The Great Trials Podcast
GTP CLASSIC: Rex Parris | Taylor v. Schilling | $41.6 million verdict

GTP CLASSIC: Rex Parris | Taylor v. Schilling | $41.6 million verdict

June 28, 2022

This week we’re replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Rex Parris of Parris Lawyers (https://www.parris.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

National Institute for Trial Advocacy Master Advocate Rex Parris describes how he obtained one of the nation’s top motor vehicle accident verdicts in 2018 on behalf of Anthony Taylor. Only 25 at the time of the collision with Schilling’s car, Taylor suffered a broken neck and severe spinal cord injury that rendered him a quadriplegic. A previous corrective back surgery for adolescent scoliosis conflicted with the post-accident reconstructive back surgery, causing serious infection and extensive hospital stays. Today, Taylor requires round-the-clock care. A Los Angeles, California jury returned a verdict of $41,634,170 in damages.

 

 

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Guest Bio:

Rex Parris

Rex Parris is recognized as one of the most successful and innovative trial lawyers alive today. Rex handles a wide variety of cases, ranging from severe personal injury to class actions, products liability, and business torts. When he is not in trial, Rex tours the country speaking to trial lawyer organizations about the intersection of cognitive science and the persuasion of jurors. Rex has been profiled in numerous national media outlets, including “20/20,” “Nightline,” the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and a myriad of legal journals.

Rex has achieved outstanding results in the courtroom over the span of his career – he obtained the first million-dollar verdict in California’s Kern County as a young lawyer and, years later, obtained a historic, record-breaking defamation jury verdict in Los Angeles for $370,000,000. In between, Rex has obtained dozens of seven-, eight- and nine-figure verdicts and settlements. His success is hardly happenstance – Rex prepares every case for trial using the latest science in persuasion skills. Everything from metaphoric choices, word selection and visuals are tested and re-tested before each trial.

In addition to managing his trial calendar and the Firm’s diversified practice, Rex also manages one of California’s fastest-growing cities. As the mayor of Lancaster since 2008, Rex has gained nationwide media attention for his efforts to improve the wellbeing of the city’s residents. For example, gang violence dropped 82%, the city’s downtown area was completely redeveloped during the worst economic downturn in over 75 years, and all of the city’s municipal buildings were converted to solar power.

Rex and his wife, Carrol, founded the Firm in 1985 with the goal of building a truly great law firm. That goal has never changed – they continue to innovate and work tirelessly to improve the service and results they provide daily.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Frank Mangiaracina | Coryell v. Morris, et. al. | $2.1 million verdict

Frank Mangiaracina | Coryell v. Morris, et. al. | $2.1 million verdict

June 21, 2022

This week your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Frank Mangiaracina of Kline & Specter PC (https://www.klinespecter.com/). 

 

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Episode Details:

Philadelphia-based personal injury attorney Frank Mangiaracina with Kline & Specter PC discusses how he secured justice for David Coryell, a motorcycle driver involved in an automobile wreck with a delivery driver employed by a Domino’s franchise. On July 27, 2016, defendant Steven Morris was driving a delivery vehicle to deliver Domino’s food when he made a sudden left turn into oncoming traffic, crashing his vehicle into David and his motorcycle. David suffered severe physical and emotional injuries from this incident. After numerous operations, he was left with the decision to either amputate his left leg or experience permanent and progressive pain. Despite the defense’s attempts to claim that Domino’s did not have control over a franchisee’s operations and therefore could not be held accountable for the actions of a franchisee’s employee, Mangiaracina established that Domino’s and the franchisee have a “master-servant relationship,” arguing that Domino’s did, in fact, have control over the franchisee and therefore should be held responsible. The jury agreed, and on August 13, 2021, a Philadelphia County jury returned a $2,009,553 verdict in favor of plaintiff David Coryell.

 

 

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Guest Bio:

Frank Mangiaracina

Frank Mangiaracina focuses his practice on catastrophic personal injury. He is a staunch advocate and proven trial lawyer who helped compile more than $60 million in recoveries in the five years before coming to Kline & Specter. 

