Wrongful Death

Fatal highway accident blamed on faulty manufacture of motor home. Defense verdict. Sonoma County.

Family members killed when their car skids on fluid in roadway; fluid leak blamed on motor home found disabled nearby.  Plaintiffs claim defective design and  manufacture of motor home.

  • Case Name: Menera v. Country Coach Corporation & Mega RV Corp., et al., consolidated with Ayala, et al., v. Country Coach Corporation & Mega RV Corp., et al.
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cyclist veers into path of car and is hit; later run over by truck. Wrongful death. Santa Cruz County.

A farmworker is struck by a car at dawn while riding his bike to work.  Alive and lying in the road, he is run over by a truck.

  • Case Name: Martinez-Sanchez v. Ahlem
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, April 08, 2016

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