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Latest Cases

The following are some recent successful results achieved for clients of Robert G. Schock. Because the facts of each case are unique, we cannot guarantee similar results in your matter.


Personal Injury (Automobile)

ROOT vs. ALBANY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Settlement Amount: Confidential (2009)

Plaintiff who is a minor fell on some broken glass in a grassy area while playing tag with two (2) other students at the yard immediately adjacent to the Albany Middle School. He had played tag there with his friends on a number of previous occasions.

Plaintiff suffered a severe laceration to his left hand and wrist resulting in a severed left ulnar nerve, artery, and flexor carpi ulnaris. He did have surgery on the wrist to repair the left ulnar nerve, flexor carpi ulnaris tendon laceration, and the artery. Plaintiff continued to have severe scarring to the left wrist area caused by both the injury and the subsequent surgery. He also still had a loss of feeling to the left side of his hand and his fingers lacked strength and the ability to apply pressure.

Defendants claimed they adequately supervised and inspected the premises. They claimed the glass had been there for a short time only.

It was unknown whether the nerve was regenerating on its own and after an EMG was performed, it was decided that no further nerve surgery was needed.

The matter was settled for an undisclosed six-figure amount without further litigation.


HOLLINS vs. SAN RAMON VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT (Co-Counsel)
Settlement Amount: Confidential (2008)

This was an action for personal injuries brought by Kevin Hollins against the San Ramon Valley Unified School District arising out of a bus-auto multiple vehicle accident in the northern bore of the Caldecott Tunnel on February 25, 2004. Plaintiff Kevin Hollins was driving his 1982 Cadillac when it was rear-ended by a school bus driven by an employee of San Ramon Valley Unified School District in the course and scope of her employment with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

The collision was so violent that the front seat buckled and ended up in the back seat. Kevin Hollins felt injuries immediately after the incident. Initially he had a very bad headache; his stomach was bothering him, as were his back and his legs. He continued to have problems with his neck, right shoulder, and back. He had continuous treatment for these various injuries and surgery was performed for his neck anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) by Dr. Clement Jones.

Stephen H. Cornet was co-counsel.


Medical Malpractice

DOE vs. KAISER (2008)
ARBITRATION
Settlement Amount: Confidential (mid six figures)

Client, a fifty seven (57) year old gentleman, who was employed by Kaiser as a psychologist, had severe degenerative hip disease, which necessitated a surgery for a total hip replacement, which was performed on December 2, 2005.

Thereafter during his recovery because of severe pain, he was given a Fentanyl patch. Unfortunately, he was not properly monitored and in fact should not have had the Fentanyl patch applied, according to plaintiff's counsel, and suffered a cardiac arrest necessitating artificial resuscitation.

Plaintiff claimed a cognitive brain injury including diminished long and short-term memory, reduced sense of humor, reduced verbalization, and reduced social skills as a result of being over medicated.

Plaintiff did not have income loss as he remained fully employed with Kaiser, but plaintiff's witnesses indicated that it was possible that he could have problems in the future related to the verbalization problems and social skill changes.


DANIELS vs. DOES
ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT NO.: 2002071895
VERDICT: $862,154 (April 10, 2007)

This is a medical malpractice action in which then seven (7) year old A'Daja Daniels alleges that defendants Doe Radiology Group and a Doe ER doctor failed to properly examine, accurately diagnose and properly treat and care for the minor with respect to an injury to her left arm and forearm.

On October 12, 1999, A'Daja Daniels injured her left arm doing a back flip off the monkey bars at her school and presented to Sutter Solano Medical Center emergency room. Independent emergency room physician Doe ER doctor noted that she was uncooperative during the physical examination and a full examination could not be completed. He did request that x-rays be taken and said x-rays were taken by an employee of Doe Radiology Group who reviewed the views of the forearm and elbow x-ray of the minor plaintiff and reported:

"The study was somewhat limited by the patients inability to supinate the forearm. I do not identify a definite fracture. The radial head appears to lie somewhat anteriorly, but I believe this simply to be due to the patients arm positioning. No definite elbow fracture is identified; however, clinical correlation with examination of this region is suggested. Discussed with Doe ER doctor at 3:40 p.m."