Most recently, in a COVID-era trial during the summer of 2021, Mangiaracina won a $2.1 million verdict against Domino’s Pizza for a client who suffered severe and permanent injuries to his leg when his motorcycle was struck by a delivery driver. As co-lead counsel at trial, Mangiaracina gave a closing argument that helped convince the jury that Domino’s was responsible for the actions of a franchisee. 

He was also co-counsel in litigation that achieved a $44 million pre-trial settlement in a product liability case for an oil rig worker who was left a quadriplegic after he was struck by a falling light fixture. 

In medical malpractice cases, among others, Mangiaracina helped win settlements of $5.5 million, $5 million and $3.5 million for, respectively, failures to timely diagnose stroke, diagnose and treat sepsis and to treat an aortic aneurysm. 

These recoveries were made with Mangiaracina’s prior firm, Sheridan & Murray LLC in Fort Washington, Pa. He also worked as an attorney at Berger & Montague in Philadelphia and as a law clerk with the Philadelphia firm of Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky. 

Because of his litigation success, Mangiaracina has been named a Pennsylvania Rising Star by Super Lawyers for four consecutive years (2019-2022). The independent lawyers survey group recognizes the top 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state who are 40 or younger. 

Mangiaracina earned his law degree at the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude, in the top five percent of his class and was a member of the Order of the Coif honor society. He was, simultaneously, staff editor for the Temple Law Review and a member of Temple’s renowned National Trial Team, which placed in the semifinals of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s “Tournament of Champions,” an invitation-only competition. 

At Temple, Mangiaracina won several awards and scholarships, including the Integrated Trial Advocacy Graduation Award, the Benjamin and Natalie Levin Memorial Scholarship, the Class of 1978 Scholarship and the Faculty Law Scholarship.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Andy Conn and Drew Gilliland | Wilson v. Evans + Allison v. Sorrell | $1.225 million + $218,400 verdicts

Andy Conn and Drew Gilliland | Wilson v. Evans + Allison v. Sorrell | $1.225 million + $218,400 verdicts

June 14, 2022

This week your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Andy Conn of Harris Lowry Manton, LLP (https://www.hlmlawfirm.com/) and Drew Gilliland of the Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC (https://www.schnyderlawfirm.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

In this informative episode, Georgia trial lawyers Andy Conn and Drew Gilliland share their strategies to maximize verdicts in relatively small motor vehicle accident cases. On May 5, 2022, a Cobb County, Georgia jury awarded $1.225 million to a couple who sustained injuries as the direct result of a rear-end collision. Harris Lowry Manton LLP partner Andy Conn served as lead counsel in the Cobb County State Court case, which resulted in a notable jury verdict totaling more than 17 times the value of the plaintiffs’ original medical bills. On May 2, 2022, a Douglas County, Georgia jury awarded $218,400 to a plaintiff who was severely injured in a motor vehicle accident involving texting and speeding. Drew Gilliland at Nick Schnyder Law Firm, LLC secured a jury verdict totaling more than 10 times the value of the plaintiff’s original medical bills.   

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Guest Bios:

Drew Gilliland

Drew is a trial attorney who loves helping clients through difficult times. His client philosophy is simple: treat every client like a family member.

After graduating from Emory University School of Law (where he was the recipient of the Dean’s Honor Scholarship), Drew started his legal career as a felony prosecutor for the State of Florida, and tried more than 50 jury trials during his tenure. Drew and his wife then moved back to Georgia where he represented Fortune 500 companies in personal injury lawsuits.

After seven years of learning the ins and outs of how the defense industry protects itself against personal injury lawsuits, Drew decided to use his skills to represent people who have been injured by another’s negligence. Since he became a personal injury lawyer, Drew has worked for the largest personal injury firm in the country as well as a boutique litigation firm.

Drew has lectured on trial strategies and is frequently asked to co-counsel on cases with other attorneys. He has recovered millions of dollars for his clients since he became a personal injury attorney.

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Andy Conn

Andrew (Andy) Conn joined Harris Lowry Manton LLP in 2016, after earning his J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law and B.B.A. from University of the Georgia’s Terry College of Business. At the firm, Andy’s legal practice includes complex civil litigation matters including catastrophic injury cases and business tort litigation. He excels at trial work and has extensive experience in commercial motor vehicle, products liability, medical malpractice and premises liability cases.

