Representative Cases

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Increasingly, most cases which settle are subject to a confidentiality agreement.  With computer searches so sophisticated, most companies offering to settle a case can insist the terms of the settlement be confidential.  Accordingly, most cases cannot be listed here, and out of respect for our client’s privacy, non-confidential resolutions do not provide identifying information.

 

Plaintiff was sexually abused by an employee of a nursing care facility.  The employee was proven to be unfit and was precluded by law from working in an elder care institution at all by reason of a criminal conviction.  Plaintiff was prepared to prove that the defendant engaged in a cover-up of the employee’s wrongdoing.  Proof established that the employee had sexually abused the Plaintiff who was disabled and unable to protect herself.

Result:  Settlement of $4.7 million

 

Plaintiff was struck by a heavy duty loader that was moving two full-size vehicles at a high rate of speed at defendant’s business.  He lost consciousness and sustained a herniated disc at L5-S1, disc tears at L3-L5, and underwent two discectomy surgical procedures.  He also has cognitive deficits and was unable to return to his managerial position.

Result:  Settlement of $2,875,000

 

Negligent care of a newborn at Lemoore Naval Air Station’s hospital. Plaintiff was three days old when dropped in the nursery at the defendant’s facility in Lemoore sustaining a skull fracture and intra-cranial bleeding. Discovery revealed that the orderly responsible for the infant’s care had had one day of training provided by another orderly who himself had had only one day of training in the care of infants.

Result: Settlement of $2.8 million

 

Multiple vehicle rear-end MVA with high impact causing mild traumatic brain injury.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $1,981,770.41

 

Jury trial in wrongful termination case.  Plaintiff was terminated from his employment after seventeen years.  Plaintiff could not be terminated without cause.  Plaintiff presented evidence in trial that the defendant’s true reason for terminating him was to save money and split his territory.  Discovery revealed altered documents.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $1.8 million

 

Jury trial involving wrongful death of 39-year-old father and husband killed at Union Pacific rail crossing.  Plaintiff provided evidence of negligent maintenance of the signal and the city’s maintenance of a dangerous condition of public property.  Ten week jury trial.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $1.7 million

 

Minor severely burned after being place in a tub of hot water by foster parent’s grandson, who was not qualified as a caregiver.  Discovery also revealed that appropriate screening processes were not followed by Angels of Grace, the placement agency, and that a previous home inspection revealed that the hot water heater produced dangerously hot water in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, even when it was set on a low setting.

Result:  Settlement of$1,300,000

 

Wrongful death case involving a trailer with a defective design and poor warnings that collapsed on decedent when he was attempting to release a pin causing the trailer to activate which fell on his chest killing him.

Result:  Settlement of $1,285,000

 

Husband and wife brought suit against a major reporting bureau for Fair Credit Reporting Act violations arising out of tax liens that had been released by the Internal Revenue Service.  The bureau continued to report the tax liens despite disputes requiring an investigation.  The investigation failed to determine that the tax liens had been released and thus the bureau continued to report the tax liens as valid.  The adverse credit report prevented purchases and refinancing and the loss of employment as well as severe emotional distress.  Plaintiffs alleged lost income, damage to reputation, emotional distress, and lost opportunities.

Result: Verdict resulting in judgment of $1.2 million

 

Jury Trial involving a trip and fall in a market caused by the negligent placement of a carton next to the plaintiff causing her to fall.  Injury was a shattered humerus requiring a partial shoulder replacement resulting in her dominant arm being rendered virtually useless and in pain.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $1.1 million

 

Minor with Downs Syndrome waiting in her father’s car on the side of a rural road while her father discussed employment with a farmer.  When the child exited her vehicle to join her father, the defendant approached straddling the center line causing the child to believe that she was in danger staying on the side of the road.  The vehicle struck the child throwing her 75′ and causing further permanent injury.

Result:  Settlement of policy limits of $1.1 million

 

Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle collision.  Defendant driver was driving his employer’s vehicle while intoxicated.  Plaintiff sustained a fractured left clavicle, laceration to his head and a severe injury to his left eye and forehead.  He underwent surgery to correct his eye injury but was left with a significant cosmetic deformity known as lid retraction.  He will also have “dry eye” for the rest of his life.

Result:  Settlement of $1,100,000

 

Plaintiff was struck while turning left to enter the freeway.  Defendant’s employee ran a red light causing the accident resulting in fractures to the hip and ribs.

Result: Settlement for policy limits of $1 million

 

Wrongful death of husband and father of four.  Defendant company welded on a tank that decedent brought to the business.  He returned the tank a few days later because it was leaking and they again welded on the tank.  While at the business, decedent put air in the tank and it exploded killing him.

Result:  Settlement of $1,000,000

 

Plaintiffs were struck by a van that was transporting patients to and from the hospital for appointments.  The van driver was an employee of the hospital.  She ran a red flashing signal directly striking the right front passenger door at a high rate of speed causing the Plaintiffs’ car to strike a concrete abutment that was part of the freeway overpass bridge and then there was a second collision with the van.  The passenger was seriously injured and was hospitalized for 26 days.  Her injuries included nine rib fractures, four pelvic fractures, fractured sternum, had acute respiratory failure, and numerous bruises and contusions.  The driver sustained shoulder, neck and leg pain, eye discomfort, and some bruises from the radiator on the van spewing heat, steam and water.

