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Pej Ben-Cohen and Steve McElroy From Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley Win $10.5 Million Verdict in Car Accident Trial

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LOS ANGELES—Trial lawyers Pej Ben-Cohen and Steve McElroy from Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley recently won a $10.5 million verdict (with interest) on behalf of a plaintiff who was injured in a car accident in 2012. The plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendant, who was texting a friend at the time of the collision and claimed she had to because she was deaf. The plaintiff did not receive treatment at the scene of the accident, but visited an urgent care center later that evening with neck pain, shoulder pain, and severe headaches. Even though the X-rays were normal, the plaintiff began physical therapy several weeks later due to her pain. Three months after the accident, the plaintiff was finally diagnosed with a disc protrusion.

“Since 2012, the plaintiff has received epidurals, attended physical therapy, undergone surgery, and had a spinal cord stimulator implanted,” Ben-Cohen states. “To this day, she is still required to attend physical therapy for the injuries that she sustained over five years ago, which illustrates the severity of her condition.”

“We relied on the plaintiff’s physicians to explain to the jury how the injuries occurred in the collision and how they were treated,” Ben-Cohen continues. “Both physicians did an excellent job of outlining why each treatment the plaintiff received was necessary, and how the injury would continue to affect her in the future.”

The defense’s medical experts attempted to convince the jury that the plaintiff was not injured in the collision because she did not immediately experience any symptoms. However, McElroy was able to get the defense doctor to admit that the plaintiff’s current symptoms were definitely caused by the crash during cross-examination.

“The opposing counsel also tried to prove that the medical treatment the plaintiff received was unnecessary,” McElroy says. “However, they were unable to do so. In fact, we were able to show that one of their own medical experts agreed that the Plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the accident.”

“The key to winning this case was how we developed the plaintiff’s story”, Ben-Cohen says.  “I spent countless hours with the plaintiff at my home where we got to know each other without discussing the trial,” Ben-Cohen added. If you do not love your client, you cannot expect a jury to, Ben-Cohen says.

“Fortunately, the jury sided in our favor and awarded the plaintiff every penny of her past and future medical expenses, in addition to compensation for her pain and suffering,” Ben-Cohen  states. “In the end, we were able to recover a total of $10.5 million (with interest) million on behalf of our client.”

The California law firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley (CZR) has over 100 employees dedicated to fighting for the rights of the injured.  CZR is dedicated to helping clients recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit today. 

Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley Partner Pej Ben-Cohen Wins $2.6 Million Verdict in Car Accident Trial

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LOS ANGELES—Pej Ben-Cohen, trial lawyer and partner at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, along with co-counsel Margarit Mardirosian, recently won a $2.6 million verdict on behalf of a plaintiff who was injured in a car accident in 2014. The plaintiff was rear-ended by the defendant, and although she was not in pain immediately following the accident, she later went to an urgent care center with neck and back pain. She was initially diagnosed with a disc extrusion, but unfortunately, the radiologist failed to diagnose her disc herniation. This injury worsened over time and eventually required fusion.

“We faced a number of obstacles in proving that the plaintiff was entitled to compensation for the injuries that she sustained in the accident in 2014,” Ben-Cohen states. “For starters, we had to find a way to help the jury understand the extent of the plaintiff’s complex injuries and why it took so long for her to be diagnosed and treated.”

“We relied on two witnesses, a neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist, to help us overcome these obstacles, and fortunately, they did an exceptional job at trial,” Ben-Cohen continues. “The defense was unable to discredit our experts, so the jury had no reason not to believe these experts.”

The defense attempted to show that the plaintiff’s injuries were caused by degenerative disc disease, not the collision. However, the jury did not agree. “In the end, we were able to recover over $250,000 for the client’s past and future medical expenses, $48,000 for her lost wages, and over $2 million for her past and future pain and suffering,” Ben-Cohen says. “The last three years have been traumatic for the plaintiff, and we couldn’t be happier that we were able to obtain justice on her behalf.”

The California law firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley (CZR) has over 100 employees dedicated to fighting for the rights of the injured.  CZR is dedicated to helping clients recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries.  For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit today. 

Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley (CZR) Announces $45 Million Settlement In Car Accident Case

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The Los Angeles based personal injury law firm Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley (CZR) announces a $45 million settlement in a disputed liability car accident case against an insurance company.  The case was handled by CZR Trial Lawyer Nick Rowley as well as attorney and partner Robert Ounjian and special projects director Steve Glass.

The case involved a disputed liability car accident in which CZR represented a 21-year old mother and her two children, ages 2 and 4, who were involved in a rear-end collision in San Bernardino County.    Liability in the case was disputed because their vehicle was stopped on Haven Avenue, in an area nearby Ontario Airport, where vehicles are not permitted to stop.

The defendant claimed he swerved to try and avoid the collision, but could not stop in time.  The police report listed both drivers at fault.  The accident resulted in serious injuries to the 4 year old child.

“Many law firms would take on a case like this, and settle it for maybe $250,000 or $500,000 and remain within the insurance policy limits and avoid trial,” said Nick Rowley, lead trial lawyer on the case.  “At CZR, we are trial lawyers seeking justice for our clients and are not afraid to take a case all the way to trial.”

“When a client is seriously injured, has life-long medical expenses, and their life is changed forever, insurance companies should award those individuals fair compensation.  That is what we saw in this case, where the insurance company finally stepped up and did the right thing for our client and her children,” Rowley went on to say.

Keith Bruno Joins Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley As Partner

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Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley (CZR) is proud to announce that Keith Bruno has joined the firm as a partner.

Keith is an extraordinary trial lawyer who tried and won his first case just one month after passing the bar in 2002.  Fifteen years and more than 150 trials later, he is still trying cases for people against large corporate and insurance interests.   Keith has won numerous seven and eight figure jury verdicts.

Keith is a graduate of the University of Maryland where he earned his undergraduate degree, the University of San Diego School of Law, and Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer’s College, with his most relevant schooling coming in the trial courts.


In addition to being a dedicated civil trial lawyer, Keith dedicated a significant part of his career to defending the criminally accused in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, and Orange County.  He has not only been a finalist for Trial Lawyer of the Year for his civil trial wins but also won the prestigious Don Simms Trial Attorney of The Year award in 2006 for his work as a Public Defender in Orange County.   


Keith demonstrated consistent excellence that led him to be recognized by SuperLawyers as a Rising Star from 2009-2015, followed by the continued distinction of SuperLawyer in 2016 and 2017.  In addition to those honors, Bruno has been selected as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers every year since 2014.  He is a proud member of CAALACAOCCASD and OCTLA


Keith is known for trying and winning the toughest cases, often on very little notice.  He believes deeply in the trial team approach to helping personal injury clients, and enjoys working with his colleagues as well as his wife and trial partner, Angela Bruno.  Keith and Angela live in Orange County and try cases all over the state of California.  

Attorneys Stephen McElroy and Ashley Parris Win $1.34 Million Traffic Accident Verdict Against State Farm

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Attorneys Stephen McElroy and Ashley Parris of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley recently partnered with The Law Offices of Edward Smith to represent a client who was injured in a traffic collision. The 50-year-old plaintiff, along with two of her three young daughters, was stopped at a crosswalk when she was rear-ended by a fatigued driver. Although the collision was minor, the force of the impact pushed the plaintiff’s car into the car ahead of her. The plaintiff sustained a bruise on her spinal cord, developed myelopathy and had to undergo two-level spinal fusion surgery.

“During pre-trial negotiations, the plaintiff offered a high-low agreement of $1,500,000 to $500,000, which would be enough to cover her expenses, lost wages, and suffering,” McElroy says. “Unfortunately, State Farm refused to negotiate unless the plaintiff was willing to accept an offer under $300,000.”

“We were confident that a jury would see why the plaintiff deserved more than what State Farm was offering, so we took the case to trial,” McElroy continues.

A number of expert witnesses took the stand during the two-week trial, including Dr. Benjamin Ewers, a biomechanical engineer who was hired by the defense. Dr. Ewers was called to the stand to testify that the collision was too minor to cause a cervical disc herniation. But, the problem with his testimony was that no one claimed the plaintiff had suffered this injury. Eventually, the testimony was stricken and Dr. Ewers was dismissed from the courtroom.

“Dr. Ewers’ testimony was one of several bizarre obstacles that we had to overcome in this case,” Parris states. “Fortunately, the jury saw past these distractions and awarded the plaintiff $1.34 million for her medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.”