Roger A. Dreyer Verdicts and Settlements

Background on Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results

Insurance companies are risk aversive and want to avoid trial. If they know an attorney will take a case to trial and has been successful in the courtroom, it impacts their decision-making process with cases handled by that attorney. A very small percentage of attorneys are willing to take a case to trial, and even fewer have a track record of success. Mr. Dreyer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates. This is a prestigious trial lawyer organization, by invitation only. To be recognized as a Diplomate, one must have tried to verdict over 100 cases in trial. Mr. Dreyer is one of less than sixty attorneys in the United States who has tried more than 100 civil cases exclusively for Plaintiffs. He has been recognized as having one of the top 100 verdicts in the United States on four separate occasions in the years 2003, 2009, and twice in 2011. He had two verdicts in 2011 in the top 15 in the State of California. His record of excellence in the courtroom impacts the insurance carriers on how they evaluate cases he is handling. Oftentimes, this results in significant pretrial settlements and, thereby, the client is treated fairly and avoids having to go through the trial process. The following are case summaries on matters that Mr. Dreyer has taken to trial that either settled during trial or resulted in a verdict, as well as cases that were settled before trial.

As you look through the case summaries and the different categories of cases tried or settled, it is important to understand the cases that actually went to verdict or were settled during trial all required an enormous amount of time and effort to prepare the case to present to a jury. Very few lawyers and law firms are willing to spend the time, resources, and effort to prepare a case for trial and obtain a verdict. This firm stands above all others in that regard.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Products Liability
    • Sacramento Kings player injured from workout product

      Sacramento Kings v. MF Athletic
      October 2012 Settlement $ Confidential
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Sacramento Kings player injured from workout product

      This matter involved one of the Sacramento Kings being injured during the course of a workout routine when the Defendant’s exercise ball failed. It resulted in an injury that prevented the athlete from competing for a year for the Sacramento Kings. The Sacramento Kings claimed that it suffered a loss for having to honor the contract for the athlete who was unable to play. The matter resolved in an extremely positive fashion for the Kings Franchise.

      For more details about this case see our news article: Sacramento Kings Player Injured - Product Liability Case Filed

    • 15 Passenger van rolled over after defective tire failed

      Mauro v. Ford Motor Company
      November 2011 Verdict $73 MILLION
      [$16 million on wrongful death;$50 million on punitive damages; and other Plaintiffs were awarded $7 million]
      (Sacramento Superior Court)
      15 Passenger van rolled over after defective tire failed

      This action involved a trial against Ford Motor Company for the wrongful death of a 45-year-old husband and father of two boys. Plaintiff claimed that the Ford E-350 Van, when it was put in combination with the Goodyear tire and that tire failed, was a defective vehicle. The claim was that Ford knew the tire was defective and knew what owners of these vehicles had the defective tires on them, but failed to notify the owners of the vehicles. The case focused on issues of how the incident took place when the tire failed and Ford’s efforts to blame the operator as being at fault for the subject incident. Focusing on the nature and extent of the loss suffered by the family resulted in the largest wrongful death verdict in Sacramento County history.

      Pretrial offer was $700,000.

      For more details about this case see our news article: Record Punitive Damage Verdict Against Ford - Over $70 Million

    • Defective boat caused brain injury

      Bell v. Mastercraft Boats
      June 2011 Verdict $31 MILLION
      (Butte County Superior Court)
      Defective boat caused brain injury

      This matter involved a 4-month trial against Mastercraft alleging a defective product in terms of how they constructed the subject boat. Plaintiff was a passenger in the boat when, during the course of the operation, it took on water and she was washed overboard and into the propeller suffering a significant brain injury. Defendant contested liability and claimed that it was the operator of the boat’s fault because he was under the influence of alcohol and denied their boat was defective. Plaintiffs were able to prove during the course of trial that the claimed defect in the boat resulted in it taking on water in a fashion that the operator would not be able to observe. Substantial time was spent at trial proving up the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by the 23-year-old victim. This matter was tried with the assistance of Robert Bale, an attorney in the firm.

      The pretrial offer was $2 million.

      For more details about this case see our news article: MasterCraft Boat Found Defective by a Butte County Jury

    • Wheelchair patron dropped from bus lift

      Avery v. MV Public Transportation Inc., City of Roseville, Ricon Corporation
      October 2010 Jury Verdict $6.4 million
      (Placer County Superior Court)
      Wheelchair patron dropped from bus lift

      This action involved a quadriplegic who was injured when the transportation vehicle he was utilizing dropped him from their lift. The issue to determine was the nature and extent of his injuries and also the negligence of the Defendants. The Defendants attempted to blame the Plaintiff for operating his wheelchair on the lift when the incident happened and also that he was already a quadriplegic and, therefore, the injury was not that significant. Proving up the nature and extent of the damages as well as liability against the transportation service were key components of the action. This matter was tried with Christopher Wood, a partner in the firm.

      The pretrial offer was $2 million.

      For more details about this case see our news article: Wheelchair Lift - Paratransit Bus Accident

    • Motorcycle kickstand caught on the ground causing loss of control

      Mulhern v. Bourget’s Bike Works, Inc.
      June 2009 Settlement$2.8 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a motorcyclist who, in the course of turning his bike on a curve, lost control of the bike when the kickstand caught on the ground. It was alleged that there was a defect in the bike and in the maintenance work that had be performed on the bike as it relates to the kickstand causing the bike to loose control, resulting in a serious leg injury requiring multiple surgeries.

    • Defective safety on handgun

      Shehadeh v. Sigarms September 2001 Settlement $2.2 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      Plaintiff was a 19 year old college student who was at his uncle's convenience store. A firearm, kept by the uncle, was inadvertently dropped by an employee and the handgun discharged, resulting in the Plaintiff being shot in the lower left portion of his leg. Plaintiff suffered fractures in both the tibia and fibula and caused significant injury and muscle loss to the left lower extremity. Plaintiff contended that the subject handgun was defective in its manufacturing and did not have an adequate safety device to prevent accidental hammer discharges of this nature. Defendant contended that the weapon was not defective and if it was kept in a safe condition, it would not discharge inadvertently. The matter settled on the first day of trial.

    • Used tire resold, blew out and caused driver to lose control

      Whitbeck v. Big O Tires, Inc. February 1999 Settlement $2.3 MILLION
      (Alameda County Superior Court)

      This was a single car motor vehicle accident involving a claim of products liability against the Defendants as well as negligence relative to a claim of tire failure. This was a wrongful death action involving the death of John Whitbeck who was proceeding on State Route 99 northbound when his right rear tire blew out causing him to lose control of his vehicle and be killed. Decedent is survived by his wife and his three teenage children. Plaintiffs contended that the tire was a used tire that was defective and that Defendant had failed to properly inspect said tire and should never have resold the tire due to its defective nature. Defendants contended that the blow out was the type of thing that can happen involving a tire of this nature and denied any defect. Defendants contended that the decedent over-reacted to the blowout, panicked and caused the vehicle to lose control. Defendants also contended that because the decedent was not wearing the shoulder harness of his seatbelt, that precipitated his death and that had he had the shoulder harness on, he would not have died. Plaintiffs were able to establish that there had been other failures of the same set of used tires and that Defendant was put on notice of this previous problem yet failed to properly inspect and advise the Whitbecks of this defective tire. Mr. Whitbeck was out of work at the time of the accident and had a checkered work history. The total economic damages were less than $250,000. The matter was mediated over the course of a day and a half.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Internal Injuries
    • Truck driver injured unloading beams

      Morgan v. SMC Contracting
      September 2012 Settlement During Trial $3 MILLION
      (El Dorado County Superior Court)
      Truck driver injured unloading beams

      This matter involved a construction accident where Plaintiff was the truck driver involved in off-loading of large beams. In the process of off-loading, beams were dropped on the Plaintiff by a forklift operator claimed to be an employee of one of the Defendants. Comparative fault against him was a significant issue. Defendants also disputed liability and the forklift operator’s employment with Defendants. The matter went to trial and was settled in the third week of trial.

    • Car struck head-on by trailer

      Garcia v. Cal-West Concrete Cutting, Inc. October 2006 Verdict $5.2 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Car struck head-on by trailer

      This case involves 65 year-old Elva Garcia and her husband of 46 years, Ramon Garcia. On the day of the incident, Plaintiffs were traveling southbound on Sierra College Boulevard when the Defendant, who was traveling in the opposite direction, had his compressor trailer disconnect from the back of his truck due to his failure to properly secure the trailer hitch. The trailer, which had a diesel generator on it, went into the Garcias’ lane of travel and struck their vehicle head-on.

      Mrs. Garcia suffered a severe abdominal injury, including damage to her colon, as a result of the seatbelt trauma caused by the frontal impact. Mrs. Garcia ultimately had to undergo colon repair, which left her with a colostomy; the recovery for which was complicated and life-threatening. Ramon Garcia suffered impact to his right knee in the incident along with other minor soft-tissue injuries. He also suffered emotional distress over observing his wife being injured and her immediate reaction to the injury when she thought she was dying.

      Defendants contended that Mrs. Garcia's colostomy would not dramatically impact her quality of life and disputed Mrs. Garcia's need for future medical care and treatment. Defendants also contended that Mr. Garcia did not suffer any serious knee injury; rather his pain was a result of a prior knee replacement surgery. Defendant had a $1 million primary insurance policy with Zurich and a $5 million excess policy with Great American Insurance. Defendants tendered Zurich's $1 million policy limits six months prior to the trial. During the course of litigation, Great American made offers starting at $200,000, $600,000, and $1.2 million. On the eve of trial, Great American increased its offer to $2 million above the Zurich policy. The jury awarded $4,384,500 to Mrs. Garcia for her non-economic and economic losses and $828,000 to Mr. Garcia for his non-economic and economic losses for a total verdict of $5,212,500.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Motor Vehicle Collisions
    • Jury Awards $9 Million for Injuries Sustained in 2012 Crash

      August 2015 - Jonesboro, Arkansas - 9.1 Million

      Jury Awards $9 Million for Injuries Sustained in 2012 CrashAn Arkansas woman, who suffered severe brain injuries, losing part of her temporal lobe after being broadsided by a van driven by a grocery chain employee, was awarded $9 million by a federal jury.

      read more

    • Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      February 2015 - Yolo County - $9,850,000

      On August 6, 2012, Rosalina Dionisio was headed home to Sacramento from her shift at the West Sacramento United States Postal Service office. She was driving a 1990 BMW when it suddenly stopped functioning and she lost electrical power.

      read more

    • Car struck head-on by trailer

      Garcia v. Cal-West Concrete Cutting, Inc.
      October 2006 Verdict $5.2 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Car struck head-on by trailer

      This case involves 65 year-old Elva Garcia and her husband of 46 years, Ramon Garcia. On the day of the incident, Plaintiffs were traveling southbound on Sierra College Boulevard when the Defendant, who was traveling in the opposite direction, had his compressor trailer disconnect from the back of his truck due to his failure to properly secure the trailer hitch. The trailer, which had a diesel generator on it, went into the Garcias’ lane of travel and struck their vehicle head-on.

      Mrs. Garcia suffered a severe abdominal injury, including damage to her colon, as a result of the seatbelt trauma caused by the frontal impact. Mrs. Garcia ultimately had to undergo colon repair, which left her with a colostomy; the recovery for which was complicated and life-threatening. Ramon Garcia suffered impact to his right knee in the incident along with other minor soft-tissue injuries. He also suffered emotional distress over observing his wife being injured and her immediate reaction to the injury when she thought she was dying.

