Premises Liability Case Results
We think results speak louder than words and just a few examples of our results in premise liability cases, include:
The Homampour Law Firm talks about how through effective framing and advocacy we can win (and win big) what seem to be impossibly tough cases at trial in any jurisdiction (even those considered to be ultra conservative.)
On September 4, 2018 and after a 5 day trial, a Fresno Jury found that Defendants who operated a large outdoor market and swap meet were legally responsible for the death of a vendor who mistakenly contacted an energized power line on Defendants’ property with his advertising banner/flag. The jury awarded $12.25 million in damages to the decedent’s wife (even though she spoke no English and was a seasonal farm worker who sold inexpensive parts at swap meets throughout central California with her husband.)
Despite repeated attempts to settle the case below policy limits, Defendants’ insurance carrier refused to offer anything more than $700,000. Defendants’ attorneys argued that everyone knows power lines are dangerous, that the hazard was "open and obvious", that they never had anyone use an advertising banner/flag as tall as Plaintiff’s, and that the incident was 100% the fault of Zuniga and her husband.
We won by reframing the case and demonstrating that this tragic event was an accident waiting to happen. It was Defendants that created a highly dangerous condition. Defendants put approximately 20 (out of 800) vendor spaces directly underneath high voltage lines knowing vendors were using tall advertising banners to visually compete with the other 500 vendors. We were able to cross-examine the defense experts into agreeing that this tragedy was foreseeable and preventable in that Defendants could have simply blocked off the 20 spaces under the unprotected high voltage lines. We also demonstrated that Defendants knew or should have known that vendors were using tall advertising banners, with a photograph of a long standing vendor with a 34 foot tall flag.
We obtained what some consider to be a very high damage award but we think is a fair amount for our client’s devastating lifetime loss and mental harm. Even though Jose died that day, we were effectively able to bring him to life for the jurors so that they could see and feel through Plaintiff the beauty of this man - beaming, smiling, and shining love. Imagine having (as the lucky significant other) that energy in your life every day how awesome life would be? Now imagine what it would be to have that snatched from you with no warning, you are forced to watch him die and will forever have that event seared into your mind. Such a shame. . . and the insurance company didn’t value the case like we did.
In March 2017, Attorneys Arash Homampour and Scott Boyer settled a challenging liability Premise Liability case for $4.35 million. The case initially appeared to be an ordinary but tragic Motor Vehicle versus Pedestrian accident. The Plaintiff, a 36 year old student, was riding his skateboard on an access road of a school when he was struck by a car causing horrific injuries: near amputation of his right arm with resultant reattachment surgery, finger amputation, multiple other surgeries, post-traumatic stress disorder and severe emotional distress.
Another law firm sought out the Homampour team to help with the case and a premise liability claim was brought against the school for maintaining an unsafe premises. We contended that the school negligently designed and constructed a trash bin enclosure so that it obstructed the view for students entering the access road from the walkway ramp and vehicles traveling down the access road. We established that defendant school should have been aware through reasonable inspections of the dangerous condition created by the obstruction and failed to take any corrective action or warn of the dangers.
Defendant school fought back arguing that the location was safe, there was no ordinance requiring a crosswalk or warning sign in the access road and there had been no similar accidents in the area since the trash bin enclosure was constructed in 2003. Defendant school contended that plaintiff was exclusively (or comparatively) at fault for the incident by knowingly riding his skateboard down a ramp, in violation of school policy, into a known parking lot/access road area without first determining whether there was any danger from oncoming traffic. Defendant also contended that the other driver was responsible for failing to keep a proper look out. Defendants also contended that the trash bin enclosure was open and obvious and the absence of any prior similar accidents evidenced the alleged configuration did not constitute a dangerous condition. Plaintiff had both driven and ridden his skateboard in the access road numerous times before the incident.
Despite these challenges and through aggressive and creative lawyering, the Homampour Team was able to obtain this phenomenal result for this client.
In 2014, Arash successfully tried a difficult liability and damages case in the San Bernardino County Court house and obtained a $4 million judgment on behalf of an elderly wife (70 years old) and husband (73 years old) in a trip and fall case at an RV Park.
Plaintiff wife and husband were part of an RV club that had previously gone to Defendant's RV park. It was during a subsequent visit in September 2012 that the subject fall occurred. Plaintiff wife was walking at night carrying pie and ice cream to deliver to fellow members of the RV club. Even though she knew there were cracks in the walkways at the park and there was no lighting in certain parts, she did not take a flashlight and was wearing flip flops.
Unable to find her friends, Plaintiff proceeded to return to the clubhouse. Rather than returning to the clubhouse following the same route that she took when she left, which was walking around the three rows of parked RVs, Plaintiff crossed through the second row of RVs, proceeding to step on one of the concrete slabs that were located adjacent to each parked RV. There was no lighting for this second row, unlike the first and third rows which did have lighting. Her foot got caught in a crack in the concrete slab causing her to fall forward and strike her head on the concrete. There were no witnesses to the fall.
With respect to liability, the defendant disputed (1) whether Plaintiff ever fell at their park, (2) the location of her fall, (3) whether the damaged concrete slab and lack of lighting constituted a dangerous condition, (4) whether Plaintiff was negligent in "cutting through" the second row of RVs, (5) whether Plaintiff was negligent in wearing flip-flops, and (6) whether Plaintiff was negligent in walking at night without a flashlight when she had admitted knowing that there were cracks in the concrete slabs before she fell.
