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Award: $55,184,288
A 4-year-old girl was left a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic after the vehicle in which she was riding was struck by another vehicle that ran a red light (Gutierrez v. United States of America, Central District Federal Court, Plaintiff attorney: Wylie A. Aitken).

Faulty fuel tank
Award: $4,304,534
A 39-year-old California Highway Patrol officer riding a BMW motorcycle was severely burned when the fuel tank ruptured following a collision with a car (Allen v. Bayerische Motoren Werke, San Joaquin County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: R. Lewis Van Blois).

Employment discrimination
Award: Defense
An employee at a clinical laboratory alleged that she was passed over for promotion and then terminated because she was Pakistani (Rodrigues v. Bayer Corporation, Alameda County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Mitchell F. Boomer).

Medical malpractice
Award: $5,720,000
A 20-year-old man who suffered second- and third-degree burns in a kitchen fire was left in a persistent vegetative state due to post-surgical negligence (Page v. County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Bruce G. Fagel).

Drunk driving
Award: $2,030,000
A drunk driver swerved off the freeway and smashed into a vehicle whose driver was changing a flat tire, killing the 25-year-old rear seat passenger (Hong v. Hardiman, San Mateo County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Omar I. Habbas).

Construction accident
Award: $1,000,000
A laborer suffered devastating injuries when he was crushed by a runaway bulldozer at a construction site (Baltazar v. Tucillo, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Danilo Becerra).

Vocational schools
Award: $6,500,000
One of the nation’s largest chains of vocational schools was sued by the State of California for false advertising and unlawful business practices (The People of the State of California v. Corinthian Schools Inc., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Edmund G. Brown Jr.).

Editor's Note: California Bar Journal publishes this abbreviated summary of important trials in California provided by Trials Digest, a Thomson West business. To report your case results, go to or call 415-344-6000.

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