Been There, Done That
Cases of Interest
We defend our clients every step along the way, and in the end, our results speak for themselves.
Successfully obtained an early dismissal of an employment action filed against Sutter County after the Court sustained a Demurrer with prejudice on grounds that Plaintiffs’ case was barred by the doctrine of judicial estoppel. The Court agreed that plaintiff could not pursue the action based on allegations that contradicted an earlier lawsuit.
Obtained summary judgment on behalf of the County of Colusa in an employment discrimination and retaliation case brought under the Fair Employment & Housing Act and the ADA. The plaintiff was terminated by the County for rude and unprofessional behavior after 16 years of employment. She sued the County claiming that her behavior was a symptom of a brain injury she sustained several years prior to her employment with the County. In granting summary judgment, the federal court held that the plaintiff had not established that she had a qualified disability and that, even if she did, the County did not have knowledge of the alleged disability when it made the decision to terminate her employment.
David Melton and Kayla Cox received a defense verdict for Placer County in the Superior Court of California on a slip and fall case for a Retailer. Plaintiff claimed that her fall from slipping on a grape in the produce department fractured her right shoulder. She underwent an open reduction and internal fixation to repair the fracture. The Retailer provided evidence that there was nothing on the floor in the area of the incident, and even if there was, its employees conducted reasonable inspections of the premises. Resultingly, the Retailer did not have notice of a dangerous condition. Plaintiff asked the jury for a six-figure damage award. The jury deliberated for less than two hours and found that the Retailer was not negligent.
Firm obtained a defense verdict for the County of Nevada in a retaliation case. Plaintiffs, husband and wife, sued the Sheriff’s Department for violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The wife claimed she was terminated after she made a complaint of sexual harassment. The husband claimed the department retaliated against him by creating intolerable working conditions forcing him to quit. The Jury rejected both claims, finding that County neither violated any protected conduct engaged in by the plaintiffs nor acted inappropriately in the decisions and actions it took.
Plaintiff Ambroselli brought an action for declaratory relief, breach of contract and enforcement of an oral trust against Anapolsky, administrator of Richard Powers’s estate. Porter Scott’s Carl Calnero and Thomas Riordan represented Anapolsky. The plaintiff alleged that Powers as a prosecutorial informant had wrongfully set him up to mitigate Powers’s drunk driving charges, resulting in Ambroselli serving a prison term. Allegedly, Powers subsequently felt guilty and promised to establish a trust for the Plaintiff in order to conceal their arrangement. In a motion for summary judgment, the Defense successfully pointed out that there was neither evidence of lawful consideration supporting an unsavory, if not illegal, contract to establish a trust, nor evidence regarding a transfer of trust property prior to Powers’s sudden and unexpected death. The Court of Appeal’s opinion did not resolve all contended issues, but noted that even if the material facts could be disputed, the purported oral agreement violated public policy. Since its aim was to continue to cover up Powers’s subterfuge on the criminal justice system, the agreement could never be judicially enforced. The judgment was thus affirmed. Ambroselli v. Anapolsky (Cal. Ct. App., Sept. 26, 2017, No. C080751) 2017 WL 4249936, as modified on denial of reh’g (Oct. 24, 2017); not certified for publication.
Following a successful motion for summary judgment, plaintiff National Grange (represented by Porter Scott) won a declaratory judgment in the trial court establishing that defendant California Guild was not entitled to keep said property after effectively seceding from the Grange after its Charter was revoked. On appeal, the Guild contended that the Episcopal Church Cases precedent applied only to disputes between religious organizations not present here, thus allowing the Guild’s California corporation to keep the property despite undisputed governing documents requiring return of property following revocation of its charter. The Third District Court of Appeal rejected the Guild’s position, and applied a neutral-principles approach requiring the courts to focus on the governing documents to which all parties had voluntarily agreed to submit. The judgment was affirmed with the Court of Appeal concluding that the plaintiff’s governing documents constituted “clear and convincing proof” to rebut any presumption that Guild corporation possessed the right to Grange property. Grange property should thus be returned to the Grange. The Grange was represented by Martin Jensen and Thomas Riordan in the trial court and on appeal. National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry v. California Guild (Cal. Ct. App., Nov. 30, 2017, No. C080523) 2017 WL 5899235 [published opinion].
