Personal Injury

Vazquez v LAUSD – October 31, 2023

V&R Trial Judgement Affirmed by Appellate Court

Plaintiff, an adult education student in an auto shop class, crashed an ATV during an alleged test drive. He struck his head on pavement, necessitating brain surgery and suffering serious injuries. Plaintiff’s original counsel brought in two additional firms for trial. Plaintiff’s counsel intended to ask jury for more than $50M in damages, but took a non-suit instead on November 29, 2021. The appellate court affirmed Judgment for LAUSD on October 31, 2023.

See Opinion.

 

A.S. v LAUSD – March 31, 2023

V&R Defeat TBI Claim

Plaintiff was knocked to the ground by a classmate while playing in a high school PE flag football game. Plaintiff claimed that she sustained permanent, irreversible, brain damage as a result of the collision. At the outset of the trial, V&R successfully argued “advanced” MRI imaging techniques Plaintiff’s experts claimed showed permanent brain damage could not be shown to the jury because such techniques are not scientifically accepted for clinical use. See Minute Order. After a three week trial, Plaintiff received nothing from the jury.

See Minute Order.

Employment Discrimination

Martha E. Hierro, M.D. v. Digestive Health Associates of Southern California, et al., Los Angeles Superior Court – March 21, 2020

V&R Obtains Summary Judgment And An Award Of Attorneys’ Fees And Costs Against Plaintiff Alleging Disability Discrimination

Plaintiff, a doctor, sued her former employer, the individual doctors she practiced medicine with, as well as various business entities they jointly owned, among others, alleging that she was wrongfully terminated after the California Medical Board had taken disciplinary action against her.  Plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that she was disabled due to a substance abuse problem and the termination of her employment was discriminatory and in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.  V&R quickly obtained an order compelling the entire dispute into arbitration and then successfully moved for summary judgment.  V&R recently obtained an award of attorney’s fees and costs against the Plaintiff for over $170,000.

Order
Ruling On MSJA-DHA
Ruling on DHAs Mot for Costs & Attnys Fees

Insurance Bad Faith

Vincent v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London – December 19, 2022

V&R Summary Judgment Affirmed by Appellate Court

Insured landlord sued insurer for insurance bad faith. Insured claimed it was entitled to defense and indemnity in case brought by tenants. Tenants obtained judgment against insured landlord for conversion and negligence. The trial court granted Underwriters’ summary judgment on the grounds that the conversion occurred prior to the policy period and was not an occurrence covered by the policy.

See Motion of Summary Judgment.

“It is elemental that the insurance covers losses…arising from a contingent or unknown event. (Ins. Code, § 22.) This principle is known as the “fortuitous loss” doctrine…”
See Trial Court Order.

Appellate Court affirmed.

 

Korbelin v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London – October 24. 2023
V&R Obtains Summary

Plaintiff Insured homeowners sued insurer for breach of contract and insurance bad faith.  Homeowners claimed millions in damages asserting it was entitled to “ensuing loss” coverage. Plaintiffs further claimed various policy exclusions were inconsistent, ambiguous, or simply not applicable. Underwriters demonstrated that the cause of loss was not covered, and the ensuing loss was specifically included. Motion for Summary Judgement and Reply Brief. “Insurers are not precluded by the efficient proximate cause rule from limiting coverage to some, but not all, manifestations of a give peril. De Bruyn v. Superior Court (2008) 158 Cal. App. 4th 1213, 1223-1224…”

Court Order.

Underwriters were awarded and received more than $60,000 in costs.

Breach of Contract

Premier Jets v So Cal Jets – Dec 1, 2022

Evidentiary Sanction Granted in full, ending case

Plaintiff, an air ambulance company, sued jet repair company for loss of use of its jet due to alleged negligent repairs. Plaintiff alleged a 7 month downtime caused more than $3,000,000 in lost revenues. V&R sought to show that historical downtime gutted plaintiff’s lost revenue claim, and issued discovery to prove its defense. A key deposition provided the smoking gun showing a discovery violation had occurred. V&R immediately filed a Motion for Terminating Sanctions and/or Evidentiary Sanctions. (See Motion). At the hearing, plaintiff’s discovery responses were found by the Court to be deficient. As the court stated:

“In other words, after five years of litigation, repeated discovery requests by So Cal Jets, monetary sanctions, evidentiary sanctions, verified statements by Premier Jets’ president denying the existence of spreadsheets, and a court order directing plaintiff to produce relevant documents, plaintiff still failed… [Accordingly], the court finds the appropriate course of action is to impose evidentiary sanctions barring So Cal Jets from offering any evidence of lost revenue.”

The court also imposed monetary sanctions not to exceed $106,000. (See Court Order). As the ruling gutted plaintiff’s case, the case was dismissed soon after.

Medical Malpractice

D.L. v Regents – May 19, 2022

V&R Obtains Million Dollar Verdict in Long Beach Jury Trial

V&R successfully represented plaintiff, 13-year-old D.L., in a case of Medical Malpractice. Regents offered a waiver of any malicious prosecution action and a waiver of costs, but never offered any money to settle. The jury awarded the exact amount requested by V&R during closing arguments – $1,011,000.

V&R successfully argued that Defendant negligently failed to reconcile the findings of the Resident doctor’s physical examination with an inconsistent ultrasound report. Plaintiff checked into urgent care on Oct. 17, 2018, after experiencing pain in his left testicle. Plaintiff received a physical examination the same day from the Resident doctor at the emergency room of UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center. The doctor’s findings indicated that the left testicle was painful, swollen, and high riding, however, an additional exam was performed by a Doppler ultrasound which purportedly showed normal blood flow, leading to an incorrect diagnosis dictating that the condition would resolve itself without need for surgical intervention. Plaintiff returned to an emergency room 5 days later because of this misdiagnosis. Another medical examination was then performed which found Plaintiff’s left testicle to have atrophied, and surgery occurred to remove and replace the testicle with a prosthetic. V&R retained renowned expert Urologist, Milton Krisiloff. Dr. Krisiloff, previously the personal urologist of former President Ronald Reagan, was able to explain to the jury precisely what happened. See Exhibit used at trial. After the trial, one juror remarked “If Doctor Krisiloff had been the treating doctor for the initial examination, this never would have happened.”

See Exhibit.

Employment Discrimination

RQ v LAUSD – October 12, 2022

V&R obtains Defense In Case Alleging illegal strip search at school in DTLA Jury Trial

V&R successfully represented LAUSD in a case where plaintiff accused the dean at John Marshall High School and a campus aide of performing a full body strip search of plaintiff when she was in 9th grade. In giving a defense verdict, the jury also decided that the staff did not commit the alleged accusations of negligence, nor did they act in violation of federal civil rights. Before the jury’s defense verdict, the court granted the school district’s motion for non-suit on the following claims: (1) assault; (2) battery; (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress; and (4) the Bane Act. (See Motion for Non-Suit.)