      Defendants contended that Mrs. Garcia's colostomy would not dramatically impact her quality of life and disputed Mrs. Garcia's need for future medical care and treatment. Defendants also contended that Mr. Garcia did not suffer any serious knee injury; rather his pain was a result of a prior knee replacement surgery. Defendant had a $1 million primary insurance policy with Zurich and a $5 million excess policy with Great American Insurance. Defendants tendered Zurich's $1 million policy limits six months prior to the trial. During the course of litigation, Great American made offers starting at $200,000, $600,000, and $1.2 million. On the eve of trial, Great American increased its offer to $2 million above the Zurich policy. The jury awarded $4,384,500 to Mrs. Garcia for her non-economic and economic losses and $828,000 to Mr. Garcia for his non-economic and economic losses for a total verdict of $5,212,500.

    • Hit head-on by drunk driver

      Smith v. Vista Verde Farms
      April 2006 Settlement During Trial $7.75 MILLION
      (Fresno County Superior Court)
      Hit head-on by drunk driver

      This is a motor vehicle collision where the Plaintiffs, Chalene, a 28-year-old single woman, and her mother, Dixie, a 60-year-old drama and arts professor at West Hills College, were struck head-on by an adverse driver who was a partner in the Vista Verde Farms and significantly under the influence of alcohol. Chalene Smith suffered a back injury that ultimately resulted in surgery on her spine and a knee and foot injury which also required surgery. She was further diagnosed as suffering from a mild brain injury. Dixie Smith suffered a complicated comminuted fracture of her right ankle. After her original surgery failed to fuse, she required an ankle fusion. She was able to return to teaching, but was unable to demonstrate to her students the dance maneuvers and aspects of performing on stage. Chalene Smith's economic damages were between $600,000 and $1,800,000, depending upon what impact her injuries would ultimately have on her ability to return to work. Dixie Smith's economic damages were $200,000. Chalene Smith's case settled for $5,750,000 and Dixie Smith's case for $1,900,000 for a combined settlement of $7,750,000.

      Fresno Bee Article: Coalinga DUI victims settle with driver for $7.75 million

    • Farm worker rear-ended by UPS

      Jose and Celia Servin v. United Parcel Service
      February 2005 Verdict $7 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This case involves a 70-year-old farm worker who was driving a tractor on July 4, 2001 when he was rear-ended by a UPS transportation vehicle. The impact caused Mr. Servin's head to strike the rear glass on the tractor causing him to suffer a closed head injury. The symptoms from the injury resulted in him being referred out to a neurosurgeon for surgery on a pre-existing asymptomatic arterial venous malformation (AVM). The surgical procedure went poorly and Mr. Servin was left essentially paralyzed on the left side of his body. Defendants took the position that the condition that he was operated on was for a pre-existing unrelated medical condition. Mr. Servin and counsel took the position that the AVM was made symptomatic or in the alternative, would never have been discovered but for the collision and it would never have created any problems for him. Further, the claim was made that the surgeon who did the procedure did not adequately provide Mr. Servin with an informed consent to make a decision to have the procedure and to consider the factors of his age and the lack of symptoms prior to the incident. Defendants offered $150,000 to settle the matter. The jury awarded $6,500,000 to Mr. Servin for his non-economic and economic losses and $500,000 to his wife for her loss of consortium.

    • Rear-end motor vehicle collision

      Denise Hurlburt v. David Hada
      March 2004 Verdict $4.6 MILLION
      (Napa County Superior Court)

      This was a rear-end motor vehicle collision which took place as a result of the Plaintiff having to slow for construction and the Defendant impacting her car from behind. Defendant admitted liability, but contested the nature and extent of Plaintiff's injuries. Plaintiff claimed a cervical spine injury which resulted in surgery and a lumbar spine injury which also resulted in a surgery. Plaintiff was a 44-year old in-home healthcare nurse making approximately $30,000 annually. She was a single mother of two young children. Defendant contended that Plaintiff's neck condition pre-existed the subject accident and that the low back condition was unrelated. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Plaintiff awarding a total sum of $4.6 million. Defendant had offered $250,000 prior to trial. Plaintiff was entitled to $700,000 in interest and costs because she beat her previous offer to settle on the matter. This is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in Napa County history.

    • Two vehicle accidents in a year

      Maihack v. The Hartford
      October 2001 Binding Arbitration $6.6 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      Plaintiff was involved in two separate motor vehicle accidents separated by six months. Both accidents resulted due to the negligent conduct of uninsured motorists. As a result, Plaintiff filed an uninsured motorist claim against her auto carrier. She suffered a brachial plexus injury requiring a surgery. She had residual neck and arm pain as well as suffering from post-traumatic stress having been involved in the two separate accidents. The insurance carrier took the position that her injuries were not as severe as she articulated them, and that she had other problems that kept her from working, not just the subject accidents. The Plaintiff had attempted to work following the second accident, but ultimately could not continue in her job function. The insurance carrier offered the sum of $1,000,000 to settle both claims prior to the binding arbitration. The matter was arbitrated over a two day time-frame. The arbitrator entered an award of $6,600,000.

    • Hit by car turning left

      Rinetti v. Hall
      June 2012 Settlement $3.9 MILLION
      (Alameda County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual who was struck by a vehicle making a left-hand turn. This resulted in the Plaintiff suffering from neck and back injuries, including surgical intervention. Defendant was an elderly woman and issues of insurance coverage were addressed in this action. The nature and extent of injuries were contended by Defendant.

    • Hit at the Y in South Lake Tahoe

      Abbott v. South Tahoe Refuse Co., et al.
      May 2012 Settlement $4.5 MILLION
      (El Dorado Superior Court)
      Hit at the Y in South Lake Tahoe

      On August 22, 2006 Defendant was driving a Ford F250 truck owned by his employer, South Tahoe Refuse Co. The truck collided with Plaintiff’s vehicle in the intersection of Highway 89 at Highway 50 (also known as Lake Tahoe Boulevard at Emerald Bay Road) in South Lake Tahoe. The force of the broadside impact caused injuries to Plaintiff to her neck, back and left shoulder.

      At the time of the collision the client was employed as a Respiratory Therapist. The collision rendered her disabled and she could no longer engage in her career or the physical activities that she enjoyed prior to sustaining her injuries. She had surgery on her neck and low back.

      The matter settled one week prior to trial. Defendant’s carrier went from a $1 million offer to the settlement amount in the 30 days prior to trial.

    • Hit by California Highway Patrol (CHP)

      Decker v. State of California
      October 2011 Settlement $4.25 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual struck by a CHP patrol unit resulting in a claimed brain injury. Plaintiff was a Sheriff’s Officer, married and the father of three children. The nature and extent of the claimed brain injury was disputed by Defendant.

    • Self-employed painter hit

      Durston v. Valley Unit Utility
      February 2011 Settlement $3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a self-employed painter who was driving his vehicle which was struck by Defendant’s employee. The collision caused neck and back injuries. The Defendant contested the nature and extent of the injury.

    • Car wash designed improperly caused pedestrian to get hit by car leaving

      Hyland v. Hopkins
      May 2009 Settlement$1.1 MILLION
      (Solano County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an incident at a car wash and a claim that the car wash was not properly designed and exposed pedestrians to injury. The Plaintiff was waiting for her car to be washed and sitting on a bench when she was struck by a car leaving the car wash and lost control on the wet pavement.

    • Pedestrian struck by turning vehicle

      Taaffe v. Shimozaki
      March 2009 Settlement $2.25 MILLION
      (Placer County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a pedestrian who was struck by a right-turning vehicle resulting in neck and orthopedic injuries. Plaintiff’s injury required spine surgery.

    • Car accident caused death

      Perrucci v. Deen
      May 2010 Settlement $2.7 MILLION
      (Butte County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual who suffered an injury as a result of the motor vehicle collision which ultimately resulted in his death while he was being operated on for an injury to his shoulder claimed to have been suffered in the incident. It involved the death of a father and husband who was 40 years old. The Defendants contested causation of the decedent’s death. The matter settled shortly before trial.

    • Vehicle accident caused neck injury

      Hollon v. Westset/Poole
      November 2009 Settlement $1.2 MILLION
      (Ventura County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a motor vehicle accident and neck injury that was settled shortly before trial. Plaintiff, a single mother of a special needs child and self-employed, was rear-ended and suffered a neck injury resulting in the need for surgery.

    • Hit from rear causing vehicle to hit semi-trailer

      Adins v. Master Tile West
      July 2006 Settlement $9 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This action involved a catastrophic collision that took place in December of 2004 in a complex motor vehicle collision sequence. Roberta Adins was a 48-year-old special education teacher on her way home when an unknown driver affected traffic at an off-ramp in Solano County. She reacted to the erratic driving of this unknown individual and was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by a Master Tile West employee. The impact from behind caused her vehicle to veer to the left and strike the undercarriage of a refrigerated semi trailer causing significant left-sided impact to her vehicle resulting in a severe brain injury and multiple orthopedic injuries requiring surgery.

      Mrs. Adins was able to recover from her orthopedic injuries to her left foot and leg, but had a significant residual brain injury. While she had the ability to understand and appreciate her problems, the residual impact on her balance, her speech and her judgment rendered her disabled and dramatically impacted the quality of her life and that of her 75-year-old husband. Her husband essentially became her caregiver. The collision liability was disputed in that the Defendants wished to put responsibility on either Mrs. Adins for braking in response to what was happening ahead, or on the unknown driver who was never identified and had left the scene. She had economic damages for medical expenses in the past and future along with loss of income of approximately $2.2 million to $2.6 million. The matter settled for the sum of $9 million.

    • Car rolled and roof failed

      Ladendorf v. Daimlerchrysler / Brewer Refrigeration
      April 2005 Settlement $4.7 MILLION
      (Nevada County Superior Court)

      This action dealt with a single car incident where the adverse driver had a .08 alcohol level and took a curve too sharp and turned his vehicle over. He had limited insurance and the Plaintiff sued not only the driver, but also the manufacturer of the vehicle in that the roof failed. This was a personal injury action claiming products liability against the manufacturer and negligence on the part of the driver. Plaintiff suffered a T-10 fracture and spinal cord injury that essentially left him paralyzed from the waist down. The matter was a hotly disputed products liability action with the product liability Defendant pointing the finger at the intoxicated driver and ultimately settled.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Fire Incident
    • House fire caused by power company

      Doe v. Private Utility Company
      December 2011 Settlement $ Confidential
      (San Diego County Superior Court)

      This matter involved the wrongful death of the parents of the Plaintiff as a result of a fire that spread out of control. The fire engulfed his parents’ home where both perished. The case dealt with issues of liability of the power company involved whose lines were claimed to have sparked the fire. The damages suffered by the Plaintiff as it relates to the loss of his parents were the key issue that needed to be addressed.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Paralysis Injury
    • Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      February 2015 - Yolo County - $9,850,000

      On August 6, 2012, Rosalina Dionisio was headed home to Sacramento from her shift at the West Sacramento United States Postal Service office. She was driving a 1990 BMW when it suddenly stopped functioning and she lost electrical power.

      read more

    • Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      Confidential Settlement against Northern California Public Entity
      May 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.5 MILLION
      (Undisclosed Superior Court)
      Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      This matter involved a 50-year-old bicycle enthusiast who was operating his bike on a road in a Northern California county at its intersection with an off-ramp off of an Interstate. An individual came off the highway and stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded into the intersection right in front of the bicyclist. The public entity took the position that the driver of the vehicle was responsible for the incident. The claim was against the public entity for failure to recognize the subject location’s significant accident history and address it. The accident history at this specific location was discovered during the course of litigation to be drastic. Additionally, the County was aware that there was a bike trail that ran right though this intersection. The public entity took the position that the incident was solely the fault of the driver whereas the claim made was that there was ample information and time for the subject public entity to take the necessary steps to protect bicyclists and other citizens in and about this location. The claim was that it was a foreseeable event and had the public entity taken the necessary steps, the incident would not have happened.

      The injured party suffered a cervical spine injury that rendered him quadriplegic and ventilator dependent.

      Pretrial offer was $2.5 million.

