Long v. HMS Construction, Inc. et al. – July 2016; Settlement: $21,500,000

In November of 2013, Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. began representation of D.L. (our client) after he tripped on exposed trolley tracks at the 12th and Imperial Metropolitan Transit System Station in San Diego while on his commute to work in May 2013. At the time of his fall, the station was under construction for station improvements. As a result of the fall, D.L. struck his head against the trolley platform and sustained cervical fractures that resulted in severe spinal injuries and quadriplegia, causing D.L. to require full-time care for the remainder of his life.

Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. filed a lawsuit on behalf of D.L., alleging that the construction company, the subcontractor, the supervising engineer, and SANDAG created a dangerous tripping hazard by removing the old asphalt around the trolley tracks and leaving the tracks exposed, without sufficient warnings to public trolley commuters. Ryan Harris and Phil Alexander took on the case with the goal of giving D.L. and his family the same quality legal representation as the large insurance companies.

After several years of intense litigation and 40 depositions, the case settled for $21,500,000.

In the Press:

Rogers v. Storms, et al. – July 2010; Verdict: $13,300,000

Ryan Harris and counsel represented a nineteen-year-old woman after she was hit by a negligent driver in 2007 which resulted in life-long brain injury. The tragic collision occurred as Plaintiff was traveling down a two-lane road in Farmersville, California. In the opposite direction of Plaintiff, Defendant, Wes Storms, was operating his father’s vehicle. As Storms approached and unmarked intersection intending to turn left, he slammed on his brakes and was forced to wait due to oncoming traffic. Defendant Garland Slover, traveling directly behind Storms, was unable to stop his vehicle and slammed into the rear of Storms, causing Storms’ vehicle into oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision with Plaintiff. Following the collision, Storms’ insurance company denied liability, claiming that Slover was the sole cause of the collision.

Ryan Harris and counsel tried the case in the California Superior Court in Visalia, California. The trial lasted six weeks, and due to evidence received from Storms’ black box recording system, the jury found that Storms shared responsibility for the collision. Prior to trial, Plaintiff demanded that the insurance company tender their $2.25 million policy, but it refused. The jury awarded the plaintiff $13,300,000, resulting in the insurance company paying far beyond their policy limits and obtaining justice for Plaintiff.

In the Press:

Rittger v. Williams, et al. – August 2014; Verdict: $6,709,300

In August 2015, Ryan Harris and Phil Alexander represented a deceased woman’s family after she passed away from being struck by an SUV while crossing Shell Beach Road to attend a dinner at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. At trial, Ryan D. Harris and co-counsel argued that The Cliffs Resort, LLC. created a risk of harm to the patrons attending the resort by failing to enforce its written employee parking policy that required employees to park across the street. This meaning that the employees were supposed to park across the street so guests could park on the west side of Shell Beach Road to avoid risk. Harris Personal Injury Lawyers argued that the Cliffs Resort violated a city code that requires warning signs or a gate entrance to assist guest parking. The defendants claimed that the woman was also at fault for texting and walking—not paying attention to the oncoming traffic.

After a three-week trial, the jury had found the defendants, The Cliffs Resort and the managing partner, The City of Pismo Beach, and the driver of the SUV at fault. They also found the deceased woman partially at fault for texting while walking across the street. The total jury verdict was $6,709,300, representing $1,709,300 in economic damages and $5,000,000 in general damages. This amount was reduced based on each parties’ comparative fault. The Cliffs Resort agreed to improve safety at the cross in remembrance and for precaution.

In the Press:

MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CASES

Rogers v. Storms, et al. – July 2010; Verdict: $13,300,000

Ryan Harris and counsel represented a nineteen-year-old woman after she was hit by a negligent driver in 2007 which resulted in life-long brain injury. The tragic collision occurred as Plaintiff was traveling down a two-lane road in Farmersville, California. In the opposite direction of Plaintiff, Defendant, Wes Storms, was operating his father’s vehicle. As Storms approached and unmarked intersection intending to turn left, he slammed on his brakes and was forced to wait due to oncoming traffic. Defendant Garland Slover, traveling directly behind Storms, was unable to stop his vehicle and slammed into the rear of Storms, causing Storms’ vehicle into oncoming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision with Plaintiff. Following the collision, Storms’ insurance company denied liability, claiming that Slover was the sole cause of the collision.