Crime Justice & America (CJA) sued Butte County because the Sheriff would not allow physical distribution of its free publication giving general legal advice to inmates in jail. The County did not oppose distribution because of content, but due to the threat of jail security from the vast quantity of unwanted paper. The Ninth Circuit had previously recognized that CJA had a First Amendment free speech right to distribute, as long as CJA could demonstrate under the four Turner factors concerning legitimate penological objectives that distribution would not unduly disrupt jail operations. Following a bench trial (and appeal) successfully defended by Porter Scott’s John Whitefleet and appellate expert, Thomas Riordan, the judgment was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit because the Turner factors had indeed been correctly applied in favor of the County. Given that the inmates now had access to the publication through numerous electronic kiosks installed in the jail, there was no constitutional violation. Crime Justice & America, Inc. v. Honea (9th Cir., Nov. 29, 2017, No. 15-16119) 2017 WL 5762809 [published opinion].
Shareholder Derek Haynes successfully defended a local county in the Third District Court of Appeal in a retaliation case under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. The Court of Appeal ultimately affirmed the trial court’s granting of Summary Judgment on a novel issue relating to exhaustion of administrative remedies. Specifically, the Court found that Plaintiff failed to adequately exhaust his remedies with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) because his DFEH charge did not specifically identify the protected activity that purportedly motivated the retaliatory actions.
David Melton and his co-counsel obtained a defense verdict after 2 ½ weeks in a jury trial in Merced County. The firm represented the Winton Cemetery District, a small governmental entity responsible for running a public cemetery. Plaintiffs were a husband and his second wife who were visiting the husband’s first wife’s grave. The husband stumbled and tripped into the grave’s headstone which fell on top of his wife and crushed her leg. The headstone weighed 500 pounds. The wife was in the hospital and rehabilitation facility for 6 months following the accident and had 5 operations to her right leg. Her attorneys argued that she suffered an exacerbation of other pre-accident conditions, that she would need a future total knee replacement and long term attendant care. Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award $10 million for the injured wife and $1 million for the husband’s loss of consortium claim.
Plaintiffs argued that the District stole the plaintiff’s golden years, knew that headstones were becoming unglued at the cemetery, failed to protect the public, and failed to properly inspect for loose headstones. The District argued that the headstone was not a dangerous condition at the time of the accident, stumbling into the headstone was not a foreseeable use of the headstone, the headstone was at least partially glued, and the District had a reasonable inspection process to find loose headstones.
The jury defensed the case 12-0 finding that the headstone was not a dangerous condition at the time of the accident. The jury deliberated for about an hour.
In July 2017, Norm Prior and Brandi Turner got a favorable result in an invasion of privacy and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress claim involving a HIPAA violation. Porter Scott’s client published a donation solicitation letter which included a patient’s health history and sent it to a local community of 914 members. Plaintiff, a business owner of a local gym, claimed that the publication destroyed him emotionally and his business. Although the defendant admitted liability, Plaintiff’s pre-trial demand started at $6M and later ended up at $10M after the MSC. The case settled at the close of Plaintiff’s arguments for a confidential insignificant amount.
On June 27th, 2017, Carl Calnero & Katlyn Gregg received a unanimous Defense Verdict from the jury in a bifurcated business dispute involving a long term oral agreement where the Plaintiff sued for fraud, financial elder abuse and interference with prospective economic damage. Porter Scott recouped all costs incurred by our client. Carl made all arguments to the jury while Katlyn argued the equitable portions of the case.
David A. Melton and Kayla K. Cox won summary judgment on behalf of a multinational retail corporation. A customer claimed that she was injured while shopping at one of the retail corporation’s stores. The customer sued the retail corporation based on a premises liability cause of action. In response, the retail corporation filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that as a matter of law it was not liable for plaintiff’s alleged injuries because plaintiff’s alleged injuries were not foreseeable. In support of its motion for summary judgment, the retail corporation presented evidence showing that in recent years, there were no incidents at the subject store that were similar to the incident involving plaintiff and that resulted in injuries similar to the plaintiff’s. The Sacramento Superior Court agreed that the plaintiff’s injuries were not foreseeable and, consequently, the retail corporation was not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries and entered judgment in favor of the retail corporation.
Jon Corr received a defense verdict in Lake County in a case involving an elderly female patient who fell while being assisted during transfer from bed to chair. Plaintiff alleged Professional Negligence and sustained a significant laceration on her leg with alleged permanent neurological injuries, including an alleged closed head injury with memory loss. The trial started January 19, 2017 and the jury returned a 9/3 defense verdict on February 16, 2017.
