Robert A. Buccola Verdicts and Settlements

Below are a list of million dollar settlements or judgments attained on cases handled by Robert Buccola and his law team.

The results are listed by settlement or judgment amount, in descending monetary order. The judgments listed resulted from jury verdicts, as well as arbitrator adjudicated controversies.

To preserve client confidentiality in select circumstances, the identities of the parties may have been altered. The "confidential settlements" identified below include very substantial results involving unique legal or factual issues, but the amount of these settlements cannot be disclosed.


Johnson v. CSAA

(Sacramento County / Insurance Fraud)
Settlement: Estimated Value Between $90,000,000 and $134,000,000.

This office was co-lead counsel in a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of CSAA insureds who were involved in accidents with uninsured motorists. From 1998 through 2006 CSAA wrongfully collected deductibles from its insureds who were involved in accidents with uninsured motorists. The settlement value was estimated, by a forensic accountant, at between $90,000,000.00 and $134,000,000. Fully qualifying class members under this settlement will receive the entirety of the deductible amount wrongfully collected, plus interest at 10% per annum.

Lumenta v. Allstate

(Sacramento County / Insurance Fraud)
Settlement: $70,000,000.00.

This office was lead co-counsel in a class action wherein the class plaintiffs alleged that Allstate illegally charged its insureds excessive premiums by secretly increasing their driving mileage projections to facilitate unwarranted premium increases.

Loza-Jimenez v. Freeway Transport, Inc.

(Sacramento County / Personal Injury)
Settlement: $24,307,273.56.

Plaintiff, a nine year old little girl, was pinned beneath the rear duals of a tractor trailer. She suffered severe injuries to her legs and buttocks. In a bifurcated trial, plaintiff proved that defendant was liable for the plaintiff's injuries and obtained a record Sacramento County personal injury damage verdict of $24,307,273.56, including $20,000,000.00 of pain and suffering damages.

PG&E Gas Explosion

(Sacramento County / Wrongful Death/Personal Injury)
Settlement: $Confidential.

As the result of the use of substandard pipe, a gas line separated at a coupling resulting in gas migration into a nearby home. On Christmas Eve 2008 the home exploded killing a family patriarch and severely injuring his daughter and granddaughter. Plaintiffs were able to successfully negotiate a resolution for the family and the injury victims. Although the terms of this settlement are confidential, during the pendency of this claim and as a condition to settlement, PG&E excavated all Sacramento area repair sites to confirm that the substandard pipe had not been used in any other repairs.

Barber v. Mossy Ford, Sportsmobile West, Inc., Quigley Motor Co., et al.

(San Diego County / Product Liability / General Negligence)
Verdict/Settlement: $19,200,000.00 was the net settlement after a $14,465,000.00 gross verdict against Mossy Ford. The wrongful death verdict is the largest compensatory damage verdict ever in San Diego County.

Plaintiffs are the surviving children of parents who were killed as a result of when a tire failed causing their parents' modified van to leave the roadway and roll over. A partial settlement involving four of the defendants was achieved in the amount of $8,200,000.00 and the matter thereafter went to trial against Mossy Ford for its improper tire repair. The net settlement after the jury's verdict with Mossy was $11,000,000.00 after reductions and offsets.

Williams v. PG&E and Central Valley Produce

(San Francisco County / General Negligence)
Settlement: $13,500,000.00.
($7,000,000.00 from PG&E and $6,500,000.00 from Central Valley Produce)

This case involved a 17 year old who received a bilateral arm amputation while removing rain gutters from an industrial warehouse when the mast of a forklift made contact with overhead electrical lines owned and maintained by PG&E. The lines were alleged to have been only 6 inches out of clearance compliance.

Largent v. Frontier Town Lines & Detroit Diesel Corp.

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence - Product Liability)
Judgment: $10,257,880.00.

This was for over 10 years, the largest personal injury verdict ever rendered in Sacramento County, and was the largest verdict for pain and suffering ($8,000,000.00).

