Scarlett Law Group Case Results


    Mass Tort Disaster, Business Harm, Lost Profits

    In 1989, Mr. Scarlett became involved in In Re Exxon Oil Spill Litigation, United States District Court, District of Alaska, Consolidated Action No. A89-095-CV (HRH). He remains an active member of the Plaintiffs’ Coordinating Committee. Mr. Scarlett represents approximately 750 individual direct action plaintiffs in this litigation, including fishing processing facilities, area businesses, tendermen, commercial fishermen, property owners, and cannery workers.On April 13, 1994, the United States Federal District Judge H. Russell Holland issued Order No. 204 which appointed Mr. Scarlett as one of the trial lawyers on behalf of the mandatory punitive damage class. The punitive verdict rendered against Exxon was $5,000,000,000. While Mr. Scarlett did not try this case, he remains active in the litigation.

    Judgments returned against Exxon exceed $5,000,000,000. The matter is currently on appeal and before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


    International Human Rights, Catastrophic Personal Injury, Wrongful Death

    Jury verdict and judgment for plaintiffs In Re Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos Human Rights Litigation, MDL No. 840. Tried by Randall H. Scarlett who served as lead counsel for the direct action plaintiffs in all three phases of the trial of this complex case, and who served as one of the class counsel during the mandatory exemplary damage phase of the case which resulted in the record setting $1,200,000,000 judgment.In 1965, Ferdinand E. Marcos was elected president of the Philippines. In 1969, he was re-elected for his second term. Under the Philippine Constitution, Marcos would have had to leave the office of Presidency after his second term ended in 1973.Instead, Marcos suspended the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and through Proclamation 1081, (entered September 21, 1972), Marcos imposed martial law in the Philippines.

    For the thirteen years that followed before Marcos was deposed in 1986, he ruled as “dictator” of the Philippines. In order to quash legitimate political opposition, Marcos ordered, and failed to prevent, the torture, summary execution, and disappearance of numerous members of the political opposition.

    In 1986, Marcos was finally thrown out of office through a popular uprising. He fled to the United States, seeking safe haven. Numerous victims of his atrocities had earlier fled to the United States, and met with Randall H. Scarlett.

    In addition to seeking re-dress for his clients, Mr. Scarlett wished to send a strong message, to wit: That the United States would not be a safe haven for the fleeing dictators of the world. Suits were instituted against Ferdinand E. Marcos beginning in 1986, the first suits filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

    The cases were coordinated before the Multi-District Litigation Panel. The Panel assigned the action to Federal District Judge Manuel L. Real (Central District of California). The case was venued in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    Ultimately, the case was trifurcated for trial. Plaintiffs’ liability verdict was received following trial on September 24, 1992. The $1,200,000,000 exemplary damage verdict on behalf of all plaintiffs was rendered following trial on February 23, 1994. In addition to the exemplary damage verdict, Mr. Scarlett’s direct action plaintiffs received millions of dollars of judgments from the jury following conclusion of the compensatory phase of the trial on January 20, 1995. One of Mr. Scarlett’s plaintiffs, Manuel Buncio, received the largest compensatory award rendered by the jury, case wide.

    This complex international human rights case was the first of its kind. Often written about, and often cited, plaintiffs were successful in defeating all appeals through the United States Supreme Court. Complex settlement negotiations are now underway involving the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, various Swiss Bank interests, and the Estate of Ferdinand E. Marcos.


    Traumatic Brain Injury, Catastrophic Personal Injury

    Recognizing the staggering costs of healthcare associated with traumatic brain injury, a San Jose jury awarded Drew Dakota Bianchi $49,123,375.87 on September 21, 2009. The verdict followed a hotly contested six-week trial involving two truck drivers who collided on State Route 152 (Pacheco Pass), one of whom thereafter struck the car in which plaintiff was a passenger.Plaintiff, Drew Dakota Bianchi, was a 21-year-old passenger in a Toyota Avalon, when, on May 3, 2007, he was struck by a Peterbilt truck driven by defendant, Samuel Bimbela. Evidence at trial established that Mr. Bimbela, driving his Peterbilt truck, and codefendant Mr. Michael Demma, driving a Gordon Trucking 18-wheel big rig, struck each other at or near the centerline on State Route 152. No pre-impact evasive maneuvers were undertaken by either driver.Mr. Bianchi, whose injuries necessitate a lifetime of 24/7 care, brought suit against both truck drivers/trucking companies, as well as the State of California.