Taylor Rhoan successfully defended two counties in the Third District Court of Appeal in a lawsuit challenging the fees charged by Clerk-Recorder Offices for Official Record Copies under Government Code Section 27366. Interpreting an issue of first impression, the Court of Appeal validated the Counties’ ordinances and determined that the fees recouped the direct and indirect costs necessary to providing the service to the community. These cases have established new precedent accepting a broad-scope definition of direct and indirect costs and empowering counties with discretion in determining the methodology used to calculate user fees.
David Melton and Taylor Rhoan received a defense verdict in the Superior Court of California, County of Yolo on a slip and fall case for a retailer. Plaintiff claimed that he slipped inside the restroom after it had been mopped and injured his neck resulting in a 3-level discectomy and fusion surgery. The retailer argued that plaintiff had notice of the wet floor and proceeded into the restroom despite several warnings. Plaintiff asked the jury for a high six-figure damage award. The jury deliberated for 90 minutes and found that the retailer was not negligent.
A jury trial was just completed in the Humboldt County Superior Court, in Eureka, CA. Plaintiff was rear-ended in a motor vehicle accident by an employee of a large retailer. Plaintiff complained of chronic neck pain and occipital neuralgia for over 4 years since the accident. Defendants admitted liability and course and scope at trial. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award plaintiff damages for a lifetime of chronic, debilitating, and excruciating pain and asked for an award in the high six-figures. The jury agreed with Defense and did not award plaintiff for a lifetime of pain and suffering. They returned a verdict for a total of only $35,000.
Successfully brought a Motion for Summary Judgment in a premises liability and negligence case in defense of a major retailer. Plaintiff brought suit against the retailer after he injured his finger on a razor blade that was inside of a boot sold by the retailer. The principal legal issue was whether the retailer owed any duty of care to inspect shoes for dangerous conditions. The court found that the retailer owed no duty of care to inspect shoes because the injury could not be reasonably anticipated.
Successfully brought a Motion to Dismiss for failure to state a claim under the Bane Act on behalf of Department of Health and Human Services and Child Protective Services for alleged failure to remove a child. The Court held that plaintiff could not support a claim under the Bane Act which prohibits any person from interfering by threats intimidation or coercion with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual of rights secured by the constitution. (California Civil Code Section 52.1.) Court granted plaintiff an opportunity for leave to amend but plaintiff declined to pursue this claim realizing it would be fruitless.
Successfully brought a Demurrer resulting in dismissal of entire action on behalf of County Sheriff’s Department on the basis of Eleventh Amendment Immunity. The plaintiff sued alleging that the Sheriff’s Department deprived her of medical care while she was being detained in a sober cell. Plaintiff alleged that the County had a custom and practice of depriving inmates of medical care for serious medical needs. The Court held that in the provision of law enforcement duties the Sheriff’s Department is a state actor entitled to Eleventh Amendment Immunity and dismissed the entire action.
Defense verdict successfully obtained on behalf of local hospital. A patient claimed severe permanent injuries to her leg arising from efforts to manage her pain following elective knee surgery as an outpatient. While she was administered a femoral nerve block to counter pain after consultation, the patient later denied providing informed consent for the nerve block, and blamed the hospital, asserting claims of ostensible agency and medical malpractice. She sought $1.425M in damages. Jon Corr, on behalf of the hospital, successfully obtained a directed verdict on plaintiff’s claim of ostensible agency because the hospital was not required to obtain separate documentation of consent where the anesthesiologist had already done so. The jury also found no malpractice in just two hours of deliberation. Mr. Corr was assisted by firm associate Adriana C. Cervantes.
Currenty representing multiple Sacramento-area apartment complexes in resolving ADA accessibility lawsuits, minimizing damages, future claims and out-of-pocket costs.
Currently representing multiple small businesses in resolving ADA lawsuits and making cost-conscious and cost-effective alterations.
Represented historic Sacramento restaurant and bar in ADA litigation and ensured proper ADA compliance to protect against future claims.
Took over representation defending a specialized staffing corporation in a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act after preliminary injunction was granted.
Negotiated complex settlement agreement on behalf of major Sacramento developer in breach of contract action and related cross-actions. As a condition of settlement, client obtained assets which allowed him to continue with development of desirable residential project.
Successfully defended major Placer County developer in El Dorado County in an alter ego and breach of contract fraud matter. Placer County developer was sued erroneously as principal of contractor who defrauded other major land developers. Resolved matter for nuisance value while motion for summary judgment was pending on the legal question of alter ego.