    • Quadriplegic injury from diving incident and improper removal from the pool

      Baker v. Modesto City Schools District
      June 2012 Settlement $3.5 MILLION
      (Stanislaus County Superior Court)
      Quadriplegic injury from diving incident and improper removal from the pool

      This swimming pool diving incident occurred on October 18, 2008, and resulted in the then-17-year-old Plaintiff becoming a quadriplegic. The client was a student at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, and was participating in a water polo tournament at the campus of Peter Johansen High School in Modesto, which is part of the Defendant school district. The Plaintiff was doing an entry dive, as he had done numerous times before, into a warm-up area of the pool at the Johansen campus, where the water was approximately 3.5 feet deep. Despite being responsible for organizing, running, and charging admission for this tournament, Defendant’s employees provided no supervision to enforce their professed rule against this type of dive.

      As a result of this incident, the client suffered a C7 ASIA Class C quadriplegic. Stabilizing surgeries were performed at the C5 through C7 levels at University of California San Francisco following his injury. The Plaintiff experienced neurogenic bowel and bladder (including multiple urinary tract infections), right elbow bursitis, severe spasticity due to spinal cord injury, dysfunction of his reflexes, restrictive lung disease, scoliosis secondary to his injury, right hip contractures, hand contractures, likely osteoporosis, neuropathic and myofascial pain, and right shoulder pain.

      Plaintiffs contended that Defendants’ employees failed to provide a safe environment for high school students. Plaintiffs were also critical of how the employees allowed Mr. Baker to be removed from this pool, and placed on the pool deck with his head to the side. Defendant contented liability claiming that Plaintiff was 100% responsible for his own injury. The matter settled at mediation.

      Merced Sun Star Article: James Burns: Buhach Colony's Baker on road to recover after diving accident

    • Bicyclist rode into a ditch left open

      Doe v. Private Construction Company
      June 2011 Settlement $6.25 MILLION
      (Yuba County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a bicyclist who was a 40-year-old mechanic and married father of two young children who rode his bike into a ditch that was left open and uncovered by the Defendant construction company during the course of a construction project. Comparative fault against the bicyclist had to be defended as Defendants claimed Plaintiff should have seen the opening. Plaintiff suffered a catastrophic spine injury, which resulted in paralysis in his lower limbs.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Pedestrian Incident
    • Pedestrian's feet run over in crosswalk

      Pontes v. Boehringer
      May 2010 Settlement During Trial $2 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Pedestrian's feet run over in crosswalk

      This action involved a woman who was a pedestrian who had her feet run over while she was in a crosswalk and the Defendant was making a right turn. She was knocked to the ground and also suffered a neck injury which resulted in surgery. This matter settled during the course of trial. The action dealt with the nature and extent of her injuries and also whether she was comparatively at fault.

    • Pedestrian killed by bus in the crosswalk

      Giannoni v. Sacramento Regional Transit District
      June 2007 Verdict $4.6 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Pedestrian killed by bus in the crosswalk

      This involved an incident where a wife and mother of two adult daughters was in a crosswalk when she was struck by a Sacramento Regional Transit Bus. This case involved essentially a jury valuing the loss of a wife and mother who was in her mid-50’s.

      Pretrial offer was $2 million.

    • Photographer struck by beach buggy

      Beck v. Martinovich
      November 2011 Settlement $1.25 MILLION
      (Shasta County Superior Court)

      This involved a disputed liability matter where a photographer was struck by a beach-going vehicle while in the process of taking photos in the evening. Comparative fault was a factor. Plaintiff suffered multiple injuries including claimed brain injury.

    • Intoxicated driver lost control of golf cart

      Codero v. Marshall
      June 2010 Settlement $2 MILLION
      (Placer County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an incident where an operator of a golf cart, who was intoxicated, lost control and struck the Plaintiff resulting in a leg injury that ultimately became Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. The Plaintiff was married and had two children. The Defendant contested the nature and extent of the injury.

    • Struck at ATM by car

      DOE v. Wells Fargo Bank
      May 2010 Settlement $3.8 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual who was a pedestrian at an ATM when he was struck from behind by an elderly driver who went over the curb. The claim was against the Defendant for failure to provide protective devices around the ATM. The Plaintiff was a single man who suffered the loss of his leg.

    • Car wash designed improperly caused pedestrian to get hit by car leaving

      Hyland v. Hopkins
      May 2009 Settlement$1.1 MILLION
      (Solano County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an incident at a car wash and a claim that the car wash was not properly designed and exposed pedestrians to injury. The Plaintiff was waiting for her car to be washed and sitting on a bench when she was struck by a car leaving the car wash and lost control on the wet pavement.

    • Pedestrian struck by turning vehicle

      Taaffe v. Shimozaki
      March 2009 Settlement $2.25 MILLION
      (Placer County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a pedestrian who was struck by a right-turning vehicle resulting in neck and orthopedic injuries. Plaintiff’s injury required spine surgery.

    • Pedestrian struck by bus in the rain

      Tamblyn v. Preferred Charters
      November 2009 Settlement $2.75 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an incident where a pedestrian was struck and suffered multiple injuries involving her legs and spine. The single, 62-year-old woman was walking through a driveway area in a rain storm and was struck by a turning bus. Defendants alleged comparative fault.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Other Cases
    • Sacramento radio contestant died of water intoxication

      Strange v. Entercom Communications, et al.
      October 2009 Verdict $16.6 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Sacramento radio contestant died of water intoxication

      This was an action involving the highly publicized death of a 28-year-old mother of three who was married. She was a participant in a "hold your Wee" to win a Wii which turned into a water drinking contest run by a local radio station. The contest resulted in the decedent consuming a large quantity of water that ultimately resulted in significant brain hemorrhaging and her death. Defendants denied that this incident could result in death and that she was a willing participant. The claim made by the family was that she was not mindful of the potential risks and dangers to her and that the Defendants were negligent for running the contest. Proving up the elements of what took place, how the Defendants were responsible, causation and the nature of the losses that this family suffered were crucial aspects of this case.

      The Defendants’ carrier offered $7 million prior to trial.

    • Represented the Oakland Raiders & Al Davis

      Oakland Raiders v. Oakland Alameda County Coliseum
      August 2003 Verdict $34.2 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Represented the Oakland Raiders & Al Davis

      Business Fraud Action - This action dealt with a fraud/misrepresentation claim filed by the professional football franchise, the Oakland Raiders, against the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum, along with others, arising out of the Raiders move from Los Angeles to Oakland. The claims made by the Raiders included fraud, misrepresentation and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing surrounding the negotiations and the contract that was entered into to bring the Raiders from Los Angeles to Oakland in 1995. The Raiders claimed that the Defendants made misrepresentations and false statements regarding the demand for professional football in the Oakland region and falsely misrepresented that the pre-move sales of personal seat licenses had resulted in a sell-out of the stadium. Defendants contended that they had never made any such representations regarding demand or a sell-out of the personal seat licenses. To the contrary, the Defendants claimed that they had negotiated with the Raiders in good faith and had fully disclosed the sales results. They alleged that the Raiders were the ones making false claims and that they knew the stadium had not been sold out. This action initially started back in 1997 when the Defendants filed suit against the Raider organization for breach of contract and recision. The Defendants, who were the Plaintiffs in that action, filed their lawsuit against the Raiders based upon the belief that the Raiders were intending to leave the Oakland region, thereby breaching the license agreement. The case that ultimately went to trial in March 2003 was originally a cross-complaint by the Raiders filed against the Defendants. Mr. Dreyer was brought in to try the case. He did not get involved in the action until January of 2003 when he was hired to finish out the expert discovery in the case and then try the lawsuit. It was a no offer case, and the Defendants had claimed the lawsuit was filed maliciously and that it had no merit. Defendants further contended that the general partner for the Raiders, Al Davis, had manufactured this lawsuit in an effort to gain a negotiating advantage over the Coliseum Defendants. The trial took four months to try and after 14 days of deliberation, the jury ultimately entered a verdict in favor of the Raider organization for the sum of $34,203,135 by a vote of 11 to 1. The jury found that the Defendants had, in fact, lied to the Raiders and made false representations which induced the Raiders to enter into the original agreement. The jury further found that the Defendants had made false representations regarding the sell-out and awarded the Raider organization loss of profits from 1995-2005. This is the largest civil monetary judgment ever awarded in Sacramento County history.

    • Sacramento Kings player injured from workout product

      Sacramento Kings v. MF Athletic
      October 2012 Settlement $ Confidential
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Sacramento Kings player injured from workout product

      This matter involved one of the Sacramento Kings being injured during the course of a workout routine when the Defendant’s exercise ball failed. It resulted in an injury that prevented the athlete from competing for a year for the Sacramento Kings. The Sacramento Kings claimed that it suffered a loss for having to honor the contract for the athlete who was unable to play. The matter resolved in an extremely positive fashion for the Kings Franchise.

      For more details about this case see our news article: Sacramento Kings Player Injured - Product Liability Case Filed.

    • Armstead v. USC Lawsuit Reaches Resolution

      Settlement: Confidential | Los Angeles | Armstead v. USC

      Due to the level of interest in the matter of Armstead v. USC, University Park Health Center, and James Tibone, Armond Armstead and his counsel, Roger A. Dreyer and Robert B. Bale of the law firm Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood and Campora are issuing the following press release:

      The parties in this matter have reached a resolution of the case. As a result, the trial scheduled for April 6, 2015, will not proceed. The terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential. As a result, the parties are not at liberty to discuss the litigation or the resolution of the matter. The court file does remain public record.

      Mr. Armstead believes that Toradol, a powerful nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and its use as a painkiller in college athletics should be more fully and independently evaluated to protect the health and safety of student athletes, especially those athletes who compete at the intercollegiate level. He believes that these athletes in particular are too often in a vulnerable position, without the resources or information necessary to make informed decisions regarding the use of Toradol, especially in "game day" circumstances where the drug might be used to get a player on the field in spite of an injury, when more conservative medical care might be more appropriate for the long-term health of the student athlete. Mr. Armstead believes that the use of Toradol has not been adequately researched with respect to possible long-term consequences, especially when administered to student athletes by team doctors repeatedly over the course of a season. In Mr. Armstead's opinion, college teams and team doctors should be required to inform student athletes of the known risks associated with the use of Toradol, including, at a minimum, being provided the warnings and medication guides approved and required for this drug by the Food and Drug Administration. Mr. Armstead believes that the repeated use of Toradol poses certain medical risks to student athletes. Those risks should be scientifically evaluated in a clinical and controlled setting, not in an environment where team doctors are using the drug where the focus may be on the outcome of a single game rather than on protecting the health and safety of individual players. It is his hope that above all, the NCAA and all college football programs will adopt a commitment to always put the individual safety of student athletes ahead of the need to win.

