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Luminary Award California Bar Journal
Trials Digest



Elliptical Exercise Bicycle

Settlement:  $1,300,000

Investor obtained $1.3 million settlement against four individuals  after suing five businesses and their officers, directors and managers for breach of contract, fraud and other claims related to producing, marketing and selling the StreetStrider elliptical exercise bicycle (Fletcher v. HPN Holdings Inc., Fresno County Superior Court, plaintiff attorneys:  Bonnie J. Anderson/Karen L. Lynch).

Inadequate Security

Settlement:  $750,000

Plaintiff claimed defendants, an apartment complex owner and security management company, failed to provide adequate security following the eviction of some tenants which led to the slaying of innocent victims, including plaintiff's adult son; decedent's infant son was represented by other counsel and that case settled for an additional $500,000 (Mobley v. Chen, Sacramento County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  John Gary Gwilliam).


Verdict:  Defense

Plaintiff, a 76-year-old woman, reportedly tripped and fell on a raised portion of sidewalk and alleged defendant was negligent for not reporting to defendant City of San Diego the raised edge of concrete on a public sidewalk;  plaintiff settled before trial with the City of San Diego and Ballpark Village L.L.C. for $300,000 (Carlson v. Shoreline Land Care, San Diego County Superior Court, defense attorney:  Thomas G. Wianecki).

In-Law Unit Habitability

Settlement:  $250,000

Plaintiff, a 25-year tenant, alleged defendant knowingly rented plaintiff an unpermitted and substandard unit and refused to make proper repairs, depriving plaintiff of the opportunity to rent a lawful unit for years as the market rate rent increased; tenant also claimed personal injuries due to his exposure to surface and airborne contaminants, including difficulty breathing and allergic rhinitis (Alvarenga v. Thai, San Francisco County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Eric L. Lifschitz).

Renal Biopsy Death

Verdict:  Defense

Patient bled to death following renal biopsy procedure; plaintiff's sole contention as to defendant Hadaya was that there was no reason to order the biopsy at issue; defendant Hadaya contended that the order for the renal biopsy was reasonable under the circumstances; other defendants settled for $204,500 (L.W. v. Hadaya, Los Angeles County Superior Court, defense attorney:  Robert B. Packer).

Policy Limits

Settlement:  $500,000

Plaintiff claimed that defendant admitted falling asleep while driving; preexisting degenerative changes in plaintiff's neck were exacerbated by the accident, which resulted in cervical surgery (Kim v. Suh, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff Attorney:  Daniel Hoffman).

Spinal Compression Fractures

Verdict:  $458,871

Defendant contended that, in accordance with the finding in the traffic collision report, plaintiff motorcyclist was 100 percent at fault and cut off defendant's SUV, thereby causing the collision; the jury found defendant 100 percent at fault (Hughes v. Kalsman, Los Angeles County Superior Court, plaintiff attorneys:  J. Derek Pakiz/Neil J. Berry).

Hospital Fall

Settlement:  $485,000

A 79-year-old patient's fall at the hospital resulted in T-spine compression fracture requiring surgery; plaintiff claimed defendant's nurses did an incomplete fall risk assessment and otherwise failed to treat plaintiff as a patient at high risk for fall (Confidential v. Confidential , Orange County Superior Court, plaintiff attorney:  Daniel M. Hodes).

Alleged Dog Attack

Settlement:  $15,000

Plaintiff alleged that defendants' dog bit her hands, arms and legs and she sustained further trauma when the dog knocked her to the ground, trampling her breasts and causing her head to strike the pavement; defendants contended plaintiff's entire story of being attacked, trampled, knocked to the ground and bitten was not supported by plaintiff's medical records (Brown v. Jones, Riverside County Superior Court, defense attorney:  Robert W. Armstrong).



Plaintiff, a former assistant chief investigator, brought action against the County of San Joaquin District Attorney's Office for gender discrimination, retaliation and failure to prevent discrimination and retaliation; the jury found for the plaintiff on her retaliation claim, but found for the defendant on the gender discrimination claim (Trulsson v. County of San Joaquin District Attorney's Office, Eastern District Federal Court, Plaintiff Attorney: Jill P. Telfer).


Gynecologist Misconduct

Settlement:  $190,000,000

A gynecologist allegedly used hidden surveillance cameras to secretly videotape and photograph patients during his employment by The Johns Hopkins Hospital; a class-action lawsuit was filed by more than 1,100 Doe and Roe individuals against The Johns Hopkins Hospital and other defendants for physical pain, emotional anguish, fear, anxiety, humiliation, embarrassment, and permanent disability (Doe v. The Johns Hopkins Hosp., Maryland – Baltimore City Circuit Court, plaintiff attorney:  Jonathan Schochor).

Motorcyclist Fatality

Verdict:  $50,000,000
A motorcyclist was struck and killed by a left-turning motorist; plaintiff estate contended that defendant failed to yield the right-of-way, drove without a valid license and disregarded a red traffic light at a high rate of speed; the jury awarded $20 million in actual damages and $30 million in punitive damages (Bales v. Martinez, South Carolina – Charleston County Common Pleas Court, plaintiff attorney:  Akim A. Anastopoulo).