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: 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
Authored By: Iris Garrett
For the past six years, Advocate Capital, Inc. has sponsored the American Association for Justice Paralegal of the Year Award in the hopes that it will shed light on the crucial role paralegals play in our civil justice system.
As the sponsor, our team not only gets the opportunity to see one exceptional individual be nominated and selected for this prestigious award, but Advocate Capital also gets to present them with the award trophy at the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Annual Convention.
This year’s convention was held in Boston, and several members of Advocate Capital’s management team, including CEO and President, Michael J. Swanson, attended the show and met the Paralegal of the Year winner, Amy Johnson.
Johnson serves on staff at Yarborough Applegate Law Firm in Charleston, SC, and was nominated for the award by the firm’s co-founders, David Yarborough and William Applegate. They say she is more than qualified to receive the award because of her tremendous support for their staff, her dedication to the paralegal profession, and her active service to the community.
Our Advocate Capital team also recognized Johnson’s award-winning qualities upon meeting her at the AAJ Convention and were delighted to see CEO Michael Swanson present her with the award trophy during a special ceremony at the show. Johnson, who was escorted by her husband, Jeff, said she was both humbled and honored to receive the award.
Advocate Capital extends congratulations to our great friend and client, J. Edward Bell, III, on his induction into The Inner Circle of Advocates. This prestigious organization consists of the top 100 Plaintiff lawyers in the United States.
The Inner Circle of Advocates was founded 45 years ago to share information, promote the profession, learn new innovations within the industry and teach other legal professionals.
The lawyers invited to participate are limited to the absolute best in their craft. This nationally known organization has strict qualifications for membership including:
- Three or more $1 million verdicts or one verdict in excess of $10 million within the last five years;
- Extensive litigation experience of a least 30 trials (presiding judge and opposing counsel are interviewed to rate the candidate);
- A stellar reputation among peers.
Mr. Bell’s use of technology in the courtroom and his cutting-edge facility, including a one-of-a-kind science and research laboratory for accident and crime scene reconstruction, make him a perfect fit for The Inner Circle of Advocates. Mr. Bell is tenacious in his quest for justice on behalf of victims who have suffered horrific injuries due to the negligence of others. The important work done by Mr. Bell and the members of The Inner Circle leads to recalls, regulations and safety improvements that benefit each and every one of us.
Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the work of trial lawyers like Ed Bell as he furthers his commitment to help the injured and shares his wealth of knowledge with other Plaintiff attorneys.
Congratulations to our friend Tom Rhodes and Robert Brzezinski of Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. who played a significant role in securing justice for a New Mexico man who developed acute pressure sores during a lengthy 2011 ICU stay at Presbyterian Hospital located in Albuquerque. Mr. Rhodes served as co-counsel with attorneys Randi McGinn and A. Elicia Montoya of McGinn, Carpenter, Montoya & Love, P.A.
Terrible story. While admitted at the hospital, the plaintiff Mr. Webb was unable to care for his own needs and was forced to rely on the intensive care unit staff. In six short days, wounds started to develop due to inadequate repositioning of his body. These ‘pressure sores’ developed into significant stage 4 ulcers…one of which is still not fully healed.
Thanks to the work of Mr. Rhodes and his colleagues, they were able to hold the hospital accountable for their negligence. While no amount of money will fully compensate Mr. Webb for what he endured, the hope is that this type of pain and suffering can be prevented moving forward.
Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. appreciates the important work done by this team of talented litigators who have dedicated their lives toward achieving justice for so many. Thank you for what you do!
You can read more about this case here.
Congratulations to our great friend and client Sean K. Claggett on his recent selection as Nevada Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Nevada Association for Justice.
Mr. Claggett is the founding member of the Claggett & Sykes Law Firm in Las Vegas. He started the firm in 2005 with a single client and one employee. Today, the firm has 18 employees, including six attorneys that handle hundreds of cases.
In 2016 the firm was nationally recognized for the jury verdict in Hendrickson v. Lowe’s, in which his client—a mother of three who suffered permanent injuries—was awarded over $13MM from Lowe’s Companies. Courtroom View Network identified this verdict as the 4th most influential U.S. verdict of the year. We also featured the case on the Advocate Capital, Inc. blog.
While Sean Claggett is a fierce litigator and advocate for his clients, his contribution to the practice of law does not stop there. Not only is Mr. Claggett UNLV alumni, but he teaches Law Practice Management at the Boyd School of Law as an adjunct professor. He received the school’s most prestigious alumni award in 2010 as the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Alumni of the Year.
However, his dedication does not end teaching at the law school. Mr. Claggett also serves on the faculty of the prestigious Keenan Ball Trial College where he instructs other trial attorneys across the country. Sean has also been recognized by Legal Aid of Southern Nevada for his pro bono work. Mr. Claggett is currently pursuing a class action lawsuit on behalf of veterans with the goal of forcing the Department of Justice to provide mental health benefits for military personnel.