      Mr. Armstead extends his deepest appreciation and thanks to his family, friends and fans in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Toronto and Boston and across the country who have supported him over the past four years and he looks forward to the next chapter of his life.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Premise Liability
    • Car wash designed improperly caused pedestrian to get hit by car leaving

      Hyland v. Hopkins
      May 2009 Settlement$1.1 MILLION
      (Solano County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an incident at a car wash and a claim that the car wash was not properly designed and exposed pedestrians to injury. The Plaintiff was waiting for her car to be washed and sitting on a bench when she was struck by a car leaving the car wash and lost control on the wet pavement.Confidential Settlement against Northern California Public Entity

      May 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.5 MILLION

    • Deck hot tub not protect properly in a Lake Tahoe rental house

      McAfee v. Schlesinger
      December 2002 Settlement $6.3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This was a premises liability action involving a 31-year old employee of PeopleSoft. The Plaintiff was in the Lake Tahoe region the evening of the accident. He had been out that evening with friends. He met up with a young woman who invited him to a party that she had been invited to at a rental in the Carnelian Bay area. At the time of the accident, the Plaintiff was ultimately determined to be at a .23 in terms of his blood alcohol level. At the rental, he and the young woman went out onto a deck and entered a spa. He became lightheaded and sat up on the edge of the spa and then passed out, tumbling backwards. Unbeknownst to the Plaintiff, the spa had been placed in a corner immediately up to a railing that was even with the top of the spa. The Defendant landowner was mindful that this was too close and that he placed 4 inch plexiglass along the top of the railing that proved to be wholly inadequate for protecting any occupant. The Plaintiff fell backwards 20 feet and landed on a log suffering a burst fracture of his L1 and L2 vertebral bodies rendering him a paraplegic.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Bicycle Accidents
    • Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      Confidential Settlement against Northern California Public Entity
      May 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.5 MILLION
      (Undisclosed Superior Court)
      Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      This matter involved a 50-year-old bicycle enthusiast who was operating his bike on a road in a Northern California county at its intersection with an off-ramp off of an Interstate. An individual came off the highway and stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded into the intersection right in front of the bicyclist. The public entity took the position that the driver of the vehicle was responsible for the incident. The claim was against the public entity for failure to recognize the subject location’s significant accident history and address it. The accident history at this specific location was discovered during the course of litigation to be drastic. Additionally, the County was aware that there was a bike trail that ran right though this intersection. The public entity took the position that the incident was solely the fault of the driver whereas the claim made was that there was ample information and time for the subject public entity to take the necessary steps to protect bicyclists and other citizens in and about this location. The claim was that it was a foreseeable event and had the public entity taken the necessary steps, the incident would not have happened.

      The injured party suffered a cervical spine injury that rendered him quadriplegic and ventilator dependent.

      Pretrial offer was $2.5 million.

    • Bicyclist struck by car turning left

      Massey-Todd v. Wiley
      April 2012 Settlement $5.4 MILLION
      (San Francisco County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a bicyclist who was struck by a left turning vehicle and suffered an arm injury and claimed brain injury. The arm injury involved significant reduction in function and use of her non-dominant arm. The brain injury and impact on cognition was also disputed. Defendant also contested liability and that Plaintiff should have avoided the impact.

    • Bicyclist rode into a ditch left open

      Doe v. Private Construction Company
      June 2011 Settlement $6.25 MILLION
      (Yuba County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a bicyclist who was a 40-year-old mechanic and married father of two young children who rode his bike into a ditch that was left open and uncovered by the Defendant construction company during the course of a construction project. Comparative fault against the bicyclist had to be defended as Defendants claimed Plaintiff should have seen the opening. Plaintiff suffered a catastrophic spine injury, which resulted in paralysis in his lower limbs.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Construction Incident
    • Truck driver injured unloading beams

      Morgan v. SMC Contracting
      September 2012 Settlement During Trial $3 MILLION
      (El Dorado County Superior Court)
      Truck driver injured unloading beams

      This matter involved a construction accident where Plaintiff was the truck driver involved in off-loading of large beams. In the process of off-loading, beams were dropped on the Plaintiff by a forklift operator claimed to be an employee of one of the Defendants. Comparative fault against him was a significant issue. Defendants also disputed liability and the forklift operator’s employment with Defendants. The matter went to trial and was settled in the third week of trial.

    • Dump truck backed over worker on construction site

      Kaufman v. Cline, et al.
      April 2008 Settlement During Trial $3.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Dump truck backed over worker on construction site

      This matter involved a roadway construction worker who was on a roadway project when he was backed over by a truck during the course of the construction. He was a father of two young children and married at the time of the incident. The defense took the position that the incident was his fault as he should have heard the back-up bell and been aware that the dump truck would be backing up into the area where he was working. This case involved assessing visibility in a construction location and standard of care relative to conduct and operation of trucks, and of construction sites. Physical evidence at the scene and also the nature of the injuries that ultimately resulted in the death had to be assessed and evaluated on the issue of construction. Valuation of the loss to the family was also a key component in the matter.

      Pretrial offer was $2 million.

    • Truck accident caused by improper marking of construction zone

      Blagg v. State of California, et al.
      January 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.35 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)
      Truck accident caused by improper marking of construction zone

      This matter involved the wrongful death of a father of two young boys who was married. He was on Interstate 5 transporting materials in his truck and approaching a location where Caltrans and private construction companies were doing roadway construction. The claim was made that the Defendants had failed to properly notify oncoming traffic of construction and did not take the necessary precautions to protect the motoring public as they approached the construction. Due to that failure, accidents began to take place which ultimately resulted in 18-wheelers striking Mr. Blagg’s vehicle and killing him. This was a complex piece of litigation where a number of Defendants were pointing at each other and taking the position they were not responsible for the death of this 32-year-old husband and father. The matter resolved during the course of jury selection.

      Pretrial offer was $4 million.

    • Fell on back into an unmarked trench

      Stringer v. PG&E
      April 2000 Verdict $7.3 MILLION
      (San Francisco County Superior Court)

      This case involved an accident at a construction site. Plaintiff David Stringer was a framing contractor working for Defendant Hal Porter Homes on a housing tract. Defendant PG&E had dug a service trench to the foundation where Mr. Stringer was to do his framing. While Mr. Stringer was working next to the trench, it caved in causing him to fall into the trench and landing on his back. The Defendants contended that the accident was Mr. Stringer's fault for working too close to the trench. Plaintiffs contended that it was PG&E and Hal Porter's fault in that the trench was open for an extended period of time and PG&E had failed to either fill it or put barricade tape along the sides of the trench to keep workers away. Mr. Stringer suffered a back injury which ultimately resulted in four separate spinal operations and disability. Verdict was entered for Plaintiff Dave Stringer in the amount of $5.83 million and for Plaintiff Doreen Stringer for loss of consortium in the amount of $1.7 million. VERDICT: $7,300,000. Defendants had offered $500,000 prior to trial to settle the case.

    • Bicyclist rode into a ditch left open

      Doe v. Private Construction Company
      June 2011 Settlement $6.25 MILLION
      (Yuba County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a bicyclist who was a 40-year-old mechanic and married father of two young children who rode his bike into a ditch that was left open and uncovered by the Defendant construction company during the course of a construction project. Comparative fault against the bicyclist had to be defended as Defendants claimed Plaintiff should have seen the opening. Plaintiff suffered a catastrophic spine injury, which resulted in paralysis in his lower limbs.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Amputation Injury
    • Electric shock resulted in loss of arm

      Mariner v. Restaurant Depo
      January 2011 Settlement $2.2 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual while he was in the course of his work coming into contact with a power line resulting in severe electrical shock, which resulted in the loss his left arm. Liability and comparative fault was contested by the Defendants.

    • Struck at ATM by car

      DOE v. Wells Fargo Bank
      May 2010 Settlement $3.8 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual who was a pedestrian at an ATM when he was struck from behind by an elderly driver who went over the curb. The claim was against the Defendant for failure to provide protective devices around the ATM. The Plaintiff was a single man who suffered the loss of his leg.

    • Motorcyclist with amputation injury

      Godfrey v. State of California
      April 2009 Settlement $3.3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an employee of the State of California broadsiding a motorcyclist, which resulted in the loss of his left leg below the knee. Client was single and employed as a tile setter.

    • Dangerous intersection allowed left turn in front of motorcycle

      Rodman v. State of California
      September 2001 Settlement $2 MILLION
      (Napa County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an allegation of a dangerous condition of a state road in the Napa County region. Plaintiff was on a motorcycle when he was struck by another vehicle making a left turn in front of the Plaintiff. Plaintiff contended that the subject intersection was dangerous in that due to the speed of the traveling vehicle, it forced a game of "chicken" between left turning vehicles and oncoming vehicles. Plaintiff lost his right lower ankle and foot in the accident. He also suffered neck and back injuries, but his predominant injury was with the right lower extremity. He was a millwright who suffered a significant disability as a result of the injury, but he did return to work with a prosthetic lower left limb. The matter settled at mediation just prior to trial.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Trucking Accidents
    • Truck driver injured unloading beams

      Morgan v. SMC Contracting
      September 2012 Settlement During Trial $3 MILLION
      (El Dorado County Superior Court)
      Truck driver injured unloading beams

      This matter involved a construction accident where Plaintiff was the truck driver involved in off-loading of large beams. In the process of off-loading, beams were dropped on the Plaintiff by a forklift operator claimed to be an employee of one of the Defendants. Comparative fault against him was a significant issue. Defendants also disputed liability and the forklift operator’s employment with Defendants. The matter went to trial and was settled in the third week of trial.

    • SUV forced off the road by 18-wheeler

      Arenas v. UPS Ground Freight, Inc., et al.
      April 2012 Jury Verdict $2.9 MILLION
      (Sacramento Superior Court)
      SUV forced off the road by 18-wheeler

      A 52-year-old Hispanic woman who was a wife and mother of four adult children in a Spanish-speaking only family was killed in a motor vehicle collision that took place on April 10, 2009. At that time, Defendant UPS and its driver were southbound on I-5 operating a semi-truck, with a set of double trailers. The victim had left her home in Oregon to make the 14-hour drive to Los Angeles to visit her children and grandchildren. At approximately 2:00 p.m. the UPS truck was southbound on I-5 near Redding and began to change lanes into the #1 lane. The decedent’s Ford Explorer was located in the #1 lane approaching the rear of the UPS truck. The rear of the UPS truck entered into the #1 lane and the left side of the UPS rear trailer either struck the right side of the decedent’s Ford Explorer or caused her to swerve to her left to avoid being struck. The force of the impact or the evasive maneuver caused the Explorer to go out of control and swerve to the left, partially into the center median, and then back to the right as she struggled to gain control of her vehicle. As she reentered the lane, the vehicles came in contact and the Ford Explorer then violently went left again and began to roll over several times before coming to rest on its wheels with its roof crushed in on the victim.

      UPS contended that the incident was the fault of the decedent.

      The decedent left behind her husband and her four adult children who made a claim for economic and non-economic damages for wrongful death. The jury found UPS 100% liable for the collision and death of the decedent and awarded the family a $2.9 million verdict.

      Sacramento Bee Article: Sacramento jury awards $2.9 million to family of I-5 crash victim

    • Two big rig trucks collide then hit a disabled church bus on the side of the road

      Haen v. Logos Group, Triple E Produce, et al.
      August 2011 Jury Verdict $7.3 MILLION
      (Fresno Superior Court)
      Two big rig trucks collide then hit a disabled church bus on the side of the road

      This matter involved a collision that took place on April 17, 2009 resulting in the death of a 40-year-old father of two teenage children. The decedent was the operator of a Church bus that ran out of gas and was disabled on the side of southbound Highway 99 between Merced and Fresno. The bus did not have an operating gas gauge and once it ran out of gas, the decedent pulled the bus over to the shoulder area. Diesel fuel was obtained and was put into the vehicle and the decedent was on the driver’s side of the bus priming the diesel engine to get it started. Defendant Triple E Produce was southbound on Highway 99 traveling at 55 mph. He observed the disabled bus and the decedent working on the side of the bus and intended to move from the right-hand lane to the passing lane. He looked in his rearview mirror and observed Defendant Logos Group in the passing lane starting a passing maneuver of his last trailer. Defendant Triple E then moved over as far as he could in the right-hand lane toward the center line in an effort to give the decedent and the bus as much room as possible. Defendant Logos said he never observed this movement or any other type of warning from Triple E. The two vehicles contacted each other with the tractor of the Logos Group truck coming into contact with the rear trailer of the Triple E Produce vehicle. This caused the two vehicles to become entangled with the rear trailer swinging out to the right and striking the bus and Mr. Haen, killing him instantly.

      The jury awarded $6,770,230 to the decedent’s wife and parents and $514,080 to decedent’s nephew who observed the death of his uncle.

      The pretrial offer before trial was a combined $2.75 million from both Defendants.

