Below you can read about some of the recent successes that our clients have had on behalf of their clients. Looking to partner on a case? Looking to hire an excellent lawyer? Here is a great place to begin your search…
Authored By: Rebecca Stottlemyer
Nominations are being accepted for the American Association of Justice (AAJ) Trial Lawyers Care (TLC) Award. This award recognizes the efforts of AAJ members who serve their communities through volunteer activities. This volunteer spirit fosters positive relationships and shows how trial lawyers truly care for their clients and communities.
Last year’s winner of the TLC Award, Jennifer Greene, Special Counsel with Scott, Vicknair, Hair & Checki, LLC, dedicated her volunteer hours to provide much-needed school supplies for Louisiana students devastated by floods in 2016.
If you know a trial lawyer leading an exceptional community service project, consider nominating him or her for the 2018 TLC Award. Nominations are due by April 15. The award will be presented at AAJ’s 2018 Annual Convention in Denver. To submit a nomination or learn more, please visit http://www.triallawyerscare.org/about-trial-lawyers-care/tlc-award-nomination-form/
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the important work done by trial lawyers across the nation.
Rebecca S. Stottlemyer
Executive Client Manager
Our great friends, Sean Claggett of the Claggett & Sykes Law Firm and Al Lasso of Lasso Injury Law recently obtained an outstanding jury verdict on behalf of their client. The $20M verdict handed down by the Nevada jury included $10M in punitive damages and was based entirely on pain and suffering. There were no claims for lost future earning capacity.
The teenage plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury when a swing set broke, with the cross beam landing on his head. The accident caused persistent headaches, memory loss, movement problems with his right arm and a substantially increased risk of developing dementia. The homeowners’ association (HOA) failed to inspect and maintain safe conditions on their playground, and even opted out of a $150 per month safety/inspection plan offered by the swing set’s installer.
The verdict far surpasses the HOA’s highest pretrial settlement offer of $125,000 and also the increased offer of $2MM after the jury heard closing arguments.
We at Advocate Capital, Inc. extend our warmest congratulations to the firms of Claggett & Sykes Law Firm and Lasso Injury Law. We can never thank trial attorneys enough for working hard everyday to make communities safer for all.
Senior Vice President
Today we welcome our friend and client Roger E. Booth of The Law Offices of Booth & Koskoff as a guest blogger. Booth & Koskoff specialize in personal injury and wrongful death cases in Southern California.
Advocate Capital, Inc. would like to congratulate Attorney Roger E. Booth and the entire Booth & Koskoff team for a job well done!
I hope you enjoy this blog.
Donna A. Jones
Senior Vice President
Persistence Pays Off In Personal Injury Case
Authored By: Roger E. Booth
Most seven-figure catastrophic injury settlements are achieved on the brink of trial after a long, drawn-out series of litigation battles. Rarely do such results come easily. However, we have never experienced a saga quite like the one involving our client Florentino Carrera.
In May 2014, Florentino’s workers’ comp lawyer asked us to pursue a third-party lawsuit arising out of Florentino’s fall from a roof on a construction site in October 2013. He had tripped over a nail that the framing subcontractor had left sticking up on the roof and suffered a spinal cord injury, which has left him wheelchair bound most of the time.
In January 2015 we filed a lawsuit against the owner of the small framing company whose shoddy work had caused Florentino’s injuries. He did not file an answer and ignored our attempts to contact him, so we initiated default proceedings. But as often happens, it became an ordeal to get the clerk’s office to enter the default.
The prospects for the case did not look promising at that point. If the defendant had applicable insurance coverage, he presumably would have turned the lawsuit over to his carrier, who then would have brought in a lawyer to defend him. The fact that that hadn’t happened strongly suggested that this was an uninsured contractor.
