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Trials Digest 


Settlement: $1,230,000

Forty-year-old motorist was left quadriplegic after her vehicle was struck by a van, causing her to be ejected, at an allegedly dangerous intersection in the City of Fullerton (Harris v. Sellami, Orange County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Louanne Masry).

Delayed diagnosis

Verdict: $2,357,000

Misreading of Pap slides by pathologist led to a three-year delay in diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer (Spears v. Grossmont Hospital Corp., San Diego County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Cynthia Chihak).

Forklift accident

Settlement: $5,000,000

Worker sustained devastating injuries when he was struck by a box containing a 473-pound. range that fell from a forklift (Barrera v. The Montague Co., San Francisco County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Ronald H. Rouda).

Persistent vegetative state

Verdict: Defense

Woman in labor with her first child was allegedly left in a persistent vegetative state due to a failure to adequately monitor and treat her pre-eclampsia (Ponvattana v. Bode, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Defense attorney: David J. O’Keefe).

Employment contract

Settlement: $1,800,002

Construction company executive alleged breach of Shareholders and Retirement Agreements (Barnes v. Johnson, Barnes & Finch Inc., San Diego County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Spencer C. Skeen).

Environmental violations

Settlement: $19,500,000

State of California assessed civil penalties against several oil companies for numerous failures in underground storage tank systems at gas stations in California (The People of the State of California v. Equilon Enterprises LLC, Alameda County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Edmund G. Brown Jr.).

Gender discrimination

Settlement: $700,000

Male captain at Los Angeles County Fire Department claimed he was retaliated against for his strict treatment of female trainees (Cappon v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Gregory W. Smith).

Building collapse

Decision: Defense

Owners of a building near Edwards Air Force Base alleged that damage to the building was a result of supersonic flights flying overhead that violated height restrictions (Harper Lake LLC v. United States of America, Central District Federal Court, Defense attorney: Thomas P. O’Brien).

Sexual abuse

Settlement: $1,125,000

Student was sexually abused by his teacher from eighth through 12th grade (Confidential v. La Habra City School District, Orange County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: David M. Ring).

Editor's Note: California Bar Journal publishes this abbreviated summary of important trials in California provided by Trials Digest, a Thomson West business. To report your case results, go to or call 415-344-3952.