The plaintiff here was a 19 year old girl who was a passenger in her boyfriend's car on a mountain highway when they collided with the rear of a slow moving bus that was obscured by diesel smoke. Plaintiff received a painful spinal cord injury, but fortunately walks and functions autonomously.

The Third District Court of Appeal upheld the entirety of the verdict against defendant's argument that the general damage award was excessive.

Baker v. Big O Tires, American Racing Equipment, Inc., et al.

(Nevada County / General Negligence - Product Liability)
Settlement: $10,070,000.00.

Here, a 39 year old veterinarian sustained a serious closed head injury when her vehicle was struck by an errant truck tire that had come off a vehicle traveling from the opposite direction of plaintiff's travel on Interstate 80.

Doe v. American Automaker

(Northern California / Product Liability - Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $8,800,000.00.

Plaintiff family members sustained severe injuries (with one fatality) when their motor vehicle rolled traveling at freeway speeds. Plaintiffs' alleged their vehicle was unstable and rolled when it should not have and that other vehicle operator negligence contributed to the accident.

Hindman, et al. v. Sacramento Valley Scaffold Company, LLC, et al.

Settlement: $6,500,000.00.

The two plaintiffs proceeded forward on a product liability theory after being injured when a mast climber collapsed resulting in serious orthopedic injuries.

Stevenson v. Keith

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: 6,000,000.00.

Defendant Keith was an attorney and habitual drunk driver who caused this motor vehicle accident, seriously injuring the 40 year old plaintiff, while operating his vehicle at a .28 blood alcohol.

Vega v. Arizona Boys Ranch, The State of Arizona and County of Sacramento

(General Negligence)
Settlement: Confidential as to target Defendant, Arizona Boy's Ranch.

This was a high publicity wrongful death case involving the death of 15 year old Nicholas Contreras who died when forced to exercise when sick while in a custodial youth reform camp, as ordered by the County of Sacramento.

Settlement with the primary defendant, Arizona Boys Ranch, "Confidential."
Settlement with the State of Arizona: $750,000.00.
Settlement with County of Sacramento: $ 60,057.50.

Deleon v. Abella Trucking

(Sacramento County / Trucking Accident)
Judgment: $5,400,000.00.

This wrongful death and personal injury case involved the tragic death of a 39 year old husband and father of two when a semi-truck crossed the median causing a head on accident. Decedent's wife also suffered injuries in the accident.

Toniel v. Heavy Equipment Manufacturing & Valley Repair Services, Inc.

(Sacramento County/Product Liability)
Settlement: $5,400,000

This was a case where a metallic failure on construction equipment failed causing the death of a loving husband and father. Defendant alleged that the accident was due to equipment misuse operation and maintenance failures and urged that no single similar alleged failure had ever before been alleged in the 40 plus years history of the use of the equipment.

Parker v. Northern Pacific Railroad

(Yolo County / General Negligence)
Settlement: $5,250,000.00.

Plaintiff heirs were the husband and children of a 37 year old loving mother and wife who was killed while crossing a grade crossing when her vehicle was struck by a utility maintenance vehicle. The crossing arms were not activated at the time of the accident.

Prendergast v. Golden Gate Transportation District

(Marin County / Bus Company Negligence)
Judgment: $5,226,562.00.

This was for almost 10 years, the largest verdict for pain and suffering in Marin County history.

This is a case involving a 55 year old pedestrian who was hit by a turning bus while crossing the street. Plaintiff sustained a moderate closed head injury that affected his social functioning and employability.

Hillman/Johnson v. Johnstone Trucking Inc.

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $5,200,000.00.

Plaintiffs were teaching golf professionals who were rear ended by defendant, who was operating a tractor trailer. Plaintiffs underwent lumbar surgeries and, thereafter, were unable to fully resume their golf teaching careers.