Perhaps the contribution Sean Claggett is most proud of is the community service involvement in Las Vegas. The Claggett family is often found donating time, energy and money to several local causes including Three Square Food Bank, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada, and the Shannon West Homeless Youth Shelter. The Claggett & Sykes Law Firm was also named a finalist for Best Family Owned Business for Philanthropy by Nevada Business Magazine.
Our hats are off here at Advocate Capital, Inc., and thank you Sean Claggett for your unwavering dedication to justice and selfless service to your community.
Authored By: Iris Garrett
Advocate Capital, Inc. would like to congratulate our friend and client, Attorney Robert Solomon. Not only did his New Jersey law firm, Robert A. Solomon, P.C. score a $450,000 verdict in the medical malpractice case, McGovern v. Lowrey, but it was recently named one of the state’s Top 50 Verdicts of 2016.
Attorney Solomon’s award-winning case dates back to an incident in September 2012. He says it was during that time that his client underwent a colostomy reversal. However, her relatively minor procedure resulted in a very serious problem when her surgeon failed to remove a portion of the pain ball catheter he had inserted during the operation. Three months after being discharged from the hospital, Solomon’s client was forced to remove the forgotten catheter when it suddenly exploded through her skin. This caused her to develop multiple infections along the incision line and endure countless hernia operations to correct the issue.
Before jury selection could begin, Solomon says the defendant offered to settle the case for $50,000 despite his and his client’s demand of $300,000. Solomon says they even conducted a focus group (which cost another $11,000) to determine if that figure was sufficient, and the group valued the case one step further at $400,000. That’s when Solomon says he knew it was time to take the case to court.
Attorney Solomon says by the end of the trial, he had spent an additional $15,000 on exhibits and expert surgical witnesses, on top of the cost of the focus group. However, that investment would earn him and his client a reward of nearly 10 times more. The jury returned a verdict of $450,000, and the judge added another $50,000 to cover medical expenses, making for a total of a half million dollars. Solomon says he could not have done it without the help of Advocate Capital, Inc.’s Case Expense Financing.
We are proud to partner and support plaintiff trial lawyers like Attorney Robert Solomon, and we acknowledge the work his firm is doing in the fight for justice. Solomon has extensive knowledge in personal injury and wrongful death cases and has represented injured people and their families in New York and New Jersey for nearly 40 years.
Congratulations to the team at Booth│Koskoff for their recent $2.7 Million settlement on behalf of a client, injured in a traumatic brain injury case. In 2013, the client and a co-worker were installing bracket scaffolding at a residential construction site in Orange County. Bracket scaffolding is installed on the side of the home and attaches to the framing of the building; not built from the ground up like traditional scaffolding.
The particular bracket scaffolding used (the “Whalen-Jack”) was determined to have several design and manufacturing issues. It was designed by a contractor with no engineering credentials and supported by two (2) simple welds. There was nothing to provide reinforcement support in the event the welds failed. The manufacturing of the Whalen-Jack scaffolding was outsourced to a facility in China, and the quality of the welding was found to be severely lacking. Although the original design of the scaffolding was modified to provide some protection in the event of critical weld failure, the original poorly -designed scaffolding was never recalled. In fact, the unsafe units were still being sold.
The company that marketed and sold the Whalen-Jack had no applicable insurance. Booth│Koskoff sued the distributor of the product, White Cap, as well as the manufacturer. The distributor is accountable under strict liability principles, even if they did not take part in the design or manufacture of the defective product. Further, because White Cap, a large and well-known construction supply company, did not perform due diligence on the product before they agreed to sell it, Booth│Koskoff also pursued a negligence theory against them.
Due to the defective product, the Plaintiff fell twenty (20) feet, striking his head. His jaw and foot were fractured. It was unclear whether he lost consciousness. A CT scan was normal. Follow up neuro-psychological testing was mostly normal. He was discharged from the hospital after only six (6) days and transferred to a rehab facility for six (6) more days.
Upon his return home, his wife could see that his behavior had changed. He was acting strange, having extreme fits of anger and exhibiting destructive behavior. He no longer wanted to leave the house or socialize. In time, the worker’s comp case manager intervened and arranged for Plaintiff to enter an outpatient brain injury rehabilitation program, where he received a diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury.
The most difficult part of the lawsuit was demonstrating the magnitude of effects the brain injury had on him and his family. His behavior was often out of control and had fundamentally changed. The effects on the family were devastating.
Defense counsel took an aggressive approach to the case, taking over fifty (50) depositions, not including experts. They brought up an old criminal conviction of the Plaintiff. Counsel even speculated that he was using drugs, despite no evidence to support the allegation. The defense team attempted to blame Plaintiff and tarnish his reputation, even with clear evidence of the defective construction.
Thankfully for the Plaintiff and his family, Roger Booth and his team refused to back down. Their steadfast dedication to justice has given the Plaintiff and his family financial stability while allowing him to keep most of his workers’ compensation benefits and receive payment for his medical care.
Everyone here at Advocate Capital, Inc. is proud to support the tireless work done by trial lawyers like Booth│Koskoff every day to ensure our access to the courtroom.