Represented major Sacramento developer in Napa County in a breach of commercial lease and development transaction involving a movie production studio and damage of movie props. Negotiated substantially in favor of developer client on all financial terms.
Successfully defended autistic services company and its owners against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, duty of loyalty, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, interference with prospective business advantage, and conversion. Defeated request for preliminary injunction and negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of client.
Obtained favorable settlement on behalf of a California food sales agency client sued by a competitor for misappropriation of trade secrets, unlawful solicitation, and alleged breach of non-competition agreements, among other claims. After defeating Plaintiff’s multiple attempts to seek injunctive relief and conducting a damaging deposition of Plaintiff’s President, Porter Scott successfully negotiated a nuisance value settlement in exchange for a full release and dismissal within approximately four months of Plaintiff bringing the case. Plaintiff initially demanded damages amounting to more than $1,000,000
Prevailed on directed verdict motion on claims filed against an escrow company over a multimillion dollar commercial real estate sale in Kern County, California. Defeated both breach of contract and negligence claims against defendant escrow company and obtained judgment in favor of our client for attorney’s fees as prevailing party.
Porter Scott obtained a $9.1 million binding arbitration award before a three judge panel on behalf of one of Sacramento’s major beverage distributors. Following a nine day binding arbitration in San Francisco before a JAMS panel, partners Carl Calnero and Martin Jensen prevailed in a major commercial/business matter of first impression in California. In the case, the firm represented a family-owned, successful beverage distributor who had been denied a fair market value for the sale of their business, based on a contract provision within the distribution rights agreement. That provision purportedly gave the right to the manufacturer to approve or disapprove of the dealership rights sale. The manufacturer, one of the nations largest beer and alcoholic beverage manufacturers, had rejected the sale claiming that the designated purchaser did not satisfy its requirements for approval. Despite the fact that that same purchasing designee had in fact been appointed as a beverage distributor for that very same manufacturer in various other parts of California. The manufacturer contended that it had the right to determine which markets would be served by various dealerships, and therefore impinged on the right of Porter Scott’s client to sell its distribution rights to a bonafide purchaser for a fair market value. California Statutory Law dictates that in such a scenario, if the “disapproval” was accomplished in bad faith, the manufacturer would be responsible to the selling dealer for the difference in fair market value lost. Although statutory law had been clear, the case and decision now cements the rights of dealers to alienate or sell their exclusive distribution rights, no longer subject to the whims of a manufacturer or supplier.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a retailer against claims for a dog bite injury. The plaintiff claimed negligence and premises liability against the retailer when another customer’s dog bit her in front of the store. Surveillance video showed an employee of the retailer petting the dog minutes before the incident. The court disposed of all claims, holding the plaintiff had not presented sufficient evidence that the retailer had prior knowledge of the dog’s propensity for violence.
Contract Dispute: David Melton and Jeremy Ehrlich obtained summary judgment for a local farmer against an equipment rental company which sought indemnification. An employee of a local apricot farmer was injured by a forklift and brought suit against the forklift’s manufacturer and rental company. The rental company cross-complained against the farmer for indemnity. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the farmer based on the exclusive jurisdiction of Workers’ Compensation which was not overcome by an improperly executed written rental agreement between the farmer and the rental company.
Indemnity Contract and Workers Compensation: Prevailed on appeal on behalf of local apricot farmer following successful summary judgment against an equipment rental company from allegations arising from a deficient indemnity agreement.
Represented one of the nation’s largest bridge builders against the State of California involving multi-million dollar claims pertaining to air quality issues concerning construction equipment. Case resolved favorably for client prior to trial.
Currently representing a large construction corporation in pursuit of contractual obligations from a large residential developer.
Obtained a $2.48 million dollar settlement on behalf of a developer/owner for construction defects at a large apartment complex.
Obtained settlements to date exceeding $1,000,000 for the owner of an ultra large single family residential property to cover construction defects, the case continues against remaining defendants.
Currently representing a local contractor in one of the largest construction defect cases in California, with more than 70 parties in the action and more parties still being added. The complaint has alleged defects at the Jackson Rancheria hotel, casino and accompanying parking structure with multi-million dollars alleged in damages.
Successfully defended target defendant involved in construction defects totaling an alleged $100 million at a Northern California Indian Casino.
