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.