Rueles v. MCM Construction

(Sacramento County / Construction Negligence)
Settlement: $4,900,000.00.

Plaintiff was an iron worker who was injured when a caterpillar loader backed into him at a slow speed allegedly with the backup beeper sounding. Plaintiff was briefly hospitalized but eventually underwent back and neck surgery. Plaintiff alleged that the defendant had knowingly disconnected the backup alarm to the caterpillar loader prior to the incident and that defendant was negligent.

Bohannon v. Sheedy Crane & Hoist, et al.

(Sacramento County / Construction Negligence - Product Liability)
Settlement: $4,800,000.00.

Mr. Bohannon was a 35 year old drywall construction foreman, husband and father, who fell to his death through what plaintiff alleged to be a faulty temporary elevator door. The decedent was working on what is now known to be the Sheraton Hotel in Sacramento.

As a result of this case, this dooring system used by the defendant was permanently modified at all construction sites statewide.

Stagis v. K-Mart

(Sacramento County / Premise Liability)
Judgment: $4,633,422.00.

Plaintiff, an out of state resident, slipped and fell in a spill of disputed origin in defendant's store while shopping for personal items. Plaintiff suffered a non-surgical lumbar disc injury that made it very difficult for him to work full-time as he had routinely done prior to the accident.

Linville v. Sierra Vista Hospital, et al.

(Sacramento County / Dependent Adult Care / Wrongful Death Case)
Judgment: Confidential.

In addition to the monetary settlement, defendant agreed to include its new employees having proper code green response and restraint training practices.

O'Mally v. J.B. Williamsen Trucking and Caltrans, et al.

(Vehicle Negligence / Government Entity)
Settlement: 4,000,000.00.

This is a wrongful death case involving a semi driving northbound on Interstate 5 that went out of control in the rain, crossing the median, into southbound traffic. The defendant trucking company was sued for its negligence and the State of California was alleged to have failed to design and construct a safe median barrier. Decedent was a 53 year old happily married father of one minor child, and two grown children.

Franklin v. Met Life

(Sacramento County / Insurance Bad Faith - Fraud)
Settlement: Confidential.

Here, plaintiff was a three year old boy whose mother was found to have been murdered on a snowmobile outing by his father. The young beneficiary was thereafter denied life insurance benefits due him under their joint life policies. Met Life argued that the policies were obtained under false pretenses and that there was no coverage.

As trial approached, Met Life agreed to settle the case, but did so demanding "confidentiality" of the final settlement terms. Plaintiff believes that confidentiality was demanded because plaintiff exposed a practice that was not unique to the case at hand.

Torres v. Berkeley Concrete Pumping, et al.

(Sacramento County / Construction Negligence - Product Liability)
Settlement: $3,800,000.00.

The plaintiff was a 32 year old Hispanic cement worker who was injured when a coupling blew off the end of a concrete pumping hose, causing plaintiff to suffer a non-specific closed head injury.

Doe v. American Automaker

(Northern California - Product Liability)
Settlement: $3,700,000.00.

Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle that rolled on a rural roadway at about 45 mph. sustaining serious spinal injuries. The vehicle was allegedly unstable and had a defective roof.

Brandon v. State of California, et al.

(Humboldt County / Roadway Design / Contractor Negligence)
Settlement: $3,650,000.00.

A 19 year old girl was severely injured when, after losing control of her car, she struck a guard rail and was impaled by a guardrail post. Plaintiff contended and proved that the State of California and roadway contractors failed to comply with required guardrail construction practices resulting in the failure of the guardrail and Plaintiff's serious injuries.

Betterman v. Forklift Manufacturer, et al.

(Northern California / Product Liability)
Settlement: $3,500,000.00.

The decedent, a husband and father of two grown children died while operating a standup style forklift when his forklift collided with a horizontal racking assembly in a warehouse. Plaintiff alleged that decedent's injuries occurred because the forklift manufacturer failed to protect the occupant compartment against environmental intrusion.