Obtained summary judgment for school district on claims of defamation arising out of termination of the employee for fraud.
Obtained summary judgment for a University and one of its employee’s claims of gender discrimination and gender harassment. Affirmed on appeal.
Obtained summary judgment for school district after a teacher sued claiming that he was harassed by his third grade students. The teacher also claimed his termination for poor performance was retaliatory.
Won a motion for summary adjudication on a case involving claims of wrongful termination, pregnancy discrimination, retaliation and breach of an employee housing contract. The federal court ruled in favor of the employer on all federal law based claims and remanded the remaining claims to state court. Obtained a defense verdict on all counts for the employer on the remaining claims.
Successfully disposed of claims asserted against a public entity employee through use of the Anti-SLAPP provision of the California Code of Civil Procedure resulting in an award of attorney’s fees to the public entity client.
Summary judgment granted on behalf of a county employer in a race discrimination, retaliation, and defamation case. The plaintiff social worker was terminated for performance reasons following her involvement in a highly publicized case involving the death of a toddler. The court disposed of all of her claims, finding that the county employer had demonstrated legitimate, non-discriminatory and non-retaliatory reasons for its decision to terminate her.
Represented state agency in high-profile employment matter involving termination of former executive director. Through summary judgment, obtained dismissal of all civil rights claims against the individual board members of state agency, affirming principle that public employees are not protected by the First Amendment when they speak as part of their official duties, even when testifying in an unrelated criminal matter. Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of agency on plaintiff’s Fair Employment and Housing Act claim, wrongful termination claim, and pay-discrimination claim.
Won two motions for summary adjudication for an employer on race, national origin, and retaliation claims arising out of a researcher’s denial of a promotion at a major university. The plaintiff brought claims for both disparate treatment-type and disparate impact-type discrimination. In ruling on the first motion for summary adjudication, the court found no evidence of intentional discrimination or retaliation. After consulting with and retaining a statistical expert, Porter Scott won the second motion for summary adjudication which addressed the disparate impact-type discrimination claim. Combined, these motions resolved the entire case in the university’s favor.
Summary judgment granted on behalf of a university in a wage discrimination case filed under the California Equal Pay Act and Fair Employment and Housing Act. The plaintiff professor contended that she was paid less than her male colleagues because of her gender. The university set forth evidence showing that pay differentials existed for a myraid of reasons, including the person’s background and qualifications and market conditions during the year of hire. The court disposed of all of the plaintiff’s claims, finding that the university had demonstrated that any difference in pay between the plaintiff and her colleagues was related to legitimate, non-discriminary reasons other than their gender.
Successfully defended prominent teaching institution and two individually named doctors in ten years of litigation involving two separate trials, multiple appeals, including Petition For Review by the California Supreme Court in an action alleging medical malpractice and federal civil rights violations where doctors diagnosed and treated an extremely rare metabolic disorder and refused to accept an alternative diagnosis and treatment plan proposed by a family member who was also a licensed health care provider and where that family member also refused to consent to the doctors’ proposed treatment plan.
Successfully defended hospital owned by one of largest health care systems in California, obtaining judgment in favor of the hospital against charges of elder abuse, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair business practices and violations of the Probate Code. The hospital was alleged to have abused a patient following hip repair surgery, resulting in further injury, then inappropriately transferred the patient to a skilled nursing facility against the family’s wishes. Case resolved by granting of motion for summary judgment.
Successfully defended claims of elder abuse, negligence and wrongful death against nursing home resulting in successful summary adjudication of elder abuse claims and dismissal of remaining claims without further cost to client.
Obtained summary judgment representing hospital in action by former employee alleging harassment and retaliation after complaining of allegedly illegal billing practices.
Prevailed through binding arbitration defending primary care network against physicians’ allegations of illegal corporate practice of medicine and EMTALA violations regarding indigent patients.
Defended psychiatric care facility in a civil action and multiple administrative investigations arising out of an alleged premature hospital discharge of a schizophrenic patient. The former patient broke through the cockpit of an airliner one month post-9/11 tragedy. The incident was the subject of a “20/20” program in which the passengers spoke of their intervention to restrain and sedate the patient. The incident also contributed to the FAA’s implementation of adding locks to cock-pit doors. Porter Scott successfully guided the hospital through the administrative investigations initiated by state, federal and private regulatory authorities and prevailed on summary judgment before the trial court, and upon appeal.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a retailer and pharmacist in pharmacy malpractice claim. After plaintiff and his caregiver exhibited threatening and menacing behavior, the retailer deactivated plaintiff’s prescription in its computer system, forcing plaintiff to find another pharmacy to refill his prescription. Plaintiff sued for malpractice over the deactivation of his prescription and the delay in refilling it. The court granted judgment in favor of the retailer and the pharmacist.
