Firm News

CZ&R Partner, John Carpenter, Wins $45 Million Award for Clients

- Andrea Kang

John Carpenter, a partner at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, won $45 million in damages for the four children of a woman killed when a drunk driver crashed into a crowd at a taco truck stand in Boyle Heights. The near unanimous verdict was reached on September 2, 2016, after only an hour of deliberations. In addition to the drunk driver, the jury also found the vehicle’s owner was liable for negligently entrusting her car to the drunk driver. The victim’s daughter and three sons were each awarded $11.25 million despite the drunk driver’s insurance company fighting the lawsuit for years, arguing that the dead mother’s life was worth little.

Notably, another person was also killed in the same incident. That family was not represented by CZ&R and they settled with the insurer before going to trial for just $15,000.

Read more here.

Nicholas Rowley wins $10.5 Million in case against Kern High School District

- jonlevy

We are very pleased to announce a $10.5 Million result for our client Mitch Carter.  Mitch sustained brain injuries when he was beaten at a Bakersfield High School pep rally in 2010.  He asserted that he was pressured to wear a chicken costume by school staff to mock a rival school’s football team.  He was subsequently piled upon by multiple students from the football team, which resulted in brain injuries.  The school was found to be 100% at fault in the incident by the jury.  Read more here.

Firm files wrongful death lawsuit against city of Santa Clarita

- jonlevy

Excerpts from this article appear in The Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Carpenter Zuckerman & Rowley filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Teresa Savaikie against the city of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County, Southern California Edison, the state and the man charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of her 14-year-old son Wyatt who was killed on July 16 while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk near Bouquet Canyon and Seco Canyon roads in Saugus. The roadway, according to the lawsuit filed on April 8, was “dangerous and defectively planned, designed, drafted, engineered and constructed.”
“We’re hoping this litigation will make the streets safer for everyone in Santa Clarita,” said John Carpenter, lead attorney in the case. “The intersection is dangerous and didn’t give Wyatt a chance to see the car that hit him.”

Alleged dangerous conditions claimed by the suit include: deficient or insufficient line of sight; insufficient corner-site distance; insufficient stopping distance; lack of a traffic signal; lack of a stop sign; improper speed limits; and lack of illumination.  The suit claims the named defendants “and their agents, representatives and employees breached their respective and collective duties of care and allowed a dangerous condition to exist.”

The suit specifically names Southern California Edison, claiming the utility “owed a duty of reasonable care to place and manage their utility poles and other property in a safe and reasonable manner and so as not to obstruct motorists’ view of traffic signals, crosswalks and pedestrians.”
And, while the lawsuit names 74-year-old Ralph August Steger as the motorist who killed Savaikie’s son, the criminal case against Steger — who is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter — is ongoing and has not been resolved.

Carpenter said the county and state were included in the suit because it’s often unknown if they share some level of responsibility for a road’s condition.

Time to make some changes

- Paul Zuckerman

Say “No” to cheap settlements and “Yes” to trial by fire

…Seven- and eight-figure verdicts are truly awesome. The thing is that these big wins are only a very small percentage of the cases being handled in our communities. ‘When I am introduced today, the list of big verdicts is what people hear and it’s gotten to the point where I have been called for advice one too many times with the preface, “I know this isn’t worth your time because it’s not a big multimillion dollar case.”…

Read full article

Nick Rowley Wins $40 Million Verdict Against T.G.I. Fridays / Briad Group

- adminbrand

Nick Rowley Seated LowRez

Restaurant Deliberately Served Alcohol to Minors to Increase Profits Resulting in the Stabbing Death of a Restaurant Patron at the Hands of an Underage Drinker.

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, lawyers representing the family of a 33-year-old man who was stabbed to death by an underage drinker at TGI Fridays, received a $40 million verdict against the restaurant operator.

The verdict confirms that the restaurant operator deliberately served alcohol to intoxicated minors in order to increase weekend profits. The family’s allegations were supported by TGI Friday’s head bartender who testified that Briad Group – which operates 68 of the restaurants across 26 states – made a deliberate decision to not card minors in order to increase profits on Fridays and Saturdays.

The victim, Orlando Jordan, was a dedicated 11-year employee of Wells Fargo bank. The lawsuit is being brought by his parents, Rey and Carmen Jordan. Rey Jordan is a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and community leader in Riverside.

“This case is about holding corporations responsible for their reckless decisions to value profits over community safety,” explained Nicholas C. Rowley, counsel for Carmen Jordan. “Too often corporations – like Briad Group – will ignore the safety of their community until victims stand up to them. I’m proud to represent the Jordans who are helping to ensure that corporate greed does not result in the death of another young man.”

After the verdict, most of the jurors stayed to speak with counsel for Rey Jordan, Keith Bruno.  “Each juror expressed that they felt they had done something good—that they could be proud of.  They were appalled by what was going on at the TGI Fridays and they wanted their verdict to reflect the value of human life in Riverside County,” stated Keith Bruno.

Carmen Jordan was represented at trial by Nicholas C. Rowley of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP. Mr. Rowley has twice been named a finalist for the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles’s prestigious “Trial Lawyer of the Year” award. The Consumer Attorneys of San Diego has honored Mr. Rowley with the organization’s top award – “Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year.”

Rey Jordan was represented by husband and wife team Keith and Angela Bruno of Bruno|Nalu.  Mr. Bruno is a “Superlawyer” as well as The National Trial Lawyers “Top 100” trial attorneys.  Angela Bruno has achieved unprecedented verdicts in her young career. She is a trial lawyer and the managing partner at Bruno|Nalu.

The case is: Jordan, et al. v. TGI Fridays, et al.
Riverside Superior Court, Case No. RIC 1100955