Doe Radiology Group's employee talked to Doe ER doctor and told said doctor that the x-rays were suboptimal and that additional x-rays should be taken, however, none were taken. The minor plaintiff had her arm placed in a sling and was discharged from the emergency room. The minor plaintiff and her mother were instructed to see their primary care physician in seven (7) to ten (10) days for re-evaluation.

On October 19, 1999, the minor plaintiff presented to Solano County Family Health Services and was seen by the primary care physician. They reported to the primary care physician that the x-rays taken at the emergency room department were negative for fracture or dislocation. The doctor reported, "She's getting better in terms of discomfort with use of splint and sling. Child unwilling to extend elbow at this time. Repeat x-rays."

Based upon the previous representation that the initial x-rays were negative, the primary care physician wrote in his chart that there were no fractures and the child was to return to the clinic in two (2) weeks.

On October 27, 1999, the October 19, 1999 x-rays were read by an outside radiology group and showed a dislocation of the left radial head with probable apophysial fracture. Plaintiff was then sent to Northbay Orthopedic Associates where additional radiographs were taken and the proper diagnosis was made. They decided to refer her to Children's Hospital because they thought an open reduction would be necessary at that time.

The minor plaintiff was seen at Children's Hospital of Oakland on or about November 4, 1999 by Doe orthopedic doctor who then performed surgery on her left elbow at Children's Hospital of Oakland on November 17, 1999.

This surgery was unsuccessful and on May 9, 2000 plaintiff underwent a second surgery of her left elbow at Children's Hospital of Oakland by Doe orthopedic doctor.


CRISLIP vs. DOE HOSPITAL
SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT NO: CGC-03-426008
SETTLEMENT: Confidential (mid six figures)

Plaintiff Carol Crislip had a long history of migraine headaches commencing in approximately 1986. These migraines are probably related to her hormonal imbalance. The standard treatment for these migraines is Demerol (100mg) and Phenergan (50mg) by injection in the outer upper buttock, Imitrex nasal and Dilantin can be used.

On September 7, 2002 at approximately 17:19 hours, she went to Doe Hospital to seek treatment for a migraine headache that had lasted approximately two (2) days. She was given an injection in the inner, middle quadrant area. After the shot, the records confirm that she had numbness of her left leg from her knee down. And although the records say that she eventually only ended up with toes remaining numb and that she has full range of motion in her foot and ankle, this is not correct. It is interesting to note that prior to discharge at 17:50, the nurse states that while examining the ankle and foot the patient states "I can feel that now." Again, this was not correct and was merely wishful thinking.

Plaintiff returned to Doe Hospital the following day because of the left foot numbness. Basically, this was an examination where they confirmed that she was continuing to have numbness in her left foot with weakness trying to plantarflex her toes. It is mentioned that "post an injection of Demerol and Phenergan she felt immediate numbness down her leg" and the diagnosis is status post injection but that she would get better, and released her to see a private physician. The actual doctor examined the "left upper outer buttock with puncture wound at site of injection." The doctor could not recall specifically where it was nor were any measurements made. The notes say "? Could be trauma to nerve but injection site appears to be away from nerve distribution." The doctor who examined her the day after has no recollection of where the injection site was.

Plaintiff followed up with her family physician who then referred her to a neurologist. The neurologist first saw plaintiff on September 12, 2002 and noted "sciatic nerve dysfunction since intramuscular injection to buttocks on September 7. Went to ER with severe migraine needed Demerol shot given in left buttock near lower outer quadrant and immediate onset of numbness entire calf and foot." She told him that the numbness improved in calf in two minutes but the foot remained numb. The headache improved and she went home. She had trouble walking due to foot numbness and ankle weakness. She went back and was told to use ice in the buttock area. The neurologist decided to start Prednisone. Because she did not improve, she was sent to a pain management expert