Andy is very active in the legal community where he is a member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA), State Bar of Georgia and American Association for Justice. He currently serves as the Education Chair for GTLA and has been a member of the GTLA Political Action Committee since 2018. Over the years, he has held a number of leadership positions, including serving as the Savannah Trial Lawyers Association Scholarship Chair, GTLA New Lawyers Division Chair, GTLA Membership Committee Chair and Savannah Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Executive Board member. In 2015, Andy was selected for the GTLA LEAD Program, where he sharpened his leadership skills and pushed for trial policies protecting individuals’ rights.

For five consecutive years, Andy has been honored as a Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star and has been recognized for his work in areas ranging from medical malpractice to products liability.

Passionate about causes involving children, Andy volunteers with Make-A-Wish Georgia and is heavily involved with the Kids Cancer Alliance, a non-profit organization based out of Louisville, Kentucky that fosters positive experiences and creates valuable memories for children fighting cancer and their families. He also participates in the CJA program, where he works with indigent court-appointed clients in need of legal representation in Georgia’s Southern District Federal Court.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

GTP Classic: John Gomez | William & Elaine Kidd v. WKS Restaurant Corporation (El Pollo Loco) | $16.2 Million Verdict

GTP Classic: John Gomez | William & Elaine Kidd v. WKS Restaurant Corporation (El Pollo Loco) | $16.2 Million Verdict

June 7, 2022

This week we’re replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview John Gomez of Gomez Trial Attorneys (https://www.thegomezfirm.com/)

 

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Episode Details:

Award-winning trial lawyer John Gomez of Gomez Trial Attorneys shares how he secured justice for a California couple whose lives changed forever after a slip-and-fall in an El Pollo Loco restaurant. Because WKS Restaurant Corporation refused to pay overtime for workers to clean the grills after closing, employees chose to violate company policy and began cleaning an hour before closing. The resulting slippery floors caused a customer to fall, tear his quadricep and suffer a traumatic brain injury that has left him with severe optical problems.   

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Guest Bio:

John Gomez

John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. He acts today as President and Lead Trial Attorney. From humble beginnings, he attended three separate San Diego public high schools and Grossmont Junior College before graduating from the Nation’s top-ranked law school, Yale University, in 1993. In between, John was named an Academic All-American football player for the University of San Diego’s Toreros. He clerked for a federal judge, worked for the international law firm of Latham & Watkins and served the United States as an Assistant United States Attorney until becoming a trial lawyer for people in 2000.

Since that time, he has established himself as one of California’s most recognized and accomplished trial lawyers. Lawyers USA named him the national Lawyer of the Year in 2010. He has twice been named San Diego’s Trial Lawyer of the Year. The Consumer Attorneys of San Diego have awarded him an unprecedented nine separate Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards. He has been named a Top 100 California Attorney overall by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, a Top 10 San Diego attorney overall by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, and has been voted by peers a top 10 San Diego Super Lawyer every year since 2012.  He was featured as the subject of the cover story in that 2012 publication.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Render Freeman | White v. Robert M. McCommons et. al. | $22 million verdict

Render Freeman | White v. Robert M. McCommons et. al. | $22 million verdict

May 31, 2022

This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Render Freeman of Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C. (https://www.atclawfirm.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Georgia trial lawyer Render Freeman, a partner at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., explains how he secured a landmark verdict for the grieving widow of a metro Atlanta orthodontist who was killed while riding his dirt bike at a popular off-roading park in Union Point, Georgia. On September 28, 2019, Dr. Adam White was riding his dirt bike on the trails at Durhamtown Off Road Park when he was fatally struck by a 62-foot falling tree. The tree was knocked down by an excavator being driven on the track, which was a direct violation of Durhamtown Off Road Park's rule prohibiting maintenance or construction work on the track while it was in use. Durhamtown owner Mike McCommons' negligence in bringing an excavator onto the active trail served as a major focus at trial. Despite the court's ruling on the inadmissibility of evidence in three other deaths at Durhamtown Off Road Park as well as McCommons' attempts to avoid personal liability with the selling and re-branding of the park, Freeman convinced the jury to make a strong statement by delivering a verdict in this tragic wrongful death case. On April 29, 2022, a Greene County, Georgia jury found McCommons and five associated corporate entities liable for Dr. White's death and delivered a $22 million verdict. This is the largest verdict ever awarded in the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit and in Greene County, Georgia history. 