    The jury, recognizing the devastating cost of future care for an individual sustaining traumatic brain injury, awarded $3.4 million in past medical expenses, $27.6 million in future medical expenses, $4.5 million for future lost wages, and $13.5 million in general damages.

    The jury attributed fault in the amount of 35% to Gordon Trucking/Michael Demma, 60% to Samuel Bimbela, and 5% to the State of California.

    The verdict is thought to be one of the highest non-punitive verdicts in the State of California for an individual sustaining traumatic brain injury.

    Plaintiff was represented by Randall H. Scarlett of San Francisco, California and Thomas Wm. Malone of Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Scarlett dedicates his career to individuals sustaining brain injury. He actively serves as a Board Member on the California Brain Injury Association, and dedicates both his professional and personal life to improving the lives of those sustaining traumatic brain injury.


    Medical Malpractice, Brain Injury, Catastrophic Personal Injury

    Jury verdict for plaintiff in Wright v. St. Rose Hospital, et al. tried by RANDALL H. SCARLETT who served as lead counsel.On July 16, and July 28, plaintiff, Stephanie Wright (then an 8 month old child), was rushed by her family members to St. Rose Hospital for emergency room care. Stephanie maintained a fever varying between 101° and 103° rectally. She was vomiting and had lost (by July 28), approximately 10% of her body weight. She became increasingly lethargic and was irritable. This symptomology persisted, and in fact increased, despite a ten day course of ampicillin first administered on July 14.Despite requests by Stephanie’s family that she be admitted at St. Rose Hospital, defendant doctors sent the child home with a diagnosis of middle ear infection. Defendant doctors failed to perform any laboratory testing or otherwise perform diagnostic testing.

    On July 30, Stephanie was rushed to Children’s Hospital, Oakland, whereupon an immediate diagnosis of H-Flu meningitis was made. Unfortunately, inner cranial pressure had built up to the point where Stephanie was rendered permanently brain injured and spastic quadriplegic.

    After deliberation, the Hayward, California jury rendered its verdict, which totaled $26,053,000. The verdict is one of the largest medical malpractice awards in the State of California.


    Severe Brain Injury, Catastrophic Personal Injury

    After being struck by the tour bus, Ms. Shi was thrown to the ground and sustained skull factures with internal bleed. Ms. Shi underwent four life-saving surgeries with the expert neurosurgical team at San Francisco General Hospital, led by renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Geoffrey T. Manley.

    On March 13, 2007, a San Francisco Superior Court Jury recognized the care necessary to assist Ms. Shi who sustained severe traumatic brain injuries as a result of the avoidable tragedy. The jury awarded Ms. Shi 22.8 Million.

    The jury awarded 1.3 for past economic loss, including lost earnings and medical/healthcare related expenses. The jury awarded 6.4 Million for future economic loss, including lost earnings/lost earnings capacity and medical and healthcare related expenses. The jury awarded 4.8 Million for past non-economic loss, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation and emotional distress. The jury awarded 10.3 Million for future non-economic loss.

    This is thought to be one of the highest non-punitive verdicts for an individual sustaining brain injuries in the State of California.

    Ms. Shi was a 49 year old woman who had been earning approximately $15-20 per hour working part time at an on-line bookstore at the time she was struck by the tour bus. Plaintiff’s counsel effectively argued that the jury’s most difficult task was to assess a monetary award for the loss of one’s cognitive capabilities. As a result of her massive brain injuries, Ms. Shi sustained frontal lobe syndrome and executive dysfunction.

