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Trials Digest

 Trials Digest Chart

Oil Spill

Settlement: $44,476,419

The city of San Francisco claimed extreme damages when a container ship failed to clear a tower on the Bay Bridge and struck it, causing fuel harm to wildlife, fouled beaches, and impaired recreational activities by the public (City and County of San Francisco v. Regal Stone Limited, Northern District Federal Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Dennis J. Herrera).

Burn Death

Verdict: Defense

The family of a teenager alleged product liability after their son died after being engulfed in flames and suffering third degree burns from a defective shaver (Bose v. Wahl Clipper Corp., Central District Federal Court, Defense attorney: Warren L. Gilbert).

ATV Accident

Verdict: Defense

A woman claimed her ATV rolled over three times because of a flaw with the ATV’s brake system, rather than the condition of the terrain (Clanin v. KYMCO USA Inc., El Dorado County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Richard A. Ergo).


Verdict: $40,000,000

A casino developer alleged slander and defamation when a man made false statements to a TMZ reporter because of the results of a previous judgment between the two (Wynn v. Francis, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Barry D. Langberg).

Impaired Driver

Verdict: $7,363,761

A man driving under the influence of alcohol collided with a car driven by a family, resulting in the death of a child, personal injuries and negligent infliction of emotional distress (Wong v. Tom, San Mateo County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Khaldoun A. Baghdadi).

Tuna Misrepresentation

Settlement: $3,300,000

A tuna manufacturer and producer made untrue and/or misleading representations to the public by failing to meet the standard for canned tuna products (People of the State of California v. Bumble Bee Foods LLC, Riverside County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Paul Zellerbach).

Wheel Failure

Verdict: $11,397,854

The wheel hubs on an employee’s truck failed, causing a back injury and an inability to work for ten months (Mariolle v. Volvo Group North America Inc., Northern District Federal Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Gary B. Roth).

Spinal Fracture

Verdict: $583,650

A worker suffered spinal injuries when a temporary construction fence collapsed onto his back at a job site, and thus was unable to work for six months (Garcia v. Bovenzi, San Diego County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Keith J. Stone).

Unfair Competition

Verdict: $13,492,000

Diaper pail makers each alleged the other made misleading claims regarding the quality and availability of their products (Munchkin Inc. v. Playtex Products LLC, Central District Federal Court, Plaintiff’s attorney R. Rex Parris).

Nail Lodged in Head

Verdict: $2,013,017

An employee using a pneumatic nail gun was injured when it kicked back and discharged a nail into his brain, requiring surgical removal, lip laceration requiring stitches, headaches and dizziness (Oliver v. Hitachi Koki US.A. Ltd., San Bernardino County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Roger L. Gordon).

Slope Failure

Verdict: Defense

A couple whose house sat atop a slope, with a history of stability issues, that ultimately failed claimed breach of contract and bad faith on the part of its insurer for denying its claim (Koulund v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Company, Orange County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Michelle L. Burton).


Verdict: $698,449

A woman died after she suffered hemorrhage complications during a cardiac catheterization procedure (Feng v. Regents of University of California, San Francisco County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: William C.  Johnson).

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.