As to damages, Plaintiff had no visible injuries other than some swelling over her right eye. She was not diagnosed with any serious injury until six (6) weeks later when she was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma. After spending a few days in the hospital for observation she was released. One day after her release, she fell out of bed and had stroke-like symptoms including left-sided paralysis. She was taken back to the hospital where a burr-hole craniotomy was performed to relieve the pressure on her brain. After nearly a week in the hospital she was noted as having returned "back to baseline" and was transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility for a two week stay. Plaintiff returned home with very mild cognitive impairments and walked with the aid of a cane. Plaintiffs' experts opined that Mrs. Johnson needed daily care for the rest of her life. Her past medicals were $67,771.60.
The defendant disputed: (1) whether the fall caused any injury at all, (2) whether the subdural hematoma was caused by the fall or some other intervening event that occurred in the six weeks between the fall and the diagnosis, and (3) whether any of her alleged cognitive and mobility issues were a result of a laundry list of preexisting medical conditions. The defendant disputed the need for any future care as Plaintiff was found to have returned "back to baseline" upon her discharge from the hospital and rehabilitation facility. Defendant also had sub rosa video surveillance of Plaintiff showing her at a bowling alley, interacting with others and purchasing items at a store. Defendant contended that there was nothing wrong with Plaintiff and that she was fabricating the extent of her injuries. Nonetheless, we won and convinced the jury to reject all of Defendant's frivolous arguments. The jury found Defendant solely liable for Plaintiffs' damages.
In 2003, Arash Homampour confidentially settled a case involving a minor falling out of an apartment window. We alleged that the defendant apartment owner was liable for failing to install screens in the window of the bedroom the child was playing in.
Hearing his father's car, the child climbed up on furniture to look out the window and fell out to the ground below. The father tenant had requested that the landlord install the missing screens, the landlord promised to do so, but he never did. The trial court dismissed the case twice because there was case law that held that landlords have no duty to install screens on windows within apartments. But, through creative and aggressive lawyering, Arash was successful twice in convincing the Court of Appeal that the defendant landowner could be held liable for failing to perform his undertaking to install the screens.
In 2010, Arash Homampour settled a difficult premise liability case for $7.5 million where Plaintiff was struck by another worker operating a machine at the workplace.
In 2011 Arash Homampour successfully briefed and argued the case of Cortez v. Abich (2011) 51 Cal. 4th 285 before the California Supreme Court where the Court held that work rendered on a residential remodeling project in which significant portions of a house are demolished and rebuilt, and new rooms are added, does not fall within the statutory "household domestic service" provision for employment excluded under the Cal-OSHA, Lab. Code, § 6300 et seq.
In Cortez, Arash stepped in as appellate counsel after the trial court granted defendant summary judgment. He obtained a reversal of summary judgment for the Defendants and reversed the Court of Appeal. You can read the opinion here.
In 2010, Arash Homampour obtained a $2 million trial verdict against Costco in a very difficult liability case where it offered nothing before trial. An elderly driver with an amputated right foot and a device that allowed him to drive using his left foot only on a modified gas pedal gets into his car while heavily medicated after shopping at the Burbank Costco. He claims he hit the wrong pedal and traveled in reverse from his handicapped parking space into the food court at 25mph without stopping, striking a display car, tables and Plaintiff. The driver was charged with a Felony DUI.
We alleged that Costco was negligent for not installing bollards or barriers to protect patrons within the outdoor food court from errant traffic. Costco introduced evidence that tens of millions of customers had visited their stores and there had never been a prior incident. But, we showed that Costco had barriers for food courts in other locations but for no apparent reason did not install them at the Burbank Costco.
Arash was able to cross-examine the store manager into admitting that he would have installed the bollards/barriers had he known about them. We showed that Costco deviated from its plans for the outside foot court area by installing substantially more tables within the area, increasing the chances that a driver could enter the area and seriously hurt a customer (who would be sitting with her back to traffic.)
The jury agreed with Arash and found Costco liable for not having barriers. The jury agreed that Costco had a duty to prevent foreseeable incidents like the subject one from happening and could not wait to take action after someone was seriously hurt. You can read the Court of Appeal's opinion affirming the verdict here.
In 2012, Arash Homampour successfully briefed and argued the case of Claro v. Target where he obtained a reversal of summary judgment in favor of Target Stores in an eight figure property damage case. Plaintiff, an adjacent property owner, alleged that Target was negligent in allowing third party fire work activity in its parking lot and during which a firework caused a fire destroying Plaintiff's premises. You can read the opinion here.
In 2012, Arash Homampour successfully briefed and argued the case of Adato v. Park Plaza where he obtained a reversal of summary judgment in favor of the landowners serious injury case. Plaintiff was on his motorcycle when an elderly driver made an illegal left turn from Defendant's apartment complex and crashed into Plaintiff.
We alleged that the apartment complex should have posted a sign prohibiting left turns as they were dangerous and residents could not decipher that it was illegal to make such turns. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the landowner. But, Arash obtained an appellate reversal by not giving up and creatively arguing the case. You can read the opinion here.
As accomplished trial and appellate attorneys, we provide superior legal representation at every step, from initial consultation through negotiations, trial or any necessary appeals. No matter how complex your case may seem, we have the knowledge, skill and dedication to get you and fair and full compensation.
To talk to one of our Los Angeles premises liability lawyers, call 323-658-8077. 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.