    The case was tried by Randall H. Scarlett, Scarlett Law Group and Thomas W. Malone of Malone Law Offices, Two Ravinia Drive, Suite 300 Atlanta, GA


    Wrongful Death

    At the conclusion of a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and Bhandal Brothers Trucking, the jury reached a verdict of nearly $18.7 million. The two victims, Maria Almanza-Romero and Alex Navarro, had been killed in a multi-vehicle accident on Highway 156.

    Maria stopped on the highway to make a left turn when an 18-wheeler slammed into her car from behind. The force of the collision pushed her into oncoming traffic, putting her in the path of a vehicle driven by Navarro’s mother. As a result of the accident, the families of both victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

    The plaintiffs claimed that Caltrans knew about the highway’s dangerous conditions for more than 30 years, yet failed to take steps to make the two-lane, 55 mph highway safer. They also alleged negligence on behalf of the truck driver who rear-ended Almanza-Romero’s vehicle. In the end, the families were awarded $18,681,052.


    Failure to Diagnose Meningitis

    In Jones v. Doe Hospital, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of our client. This ultimately resulted in a $13 million settlement from the defendant. We had filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a prominent North Carolina hospital after they negligently failed to diagnose meningitis in our one-year-old client. The case was settled in March of 2015.


    Brain Injury-Medical Malpractice

    In this case, Mr. Scarlett traveled to North Carolina and tried a medical negligence case—failure to diagnose bacterial meningitis—with Charles Monnett, esq.

    Plaintiff, 1 year old child, is taken by ambulance to the Emergency Department of a prominent North Carolina hospital following an accident at home where a TV fell on his head. There is no reported loss of consciousness. Plaintiff is admitted to the PICU for observation after initial CTs revealed multiple skull fractures. Plaintiff’s behavior and mentation is consistently described in the medical records as normal. Plaintiff is transferred to the floor after 10 hours of observation in the PICU. 5 hours after transfer to the floor Plaintiff spikes a fever to 104.8. Plaintiff’s doctors elect not to administer antibiotics or perform a lumbar puncture following the fever. They do order a blood culture which shows the presence of gram positive bacteria in the Plaintiff’s blood when the results are reported the following day.

    After the culture results a diagnosis of possible pneumonia is made and antibiotics are given at levels insufficient to treat meningitis. The doctors decide not to do a lumbar puncture or treat with meningitic dosages of antibiotics because of Plaintiff’s “normal mentation.”

    By the following morning Plaintiff’s neurological status has significantly declined. It is too late to save Plaintiff from severe neurologic complications by the time the diagnosis of meningitis is made and proper treatment begins.

    Plaintiff is seen by more than 25 doctors before the diagnosis of meningitis is first made. I elected to file suit only against the entity that employed the doctors and not against any individual health care provider. We also made a strategic decision not to depose any of the treating doctors. Over the years we have had several cases where the records were favorable to us only to have those helpful portions explained away at deposition. I was determined to make the defendant try the case on the records as written. Without additional explanations not in the records the defense experts were forced to base their opinions on the records alone. Not naming individual doctors also limited the number of defense counsel. We did take a 30(b)(6) depo of the defendant to establish it employed all of the key providers.

    There was no offer from the defendant at mediation or before the verdict.


    Traumatic Brain Injury

    On June 16, 2015, the San Francisco Superior Court approved an $11 million settlement between Brynn K. Stoll and the City and County of San Francisco, the State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and Andre Richardson. The plaintiff, Ms. Stoll, was represented by Scarlett Law Group.

    While walking to class on February 28, 2013, Ms. Stoll had been struck by a light rail vehicle at the median of the intersection at 19th Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard. According to Ms. Stoll, the light rail vehicle operator, Andre Richardson, struck her after running through a red light.

    She explained that the intersection was dangerous because the traffic light timing sequence did not provide light rail vehicles with enough time to clear the intersection before pedestrians were signaled to cross. She also claimed that there was no indication where it was safe to stand in the median.

    Ms. Stoll sustained a traumatic brain injury and multiple skull fractures as a result of the accident. She also fractured her pelvis, hip, clavicle and ribs. She underwent numerous surgeries, and was even in a coma for five weeks. She has since regained the ability to walk, but she is not expected to ever fully recover.