Ryan Harris and counsel tried the case in the California Superior Court in Visalia, California. The trial lasted six weeks, and due to evidence received from Storms’ black box recording system, the jury found that Storms shared responsibility for the collision. Prior to trial, Plaintiff demanded that the insurance company tender their $2.25 million policy, but it refused. The jury awarded the plaintiff $13,300,000, resulting in the insurance company paying far beyond their policy limits and obtaining justice for Plaintiff.

In the Press:

Gibbs v. SDG&E, et al. – 2009; Settlement: $2,300,000

Our clients, Ms. Gibbs and Mr. Davis, were rear-ended while traveling northbound on SR-67. As Ms. Gibbs approached the oncoming traffic, she slowed down, and without warning, her vehicle was struck by a truck. The truck was operated by Mr. Garcia (defendant), while in the course and scope of his employment with San Diego Gas & Electric. Mr. Garcia struck Ms. Gibbs’ vehicle so hard, it spun counterclockwise and consequently her vehicle struck the passenger side of the vehicle immediately in front of her.

Ms. Gibbs felt severe neck, low back and should pain. After three months of treatment, the pain did not let up. Ms. Gibbs was diagnosed with a gluteal insertion tear, bilateral sacroiliac joint inflammation, cervical spasms, and left shoulder derangement. Her low back pain worsened after proceeding with physical therapy. After two years of treatment and three neurological surgeon opinions, Ms. Gibbs received L4-5-disc arthroplasty and will require a lumbar fusion in the future due to adjacent disc disease.

Immediately after the accident, Mr. Davis was disoriented and confused. He felt pain in his low back, hip, and the back of his head which radiated into his neck and shoulder. After months of treatment, pain management, several opinions, Mr. Davis received a level three stabilization surgery. Post-surgery, Mr. Davis strengthened his spine with months of physical therapy and will require a neck fusion in the future.

Result: Ryan Harris represented our clients and settled for $2,300,000.

McCall v. Coastline Distributing, Inc. et al. – September 2016; Verdict: $2,119,875

Tanya Ortega Rittger and Ranger Wiens counseled our injured client after she was rear-ended by the truck driver on Highway 1 in Morro Bay. The truck driver had a harmful narcotics dependency and was nevertheless hired by his father and co-owner of Coastline to drive tractor-trailers in our communities across the Central Coast. While intoxicated and impaired on controlled substances, the truck driver drove 55 mph into the back of our client’s vehicle at a red traffic light. The truck driver was arrested for driving under the influence of controlled substances. Our client sustained permanent cervical facet injuries (neck joint pain) and will require a radiofrequency ablation every year for the rest of her life. Her past medical bills totaled $41,938 and the last offer by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company was $29,034.44.

The jury awarded our injured client $1,059,938 in compensatory damages and $1,059,938 in punitive damages against Coastline for disregarding and jeopardizing the safety of every person on the roadway by hiring an unfit truck driver.

In the Press:

Ealy v. Caltrans – 2009; Settlement: $1,600,000

Our client was driving on the I-15 northbound transition road towards eastbound SR-78 when she was hit by another vehicle. Defendant, Mr. O’Brien, an employee of the California Department of Transportation, was operating a state-owned vehicle in the course and scope of his employment, stopped in the gore point where the transition road from I-15 northbound merges with the SR-78 eastbound. O’Brien admitted he looked back toward the transition road and did not see any vehicles coming. He thought the roadway was clear and darted across to the right shoulder. However, the roadway was not clear and Mr. O’Brien changed lanes directly into our client’s path of travel.

Our client suffered from neck and lower back pains and spasms, as well as loss of sensation and tingling in her hands, legs, and feet. After months of treatment, doctors confirmed she had multiple disc injuries in her cervical and lumbar spine and would require surgery to correct and stabilize her spine. Our client received multiple surgical procedures on her neck and low back, such as epidural steroid injections, diagnostic discograms, disc decompressions, a cervical discectomy with fusion and plating, and finally, a brachial plexus decompression surgery.

Result: Ryan Harris represented our client and settled for $1,600,000.

Betancourt v. Lindsey et al. – 2016; Settlement: $1,600,000

Ranger Wiens counseled the children of a couple, who were killed in a tragic car accident in August 2016. The Betancourt parents were hit head-on by a driver, Shaquille Lindsey, in an Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Lindsey was speeding on Santa Lucia Canyon Road when he crossed over the double yellow lines and hit the Betancourt’s vehicle head-on. Ruben Betancourt, and his wife, Bertha Betancourt, were found dead at the scene of the accident. Their son, Juan Betancourt, was seriously injured in the accident as well. Ranger Wiens, represented the plaintiffs, Juan Betancourt, Jose Betancourt, Rubi Betancourt and Teresa Servin. In December 2016, Harris Personal Injury Lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Betancourt children for their parent’s death in a head-on collision. The lawsuit included five cases of action; negligence due to wrongful death, survival action, punitive damages, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Result: The defendant, Shaquille Lindsay, was allegedly driving under the influence in his rental car. The settlement of $1.6 million comes from Lindsay’s insurance and the rental car insurance he had purchased. As of now, it is unsure whether Lindsey will face criminal charges.