Obtained defense verdict at trial in favor of the oldest national forklift manufacturer in an amputation claim. The case involved first impression issues concerning lateral turn-over and safety doors in stand-up forklifts.
Established 80% comparative responsibility on other parties at trial in matter where driver of major Sacramento-based trucking firm was found to have run over and killed a 45-year old primary wage earner and father of three.
Sacramento congregation held charity auction in which an airplane ride was an auction item. Defended the congregation on a question of whether a duty was owed by the congregation against a wrongful death lawsuit filed as a result of an airplane crash. Congregation lost summary judgment in Superior Court, however Third District Court of Appeal granted writ to review the underlying decision. Case was settled for cost of defense pending further briefing by the parties.
Defended boat owner in wrongful death claim arising out of the carbon monoxide poisoning and subsequent drowning of small child who was sitting on the boat’s swim deck without a life vest. Settled claim prior to significant litigation.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of large ready-mix supplier against claims of negligent creation of a dangerous condition made by plaintiff rendered paraplegic in a fall from height.
Obtained summary judgment, which was upheld on appeal, on the basis of assumption of the risk when a participant in an arm wrestling competition at a local fair suffered a spiral fracture to the arm when competing against a much larger and more experienced opponent. The unsuccessful plaintiff was ultimately ordered to pay our client its costs incurred in defending the suit and the appeal.
Obtained a defense verdict at trial where plaintiff accused a retailer of assault, battery, and false imprisonment after plaintiff was arrested for fighting in public.
Obtained defense verdict at trial in a slip and fall case in the outdoor garden area of a retail store on a rainy day
Obtained summary judgment for retailer client based on lack of evidence to sustain findings of actual or constructive notice.
Defended one of the world’s largest international retail chains in an action filed by a shopper who allegedly sustained severe shoulder and neck injuries when boxes filled with merchandise fell on her in a shopping aisle. The case was resolved with no cost to the client as a result of tender of defense to the vendor/supplier.
Successfully defended a large national retailer in a false imprisonment/premises liability matter. Plaintiff was suspected of shoplifting and was asked to return to the store to identify the missing merchandise. At the client’s request the case was settled for nuisance value in lieu of trial.
Obtained dismissal of action during trial after the mechanism and the nature/ extent of injuries were called into question.
Court granted summary judgment in favor of national pet store chain client, finding that the pet store was not negligent nor strictly liable for plaintiff’s injuries related to attack by customer’s dog.
Obtained summary judgment for owner of home at which a guest of tenants was seriously injured by an attendee of an unruly youth party who returned to the home wielding a baseball bat. The principal legal issues were whether the landlord, who was not present at the time of the injury, had any duty of care toward a guest of the tenants, and if so, whether the landlord’s negligence could be considered a legal cause of the guest’s injury. The superior court ruled that because it was not foreseeable that the party attendee, who returned to the home several hours after police had dispersed most of the party attendees, would enter the house and commit a felonious assault with a deadly weapon upon the guest, there could be no liability against the landlord.
Represented a national retail chain against a plaintiff alleging premises liability and negligence after she tripped and fell on a shopping cart corral. After pointing out procedural defects, plaintiff dismissed the case, prompting the court to award costs to defendant.
Obtained defense verdict at trial in favor of the oldest national forklift manufacturer in an amputation claim. The case involved first impression issues concerning lateral turn-over and safety doors in stand-up forklifts.
Represented sheet metal manufacturer who was alleged to have made a canning machine defective after a retro-fit. Plaintiff lost hand in alleged defective canning machine. Resolved at mediation.
Resolved for nuisance value a claim against a manufacturer of a surgical drill bit that was alleged to have snapped during surgery.
Obtained a defense verdict in favor of a large national lawnmower manufacturer in a design defect allegation. Plaintiff was allegedly shot in the chest by a projectile from under the mower deck. Various experts testified that the accident could not have occurred in the manner Plaintiff alleged.
Obtained a verdict covering full indemnity and attorneys fees and costs, with findings of constructive fraud, for a real estate broker against a former agent who left the broker and client home seller stuck with a buyers walk-away.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a law firm against claims of malpractice that allegedly caused a $20,000,000.00 loss in county tax revenue.