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Guest Bio:

Render C. Freeman

Render Freeman has dedicated his legal career to helping injured victims hold wrongdoers financially responsible for their carelessness. As a trial attorney, Mr. Freeman has a broad range of experience in litigating complex disputes, including wrongful death, personal injury, products liability, motor vehicle and trucking collisions, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and malpractice, premises liability, negligent hiring and negligent security. Mr. Freeman has been lead trial counsel in jury trials all over Georgia from Federal District Court in Atlanta to smaller Superior Courts in the remote corners of our State.

Mr. Freeman has developed a national reputation for expertise in litigating and trying personal injury lawsuits. He has lectured in Palm Springs, CA; Boca Raton, FL; Newport, RI; Rogers, AK; Cincinnati, OH; Fargo, ND; and other cities around the country. Mr. Freeman is a 2015 graduate of the Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming – an exclusive 4-week program providing advanced training for personal injury trial lawyers. Mr. Freeman is an active member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”), regularly attending advanced seminars to hone his litigation and trial skills.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

GTP Classic: Laura Shamp | Jordan V. Phillip Morris | $11 Million Verdict

GTP Classic: Laura Shamp | Jordan V. Phillip Morris | $11 Million Verdict

May 24, 2022

This week, we’re replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Laura Shamp of Shamp Silk, LLC (https://www.shampsilk.com/).

 

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Episode Details:

Laura Shamp obtained a verdict of $11 million dollars for an ex-smoker in a case against Philip Morris USA Inc. The jury awarded $3.2 million in punitive damages after finding that the tobacco company had committed fraud and intentionally misrepresented the dangers of smoking to consumers. (Jordan v. Philip Morris Tobacco Co.) The verdict was affirmed on appeal.

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Guest Bio:

Laura M. Shamp

From her career as a college athlete playing in the Final Four to graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, Laura Shamp has always been a fierce competitor and has always played to win.

Over the past 20 years, she has handled all types of major litigation and is known as one of the few trial lawyers able to get multi-million dollar verdicts in some of the toughest jurisdictions and has an $11 million dollar jury verdict against Philip Morris to prove it. So, it is not surprising that she is consistently listed as one of Georgia’s “Super Lawyers.”

Laura’s success as a trial lawyer is only matched by her success as an appellate advocate. Her reported cases have helped shaped the law in Georgia regarding medical malpractice and the use of expert witness testimony in professional negligence cases and include: Hankla v. Postell, 293 Ga. 692, Georgia Supreme Court 2013; EHCA Cartersville v. Turner, 280 Ga. 333, Georgia Supreme Court 2006; Lee v. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, 297 Ga. App. 692, Georgia Court of Appeals (2009); Houston v. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, 295 Ga. App. 674, Georgia Court of Appeals 2009. Laura also chairs the Georgia Trial Lawyers Amicus Committee, which submits “friend of the court” briefs to the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals on issues affecting the civil justice system.

Laura graduated in 1988 from Harvard Law School with honors. After graduating, she served as a federal law clerk to United States District Court Judge Robert H. Hall. In 2004, she returned to Harvard to study patient safety and medical errors under Don Berwick and Lucian Leape, leaders in the field of patient safety, and in 2005 obtained a Masters Degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. Laura is dedicated to working to try and improve the quality of medical care in Georgia and serves on several committees that review legislation to try and address issues of medical error and patient safety.

Before founding Shamp Silk, Laura had a successful solo practice for over 15 years. Before that she was at Doffermyre, Shields, Canfield, Knowles & Devine, where she practiced for four years doing plaintiffs and general civil litigation work. She began her career at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan as a general civil litigator.

Laura is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the State of Georgia, as well as all other trial and appellate courts in the State of Georgia.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

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GTP Classic: Chris Stewart | Radkey vs Safe Investments, LLC | $1.5 Million Verdict

GTP Classic: Chris Stewart | Radkey vs Safe Investments, LLC | $1.5 Million Verdict

May 17, 2022

This week, we’re replaying a classic episode where your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Chris Stewart of Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys - https://smstrial.com/

 

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Episode Details:

"Our client was staying at a local motel in a small rural county in Georgia when she was sexually assaulted by a total stranger who gained access to her room by handing a key card to the desk clerk and asking her to re-code it. Our client suffered severe mental and physical injuries. We were able to prove at trial the hotel was negligent and at fault for failing to have a written procedure in place regarding hotel keys and failure to train its employees."

