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Featured Verdicts

New and noteworthy verdicts and settlements from around the country, selected by VerdictSearch editors.  Find out about the case most relevant to your practice, with complete details on awards and settlements; injuries claimed; experts, attorneys, insurers and judges involved; and more.

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California Verdicts

Find out about the most important recent California cases, selected by VerdictSearch editors. Coverage includes Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, San Francisco and San Diego counties.

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Jury awards woman raped after key obtained from hotel clerk

A jury awarded $3.5 million to a woman who was raped by a man who had gained access to her hotel room. In 2014, a 28-year-old woman was sleeping in her boyfriend's hotel room when another hotel guest, Jonathan Padilla, impersonated the woman's boyfriend and obtain the room key from the front desk clerk, Lori Anne Scharon. After gaining access to the room, Padilla raped the woman. The plaintiff claimed MRSS Hospitality Inc. was liable for its staff's negligence in providing Padilla with a key without proper identification. Counsel for Scharon and MRSS claimed Padilla's criminal conduct was unforeseeable. The jury found Padilla, who was out of the case, 40 percent liable and Scharon/MRSS 60 percent liable. The parties settled post-trial for $2 million.
Doe v. Holiday Inn Express, Frazier Park
Kern County

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Son of woman run over by turning bus awarded $4M

A jury awarded $4 million for the death of a pedestrian who was fatally struck by a turning bus. In 2014, Lori Helmer, 51, was crossing in a marked crosswalk, in San Francisco, while she had a white, "walking man" pedestrian signal. However, when Helmer was about half way across the street, she was struck by a Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District bus, which was attempting to make a left turn. The bus's rear wheels subsequently ran over her pelvis, causing fatal crushing injuries. Helmer's son claimed that the bus's driver was speeding and ran his mother down before she had a chance to see it. The defense claimed Helmer was at fault for not seeing the bus turning into her path and for running into the side of the bus.
Grotenhuis v. Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District
San Francisco County

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Jury awards $45M to the daughter of a man killed by a hitman

A jury awarded $45 million to the daughter of a man who was murdered outside of his home in Los Gatos. On March 14, 2008, Mark Achilli, 53, was shot and killed by Lucio Estrada. Achilli’s daughter claimed Esquiel Garcia was the mastermind of a murder-for-hire conspiracy. She claimed her father sold two restaurants to Garcia, who became jealous of a relationship her father had with one of the bartenders. She alleged that Garcia subsequently told a bouncer, David Chaidez, to locate someone to murder Achilli and that David Chaidez contacted his cousin, Miguel Chaidez, to arrange the hit. Miguel Chaidez then hired Estrada. Garcia generally denied the allegations against him, and the other defendants defaulted.
Achilli v. Garcia
Santa Clara County

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Winningest California Law Firms

(since June 19, 2016; California plaintiff's verdicts only; as reported by VerdictSearch)
RANK FIRM VICTORIES TOTAL RECOVERY
1. Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP 19 $61,513,390
2. The Simon Law Group 5 $11,091,082
3. Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP 3 $9,205,794
4. Shegerian & Associates 3 $2,883,161
5. Miller Barondess, LLP 2 $258,950,000
6. Michael H. Silvers, a Law Corporation 2 $49,326,008
7. The Dominguez Law Firm 2 $29,168,594
8. Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP 2 $22,330,719
9. Costin Law Inc. 2 $21,935,150
10. Kramer Holcomb Sheik LLP 2 $15,474,520