Settlement: $1,475,000

Our client was traveling southbound on I-5 when a spare tire suddenly fell from another vehicle. In order to avoid a collision with other cars, our client struck the spare tire head on, causing our client to lose control of his vehicle. Our client filed suit against the owners’ of the vehicle, the company that installed the spare tire, and the manufacturer of the spare tire winch and cable.

Our client suffered serious injuries to his low back and right hip and ultimately underwent multiple back and hip surgeries.

Ables v. Harker; Settlement: $1,275,000

Our client was driving southbound on Carpenter Road in Modesto, California when he was rear-ended. Our client was the front car in a three-car collision. The driver of the back car was changing the song on his iPod while traveling at freeway speeds when he smashed into the middle car, which then crashed into our client’s car. This was a high-speed impact resulting in over $15,000 in damage to our clients’ vehicle and causing serious injuries. After two years of litigation, this case settled for the defendants’ insurance policy limits of $1,275,000.

Moore v. Martinez, Jr.; Settlement: $1,015,639

Plaintiff was driving southbound on Highway I-5 truck route just north of Balboa Boulevard near Los Angeles, CA. A truck jackknifed-blocking both lanes and consequently caused a diesel spill on the freeway. Plaintiff was coming to a controlled stop and was rear-ended by the big rig driven by Defendant, Martinez. The rear end impact pushed Plaintiff’s truck forward into the jackknifed truck on the freeway, where Plaintiff experienced the second impact. Plaintiff suffered neck, low back, left shoulder, and bilateral knee pain. Plaintiff received neck fusion and back surgery. Plaintiff was evaluated and cleared for epidural injections and cervical surgery. Plaintiff underwent two surgeries and received additional pain management.

Harris Personal Injury Lawyers attorney, Ranger Wiens represented Plaintiff and after two years litigation, the case settled for $1,015,639

DOG BITE INJURY CASES

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT CASES

Lashlee v. Jose Eusebio Huerta-Chicas; Settlement: $2,000,000

Our client was riding his scooter eastbound on S. Santa Fe Avenue in the City of Vista, California. The defendant, during the course and scope of his employment, was driving his employer’s 2000 GMC Truck and pulled out from a private driveway directly into our client’s path of travel. Our client attempted to brake and maneuver to avoid the collision, but Defendant stopped the Heavy-Duty Truck and blocked the entire eastbound lane, causing a collision with our client, and ultimately, his untimely death. The surviving family members brought the wrongful death lawsuit against Defendant and his employer.

After nearly a year of litigation, the case settled for $2,000,000 in 2012.

Wyatt and Maslova v. Savarese; Settlement: $1,500,000

Our clients were severely injured in a scooter collision in 2014. Our clients were riding tandem on a Piaggio scooter in the Premium Outlet Stores parking lot in Carlsbad, when the defendant failed to yield to our clients’ right of way, attempted to make a right hand turn to travel down the parking lot aisle, and their front left bumper hit the right rear portion of the scooter. The impact caused our clients to lose control of the scooter and they both fell directly on the pavement – one of our clients sustained severe head injuries.

The case settled for $1,500,000.

Laster v. Smith; Settlement: $1,250,000

Our client was riding his motorcycle westbound on Olive Avenue approaching Plymouth Drive in Vista, California. The defendant was sitting stationary in his Chevrolet Malibu facing westbound on the northern curb line of Olive Avenue. As our client was passing the defendant, the defendant made an unexpected U-turn directly into the path of our client. Consequently, our client was unable to evade the collision and slammed directly into the defendant’s vehicle. Our client’s leg shattered on impact and he flew off his motorcycle causing his head and right clavicle to strike the defendant’s windshield. Our client suffered trauma to his brain, clavicle, chest, arms, and faced a future of unreliable recovery.

The case settled for $1,250,000.

