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Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP

Sacramento: 916-379-3500

Auburn: 530-889-1800

San Jose: 408-275-1300

Carmel by the Sea: 831-293-6003

Orange County: 949-517-0425

Se Habla Español | Chúng Tôi Nói Tiếng Việt | Falo Português

Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP

Sacramento: 916-379-3500

Auburn: 530-889-1800

San Jose: 408-275-1300

Carmel by the Sea: 831-293-6003

Orange County: 949-517-0425

Se Habla Español | Chúng Tôi Nói Tiếng Việt | Falo Português

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Jonathan Hayes Verdicts and Settlements

Excerpts on Trials and Other Notable Results

Boxall v. Macky Investment

(Personal Injury, Cervical Injury)
Settlement: $999,999
Sacramento County, 2014

Mrs. Boxall was injured when she went to unlock the exterior door of a commercial building where she worked. As she did so, the door fell away from the hinge and landed on top of her head and shoulder. She suffered a variety of injuries after being hit by the door, and ultimately neck surgery was recommended by her doctor. She also had to retire early from her position with EDS. Prior to trial, the case settled for $999,999 with a $1 million statutory offer pending.

Lopez v. OMIC USA

(Personal Injury, Fractured arm)
Settlement: $275,000
Sacramento County, 2014

Mr. Lopez was injured as a passenger when the vehicle he was riding in was struck from behind by a person that fell asleep at the wheel. As the collision occurred, Mr. Lopez placed his arm on the dashboard, and the airbag deployed, breaking the arm. The arm required two surgeries to repair the damage, and Mr. Lopez lost his job as a food server and prep cook. The case settled at the Settlement Conference prior to trial.

Connor v. City of Porterville (Jury Trial)

(Wrongful Death, Police Brutality)
Hung Jury, Post-Trial Settlement: $750,000
Tulare County, 2014

This case was tried over the course of a month in Tulare County with Roger Dreyer, Esq. It involved a young man that was pulled over by a Porterville Police sergeant for riding his bike without a head lamp on a Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. The officer claimed the young man assaulted him during the field interview, but the sergeant regained control of the situation by use of his taser. When backup arrived and aggressively attempted to handcuff the young man, he ran away to his house where he lived with his mother, brother and sister.

When the officers arrived at the Connor home, the mother asked the sergeant to wait outside. He ignored the request and entered the home. He went into the master bedroom, where the young man was hiding. A second officer went with him, and they tased the young man. Scared of the officers and continuing assault, the young man once again tried to flee. Despite the absence of physical injuries, the officers testified that the young man assaulting them, using this as a basis for deadly force. The sergeant shot the unarmed young man, as did one of the backup officers. The young man died in front of his mother and brother.

The case was a venued in a Tulare County, a rural and very conservative county. There was a large dispute about the reasonableness of the use of deadly force amongst the jurors that led to a hung jury. During a post-trial settlement conference, the case settled prior to its retrial.

Clary v. Hallsten Corp.

(Spinal Injury)
Settlement: $925,000
Sacramento County, 2013

Mr. Clary was injured when riding his motorcycle on westbound P Street. The Defendant pulled in front of him from a stop sign on 18th Street. With an independent witness claiming that Mr. Clary was doing a wheelie at a high rate of speed, the Defendant disputed fault. This had to be overcome by some skilled lawyering and expert reconstruction, and presented a significant risk.

Mr. Clary was 24 years old at the time of the collision, and he had a broken back and numerous other injuries. While he did not require any surgical intervention, he did require a four day hospitalization and extensive therapy. The physician testimony indicated that he would have long term problems and chronic pain. The case settled at mediation a month prior to trial.

Powell v. Original Mike’s

(Left shoulder injury)
Settlement: $375,000
Sacramento County, 2013

Ms. Powell was disabled from a brain aneurism that happened a long time ago. It resulted in paralysis to her right side. When she went into the defendant’s restaurant, she went to use the restroom. As she did, the bar in the handicap stall fell off the wall. She fell forward, injuring her left shoulder and tearing her rotator cuff. She had surgery but the shoulder, her only good arm, never was the same.

Meade v. Thomas

(Shoulder / Head Injury)
Settlement: $300,000
Sacramento County, 2013

Plaintiff was injured when he was walking to the bus stop after having some drinks during happy hour. When crossing the street at nighttime, he was struck by a vehicle in the crosswalk. There was a dispute about whether or not he was crossing the street on a green light when he was hit. In the end, the insurer was convinced that we could prove the case and paid the policy limit demand.

