The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal has released its list of Top Verdicts for 2018 and named four (4) Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP cases as the largest and most significant verdict and appellate reversals in California, with recognition in each of the following categories — two cases were named Top Verdict by Dollar, a third case as Top Verdict by Impact and a fourth case was named a Top Appellate Reversal.
Below is a summary of cases receiving recognition for 2018:
Top Verdict by Dollar: Lennig v. CRST, Inc.
Brian Panish and Matthew Stumpf of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP and R. Rex Parris, Bruce Schechter and Eric Wilson of the Parris Law Firm were recognized for obtaining a $52,708,374 jury verdict in a Los Angeles County court for two Southern California brothers who were severely injured following a head-on collision with a CRST big rig. Throughout the 16 day trial, the defense adamantly argued that the brothers’ injuries were less serious than described but failed to provide evidence to support their position. The jury disagreed and found in favor of the Plaintiffs.
Top Verdict by Dollar: Lo v. Consolazio, et al
Brian Panish, Dan Dunbar, Alex Behar and Matthew Stumpf were recognized for obtaining a $41,864,102 jury verdict in a case involving United States Air Force Captain Jason Lo who suffered catastrophic injuries after being struck from behind while on his motorcycle and then dragged the length and a half of a football field by a Southern California Gas Company truck driven by company employee, Defendant Dominick Consolazio, who had a seizure. Liability and the fact that Mr. Consolazio was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the collision were admitted to by the Defendants. Over the course of the 27 day trial, Plaintiffs’ counsel proved to the jury that SoCal Gas was negligent in allowing their employee to drive even though he had a seizure at work years earlier. The jury awarded in favor of the plaintiffs and found that punitive damages should be awarded, however, the parties settled the case for $46,000,000 before the jury’s verdict on those damages were announced.
Top Verdict By Impact: Martinez v. Silva, et al
PSBR attorneys David Rudorfer and Tom Schultz were recognized for obtaining a $6,300,000 jury verdict for the family of a 74-year-old Pico Rivera man who suffered fatal injuries at the Whittier Uptown Association Farmers Market as a result of being struck by a vendor vehicle driven by Maria Acuna. Prior to trial, Defendants Whittier Uptown Association and Ms. Acuna both admitted they were negligent in causing the fatal collision but State Farm attorneys representing the Association claimed that Ms. Acuna should be held responsible for a significant majority of the blame. During the seven day trial, Plaintiffs called numerous witnesses to prove the Association was negligent, the Association only called one witness who failed to refute the strong evidence of the Association’s negligence. The jury deliberated for approximately one and one half days before reaching a verdict and apportioning liability by placing 99.5% of the responsibility for Mr. Martinez’s death on Defendant Whittier Uptown Association and only 0.5% on the driver.
Top Appellate Reversal: UC Regents v. Superior Court (Rosen)
Regents of the University of California v. Superior Court, a case where the state Supreme Court ruled for the first time that colleges and universities have a duty to protect their students from foreseeable acts of violence, was recognized by the Daily Journal as a 2018 Top Appellate Reversal. The court’s unanimous March 2018 ruling involves Plaintiff Katherine Rosen, a UCLA student who was brutally attacked in chemistry lab by a classmate who school officials were aware struggled with mental health issues and had engaged in threatening behavior. In 2010, Ms. Rosen filed a negligence action against the Regents and several UCLA employees, alleging that defendants had breached their duty of care by failing to adopt reasonable measures that would have protected her from Thompson’s foreseeable violent conduct. Brian Panish, Deborah Chang and Patrick Gunning of Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP represent Ms. Rosen before the California Supreme Court, on appeal and throughout eight years of litigation. She was as also represented by attorney Alan Charles Dell’Ario on appeal.