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Representative Cases

v. General
San Antonio,
Product Liability:
Door Latch
The first defective door latch case against GM to establish that
GM’s new mini-wedge latching system could inadvertently
open during a side impact collision.
Armstrong v.
Phoenix, AZ Criminal: Wrongful
This is a USCA 1983 action against the Maricopa County
Sheriff’s Office. Our client was coerced into confessing to
three murders even though he was not in the state of Arizona at
the time the murders occurred. The prior settlement of the
Bruce v. Maricopa County case resulted in Armstrong’s
confession being videotaped and clearly demonstrated that
Armstrong’s confessions were coerced.
Bloom v.
Phoenix, AZ Product Liability:
This was the first successful case tried against a boating
manufacturer for failing to provide a kill switch. This case led
to all engine manufacturers providing a kill switch or throttle
interruption devices on their products.
Bruce v.
Phoenix, AZ Criminal:
Wrongful Prosecution
This was a USCA 1983 action referred to as the Temple
Murder Cases. Our client was coerced into confessing to eight
murders, even though he had never been in Maricopa County.
The settlement of this case lead to the County Attorney
requiring that all interviews of criminal suspects be videotaped.
This case, through the Innocence Project and the assistance of
Dr. Richard Ofshe, became the foundation for false confession
defenses throughout the United States. This case and our
involvement is detailed in the book by Gary Stuart entitled
Innocent Until Interrogated.
Cobb v.
Phoenix, AZ Product Liability:
This was the first successful seatback failure cased tried using
the theory that the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 207
provided inadequate standards for seatback strength.
Following the verdict in this case, the 207 docket was filed.
Although FMVSS 207 has not been changed, a number of
manufacturers, including GM and Chrysler have voluntarily
strengthened their seating systems. This case has been credited
with saving hundreds of lives.
Corliss v.
Mesa General
Phoenix, AZ Medical Malpractice This landmark case changed the way stroke victims are treated
and transported in Maricopa County. Prior to Corliss, stroke
victims were transported to the nearest hospital. Since Corliss,
all stroke victims who meet the American Heart Association
guidelines are transported directly to stroke centers.
Fredericks v.
Phoenix, AZ Product Liability:
This was a quadriplegic airbag case, which settled during the
course of discovery. It was proven that erroneous data was
stored by the EPROM and an inadvertent deployment occurred.
Galanek v.
San Diego, CA Legal Malpractice This was a case against an attorney for legal malpractice. It
established the precedent that when an attorney allows a
critical piece of evidence to be destroyed, the plaintiff does not
have the burden of proving the “case within the case.” This
case is reported at 68 Cal.App.4th 1417, 81 Cal.Rptr.2d 236
(1999) and 2003 WL 21007186 (CAL.APP. 4 DIST.).
Garrett v. City
of Phoenix
Phoenix, AZ Excessive Force This was an excessive force case involving the City of Phoenix
Police Department who was serving an emergency order for a
mental health evaluation upon Michelle Cusseaux who suffered
from schizophrenia, PTSD, and other unspecified personality
disorders. During the encounter with police, Michelle felt
threatened and armed herself with a hammer inside her home.
When officers gained entrance, Michelle raised the hammer
and was shot in the chest. She was rushed to the hospital
where she was pronounced dead. We filed a lawsuit for the
surviving mother (Garrett) for the wrongful death of her
daughter. This case led to police agencies dispatching
qualified officers to members of the community in a crisis.
Hatch Fort Bragg, NC Private Attorney I was the private attorney for Senior Chief Hatch who was
badly wounded in an attempt to rescue a U.S. Army deserter
from his Afghanistan post, former Sgt., now Private, Bowe
Bergdahl. I was honored to represent SEAL-team member
Hatch. Bergdahl was eventually convicted of desertion and
was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army. Senior
Chief Hatch authored the book Touching The Dragon.
Job v.
Health System
Phoenix, AZ Medical Malpractice Ryan Job was a highly decorated Navy SEAL who was
wounded in Iraq. Ryan died following surgery for his wounds
at Maricopa Medical Center. The hospital claimed he died
from aspirating chewing tobacco. We were able to prove that
Ryan died from a lethal dose of post-operative pain medication.
The bestselling book “American Sniper” is dedicated to Ryan.
As a Navy veteran it was an honor to handle this case on behalf
of Ryan’s wife and daughter. A chapter describing our legal
efforts on behalf of Job are detailed in the book by Robert Vera
entitled A Warrior’s Faith.
Lipscomb v.
Brennick and
San Diego, CA Wrongful Death This case involved the shooting of a young black teenager.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department concluded his
death was suicide. After months of litigation, we were able to
prove he had been murdered. A request to reopen the
investigation by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S.
Attorney’s Office is being submitted.
Taranto v.
Aramark, et al.
Salt Lake City,
Admiralty Law This case is reported at LEXIS 121565 (D. Utah Aug. 29,
2014). Four people, including two former police officers, died
of hyperthermia while boating on Lake Powell after their
rented vessel sank. As a result of this case, Aramark initiated
new rules which ensure that their boats would only be rented
when weather and water conditions were within the design
criteria of the boat.
Mitchell v.
Foster Wheeler
Products Liability This was a case against Foster Wheeler for defects in their coal
dust extraction system which led to an explosion of coal dust
and the death of Mitchell. Foster Wheeler redesigned their
extraction system to prevent future explosions.
Webb v.
Graham, TX Product Liability:
Jet Ski
This case lead to the development of all subsequent jet ski
litigation following funding of the initial studies on visibility,
conspicuity, and controllability following throttle interruption.
Worthy v.
Osborn School
Martinez, CA Product Liability:
Braking System
This was a quadriplegic case, which demonstrated for the first
time that 50th-percentile women were unable to safely operate
the parking brake system used on Ford pickup trucks.