CVN’s trial coverage spans the gamut of civil litigation: from “real-world,” soft-tissue-injury cases to high-stakes product liability suits. And the last several weeks have provided a perfect sample of the breadth of that coverage, with verdicts ranging from a five-figure award in a low-speed crash case to 9-figure toxic torts verdict, and much more in between.
Check out some of the key moments from our most recent trial coverage.
$185M Verdict Against Monsanto at Trial Over Teachers’ PCB Exposure
A Washington state court jury last month awarded $185 million to three teachers who claimed Monsanto was responsible for brain damage they suffered after being exposed to the company’s polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in a dilapidated school.
In closings, Friedman Rubin's Richard Friedman, representing the teachers, told jurors Monsanto long understood PCBs were dangerous but failed to take appropriate action.
“What we have here is a jaw-dropping betrayal of the American public.”
Shook Hardy & Bacon's Adam Miller, representing Monsanto, argued the evidence showed no true connection between PCBs and the teachers’ injuries.
“These teachers had no greater levels of PCBs than you or I.”
$65M+ at Stake at Trial Over 11-Year Old Killed in Crosswalk
Trial opened in Nevada earlier this month over the 2017 death of 11-year-old Jazmin Espana, who was hit by a Republic Services sanitation truck while in a pedestrian crosswalk.
The Claggett & Sykes Law Firm’s Sean Claggett, representing Espana’s family, asked for more than $65 million in the trial’s openings and said Republic knew its driver had a troubling safety record long before the crash.
“This truck never stopped. It just comes up to the right, slows down enough to make the right-hand turn, and runs over the girl in the crosswalk, my client, 11-year-old, Jazmin Espana.”
Republic’s attorney, Dave Barron, countered in openings that evidence would show the truck’s driver followed appropriate safety procedures and had the right-of-way when making the turn.
“He got about ¾ of the way through his turn before this terrible event occurred.”
$10K Award Beats $1K Pre-Trial Settlement Offer in Low-Speed Crash Case
A jury in San Diego awarded $10,013 to Hilda Marie Salvado, who claimed a low-speed fender bender injured her neck and left her with an elbow tendon injury often called "tennis elbow."
The award wrapped a three-day, damages-only trial, and far exceeded a $1,000 pre-trial settlement offer later raised to $5,000 when trial began.
In closings, Salvado’s attorney, Matt Clendenin, of The Clendenin Firm, told jurors the weight of witness testimony proved Salvado had suffered a lasting elbow injury that would require surgery in the future.
“Either all these folks are wrong, or Ms. Salvado’s elbow really was tweaked in that crash.”
The other driver’s attorney, Lili Jalali, told jurors evidence showed Salvado’s injuries claims were exaggerated.
“Despite Ms. Salvado’s main claim for [a] tennis elbow injury and the need for future surgery, Ms. Salvado’s first complaint on the stand yesterday was neck pain: issues that her chiropractor… with enthusiasm, testified had resolved in 2018. She did great with that treatment.”
Email Arlin Crisco at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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