Hedrick v. Delta Bay Construction

(Low Back Injury)
Settlement: $291,710
San Joaquin County, 2013

This case involved a mother that was taking her 2-year-old daughter the park. When they parked and began to exit the vehicle, their car was struck by a truck that lost control. The impact threw Ms. Hedrick to the ground, and she sustained a low back injury. It was recommended that she undergo a low back discectomy, and the policy limits were tendered upon demand prior to the judicial arbitration of the case.

Hernandez v. California Concrete Pumping

(Shoulder / Back Injuries)
Settlement: $625,000
Sacramento County, 2013

Plaintiff was injured as he rode his motorcycle on Highway 99. The defendant had failed to secure the concrete pumping hoses on his truck. The hoses spilled out into the freeway and Mr. Hernandez had no place to escape. He suffered numerous abrasions and injured his right shoulder, right thumb and low back. He underwent shoulder and thumb surgeries, along with injection therapy for his low back. The case was resolved at mediation with Judge Gilbert in the days prior to trial.

Jeffers v. Headwaters

(Knee Replacement)
Settlement: $975,000
San Joaquin County, 2012

This case stemmed from a construction site incident in San Joaquin County. Mr. Jeffers was a truck driver for Griffen. At 3:30 a.m., he went to Headwaters’ facility in Stockton to pick up a load of fly ashe that he was to deliver to Redding. While at the Headwaters facility, he stepped into an open excavation. The excavation was left open by Brackett Construction. There was no warning of the open hole.

Mr. Jeffers had past problems with his knees and had advanced osteoarthritis in his right knee. The impact caused the knee to become painful and symptomatic and he ultimately required a knee surgery to address ligament damage followed by a knee replacement procedure. These injuries and complications from the surgeries prevented him from returning to driving truck.

Wright v. Noack (Jury Trial)

(Crushed Foot)
Verdict: $84,805.50
El Dorado County, September 2012

Plaintiff was run over by a slow moving truck that attempted to pass by his location in stopped traffic. Mr. Wright was standing in the staging area, preparing for the Georgetown Parade of Lights. The defendant ran over plaintiff’s foot and ankle from behind. Mr. Wright had a foot and ankle surgery. He had to close a restaurant that he had just opened and experienced chronic foot pain and disability following the incident.

The case was tried over 15 days to a jury in El Dorado County. The jury deliberated for three days before returning a verdict in Plaintiff’s favor.

Chayka v. Raul & Sons

(Cervical Injury)
Settlement: $300,000
Sacramento County, 2012

Plaintiff was hurt when rear-ended at a high speed on Highway 50 / Business 80. She went on to have significant, chronic neck pain. Her spine specialist suggested that she consider neck surgery to repair a disc at C5 – 6. Mrs. Chayka opted to forego surgery and treat conservatively with medication and therapy. The case resolved just prior to trial following the Settlement Conference.

Mitchell v. Von Middendorf

(Lumbar Discectomy)
Settlement: $254,000
Monterey County, 2012

Plaintiff was injured in a rear-end collision that involved very minor property damage. He had pain in his low back a couple of years before the car accident, and his spine doctor performed a discectomy at L4-5. After the surgery, he went on to have a positive recovery. He did not have any real problems in the months leading up to this minor rear end collision.

After the collision, he began to experience increasing pain in his low back. He returned to his spine doctor, who recommended that he undergo a second microdiscectomy. That procedure was performed with some level of success. Mr. Mitchell’s back never fully recovered. The case resolved after judicial arbitration.

Perugini v. Guest (Jury Trial)

(Soft Tissue Case)
Verdict: $40,103
Sacramento County, June 2012

This rear end collision occurred at a red freeway metering light. Plaintiff suffered neck and upper back pain that was treated conservatively with medication and physical therapy. He missed some time from work as a manager of Roma’s Pizzeria, and he had some limitations in his job duties for a period of time. After therapy, he did well and had significant relief from his pain.

Despite over $20,000 in medical bills, Farmers Insurance offered $17,000 to settle the case. Farmers claimed that he overtreated and called Michael Klein, M.D. as their orthopedic expert at trial. He testified that the injuries should have resolved within a couple of months. Plaintiff tried the case with a 998 demand for $29,000. The verdict was returned for plaintiff, awarding most of the medical bills and $20,000 for non-economic damages. This resulted in a cost and interest award for Plaintiff of over $10,000.

