Verdicts And Settlements
Chip off the Old Block
The plaintiff claimed she suffered a traumatic brain injury when a wood chip dislodged by a worker using a nail gun to rebuild a barn at defendant’s property struck her in the forehead. Plaintiff claims that the injury affected her endocrine system and hormonal levels and left her with significant cognitive deficits. She claimed an adjustment disorder which prevented her from returning to work. Plaintiff demanded $1.7 million at trial and the jury awarded her only the emergency room bills of $3,697.
Funeral Home Class Action
We successfully resolved highly publicized claims against a funeral home alleged to have mishandled hundreds of decedents’ bodies and cremated remains. Resolving the cases involved managing three separate class actions and twenty individual lawsuits, as well as investigating and evaluating scores of unique claims. Over the course of several years, we were able to resolve all cases within the available insurance coverage.
We won a defense verdict in a noise complaint lawsuit brought by a downstairs homeowner against the upstairs homeowners in a duplex in the senior retirement community of Rossmoor. The plaintiff alleged the upper homeowners violated the CC&Rs of the association by changing their floors from carpet to hardwood.
Buckman vs Plaintiffs’ Legal Committee:
This case established the principle that private parties cannot state a cause of action for fraud on a federal agency absent explicit federal statuary authority. Our client, a California consultant to medical device manufacturers seeking FDA approval of their products, was a defendant in a massive consolidated federal action brought by thousands of persons allegedly injured by those products. We won a motion to dismiss in federal court in Philadelphia which was eventually affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in a unanimous precedent setting opinion.
Adler vs Elphick and Bakanauskas vs Urdan:
Held that tenants-in-common arrangement by which individuals combine to purchase multi-unit apartment buildings as residences are not illegal subdivisions. The combination of these two decisions, in which we represented property owners being sued for wrongful eviction, established the legality of such arrangements and was followed by conversion of hundreds of buildings to tenants-in-common ownership, particularly in Berkeley and San Francisco, where condominium conversion had been blocked or severely limited.
Washburn vs City of Berkeley:
Established that when a ballot argument is changed based on proof that it is false or misleading, the prevailing party can recover attorneys’ fees from the parties who submitted the argument under a private attorney general theory, without violating first amendment freedom of speech rights of the losing parties.