The Great Trials Podcast

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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Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

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