Jump to Navigation

Results 2003

Ramos vs. Doud
Jury Trial June 2003
Stephen Smith

This admitted liability case arose out of a rear-end accident. plaintiff, a 42-year-old lineman for Southern California Edison, claimed that as a result of his being rear-ended by defendant, he sustained herniated lumbar disk at two levels, necessitating surgery, including a spinal fusion. This diagnosis was agreed to by all of plaintiff's doctors and one of defendant's retained physicians. Plaintiff was earning in excess of $100,000 per year, and claimed to be completely disabled from his occupation as a lineman, resulting in a loss of earnings claim of approximately $1.5 million, in addition to medical expenses of $150,000. The defense successfully demonstrated that the nature of the accident was unlikely to have caused the disk problems and that, even if surgery was warranted, plaintiff could return to his occupation as a lineman. After a two-week trial, the Ventura County jury returned a verdict of $145,000.

Gardner vs. Mozena, et al.
Jury Trial October 30, 2003
Christopher E. Faenza

This wrongful death case ended in a defense verdict. The case involved the death of an 11-year-old boy who was killed while riding a skateboard on his back (commonly referred to "street luging"). The accident happened as the decedent was traveling through a Rite Aid parking lot in El Segundo. The decedent rolled under the rear tires of the vehicle driven by the defendant, Charles Mozena. The decedent's parents, Gary and Lupe Gardner, brought the action claiming that Mozena was negligent in driving his vehicle and that he should have observed the boy prior to the impact. plaintiffs' asked the jury to award $10,000,000. After a two-and-a-half-week trial, the jury returned a 12-0 verdict for Mozena finding that he was not negligent.

Martinez vs. Southland Staffing
Summary Judgment in Favor of defendant
Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith obtain summary judgment in favor of our client in Martinez vs. Southland, a case that involved a case of extensive amputation injuries to plaintiff Bertina Martinez' right major hand arising out of a punch-press accident. Plaintiff sued Heim Corporation, which had purchased the assets of Liberty's insured, Rouselle Corporation. Although Heim was in the business of manufacturing punch presses, the subject punch press was manufactured by Rouselle. Per the asset purchase agreement, all liabilities relating to presale punch presses remained with Rouselle. Our motion for summary judgment was premised upon 1) there being no assumption of Rouselle's liabilities by Heim; and 2) Rouselle's liabilities could not be judicially imposed upon Heim because Rouselle was an active corporation from which plaintiff could have sought recovery. Parenthetically, we timed the disclosure of the factual basis of our motion such that the statute of limitations had already expired with regard to Rouselle.

Lane vs. Whiting Turner
Jury Trial January 2004
Christopher Faenza

This contractual indemnity case ended in a defense verdict. The underlying case involved a slip and fall by plaintiff Jimmie Ann Lane. Ms. Lane tripped and fell at the front entrance of cross-complainant's, Rite Aid Store in the City of Long Beach. Ms. Lane alleged that in addition to tripping on ice cream, she fell due to the unsafe slope of the brick entryway. Three years prior to the fall, cross-defendant Whiting-Turner had been the general contractor retained to remodel the store. Just prior to completion and before the grand opening, Rite Aid requested that Whiting-Turner replace the old brick pavers with new ones. Upon being told that by Whiting-Turner that a change in brick would require excavation and redesign to make the slope comply with building codes, Rite Aid ignored the advice and insisted that the bricks be changed, but the slope could remain. Rite Aid tried the case seeking for attorneys fees of $60,000 as well reimbursement for the $20,000 they paid to the plaintiff to settle the underlying case. The judge found in favor of Whiting-Turner and awarded Rite Aid nothing. As the prevailing party, Whiting-Turner is now seeking all of its costs and attorneys fees.

  • Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms - US News 2016
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • AV- Lexis Nexis - Martindale Hubbell- Peer review rated - For Ethical Standards and legal ability
  • 10 Years selected to superLawyers - Southern California 2013 - Walter M Yoka
  • Yoka & Smith LLP Top Listed in Best Lawyers - Linking Lawyers and clients worldwide
  • SuperLawyers - Risong Stars
  • Walter M Yoka - Best Lawyer Of the Year 2014 - Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants - Los Angeles, CA
  • Walter M Yoka - Best Lawyer Of the Year 2012 - Product Liability Litigation - Defendants - Los Angeles, CA
  • SuperLawyers
  • Southern California Best Lawyers
  • ISB - Coin

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.