    Randall Scarlett explains that, “With these settlement funds, Brynn Stoll will receive the care and treatment her injuries demand throughout her lifetime.”


    Traumatic Brain Injury

    In November 2011, a California jury awarded our client $10,651,423.13 for injuries he suffered in an auto accident. The case, Matthew T. Cole v. Loretta E. Wend Family Limited Partnership, involved a severe and life-threatening brain injury. Our client, Matthew Cole, had been a passenger in a vehicle that collided with farm equipment offloading grapes on a two-lane rural highway.

    At the conclusion of the case, the jury awarded $624,880.13 for past medical expenses, $2,526,543 for the plaintiff’s diminished earning capacity, $2 million for the present value of future medical expenses, $2,500,000 for past non-economic damages, and $3 million for future non-economic damages.


    Automobile/Big Rig Accident, Wrongful Death

    In Atayde v. Miller, et al, Mr. Scarlett was appointed lead counsel in a coordinated action involving a multi-vehicle/truck accident taking place on one of the busier Bay Area freeways. Mr. Atayde was killed as a result of that accident, and was survived by his wife and children, Mr. Scarlett coordinated the action and after extensive settlement conferences, the matter was resolved without the need of trial.


    Brain Injury, Construction Accident

    Settlement reached with third party defendants as well as with workers’ compensation insurance fund. Plaintiff was working on a construction site when a piece of machinery caught plaintiff’s shirt causing him to be thrown to the cement floor. Loss of consciousness was questioned. MRI Scan, CT Scan, and other neuro imaging all proved normal. Despite this, plaintiff remained unable to work, was prone to violent outbursts, disinhibition, and developed a seizure disorder.After mediation, the settlement reached demonstrates the profound impact a brain injury can have.


    Real Estate Fraud & Misappropriation

    Co-owners of an office building in San Francisco received a settlement of $4,125,000 against other co-owners who were managing the building involving fraud and misappropriation of monies. This case was handed by Mr. Scarlett and Mr. Ormiston. The settlement occurred through mediation at JAMS after disclosure of expert witnesses which included a former Real Estate Commissioner, real estate brokers, a forensic handwriting expert and two accounting firms.


    Transient Traumatic Brain Injury, Severe Orthopaedic Injuries, Automobile/Truck Accident

    On August 12, 2003, plaintiff sustained personal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident occurring on S. Las Vegas Blvd. at or near the intersection of Silverado Ranch Road in Las Vegas, Nevada. Plaintiffs included Mr. Louis Gentile, his wife Diane Gentile, and their three minor children, Gina Gentile, Christine Gentile, and Vincent Gentile.Plaintiffs were on their way to the airport for a planned trip to Disneyland. the vehicle in which plaintiffs traveled, a 2001 Buick Century, was owned and operated by plaintiff Louis Gentile’s father, Pat Gentile.As the Gentiles traveled to the airport on S. Las Vegas Blvd, defendant Curtis Lee Hines made an illegal left hand turn across S. Las Vegas Blvd. in front of the approaching Gentile vehicle. Mr. Hines was operating a 2000 Ford F-450 commercial pickup truck.

    The Nevada Highway Patrol responded to the scene of the accident, and after performing a thorough investigation, issued a citation against defendant Curtis Lee Hines (who was employed by co-defendant, Ozzie’s Pipeline Padder, Inc.).

    Defendant was found to have failed to yield the right of way by making an unsafe left turn in front of the oncoming vehicle operated by Pat Gentile.

    As a result of the accident, plaintiffs initiated suit in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, asserting damages for general negligence. The Gentiles retained Mr. Randall H. Scarlett of the Scarlett Law Group.

    Defendants contended that they were not at fault for causing the subject accident, and defendants Curtis Lee Hines and Ozzie’s Pipeline Padder, Inc. filed a third party complaint against Pat Gentile.

    Plaintiff, Louis Gentile, sustained cervical and lumbar injuries. Mr. Gentile underwent a two level fusion of his cervical spine and underwent a lumbar disc replacement at L4/L5. He also sustained a concussion immediately following the accident, though he returned to full pre-morbid levels of functionality.