      Sierra Star Article: Jury awards $7.2 million to family of bus driver

    • Tow truck backed out into traffic

      Wong v. National Rental Corporation (name is confidential)
      June 2009 Settlement During Trial $10.1 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Tow truck backed out into traffic

      This is an action involving a trucking accident where the claim was that the husband of the injured party was comparatively at fault when he broadsided a truck that had backed out into the roadway. Issues of comparative of fault and the nature and extent of the injuries were key to the case. The injured victim was in her 70’s and suffered a serious brain injury. Assessing her future needs was a fundamental component of the case.

      Pretrial offer was $3 million. The matter was settled in the third week of trial.

    • Liability admitted, family relationship disputed before trial

      Ausselet v. WPX Courier LLC, et al.
      December 2008 Verdict $4.5 MILLION
      (San Francisco County Superior Court)
      Liability admitted, family relationship disputed before trial

      This is an action of admitted liability addressing the loss of a husband and father. The surviving children were from different marriages. The key assessment of the case was the involvement of the father in the lives of the children and in the marriage with his then wife.

      Defendant made a statutory offer of over $2.6 million prior to trial.

    • Truck driver, under the influence of alcohol, ran stop sign

      Lopez v. D.A.V. Charities of Central California, Inc., et al.
      October 2008 Verdict $10.5 MILLION
      (Fresno County Superior Court)
      Truck driver, under the influence of alcohol, ran stop sign

      This is an action filed by a Hispanic woman against an entity that had only $3 million in insurance coverage. The operator of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol when he ran through a stop sign and struck the Plaintiff’s vehicle causing a serious brain injury. The Defendant failed to tender the policy limit in a timely fashion upon demand. The matter was taken to trial and an excess verdict was obtained and ultimately paid by the insurance carrier. The focus in the trial was the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by the victim who was a Spanish speaker with limited education and a minimum-wage job. Assessing and evaluating the nature of the loss and the future needs were a crucial component of the case.

      The carrier for the Defendant tendered its $3 million policy limits before trial, but it was rejected as being too late.

    • Dangerous roadway allowed 18-wheeler to block highway

      Pfeifer v. State of California, et al.
      July 2008 Settlement During Trial $5.1 MILLION
      (Merced County Superior Court)
      Dangerous roadway allowed 18-wheeler to block highway

      This was an action against the State of California for a claimed dangerous condition of a roadway in that it allowed for traffic to cross over Highway 99. This incident involved a truck pulling out from a side frontage road in an attempt to cross Highway 99. The decedent was headed northbound when he struck a truck in the process of this maneuver. The State took the position that the decedent was responsible. This case dealt with engineering issues, roadway history and visibility issues. The case resolved as the matter started trial when the State made a significant move in terms of settlement authority and the trucking. Defendant tendered its policy limits.

    • Dump truck backed over man on construction site

      Kaufman v. Cline, et al.
      April 2008 Settlement During Trial $3.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Dump truck backed over man on construction site

      This matter involved a roadway construction worker who was on a roadway project when he was backed over by a truck during the course of the construction. He was a father of two young children and married at the time of the incident. The defense took the position that the incident was his fault as he should have heard the back-up bell and been aware that the dump truck would be backing up into the area where he was working. This case involved assessing visibility in a construction location and standard of care relative to conduct and operation of trucks, and of construction sites. Physical evidence at the scene and also the nature of the injuries that ultimately resulted in the death had to be assessed and evaluated on the issue of construction. Valuation of the loss to the family was also a key component in the matter.

      Pretrial offer was $2 million.

    • Truck accident caused by improper marking of construction zone

      Blagg v. State of California, et al.
      January 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.35 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)
      Truck accident caused by improper marking of construction zone

      This matter involved the wrongful death of a father of two young boys who was married. He was on Interstate 5 transporting materials in his truck and approaching a location where Caltrans and private construction companies were doing roadway construction. The claim was made that the Defendants had failed to properly notify oncoming traffic of construction and did not take the necessary precautions to protect the motoring public as they approached the construction. Due to that failure, accidents began to take place which ultimately resulted in 18-wheelers striking Mr. Blagg’s vehicle and killing him. This was a complex piece of litigation where a number of Defendants were pointing at each other and taking the position they were not responsible for the death of this 32-year-old husband and father. The matter resolved during the course of jury selection.

      Pretrial offer was $4 million.

    • Big rig caused vehicle to lose control

      Phelps v. California Movers Express
      October 2001 Verdict $2.25 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)

      Represented a 42 year old single mother who was struck by a vehicle spinning out of control on April 18, 1996. The Defendant, a trucking company, denied that their driver had caused the other vehicle to lose control and strike the Plaintiff. She suffered neck and back injuries resulting in surgery. Defendant asserted her problems pre-existed the subject accident. Medical bills exceeded $300,000. Defendant offered $400,000 to settle the case. VERDICT: $2,225,000. This matter was taken up on appeal where the Third District Court of Appeal upheld the verdict.

    • Truck broadsides another truck

      Tomasetti v. v. Hemi Express
      March 2013 Settlement $5.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a truck driver who broadsided another truck driver who pulled out in front of him, resulting in a head injury and severe orthopedic injuries involving his hip. The Plaintiff was in his 50’s at the time of the incident and severely impacted his ability to continue his occupation. Defendants disputed liability and claimed that Plaintiff should and could have avoided the collision and was inattentive. Defendants also contested the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by Plaintiff.

    • Construction crew struck by big rig truck

      Johnson v. COM Transport and State of California
      May 2000 Settlement $3.4 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      A 35 year old laborer working in the early morning hours on a moving lane closure for a subcontractor for the State of California laying out reflective squares was struck by a truck driven by a driver for COM Transport. The driver came upon the moving lane closure at a high rate of speed and failed to notice that it was not moving traffic but, in fact, a very slow moving lane closure construction crew. He went out into the median and veered back onto the roadway where he impacted the vehicle Plaintiff was on. Plaintiff suffered bilateral femur fractures, groin injuries, and internal injuries. He incurred medical expenses in the neighborhood of $450,000. His injuries were such that he contended he was not able to return to work. Defendants contended that he could return to work and his injuries had healed.

    • 18 wheel truck turned left in front of on coming traffic

      Kaylor v. Adams Trucking
      June 1999 Settlement $6.5 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)

      A 38-year-old sheetrock installer was a passenger in a vehicle. An employee of Adams Trucking operating a vehicle hauling tomatoes made a left-hand turn in front of the vehicle in which Plaintiff was riding. Plaintiff sustained a head injury, a spine injury as well as fractures to both upper extremities and his left leg. Mr. Kaylor’s medical specials were approximately $1,000,000 with a lost income both past and future in the neighborhood of $800,000. Defendant claimed that the vehicle in which Plaintiff was a passenger was traveling in excess of 75 miles per hour and that the driver of that vehicle, who had only a $15,000 policy limit, was responsible in part, if not in whole, for the subject accident and Mr. Kaylor’s injuries. Mr. Kaylor was left with significant orthopedic problems and was essentially determined to not be able to return to gainful employment. His head injury also resulted in mild brain trauma that affected his cognitive function. The matter settled at mediation after three days of mediation efforts.

    • Commercial truck failed to brake fully

      Romine v. Piper Jaffray
      December 2000 Settlement $3.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      Plaintiff in this matter was a 32 year old Highway Patrol officer. She was in her personal vehicle on the freeway when a truck driven by one of the Defendants lost control and went sideways across the freeway. She was able to bring her vehicle to a safe stop and was then struck from the side by a second Defendant who failed to brake promptly. It was a glancing blow with about $1,500 in property damage. The Highway Patrol officer, who had previously been injured on the job and was on her way to receive chiropractic treatment at the time of the accident, ultimately had both a neck and back operation. She was then forced to medically retire from the Highway Patrol. There was a dispute about the force of the impact and whether her problems were due to the pre-existing condition for the subject accident. Her medical bills were in the vicinity of $150,000 and her income loss past and future was in the vicinity of $1,000,000. The matter settled a week before trial for $3,500,000.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Dangerous Roadway
    • Dangerous roadway allowed 18-wheeler to block highway

      Pfeifer v. State of California, et al.
      July 2008 Settlement During Trial $5.1 MILLION
      (Merced County Superior Court)
      Dangerous roadway allowed 18-wheeler to block highway

      This was an action against the State of California for a claimed dangerous condition of a roadway in that it allowed for traffic to cross over Highway 99. This incident involved a truck pulling out from a side frontage road in an attempt to cross Highway 99. The decedent was headed northbound when he struck a truck in the process of this maneuver. The State took the position that the decedent was responsible. This case dealt with engineering issues, roadway history and visibility issues. The case resolved as the matter started trial when the State made a significant move in terms of settlement authority and the trucking. Defendant tendered its policy limits.

    • Truck accident caused by improper marking of construction zone

      Blagg v. State of California, et al.
      January 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.35 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)
      Truck accident caused by improper marking of construction zone

      This matter involved the wrongful death of a father of two young boys who was married. He was on Interstate 5 transporting materials in his truck and approaching a location where Caltrans and private construction companies were doing roadway construction. The claim was made that the Defendants had failed to properly notify oncoming traffic of construction and did not take the necessary precautions to protect the motoring public as they approached the construction. Due to that failure, accidents began to take place which ultimately resulted in 18-wheelers striking Mr. Blagg’s vehicle and killing him. This was a complex piece of litigation where a number of Defendants were pointing at each other and taking the position they were not responsible for the death of this 32-year-old husband and father. The matter resolved during the course of jury selection.

      Pretrial offer was $4 million.

    • Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      Confidential Settlement against Northern California Public Entity
      May 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.5 MILLION
      (Undisclosed Superior Court)
      Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      This matter involved a 50-year-old bicycle enthusiast who was operating his bike on a road in a Northern California county at its intersection with an off-ramp off of an Interstate. An individual came off the highway and stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded into the intersection right in front of the bicyclist. The public entity took the position that the driver of the vehicle was responsible for the incident. The claim was against the public entity for failure to recognize the subject location’s significant accident history and address it. The accident history at this specific location was discovered during the course of litigation to be drastic. Additionally, the County was aware that there was a bike trail that ran right though this intersection. The public entity took the position that the incident was solely the fault of the driver whereas the claim made was that there was ample information and time for the subject public entity to take the necessary steps to protect bicyclists and other citizens in and about this location. The claim was that it was a foreseeable event and had the public entity taken the necessary steps, the incident would not have happened.

      The injured party suffered a cervical spine injury that rendered him quadriplegic and ventilator dependent.

      Pretrial offer was $2.5 million.

    • Caltrans created a dangerous condition on Highway 50 for chain installer

      Betts v. State of California
      June 2005 Settlement During Trial $17.25 MILLION
      (El Dorado County Superior Court)
      Caltrans created a dangerous condition on Highway 50 for chain installer

      This case involved allegations against the State of California for having a dangerous condition of public roadway as it relates to how they set up and ran their chain installation zone on Highway 50. Mr. Dreyer represented Mrs. Betts and her husband, a 73-year-old man who was working on the day of the incident as an independent contractor installing chains. On the day of the incident, Mr. Betts was in the right hand lane which had been designated by the State for traffic to stop and have chains installed. A third party came into the installation zone too fast and lost control when he braked in response to another vehicle which had stopped in the remaining through lane based upon a mistaken belief that it was a chain checkpoint. As a result, he lost control of his vehicle and struck Mr. Betts resulting in a serious head injury. The State contended that the collision was entirely the fault of the third party. Plaintiff took the position that the State was primarily responsible for their failure to provide the public with adequate notice of the change in conditions, that a lane was going to be closed, and that they knew there was a potential for vehicles entering the chain installation area at too fast of speeds. Mr. Betts suffered a significant brain injury that essentially left him in a near-vegetative state, requiring 24-hour care. His wife of nearly 50 years took care of him for a little over a year entirely by herself until such time that she had to take him to a convalescent facility because he was physically abusive to her due to his frontal lobe injury that impacted his behavior. The State of California offered nothing to resolve the case and ignored Plaintiffs' offers to settle. The verdict ultimately came in for the Plaintiff on a vote of 11 to 1 against the State in the amount of $13,000,000 for Dean Betts for his personal injury claim and $4,250,000 for Lynn Betts on her loss of consortium claim for a total verdict of just over $17,000,000, 65% of which was the State's responsibility.

