NTL member Brent Goudarzi gets $101M, $27M verdicts

On July 19, 2018, an Upshur County, Texas jury returned a $101.1 million dollar verdict against Fort Worth-based FTS International Services, LLC and its employee, Bill Acker.  While operating an 18-wheeler in September 2013 in Ore City, Texas, Mr. Acker rear ended the plaintiff, Joshua Patterson, who was represented by Goudarzi & Young, LLP.  Post-accident drug testing revealed that at the time of the accident, Mr. Acker had marijuana and methamphetamines in his system.  The plaintiff also put on evidence that, although FTS had robust internal policies and procedures, FTS disregarded said procedures as they related to the hiring and training of Mr. Acker.  In defense, FTS attempted to paint itself as a company that takes training and safety very seriously by offering evidence that purportedly demonstrated that Mr. Acker received extensive new driver training, including defensive driving training and drug and alcohol training, and that FTS had the highest FMCSA safety rating.  The jury found both FTS and Mr. Acker negligent and grossly negligent.

As a result of the accident, the plaintiff suffered neck and back injuries that ultimately required a disc replacement surgery in his spine.

The plaintiff was represented by National Trial Lawyers member Brent Goudarzi and Marty Young of Goudarzi & Young, LLP in Gilmer, Texas.  Defendant FTS International Services, LLC was represented by Pat Long, managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP in Dallas, Texas and Keith Starr of Starr Schoenbrun & Comte PLLC in Tyler, Texas.  Defendant Bill Acker was represented by Snow Bush of Longview, Texas.

 

Just two and-a-half months later—on October 11, 2018—another Upshur County, Texas jury returned a $27.4 million verdict for an East Texas plaintiff injured in a 2016 automobile accident.  The plaintiff, 55-year old Hershell Wingfield of Gilmer, also represented by Goudarzi & Young, LLP, was at a complete stop attempting to make a left-hand turn when he was rear-ended by another vehicle traveling 60-65 miles per hour.  The offending vehicle was driven by Shane Wood, an employee of Multiband Field Services, Inc.  As a result of the collision, Mr. Wingfield sustained injuries to his neck and back which required multiple surgeries and the implantation of a spinal cord stimulator.  The jury found both the driver and the company were negligent in causing the plaintiff’s injuries.  After receiving the verdict, Mr. Wingfield’s attorney, NTL member Brent Goudarzi, stated, “this is another strong reminder that the good people of Upshur County will not tolerate corporate indifference when it comes to hiring and training employees who operate motor vehicles in our community.”

The defendants were represented by David Merkley and Sarah Jones of the law firm of Germer in Houston, Texas, Jessica Barger and Andrew Nelson of the law firm Wright, Close & Barger in Houston, Texas, Michael Tiliakos and Anthony Rao, in-house counsel for Goodman Networks (the parent company of Multiband Field Services) in New York, New York, and Curtis Fenley of the law firm of Fenley & Bates in Lufkin, Texas.

The Honorable Lauren Parish, District Judge of the 115th Judicial District, presided over both trials.

NTL member James Kimball secures $1.625M settlement for accident victim

James KimballNational Trial Lawyers member James Kimball of Seigel Law, LLC in Ridgewood, NJ has secured a $1,625,000 settlement for a client injured in a t-bone vehicle collision in 2014. At noon on November 10, 2014, Lorna Phillips was driving a Chevrolet Tahoe on Sagamore Avenue in Teaneck, NJ.  As she approached the intersection of Belle Avenue, a Lexus LS460 being driven by Juda Klein of Monsey, New York, went through a stop sign and t-boned Ms. Phillips’ vehicle causing it to overturn. As a result of this crash, Ms. Phillips underwent left shoulder arthroscopy, left hip arthroscopy and a permanent lumbar spine stimulator implant.  Ms. Phillips, a kidney dialysis technician, was able to return to work on a limited basis. The settlement was reached on September 11, 2018 in Superior Court of Bergen Co., New Jersey, with Judge Lisa Perez Friscia presiding.

Podcast: What’s next for Bayer after Roundup verdict

RoundupBayer may be suffering from buyer’s remorse after buying Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, last year. A California jury has awarded $289 million dollars to a groundskeeper who blames Roundup for causing his cancer. Bayer’s stock dropped 10 percent after the verdict. What’s next for the weedkiller maker? In this podcast, Marketplace reports that Bayer will likely face increasing legal costs as well as possible consumer backlash.

