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Trials Digest
Trials Digest Chart


Talc Asbestos

Verdict: $13,000,000

Plaintiff alleged defendant's Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder was responsible for causing her to contract mesothelioma (Winkel v. Calaveras Asbestos Ltd., Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorneys:  John M. Caron, David Greenstone, Christopher J. Panatier).

Heart Valve Re-Replacement

Verdict: Defense

Plaintiff contended that it was below the standard of care to insert a mechanical heart valve when a tissue valve should have been placed; that the suturing was defective; and that a perivalvular leak should have prompted urgent valve re-operation (Bradley v. West, Santa Barbara County Superior Court, defense attorneys:  Kent T. Brandmeyer, Bradley C. Clark).

Wrongful Death

Settlement: $8,300,000

Defendants, Corizon Health Inc. and Alameda County, agreed to pay $4.25 million and $4.05 million respectively; plus the settlement also included an agreement by defendant Corizon to stop assigning unqualified LVNs to do the work of RNs and included new training requirements for deputies who work with jail inmates (Harrison v. County of Alameda, Northern District Federal Court, plaintiff attorneys:  Michael Haddad, Julia Sherwin).

Wage Theft

Decision: $297,723

Restaurant workers brought PAGA (Private Attorneys General Act of 2004) wage and hour claims on behalf of 70 employees; court ruled that defendants' records were not trustworthy (Atempa v. Pama Inc., San Diego County Superior Court, plaintiff attorneys:  Rodolfo Ruiz-Velasco, Thomas M. Diachenko).

Testamentary Capacity

Settlement: $950,486

Former trust beneficiary, originally a befriended busboy who testator regarded as his stepson, disputed subsequent trust amendments (Alvarez v. Woo, San Francisco County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Amanda L. Ebey).

Hip Implant Defect

Verdict: $9,153,318

Plaintiff, a CEO, alleged he was forced to undergo a second hip replacement surgery because of a defective metal-on-metal hip implant (Kline v. Zimmer Inc., Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorneys:  David Bricker, Gibbs Henderson, Erin Wood).

Brain Injuries

Verdict: Defense

Emergency room patient claimed improper care caused brain injuries; defense verdict for both defendants; other defendants had settled for $8 million (Sharma v. Mirhadi, Sacramento County Superior Court, defense attorneys:  Patrick A. Lanius, Andrew C. Efaw).

Attempted Murder

Verdict: $6,577,000

Plaintiff contended the defendants were involved in a conspiracy with members of the Mexican Mafia to kill the plaintiff; defendants denied liability (Epps v. Barajas, San Bernardino County Superior Court, plaintiff attorneys:  Daniel J. Callahan, Javier van Oordt).

Medical Whistleblower

Verdict: $1,750,000

Plaintiff, a surgical oncologist, alleged that defendant defamed and ultimately terminated him in retaliation for his raising patient care concerns (Wascher v. Kaiser Permanente, Orange County Superior Court, plaintiff attorneys:  Jeffrey A. Rager, Charles T. Mathews).

Process Server Attacked

Settlement: $1,250,000

Process server allegedly attacked, struck by vehicle (Nigro v. Sofranko, Santa Barbara County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Robert R. Clayton).


Ear Infection Death

Verdict: $11,604,000

An adult male medical patient died due to an ear infection that spread to his brain as a result of allegedly negligent medical treatment by family practitioner defendant (Plummer v. Torres, Florida – Volusia County Circuit Court, plaintiff attorneys:  Maria Tejedor, Carlos R. Diez-Arguelles, Jack T. Cook).

Patent Infringement

Verdict: $16,779,864

Camshaft phaser inventor awarded $16.8 million as reasonable royalties against defendant auto parts manufacturer for patent infringement for sales to non-parties Chrysler and GM (Melchior v. Hilite International Inc., Texas – U.S.D.C., N.D.Tex., plaintiff attorneys:  Thomas C. Wright, Nicolas E. Seckel).

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.