In the meantime, unbeknownst to us, the defendant hired a lawyer, who filed an answer in February 2016, but for some unknown reason, failed to serve it on us. It was not until October 2016 that we learned that the defendant had answered. Despite now having a lawyer, whom he was presumably paying out of his own pocket, the defendant failed to respond to any written discovery and twice cancelled his deposition at the last minute. His lawyer also failed to respond to our requests for information about insurance coverage. Eventually the lawyer provided us with two insurance certificates, but neither one was in effect on the day of Florentino’s fall. There appeared to be a three-month gap in coverage, which suggested that the defendant had probably failed to pay his premiums on time.
This looked for all the world like a case that we would have to drop because of a lack of coverage, and we came very close to doing so. However, we decided to take one last step and subpoena the records of the defendant’s insurance broker. When those records arrived, we were shocked to learn that there was in fact a $1 million liability insurance policy that covered the date of our incident. When we inquired why a claim had not been tendered to this carrier, defense counsel admitted that he did not want the insurance company to come into the case and bring in its own lawyer because he would lose out on fees!
So we tendered the claim to the defendant’s carrier, more than three years after the incident. Initially, the carrier hired a coverage lawyer and argued that, even though the declarations page of its policy listed limits of $1 million, there was a “sub-limit” of $10,000, buried deep in the fine print of the policy, for liability arising out of accidents on construction sites. There then followed over two months of research, strategizing and positioning on the issue of insurance coverage before the carrier relented and brought in new defense counsel.
Six months later, after a number of depositions, extensive trial preparation and an unsuccessful mediation, with the fifth trial date approaching, defendant’s carrier agreed to pay its $1 million policy limits. We negotiated a deal with the workers’ comp carrier, which had asserted a lien of over $1.5 million, to accept $200,000 to resolve its lien and to waive any right to a credit against Florentino’s future workers’ comp benefits. So, Florentino will keep all of his very substantial workers’ comp benefits, including payment of all medical expenses and a permanent disability award, in addition to receiving a significant third-party settlement.
Throughout this whole process, Florentino never complained about the case taking so long, and his attitude in dealing with his horrific injuries has been inspiring. We are very pleased that we stuck with his case and were able to provide Florentino with some financial security moving forward.
Today we welcome our friend Stephen Justino of Boesen Law, LLC as a guest blogger. Attorney Stephen Justino and his firm represents the victims of personal injury and car accidents in Denver Metro and Colorado. Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support Stephen, Boesen Law, and all plaintiff attorneys as they fight for justice on behalf of those injured through the fault of others. The attorneys and staff at Boesen Law take pride in their profession and are proud to represent their clients as they face and fight corporate giants and even the Federal Government.
Advocate Capital Inc. would like to congratulate Stephen, the entire Boesen Law team, and their client for a job well done!
I hope you enjoy this blog.
Executive Client Manager
Boesen Law, LLC, scores a “seven-figure” Win in a Federal Tort Claims Act Case
Authored By: Stephen Justino
My Plaintiff, a 42-year-old driver for a Loveland, Colorado food services company, suffered serious, permanent, physical injuries while delivering a load of produce to the Commissary at the Kirtland Air Force Base, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As he was entering the Air Force base, a bomb detector, known as a “F.I.D.O. Bomb Sniffer” gave a false positive alert on the Plaintiff’s tractor/trailer. Pursuant Air Force policy and procedures, the Plaintiff was taken into custody, and placed in handcuffs, while the threat was evaluated. Unfortunately, the Military Police officers placed the handcuffs on the Plaintiff too tightly, and in an awkward position. Additionally, the Military Police officers grabbed Plaintiff by his arms, which were awkwardly handcuffed behind his back, to get him into, and to lift him out of, the Military Police cruiser.
As the result of the negligent application of the handcuffs, the Plaintiff suffered: “handcuff neuropathy;” bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome (requiring bilateral wrist surgeries); a left rotator cuff tear (requiring surgery) and an exacerbation of a pre-existing history of PTSD (which, prior to this injury, manifested itself in paranoid ideation that the Plaintiff was being followed on his delivery route by military drones, black helicopters, and cars with dark-tinted windows).