NTL member Jonathan Pope gets $1.7M verdict for wreck victim

Jonathan PopeNational Trial Lawyers member Jonathan Pope has secured a $1,706,000 verdict for a Georgia woman injured when a driver struck her car after running a red light on Halloween in 2014. According to Pope, his client Donna Harry was injured when Marica Matasic ran a red light driving about 45 mph and crashed into the driver’s side door of her vehicle. Harry suffered injury to her arm, hand, neck, and back. Despite surgery, Harry suffered a permanent injury to her dominant arm and hand resulting in pain, numbness and weakness in her wrist, hand, and fingers. Harry’s past medical expenses were approximately $45,000 and she had future medical expenses of approximately $125,000 for neck surgery. Matasic claimed she was driving in an unfamiliar area, she was late, and she was distracted by her phone and ran a red-light traveling 45 mph. The accident happened on October 31, 2014. The verdict was handed down on May 10, 2018. The case was tried before Judge Pamela South in Gwinnett County state court.

Top 40 Under 40 President Stephen Burg obtains $146K verdict for rear-end collision victim

National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 President Stephen Burg secured a verdict plus interest and costs of $146,000 for the victim of a rear end collision in Colorado. Burg says his client, David Jimenez-Santana was driving his pickup truck and was rear-ended by the defendant, Robert Baker in December 2014 in Grand Junction. Although there was no visible physical damage to the plaintiff’s truck, the plaintiff was injured. The plaintiff had a prior worker’s compensation back injury to the same area injured. Burg reports Jimenez-Santana sustained a disc injury at L4-5, and had to undergo a discectomy at the L4-5. Burg says the verdict plus interest and costs was $146,532.67 and 18 times greater than the $7,500 defense offer. The verdict was handed down on June 8, 2018. Burg tried the case along with David Crough of Burg Simpson before Judge Kenneth Plotz. Burg is also a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.

Case Name: David Jimenez-Santana v. Robert Baker

Case number: 17 CV 30484

Case Type: Jury Verdict

Verdict for: Plaintiff

Verdict Date: 06/08/2018

Amount: $83,788.76

Best offer from defense:$7,500

Area of Law: Personal Injury

Court: Grand Junction, Colorado

 

NTL member Juan Dominguez wins record verdict in CA car crash case

juan dominguezTrial lawyers for The Dominguez Firm won a record-breaking verdict in Riverside (California) Superior Court when the jury awarded their client $11,779,154.77 in damages for an auto v. auto injury case.

In early July 2015, Mr. Oscar Esparza returned home to introduce his girlfriend, Cristal and her two children to his parents, knowing that he planned to propose to her soon after. On July 8, 2015, as the happy couple and her children began their drive back to Colorado in his Mitsubishi Eclipse, they came to a sudden stop caused by a third vehicle on northbound Interstate 15 near the 91 merge. Unfortunately, a flat-box truck owned and operated by Win Distribution, Inc. plowed into the back of Mr. Esparza’s car.

The force of the impact was severe to the back of the Eclipse and damaged Mr. Esparza’s seat back. Mr. Esparza took the brunt of the impact, suffering cervical spine injury as well as a mild-complicated traumatic brain injury that put him in the hospital for six days. The defense alleged that the third vehicle and Mr. Esparza were at fault for the accident and injuries.

The general damages portion of the verdict was reduced by 20% for alleged negligence by third vehicle involved in the accident. Still, the result for Mr. Oscar Esparza will much exceed $10 Million dollars and could exceed $12 million dollars after post trial motions for interests, costs and penalties. The verdict is considered to be the highest traumatic brain injury verdict award in Riverside Superior Court in 2018.

“This was a hard-fought case in which defendant tried to introduce irrelevant matters into evidence and tried to blame our client and others for the fact they rear-ended him,” said lead trial attorney Olivier Taillieu of The Dominguez Firm. “At the end of the day, our team and I were able to keep the trial court and jury focused on the relevant, pertinent issues and we were able to get our clients justice, especially Mr. Esparza, who is most deserving.”

The nationally recognized attorney Juan Dominguez of The Dominguez Firm, said, “This was a hard-fought case for two and a half years, including a five-week trial that included testimony from numerous leading experts. Gladly, justice prevailed.”

The Dominguez Firm is a powerhouse injury law firm serving Greater Los Angeles since 1987, with over $500,000,000 recovered for the injured. The Dominguez Firm is staffed with award-winning attorneys and is one of the most recognized and successful law firms in Southern California. Recent 8-dollar-figures personal injury results include: $29 Million Jury Verdict, $12.5 Million settlement, $11.7 Million Jury Verdict, and $10 Million settlement.