on was killed when a speeding driver made an unsafe lane change and struck the rear of both vehicles (In re Poggio, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Steve W. Nichols).

Surgical negligence

Verdict: Defense

A patient alleged that negligence during a uterine fibroid embolization resulted in infection, requiring a hysterectomy, a colostomy, and several other surgeries, including a rectal-vaginal fistula repair (Harris-Boyd v. McLucas, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Defense attorney: David J. O’Keefe).

Legal malpractice

Verdict: $1,483,708

An 81-year-old actress, Tippi Hedren, who was injured in an on-set accident, failed to recover for her injuries as a result of her attorney allowing the statute of limitations to expire (Hedren v. Allen, San Diego County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Bruce A. Broillet).

Dust cloud collision

Settlement: $2,500,000

A driver was seriously injured when he collided with a tractor-trailer hidden from his sight by a dust cloud as the rig left a field (Confidential v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Patrick McNicholas).

Construction fall

Verdict: $10,717,498

A 46-year-old pipe fitter suffered a fractured spine in a 20-foot fall from a rooftop walkway consisting of a ½-inch plywood sheet that had not been screwed down (Richeson v. Tovey/Shultz Construction Inc., Riverside County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Steven J. Estey).

Delayed diagnosis

Settlement: $1,550,000

A 46-year-old woman alleged that the misreading of her mammograms caused a two-year delay in the diagnosis of her breast cancer, greatly reducing the likelihood of a cure (Confidential v. Confidential, Orange County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Daniel M. Hodes).

Truck rear-ends truck

Verdict: Defense

The driver of a tractor-trailer claimed injuries from rear-ending a flatbed truck which he alleged had stopped in a lane on the highway (Escareno v. Ruiz, Imperial County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Kimberly S. Oberrecht).

Leg amputation

Settlement: $1,075,002

A collision between a motor vehicle and a motorcycle at an intersection containing a sign that blocked the view of oncoming traffic resulted in a leg amputation for the motorcyclist (Simons v. Grewal, Glenn County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Robert A. Buccola).

Editors Note: California Bar Journal publishes this abbreviated summary of important trials in California provided by Trials Digest. To report your case results, go to or call 415-344-3952.