Result:  Settlement of $1,000,000

 

Defendant driving made an illegal U-turn on State Route 99 despite signage that no U-turns were allowed at the intersection.  The accident occurred when it was dark and Plaintiff could not see the tractor trailer blocking the lanes until it was too late.  One of the Plaintiffs sustained serious injuries causing her to wear a clamshell brace for four months.

Result:  Settlement of $967,083

 

This is a wrongful death case of a husband and father of two young girls. He was commuting home from his job and traffic was heavy. As two vehicles behind the tractor trailer being operated by Defendant and their employee decided to pass the truck and pull in front of it, they realized that traffic ahead was stopped due to an accident further down the freeway.  They each swerved in different directions which left the truck unable to stop and it collided with the decedent’s vehicle.

Result:  Settlement of $953,238

 

Plaintiff was seriously injured in a three car collision.  The accident injured four other persons.  The “at fault” driver had a policy with limits of $15,000/$30,000 limits.  Plaintiff, whose claim was worth in excess of $750,000, demanded the payment of the policy limits for his claim.  The carrier offered the entire $30,000 to divide in any manner all of the claimants wished.  Plaintiff settled with the adverse driver for a judgment and a covenant to not execute and tried the case against the carrier for bad faith.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $900,000 for bad faith

 

Plaintiff was seriously injured when her vehicle was stopped at a stop light behind a tractor trailer rig and the tractor trailer traveling behind her failed to stop and ran on top of her vehicle.  She was trapped inside her vehicle in a flexed position until she was able to be removed by emergency personnel.

Result:  Settlement of $820,564.87

 

Plaintiff was seriously injured when the defendant vehicle pulled directly into the path of her vehicle from a stop sign.  She sustained numerous injuries including a fractured wrist and internal injuries including a torn aorta, damaged spleen, liver, lungs and kidneys.  She was hospitalized for four days locally before she was transported by helicopter to Stanford for an additional eight days.  As a result of her injuries including RSD and kidney damage, she is now permanently disabled.

Result:  Settlement of $800,000

 

Plaintiffs were an elderly couple who were traveling on Academy to meet some friends for dinner.  Defendant driver was the son of the company’s owner.  He was speeding and when he attempted to pass the vehicle in front of him, he drove across double yellow lines and struck the Plaintiffs’ vehicle causing serious injuries to the driver who sustained a mild closed-head injury, rib fractures with lung contusions, mandibular fractures, splenic laceration, and respiratory failure.

Result:  Settlement of $700,000

 

Plaintiffs’ parents were driving in the mountains next to Pine Flat Reservoir at night on the way to a meeting.  The Army Corps of Engineers had converted a county road into a boat ramp.  The decedents drove on the county road and continued driving into the lake causing them both to drown.  The ramp was not properly signed and was not lighted.

Result:  $600,000 Judgment by the United States District Court

 

Wrongful death of a father of two young children.  He was killed when he was delivering grain to a dairy which required him to fill the top of the calf grain tank from the top using a stinger truck and an auger boom.  The auger boom contacted electrical lines directly above the tank and he was electrocuted and died at the scene.

Result:  Settlement of $450,000

 

Plaintiff was seriously injured when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street to get to her vehicle in an unlighted parking area provided by her employer following her shift in the early morning hours.  There had been a number of complaints including complaints about the lack of a safe crossing to the parking area.  The employer knew about the complaints and safety issues but didn’t make any changes to make the area safer.  Also, they failed to maintain light standards on the property that would have illuminated the crossing.  They were either burned out or not functioning.  Plaintiff was struck by a pickup traveling at 55 mph without its headlights on.  She sustained numerous injuries including multi-level lumbar fractures, left humerus fracture, mild closed head injury, and vertigo.

Result:  Settlement of $350,000.00

 

Products liability claim for lack of an adequate safety lockout resulting in a fall of 25 feet off of a conveyor.  The equipment was used to sort garbage at a municipal dump.  Machine was started unexpectedly without a warning causing the plaintiff to fall twenty-five feet onto a tractor bucket causing injury.  Firm retained as co-counsel.

Result:  $Settlement of 350,000

 

Plaintiff was injured by a construction worker driving to work.  The driver ran a red light.  Plaintiff alleged that the worker was in the course and scope of his employment while driving to work because the worker was carrying construction tools back to the place of work.

Result:  Settlement of $350,000

 

Tip of finger severed from coin return slot in laundry soap dispensing machine.  Discovery revealed other incidents of injuries caused by defective design in coin slot return.