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Guest Bio:

Chris Stewart

Chris handles a variety of cases including wrongful death, civil rights, premises liability, mass torts and sexual assaults. Chris has won numerous record-setting jury verdicts and made U.S history when he won the first billion-dollar jury verdict for a rape victim.

Chris is also recognized worldwide as one of the top civil rights lawyers of his generation. He has represented some of the most famous civil rights cases of this century including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Rayshard Brooks. He also represented Walter Scott, who was shot in the back on video by a police officer. The Walter Scott case settled for $6.5 million dollars – the highest in South Carolina history, and the officer received a twenty-year prison sentence. Chris also represented Alton Sterling who was held down and killed on video by police in Baton Rouge.

Other high profile cases include Gregory Towns of Georgia, which led to a record settlement and two prison sentences for the officers involved, Chase Sherman of Florida who was killed on video which led to a record settlement, and Deaundre Phillips who was shot on video by police which is still in court.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Nathan Werksman and Jon Davidi | Jennefer Jones v. Mathew Epstein | $309,250 verdict

Nathan Werksman and Jon Davidi | Jennefer Jones v. Mathew Epstein | $309,250 verdict

May 10, 2022

This week your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Nathan Werksman of Merson Law PLLC (https://mersonlaw.com/) and Jon Davidi at Panish|Shea|Boyle|Ravipudi LLP (https://www.psbr.law/)

 

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Episode Details:

Trial lawyers Nathan Werksman of Merson Law PLLC and Jon Davidi at Panish|Shea|Boyle|Ravipudi LLP discuss how they secured justice for a woman who was viciously attacked by a dog as well as the challenges of conducting a jury trial held at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. On December 15, 2016, plaintiff Jennefer Jones took a walk around her neighborhood and attempted to pass neighbor Mathew Epstein, who was walking a 55-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback named Turkey on the sidewalk. Turkey lunged and attacked Jennefer, biting her right forearm, breaking the skin and dragging her to the ground, where she fell on her elbow. Jennefer was later diagnosed with two injuries: radial tunnel syndrome in her forearm and lateral epicondylitis in her elbow. Despite being put in a cast, injected with platelet-rich plasma and more than 80 physical therapy sessions, Jennefer continued to experience pain that greatly affected her ability to perform everyday tasks and to work as a golf instructor. The defense argued that Turkey didn't bite Jennefer but simply scratched her and asserted that any pain is from a pre-existing condition or an overuse injury related to her golf instruction career. Nathan Werksman and Jon Davidi called out the defense's tactic of referring to Jennefer's lateral epicondylitis by its more common name of "tennis elbow" to persuade the jury of the injury's true origin. In October 2020, an Orange County, California jury found in favor of Jennefer and awarded her $309,250 in damages. 

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Guest Bios:

Nathan Werksman

As a trial attorney at Merson Law PLLC, lawyer Nathan Werksman fights for the injured and wronged in complex personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability, sexual abuse, and mass tort litigation.

Prior to joining Merson Law, Mr. Nathan Werksman recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients through both settlement and trial at the distinguished California personal injury firm Panish, Shea & Boyle LLP.

Prior to that, Mr. Werksman clerked at internationally renowned law firm Kirkland & Ellis, plaintiffs’-side class-action giant Robbins Geller Rudman Down, and at the Office of the San Francisco Public Defender.

While at Robbins Geller, he worked on behalf of cities and counties across the U.S. suing the opioid manufacturers for the irreparable damage caused by their products. During his time at the San Francisco Public Defender, Mr. Werksman assisted in a trial resulting in an acquittal on all felony counts for his client.

Mr. Werksman obtained his law degree from Stanford Law School where he founded and served as president of the Stanford Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Association. While at Stanford, he also served as co-president of the American Constitution Society (ACS) and earned prizes for achieving the highest marks in several classes, including The Plaintiffs’ Lawyer: Institutional Constraints and Ethical Challenges. He also served as research assistant to Professor Nora Freeman Engstrom, a scholar on tort law and legal ethics. Mr. Werksman completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated summa cum laude double majoring in History and Spanish.