    Plaintiff, Diane Gentile, sustained bruising and contusions at the scene of the accident. There was a questionable loss of consciousness, though she was fully functional following the accident. After release from the ER, Diane Gentile received limited physical therapy.

    Minor plaintiff, Vincent Gentile, sustained emotional distress as a result of his contemporaneous observation of his family members’ injuries.

    Minor plaintiff, Gina Gentile, sustained bruising to her neck and left chest area as a result of the shoulder restraint system. She also sustained soft tissue injuries to her lumbar spine. She underwent limited physical therapy for her injuries.

    Minor plaintiff, Christine Gentile, received a concussion as a result of the subject accident. She underwent limited neuropsychological treatment, but fortunately, had returned to pre-morbid levels of functionality by the time of the settlement.

    Total medical expenses as a result of the accident for all plaintiffs was approximately $300,000.


    Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Rear End Auto Accident

    On August 29, 2002, plaintiff George Leuenberger, then aged 35, was driving to work on Highway 50 in Sacramento, California. He was stopped in traffic. Behind him, defendant John Yandell, on duty for American Tower, looked away from traffic to answer his cell phone, and rear-ended plaintiff at an estimated 55 — 65 mph. Mr. Leuenberger’s vehicle sustained significant damage to the rear, including trunk collapse.Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that defendant’s Yandell/American Tower were negligent in the operation of their Ford F-250 pickup truck, and that such negligence caused plaintiff to sustain permanent and debilitating injury and other damages.Defendants contested liability, and further alleged that plaintiff did not sustain significant injuries as a result of the accident. Defendants contended that plaintiff did not sustain any brain injury whatsoever, and that any cognitive deficits were as a result of pre-existing psychiatric conditions. Specifically, defendants experts contended that at most, plaintiff sustained a transient concussion which entirely resolved shortly after the accident. Defendants experts contended that plaintiff was entirely capable of returning to the competitive workplace, and that his “imagined” injuries resulted and were motivated by plaintiffs malingering and desire to obtain secondary gain through the litigation.

    Significantly, plaintiff had been represented by another law firm located in Sacramento, California. This Sacramento law firm had tentatively accepted a settlement on behalf of plaintiff of approximately $1 million. On November 4, 2005, plaintiff George Leuenberger discharged his Sacramento Council and retained Randall H. Scarlett of the San Francisco, California, Scarlett Law Group. In the 10 months which followed, settlement was achieved in the amount of $3,000,000.00.


    Premises Liability/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    In Herndon v. Parball Corp., dba Flamingo Hilton Hotel, et. al., plaintiffs Claude and Jill Herndon brought suit in the United States Federal District Court, District of Nevada (Las Vegas) when the stool upon which Mr. Herndon was sitting fell over due to a concealed hole in the floor of the casino (under the carpet). Mr. Herndon was projected forward and struck his head on the table before him. Defendants contested plaintiff’s claim of loss of consciousness, and the emergency room records indicated that Mr. Herndon sustained only a slight bruise and headache. All imaging was negative, and defendants denied that the forces involved in the fall were sufficient to cause brain injury to Mr. Herndon.Compounding proof of injury difficulties, Mr. Herndon had a pre-existing seizure disorder, though counsel was able to establish that the fall caused seizures of a different type than those previously occurring. This extremely difficult case included defense allegations of pre-existing depression, and an extremely low pre-morbid vocational earnings history. Despite this, counsel was able to reach a substantial settlement for the Herndon’s which recognized the strong probability of a jury recognizing that Mr. Herndon had indeed sustained a mild traumatic brain injury. Mr. Scarlett was assisted by co-counsel Cal Potter, Esq.In addition, the expert witnesses involved in the case, including a neuropsychologist, a physiatrist, a neurologist, a biomechanical engineer, a life care planner, a vocational rehabilitation specialist, and an economist, were essential witnesses establishing the true injuries suffered by Mr. Herndon as a result of the casino’s negligence. A portion of the $2,900.000.00 settlement went to purchase an annuity, which is expected to pay out substantial additional funds over the course of plaintiffs life.


    Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury

    Jury verdict for plaintiffs in Formby v. Bais, et al. tried by Randall H. Scarlett after rejecting a $125,000 settlement offer.Plaintiff, William L. Formby suffered from sleep apnea. The defendant doctor sought to resolve plaintiff’s condition through a “new” surgical process, which entailed the resection of part of plaintiff’s soft palate.At trial, it was established that the defendant doctor had breached the applicable standard of care through improper resection. The consequences altered plaintiff’s speech and eating habits.

    Despite defendant’s contention that the amount of resection was a judgment call, and that he was clearly within the applicable standard of care, the verdict is thought to be one of the largest, if not the largest, medical malpractice awards in the Central Valley area of California.


    Professional Negligence, Legal Malpractice, Personal Injury

    District Court judgment for plaintiff Joseph Alosi in Alosi v. Brandenburg, et al., tried by Randall H. Scarlett, who served as lead trial counsel, together with his co-counsel, Cal J. Potter III, Esq.On March 8, Joseph Alosi was registered as a guest at the Treasury Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. While seated at a table across from a friend, the left front leg of the chair on which Alosi was seated broke and Alosi was thrown in a twisting motion to the floor. The chair which collapsed under Alosi was a standard room chair at the Treasury Hotel. There was no evidence that the chair was misused so as to cause it to collapse.Joseph Alosi suffered serious and permanent personal injuries, including severe back injuries necessitating two surgeries, including a laminectomy and a lumbar fusion. Significant scar tissue and arachnoiditis subsequently developed.

    On April 5, defendant undertook the legal representation of Alosi in an action against the Treasury Hotel. In handling Alosi’s case, defendant did not properly utilize discovery, and later lost the case via dismissal.

    Mr. Scarlett, together with his co-counsel Cal J. Potter III, Esq. instituted suit on behalf of Alosi against the prominent Las Vegas, Nevada attorney who had handled his case.

    At trial, it was established that plaintiff’s underlying personal injury action was lost due to the sub-standard quality of representation he had received. Although the case was subsequently settled for a confidential amount on appeal, the judgment rendered by the Federal District Court in Nevada is thought to be one of the largest legal malpractice judgments rendered in Las Vegas, Nevada.


    Mild traumatic Brain Injury, Minor Rear End Automobile Accident

    On July 7, 2005, in Rasmussen v. Shade, et al., SCV 14935, Placer County Superior Court, Lincoln Division, the jury reached it’s Verdict awarding Kim Rasmussen $1,248,024.00 as a result of injuries he sustained in a relatively minor rear end automobile accident occurring in Roseville, California. On August 19, 2002, Plaintiff Kim Rasmussen, was operating his 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck on Eureka Road near Sunrise in Roseville, CA. Defendant Bruce Robert Shade caused his 1999 Dodge Durango to rear end plaintiffs’ pickup at about 7mph – 12mph.Plaintiffs truck sustained $498.00 damage to the rear bumper. Despite the relatively minor property damage, counsel was able to establish that the rotational forces were sufficient to cause Mr. Rasmussen to sustain a traumatic brain injury. Leading experts throughout the United States testified on behalf of Mr. Rasmussen, and the Jury’s Verdict should ensure that he receives the future medical care he so desperately needs.


    Medical Malpractice

    $1,000,000 and Confidential- $1,000,000 partial settlement (medical malpractice) Confidential (medical malpractice)

    Settlement was achieved as against two remaining defendants in this catastrophic personal injury/medical malpractice case. On March 28, 2000, plaintiff James DeVito underwent bilateral calf-implant procedure performed by defendant Robert Brink, M.D. This action involved certain health care providers who subsequently saw Mr. DeVito and allegedly failed to take prompt corrective action for his compartment syndrome.


    Assault & Battery by San Francisco MUNI Bus Driver

    Judgment was entered for $605, 556 for plaintiff, a passenger, in Gordon v. City and County of San Francisco against a MUNI Bus Driver for assault and battery. This case was handled by Mr. Ormiston. The MUNI bus driver pushed the passenger off the bus, fell on top of her and punched her several times. The passenger suffered bruises to the hip, back and head, but suffered no permanent injuries. A neurological exam and CT scan were normal. MUNI is also issuing a letter of apology.