    • Bicyclist rode into a ditch left open

      Doe v. Private Construction Company
      June 2011 Settlement $6.25 MILLION
      (Yuba County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a bicyclist who was a 40-year-old mechanic and married father of two young children who rode his bike into a ditch that was left open and uncovered by the Defendant construction company during the course of a construction project. Comparative fault against the bicyclist had to be defended as Defendants claimed Plaintiff should have seen the opening. Plaintiff suffered a catastrophic spine injury, which resulted in paralysis in his lower limbs.

    • Tractor rolled down hill and hit pickup truck

      Newquist v. County of Sacramento
      October 2002 Settlement $3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a 57-year old individual who was out at the Sacramento County dump with his wife. While out at this location, one of the Defendant's employees allowed a grader to roll down a hill causing it to head directly for the Plaintiff's vehicle. The Plaintiff's wife was in the vehicle as the Defendant's heavy equipment rolled down the hill. The Plaintiff, who was a Deputy Commissioner for the California Highway Patrol, jumped into the cab of his truck and forced his wife out of the vehicle when it was struck. The impact resulted in the Plaintiff being ejected through the passenger side of his vehicle. He suffered a cervical and lumbar spine injury resulting in a cervical spinal fusion with permanent lumbar injury forcing his retirement from the California Highway Patrol. Defendant contended that he had prior neck and back problems and his retirement was not precipitated by the subject incident. Total medical specials were $75,000.

    • Construction crew struck by big rig truck

      Johnson v. COM Transport and State of California
      May 2000 Settlement $3.4 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      A 35 year old laborer working in the early morning hours on a moving lane closure for a subcontractor for the State of California laying out reflective squares was struck by a truck driven by a driver for COM Transport. The driver came upon the moving lane closure at a high rate of speed and failed to notice that it was not moving traffic but, in fact, a very slow moving lane closure construction crew. He went out into the median and veered back onto the roadway where he impacted the vehicle Plaintiff was on. Plaintiff suffered bilateral femur fractures, groin injuries, and internal injuries. He incurred medical expenses in the neighborhood of $450,000. His injuries were such that he contended he was not able to return to work. Defendants contended that he could return to work and his injuries had healed.

    • Could not see oncoming traffic because roadway design

      Martell v. County of Placer
      March 2001 Settlement $2.5 MILLION
      (Placer County Superior Court)

      This case was an action for personal injuries arising out of an accident in November, 1998. The case alleged that the roadway was in a dangerous condition at the time of the accident, and as a result, caused Ms. Martell's injuries. She suffered a significant brain injury that affected her functionally. The investigating highway patrol officer cited Ms. Martell for failing to yield the right of way by pulling out into oncoming traffic. The driver of the broadsiding vehicle testified that he saw her stop at the stop sign and then pull out in front of him. Our case was that she did pull out in front of him because she did not have adequate sight distance to perceive and react to his approach, and as a result, the accident took place. This was a strongly disputed case of liability, and Defendants had filed a Motion for Summary Judgment under a claimed immunity in that the plans for the subject location had been improved. The matter settled for the sum of $2,500,000.

    • Defectively designed intersection in Roseville

      Curtis v. City of Roseville
      May 1999 Settlement $2.86 MILLION
      (Placer County Superior Court)

      This is an action arising out of the wrongful death of Taz Curtis, an eight year old and his aunt, Amy Williams. Ms. Williams and young Mr. Curtis were passengers in a vehicle driven by Ms. Williams' mother and the young boy's grandmother, Sharon Williams. Ms. Williams made a left hand turn in front of another vehicle resulting in a broadside impact that killed Ms. Williams and Taz Curtis on impact. She was cited for failing to yield the right of way to the oncoming traffic. Through investigation and discovery, Plaintiffs were able to prove that the intersection was defectively designed in that when a vehicle was opposite a left hand turning vehicle like Ms. Williams, that driver's view would be blocked of oncoming traffic due to the curvature of the roadway. The City of Roseville contended that it was immune from prosecution in that the design of the intersection was approved by the appropriate governing agency and, therefore, it was afforded design immunity protection. Further, the City of Roseville contended that the accident was 100% Ms. Williams' fault and that she failed to make certain that the intersection was clear before she made her left hand turn. The matter was mediated at the City of Roseville's request and the matter settled by mediation two days before the case was set to proceed to trial. $2.5 million of the settlement was paid by the City of Roseville with the remaining amount coming from the policy limits of Ms. Williams and the vehicle that impacted the Williams' vehicle which was alleged to have been traveling too fast for the conditions.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Spine Injury
    • Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      February 2015 - Yolo County - $9,850,000

      On August 6, 2012, Rosalina Dionisio was headed home to Sacramento from her shift at the West Sacramento United States Postal Service office. She was driving a 1990 BMW when it suddenly stopped functioning and she lost electrical power.

      read more

    • Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      Confidential Settlement against Northern California Public Entity
      May 2007 Settlement During Trial $7.5 MILLION
      (Undisclosed Superior Court)
      Road design causes bicyclist to get hit by car exiting the freeway

      This matter involved a 50-year-old bicycle enthusiast who was operating his bike on a road in a Northern California county at its intersection with an off-ramp off of an Interstate. An individual came off the highway and stopped at the stop sign and then proceeded into the intersection right in front of the bicyclist. The public entity took the position that the driver of the vehicle was responsible for the incident. The claim was against the public entity for failure to recognize the subject location’s significant accident history and address it. The accident history at this specific location was discovered during the course of litigation to be drastic. Additionally, the County was aware that there was a bike trail that ran right though this intersection. The public entity took the position that the incident was solely the fault of the driver whereas the claim made was that there was ample information and time for the subject public entity to take the necessary steps to protect bicyclists and other citizens in and about this location. The claim was that it was a foreseeable event and had the public entity taken the necessary steps, the incident would not have happened.

      The injured party suffered a cervical spine injury that rendered him quadriplegic and ventilator dependent.

      Pretrial offer was $2.5 million.

    • Rear-end motor vehicle collision

      Denise Hurlburt v. David Hada
      March 2004 Verdict $4.6 MILLION
      (Napa County Superior Court)

      This was a rear-end motor vehicle collision which took place as a result of the Plaintiff having to slow for construction and the Defendant impacting her car from behind. Defendant admitted liability, but contested the nature and extent of Plaintiff's injuries. Plaintiff claimed a cervical spine injury which resulted in surgery and a lumbar spine injury which also resulted in a surgery. Plaintiff was a 44-year old in-home healthcare nurse making approximately $30,000 annually. She was a single mother of two young children. Defendant contended that Plaintiff's neck condition pre-existed the subject accident and that the low back condition was unrelated. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the Plaintiff awarding a total sum of $4.6 million. Defendant had offered $250,000 prior to trial. Plaintiff was entitled to $700,000 in interest and costs because she beat her previous offer to settle on the matter. This is believed to be the largest personal injury verdict in Napa County history.

    • Big rig caused vehicle to lose control

      Phelps v. California Movers Express
      October 2001 Verdict $2.25 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)

      Represented a 42 year old single mother who was struck by a vehicle spinning out of control on April 18, 1996. The Defendant, a trucking company, denied that their driver had caused the other vehicle to lose control and strike the Plaintiff. She suffered neck and back injuries resulting in surgery. Defendant asserted her problems pre-existed the subject accident. Medical bills exceeded $300,000. Defendant offered $400,000 to settle the case. VERDICT: $2,225,000. This matter was taken up on appeal where the Third District Court of Appeal upheld the verdict.

    • Fell on back into an unmarked trench

      Stringer v. PG&E
      April 2000 Verdict $7.3 MILLION
      (San Francisco County Superior Court)

      This case involved an accident at a construction site. Plaintiff David Stringer was a framing contractor working for Defendant Hal Porter Homes on a housing tract. Defendant PG&E had dug a service trench to the foundation where Mr. Stringer was to do his framing. While Mr. Stringer was working next to the trench, it caved in causing him to fall into the trench and landing on his back. The Defendants contended that the accident was Mr. Stringer's fault for working too close to the trench. Plaintiffs contended that it was PG&E and Hal Porter's fault in that the trench was open for an extended period of time and PG&E had failed to either fill it or put barricade tape along the sides of the trench to keep workers away. Mr. Stringer suffered a back injury which ultimately resulted in four separate spinal operations and disability. Verdict was entered for Plaintiff Dave Stringer in the amount of $5.83 million and for Plaintiff Doreen Stringer for loss of consortium in the amount of $1.7 million. VERDICT: $7,300,000. Defendants had offered $500,000 prior to trial to settle the case.

    • Hit by car turning left

      Rinetti v. Hall
      June 2012 Settlement $3.9 MILLION
      (Alameda County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual who was struck by a vehicle making a left-hand turn. This resulted in the Plaintiff suffering from neck and back injuries, including surgical intervention. Defendant was an elderly woman and issues of insurance coverage were addressed in this action. The nature and extent of injuries were contended by Defendant.

    • Quadriplegic injury from diving incident and improper removal from the pool

      Baker v. Modesto City Schools District
      June 2012 Settlement $3.5 MILLION
      (Stanislaus County Superior Court)
      Quadriplegic injury from diving incident and improper removal from the pool

      This swimming pool diving incident occurred on October 18, 2008, and resulted in the then-17-year-old Plaintiff becoming a quadriplegic. The client was a student at Buhach Colony High School in Atwater, and was participating in a water polo tournament at the campus of Peter Johansen High School in Modesto, which is part of the Defendant school district. The Plaintiff was doing an entry dive, as he had done numerous times before, into a warm-up area of the pool at the Johansen campus, where the water was approximately 3.5 feet deep. Despite being responsible for organizing, running, and charging admission for this tournament, Defendant’s employees provided no supervision to enforce their professed rule against this type of dive.

      As a result of this incident, the client suffered a C7 ASIA Class C quadriplegic. Stabilizing surgeries were performed at the C5 through C7 levels at University of California San Francisco following his injury. The Plaintiff experienced neurogenic bowel and bladder (including multiple urinary tract infections), right elbow bursitis, severe spasticity due to spinal cord injury, dysfunction of his reflexes, restrictive lung disease, scoliosis secondary to his injury, right hip contractures, hand contractures, likely osteoporosis, neuropathic and myofascial pain, and right shoulder pain.

      Plaintiffs contended that Defendants’ employees failed to provide a safe environment for high school students. Plaintiffs were also critical of how the employees allowed Mr. Baker to be removed from this pool, and placed on the pool deck with his head to the side. Defendant contented liability claiming that Plaintiff was 100% responsible for his own injury. The matter settled at mediation.

    • Hit at the Y in South Lake Tahoe

      Abbott v. South Tahoe Refuse Co., et al.
      May 2012 Settlement $4.5 MILLION
      (El Dorado Superior Court)
      Hit at the Y in South Lake Tahoe

      On August 22, 2006 Defendant was driving a Ford F250 truck owned by his employer, South Tahoe Refuse Co. The truck collided with Plaintiff’s vehicle in the intersection of Highway 89 at Highway 50 (also known as Lake Tahoe Boulevard at Emerald Bay Road) in South Lake Tahoe. The force of the broadside impact caused injuries to Plaintiff to her neck, back and left shoulder.

      At the time of the collision the client was employed as a Respiratory Therapist. The collision rendered her disabled and she could no longer engage in her career or the physical activities that she enjoyed prior to sustaining her injuries. She had surgery on her neck and low back.

      The matter settled one week prior to trial. Defendant’s carrier went from a $1 million offer to the settlement amount in the 30 days prior to trial.

