Cases Involving Appeals and Legislative Efforts

San Francisco California Strict Liability Lawyers Attorneys

In addition to trials and litigation the lawyers at Abramson Smith Waldsmith, LLP, fight for the rights of consumers in the Courts of Appeal and Legislature. For example:

Brocklesby v. USA and Jeppsen and Co — Preserved in the Federal Court of Appeals an $11.6 million jury verdict for the crash of a cargo jet due to a defective map used by the pilot.

Lunghi v. Clark Equipment Co. (1984) 153 Cal.App.3d 485 — Established the right of a plaintiff in a products liability case to have the jury instructed on the law of negligence, as well as strict liability, and established the right of one party to call as a witness another party's expert if that party has decided not to call its expert as a witness at trial. This seminal case was the first in California to recognize a duty of manufacturers to conduct an adequate warning and retrofit campaign when it discovers dangerous propensities in its product after its sale. Lunghi has been cited as authority for the following California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) which are routinely given to California civil juries in products liability cases: CACI 1204 (burden of proof to prove design defect for a products liability case) and CACI 1223 (negligence for the breach of the duty to warn, recall or retrofit a product that is already on the market).

Lance v. Holiday Inn, Incorporated — Fought in the Court of Appeal to preserve a judgment obtained on behalf of a 97-year-old man who fell and suffered injuries as a result of negligent maintenance of property.

Jackson v. McInnis Park Golf Center — Challenged in the Court of Appeal a restrictive law that takes away the right of some people who are participants in certain leisure activities to receive compensation of negligently caused injuries.

Burroughs v. Borg-Warner and Precision Airmotive Corp. (2000) 78 Cal.App.4th 681 — Challenged the application of federal law which provides aircraft component manufacturers an immunity for their defective parts after 18 years from date of manufacture.

Ladd v. County of San Mateo (1996) 78 Cal.4th 913 — Challenged the granting of an immunity to the defendant-county for its role in causing a minor girl to lose her legs when run over by a train.

Roe, et al v. East Bay Regional Parks — Challenged the trial court's ruling that the defendant did not have a duty to protect or warn the family of a minor boy who was molested by a park ranger on defendant's property.

Guzman v. Allied-Sysco Systems — Challenged the trial court's ruling that plaintiff's employer is not responsible for a co-worker's intentional assault and battery.

Doe v. Lossieland — Challenged the trial court's ruling that the owner of a child care facility did not have a duty to protect the children under its care from the danger of runaway vehicle on its premises.

Janes v. Southwest Forest Industries — Fought to retain a verdict in favor of the surviving spouse of a logger who was killed as a result of the negligence of another logging company.

Stencel Aero Engineering Corp. v. Superior Court (1976) 56 Cal.App.3d 978 — Preserved the ability of the estate of a deceased pilot of a fighter jet to bring a survival action for products liability that included a prayer for punitive damages.

Cochran v. Herzog Engraving Co. (1984) 155 Cal.App.3d 405 — Appealed to preserve the rights of the heirs of a worker following her death in a fire caused by the storage of magnesium.

Jackson v. Clements (1983) 146 Cal.App.3d 983 — Appealed to preserve the right of heirs to bring a wrongful death case against the County of Sonoma and several police officers for negligently allowing two intoxicated minors to drive their cars from a party immediately before crashing their cars and killing three people.

JURY FEE DEPOSIT REFUND: We were instrumental in eliminating a law that unfairly caused litigants to forfeit the required jury fee deposit when a case settled after a trial date had been set. We pointed out the unfairness of the forfeiture and appeared before the Legislature, which passed a new law allowing a refund of jury fee deposits.

STATUTORY OFFERS TO COMPROMISE: We worked with the Legislature to pass a law that restores the right of a party to a lawsuit who obtains a judgment at trial or binding arbitration that is more favorable than that party's last offer to settle pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 998, to recover costs of expert witnesses for both the trial of the action and preparation for the trial or arbitration.

WRONGFUL DEATH STATUTE: Through our efforts, an amendment to the State's wrongful death statute was passed, thereby restoring the right of parents to recover compensation for the wrongful death of a married child.