Nick Rowley, a partner at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, obtained a nearly $4 million verdict in Iowa for his client, Cheryl Bronson, who is the aunt of Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East. Bronson was struck by a drunk driver, who pleaded guilty to criminal DUI charges and who also admitted liability for the accident, leaving the jury to determine the amount of damages Bronson was to receive. The defendant’s attorney offered $450,000 but the jury ultimately decided that Bronson should receive $3.5 million in compensatory damages and $425,000 in punitive damages.
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.
Pejman Ben-Cohen, a partner at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, won a $1 million verdict for his client, William Deloney, in a MIST case in which the client was rear-ended on the freeway. The defendant’s insurance carrier presented a final offer on the eve of trial of just $20,000. Working in partnership with Daniel Srourian of Srourian Law Firm, Pejman was able to secure $1,041,697 in economic and non-economic damages for the client.
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.
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.