Hawkins Parnell Lands Big Trial Win for Southern California Municipality

February 29, 2024 – Press Release

February 29, 2024 (Santa Monica, CA) – Hawkins Parnell & Young trial lawyers Ryan Sellers and Jerry Popovich of the Orange County office secured a major victory for its city client following a three-week high-exposure trial in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The plaintiff claimed the pavement condition of a street maintained by the city caused his motorcycle accident, resulting in severe orthopedic injuries requiring past and future surgeries. The case proceeded to trial following the plaintiff's refusal to negotiate a resolution below $2.5M in mediation, indicating they would ask the jury for millions more.

During the first phase of the bifurcated trial, Jerry and Ryan presented evidence that the plaintiff was riding an uninsured motorcycle rather than the insured vehicle he claimed to be using at the time of the accident. The court ruled in favor of the city under Prop 213, removing any prospect of damages for pain and suffering because the plaintiff was uninsured.

In phase two of the trial on liability and economic damages, the plaintiff suddenly waived the jury while picking a jury, and the city agreed. Jerry and Ryan argued that economic damages against the city should not exceed $78,300. The court awarded $70,300.

Due to Hawkins Parnell limiting the award to less than the city's settlement offer over two years before trial, the client will recover litigation costs and seek expert fees with the potential to zero out the low verdict.

About Hawkins Parnell & Young

Hawkins Parnell & Young is a national defense litigation firm that has represented many of the largest and most well-known companies in high-risk litigation and business disputes. The 250-strong litigation team works with clients to develop winning defense strategies and, if necessary, try cases to verdict in all 50 states.