Lickter v. Lickter – Third District Court of Appeal Published Decision

James Miller headshotIn this action, Jim represented the granddaughters and the former daughter-in-law of a decedent. The plaintiffs were the decedents grandsons. The plaintiffs were also half brothers and step sons of Jim’s clients.

The plaintiffs contended that Jim’s clients and their father/ex-husband conspired with each other to hasten the death of the grandmother in order to get access her substantial estate. Jim and the co-defendants’ attorneys argued that the plaintiffs did not have standing to pursue such a claim because the proper plaintiff would be the estate of the decedent or its personal representative. Those individuals included the defendants.

Jim and co-defendants’ attorneys bought a motion for summary judgment which was granted. The plaintiffs appealed the granting of the motion. The Third District Court of Appeal sustained the granting of the motion for summary judgment in a published decision. The plaintiffs’ attorney petitioned the Supreme Court for review of the Third District Court of Appeal’s decision and that petition was denied. The appellate court published its decision and the entire decision can be read at Lickter v. Lickter (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 972.

Herrera v. Hernandez – Appellate Review Successful

James Miller headshotIn the underlying matter, a jury was empaneled for a jury trial. After the jury was selected it was determined that one of the jurors was at one point related to the defendant. There was a marriage that involved the juror and the defendant’s cousin that ended in divorce 30 years earlier. The plaintiff’s attorney became aware of the juror’s “relationship” with the defendant and moved to remove the juror. The court denied the motion. The trial commenced and the defendant received a defense verdict in the matter. The plaintiff’s attorney appealed to the Sixth District Court of Appeal. Continue reading

Newberry v. Foods, Etc. IGE – Lake County

James Miller headshotIn this matter Jim Miller represented a grocery store in an action brought by a plaintiff who tripped and fell in the grocery store parking lot injuring her right ankle. The plaintiff was diagnosed with a right ankle fracture that required a closed reduction and was later supplemented with external fixation. She eventually underwent five surgeries on her ankle and her orthopedic surgeon advised that she would need a future fusion surgery. She claimed $171,000 in medical expenses and past and future wage losses of more than $250,000.  The case was tried before a jury in March 2008. Continue reading

Underinsured Motorist Arbitration – Claimant Awarded Nothing

James Miller headshotThis case involved an uninsured motorist claim stemming from a rollover incident that occurred on August 29, 2004. The incident occurred as one of the claimants was driving her parent’s Chevy Blazer with two passengers from her home in Roseville to Waterworld on the Cal Expo grounds. The claimant was traveling southbound on Business 80 in the slow lane when she passed the Marconi on-ramp at about 55-60mph. At that time, one of the passengers noticed a white van coming onto the freeway at the Marconi on-ramp. The claimant driver looked to her right and swerved left to avoid the impact. The vehicle rolled over several times and came to rest in the #3 lane. Continue reading

Young v. Bitcon – Placer County

James Miller headshotYoung v. Bitcon was tried to jury verdict in Placer County. The plaintiff claimed that Jim’s client was negligent for failing to observe him while he was riding his bicycle in the bike lane. Jim contended that the plaintiff was riding his bicycle against traffic at an excessive speed and therefore the accident was completely the plaintiff’s fault. As a result of the impact between Jim’s client’s car and the plaintiff, the plaintiff sustained fractured ribs, a wrist fracture, and low back pain. After a three-day trial the jury deliberated for thirty minutes and returned a defense verdict in Jim’s client’s favor. The jury found the plaintiff 100% at fault for the accident. The defendant had offered the plaintiff $5,001 in a 998 three months before the trial. The plaintiff did not accept the 998 offer within the statutory period. The offer was never made again and the only offer at the time of trial was a waiver of costs. Since Jim’s client was the prevailing party at the trial, the insurer was awarded over $3,000 in costs.

Nunez v. Turner – Sacramento County

James Miller headshotNunez v. Turner went to a jury trial in Sacramento County Superior Court. Jim represented the driver of a pickup truck. Plaintiff claimed that Jim’s client sideswiped plaintiff’s vehicle. As a result, plaintiff contended that she sustained injuries to her shoulder, back and neck. She also claimed that she was pregnant at the time of the incident and that the trauma caused her to miscarry. Furthermore, the plaintiff claimed that she had an increase in migraine headaches as a result of the incident. The plaintiff asserted over $10,000 in medical expenses. The plaintiff also claimed that she was unable to work as a hair stylist due to injuries sustained in the accident. She asserted a $70,000 wage loss. Continue reading

Johnston v. Best Western Gold Country Inn – Nevada County

James Miller headshotJohnston v. Best Western Gold Country Inn was tried to jury verdict in Nevada County. The plaintiff claimed that she tripped and fell on a juniper bush that was obstructing a sidewalk. As a result of the trip-and-fall, the plaintiff dislocated her elbow. She incurred $6,500 in medical expenses due to injuries sustained in the incident. Plaintiff’s husband had a loss of consortium claim.

Jim argued that the juniper shrub was an open and obvious hazard. He got the plaintiff to admit during cross-examination that she had crossed the area where the incident occurred on at least six prior occasions without incident. At the time of the incident, the plaintiff was carrying a blanket and a wooden rocking chair. Additionally, the plaintiff was unsteady on her feet due to a prior incident. Jim argued that the reason that the plaintiff fell was because of her unstable gait.

The jury returned a defense verdict in Jim’s client’s favor. Since Jim had served the plaintiff’s attorney with a 998 when he answered the complaint, Jim’s principal was entitled to its ordinary and expert costs. The third-party administrator for Jim’s client was Precision Risk Management.

Langan v. Olness – Sacramento County

James Miller headshotLangan v. Olness was tried to jury verdict in Sacramento County. The plaintiff was involved in three motor vehicle accidents within one year. Jim represented the adverse driver in the second accident. Plaintiff settled with the adverse driver in the first accident and proceeded to trial against Jim’s client and the adverse driver in the third accident. As a result of all three accidents, plaintiff claimed she was permanently impaired and alleged future economic losses of over $365,000. Continue reading

Bender v. I-101 Express – Placer County

James Miller headshotIn Bender v. I-101 Express Jim represented a truck driver and his employer in an action filed by an eight-year-old through his guardian ad litem that went to jury verdict in Placer County. The plaintiff contended that Jim’s client violated several city ordinances by parking a box-van truck illegally on a residential street, in a bike lane, too close to an intersection. The plaintiff argued that the parking of the truck obstructed his view of oncoming traffic as well as a driver’s view of the plaintiff when the plaintiff attempted to cross the street in a cross walk. Continue reading