Prior to retaining my services, the Plaintiff had unsuccessfully shopped his case around to several personal injury firms in both New Mexico and Colorado. Those firms declined the case due to the vagaries of the FTCA, and, because of concerns about the Plaintiff’s extensive preexisting psychiatric history.
I worked up the case fully, hiring a police practices and procedures expert on the issue of liability; working with the Plaintiffs’ treaters on his physical injuries, and the exacerbation of his psychiatric condition; and hiring a vocational rehabilitation expert; a life care planner; and an economist, to calculate past and future medicals and lost earnings.
I filed the required Notice of Claim (SF-95) with the Department of the Air Force, and, when the claim was denied, I requested reconsideration. When the request for reconsideration was denied, I filed suit against the United States in Colorado Federal District Court. Before discovery began in earnest, the Assistant U.S. Attorney handling the case suggested that the case be submitted to mediation. The case did not settle at mediation in December 2017 with Hon. Robbie Barr, but did settle after the mediation, in January 2018 – for $1,000,000, and an apology letter from the U.S. Air Force – based on a “Mediator’s Proposal” circulated by Judge Barr.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Judgment Fund, the United States pays out approximately 650 FTCA claims per year (both by way of Administrative Settlement and on Judgments obtained at trial). Only 10% of those payouts are in the amount of $1,000,000 or more.
Boesen Law is located in Denver Colorado, with offices located at 4100 E. Mississippi Ave., Suite 1900, Denver, Colorado, 80246, 303-999-9999. The firm specializes in Plaintiff Injury and Workers Compensation. Stephen Justino represents clients in Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury Actions, and, of course, Federal Torts Claims Act claims.
Plaintiff was hired by the Defendant to paint a store front in Pasadena, California. The Defendant provided the Plaintiff with the materials for the job, including the scaffolding and a ladder to complete the work. Defendant instructed the Plaintiff to use the ladder on the scaffolding to reach the top of the store front, approximately 20 feet. A City Building Inspector happened upon the Plaintiff using the scaffolding with the ladder on top, instructed the Defendant it was an unsafe working condition, and to discontinue use. Defendant instructed the Plaintiff to stop work until the weekend when the City Inspector would not happen upon the jobsite again.
While working on the weekend, the scaffolding began to move and the Plaintiff fell from the top of the ladder which had been placed on the scaffolding. The Plaintiff struck the concrete losing consciousness, which resulted in several injuries including fracturing both wrists, skull, facial fractures, and mild traumatic brain injury. There were no objective findings on brain imaging to support the mild traumatic brain injury.
The Simon Law team had an uphill fight to first make the distinction that the Plaintiff was in fact considered a statutory employee under the labor code due to the type of work he was conducting, since he was not a traditional employee in every sense of the term. The Plaintiff in this case was ultimately found to be a statutory employee of the Defendant. Attorneys Fisher and Feher were then able to prove to the jury that the Defendant was responsible for the injuries. Further, the jury agreed that the Plaintiff’s injuries were all legitimate and not fake as the defense suggested. The jury awarded $3.6M to the Plaintiff.
Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. extends our sincerest congratulations and as always, appreciation to The Simon Law Group and all trial lawyers as they continue to pursue justice on behalf of injured citizens in their communities.
Senior Vice President
Their plaintiff, a 68-year-old woman, suffered critical injuries after a large work truck struck her in a convenience store parking lot. As she exited her parked car, the defendant driver backed his truck into plaintiff’s car door and then into her. The plaintiff suffered a minimally displaced pelvic fracture, which eventually resulted in urinary incontinence. She underwent painful and invasive physical therapy, but her injuries would ultimately require surgery. Plaintiff had an Interstim device implanted to alleviate her incontinence symptoms. However, she continues to suffer from her injuries and will most likely require future surgeries to replace the device’s batteries and leads. Her past medical expenses were approximately $205,000, and her future medical expenses could range from $300,000 to $500,000 depending on the cost of the future surgeries.