Jackson v. Aero West (Jury Trial)

(Shoulder Injury / Closed Head Injury)
Settlement: $192,000
Placer County, March 2012

This case stemmed from a rear-end collision that resulted when the defendant failed to stop timely in the snow and hit the vehicle Plaintiff was riding in. Mr. Jackson was thrown forward in the vehicle, struck the A-pillar of the pick-up he was riding in. He suffered a right shoulder injury resulting in surgery and a mild traumatic brain injury resulting in headaches and memory problems.

During the course of the case, Plaintiff called multiple medical experts and family members. The testimony addressed aspects of Mr. Jackson’s brain injury, shoulder surgery and ongoing pain complaints. With a long history of pain management for chronic pain problems, significant issues arose during the trial. After the sixth day of trial, the case settled for $192,000.

Hardin v. Wright (Jury Trial)

(Soft Tissue Case)
Verdict: $19,570
Sacramento County, February 2012

This collision occurred in stop and go traffic on the freeway. There was not a lot of damage to the vehicles, but plaintiff experienced neck pain after the collision that was treated through Kaiser. Her doctors prescribed medication, therapy and acupuncture with mild pain relief. Her medical expenses ultimately totaled about $7,000. She also had to miss some work.

the jury awarded Mrs. Hardin her medical bills and lost income with an additional $10,000 in non-economic damages. This resulted in plaintiff beating the $12,000 998 demand and the Arbitration Award. Farmers had to pay over $5,000 on top of the verdict for costs and interest in the case.

Kryukova v. Carmichael Auto

(Punctured Lung / Broken Arm)
Settlement: $295,000
Sacramento County, 2012

Plaintiff was injured when a tow truck turned in front of her while she was driving on Greenback Lane in Sacramento, CA. She was taken by ambulance to Mercy San Juan where it was discovered that she suffered a punctured lung. She also had and a fractured arm that required surgical repair.

Over time, the fracture healed, but plaintiff continued to experience pain and problems with the arm and hand. This caused significant challenges for her in trying to return to her job as a massage therapist. Despite the efforts of the defense to fight the case on liability and damages, the case resolved pre-arbitration.

Methven v. Oldham

(Cervical Surgery)
Settlement: $250,000
Sacramento County, 2012

Ms. Methven is a very nice woman that had a long history of neck pain and problems prior to a collision that occurred when the defendant entered the intersection against a red light. It resulted in a significant impact that worsened Ms. Methven’s neck. Despite significant causation challenges, plaintiff was successful in getting the $250,000 policy limits paid during mediation after the deposition of the treating physician.

Vaughan v. City of Rancho Cordova

(Fractured Patella)
Settlement: $200,000
Sacramento County, 2012

Ms. Waughan experienced a broken knee cap when she tripped and fell on a cracked and raised sidewalk in the business park of Rancho Cordova. She was walking in that area while walking on a break. The fractured knee cap, called a patella, required surgical intervention, convalescent care and significant rehabilitation.

The case was filed in Sacramento County and extensive discovery was performed. There were causation challenges as to the responsible party for the broken sidewalk, as it was clearly raised by the tree of an adjacent landowner. The case was mediated with a successful result.

Warrell v. Tri

(Multiple fractures)
Settlement: $250,000
Sutter County, Pre-Litigation, 2011

Mr. Hayes took over this case from another lawyer that was not moving efficiently. Mr. Warrell suffered serious injuries in a motorcycle collision caused by Mr. Tri, who turned left into the path of Mr. Warrell. He was transported to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where he underwent a number of surgeries and was an inpatient for quite some time. After doing some initial work-up on the case, Mr. Hayes was able to get the full amount of insurance paid to Mr. Warrell.

Decker v. State of CA

(Traumatic Brain Injury / Cervical Injury)
Settlement: $4,250,000
Sacramento County, 2011

This case was prosecuted with Roger Dreyer, Esq. It involved a high speed, freeway collision while Mr. Decker was on the job with the Yolo County Sherriff’s Department. He was hit by a CHP officer that attempted to make a U-turn in front of him on the freeway.

Mr. Decker experienced extensive chronic pain stemming from muscular injuries to his neck, shoulders and chest. The primary problem, however, was caused by ongoing deficits from a brain injury that caused mood problems, memory issues and headaches. The case resolved following mediation with Joe Ramsey, Esq.

Bizjak v. St. Anton’s Partners

(Right Elbow / Arm fracture)
Settlement: $200,000
Sacramento County, 2011

Plaintiff was injured when walking on J Street in the early morning hours. Someone had placed a cardboard box over ice that resulted from a failed downspout in an adjacent building. Plaintiff established that this was a Code violation by the adjacent landowner and the case resolved during litigation.