    • Bicyclist rode into a ditch left open

      Doe v. Private Construction Company
      June 2011 Settlement $6.25 MILLION
      (Yuba County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a bicyclist who was a 40-year-old mechanic and married father of two young children who rode his bike into a ditch that was left open and uncovered by the Defendant construction company during the course of a construction project. Comparative fault against the bicyclist had to be defended as Defendants claimed Plaintiff should have seen the opening. Plaintiff suffered a catastrophic spine injury, which resulted in paralysis in his lower limbs.

    • Self-employed painter hit

      Durston v. Valley Unit Utility
      February 2011 Settlement $3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a self-employed painter who was driving his vehicle which was struck by Defendant’s employee. The collision caused neck and back injuries. The Defendant contested the nature and extent of the injury.

    • Pedestrian struck by bus in the rain

      Tamblyn v. Preferred Charters
      November 2009 Settlement $2.75 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an incident where a pedestrian was struck and suffered multiple injuries involving her legs and spine. The single, 62-year-old woman was walking through a driveway area in a rain storm and was struck by a turning bus. Defendants alleged comparative fault.

    • Vehicle accident caused neck injury

      Hollon v. Westset/Poole
      November 2009 Settlement $1.2 MILLION
      (Ventura County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a motor vehicle accident and neck injury that was settled shortly before trial. Plaintiff, a single mother of a special needs child and self-employed, was rear-ended and suffered a neck injury resulting in the need for surgery.

    • Car rolled and roof failed

      Ladendorf v. Daimlerchrysler / Brewer Refrigeration April 2005 Settlement $4.7 MILLION
      (Nevada County Superior Court)

      This action dealt with a single car incident where the adverse driver had a .08 alcohol level and took a curve too sharp and turned his vehicle over. He had limited insurance and the Plaintiff sued not only the driver, but also the manufacturer of the vehicle in that the roof failed. This was a personal injury action claiming products liability against the manufacturer and negligence on the part of the driver. Plaintiff suffered a T-10 fracture and spinal cord injury that essentially left him paralyzed from the waist down. The matter was a hotly disputed products liability action with the product liability Defendant pointing the finger at the intoxicated driver and ultimately settled.

    • Deck hot tub not protect properly in a Lake Tahoe rental house

      McAfee v. Schlesinger
      December 2002 Settlement $6.3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This was a premises liability action involving a 31-year old employee of PeopleSoft. The Plaintiff was in the Lake Tahoe region the evening of the accident. He had been out that evening with friends. He met up with a young woman who invited him to a party that she had been invited to at a rental in the Carnelian Bay area. At the time of the accident, the Plaintiff was ultimately determined to be at a .23 in terms of his blood alcohol level. At the rental, he and the young woman went out onto a deck and entered a spa. He became lightheaded and sat up on the edge of the spa and then passed out, tumbling backwards. Unbeknownst to the Plaintiff, the spa had been placed in a corner immediately up to a railing that was even with the top of the spa. The Defendant landowner was mindful that this was too close and that he placed 4 inch plexiglass along the top of the railing that proved to be wholly inadequate for protecting any occupant. The Plaintiff fell backwards 20 feet and landed on a log suffering a burst fracture of his L1 and L2 vertebral bodies rendering him a paraplegic.

    • Las Vegas pool injury resulting in quadriplegic injury

      Diving Accident / Confidential Settlement
      October 2002 Settlement $10.9 MILLION
      (Las Vegas, Nevada)

      This action involved a 24-year old young man who was at one of the major casinos in Las Vegas with his fiance and family. At 1:00 a.m., he, along with his family members, went out to the pool in an exterior area of the casino believing it was open for use by guests of the casino. He dove into a section of the pool which appeared to be darker thereby believing it to be deep. The pool was only 4 feet deep and as a result, he struck the bottom with his head and he suffered a C5 fracture dislocation of his cervical spine. The allegations in the case were against the casino for failing to properly mark the pool and provide adequate warning of its shallow depth in violation of local ordinances and safety practices. The claim was also against the responding emergency personnel for failure to immobilize his cervical spine prior to transportation and as a result, he suffered an injury to his cervical spinal cord rendering him an incomplete quadriplegic. The Plaintiff was employed at the time of the incident and due to the injury, he was rendered permanently disabled and unable to work. His medical bills were $400,000 and the claim was that he would not be able to return to gainful employment. Defendants contended that the Plaintiff was intoxicated and failed to look before he dove into the subject pool and the cause of the injury was his own negligent conduct.

    • Tractor rolled down hill and hit pickup truck

      Newquist v. County of Sacramento
      October 2002 Settlement $3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a 57-year old individual who was out at the Sacramento County dump with his wife. While out at this location, one of the Defendant's employees allowed a grader to roll down a hill causing it to head directly for the Plaintiff's vehicle. The Plaintiff's wife was in the vehicle as the Defendant's heavy equipment rolled down the hill. The Plaintiff, who was a Deputy Commissioner for the California Highway Patrol, jumped into the cab of his truck and forced his wife out of the vehicle when it was struck. The impact resulted in the Plaintiff being ejected through the passenger side of his vehicle. He suffered a cervical and lumbar spine injury resulting in a cervical spinal fusion with permanent lumbar injury forcing his retirement from the California Highway Patrol. Defendant contended that he had prior neck and back problems and his retirement was not precipitated by the subject incident. Total medical specials were $75,000.

    • Commercial truck failed to brake fully

      Romine v. Piper Jaffray
      December 2000 Settlement $3.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      Plaintiff in this matter was a 32 year old Highway Patrol officer. She was in her personal vehicle on the freeway when a truck driven by one of the Defendants lost control and went sideways across the freeway. She was able to bring her vehicle to a safe stop and was then struck from the side by a second Defendant who failed to brake promptly. It was a glancing blow with about $1,500 in property damage. The Highway Patrol officer, who had previously been injured on the job and was on her way to receive chiropractic treatment at the time of the accident, ultimately had both a neck and back operation. She was then forced to medically retire from the Highway Patrol. There was a dispute about the force of the impact and whether her problems were due to the pre-existing condition for the subject accident. Her medical bills were in the vicinity of $150,000 and her income loss past and future was in the vicinity of $1,000,000. The matter settled a week before trial for $3,500,000.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Brain Injury
    • Jury Awards $9 Million for Injuries Sustained in 2012 Crash

      August 2015 - Jonesboro, Arkansas - 9.1 Million

      Jury Awards $9 Million for Injuries Sustained in 2012 CrashAn Arkansas woman, who suffered severe brain injuries, losing part of her temporal lobe after being broadsided by a van driven by a grocery chain employee, was awarded $9 million by a federal jury.

      read more

    • Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      Lawsuit Causes Caltrans to Correct Dangerous Roadway Conditions

      February 2015 - Yolo County - $9,850,000

      On August 6, 2012, Rosalina Dionisio was headed home to Sacramento from her shift at the West Sacramento United States Postal Service office. She was driving a 1990 BMW when it suddenly stopped functioning and she lost electrical power.

      read more

    • Defective boat caused brain injury

      Bell v. Mastercraft Boats
      June 2011 Verdict $31 MILLION
      (Butte County Superior Court)
      Defective boat caused brain injury

      This matter involved a 4-month trial against Mastercraft alleging a defective product in terms of how they constructed the subject boat. Plaintiff was a passenger in the boat when, during the course of the operation, it took on water and she was washed overboard and into the propeller suffering a significant brain injury. Defendant contested liability and claimed that it was the operator of the boat’s fault because he was under the influence of alcohol and denied their boat was defective. Plaintiffs were able to prove during the course of trial that the claimed defect in the boat resulted in it taking on water in a fashion that the operator would not be able to observe. Substantial time was spent at trial proving up the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by the 23-year-old victim. This matter was tried with the assistance of Robert Bale, an attorney in the firm.

      The pretrial offer was $2 million.

      For more details about this case see our news article: MasterCraft Boat Found Defective by a Butte County Jury.

    • Wheelchair patron dropped from bus lift

      Avery v. MV Public Transportation Inc., City of Roseville, Ricon Corporation
      October 2010 Jury Verdict $6.4 million
      (Placer County Superior Court)
      Wheelchair patron dropped from bus lift

      This action involved a quadriplegic who was injured when the transportation vehicle he was utilizing dropped him from their lift. The issue to determine was the nature and extent of his injuries and also the negligence of the Defendants. The Defendants attempted to blame the Plaintiff for operating his wheelchair on the lift when the incident happened and also that he was already a quadriplegic and, therefore, the injury was not that significant. Proving up the nature and extent of the damages as well as liability against the transportation service were key components of the action. This matter was tried with Christopher Wood, a partner in the firm.

      The pretrial offer was $2 million.

      For more details about this case see our news article: Wheelchair Lift - Paratransit Bus Accident

    • Tow truck backed out into traffic

      Wong v. National Rental Corporation (name is confidential)
      June 2009 Settlement During Trial $10.1 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)
      Tow truck backed out into traffic

      This is an action involving a trucking accident where the claim was that the husband of the injured party was comparatively at fault when he broadsided a truck that had backed out into the roadway. Issues of comparative of fault and the nature and extent of the injuries were key to the case. The injured victim was in her 70’s and suffered a serious brain injury. Assessing her future needs was a fundamental component of the case.

      Pretrial offer was $3 million. The matter was settled in the third week of trial.

    • Truck driver, under the influence of alcohol, ran stop sign

      Lopez v. D.A.V. Charities of Central California, Inc., et al.
      October 2008 Verdict $10.5 MILLION
      (Fresno County Superior Court)
      Truck driver, under the influence of alcohol, ran stop sign

      This is an action filed by a Hispanic woman against an entity that had only $3 million in insurance coverage. The operator of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol when he ran through a stop sign and struck the Plaintiff’s vehicle causing a serious brain injury. The Defendant failed to tender the policy limit in a timely fashion upon demand. The matter was taken to trial and an excess verdict was obtained and ultimately paid by the insurance carrier. The focus in the trial was the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by the victim who was a Spanish speaker with limited education and a minimum-wage job. Assessing and evaluating the nature of the loss and the future needs were a crucial component of the case.

      The carrier for the Defendant tendered its $3 million policy limits before trial, but it was rejected as being too late.

    • Hit head-on by drunk driver

      Smith v. Vista Verde Farms
      April 2006 Settlement During Trial $7.75 MILLION
      (Fresno County Superior Court)
      Hit head-on by drunk driver

      This is a motor vehicle collision where the Plaintiffs, Chalene, a 28-year-old single woman, and her mother, Dixie, a 60-year-old drama and arts professor at West Hills College, were struck head-on by an adverse driver who was a partner in the Vista Verde Farms and significantly under the influence of alcohol. Chalene Smith suffered a back injury that ultimately resulted in surgery on her spine and a knee and foot injury which also required surgery. She was further diagnosed as suffering from a mild brain injury. Dixie Smith suffered a complicated comminuted fracture of her right ankle. After her original surgery failed to fuse, she required an ankle fusion. She was able to return to teaching, but was unable to demonstrate to her students the dance maneuvers and aspects of performing on stage. Chalene Smith's economic damages were between $600,000 and $1,800,000, depending upon what impact her injuries would ultimately have on her ability to return to work. Dixie Smith's economic damages were $200,000. Chalene Smith's case settled for $5,750,000 and Dixie Smith's case for $1,900,000 for a combined settlement of $7,750,000.