    Jail Suicide

    Settlement for plaintiffs in Fidler, et al. v. San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, et al., United States District Court Northern District of California, Case Number C 04 1404 SC.This matter involved the tragic jail suicide of Ms. Angela Ramirez. On April 6, 2003, Angela Ramirez, who had a history of psychological problems, took her life at the age of 23 while she was incarcerated by the San Mateo County Women’s Correctional Center as a post-conviction inmate. Ms. Ramirez was serving a 120-day sentence for a minor drug charge.Lisa Fidler and Rito Ramirez contacted attorney Randall H. Scarlett after Angela’s suicide. Though both were distraught, they simply sought answers to the question of how their daughter had died. Almost immediately after the suicide, the decedent’s family was informed little about Angela’s circumstances of death.

    After performing an initial investigation, the Scarlett Law Group, together with co-counsel Cal J. Potter, Esq., initiated suit on behalf of Angela’s parents alleging, among other things, that the defendant County of San Mateo had negligently deprived Angela of her request, on at least four occasions, to be seen by a mental health doctor. Simply put, plaintiffs allege the jail’s failure to allow Angela to see a psychiatrist enabled the suicide to occur.

    Angela had a long history of psychiatric problems. It was established that while incarcerated, she was deprived of medication which would have assisted her with her psychiatric condition. Without the ability to obtain her medication, and deprived of the ability to see a mental health doctor, Angela took her life on April 6, 2003.

    It should be noted that under Angela’s state law claims for the failure to diagnose and treat Angela’s condition, the maximum plaintiffs could have recovered in the State of California was $250,000 each for a total of $500,000. Other claims alleged by plaintiffs included federal claims under Section 1983 for the deliberate indifference with regard to Angela’s known medical condition.


    Mild TBI, Auto/Truck Accident

    In Hall v. Lopez Brothers Trucking settlement was reached with defendant trucking company when plaintiff’s vehicle was struck by run away truck. Plaintiff sustained a mild TBI, though plaintiff had normal x-rays and neuro-imaging. Plaintiff also suffered from a whip-lash during the accident. Policy limits were obtained.


    Excessive Force by Police

    Aaron Rivera sustained serious injuries when, due to a case of mistaken identity, police officers brutally pushed Mr. Rivera through a door and proceeded to strike him repetitively with their batons. Mr. Rivera sustained multiple subdural hematomas which required evacuation through a craniotomy. Fortunately, Mr. Rivera underwent a miraculous recovery. He sustained only about $3,000 in wage loss, though his medical bills were $50,000. The settlement, reached on the first day of trial is thought to be one of the highest involving the City of San Jose Police Department.


    Mild TBI, Whiplash, Vehicular Collision

    Settlement reached with defendant TRANSIT DISTRICT when plaintiff was rear-ended by a transit bus. Plaintiff sustained a mild TBI, though plaintiff had a ten-year pre-existing history of debilitating migraines. Plaintiff also suffered from a whiplash during the accident though all x-rays and neuro-imaging was negative. Case settled on second day of trial.


    Property Damage, Negligent Repair, Mold Contamination

    A home owner received a $90,000 property damage/negligent repair work/mold contamination settlement against a plumbing company for negligent work which caused a black water loss and resultant mold contamination to her home. This case was handled by Mr. Ormiston. A first party liability case is still pending against the property owner’s insurance company for recover of substantial additional monies involving this same loss.

    Seminal Case

    Sex Discrimination

    Randall H. Scarlett was the sole trial counsel in Warfield v. Peninsula Golf and Country Club, San Mateo County Superior Court Action 258736; 10 Cal.4d 594.The Peninsula Golf and County Club precluded Mary Ann Warfield from maintaining a proprietary membership in the Club on the basis of her gender. The Club contended that its by-laws prohibited women from holding a proprietary membership. (Mrs. Warfield had been awarded the club membership as part of a Property Settlement Agreement in the divorce with her husband. Mrs. Warfield was an avid golfer and had won the women’s division club championship.)After trial, Mr. Scarlett argued before the Court of Appeals, and ultimately, the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of plaintiff, thereby disallowing discrimination based on sex in certain clubs, even those purporting to be private. The Court’s opinion is a strong precedent combating sexual discrimination in California.