Milldrum v. Woody’s Trucking

(Broken Arm / Post-Concussive Symptoms)
Settlement: $390,000
Placer County, 2011

Plaintiff and his girlfriend were taking a motorcycle ride on Interstate 80. During their trip, the Defendant merged his big rig into Mr. Milldrum’s motorcycle. This pinned the motorcycle up against the concrete divider and dragged it along the

concrete center divider until the Defendant realized his mistake and merged back into the slow lane. Mr. Milldrum was ejected from the motorcycle.

Mr. Milldrum experienced a concussion and fractured arm. The injuries were treated at Sutter Roseville Medical Center acutely. Following the hospitalization, he was followed by his doctors and underwent physical therapy for ongoing pain in the arm and low back. The concussion resolved slowly over time, and he was not left with any residual cognitive deficits.

Durston v. Valley Utility Services

(Broken Neck / Back Injury)
Settlement: $3,000,000
Sacramento County, 2011

This is a case Mr. Hayes prosecuted with Roger Dreyer, Esq. The client was driving his truck on Hazel Avenue, when a dump truck merged into him, pushing him off the road and into a pole. He suffered a fracture in his cervical spine that was treated non-operatively. He also had low back surgery. He was a painter and was largely unable to return to that kind of work following the collision and his injuries. The case resolved at the Settlement Conference just prior to trial.

Speer v. Shaver

(Low Back Injury)
Settlement: $275,000
Placer County, 2010

Plaintiff suffered an injury when rear-ended on the freeway in a multiple car collision. While she had a longstanding history of chiropractic care for spinal conditions, she had never needed any intrusive medical care until after the collision. This was a challenging case involving injury causation that was resolved at mediation in the days leading up to trial.

Young v. Lewis

(Cervical Injury)
Settlement: $250,000
Sacramento County, 2010

Plaintiff was injured in an intersection collision. He had a prior medical history of spinal problems from years of hard work and prior incidents. Plaintiff argued that it made him more susceptible to a cervical injury and that he had chronic pain as a result of the collision. The insurer paid the $250,000 policy limit pursuant to a 998 demand during litigation.

Neves v. Evon

(Broken Wrist / Arm)
Settlement: $250,000
Sacramento County, 2010

Plaintiff was injured when the Defendant turned in front of him on Arden Way. He was riding his motorcycle, which he was ejected from in the collision. He suffered a broken wrist and arm that impacted his job as a mechanic. Through various techniques, Plaintiff was successful at getting the insurer to pay the $250,000 policy limit pre-litigation.

Williams v. Allied

(Closed Head Injury)
Settlement: $452,500
Sacramento County, 2010

Plaintiff suffered a closed injury with some mild residual problems following a roll­over collision caused by an uninsured motorist. He was ejected from the vehicle and there was a significant dispute about whether or not a seatbelt was being used at the time of the collision. The case resolved during mediation.

McGarry v. Donnelly

(Eye Injury)
Settlement: $250,000
Sacramento County, 2010

When Plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle collision, she began to experience blurred vision. It was ultimately believed to be related to macular degeneration and she had surgery for that condition. The cause of the degeneration was hotly contested, but Plaintiff was able to convince Farmers Insurance that there was a risk of loss, and it paid the $250,000 policy.

Vanderlaan v. Kalashian

(Lumbar Injury / Motor Vehicle Collision)
Settlement: $965,000
Sacramento County, 2009

Plaintiff was injured in two rear-end motor vehicle collisions that left her with chronic low back pain. She was worked-up conservatively with epidural injections and ultimately had a discectomy. Although liability was clear, the insurers argued Plaintiff could not have suffered significant injury because of the lack of property damage. The case resolved following mediation with an impending trial date.

Ascalon v. O’Connor

(Post-Concussive Syndrome)
Settlement: $200,000
Sacramento County, 2009

A young investment adviser, Mr. Ascalon, was injured when hit by a vehicle that ran a red light. He developed post-concussive syndrome with headaches. He also had some musculoskeletal complaints. We convinced the two insurance carriers to tender all of the available insurance coverage.

Simon v. State Farm (Binding Arbitration)

(Cervical Soft Tissue)
Arbitration Award: $50,397.75
Sacramento County, 2007

This was a motor vehicle collision that resulted in soft tissue injuries that were treated conservatively with chiropractic care and medication management. The binding arbitration was done in front of Joe Ramsey, Esq.

