As 2020 arrives, Poole Shaffery would like to take the time to highlight notable results achieved in 2019.
Poole Shaffery obtained a favorable verdict in a wrongful death case brought by the family of bicyclist, who died as a result of colliding with a vehicle driven by an employee of a limousine company. The plaintiffs, consisting of the widow and the two adult daughters, argued that the tragic accident was caused by the failure of the limousine company’s driver to completely stop at a stop sign before making a right turn on to a busy roadway. The plaintiffs further argued that had the driver completely stopped, he would have noticed the decedent riding his bicycle along the wrong side of the road. After four days of pre-trial evidentiary hearings, wherein the defense was constantly under attack including the loss of (1) their key helmet defense expert, (2) evidence that the decedent was not wearing a helmet, (3) the ability to present the testimony of the investigating officer’s regarding his findings including that the driver’s stop was acceptable pursuant to the Vehicle Code, trial proceeded. At the conclusion, the plaintiffs asked the jury for an award of $10,855,200.00 to $24,852,800.00 in non-economic damages. After less than two days of deliberation, the Santa Monica, CA jury awarded the plaintiffs $1.8 million total; however, they found the decedent 72% liable. Accordingly, the net verdict value against Poole & Shaffery’s clients was $518,700.00. Moreover, Poole & Shaffery was able to work out an agreement with the plaintiffs in which no judgment would be entered against their clients and that both sides would waive their right to appeal. This marked the 11th favorable verdict over the past 6 years that Poole Shaffery has successfully obtained.
In addition to trying cases and obtaining favorable verdicts, Poole Shaffery was successful in its law and motion practice including:
- Rosa Penda De Molina, et al. v. Does 1 through 100: Plaintiffs alleged their decedent developed interstitial lung disease as a result of occupational exposure to a variety of products, including alloys, glass, solvents and other chemical products, while working at Lucky Glass at “various locations in California,” from 1993 to 2014. Poole Shaffery’s client distributed finished glass products to the decedent’s employer. The court granted Poole Shaffery’s summary judgment motion based on lack of causation.
- Jerry Vergara, Jr., et al. v. City of Santa Monica, et al.: The City of Santa Monica sought leave to file a cross-complaint against Poole Shaffery’s client, a messenger/delivery company. The basis for the motion was that the Plaintiff was an employee of Poole Shaffery’s client’s employee, and therefore, should have been named as a defendant. Poole Shaffery filed an opposition, arguing that the City’s motion should be denied on the ground that the statute specifically prohibited claims for indemnity against an employer. Shortly after the opposition was filed, the City of Santa Monica agreed to withdraw its motion.
Poole Shaffery also continued to obtain favorable settlements including:
- Linda Alvarado v. United States Steel Corporation, et al. [product liability/toxic tort]: Plaintiff agreed to dismiss Poole Shaffery’s client, a manufacturer of automotive products, after establishing lack of product identification.
- Frank Garcia, et al. v. Aceto Corporation, et al. [product liability/toxic tort]: Plaintiff agreed to dismiss Poole Shaffery’s client, a manufacturer of automotive products, after establishing lack of product identification by filing a motion for summary judgment.
- Case name confidential [transportation – wrongful death]: Plaintiffs alleged their decedent died as a result of being struck by a bus while walking in a marked crosswalk. Plaintiffs contended that Poole Shaffery’s client, who was the owner-operator of the bus company, failed to use reasonable care while driving and was driving too fast given the conditions (traffic due to rain). The plaintiffs sought the policy limits of $5,000,000. However, Poole Shaffery was able to settle the matter for $266,002.
- Case name confidential [breach of habitability]: Plaintiff alleged the house he was renting was uninhabitable and that he suffered personal injury and damages as a result. Plaintiff sued his landlords, who also owned the home. Plaintiff’s initial demand was $275,000. However, Poole Shaffery was able to settle the matter for $50,000.
Poole Shaffery looks forward to what 2020 will bring. However, one thing that will remain constant is the firm’s commitment to providing skilled, aggressive, and cost-efficient legal services to our clients.