    • Caltrans created a dangerous condition on Highway 50 for chain installer

      Betts v. State of California
      June 2005 Settlement During Trial $17.25 MILLION
      (El Dorado County Superior Court)
      Caltrans created a dangerous condition on Highway 50 for chain installer

      This case involved allegations against the State of California for having a dangerous condition of public roadway as it relates to how they set up and ran their chain installation zone on Highway 50. Mr. Dreyer represented Mrs. Betts and her husband, a 73-year-old man who was working on the day of the incident as an independent contractor installing chains. On the day of the incident, Mr. Betts was in the right hand lane which had been designated by the State for traffic to stop and have chains installed. A third party came into the installation zone too fast and lost control when he braked in response to another vehicle which had stopped in the remaining through lane based upon a mistaken belief that it was a chain checkpoint. As a result, he lost control of his vehicle and struck Mr. Betts resulting in a serious head injury. The State contended that the collision was entirely the fault of the third party. Plaintiff took the position that the State was primarily responsible for their failure to provide the public with adequate notice of the change in conditions, that a lane was going to be closed, and that they knew there was a potential for vehicles entering the chain installation area at too fast of speeds. Mr. Betts suffered a significant brain injury that essentially left him in a near-vegetative state, requiring 24-hour care. His wife of nearly 50 years took care of him for a little over a year entirely by herself until such time that she had to take him to a convalescent facility because he was physically abusive to her due to his frontal lobe injury that impacted his behavior. The State of California offered nothing to resolve the case and ignored Plaintiffs' offers to settle. The verdict ultimately came in for the Plaintiff on a vote of 11 to 1 against the State in the amount of $13,000,000 for Dean Betts for his personal injury claim and $4,250,000 for Lynn Betts on her loss of consortium claim for a total verdict of just over $17,000,000, 65% of which was the State's responsibility.

    • Farm worker rear-ended by UPS

      Jose and Celia Servin v. United Parcel Service
      February 2005 Verdict $7 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This case involves a 70-year-old farm worker who was driving a tractor on July 4, 2001 when he was rear-ended by a UPS transportation vehicle. The impact caused Mr. Servin's head to strike the rear glass on the tractor causing him to suffer a closed head injury. The symptoms from the injury resulted in him being referred out to a neurosurgeon for surgery on a pre-existing asymptomatic arterial venous malformation (AVM). The surgical procedure went poorly and Mr. Servin was left essentially paralyzed on the left side of his body. Defendants took the position that the condition that he was operated on was for a pre-existing unrelated medical condition. Mr. Servin and counsel took the position that the AVM was made symptomatic or in the alternative, would never have been discovered but for the collision and it would never have created any problems for him. Further, the claim was made that the surgeon who did the procedure did not adequately provide Mr. Servin with an informed consent to make a decision to have the procedure and to consider the factors of his age and the lack of symptoms prior to the incident. Defendants offered $150,000 to settle the matter. The jury awarded $6,500,000 to Mr. Servin for his non-economic and economic losses and $500,000 to his wife for her loss of consortium.

    • Truck broadsides another truck

      Tomasetti v. v. Hemi Express
      March 2013 Settlement $5.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a truck driver who broadsided another truck driver who pulled out in front of him, resulting in a head injury and severe orthopedic injuries involving his hip. The Plaintiff was in his 50’s at the time of the incident and severely impacted his ability to continue his occupation. Defendants disputed liability and claimed that Plaintiff should and could have avoided the collision and was inattentive. Defendants also contested the nature and extent of the injuries suffered by Plaintiff.

    • Bicyclist struck by car turning left

      Massey-Todd v. Wiley
      April 2012 Settlement $5.4 MILLION
      (San Francisco County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a bicyclist who was struck by a left turning vehicle and suffered an arm injury and claimed brain injury. The arm injury involved significant reduction in function and use of her non-dominant arm. The brain injury and impact on cognition was also disputed. Defendant also contested liability and that Plaintiff should have avoided the impact.

    • Hit by California Highway Patrol (CHP)

      Decker v. State of California
      October 2011 Settlement $4.25 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an individual struck by a CHP patrol unit resulting in a claimed brain injury. Plaintiff was a Sheriff’s Officer, married and the father of three children. The nature and extent of the claimed brain injury was disputed by Defendant.

    • Hit from rear causing vehicle to hit semi-trailer

      Adins v. Master Tile West
      July 2006 Settlement $9 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This action involved a catastrophic collision that took place in December of 2004 in a complex motor vehicle collision sequence. Roberta Adins was a 48-year-old special education teacher on her way home when an unknown driver affected traffic at an off-ramp in Solano County. She reacted to the erratic driving of this unknown individual and was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by a Master Tile West employee. The impact from behind caused her vehicle to veer to the left and strike the undercarriage of a refrigerated semi trailer causing significant left-sided impact to her vehicle resulting in a severe brain injury and multiple orthopedic injuries requiring surgery.

      Mrs. Adins was able to recover from her orthopedic injuries to her left foot and leg, but had a significant residual brain injury. While she had the ability to understand and appreciate her problems, the residual impact on her balance, her speech and her judgment rendered her disabled and dramatically impacted the quality of her life and that of her 75-year-old husband. Her husband essentially became her caregiver. The collision liability was disputed in that the Defendants wished to put responsibility on either Mrs. Adins for braking in response to what was happening ahead, or on the unknown driver who was never identified and had left the scene. She had economic damages for medical expenses in the past and future along with loss of income of approximately $2.2 million to $2.6 million. The matter settled for the sum of $9 million.

    • Could not see oncoming traffic because roadway design

      Martell v. County of Placer
      March 2001 Settlement $2.5 MILLION
      (Placer County Superior Court)

      This case was an action for personal injuries arising out of an accident in November, 1998. The case alleged that the roadway was in a dangerous condition at the time of the accident, and as a result, caused Ms. Martell's injuries. She suffered a significant brain injury that affected her functionally. The investigating highway patrol officer cited Ms. Martell for failing to yield the right of way by pulling out into oncoming traffic. The driver of the broadsiding vehicle testified that he saw her stop at the stop sign and then pull out in front of him. Our case was that she did pull out in front of him because she did not have adequate sight distance to perceive and react to his approach, and as a result, the accident took place. This was a strongly disputed case of liability, and Defendants had filed a Motion for Summary Judgment under a claimed immunity in that the plans for the subject location had been improved. The matter settled for the sum of $2,500,000.

    • 18 wheel truck turned left in front of oncoming traffic

      Kaylor v. Adams Trucking
      June 1999 Settlement $6.5 MILLION
      (Yolo County Superior Court)

      A 38-year-old sheetrock installer was a passenger in a vehicle. An employee of Adams Trucking operating a vehicle hauling tomatoes made a left-hand turn in front of the vehicle in which Plaintiff was riding. Plaintiff sustained a head injury, a spine injury as well as fractures to both upper extremities and his left leg. Mr. Kaylor’s medical specials were approximately $1,000,000 with a lost income both past and future in the neighborhood of $800,000. Defendant claimed that the vehicle in which Plaintiff was a passenger was traveling in excess of 75 miles per hour and that the driver of that vehicle, who had only a $15,000 policy limit, was responsible in part, if not in whole, for the subject accident and Mr. Kaylor’s injuries. Mr. Kaylor was left with significant orthopedic problems and was essentially determined to not be able to return to gainful employment. His head injury also resulted in mild brain trauma that affected his cognitive function. The matter settled at mediation after three days of mediation efforts.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Sexual Assault
    • Local businessman sexually molested children

      Three Separate Victims of Sexual Molestation
      July 2001 Settlement $4.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      Represented a 10 year old, 19 year old and a 20 year old who were all sexually molested as youngsters at different times by a local businessman. Each were subjected to a pattern of sexual abuse and manipulation. All suffered significant emotional residual effects of the molestation and were in varied degrees of therapy and treatment. The predator/molester had committed suicide so the case was against the estate of the molester and as a result had no punitive damage exposure. The cases settled through mediation for a combined settlement amount exceeding $4,500,000.

  • Roger A. Dreyer's Case Results - Motorcycle Collision
    • Car pulled out in front of motorcyclist on highway

      Yslas Family v. Sacramento Rendering Company
      July 2004 Verdict $6.7 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This was a wrongful death action involving a 30-year-old hourly construction employee, Richard Yslas. Mr. Yslas was on a motorcycle and was killed when the Defendant driver, an employee of Sacramento Rendering Company, pulled out in front of him. There were other witnesses who observed the motorcyclist traveling at a speed well in excess of the posted speed limit and passing vehicles in the half-mile prior to the subject accident location. Plaintiff's position was that it did not matter whether he had been speeding or had been passing the vehicles before the intersection; he was in a position to be seen and, therefore, the Defendant was negligent in pulling out and failing to yield the right-of-way to him. Defendant testified that due to the motorcyclist's speed and passing maneuvers, he had not seen Mr. Yslas. The jury returned a unanimous verdict that the Defendant was negligent, and while the motorcyclist was negligent for traveling too fast, that negligence was not the cause of the collision. The sole cause of the collision was the Defendant's negligence. The jury awarded $1.2 million in economic losses for future economic support of the Yslas Family, and $5.5 million in non-economic damages to the wife and three children, for a total verdict of $6.7 million. Defendant's insurance carrier offered $2 million prior to trial. Plaintiffs were entitled to $1.5 million on top of the verdict because the verdict exceeded a demand that had been made two years prior to the trial. At the time of this verdict, this is believed to be the largest wrongful death verdict in Sacramento County history.

    • Construction zone setup wrong, off duty Sheriff killed

      Jungsten v. State of California and Granite Construction, et al.
      May 1998 Verdict $6.5 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This was a wrongful death case involving a 33 year old off-duty Sheriff's deputy on his way to work in September, 1995. He was survived by his wife and two children who were ages 4 and 8 at the time of the trial. Defendant State of California and Granite Construction both took the position that the accident was the fault of Jungsten, claiming that he had been inattentive. Plaintiffs' position was that the construction zone had not been properly set up. VERDICT: $6,471,242.16. PRETRIAL OFFER: $200,000. This offer was increased during trial to $750,000, then to $1,700,000, and then to $2,000,000. Each of those offers were rejected. Plaintiffs' verdict exceeded a previous statutory demand which was seven months old and therefore, Plaintiffs received costs and interest on top of the subject judgment. (Largest wrongful death verdict in Sacramento County history prior to Yslas verdict in 2004).

    • Motorcycle tire failed

      Mechem v. Classic Air Custom Motorcycles
      May 2010 Settlement $2 MILLION
      (El Dorado County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a motorcycle that had a tire failure and resulted in the death of the passenger/wife of the motorcyclist. This was a products liability action and alleged negligence on the part of the service company who performed maintenance on the motorcycle and installed the subject tire. The matter ultimately settled for the policy limits.

    • Motorcycle kickstand caught on the ground causing loss of control

      Mulhern v. Bourget’s Bike Works, Inc.
      June 2009 Settlement$2.8 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved a motorcyclist who, in the course of turning his bike on a curve, lost control of the bike when the kickstand caught on the ground. It was alleged that there was a defect in the bike and in the maintenance work that had be performed on the bike as it relates to the kickstand causing the bike to loose control, resulting in a serious leg injury requiring multiple surgeries.

    • Motorcyclist with amputation injury

      Godfrey v. State of California
      April 2009 Settlement $3.3 MILLION
      (Sacramento County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an employee of the State of California broadsiding a motorcyclist, which resulted in the loss of his left leg below the knee. Client was single and employed as a tile setter.

    • Dangerous intersection allowed left turn in front of motorcycle

      Rodman v. State of California
      September 2001 Settlement $2 MILLION
      (Napa County Superior Court)

      This matter involved an allegation of a dangerous condition of a state road in the Napa County region. Plaintiff was on a motorcycle when he was struck by another vehicle making a left turn in front of the Plaintiff. Plaintiff contended that the subject intersection was dangerous in that due to the speed of the traveling vehicle, it forced a game of "chicken" between left turning vehicles and oncoming vehicles. Plaintiff lost his right lower ankle and foot in the accident. He also suffered neck and back injuries, but his predominant injury was with the right lower extremity. He was a millwright who suffered a significant disability as a result of the injury, but he did return to work with a prosthetic lower left limb. The matter settled at mediation just prior to trial.