Success Stories: Winning Verdicts and Settlements for our Clients for More Than 40 YearsOver the last four decades, The Law Office of Rivers J. Morrell III has successfully represented numerous cases representing the plaintiff and defendants. Representing both the plaintiff and the defendant brings tremendous insight into winning cases for our clients. Here is a short history of some of the law firm’s noteworthy personal injury successes, verdicts and settlements:
Recent Verdicts and Settlements by Practice Area:
Recent Significant Achievements:
$1.45 Million – Pedestrian/Bike CaseRivers Morrell Represented a bicyclist who was hit by a truck and severely injured. A truck exiting a highway fails to come to a stop at the bottom of the ramp striking and severely injuring the bicyclist. The injured client has permanent injuries and our law firm had to pursue multiple entities and insurance companies to maximize the settlement for our client.
$1.265 Million – Motorcycle InjuryRivers Morrell represented a motorcyclist who was seriously injured when a car pulled out in front of him. He ran into the side of the vehicle resulting in several broken bones and internal injuries, hardware in his wrist and leg and a future hip replacement. Our law firm secured a $1.265 million settlement to cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and future medical costs.
$7 Figures + 6 Figure Reduction in Associated Medical Bills – Rideshare InjuryOur client was a passenger in a taxi when the cab driver had an accident. Our client suffered serious back injuries and ultimately had extensive back surgery. We achieved a successful 7 figure outcome and successfully negotiated a substantial six figure reduction in her associated medical bills.
$840,00 – Pedestrian on Handicap RampRivers Morrell represented a client who was injured on a handicap pedestrian ramp while entering a gas station. The client received significant injuries to his leg and knee requiring multiple surgeries. The handicap ramp was not up to code. The slop angles were too steep and the markings on the ramp did not meet regulations nor provide adequate warning of hazard.
$700,000 – Automobile AccidentRivers Morrell represented a client involved in a serious head-on car accident resulting in multiple injuries to our client. The client suffered serious injury to the head, shoulder, arm and pelvis requiring multiple surgeries with hardware. The client received compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and the suffering they were forced to endure during the accident and long subsequent recovery./span>
$250,000 – STD TransmissionRivers Morrell represented a woman who received an STD from a partner who did not warn her in advance of intimate contact. The client developed an STD and our firm recovered a settlement to cover past, present and future medical expenses as well as damages for the anguish she suffered and the future impact the STD will have upon her life.
6 Figures – Car Accident with Dental InjuriesIn this case, the client’s vehicle was struck by another vehicle. There were many issues involved in trying to locate and serve the Defendants with the complaint. Initially the defense refused to pay what was demanded. After filing and serving the lawsuit, a demand was again made for a particular settlement amount. The client had multiple injuries, including dental injuries, and epidurals. The case then settled in favor of the client for an amount in the 6 figures.
Policy Limits – Car/Pedestrian Accident with Ankle InjuryHere the client was getting out of a car, that had recently parked on a residential street, when another car struck the newly parked car. As a result, the client’s ankle was fractured, that required surgery with the installation of hardware. The case settled in favor of the client for the amount of the policy limits.
$650,000 – Slip Injury in a StoreThis was a case where the client fell and broke her elbow. She was exiting a store onto a concrete slab that had an epoxy paint. There were a couple of steps at the end of the slab. The paint was continuous down the steps, such that the steps could not be seen when the sun was in the high noon position (i.e. there was no shadow that showed the steps). As a result the client did not see the steps, and fell. There was also no handrail. The client fell and fractured her left elbow (she was right handed). She had elbow replacement surgery, with hardware. The hardware was removed in a subsequent surgery. Total medical bills were $72k. The initial offer was $100k. We achieved a settlement which reflected the pain and impact of her injury resulting in a $650,000 outcome, more than half a million dollars more than the original offer from the insurance company. “It was an excellent experience. I would recommend Rivers and Tuan to anyone. Rivers is honest and skilled. Tuan is an amazing attorney who is very smart. Both called me back or returned my emails immediately – even when on vacation. They really care for and take care of their clients.” – GG (client in this case)
$325,000 – Hotel InjuryClient was attending a seminar at the Major Los Angeles Hotel. The defendants in the case had created a stage in one of their conference rooms. The presenters at the event used the stage for the duration of the seminar. The stage was set in place about 5 feet from the rear wall. A curtain was dropped on the back of the stage to hide the gap to rear wall. The stage was black, the curtain was black, and the gap between the rear curtain and the rear edge of the stage was therefore barely visible. There were no rails placed around the perimeter of the stage. On the last day of the seminar, the sponsor wanted everyone on the stage for a group photo op. There were simply too many people in the limited space on stage, and our client was somewhat “pushed” or forced to back up. As a result, she fell off the back of the stage. If railings had been in place, she would not have fallen off and suffered injury. She fractured her ankle, which required surgery which required hardware to help the bones to heal. The hardware was later removed. The hotel’s insurance company attempted to raise questions regarding who was responsible for the absence of railings. The offer going into mediation from the insurance company was $5,000. Rivers achieved a successful settlement of $325K for our client.