BURN INJURY CASES

PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CASES

Rittger v. Williams, et al. – August 2014; Verdict: $6,709,300

In August 2015, Ryan Harris and Phil Alexander represented a deceased woman’s family after she passed away from being struck by an SUV while crossing Shell Beach Road to attend a dinner at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. At trial, Ryan D. Harris and co-counsel argued that The Cliffs Resort, LLC. created a risk of harm to the patrons attending the resort by failing to enforce its written employee parking policy that required employees to park across the street. This meaning that the employees were supposed to park across the street so guests could park on the west side of Shell Beach Road to avoid risk. Harris Personal Injury Lawyers argued that the Cliffs Resort violated a city code that requires warning signs or a gate entrance to assist guest parking. The defendants claimed that the woman was also at fault for texting and walking—not paying attention to the oncoming traffic.

After a three-week trial, the jury had found the defendants, The Cliffs Resort and the managing partner, The City of Pismo Beach, and the driver of the SUV at fault. They also found the deceased woman partially at fault for texting while walking across the street. The total jury verdict was $6,709,300, representing $1,709,300 in economic damages and $5,000,000 in general damages. This amount was reduced based on each parties’ comparative fault. The Cliffs Resort agreed to improve safety at the cross in remembrance and for precaution.

In the Press:

PREMISES LIABILITY CASES

Long v. HMS Construction, Inc. et al. – July 2016; Settlement: $21,500,000

In November of 2013, Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. began representation of D.L. (our client) after he tripped on exposed trolley tracks at the 12th and Imperial Metropolitan Transit System Station in San Diego while on his commute to work in May 2013. At the time of his fall, the station was under construction for station improvements. As a result of the fall, D.L. struck his head against the trolley platform and sustained cervical fractures that resulted in severe spinal injuries and quadriplegia, causing D.L. to require full-time care for the remainder of his life.

Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. filed a lawsuit on behalf of D.L., alleging that the construction company, the subcontractor, the supervising engineer, and SANDAG created a dangerous tripping hazard by removing the old asphalt around the trolley tracks and leaving the tracks exposed, without sufficient warnings to public trolley commuters. Ryan Harris and Phil Alexander took on the case with the goal of giving D.L. and his family the same quality legal representation as the large insurance companies.

After several years of intense litigation and 40 depositions, the case settled for $21,500,000.

In the Press:

Nguyen v. City and County of San Francisco; Settlement: $1,350,000

Our client was injured while participating in an exercise class within the Wellness Center at San Francisco General Hospital in 2015. At the end of the exercise class, our client laid on her exercise mat, and unexpectedly, a large wooden wall-divider fell and struck her. The impact of the wooden wall broke her wrist and dislocated her shoulder. Our client developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and suffered intense pain. She was unable to work during the recovery time.

After two years of litigation, the case settled for $1,350,000.

WRONGFUL DEATH CASES

Rittger v. Williams, et al. – August 2014; Verdict: $6,709,300

In August 2015, Ryan Harris and Phil Alexander represented a deceased woman’s family after she passed away from being struck by an SUV while crossing Shell Beach Road to attend a dinner at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach. At trial, Ryan D. Harris and co-counsel argued that The Cliffs Resort, LLC. created a risk of harm to the patrons attending the resort by failing to enforce its written employee parking policy that required employees to park across the street. This meaning that the employees were supposed to park across the street so guests could park on the west side of Shell Beach Road to avoid risk. Harris Personal Injury Lawyers argued that the Cliffs Resort violated a city code that requires warning signs or a gate entrance to assist guest parking. The defendants claimed that the woman was also at fault for texting and walking—not paying attention to the oncoming traffic.

After a three-week trial, the jury had found the defendants, The Cliffs Resort and the managing partner, The City of Pismo Beach, and the driver of the SUV at fault. They also found the deceased woman partially at fault for texting while walking across the street. The total jury verdict was $6,709,300, representing $1,709,300 in economic damages and $5,000,000 in general damages. This amount was reduced based on each parties’ comparative fault. The Cliffs Resort agreed to improve safety at the cross in remembrance and for precaution.

In the Press:

Thrasher v. Luna et al. – 2011; Settlement: $2,450,000

Our client’s husband and father, D.T., worked for Calstrip Steel Corporation. On the date of the subject incident, D.T. was working in a warehouse owned by Calstrip’s sister company, Omega Steel, Inc. D.T. was installing bird spikes in the rafters of the warehouse while using an elevated boom lift. An employee of Omega Steel, defendant, was operating an overhead fixed bridge crane that ran on a track across the warehouse. While operating the bridge crane, the defendant’s employee negligently caused it to crash into the elevated boom lift, pushing the boom lift into the rafters and resulting in D.T.’s untimely death.

