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Trials Digest

Trial Digest Summary

Excessive force

Award: $2,200,000
Four Chula Vista Police Department officers pulled over and assaulted and battered an undercover ICE agent who was in the middle of a surveillance operation, despite his repeated attempts to identify himself as a federal agent (Lopez v. Chula Vista Police Department, Southern District Federal Court, Plaintiff attorney: Eugene G. Iredale).


Award: $9,022,643
Patient admitted to a hospital with a nosebleed resulting from hypertension lapsed into a coma as a result of choking on a negligently placed nose-packing device (Charalambopoulos v. Southwest Healthcare System, Riverside County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: John R. Contos).

Broadside collision

Award: $1,410,203
Twenty-year-old woman sustained brain injury when she was broadsided while her vehicle was stalled perpendicular to a K-rail on a freeway (Wolford v. Hardin, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Gregory R. Vanni).

Botched surgery

Award: $395,854
Patient underwent a laparoscopic gallbladder removal, during which the surgeon negligently cut the common bile duct instead of the cystic duct, resulting in a need for major reconstructive surgery and continuing complications of incontinence and diarrhea (Magnaye v. Akhondzadeh, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Jeffrey D. Wolf).

Employment discrimination

Award: $2,598,986
Employee was discriminated against on the basis of his race and age and terminated for reporting the discrimination (Romandia v. The Valspar Corp., Sacramento County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Martin F. Jennings Jr.).

Defective helmet

Award: $4,050,000
Seventeen-year-old equestrienne who suffered severe brain damage following a fall from her horse alleged that the helmet, which was advertised as “designed for maximum protection,” failed to adequately protect her head (Kuhn v. International Riding Helmets Inc., Contra Costa County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: John J. Ruprecht).

Welder burned

Award: $2,125,000
Sixty-one-year-old man sustained burns to 35 percent of his body when a large diesel tank on which he was welding exploded (Quintana v. Arthur, Fresno County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Richard C. Watters).

Longshoreman injured

Award: $1,825,000
Seventy-two year-old line handler was knocked overboard and suffered hypothermia and an arm fracture when a mooring line gave way and propelled him into the water 15 feet below (Perry v. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp., Northern District Federal Court, Plaintiff attorney: Philip R. Weltin).

Medical malpractice

Award: Defense
Fifty-three-year-old man alleged that, despite repeated visits to his family physician and orthopedist, they failed to properly diagnose a fractured wrist, which, although eventually repaired, caused him extended periods of pain and a complicated recovery (Cauble v. Springer, San Diego County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Robert W. Frank).

Accidental shooting

Award: $1,115,000
Visitor to a residence was shot and sustained permanent disability to his arm by the homeowner’s personal assistant/bodyguard (Confidential v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Wayne McClean).

Pre-natal screening

Award: Defense
Parents claimed that a misread ultrasound deprived them of the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy of a child born with spina bifida and Down Syndrome (Jimenez v. Reliant Radiology Medical Group, Los Angeles County Superior Court (Defense attorney: David J. O’Keefe).

Editor's 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.