Case Summaries – Original Offer from Insurance: $0
There are several cases where the initial offer from the insurance company was $0 or an outright refusal to make an offer for our client’s injuries. Here are a few examples:
- A difficult case where our client tripped over a pipe that was “open and obvious” on a grass area. His injuries were mixed, and complicated pre-existing conditions. The client’s complaints to medical professionals within case documentation were somewhat inconsistent. The client’s prior attorney declined to complete the case. The insurance company refused to make an offer in the case. We did discovery, went to a mediation, and settled the case for several thousand dollars.
- A skate board accident where our client was in the middle of the street, on his skate board. It was dark outside when he was struck and injured by a motor vehicle. The insurance of the driver at fault refused to offer any money. We took the case, did extensive depositions, hired an expert witness and took the case to mediation. The insurance company continued to refuse to make an offer, claiming the accident was 100% the fault of our client the skateboarder. We prevailed and the Case was ultimately settled for the policy limits.
- A dog bite case where our client was bitten by an off duty police canine. No offer was made by the dog owner (the County Sheriff), as they claimed the dog was locked up in the police vehicle. The public entity consistently refused to offer any money. We took the case to trial, and achieved a very substantial result.
- In another dog bite case, our client was bitten by a dog whose owner had no insurance but owned their home outright. The dog’s owner refused to offer any money, and claimed that the client was trespassing and therefore entirely at fault for the dog bite. After extensive discovery and depositions we went took the case to mediation, where the case settled for several hundred thousand dollars.
- A motorcycle accident case, where our client was injured in an accident while riding his motorcycle into an intersection. Our position was that the other party made a left turn on a red. The other party claimed that our client, the motorcyclist, ran the red light. The insurance company representing the opposing driver refused to make any offer. We took the case, conducted discovery and identified a witness who supported our perspective of the events. We took the case to a mediation with no offer from the opposing insurance company. Rivers successfully settled the case for six figures.
5 and 6 Figures – STD Settlements Without InsuranceThere have been dozens of cases when there is no insurance available and the defendant must pay any settlement out of their own pocket. The value of these cases is based upon the defendant’s ability to pay.
Substantial Victories when Representing Plaintiffs:
- Handled the first private party hazardous waste clean up case in the State of California, and recovered approximately $4 million from the United States Government, under the then newly enacted CERCLA statute.
- Recovered over $1 million dollars on behalf of an adult Vietnamese family whose father, an accomplished swimmer, drowned in a public swimming pool.
- Recovered close to $2 million on behalf of a Hispanic female who was injured as a result of a dangerous road design, against a public entity.
- Recovered over $1.5 million on behalf of a student who was hit while riding a bicycle
- Recovered just under $1 million dollars for an individual who slipped on a ramp and injured his knee
- Recovered just under $1 million dollars in a fire case where the defendants offered nothing until just before the trial
Verdicts Achieved Representing Defendants:
- Settled a $12 million dollar case involving an injured car driver
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client, a bartender, in a bar fight where the customer/plaintiff was very seriously injured
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client who was sued by a passenger in his vehicle, when his client rear ended another vehicle, and the passenger/plaintiff received a fractured hip (tried in downtown Los Angeles)
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client, a local City, when the plaintiff ran off the road, and lost the lower use of both legs
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client, a truck driver, when he ran over a pedestrian, and the pedestrian lost the lower portion of one leg (tried in downtown Los Angeles).
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client, when a passenger in the other vehicle died, (tried in downtown Los Angeles)
- Obtained a verdict of $751 for his defendant/client, when his client rear ended the plaintiff, and the plaintiff had back surgery (tried in downtown Los Angeles)
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client, a dialysis patient transporter, when his van stuck a pedestrian, when leaving the dialysis clinic, and the pedestrian/plaintiff fractured his hip (tried in downtown Los Angeles)
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client who rear-ended the plaintiff (admitted negligence), and the plaintiff had neck surgery, and had been out of work for three years
- Obtained a defense verdict for his client, when his client lost control of his vehicle, and hit the plaintiffs head on in their lane