Phil Alexander and Ryan Harris represented the surviving wife and two children, and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Omega Steel Inc. and its employee alleging negligence, negligent supervision and premises liability. Defendants argued that the workers’ compensation system was our clients’ sole remedy, due to the fact that Omega was owned by CalStrip and because D.T. was working at the time of the subject incident. They further alleged that D.T. was negligent because the company’s safety protocols stated that when a boom lift was elevated in the warehouse, the other equipment must be locked out.

Result: $2,450,000 Settlement. The case was hotly litigated due to its unique facts and Harris Personal Injury Lawyers was ultimately able to overcome the workers’ compensation defense, which would have completely barred our clients’ claims against Omega, and left them with the meager compensation available in the workers’ compensation arena.

Mielke vs. Skains, et al. – 2016; Settlement: $2,000,000

The Defendant driver was in the course and scope of employment at the time of the collision. Defendants claimed that the death was caused by unrelated factors that did not have to do with the subject incident or the resulting infection. However, the treating medical providers confirmed at deposition the infection was the cause of death. The surviving family members brought the wrongful death lawsuit.

Lashlee v. Jose Eusebio Huerta-Chicas; Settlement: $2,000,000

Our client was riding his scooter eastbound on S. Santa Fe Avenue in the City of Vista, California. The defendant, during the course and scope of his employment, was driving his employer’s 2000 GMC Truck and pulled out from a private driveway directly into our client’s path of travel. Our client attempted to brake and maneuver to avoid the collision, but Defendant stopped the Heavy-Duty Truck and blocked the entire eastbound lane, causing a collision with our client, and ultimately, his untimely death. The surviving family members brought the wrongful death lawsuit against Defendant and his employer.

After nearly a year of litigation, the case settled for $2,000,000 in 2012.

Betancourt v. Lindsey et al. – 2016; Settlement: $1,600,000

Ranger Wiens counseled the children of a couple, who were killed in a tragic car accident in August 2016. The Betancourt parents were hit head-on by a driver, Shaquille Lindsey, in an Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Lindsey was speeding on Santa Lucia Canyon Road when he crossed over the double yellow lines and hit the Betancourt’s vehicle head-on. Ruben Betancourt, and his wife, Bertha Betancourt, were found dead at the scene of the accident. Their son, Juan Betancourt, was seriously injured in the accident as well. Ranger Wiens, represented the plaintiffs, Juan Betancourt, Jose Betancourt, Rubi Betancourt and Teresa Servin. In December 2016, Harris Personal Injury Lawyers filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Betancourt children for their parent’s death in a head-on collision. The lawsuit included five cases of action; negligence due to wrongful death, survival action, punitive damages, negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Result: The defendant, Shaquille Lindsay, was allegedly driving under the influence in his rental car. The settlement of $1.6 million comes from Lindsay’s insurance and the rental car insurance he had purchased. As of now, it is unsure whether Lindsey will face criminal charges.

GENERAL NEGLIGENCE CASES

Thrasher v. Luna et al. – 2011; Settlement: $2,450,000

Our client’s husband and father, D.T., worked for Calstrip Steel Corporation. On the date of the subject incident, D.T. was working in a warehouse owned by Calstrip’s sister company, Omega Steel, Inc. D.T. was installing bird spikes in the rafters of the warehouse while using an elevated boom lift. An employee of Omega Steel, defendant, was operating an overhead fixed bridge crane that ran on a track across the warehouse. While operating the bridge crane, the defendant’s employee negligently caused it to crash into the elevated boom lift, pushing the boom lift into the rafters and resulting in D.T.’s untimely death.

Phil Alexander and Ryan Harris represented the surviving wife and two children, and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Omega Steel Inc. and its employee alleging negligence, negligent supervision and premises liability. Defendants argued that the workers’ compensation system was our clients’ sole remedy, due to the fact that Omega was owned by CalStrip and because D.T. was working at the time of the subject incident. They further alleged that D.T. was negligent because the company’s safety protocols stated that when a boom lift was elevated in the warehouse, the other equipment must be locked out.

Result: $2,450,000 Settlement. The case was hotly litigated due to its unique facts and Harris Personal Injury Lawyers was ultimately able to overcome the workers’ compensation defense, which would have completely barred our clients’ claims against Omega, and left them with the meager compensation available in the workers’ compensation arena.

DEFECTIVE PRODUCT CASES

BICYCLE CASES

TRAIN CASES