Prevailed during trial of a legal malpractice claim alleging negligent handling of a dissolution proceeding. Obtained non-suit at the conclusion of Plaintiff’s case-in-chief in favor of law firm and lawyers.
Successfully defended hospital and two individually named nurses against allegations of Elder Abuse, Wrongful Death, Negligence and Unfair Business Practices resulting in dismissal of claims against the clients without any payment on their behalf.
Successfully defended claims of Elder Abuse, negligence and wrongful death against nursing home resulting in successful summary adjudication of Elder Abuse claims and dismissal of remaining claims without further cost to client.
Successfully represented retail-pharmacy in alleged prescription misfill case. Claim involved a minor who received anti-psychotic adult strength medication instead of his usual allergy medication. Child suffered a seizure and other complications as a result. Case was resolved at mediation.
Summary Judgment granted as to pharmacy malpractice claim against retailer and pharmacist for alleged cancellation of a prescription.
On behalf of a local school district, defended the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance before the Eastern District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. The plaintiff alleged that the recitation of the words “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.
Summary judgment granted in the Eastern District on behalf of entity and police officer in pursuit case that alleged the death of the suspect was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Overturned Ninth Circuit ruling by successfully arguing before the United States Supreme Court for a new standard governing the constitutionality of police conduct in pursuit of fleeing suspects resulting in unintentional injuries or death.
Prevailed on summary judgment, as well as at the Ninth Circuit, on claims filed against a Sheriff’s Department and two deputies for use of deadly force. Deputies shot at plaintiff when he refused to obey commands to stop and drop a three foot long metal sword which he had been carrying throughout a residential neighborhood. Both courts held that deadly force was appropriate even where there were no identified third parties to whom the suspect posed a serious threat of harm.
Defense verdict in favor of police officers and city in a claim for excessive use of force where the officers applied a carotid hold resulting in death of suspect while in custody.
Successfully obtained dismissal of the Sheriff and County via a motion for summary judgment on claims that the jail failed to notify a pre-trial detainee of extra-jurisdictional outstanding warrants, detainers, holds or notices, where plaintiff was held over without trial for over six years. Significantly, the District Court determined that the Sheriff was entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity for merely acting as jailor pending criminal proceedings, regardless of whether those charges were later dropped on Sixth Amendment grounds (violation of right to speedy trial).
Defense verdict in favor of municipality against claims of excessive force and deliberate indifference to plaintiff’s medical needs against a police officer and his law enforcement employer. Plaintiff was detained in the sobering cell of the jail for DUI and hit and run. Plaintiff claimed the police department was deliberately indifferent when they deprived him of his mood stabilizing prescription while he was detoxing from alcohol consumption. Plaintiff also alleged excessive force after he attacked an officer in the sobering cell.
Achieved a defense verdict in a catastrophic injury case filed against a major public university. In this matter, the injured plaintiff and his wife sued the university, alleging, among other things, the university was responsible for creating a dangerous condition of public property with respect to its roadways and/or with respect to use of a four seat golf cart/utility vehicle without seatbelts. Plaintiff fell out of the rear of a four seat utility cart or shuttle, suffered severe brain injuries, and was seeking multi-million dollars in damages. The jury returned a unanimous verdict on all counts in favor of the university.
Defended large county against claims that the county’s jail, one of the largest in the nation, did not provide sufficient accommodation to disabled persons. Successfully established plaintiff’s lack of Article III standing at the pleadings stage, preventing plaintiff from obtaining injunctive relief that would require significant overhaul of county detention facilities. Obtained summary judgment in County’s favor against plaintiff’s damages claims under state and federal law, establishing no monetary liability for County’s alleged failure to provide accessible detention facilities.
Obtained defense verdict in favor of deputy sheriff . Plaintiff alleged the deputy illegally entered his property and used excessive force. The jury unanimously found that entering the property was permissible and the amount of forced used was appropriate under the circumstances.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of the City of Roseville on an indemnity claim by the Galleria arising from a fire at the mall that destroyed the mall and allegations that a sprinkler suppression system was turned off at the direction of the City.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of the City of Folsom based upon the defense of primary assumption of risk when a cyclist crashed while riding in a paceline after crossing a defect in the bike lane.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of the City of Roseville in a dangerous conditions claim involving a vehicle versus pedestrian accident, including allegations of insufficient visibility.
