Insurer liable for breach of contract and bad faith
Award: $14,325,452

The primary issues were the in-surer's reliance on its attorney's advice, the competence of those attorneys and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing (The Public Guardian of the County of El Dorado v. Fire Exchange Insurance, El Dorado County Superior Court).

Chair fall herniates disk
Award: $1,501,227

A respiratory therapist claimed that the chair on which he sat failed because it was negligently designed by Krueger International (Caruthers v. Krueger International, Sacramento County Superior Court).

Realty sold secretly
Award: $1,648,252

Seven limited partners claimed that partnership real property was sold without their knowledge or consent, with a subsequent cover-up and fraudulent accounting (Souveroff v. Wall, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Sawmill severs fingers
Award: $420,100

A 3-year-old claimed the accident occurred due to her grandparents' negligent supervision, defective design of the portable sawmill and the manufacturer's failure to warn (Davis v. Wood-Mizer Products Inc., Sacramento County Superior Court).

Physician refuses to remove life support
Award: Defense

Decedent's family claimed emotional distress from witnessing decedent's physical deterioration when the physician would not withdraw her respirator (Duarte v. Chino Community Hospital, San Bernardino County Superior Court).

Electrocution at Oxnard
Award: $1,250,000

Decedent's parents claimed that Southern Pacific Milling Company employees negligently turned on the power while decedent worked on a junction box (Reider v. Southern Pacific Milling Co., Ventura County Superior Court).

Hilton guest falls near pool
Award: $107,541

A 70-year-old hotel guest fractured his hip after falling down steps without handrails and safety strips as required by code (Kennedy v. Hilton Hotels Corp., San Mateo County Superior Court).

Elevator falls two stories
Award: $1,095,425

An HIV researcher claimed that the catastrophic failure of an elevator caused it to fall, resulting in her injuries (Wirta v. Oliver & Williams, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Condition not reported
Award: $301,228

Decedent's husband claimed that the hospital's nursing staff negligently monitored decedent's fluid intake/output and failed to report the patient's worsening condition (Grewing v. Mercy American Hospital, Sacramento County Superior Court).

EDITOR'S NOTE: California Bar Journal publishes this abbreviated 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.