Prior to this injury, the plaintiff enjoyed working as a hospital housekeeper. After the accident, she was unable to continue working due to the severity of her injuries. Her past wage loss was approximately $110,000 with future wage loss of $122,000.00.
Zaner Harden Law sued the defendant driver and his employer under respondeat superior as the defendant was on duty at the time of the incident on behalf of their client. There was also evidence that the defendant driver was using his cell phone at the time of the incident. The Zaner Harden team asserted defendant employer failed to provide adequate training to the defendant driver. They argued that defendant did not train the driver to operate a motor vehicle, nor did they require the driver to watch safety training videos. The training would have most likely prevented the incident leading to their client’s injuries.
The defendant’s insurance company initially offered to settle the claim for $350,000. Zaner Harden Law and their client refused the settlement and proceeded to trial. The defense claimed the plaintiff was negligent for parking too close to the defendant’s truck. They further claimed she should have avoided the truck as their client backed into her car and herself. The Zaner Harden team successfully argued otherwise. The jury agreed and awarded their plaintiff $1,350,972.00, assessing 90% of the liability to the defendant driver, and 10% of the liability to the employer. The parties have since settled.
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support Zaner Harden Law and all plaintiff attorneys as they fight for justice on behalf of those injured through the fault of others. The attorneys and staff at Zaner Harden Law take pride in their profession and are proud to represent their clients as they face and fight corporate giants.
Zaner Harden Law is located in Downtown Denver, with office locations in Boulder and Colorado Springs, Colorado. The firm specializes in plaintiff injury and represents clients in Motor Vehicle Accidents, Insurance Disputes, and Defective Products & Drugs matters. The partners, Marc Harden and Kurt Zaner, are members of Super Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Top 100 National Trial Lawyers, and have appeared on Good Morning America, World News Tonight.
Advocate Capital Inc. would like to Congratulate Marc Harden, Kurt Zaner and the entire Zaner Harden Law team on a job well done!
Executive Client Manager
Authored By: Iris Garrett
Advocate Capital, Inc. would like to congratulate our clients and friends, Attorneys Pat Barrera and Ashley Davenport! Their team at Barrera and Associates in southern California was just recently awarded more than $5 million in a retaliation case for their client, a former employee of T-Mobile US, Inc.
According to the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the case dates back to February 2015, just months after Barrera and Davenport’s client, Stephen Collucci, was fired from his management job at T-Mobile. The newspaper says prior to Colluci’s departure, he had been working at one of the company’s kiosks in the Ontario Mills Mall which he’d recently discovered caused him to experience anxiety problems. Unfortunately, that anxiety was later diagnosed by a doctor as agoraphobia and a panic disorder.
The newspaper says the issue soon began interfering with Colluci’s ability to work inside the congested mall and prompted him to ask another T-Mobile manager if he could be moved to a less crowded location with a “clear exit strategy”. Not only was this request denied, but according to paperwork obtained by Barrera and Associates, the manager he spoke to called his disorder “ridiculous”. Although the newspaper says Colluci was granted medical leave by T-Mobile, the company fired him when he took it. He had been an employee there for seven years.
A San Bernardino County jury unanimously found that firing an act of retaliation and decided that T-Mobile only axed Barrera and Davenport’s client for wanting a disability accommodation. The Daily Journal says because of such retaliation and discrimination, jurors awarded Colluci $1.02 million in compensatory damages ($700,000 for past and future emotional distress and $320,000 in past and future economic damages) as well as a $4 million reward in punitive damages. Davenport told the newspaper that the jury’s award in punitive damages alone amounted to T-Mobile’s sales in a single day.
The newspaper says during the trial, T-Mobile’s defense claimed Barrera and Davenport’s client was dismissed for other reasons, including using company time to work on other business. It says the company also released a statement saying it plans to appeal. Fortunately, Barrera and Associates have no plans of backing down.
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support plaintiff trial lawyers like Attorney Pat Barrera and Ashley Davenport who consistently fight for justice and win. Barrera has extensive knowledge in employment law, class action, and serious personal injury and has represented victims of these types of cases for nearly 30 years. Thank you Barrera and Associates for your dedication and all that you do!
