Wrongful Death

Head-on collision kills plaintiffs' daughter. $3.5 million. San Bernardino County.

Defendant driver says she's entitled to sudden emergency defense as her vehicle came into contact with gravel on the highway shoulder.

  • Case Name: Arsenio D. Madero Jr., as an individual, and as a successor in interest of DJ Mariah Madero, deceased; Eloisa Madero; as an individual, and as a successor in interest of DJ Mariah Madero, deceased v. Mercedes Devoney Broughton, an individual, et al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, February 04, 2016

Railroad boilermaker dies of Mesothelioma from asbestos in repair shop. $6.95 million. Alameda County.

Railroad worker is exposed to asbestos in railroad repair shops long after asbestos protection for workers is mandated.

  • Case Name: Karen Emerson v. Union Pacific Railroad Company
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

15-year-old dies after being struck by car at dangerous crossing on way to school bus. $20 million. San Bernardino County.

School district hides evidence of its negligence in selection of bus stop locations and is sanctioned by court before trial. Later argues value of adopted son's death.

  • Case Name: Jong Ja Jun v. Chaffey Joint Union High School District and Imelda Hughes
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, July 30, 2015

Migrant orchard worker electrocuted by overhead power lines, family in Mexico awarded $4.7 million. Riverside County.

Orchard worker on ladder is electrocuted when ladder contacts SCE's overhead power lines.

  • Case Name: Estate of Pablo Padilla Ayala v. Southern California Edison Company
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Mother developing pneumonia calls Kaiser nurse advice line, is not seen by docs until it is too late. $2.74 million award. Alameda County.

Mother of two young children develops pneumonia-like symptoms and repeatedly calls Kaiser's nurse advice line. She is not seen by doctors until it is too late. Wrongful death due to medical negligence.

  • Case Name: Doe v. Kaiser
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, May 22, 2015

Wrongful death UIM arbitration award of $399,269. Sacramento County.

Sister says her deceased brother's UIM insurer isn't paying enough for his wrongful death in a vehicle accident.

  • Case Name: Susan Lee, et al. v. Hagerty Insurance Agency, LLC, et al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, September 22, 2014

Doctor dies after heart treatment at Kaiser. $2.6 million net arbitration award. Los Angeles County.

Doctor, 56, is treated with stents at Kaiser, later dies of sudden cardiac death.

  • Case Name: Doe et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, June 09, 2014

Mesothelioma causes death of auto parts worker: $11 million gross verdict for family. Alameda County.

Decedent was exposed to asbestos dust through his work with vehicle brake parts.  This trial was for damages only.

  • Case Name: Emily Bankhead, Tammy Bankhead, and Debbie Bankhead-Meiers v. ArvinMeritor, Inc., et al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Family's SUV slams into 18-wheeler parked on side of freeway. $150 million for wrongful death. Los Angeles County. (JNOV/new trial granted)

SUV pulling a trailer slams into tractor-trailer truck parked off freeway; mother, father and one child die; two surviving children witness deaths. $150 million in non-economic damages, plus costs and interests.

JNOV granting new trial to determine the comparative negligence of plaintiffs' decedent driver and defendant trucking company.


  • Case Name: Asam v. Rudolph Ortiz, Bhandal Bros.Trucking
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, October 24, 2013

Out-patient gynecological surgery results in death of 40-year-old. Defense. Fresno County.

Woman is discharged home after surgeon punctures left internal iliac artery; bleeds to death. Surgeon settles out; defendant anesthesiologist says there were no signs of a problem when he discharged her.

  • Case Name: Thomas Caruso v. Hoa V. Pham, M.D., Community Regional Medical Center
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, September 30, 2013

Laborer doing electrical work is electrocuted on job site. $14.3 million awarded. Fresno County.

A laborer instructed to work on a door bell is electrocuted on job site; no workers' comp coverage.  Developer/contractor is held liable.

  • Case Name: Consuelo Martinez, individually and as Successor In Interest to Francisco Martinez Moreno; Trinidad Moreno; and Sophia Martinez, a minor, by and through her Guardian Ad Litem Consuelo Martinez v. Herndon Partners, LLC, Amador Electric, Does 1-100
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Unarmed robbery suspect shot by Culver City police. Minor children awarded $8.8 million. Los Angeles County.

An unarmed robbery suspect is shot by a Culver City police officer.  Other officers on the scene did not perceive the suspect as a threat. $8.8 million awarded by Federal jury.  

  • Case Name: Kandace Simplis, et al. v. Culver City Police Department, et al
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, May 08, 2013

$27 million awarded against assisted-living facility for negligence in care of Alzheimer's patient. Sacramento County.

Alzheimer's patient, 81, suffers a severe decline in her physical health after only three months in assisted-living facility. Jury awards $27 million, mostly punitive damages.

  • Case Name: Joan Boice, et al v. Emeritus Corporation
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, March 07, 2013

$5 million awarded to elderly parents when scuba diver dies due to defective equipment. Los Angeles County.

Scuba diver dies off Catalina Island when breathing apparatus fails; diver had pre-existing heart condition. Defense offered $93K, but jury awards $5 million to decedent's elderly parents.

  • Case Name: Horace Myers, Joanne Myers v. F√∂rvaltningsobolaget Insulan AB dba Si Tech
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, January 31, 2013

$10 million verdict when wheelchair harness strangles disabled boy on school bus. Orange County.

School bus driver improperly secures disabled child into wheelchair on bus; shoulder harness strangles the boy who suffered from Angelman Syndrome and could not move or cry out for help.

Defendant, before admitting liability and causation on eve of trial, had sought an offset of $3.7 million based on the future medical cost plaintiff parents would not incur owing to their child's early death. 

  • Case Name: Cisler v. Capistrano Unified School District
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Thursday, December 06, 2012

$8.75 million verdict in L.A. Sheriff excessive force/wrongful death case. Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies, in an unmarked car, pursued plaintiffs' decedent as a DUI/robbery suspect. When decedent's car crashed, he was surrounded by multiple sheriff's cars. Decedent backed his vehicle into a sheriff's car and deputies opened fire, killing him.

  • Case Name: Montalvo v. County of Los Angeles
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Monday, November 19, 2012