Lawrence v. Haas, et al.

(Tehama County / Construction Negligence)
Judgment: $3,436,780.54.

The plaintiff, a helicopter mechanic, sustained a severe ankle injury when he and his co-workers were attempting to transport a solar panel that was to be installed as part of a home/ranch solar energy project when it fell on his ankle/foot. Plaintiff alleged that the accident occurred because the defendant contractor and solar panel fabricator failed to erect a safe support stand for the heavy solar panel causing it to "tip" and fall on plaintiff's foot, when exposed to the rotor wash of the helicopter blades.

This is the largest personal injury verdict in the history of Tehama County.

Toller v. View Water District

(Sacramento County / General Negligence - Product Liability)
Settlement: $3,175,000.00.

The plaintiff received a spinal cord injury when he was struck by rushing water from a fire hydrant while he was in the process of removing the hydrant cap, while believing that the fire hydrant valve had been shut down. Plaintiff alleged he was using a defective water pressure gage that was fabricated by View Water District.

Doe v. Auto Maker

(Product Liability)
Settlement: $2,977,000.00.

Plaintiff, a 32 year old Vietnamese American, sustained a serious cervical neurological injury when the roof of his SUV crushed in on him during a rollover accident that occurred at freeway speeds. Plaintiff alleged that he was injured because of a defective roofing system on the vehicle.

Juardo v. Fisher Trucking and Transport

(Colusa County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $2,900,000.00.

Here, two Hispanic farm workers were killed when operating their motor vehicle on a rural road, allegedly with dim or no headlights, when they collided with a transport truck just before dawn.

Jorgensen v. City of Sacramento Police Department

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence/ Government Entity - Hot Pursuit)
Settlement: $2,900,000.00.

Here, plaintiff was a young, successful sales representative when he was struck by a City Police officer who was in "hot pursuit" to a crime scene. Immunity was overcome because the officer failed to comply with "Code 3 pursuit" procedures while responding to the emergency call. Mr. Jorgensen suffered a non-specific cervical spine neurological injury that is limiting and chronically painful.

Sand v. Innerstate Transport Specialist

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $2,800,000.00.

Here, plaintiff was a young high school student who sustained a major leg injury when an errant motorist lost control of his vehicle and struck her, as she exited from another vehicle.

Najau v. McCurley, et al.

Settlement: $2,700,000.00.

This was a wrongful death case arising from a chain reaction motor vehicle accident which occurred in the fog on Interstate 5 in December 1997 involving in excess of 75 claimants. Decedent, a husband and father of two rear ended the tractor trailer in front of him and then was in turn rear ended by the tractor trailer behind him.

Sanman v. Valley Pepsi Cola Distribution

(Sacramento County / Premise Liability - General Negligence)
Settlement: $2,600,000.00.

The plaintiff was injured while a hand truck operated by Sacramento Coca-Cola employee struck her foot and ankle area causing plaintiff to suffer disability from a regional pain syndrome phenomena.

Crawford v. County of Mariposa Sheriff/State of California

(Mariposa County / Vehicle Negligence - Governmental Entity)
Collective Settlement: $2,600,000.00.

Plaintiffs were struck head on by a Mariposa County Sheriff traveling at high speeds on Highway 49. The sheriff's vehicle was alleged to have been traveling at speeds in excess of 75 mph, for no urgent reason, when an elderly motorist allegedly came from a feeder road causing the sheriff to swerve out of his lane and into plaintiffs' vehicle. Here, two plaintiffs suffered serious orthopedic injuries.

Pamela K. v. UCD Med Center

(Sacramento County / Medical Negligence)
Settlement: $2,500,000.00.

Plaintiff was a schizophrenic woman who was misdiagnosed in the emergency room as having cervical strain when in fact she had a fracture/dislocation at C-5. She was released and when she returned, she suffered irreparable neurological damage.

