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Rear-end fatality
Award: $1,961,899

A driver stopped for a red light was killed in a fiery explosion after being rear-ended by a tractor-trailer whose driver was under the influence of methamphetamine (Huie v. Southland Sod Farms Inc., Orange County Superior Court).

Unfair business practices
Award: $15,180,000

An attorney breached his ethical duties when he acted in a dual capacity as counsel for a billboard company and shareholder/ attorney for a competing business (Outdoor Media Group Inc. v. Fisher & Associates, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Medication overdose
Award: $6,000,000

A 44-year-old patient received two competing sets of post-surgical pain medication, leaving her a quadriplegic (Confidential v. Confidential, San Francisco County Superior Court).

Bad faith
Award: Defense

A manufacturer sued its insurance carrier for bad faith refusal to cover all of its losses in a fire in a manufacturing facility (Metawave Communications Corp. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., San Francisco County Superior Court).

Falling gate
Award: $1,032,399

A 43-year-old employee sustained serious injuries when a steel gate at the building in which she worked collapsed on her as she attempted to open it (Lee v. Pak, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Legal malpractice
Award: $34,810,972

A law firm was held liable for missing a filing deadline to recover fees wrongfully paid by its client to an unlicensed talent agent (Blanks v. Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Racial discrimination
Award: $2,422,159

A white police officer accused of police brutality claimed that he received harsher disciplinary measures than his African-American partner in the incident (Morse v. City of Inglewood, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Liposuction negligence
Award: $1,162,500

A 39-year-old woman sustained a perforated bowel during a liposuction procedure that required 17 surgeries to repair (Confidential v. Confidential, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Collapsing chair
Award: Defense

A 63-year-old shopper at Home Depot claimed severe head injuries as a result of sitting in a pneumatic piston chair that tipped over, causing her to hit the cement floor (Hetrick v. Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., Los Angeles 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.
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