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Trials Digest

Trials Digest


Wheelchair lift

Verdict: $6,396,697

A man in a wheelchair sustained severe brain injuries when the lift on a bus failed, causing him to be thrown backward onto the asphalt, striking his head (Avery v. MV Public Transportation Inc., Placer County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Roger A. Dreyer).

Spinal cord injury

Verdict: $11,732,637

An elevator mechanic suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of repeatedly striking his head on low scaffolding above the walkway he used to access his worksite (Travis v. Bison Builders Inc., Marin County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: William L. Veen).


Arbitration award: $8,652,580

A driver towing a U-haul trailer on the freeway was rear-ended by a speeding driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel and sustained debilitating injuries after the trailer was propelled forward into his SUV and careened from side to side, demolishing the SUV (Confidential v. Farmers Insurance, No Court/Unfiled Arbitration, Plaintiff’s attorney: Spencer R. Lucas).

Insurance malpractice

Verdict: $7,553,559

A landmark hotel that was destroyed by fire was denied coverage due to a negligently written insurance policy (Earley v. Chubb Custom Insurance Co., Imperial County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Peter C. Ward).

Motorcycle collision

Verdict: $6,445,550

A corrections officer sustained numerous fractures and chronic pain syndrome following a collision with a tractor-trailer that turned left in front of his motorcycle (Crenshaw v. Land O’Lakes Inc., Kings County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Robert Glassman).

Crushed leg

Settlement: $2,250,000

An elderly man exited a bus, fell off the sidewalk into the street, at which point the bus ran over and crushed his leg, which ultimately required amputation (Yi v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Gregory R. Vanni).

STD infection

Verdict: $2,430,000

A woman sued her husband for negligently infecting her with genital herpes, which he contracted during an extramarital affair (Confidential v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Shaun M. Murphy).

Slippery stairs

Verdict: $4,565,000

A 48-year-old woman exiting the rear of her office slipped and fell to the bottom of a staircase whose steps were slippery when wet because of the lack of abrasive paint or anti-grip strips (Schwartz v. Leeds, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Silvio Natale).

Birth defects

Settlement: $1,000,000

A woman gave birth to a baby with profound defects after taking the drug Accutane during her pregnancy (Confidential v. Confidential, Orange County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Jeffrey A. Milman).

Child drowns

Settlement: $1,350,000

A 12-year-old boy drowned during an outing at a public park that allegedly had three lifeguards on duty at the time (Confidential v. Confidential, Alameda County Superior Court, Plaintiff’s attorney: Maro Burunsuzyan).

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.