Sanchez v. American Automaker

(Sacramento County / Product Liability Case)
Settlement: $2,400,000.00

Here, a 7 year old by sustained a brain injury, as a result of an alleged "weak" rear body and trunk assembly of the sedan he was occupying.

Doe v. American Automaker

(Northern California / Product Liability Case)
Settlement: $2,350,000.00.

This was a wrongful death rollover accident that was alleged by decedent's heirs to have resulted when a defectively designed roof on a pick-up truck collapsed, killing the decedent who was a passenger. Decedent was a loving husband and father.

Marter v. Capital Glass

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $2,087,500.00.

The plaintiff, a self-employed merchant, sustained neck and back injuries in a motor vehicle accident, both of which eventually required surgery.

Marino v. Firestone

(El Dorado County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $2,000,000.00.

Plaintiff was a contractor who was injured when a Firestone truck made a left hand turn on a red arrow striking plaintiff's vehicle. Plaintiff underwent neck, back and shoulder surgery.

Lucero v. Hanni

(Tulare County/Personal Injury)
Settlement: $1.96 million

Here, the elderly plaintiff received significant orthopedic and other injuries when her vehicle struck an escaping horse from defendant's poorly maintained equestrian property.

Wong v. Propane, Clark Equipment Co., et al.

(Sacramento County / Product Liability)
Settlement: $1,920,000.00.

Plaintiff, a 36 year old trucker, sustained severe burns to his non-dominant hand when a propane tank on a forklift ignited in a confined area when the forklift started. Plaintiff established that the accident was caused by a combination of a defective valve component and poor maintenance of the forklift. The case settled during trial.

Sword v. Conduit

(Santa Barbara County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,800,000.00.

Plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by a friend that allegedly hit black ice and left the roadway. Plaintiff suffered a closed head injury from which defendant claimed she made a full recovery.

Smith v. Dickerson

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence - Product Liability Case)
Collective Judgment: $1,640,116.44.

This case involved a vehicle accident wherein a mother and daughter were injured when defendant failed to stop at a "T" intersection. Defendant alleged brake failure of her new Suburban. Plaintiffs proceeded forward on both general negligence and product liability theories.

Ashe v. Tenco

Shasta County / Product Liability)
Settlement: $1,550,000.00.

This was a product liability case involving sheared bolts on a cherry picker man lift. Plaintiff alleged that inadequate metallic stress tolerances of bolts securing the rotating base of the lift mechanisms were the cause of the failure. Plaintiff suffer orthopedic and a closed head injuries.

Long v. Western Carnival of Transport, et al.

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,515,000.00.

This case involved a developmentally disabled man who was involved in a chain reaction accident. He underwent spinal surgery as a result of the collision.

Samuels v. Wilka Stable and Coral

(Sacramento County / General Negligence)
Settlement: $1,500,000.00.

Plaintiff was injured while riding as a passenger in a vehicle in the early morning hours when a horse escaped from its corral and was struck by plaintiff's vehicle resulting in serious physical injuries.

Conner v. State Farm Auto

(Sacramento County - Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,300,000.00.

Here, a 43 year old contractor sustained a low back injury in a minor rear end vehicle accident, requiring surgery.

Wander v. Rite Aid & Ocean Alarm Company

(Sacramento County / Premises Liability)
Settlement: $1,250,000.00.

Here, plaintiff sustained neck and back injuries requiring surgery when an overhead upper wall mount alarm that was being serviced fell, striking her in the head and rear shoulder area.

Barlo v. Fairbanks

(San Mateo County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,250,000.00.

A 44 year old artist suffered a neck injury requiring surgery. The defendant contested whether plaintiff's medical care was necessitated by the accident.

Martinelli v. Tratheon/Jones Trucking

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence)
Judgment: $1,230,413.21.

This was a minor impact rear end accident where plaintiff sustained a low back injury, requiring surgery.