    Medical Malpractice, Products Liability

    Confidential settlement. Confidential settlement reached with defendants as a result of the wrongful death of plaintiff’s father. Plaintiff was an adult, non-dependent child of decedent. Plaintiff’s father died as a result of combined medical/malpractice products liability. Decedent was also survived by a spouse.


    Medical Malpractice, Avascular Necrosis

    In Gadye v. Hospital, et al., Mr. Gadye alleged that due to substandard conduct in the prescription of prednisone, a steroid, Mr. Gadye developed bilateral avascular necrosis requiring knee replacements in both legs. This significant settlement provided Mr. Gadye (an asylum judge), with sufficient funds to cover his pain and suffering and future medical needs, including knee replacements.


    Medical Malpractice, Brain Injury

    In Greener v. Hospital, et al., plaintiffs brought suit on behalf of their eight year old daughter as a result of a birth injury. Mrs. Greener was asymptomatic, though Beta Strep positive. It was alleged that defendants failed to give prophylactic antibiotics, and further, that defendant failed to appropriately diagnose plaintiff’s child with meningitis following birth.Plaintiff’s child did develop meningitis. The child went on to develop learning disabilities as a result of the brain damage sustained at birth. The significant settlement resulting from this matter will provide funds throughout the child’s life, including funds for private education, neuropsychological treatment, and other care.


    Civil Rights, Wrongful Death, Brain Injury

    In Harrison v. North Las Vegas, et al., Mr. Scarlett, together with his co-counsel Cal J. Potter III, Esq., again took on the correctional facility run by the City of North Las Vegas. This federal civil rights action was settled for a confidential amount.On the day of his 32nd birthday, Mr. Harvey Harrison was on the way to his mother’s house for breakfast. Somewhere along the way, it would appear Mr. Harrison was himself the victim of a crime, the attack leaving him with a closed head injury. Due to his appearance and behavior, the North Las Vegas police were called. Rather than provide Mr. Harrison the medical treatment he so desperately needed, the police officers transported Mr. Harrison to the North Las Vegas Detention Center.Mr. Harrison was double handcuffed, restrained with leg irons, and thrown into a cell. Having been afforded no medical treatment nor medical screen, Mr. Harrison died twelve hours later as a result of complications from his closed head injuries.

    Mr. Scarlett established that Mr. Harrison died when the jail failed to properly diagnose the pre-arrest traumatic brain injury. Based on the extensive pre-trial discovery conducted by Mr. Scarlett and his co-counsel, Cal J. Potter III, Esq., a confidential monetary settlement was reached. Following such settlement, the City of North Las Vegas again altered the structure of medical monitoring rendered on-site at the jail.


    Civil Rights. Wrongful Death

    Mr. Scarlett along with his co-counsel, Cal J. Potter III, Esq., obtained affirmative remedies as a result of the death of plaintiff’s decedent, in addition to a monetary settlement. Banks v. North Las Vegas Police Department. This was a federal civil rights action involving medical monitoring and medical care provided inmates in a jail operated by North Las Vegas.At the time of his arrest, and before, Mr. Banks was in need of immediate medical treatment and care. Instead of providing him such care, it was alleged that he had been the victim of the use of excessive force, and had been denied medical treatment and care. Ultimately, Mr. Banks died in jail.Just prior to trial, Mr. Scarlett and his co-counsel, Cal J. Potter III, Esq., confidentially settled the case. The settlement terms did include a letter of apology from the Mayor of North Las Vegas and from the Chief of Police of North Las Vegas. Additionally, the jail agreed to hire and place in the jail an independent medical services company. Inmates were thereafter afforded medical screening and onsite medical care as a result.
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