Sanders v. Richardson

(Cervical Injury / Motor Vehicle Collision)
Settlement: $250,000
Sacramento County, 2007

Plaintiff was a 50-year-old competitive swimmer who was rear-ended. He developed cervical pain with radicular symptoms that impacted his ability to swim. He was worked up conservatively and ultimately was scheduled for surgery. The insurer paid the $250,000 policy limit on the eve of surgery despite the minor damage done to the defendant’s vehicle.

Furr v. Windent

(Cervical Injury)
Settlement: $700,000
Sacramento County, 2007

Plaintiff was injured in a highway rear-end collision. Following the collision, she developed cervical pain that resulted in significant medical care. The condition was a chronic condition that would not improve with the treatment.

Eno v. Arena Tow

(Thoracic Injury / Motor Vehicle Collision)
Settlement: $1,000,000
Sacramento County, 2007

Plaintiff was a young man from Rio Linda that was injured in a collision caused by an Arena Tow truck making a left-hand turn in front of Plaintiff. Following the collision, he experienced mid-back pain that stemmed from a deformity in his spine. Plaintiff argued the congenital condition became symptomatic such that surgery was necessary. The insurer paid the $1 million policy limits following discovery.

Valencia v. Portola Pizza Factory (Jury Trial, Second Chair)

(Cervical Injury and Surgeries)
Settlement: $1,700,000
Plumas County, November, 2007

On Jan. 17, 2003, Ronnie Valencia, a 41-year-old carpenter who lived in the Plumas County area, was at the Portola Pizza Factory with his wife and father-in-law when a picnic bench on which he was sitting collapsed. The picnic bench had been purchased and assembled by Defendant, Portola Pizza Factory. The picnic bench was manufactured by Stark Truss Company, Inc. Stark Truss, which manufactures outdoor furniture, was requested to manufacture 5,000 picnic tables and benches for Lowe’s to be marketed as outdoor furniture.

Defendant, Portola Pizza Factory, contended the incident was not its fault. It assembled the benches as directed and there was nothing to indicate the benches should not be used commercially. They had monitored the benches and had no way of being able to tell that the screw had fractured. Their expert testified the bench was not appropriate for commercial use and there should have been warnings and directions in that regard. Portola Pizza Factory claimed they were not negligent in any fashion in the maintenance of the bench.

Stark Truss and Lowe’s had an expert who indicated the bench failed as a result of misuse by the owner, Portola Pizza Factory. Stark Truss also indicated that this bench was not appropriate for commercial use. Lowe’s employees also testified if they had known it was for commercial use, they would have advised against it. They denied being put on notice that it was being purchased for commercial use, even though six tables and benches were purchased at one time.

Plaintiff, was essentially in good health at the time of the incident. He had no prior neck or left shoulder complaints for which he received medical treatment. He had suffered from prostate cancer and had surgery and radiation treatment in the fall of 2002. He was off work as a result of recovery from the prostate surgery at the time of the subject incident. He claimed that as a result of the force of the fall, he suffered a herniation at the C5-6 level, and that he suffered an injury to his left shoulder when he extended his left arm. He ultimately had a two-level fusion on his cervical spine six months after the incident by John Davis, M.D. in Reno and an arthroscopic procedure on his left shoulder performed by Dr. Paul Shonnard in Reno as well. Plaintiff went on to have a non-union at C5-6 and had to undergo an additional surgery. Following the surgery, he developed a staph infection that had to be treated with intravenous drugs.

This matter went through two separate mediations prior to trial. The highest offer ever made at mediation was $150,000 — $50,000 from Portola Pizza Factory and $100,000 from Stark Truss/Lowe’s. Leading up to trial, the offer was a global offer of $200,000. Over the two to three weeks before trial, negotiations became serious, with a pre-trial offer of $750,000. The matter ultimately settled on the fourth day of trial for $1,700,000.

Huang v. Velez (Jury Trial)

(Soft Tissue Injury)
Verdict: $15,393.20
Sacramento County, 2006

This collision occurred at an intersection downtown, and both the plaintiff and defendant felt that they had the green light going into the intersection. Plaintiff was an elderly Asian man that did not speak any English and went to an acupuncturist following the collision. With $3,300 in medical expenses, the jury awarded $19,924, but reduced it by 20 percent for plaintiff’s comparative fault. The insurer had made no offer in the days leading up to trial.

Dean and Lynn Betts v. State of California / Hashimi (Jury Trial, Second Chair)

(Major Traumatic Brain and Orthopedic Injuries)
Verdict: $17,000,000
El Dorado County, April, 2005 – June, 2005

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 and I 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 in 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 they failed 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 plaintiff on a vote of 11 to1 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 percent of which was the State’s responsibility.