Simone v. Eldon

(Contra Costa County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,200,000.00.

Plaintiff, an accomplished professional SCUBA diver, sustained a neck injury requiring surgery in a head on motor vehicle accident.

Hill v. Clark Equipment Co. and Bremco Construction

(Sacramento County / Product Liability - Construction Negligence)
Settlement: $1,200,000.00.

Plaintiff was a 29 year old construction laborer who suffered serious physical injuries when he was hit by a very slow moving paddle wheel scraper on a construction site.

Houser v. Pacific Bell and the City of South Lake Tahoe

(El Dorado County / Construction Negligence - Vehicle Negligence).
Judgment: $1,152,852.90.

This case involved a bicyclist who was a 23 year old engineer for Johnson & Johnson who sustained a closed head injury when struck by a Pacific Bell truck in a poorly marked roadway work area.

Winston v. Monterey Crane

(Sacramento County / Construction Negligence)
Settlement: $1,100,000.00.

Plaintiff sustained an ankle injury while off loading metallic beams allegedly as a result of crane operator error during the beam removal process.

Dour v. Fainstorth

(Sacramento County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,100,000.00.

Plaintiff sustained serious orthopedic injuries in a broadside motor vehicle accident.

Gylen v. Peninsula Crane & Rigging

(Sacramento County / Construction Accident / General Negligence)
Settlement: $1,100,000.00.

Plaintiff, a young construction apprentice, fell from a second level when a safety cable railing he grabbed failed, causing him to suffer a serious ankle injury.

Albert v. Stanley

(Placer County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,075,000.00.

Here two pedestrians were struck by a hit and run motorist and sustained soft tissue and minor orthopedic injuries as well as significant emotional distress.

Ramirez v. Sierra Dredging

(Sacramento County / Construction Negligence)
Settlement: $1,000,000.00.

Plaintiff was seriously injured when the outrigger leg of a cement pumping truck collapsed with plaintiff under it. Plaintiff alleged the collapse occurred because of improper soil compaction and grading.

Morel v. Electrical Product Manufacturer

(Sacramento County / Product Liability)
Settlement: $1,000,000.00.

Here, the decedent was fatally injured when a GFI went bad and failed to trip. Plaintiff's theory was that the twenty year old GFI unit should not continue to conduct electrical current at the conclusion of its useful life, rather than allowing for continuous flow of electricity to pass through it.

Tan v. Marge's Trucking

(Santa Clara County / Vehicle Negligence)
Settlement: $1,000,000.00.

This was a wrongful death case where a 23 year old Vietnamese American woman was killed after being rear ended while stopping when her car stalled in the fast lane of travel on Highway 680 in San Jose while in route to work.

Tomas S. v. Temple Inland

(Sacramento County / Product Liability)
Settlement: $1,000,000.00

This was a product liability case where, the plaintiff, a newly trained mechanist lost the tips of two fingers on his non-dominant hand due to what plaintiff alleged to be improper guarding and the lack of an accessible shut off switch.

Vankelt v. H & L Trucking

(Shasta County / Vehicle Trucking Negligence)
Settlement: $1,000,000

This elderly plaintiff sustained cervical injuries when stuck by the defendant trucker.

Lewin v. Mutual Express Company, et al.

(Alameda County/Trucking Accident)
Settlement: $1,000,000

Decedent was cited for inattentive driving and for excessive speed when he drove into the rear of a disabled semi-truck on a straight stretch of roadway on Highway 5. The evidence showed all other vehicles saw the truck and safely passed around it without incident and that Defendant had placed warning triangles that should have warned decedent that Defendant's truck partially blocked the slow lane of travel. Defendants alleged that decedent simply fell asleep. However, the sole heir in this case proved that the disabled trucker failed to properly maintain her truck and also failed to warn decedent of the existence of the truck as contributing conduct to the accident. The Worker's Compensation claimant for Plaintiff was paid out of this settlement as well.