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Los Angeles Government Liability Lawyers

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Sometimes our trust in the government turns out to be misplaced. If you need to negotiate complex government regulations and bureaucracies, Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP can help. The firm has recovered millions of dollars for plaintiffs injured by government entities’ actions in Los Angeles and throughout California, including $27.4 million for the family of a four-year-old girl who was killed when a municipal truck ran a red light and careened onto the sidewalk where she was walking home from school with her family. [Dominguez v. City and County of San Francisco ] A jury found the city and county 100% liable for the accident.

In Los Angeles, Brian Panish was part of the team litigating nine personal injury and two wrongful death suits over the 2003 Santa Monica Farmers Market tragedy. The cases, filed against the City of Santa Monica and Los Angeles County, are ongoing.

Firm attorneys also served as lead attorneys on the plaintiffs’ steering committee for lawsuits stemming from the 2005 crash of a Los Angeles Metrolink train, which derailed in Glendale after a suicidal man parked on the tracks.

Government Liability Verdicts & Settlements

  1. Dominguez v. City and County of San Francisco $27,394,567
    4-year-old Elizabeth Dominguez died of head injuries after she was hit on the sidewalk in a municipal railway truck crash. The wrongful death case resulted in a $27.4 million award by the jury after the driver of the truck was found 100 percent responsible for the fatal truck crash. The case settled during appeal.
  2. Pogosyan v. Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) $22,000,000
    Pogosyan lost her leg above the knee and suffered severe internal injuries when a car being chased by Southern California Rapid Transit District struck her while she was getting out of her car. The jury awarded $22 million in the pedestrian accident case, resulting in a $13 million award following liability adjustment.
  3. Contreras v. State of California $9,000,000
    16-year-old Contreras lost both legs when her car struck a defective guardrail in Los Angeles. Firm attorneys  proved that the state was negligent in ignoring work orders to repair the guardrail. The case settled for $9 million the day trial was to begin.
  4. Rastello v. City of Torrance $8,000,000
    Kelly Rastello was killed in a DUI motorcycle accident when his motorcycle was struck by an intoxicated off-duty Torrance Police Sergeant. Rastello’s family pursued the case when it was evident that Torrance police attempted to cover up the true nature of the motorcycle accident. The jury awarded $8 million that included stiff penalties against the involved police officers.
  5. Sims v. Mountain Area Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) $7,000,000
    Settlement of $7 million for severe traumatic brain injury sustained by plaintiff who was struck by a bus while crossing a street in Big Bear and struck her head on the pavement when she fell to the ground.
  6. Galal v. City of Long Beach $6,750,000
    Galal was severely wounded when he was mistakenly shot by a Long Beach police officer. The $6.75 million award took into account evidence that Long Beach police attempted to cover up the police misconduct.
  7. Keep v. State of California $6,400,000
    On behalf of a man whose leg was traumatically amputated when an elderly driver went over a curb at the Department of Motor Vehicles and crashed through the side of the building. The DMV building was in a dangerous condition because there the drive test lane was positioned in such a way that inexperienced and elderly drivers were pointed toward an unprotected pedestrian sidewalk and waiting area. The State was aware of prior similar incidents, and should have installed protective barriers known as bollards. Evidence developed during discovery showed that the State had installed bollards at 14 other DMV locations, but did not do so at the Culver City DMV until after this catastrophic injury. The evidence showed that bollards were inexpensive, technologically feasible safety devices that would have prevented the incident. The case settled on the eve of trial.
  8. DeLew v. NHP (Nevada Highway Patrol) $6,250,000
  9. Doiron v. City of Riverside $4,400,000
    Doiron suffered a fractured neck after he lost control of his vehicle due to a water puddle created by a defective sprinkler system, causing him to strike a tree. Weiging the evidence that the city was negligent in maintaining the sprinkler system, the jury awarded the now quadriplegic Doiron nearly $4.4 million immediately as well as additional scheduled payments for the rest of his life.
  10. Murphy v. City of Newport Beach $3,400,000
  11. Coyle v. City of Torrance $1,900,000
    Coyle was partially paralyzed when he was accidentally shot by police. The City of Torrance settled the case for $1.9 million on the condition that Coyle would not pursue punitive police misconduct damages against the involved police officers.
  12. Jimenez v. City of Los Angeles $1,800,000
  13. Makamereh v. County of San Bernardino $1,300,000

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