EDITOR'S NOTE: California Bar Journal publishes this summary of important trials in California provided by Trials Digest Publishing Inc. For a free complete trial report on any case listed, call 510/420-1800.

Elder abuse alleged against nursing home
Award: $165,000

A daughter brought suit on her mother's behalf for elder abuse and neglect under Welfare & Institutions Code 15600 et seq. The nursing home contended the decedent had medical conditions that made her death unavoidable (Delaney v. Meadowood Nursing Center, Lake County Superior Court).

Insurer seeks lien interest in settlement proceeds
Award: $15,252

An insurer claimed a lien interest in the proceeds of a settlement reached by a law firm on behalf of the firm's clients, the insureds. The finding of a lien interest may affect numerous similar cases in California (Farmers Insurance v. Scranton Law Firm, Contra Costa County Superior Court).

Medication makes patient lose balance
Award: $1,160,500

A patient claimed his physician's use of antibiotics in treating an infection caused vestibular toxicity and was unnecessary because less toxic antibiotics could have been used (Cogbill v. Lemire, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Modified crane breaks Grove employee's leg
Award: $641,256

An employee's leg was broken by the falling counterweight of a crane that his employer had modified. The manufacturer contended his injuries were caused by a product it did not make (Songer v. Grove Manufacturing Co., Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Patient treated for HIV despite test results
Award: Defense

A patient claimed his doctor breached the standard of care by failing to confirm indeterminate HIV test results and treating for a year without retesting. The doctor contended the standard allows treatment of a symptomatic patient with those test results (Sanford v. Eugenio, Orange County Superior Court).

Contractor falls from slipping ladder
Award: $683,478

A general contractor claimed that an aluminum extension ladder was defectively designed and failed to warn of the risk of slip-out. The manufacturer contended plaintiff fell from the roof or misused the ladder (Vance v. Keller Industries Inc., Santa Clara County Superior Court).

Facility's laundry aide sexually harassed
Award: $397,000

A laundry aide at a psychiatric facility claimed continuous verbal and physical sexual harassment by her supervisor. She alleged that management failed to prevent harassment in the workplace (Aghili v. Regency Health Services Inc., San Bernardino County Superior Court).