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Trials Digest

Trials Digest Chart


ADA Access

Settlement:  $58,500

Plaintiff, a below-the-knee amputee who used a wheelchair, alleged ADA and state violations due to a lack of accessible parking spaces and restroom facilities; the defendants agreed to perform certain remedial measures, including to the bathroom and parking lot, and agreed to pay $58,500 to the plaintiff and his counsel (Barajas v. Guaraldi, Northern District Federal Court, plaintiff attorney: Paul L. Rein).

Bike v. Bike

Verdict:  $501,024

Plaintiff bicyclist who was passing on the left alleged that defendant bicyclist neither looked back nor signaled before turning left causing a collision; the defendant was found to be 62 percent at fault which reduced the award to $313,140 (Longenecker v. Lawrence, Alameda County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Terence S. Cox).

Cigarette Death

Verdict:  $17,736,700

Plaintiff claimed defendant cigarette manufacturer promoted sales and profit by ignoring design changes that would have made a health impact difference and a less lethal product (Major v. Lorilland Tobacco Co., Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Gilbert L. Purcell).

Homeowner Liable

Verdict:  $1,950,000

Plaintiff, a window installer, suffered brain damage when he slipped and fell from a roof onto concrete pavement below while working for unlicensed contractor defendant Yevtushenko on a home owned by defendant Voong; the court reduced the award to $1,755,000 for 10 percent plaintiff fault and found Voong jointly and severally liable for $1,755,000 (Tsedendorj v. Yevtushenko; Voong, San Francisco County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Paul L. Kranz).

Bile Duct

Verdict:  Defense

Jury found no negligence in patient's common bile duct injury during surgery; plaintiff had made a CCP 998 demand for $150,000; defendant had made a CCP 998 offer of $29,999 (Marquez v. Ou, San Bernardino County Superior Court, defense attorney: Margaret M. Holm).

Big-Rig v. Pick-up

Verdict:  $4,014,069

Plaintiff, a 22-year-old male, alleged that defendant big-rig truck driver rear-ended him at 45-55 mph while plaintiff was stopped, causing multiple thoracic fractures, future surgery, post-concussion syndrome and an inability to be gainfully employed (Harrison v. Southwest Traders, Inc., Sonoma County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Paul R. Kiesel).

Retaliatory Firing

Verdict:  $1,168,165

Plaintiff alleged that her supervisor discriminated against her after she rebuffed his efforts to keep tabs on her seriously ill husband which ultimately led to her being  terminated after she refused to drop her complaint of discrimination (Jordan v. City of Long Beach, Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Jeffrey A. Rager).

Fractured Femur

Settlement:  $240,000

Plaintiff, a 68-year-old female, fell at a single, interior step and alleged the step was a safety hazard; defendants contended the step was not a safety hazard and did not violate any building codes (Clyde v. Belasco Unlimited Corp., Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Denis Delja).

Police Shooting

Settlement:  $2,200,000

A police officer shot decedent 13 times and allegedly failed to call for or provide medical assistance; $2.2 million settlement reached with 40 percent to decedent's minor son, 30 percent to his spouse, and 15 percent each to his mother and father (Duenez v. City of Manteca, Eastern District Federal Court, plaintiff attorney: John L. Burris).

Labor Code Sec. 970

Verdict:  $95,131

Plaintiff claimed that after taking steps to relocate and quitting her job, she was told by the defendants  – a Metallica band member and his wife – that she was no longer hired (Abitbol v. Trujillo, Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Colin Walshok).


Arbitration:  $2,225,000

Plaintiff claimed that defendant primary care physician failed to treat her early signs of stroke during a four-minute phone conversation and told her to take two Advil; defendant contended she told plaintiff to immediately go to the hospital emergency room (Confidential v. Confidential, Orange County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney: Daniel M. Hodes).


Chain Smoker Death

Verdict:  $23,640,612,740

The jury awarded the decedent's spouse and their son $7.3 million, the decedent's child from another relationship $9.6 million and $23.62 billion in punitive damages; jurours found that decedent was 29.5 percent negligent (Robinson v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Florida – Escambia County Circuit Court, plaintiff attorney: Willie E. Gary).

Water Main Leak

Settlement:  $5,020,000
A pedestrian alleged that a water main leak in the street contributed to a driver skidding out of control on black ice and striking him, which led to an above-the-knee amputation; City of Chicago settled for $5 million and the driver $20,000 (Hill v. City of Chicago, Illinois  – Cook County Circuit Court, plaintiff attorney: Philip Harnett Corboy Jr.).