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Trials Digest


Security Company Negligence

Settlement:  $2,750,000

Security company paid $2.75 million after its failure to report a fire resulted in firefighters' deaths (Burton v. Pinnacle Security CA LLP, Contra Costa County Superior Court, Plaintiff Attorney:  Andrew C. Schwartz).

Dangerous Roadwork

Settlement:  $16,900,000

Bicyclists injured as a result of PCH roadwork alleged negligence – three plaintiffs settled for a combined sum of  $400,000;  post-settlement three-day allocation arbitration hearing held to determine allocation of remaining two plaintiffs with one receiving $15,512,102 and the other $987,898 (Colarossi v. State of California, Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Daniel J. Callahan).

Eye Injuries

Settlement:  $700,000

A hospital visitor slipped and fell onto a "Caution Wet Floor" sign causing her to strike her left eye (Tolbert v. Kaweah Delta Health Care District, Tulare County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Mick Marderosian).

Eminent Domain

Verdict:  $3,435,904

Plaintiff City claimed the subject property was worth $135,000 before the cost of remediation, which would be $240,000 to $375,000; Defendant Owner contended the property was worth $5,475,000 after accounting for contamination (City of Beverly Hills v. Beverly Hills Land Company LLC, Los Angeles County Superior Court, defense attorney:  Charles D. Cummings).

Flying Metal

Settlement:  $265,000

Truck driver suffered lumbar spine fractures after being struck by flying metal from excavator (Phillips v. Velocity Iron & Metal Inc., Madera County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Christopher C. Watters).

Facebook Evidence

Verdict:  $370,000

Although plaintiff requested total damages of $4,240,681, defendant was able to limit the gross verdict to $370,000 and net verdict to $240,500 in part due to a year's worth of Facebook postings in which plaintiff described himself as active and working (Croteau v. Harbach Family Trust, Riverside County Superior Court, defense attorney:  Terry A. Rowland).

Femoral Hematoma

Verdict:  Defense

Patient claimed he developed femoral hematoma following angiogram procedure (Morrow v. Regents of the University of California,  San Diego County Superior Court, defense attorney: Robert A. Cosgrove).

Brian Injury

Settlement:  $600,000

Electrical worker suffered brain injury, fractures after falling 23 feet down an air duct (Confidential v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Andrew C. Bryman).


Settlement:  $300,000

Tenant claimed apartment was uninhabitable due to vermin infestations, mold (Gallagher v. Mourelatos, San Francisco County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Eric L. Lifschitz).

Stairway Railing Width

Verdict:  Defense

Jury determined that while the 9-inch-wide stairway railings may have arisen to a level of negligence, the evidence was not sufficient to prove that any negligence was a substantial factor in causing the harm claimed by plaintiff, a 2-year-old who allegedly fell through the stairway railing (J.D. v. Stockton Phoenix Limited, San Joaquin County Superior Court, defense attorney:  Charles S. Custer).

Wage & Hour Violations

Settlement:  $250,000

Former waitress, on behalf of a class, alleged wage and hour violations involving meal and rest breaks (Niedrich v. Muvico Entertainment LLC, Ventura County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Michele L. Jackson).

Neck Injuries

Verdict:  $647,334

Three-car chain reaction collision on freeway allegedly caused cervical disc injuries requiring surgeries (Rodriguez v. McKenzie, Alameda County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Steven J. Brady).



Settlement:  $15,250,000

Decedent, a cancer patient, allegedly died as a result of over-radiation caused by the software malfunction of a radiation delivery system utilizing a linear accelerator (Chichioco v. Varian Medical Systems, Inc., Hawaii – Second Judicial District, Maui Circuit Court, plaintiff attorney:  Michael K. Tateishi).

Caption Style Error

Verdict:  $4,000,000

Plaintiff, as an adult, alleged that defendants improperly listed her parents as plaintiffs on behalf of their then minor daughter, rather than plaintiff herself, and then re-filed after the statute of limitations, causing the underlying medical malpractice suit to be dismissed; $4,000,000 gross verdict reduced to $1,750,000 due to medical malpractice recovery caps (Gilbert v. Paulson & Nace, PLLC, Virginia – Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, City of Richmond Circuit Court, plaintiff attorneys:  H. Aubrey Ford/Stephanie E. Grana).

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