State Bar of California California Bar Journal
Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California September2008
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Medical malpractice
Award: $3,162,000
Treatment of a 13-year-old boy’s thigh injury incurred during football practice resulted in three months of hospitalization in the ICU, six surgeries, septic shock, multiple organ failure, and permanent orthopedic and pulmonary damage (Jastrab v. Kelada, El Dorado County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Michael A. Kelly).

Fatal rollover
Award: Defense
When a flat tire caused a Range Rover to roll over twice, killing a man and injuring his wife, the accident was blamed on the dealership that had recently serviced the vehicle (Ryvkin v. Terry York Motor Cars Ltd., Los Angeles County Superior Court, De-fense attorney: R. Gregory Amundson).

Award: $5,400,000
Inhalation of joint compounds containing chrysotile asbestos over many years resulted in death from mesothelioma for a craft services laborer at Warner Brothers (Saffold v. Bondex, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Gary M. Paul).

Cardiac arrest
Award: Defense
Family of a 70-year-old woman alleged the failure to adequately diagnose and treat her heart symptoms led to her death (Azzam v. Tuqan, Riverside County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Raymond L. Blessey).

Bad faith
Award: $21,774,977
An insurance carrier was held liable for failure to properly handle a claim under a Directors, Officers, and Corporate Insurance Policy (Acacia Research Corporation v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., Central District Federal Court, Plaintiff attorney: Richard B. Specter).

Unnecessary chemotherapy
Award: Defense
Six months of chemotherapy for a disease he alleged he never had caused a patient to sue his physician for an incorrect diagnosis (Reyes v. Randall, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Defense attorney: Patrick E. Stockalper).

Laborer killed
Award: $6,853,284
Collapsing equipment at a construction site caused a workman to be struck and killed by a boom attached to a concrete pumping truck (Pena v. Swinerton Inc., San Mateo County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Russell L. Moore Jr.).

Sexual assault
Award: $2,200,000
One deaf/mute male student was sexually assaulted by another in a school bathroom; the 18-year-old assailant had a similar incident in his record that had been removed by school officials (Confidential v. Los Angeles School District, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Plaintiff attorney: Matthew S. McNicholas).

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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