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Our Cases

    The following is a sample of some of the interesting cases handled by our office. They have been selected because they represent the wide variety of cases included in our practice. The first set of cases are all maritime which constitutes the bulk of our practice. The second set are some of the non-maritime cases.

    Please note that the results obtained in any individual case are dependant upon the particular facts and law applicable to that case. No two cases are alike even if the injuries appear similar.

    Maritime

    MERCHANT SHIP

    Perry v. Apex Marine Corp., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 750517
    This case was tried by Mansfield Davis and John J. Hughes. We represented the Third Mate of SS ULTRAMAR who was lost overboard in the mid Atlantic and later rescued by a British merchant ship. The defendant’s offer prior to trial was $10,000. The jury returned a verdict of $1,600,000.

    GOVERNMENT SHIP

    Patron v. United States of America, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Case No. C93-4336 DLJ
    This case was tried by John J. Hughes. We represented a merchant seaman assigned to a ship chartered to the federal government and operated by American President Lines. Mr. Patron suffered a fractured leg while attempting to board the ship by its accommodation ladder while it was anchored in the Panama Canal Zone. We alleged negligence of the crew, unseaworthiness of the ship, and failure to provide adequate treatment and medical evacuation from the ship. The offer by the defendant prior to trial was $40,000. Following trial against the United States under the Suits In Admiralty Act the judge found the ship unseaworthy and the crew negligent. Damages were awarded together with interest in the amount of $240,172.13.

    CRUISE LINE

    Moseley et al. v. Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., San Mateo Superior Court Case No. 307310; United States District Court Case No. C 88-2814
    In this case we represented the family and fiancé of a young lady who died from a preexisting illness following a cruise. We alleged inadequate medical care and treatment while aboard the vessel. Recovery was made in the amount of $242,500.

    COMMERCIAL FISHING

    In re Moilanen, limitation of liability proceeding in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Case No. C 83-0901
    We represented a fisherman who lost a large toe and portion of his foot as a result of an accident involving a winch aboard a commercial fishing boat. He was subsequently denied medical care and subsistence payments. We alleged that the vessel was unseaworthy and the owner negligent. Recovery was made in the amount of $1,325,000.

    OFF SHORE – COMMERCIAL DIVER

    Lyons, et al. v. McDermott, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Case No. 91-3016
    Together with associated admiralty counsel licensed in Louisiana we represented the widow and children of a professional diver who was drowned when the vessel to which he was assigned capsized and sank during a typhoon. The diver was trapped in a decompression chamber and was unable to escape. Recovery was made in the amount of $3,050,000.

    Non-Maritime

    AUTOMOBILE

    Aguilar v. Swor, Marin County Superior Court Case No. CV 002849
    This case was tried by John J. Hughes. We represented the Aguilar family in a high speed rear end collision. Settlements were made on behalf of Mrs. Aguilar and Luis Aguilar, Jr., their son, who suffered minor injuries. Mr. Aguilar suffered the most severe injuries. When the Swor vehicle struck the families Toyota Corolla Mr. Aguilar’s suffered multiple injuries including a fractured pelvis. Demand for settlement was given in the amount of $590,000. This demand was rejected by Mr. Swor’s insurance company which countered with an offer of $450,000. This was deemed insufficient in light of the severity of Mr. Aguilar’s injuries and the case was tried to a jury. The jury brought in a unanimous verdict of $1,400,000. Because the insurance company refused the offer to settle which was within the $1,100,000 policy limit, they were required to pay the full amount of the judgment plus interest and the costs of prosecuting the law suit. Final payment was made in the amount of $1,508,000.

    PUBLIC LIABILITY

    Riles v. San Francisco Housing Authority, San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 945838
    This case was tried by John J. Hughes. Our client was a young girl who was attacked by pit bulls on the property of the San Francisco Housing Authority. The dog bites left permanent scars on her leg and damaged a sensory nerve. The jury found the Housing Authority primarily liable for the injury and assessed damages for its share of responsibility of $225,336.49. This case exposed practices at the Housing Authority which allowed the proliferation on its property of dangerous pit bull dogs trained for illegal dog fighting and attacks against people. It was the first case holding the Housing Authority responsible for such an injury. The case received extensive newspaper and television coverage and was instrumental in bringing about important policy changes.