Nathan is very involved in the New York legal community and in making New York a more just place for the injured.  He is on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, is a member of the Products Liability Committee at the New York City Bar Association, and is on the Executive Committee of the UJA’s Young Lawyers Division.

Fluent in Spanish, Mr. Werksman is admitted to practice law in New York, California, and Nevada.

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Jon Davidi

As a trial attorney at Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP, Jon Davidi represents individuals in complex personal injury, wrongful death, and product defect cases. Passionate about trial work and representing people in their time of need, Mr. Davidi has obtained over $10 million in verdicts and settlements for his clients.

Most recently, he obtained two jury verdicts that were more than double the defense’s best offer. Notably, one of those verdicts was awarded during the first post-Covid, socially-distanced jury trial in Orange County, California.

Mr. Davidi received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law where he was a member of the Honor Society and graduated cum laude. He was also a member of the mock trial team and recognized as one of the nation’s top advocates after winning the National Championship in the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Trial Tournament. Throughout the competition, judges commented on his ability to be persuasive and to evoke compassion for his client.

Fluent in Farsi, Mr. Davidi is a member of the State Bar of California as well as an active member of both the Consumer Attorneys Association of California (CAALA) and the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC). Outside of work, he enjoys live music, new restaurants, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Ironically, he’s never seen an episode of Law & Order.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

Michael A. Kelly | Loren Kransky v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. | $8.3 million verdict

Michael A. Kelly | Loren Kransky v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. | $8.3 million verdict

May 3, 2022

This week your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Michael A. Kelly of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger (https://dicellolevitt.com/)

 

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Episode Details:

Accomplished California personal injury lawyer Michael A. Kelly, a shareholder at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger and recent Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame inductee, shares how he secured justice for the first of thousands of victims of a defectively designed medical device. On December 5, 2007, U.S. Air Force veteran Loren "Bill" Kransky underwent hip surgery in Montana, receiving a DePuy ASR Acetabular Hip System orthopaedic implant. DePuy, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, first put the ASR Acetabular Hip System on the market in Europe in 2004, and soon after began receiving notifications from prominent surgeons that the device was flawed. Despite receiving these notifications, DePuy continued to market the metal implant as a low-wear product that required only one surgery and failed to report product issues to American doctors. On August 4, 2010, a recall was issued and the Depuy ASR Acetabular Hip System was labeled as defective, but the damage was already done for millions of patients, including Loren. Following the recall, Loren underwent revision surgery to have the implant removed because it was shedding metal debris into the tissue of his hip and bloodstream. In March 2013, a Los Angeles jury returned a verdict in favor of Loren, awarding $8,338,136.12 in damages for the pain caused by the defective design and ultimately helping to facilitate a $2.5 billion national settlement for all victims. 

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Guest Bio:

Michael A. Kelly

Mike Kelly is one of the nation’s top personal injury attorneys. For four decades he has protected consumers from corporate greed, medical mistakes, dangerous household products, unsafe medical devices, and motor vehicle accidents of every kind. He has tried, settled, and arbitrated more than 200 cases where the recovery by his client exceeded $1 million. In 2020 he helped negotiate the multibillion-dollar resolution of the 2017 California wildfire lawsuits brought against utility giant PG&E. Before that, his $8.341 million verdict in the first DePuy ASR/Johnson & Johnson metal-on-metal artificial hip litigation helped produce a $2.5 billion national settlement for all victims.

In 2021 Mike was the number one vote-getter for the second year in a row on the 2021 list of Northern California “Super Lawyers”. A member of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, Kelly was also included on the “Top 10” and “Top 100” list of lawyers in Northern California for the 18th time, as well as being selected by Best Lawyers to its prestigious roster for the 20th consecutive year. Recognized for his leadership in some of the most significant consumer protection cases in our state, Kelly made the list of the Los Angeles Daily Journal’s 2021 Top Plaintiff Lawyers and was inducted into Lawdragon’s Hall of Fame for his many years of pro-consumer successes, most recently demonstrated by his role in the litigation against the giant utility PG&E for the damage caused by the 2017-2018 Northern California wildfires and the devastating Butte County Camp Fire.

