Refusal to defend lawsuit
Award: $26,460,000

Plaintiff's counsel reports the award against The Travelers Cos. was the fifth largest insurance bad faith verdict in California history awarded to an individual (Vann v. The Travelers Cos., Alameda County Superior Court).

Hostile work environment
Award: $893,400

An African-American planner claimed a fellow employee subjected her to racial epithets and that Caltrans failed to correct the hostile environment (Gatewood v. Califo-nia Department of Transportation, Sacramento County Superior Court).

Lesbian claims harassment
Award: Defense

Defense counsel reports that this may be the first time a sexual orientation harassment case was presented to a California jury (Bayati v. County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Forklift crushes fingers
Award: $2,393,525

An employee of Container Stevedoring Company caused the arm of a forklift to forcefully drop on a marine mechanic's fingers (Keesee v. The Hyster Co., Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Legal malpractice claim
Award: $3,494,582

A ranch manager claimed he lost an underlying trial because his attorneys failed to timely assert applicable securities law claims (Dibonne v. Saltzburg, Ray & Bergman, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Homeowners allege engineering malpractice
Award: Defense

A couple claimed that a geotechnical firm was negligent in the construction of the foundation to their house (Smith v. O'Connor, San Mateo County Superior Court).

Trip and fall at Kmart
Award: $220,000

A 70-year-old woman tripped on an empty pallet in an aisle and suffered a broken nose and aortic valve damage (Babek v. Kmart Corp., Ventura County Superior Court).

Patent infringement
Award: $3,655,000

The owner of a patent covering all insulated gate bipolar transistors used in high-voltage switching applications sought a royalty on past sales (Harris Corp. v. IXYS Corp., Northern District Federal Court).

Accident causes hip injury
Award: $750,000

A low-velocity rear-end collision involving an 85-pound female caused a painful left hip injury that required two surgeries (Wolf v. Hills, Sonoma County Superior Court).

Relationship terminated
Award: $7,600,000

A fluid connector distributor franchisee claimed Parker Hannifin Corp. terminated its long-standing relationship without warning or notice (ASI Marine & Industrial Inc. v. Parker Hannifin Corp., San Diego 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.