Actress injured performing stunt for Las Vegas hotel
Award: $1,812,780

An actress severely injured her sacrum and coccyx when she dove from a seven-foot ledge, landed on an airbag that had deflated and then fell directly onto the ground (Harris v. Circus Circus Enterprises Inc., Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Factory workers injure hands in power press
Award: $867,346

Two power press operators claimed that their employer, Leading Industry Inc., authorized the removal of a guard on a power press machine that resulted in fractured finger/thumb bones and partial amputation of one finger (Machuca v. Leading Industry Inc., Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Pit bulls attack fashion designer in her backyard
Award: $101,925

A fashion designer went into her backyard to check on her barking dog and was attacked by her neighbors' two pit bulls that had gotten into her yard; she sustained multiple bites and post-traumatic stress disorder (Miller v. Park, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Lockheed employee claims race/sex discrimination
Award: Defense

A female African-American mail services supervisor for Lockheed with 16 years seniority was terminated by layoff, allegedly in violation of public policy due to her race and sex, and replaced by a white male (Jefferson v. Lockheed Advanced Development Company, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Motorcyclist strikes metal bar from truck on freeway
Award: $989,978

A motorcyclist sustained fractures to his right femur and right tibia/fibula after hitting a metal wheel extension bar that fell from the bed of a tow truck and was thrown into his path by another driver (Burval v. Affordable Towing, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Driver of pickup killed in collision with 18-wheeler
Award: $3,192,000

A welder driving a pickup truck died by asphyxiation when the 18-wheeler loaded with grain struck the pickup, flipped it over and dumped 50,000 lbs. of corn onto his vehicle (Summers v. Cotton Trucking, Stanislaus County Superior Court).

Home buyers claim structural defects
Award: $515,254

An attorney and a salesman who purchased a single-family home noticed multiple defects within the first two years after purchase and sued the sellers, the developer and the architect (Courteau v. Ocel, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Filmmaker seeks to rescind post-production contract
Award: $5,000,000

The first African-American woman to write, produce and direct a full-length movie sought to rescind a contract with Hilltop Investment Associates for post-production services on her film "The Gifted," claiming that defendant never intended to perform (Lewis v. Hilltop Investment Associates, Los Angeles County Superior Court).

Back sprain/strain claimed in rear-ender
Award: Defense

A hospital worker and her granddaughter claimed back injuries from the collision; defense counsel reports that plaintiffs' chiropractor exaggerated their injuries and treatment costs (Garcia v. Boggan, San Bernardino 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.