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Luminary Award California Bar Journal
Trials Digest
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Shopping Center Lease

Arbitration:  $1,892,835

Restaurant tenant claimed that a lack of parking breached the lease; the Hon. William Sheffield (Ret.) awarded to plaintiff  $1,353,301 for past lost profits plus $539,534 for future lost profits but found plaintiff's causes of action for fraud and negligent misrepresentation were time barred (Gietzen v. Goveia, Ventura County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Barak Lurie).


Verdict:  $1,500,002

Plaintiff alleged he suffered emotional distress, extreme and severe mental anguish, pain and suffering, and damage to his reputation as a transplant surgeon due to defamatory statements made by defendant surgeons; the jury found in favor of defendant Ruckle but awarded $1,500,002 against defendant DeVera. (Roozrokh, M.D. v. Devera, M.D., Ruckle, M.D., San Bernardino County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Vida M. Holguin).

Race Discrimination

Decision:  $998,534

Plaintiff, an African-American woman, alleged race discrimination and harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination, including comments made by defendant owner that she preferred to have a blonde working for her, and told plaintiff she did not fit the image of the company (Lover v. Young By Yoyo Yeung a/k/a Young By Yoyo Yeung Inc., Yeung, Faith Connexion Retail LLC, Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Cory H. Hurwitz).

Newborn Stroke

Verdict:  Defense

Baby allegedly suffered stroke during prolonged labor which involved a certified nurse midwife under the supervision of the in-house OB attending physician and then a C-section performed by the obstetrical staff; defendant contended the stroke was unrelated to the delivery (J.I. v. Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles County Superior Court, defense attorney:  N. Denise Taylor).

Landscaping Defects

Settlement:  $75,000

Plaintiff homeowners who had hired defendant to do a high-end landscaping project at their home that was to include construction of a new patio, a planting scheme and repair/replacement of a failed drainage system claimed  that due to defective workmanship and violation of building codes they suffered damage that could only be fixed by repairing and replacing much of the work that was performed by defendant (Pittaro v. TM Landscapes Inc., San Mateo County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Barri Kaplan Bonapart).

Consulate Van Collision

Settlement:  $525,000

A Consulate employee, driving a Consulate van full of Consulate employees reportedly abruptly turned the van left into the median lane to beat the traffic and hit decedent, causing severe spinal injuries for which he required extensive surgery and lengthy hospitalizations, and he ultimately passed away over a year later due to complications and infections from his injuries (Munoz v. Consulate General of Mexico, central district federal court, plaintiff attorney:  Wayne McClean).

Bile Duct Injury

Settlement:  $1,000,000

Plaintiff contended it was below the standard of care to injure the common bile duct and right hepatic artery in an uncomplicated laparoscopic cholecystectomy; defendant contended that plaintiff had unusual anatomy (Confidential v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Jeffrey A. Milman).

3-Vehicle Collision

Verdict:  $80,000

Defendants Onwumere and Blackwell, driving separate vehicles, collided, causing defendant Onwumere's vehicle to spin across the highway and into plaintiff's vehicle. A nonsuit on all special damages was granted at trial, leaving only noneconomic damages for the jury; the jury found in favor of defendant Onwumere, finding defendant Blackwell was 100 percent at fault for the accident (Rippey v. Blackwell, Onwumere, Santa Clara County Superior Court, Defense Attorney (for Onwumere):  Kimberly S. Oberrecht).

Pedestrian Struck

Settlement:  $990,000

Plaintiff alleged that defendant driver, who was driving a large cargo van in the course and scope of his employment with defendant Somatdary Inc., was the sole cause of the accident by failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk (Won v. Somatdary Inc., Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Daniel Hoffman).

Gastric Mapping

Verdict:  Defense

Patient alleged physician failed to consider his medications, causing bleeding and anemia; defendant claimed it was appropriate to evaluate plaintiff with a gastric mapping procedure given plaintiff's history (Confidential v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court, defense attorney:  Robert C. Reback).


Dram Shop Liability

Verdict:  $11,165,569

An intoxicated motorist struck plaintiff motorcyclist; dram shop liability found against defendant bar for over-serving a known alcoholic (Wilde v. Okeechobee Aerie 4137, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Inc., Florida – Okeechobee County Circuit Court, plaintiff attorney:  Neil P. Anthony).

Wrongful Deaths

Verdict:  $27,000,000

Plaintiffs alleged that one college student died after being severely beaten while a patron at a fast food restaurant that lacked adequate security and then a second college student died in a fatal automobile collision while friends were attempting to transport the first victim to the hospital for his life threatening injuries (Crisp v. The McDonald's Corp., Texas – Brazos County District Court, plaintiff attorney:  Christopher S. Hamilton).