Demurrer sustained without leave to amend in favor of the City of Marysville on a dangerous conditions claim premised on inadequate street lighting at an intersection.
Successfully defended a geotechnical engineer in prevailing on motion for summary judgment based upon lack of duty. The geotechnical engineer prevailed and received costs.
Successfully defended delay damage case involving engineer responsible for construction of a large public office building. The case involved an approximate $100M demand.
Successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of the City of Gridley on a contentious employment action involving claims for whistleblower retaliation.
Obtained favorable settlement in a wrongful death case filed against a national retailer. Plaintiffs, the three surviving heirs of the elderly decedent, sought multimillions for the death of their mother following a slip and fall. Were able to resolve this case for less than 10% of plaintiffs’ demand.
Successfully defended the County of Nevada, its departments and employees in federal court against several section 1983 claims based on plaintiff’s arrest and prosecution. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the defense judgment on the basis of collateral estoppel under California law.
Obtained Summary Judgment in favor of Yuba County in a complex case involving claims for inverse condemnation, dangerous condition of public property, private nuisance and public nuisance.
Successfully brought a Motion for Summary Judgment in a wrongful death case against a local supermarket chain. The San Joaquin County case was brought by the decedents of a woman that was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The drunk driver was an employee of the defendant whom had become intoxicated after clocking out for the day. Finding that the intoxicated employee was outside the course and scope of her employment at the time the drinking and drunk driving occurred, judgment was entered on behalf of the defense.
Successfully brought a Motion for Summary Judgment in a lawsuit against the renters of a ski boat. The plaintiff, who had been tubing behind the boat, sustained injuries as a result of having been struck by the boat’s propeller. Judgment was entered on behalf of the defendants based on the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk. More specifically, the court held that in engaging in the sport of tubing, plaintiff assumed any risks associated with that sport, to include being struck by the boat.
Summary judgment was granted by the United States District Court arising out of a cross-claim on an adversary proceeding in bankruptcy court. The debtor was a general contractor who alleged causes of action for negligence, equitable indemnity, and breach of fiduciary duty. The general contractor was seeking bankruptcy relief and one of the creditors were homeowners who had paid the contractor to construct a residence. The general contractor then wrongfully blamed the insurance broker for not procuring the right type of insurance for him. Although the claims against the insurance broker were false, the Court agreed that the statute of limitations had run on all causes of action and judgment was entered in favor of the insurance broker.
Defense verdict obtained in jury trial on behalf of local public utility. A former Sacramento Municipal Utility District employee resigned after thirty years of employment and sued for race discrimination, race harassment and retaliation. During trial, SMUD presented evidence that Plaintiff actually resigned because it helped her in bankruptcy. Plaintiff claimed that she was forced her to resign because of a hostile work environment and asked the jury for one million dollars in economic damages and an unspecified amount for emotional distress. The jury deliberated for less than two hours and returned with a defense verdict on all claims.
Obtained defense verdict following three-month jury trial in a claim for wrongful death of a six year old boy and serious injuries to his mother arising out of a freeway head on collision where one car left the roadway, crossed over and struck another vehicle heading in the opposite direction. Drivers of both vehicles sued client alleging a defect in the cross-over car which should have been caught during a routine servicing of the car. Established, through expert testimony, that there were no mechanical defects in the vehicle and that the cause of the accident was the error of the driver.
Represented a family-owned insurance brokerage company in a breach of contract case. Plaintiffs claimed their insurance brokerage was negligent in failing to tender a claim to their insurance company, causing them to pay for their own defense in a separate lawsuit. After a jury verdict, plaintiffs were awarded only one fifth of the amount they demanded prior to trial.
Successfully defended client who acted in capacity of developer, architect, general contractor, framer and structural engineer of residential development to verdict following 21 day jury trial.
Successfully defended roofing contractor in trial by obtaining a virtual defense verdict. Plaintiff had demanded more than $100,000 in damages. Jury awarded merely $128.40 against Defendant roofing contractor. Verdict upheld on appeal on behalf of roofing contractor.
Obtained a defense judgment for local auto dealership after a 5-day jury trial against one of California’s largest consumer rights litigation firms. Complaint alleged violations of state and federal consumer protection laws, including breach of implied warranty, also known as “Magnuson-Moss” claims.
Successfully represented plaintiff as prevailing party in a jury trial involving construction defects at plaintiff’s residence exceeding 10,000 square feet.