Result:  Settlement of $330,000

 

A customer was at a restaurant in Fresno, California and while eating an order of jambalaya, he bit into a grommet/washer which had broken off of the handle of the restaurant’s sauté pan, fracturing three teeth and dislocating his jaw.  The restaurant admitted liability but relied on the fact that plaintiff’s teeth pain had 90% resolved and that it was expected that most of his TMJ symptoms would resolve with further treatment in approximately one more year.  The jury focused on the past pain and suffering as well as the need to alter his diet for the rest of his life, and the pain and suffering associated with future flare-ups.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $300,000

 

Plaintiff sustained a fracture of the radius while observing a roller skating competition at the convention center in Fresno.  She was climbing risers temporarily erected for seating to observe competition.  The house lights were suddenly turned off.  The Plaintiff stumbled in the darkness causing her injury.  Plaintiff was treated at Kaiser in Fresno with instructions to see Kaiser in Riverside.  The physician in Riverside did not plate the fracture.  The fracture went on to non-union so that the Plaintiff had to have two subsequent surgeries and with resulting shortening of her arm and a claim of disability. Proof established that medical records had been altered by the physician.

Result:  $300,000 settlement with City of Fresno with assignment of right to indemnity from Kaiser.  Subsequent malpractice action against Kaiser arbitrated with recovery of $300,000.  Settlement of indemnity claim for $85,000 and waiver of Kaiser lien for $65,000.

 

Dental malpractice where dentist left sponge in sinus cavity following the placement of dental implants which caused chronic sinus infections.  Discovery revealed the dentist had altered his records and tried to blame the patient.

Result:  Settlement of $290,000

 

Medical malpractice action against nephrologist.  Plaintiff’s wife was treated by defendant for retroperitoneal fibrosis by prescribing Imuran.  Imuran has a well-known potential for suppression of the immune system.  Defendant failed to undertake weekly blood testing as required to determine to follow the effects of the medication.  After six weeks during which she developed severe weakness, the decedent sought a second opinion from a physician in San Francisco who advised her to stop using the Imuran immediately.  Upon her trip home that day, she collapsed and was hospitalized in Gilroy.  She suffered severe sepsis and died six days later.

Result:  Settlement of $275,000 (recovery for general damages limited to $250,000 by law)

 

Plaintiff sustained infection of punctures to her lips and scarring caused by attempted tattooing of her lips by a beauty salon.  Discovery showed that the operator, the former receptionist, had a weekend course on tattooing before the procedure was done on the plaintiff.  The salon claimed the operator was an independent contractor.

Result:  Settlement of $273,000 of which $100,000 was the policy limits paid by the insurance carrier for the operator and part of which was paid by the salon operator personally.

 

Plaintiff was a Guidance Instructional Specialist who alleged Defendants violated Title IX and that she was wrongfully terminated in violation of public policy.  She claims she was retaliated for reporting financial improprieties in the handling of finances at the school and for reporting sexual harassment.

Result:  Settlement of $263,000

 

Jury trial in which plaintiff was terminated from her “at will” employment.  When seeking other employment and after obtaining new employment, her former employer provided untrue and highly derogatory information and suggested that her new employer’s hiring decision should be reconsidered.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $200,000

 

Plaintiff, the three year old son of a migrant worker, was injured when a door fell off of its hinges at the labor camp causing a large laceration to his forehead with resultant scarring.  The scar remained prominent.  The firm was retained sixteen years after the event.

Result:  Jury Verdict of $167,000

 

Plaintiff was operating a tractor and trailer for his employer.  The other vehicle was also a tractor and trailer.  Defendant driver was attempting to make a right turn from the number one lane and collided with the front left of Plaintiff’s tractor which was in the number two lane.  Plaintiff sustained injury to his left shoulder, neck, back, and hip.  He required arthroscopic surgery to include debridement and superior labral tears.

Result:  Settlement of $145,000

 

This case involves the wrongful death of a minor who attended a party where alcohol was purchased with money borrowed from the homeowner and served with the owner of the home present.  The minor was cheered and egged on to chug the alcohol and she subsequently died in the home.

Result:  Settlement of $104,000

 

Plaintiff was injured while walking across a grass area in a shopping center when he stepped in a hole that was covered with grass that had been left by the removal of a tree.  The hole had not been filled with dirt and grass was allowed to grow over the hole so that the dangerous condition was not visible to customers.  Plaintiff sustained an injury to his shoulder which required surgery.

Result:  Settlement of $103,334

 

An action for recovery under the Fair Credit Reporting Act alleging that the plaintiff’s credit was impaired because of mistaken reporting of charges and debts owed by another person with a similar but not identical name.  Plaintiff lost the opportunity to purchase a new home and suffered other damage.

Result:   Settlement of $85,000

Wrongful death brought by the parents of a 19 year old against a national retailer who required their security company and their employees to utilize their equipment to perform rounds at a supply depot.  Decedent was a fairly new employee of the security company and Plaintiffs contended that she was not properly trained on the use of the equipment.  The electric cart decedent was required to use was poorly maintained and had been involved in prior incidents at the facility due to faulty steering and brakes.

Result:  Confidential Settlement against Company. $25,000 Settlement of Serious and Willful case against employer of decedent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cornwell and Sample, LLC
7045 N. Fruit Ave., Fresno, CA 93711
call us 559.431.3142