Meet America’s Top Trial Attorney, Sam Adams of Adams Davis P.C. in an interview with Mr. Swanson where they discuss one of Attorney Adams’ recent cases that involved an accident between three semi-trucks.
We would like to say congratulations to our friends William M. Paoli and Court B. Purdy of Paoli & Purdy, LLP for their recent settlement of $10.5 million, $9.5 from the City of Los Angeles and a million from other defendants. The Plaintiff (age 15) was hit and killed by a cab while she was attempting to cross the street with her friends near Dockweiler State Beach at Vista Del Mar Road.
While the defense relied on opinions of investigating officers stating that Naomi and her friends were at fault for “jay walking,” the Paoli & Purdy team demonstrated that the highway was hazardous for pedestrians. Beachgoers regularly park in the area and are forced to cross the dangerous highway returning to their vehicles. The area has a lack of crosswalks available and at the time of accident, there were no street lights operating on the roadway.
The area had a history of collisions and unsafe conditions for pedestrians, including fatalities. This history meant that the City had knowledge of the problems yet had done nothing to resolve the issues. The City Council approved the settlement, with a 12-0 vote. As of this post, Mr. Paoli has been notified that the City has placed temporary “No Parking” signs in an effort to keep pedestrians from crossing at Vista Del Mar to reach their vehicles.
This case was featured in the Verdicts & Settlements section of The Gavel, as well as the Los Angeles Times website. The team at Paoli & Purdy, LLP have handled thousands of personal injury matters involving millions of dollars in compensation, while maintaining the highest level of excellence in customer service. The dedication and personal attention they focus on each case has led to their considerable successes.
Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. appreciates the hard work done on behalf of the parents of this minor Plaintiff as well as the safety for all beachgoers and pedestrians in the City of Los Angeles. Thank you for your dedication and all that you do.
Senior Vice President
Mr. Netemeyer’s and Ms. Harper’s client, a 25-year old man, obtained justice after suffering a severe injury while playing in a large inflatable ball in a local Missouri mall. The man went to the mall with his family and visited the Knockerball establishment with his nephew. While in the “Knockerball,” the man suffered a spinal fracture and spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis.
A “Knockerball” is a large inflatable clear rubber ball with a built-in shoulder strap harness. Participants are fitted and strapped in the ball and can play soccer, perform stunts, and crash into other participants.
Netemeyer and Harper claimed the employee at the establishment failed to fit, harness, and instruct their client on the use of the Knockerball. The complaint filed against the company included negligence, strict products liability and premise liability. The defense failed to timely answer the claim although given an extension by Netemeyer and Harper. After reviewing the young man’s life care plan, medical bills, and economist’s report, the judge awarded the man approximately $45 million.
Mr. Netemeyer firmly believes in the utmost service to his clients, his community, and his country. He is a member of many civic organizations and contributes to a great number of charitable causes. Ron was a non-commissioned officer and served nine years in the Missouri and South Carolina Army National Guard. Ron earned both his B.S. and J.D. from the University of Missouri. He is a member of the American Association of Trial Attorneys, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, and the Boone County Bar Association.
Ms. Harper continues to provide great results and customer service for her clients. She focuses her practice primarily on personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice and worker’s compensation cases. She is a graduate of the University Of Missouri Columbia School Of Law, is a member of the Boone County Bar Association, the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, the Missouri Bar Association, and is an approved Missouri Fraternal Order of Police attorney.
Harper, Evans, Wade, Netemeyer, is Located in Columbia, Missouri, and serves clients throughout the state in personal injury claims, family law matters, and criminal defense. The firm’s lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience and have a team of skilled legal professionals that stand ready to help you.
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the firm Harper, Evans, Wade, Netemeyer, and all plaintiff attorneys as they pursue justice on behalf of those injured through the fault of others.
Executive Client Manager