Media and Events

Two Fresnans named to Best Lawyers 20th edition

Published: August 20, 2013   The Fresno Bee

Two Fresno lawyers were honored for their legal expertise by being named to the 20th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.Stephen Cornwell of Cornwell & Sample and Gary W. Sawyers of Sawyers & Holland were selected for inclusion based on their high standards of professional practice.

“Best Lawyers is the most reliable reference for quality legal representation,” said President and Co-Founder Steven Naifeh. “Inclusion on this list indicates that an attorney is valued by his or her peers for professional success.”


Florida woman tripped over a box at a Fresno store
Published:  The Fresno Bee

A Fresno County Jury awarded a Florida woman $1.1 million for injuries she received almost two years ago when she tripped over a ketchup box in a downtown grocery store.

Rene Turner Sample, a Fresno attorney for plaintiff Irene Macias, said the award is one of the largest ever in the area. “It was a very nice verdict.”, she said, “The jury took their job very seriously. This lady deserves it. She’s going to have lifelong pain.”

Macias, who only speaks Spanish, was shopping in the Super Mercado Mexico at E & Fresno Streets on August 29, 2002.  She was looking through lemons on a 4-foot-tall table near a ketchup display, which was on the floor in front of the fruit.

A store employee was restocking the display when he was paged over a store radio and left the area. A box of ketchup was left about 2 feet in front of Macias on the floor. She tripped over the box.  She tried to brace her fall with her right arm and shattered her shoulder. Macias was taken by ambulance to Community Medical Center after the accident.

“It was an unusual injury because she ended up having to have a partial shoulder replacement.”, Sample said.   Macias had surgery in Dade County, FL, but did not file the complaint until last summer.  Sample said the procedure Macias required is not commonplace and is painful.  “There’s not much you can do. The muscles are tethered to some little holes on a metal ball”, she said.

Macias was in Fresno visiting her sister, who was celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary.  Macias went to the Hispanic grocery store looking for peppers but notice the floor was wet after employees sprayed the vegetables, so Macias decided to buy green lemons, according to the lawsuit.

Mark Stamper, a Fresno attorney representing Super Mercado Mexico, did not return phone calls, seeking comment.  Sample said she does not expect the store to appeal Friday’s decision.  “I expect that the store had a genuine question of what the value of the case is. It’s an unusual and complicated injury.” she said.

Macias is right-handed and now has no useful function of her right arm, Sample said.  She will also need to take Darvocet, a narcotic pain reliever, as needed.  Ms. Macias is only 63 years old and know for the rest of her life she will be forced to live in pain and rely on her family for even the simplest of tasks.”, Sample said.


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