When resolution by mediation or settlement fails, Kelly is ready to take his clients’ cases before juries. Recent trials have produced a $4 million jury verdict against the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District for the death of a pedestrian struck by one of its buses, a $5.6 million jury verdict against a Super Shuttle driver for the death of a retired restaurateur, a $12.75 million recovery against a domestic automaker(auto rollover), a $10.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of a single mother, and a major 8-figure confidential settlement against Kaiser Health Plan for a catastrophically injured infant. His $8.35 million verdict on behalf of a construction worker who lost an arm showed his skill in work-site injury cases. His $23.2 million jury verdict in a birth injury medical malpractice case in Minnesota ranks among that state’s largest verdicts for obstetrical injury.

Beyond stellar results for his clients, Kelly is proud of his many contributions to the legal community. He is a speaker for 360 Advocacy for whom he chairs its annual Trucking Litigation program. He teaches regularly for NITA, The Rutter Group, ABOTA, the Consumer Attorneys of California, AAJ, SFTLA, and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He served for 10 years as the Director of Teacher Training programs for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and remains a member of its Board of Governors. He has long been active in protecting the rights of the underrepresented, working for pedestrian and bicyclist safety, lobbying for compensation fairness for medical malpractice victims, and protecting the rights of the LGBT community.

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Christopher Stombaugh | Adriana Guzman v. The Boeing Company | $2.27 million verdict

Christopher Stombaugh | Adriana Guzman v. The Boeing Company | $2.27 million verdict

April 26, 2022

This week your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Christopher Stombaugh of DiCello Levitt Gutzler (https://dicellolevitt.com/)

 

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Episode Details:

Accomplished trial lawyer Christopher Stombaugh, a partner at DiCello Levitt Gutzler in Chicago, shares how he successfully represented Costa Rican native Adriana Guzman after she suffered PTSD following a sudden decompression incident on a commercial Boeing 757 flight. On October 26, 2010, Adriana boarded a Boeing 757 in Miami. During the flight, a two-foot hole developed in the fuselage of the Boeing plane, causing a sudden decompression and a rapid descent from 32,000 feet to 10,000 feet. Adriana recalls the frightful incident, saying it felt like "a kick in the stomach" and that she feared was going to die. Years later, Adriana continued to suffer a range of medical issues from the traumatic experiences of that day aboard the Boeing plane. In spite of the defense's attempts to claim that Adriana's injuries were pre-existing conditions related to her past psychological history or to draw attention to Adriana's leave of absence from her doctoral program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, trial lawyer Christopher Stombaugh kept the jurors focused on Adriana's life-altering injuries. Christopher Stombaugh used a timeline of events, expert witnesses and a physical demonstration of the impact of altitude on the body via a shaken soda can to help the jury understand the nature of Adriana's injuries. On April 12, 2018, a Massachusetts District Court jury returned a $2.2 million verdict in favor of plaintiff Adriana Guzman with damages deducted and prejudgment interest added, resulting in a final verdict of $2,271,651. The Boeing Company's attorneys filed an appeal claiming that Christopher Stombaugh and the plaintiff's trial team utilized controversial reptile tactics at trial, but a U.S. Magistrate Judge denied the appeal. 

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Guest Bio:

Christopher Stombaugh

For more than 30 years, Chris Stombaugh has been devoted to his true passion, advancing the art and science of trial advocacy. Chris focuses on trial.  He has successfully tried to verdict cases for people around the country injured by hospitals, aircraft manufacturers, insurance companies, agribusiness, construction companies, truck companies and many other industries. His approach empowers people to tell their stories in a way that resonates with juries and has led to several record-setting, seven and eight figure jury verdicts.

Chris speaks regularly to state bar and trial lawyer associations nationwide on modern and effective trial advocacy and is a key member of DiCello Levitt’s Trial Practice Team. In addition to his own successful practice, Chris teaches trial lawyers cognitive neuroscience to benefit their clients.

Chris is the past president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, having served as president of the WAJ 2014 term. He has been chosen as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer every year since 2010.  He is an active member in a number of other trial lawyer associations.

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Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

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