Murchison & Cumming LLP

Murchison & Cumming Partners Claim Two Trial Victories in One Week

February 8, 2017

Murchison & Cumming partners Mary C. Trinh and Lisa D. Angelo capped a winning week for their clients and the firm by obtaining dismissals in two fiercely contested Los Angeles Superior Court cases, on the first day of trial!

In an alleged escalator accident matter, Ms. Trinh's client obtained a Non-Suit, ending a personal injury case that had been litigated for more than four years. The defense successfully argued that the plaintiff had no evidence, from experts or otherwise, that any duty was breached. The court is expected to eventually award substantial costs in favor of the defendant, separate from significant unpaid medical bills incurred by plaintiff. The case result was the latest in a long line of Murchison & Cumming's defense verdicts/awards in elevator and escalator personal injury cases handled on behalf of property owners, manufacturers and product service companies over the last two decades.

In a complex 10-count complaint arising out of the sale of a high-end vehicle, with allegations ranging from malicious prosecution and defamation to fraud and conversion of the vehicle, Ms. Angelo's client obtained dismissal by simply demanding the case proceed to trial even in the absence of the plaintiff--who after litigating her complaint for more than three years--failed to appear for trial. While the plaintiff claimed she had been in an auto-accident the day before and needed a last minute trial continuance, Ms. Angelo argued that unlike criminal cases, a plaintiff need not be present for trial, except for the day she testifies. If the plaintiff's counsel was not "ready" for trial, the defense was entitled to a dismissal. And, if the plaintiff's counsel was "ready" for trial, the defense was entitled to proceed with the jury trial as scheduled without the plaintiff's presence. The court agreed and called to have the jury empaneled. As the jury walked in the door, the plaintiff's counsel asked to withdraw as trial counsel. When his request was denied, the plaintiff's counsel moved to dismiss the case. The court immediately dismissed the case and the plaintiff, who had sought substantial compensatory and punitive damages, is now expected to face a substantial defense cost bill.

About Murchison & Cumming, LLP
With a firm history dating to 1930, Murchison & Cumming, LLP is a premier, AV-rated civil litigation firm with five offices in California and Las Vegas, whose attorneys specialize in the defense of domestic and international businesses, insurers and individuals, at trial and on appeal. The firm's attorneys also handle employment matters and business transactions. The firm is a member of the USLAW and Insuralex Networks.

 

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