Wrongful Death Case Results
We think results speak louder than words and just a few examples of our results in wrongful death cases, include:
In 2015, Arash Homampour obtained a record setting $60 million verdict from an Orange County Federal court jury (nowhere more conservative and requires unanimous verdict with only 20 minutes for jury selection). This is the most tragic of cases, a preventable one. A Sunbeam Quartz/radiant space heater started a fire when the auto safety shut off failed to work. We uncovered that Sunbeam knew the safety device may not work and that consumers had no idea. Amy Shinedling (a beautiful wife, daughter, mother, and human being) died. Arash was her voice and by the verdict she was heard.
In 2004, Arash obtained a $37.5 million verdict from a San Bernardino jury in a case against the City of Fontana for the wrongful death of Karen Medina (a 14 year old girl) by two divorced parents who testified through a Spanish interpreter at trial.
It was an extremely difficult liability case where an unlicensed minor driver was speeding at 70mph down a residential street and lost control of his car striking a young girl walking in the road home from school. Arash was able to convince the jury that the young girl died, in part, because the City did not do its job to install sidewalks so that students could walk home safely from school. Also, Arash effectively shifted the jury's obvious focus on the unlicensed driver to the City's role and failure to protect student pedestrians. The jury allocated 75% to the city, 25% to the minor's parents and nothing to the minor driver.
The trial court ordered a new trial on excessive damages and apportionment. Defendant City unsuccessfully appealed the finding of liability and causation. Arash retried the case in 2008 and obtained a $15 million verdict which was kept as the trial court denied a second motion for new trial on the ground of excessive damages. More details on this verdict can be found here.
In 2015, Arash tried a difficult liability case against State of California, Dept. of Transportation in Ventura County Superior Court. A group of motorcylists were traveling Northbound on Route 33 in Ojai when another group of riders traveling Southbound crossed over hitting his clients' father/husband head on, killing him. We alleged that the other rider that crossed over and hit our decedent head had taken the curve too fast because there were no warning signs informing that he was to encounter an unusual hairpin curve and needed to reduce his speed to 30mph.
In pre-trial discovery, we established that the State knew the location needed critical warning signs and that preventable accident after preventable accident occurred at this specific location because of its unusual characteristics. The State contended that the incident was solely the fault of an inexperienced motorcyclist. The jury disagreed and awarded the family $14.2 million in wrongful death damages and allocated 90% fault to the State.
This case was particularly gratifying because it was uncovered that there was a 2 year backlog in getting accident data into Caltrans' database resulting in Caltrans not seeing in real time the number of accidents occuring at various locations. However, we showed Caltrans how it had the ability to get current data by working with the CHP and other state agencies that maintained their own current databases.
In 2007, Arash Homampour obtained a $7 million jury verdict in a wrongful death case in Simi Valley (the verdict was later reduced by the Court on remittitur) for a Plaintiff whose husband of one year died. The Defendant Truck Company's employee illegally parked a big rig truck on the shoulder of the freeway in order to sleep. Another vehicle in which the Plaintiff's husband was a passenger, veered off the freeway onto to the shoulder, and collided with the rear of Defendant's illegally parked big rig. Plaintiff's husband was killed instantly.
The plaintiff was non-English speaking and testified through a Spanish interpreter. Plaintiff sought only non-economic damages. Prior to the trial the defendant Truck Company rejected Plaintiff's offer to settle for $500,000. More details on this verdict can be found here.
In 2015, Arash obtained a $5.6 million jury verdict for the family of an 83 year old whose vehicle was stopped in the middle of the freeway for unknown reasons and who was killed by a truck driver that was not paying attention. The Defendant truck driver argued that the collision was unavoidable and solely the fault of the elderly man.
There were many interesting developments at trial. Arash was able to cross-examine the defendant truck driver to admit that he had violated trucking laws by only sleeping 2-3 hours per day and falsifying his logs. So, even though the case looked difficult with the elderly driver stopped in the middle of the freeway (with allegations that he was standing in the traffic lanes), justice prevailed and the jury found the truck driver liable ordering him to pay for the death of this good man.
In 2013, Arash successfully tried another wrongful death case in Federal Court. This was product liability lawsuit where a father and son were using an extension ladder when the father fell while climbing down the ladder. The father suffered a very serious brain injury and later died. Arash took on this difficult case where the ladder manufacturers win virtually all of time and across the country. In fact, the ladder manufacturer refused to settle the case stating that it had a corporate policy of never settling. Well, Arash uncovered some other interesting corporate policies.
He proved that the ladder manufacturers have known for years that these ladders can get into what is called a false locked position where a user will mistakenly think the ladder is locked but it really is not. The ladder manufacturers had a safety device and better warnings to address this defect but chose not to use them on his clients' ladder.
The case went to trial in Federal Court and, despite the enormous obstacles faced in the case and a federal trial, a jury unanimously found that the ladder was defective, that the manufacturer was negligent and ordered it to pay $3.8 million in damages to our clients.
In 2009, Arash Homampour settled a wrongful death vehicle versus motorcycle case for $3.6 million for the death of a young adult motorcyclist and on behalf of his mother and dependent minor nephews where Defendants had strong evidence that decedent was speeding and that his speeding caused the collision. More details on this result can be found here.
In 2012, Arash obtained a $3.5 million verdict in a wrongful death case in Federal Court. The case involved a truck driver that ran over and killed a young girl on her bike. The investigating officer found (erroneously) that the young girl was totally at fault. Again, another attorney brought our firm in, but this time to take the case to trial. Even though strong evidence in the form of surveillance video showed that the driver was at least partially at fault, the insurance company refused to pay a reasonable settlement.
This was a particularly difficult case because it was tried in Federal Court, the young girls parents testified through Spanish interpreters, and there was evidence that the young girl rode her bike from the sidewalk into the crosswalk against a flashing red pedestrian signal. Many attorneys are afraid of Federal Court and its strict procedures, harsh restrictions on jury selection and unanimous verdict requirement. But, not Arash, as he was successful in convincing a Federal jury which unanimously found that the truck driver could and should have avoided the collision and that a beautiful precious young life was needlessly taken.
The jury awarded $3.5 million or more than 10 times what the insurance company offered to settle during trial.
We are considered the best of the best trial lawyers, especially for wrongful death cases. We will intently focus on every aspect of your case, allowing you to focus on grieving with your family. We will not rest until we've achieved the best possible outcome to your difficult situation.
To talk to one of our Los Angeles wrongful death lawyers, call 323-658-8077 or toll free at 800-597-8543. Or, if you prefer, send us an email by clicking on the red button below.
Initial consultations are free and our multilingual staff speaks Spanish, Farsi and Armenian.
We take cases on a contingency — which means there is no fee if there is no recovery.
We also can handle complex cases via attorney referral.