Her complaints at this juncture were pain as sharp, stabbing, shooting, burning pain associated with aching, soreness, tingling, numbness and pins and needles. Walking, putting weight on her foot, as well as lying down at night made her pain worse. She felt her pain was excruciating for at least twenty (20) hours a day. On the scale of 0-10, she rated her pain at a 10+. She was coping very poorly. By this time, she had been to the emergency room twice for pain control. The pain management doctor verified that she had an EMG and nerve conduction studies, which showed sciatic nerve damage. In fact the EMG and nerve conduction study report showed a significant drop in conduction response amplitudes of the left tibial, peroneal, and sural nerves and mild active denervation in the left leg muscles innovated by the tibial portion of the sciatic nerve.

They started the plaintiff on Actiq (600mcg) four times a day as well as Effexor Xr (37.5 mg for the first week increased to 75mg the second week). They also decided to proceed with a left sciatic nerve block. An October 16, 2002 visit revealed that plaintiff continued to complain of pain in her left lower extremity. She received only transient improvement with the sciatic nerve block and then her pain returned.

Unfortunately, for the plaintiff, she continued to have severe pain in her left ankle and foot. She had some pain radiating down the left lower extremity but it was not as bad as the ankle and foot. She had severe burning pain and various injections including selective nerve route blocks did not help.

In 2003, she was on a high dosage of narcotic therapy in the form of methadone, Actiq, and Duragesic patches. At this juncture, they considered morphine pumps.

By 2004, she was still having pain and was still seeing the doctors. She felt that the pain was lessened with medication but if there was no medication the pain comes back. She was still having pain in her left foot. In order to survive, she really needed narcotic pain medications.

It should be noted that on October 1, 2002, the pain management doctor did a left sciatic nerve block under surface electrode monitoring and fluoroscopy. This was a situation where the surface monitoring was carried out on the left buttock to identify the skin point of entry for the sciatic nerve block. Basically, the needle was gradually advanced and twitching was obtained from the left ankle. This indicated proximity to the sciatic nerve ... Prior to doing the procedure the patient had 2 cc of Isovue-300 dye injected and the dye was found to track along the expected anatomical location of the left sciatic nerve." This means that the pain management doctor was able to determine the location of the sciatic nerve in the buttock and it was where expected which is the inner quadrant.


Wrongful Death

ALVAREZ vs. ONE SOURCE TRANSPORTATION
BUTTE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Settlement $1,000,000

Decedent Victor Alvarez was killed on December 11, 2006 by a truck owned by and driven by an employee of One Source Transportation on SR-32 in Butte County. The decedent was driving at the speed of approximately 65 mph and struck the truck that was blocking the highway. The truck in the middle of the highway was trying to make an illegal u-turn in the middle of the highway and got stuck blocking the highway. The decedent's truck was crushed under the truck and Victor Alvarez was pronounced dead at the scene of accident.

The decedent had three minor children by a divorced spouse with custody and one adult child who was illegitimate but was receiving support. This office represented the three minor children by their Guardian ad Litem and the adult child was defended by Todd Slaughter, Esq.

This case was settled for a global settlement of one million dollars ($1,000,000). Defendant had filed for bankruptcy so settlement was for the policy limits.


BUIJS-SARMIENTO/HEWITT vs. STATE OF CALIFORNIA
MONTEREY COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT NO.: M79864
VERDICT: $2,983,692 (RGS Co-Counsel)

On January 1, 2006, Jacine and Maxfield's mother, Jacine Sarmiento, was driving on S.R. 1 near Struve Road, with her daughter, Athena Rose Sarmiento, as a passenger. A tree fell onto the roadway, killing Jacine Sarmiento and injuring Athena Rose Sarmiento. The roadway was in a known dangerous condition. Said conditions and poor health of the trees had caused trees to fall onto the roadway previously. Defendant allegedly knew of the hazard but had not fixed it.

Plaintiffs contended that the Monterey Cypress trees in the area where this incident occurred were a known dangerous problem. The conditions were of poor health and Eucalyptus trees had fallen in that area previously. Plaintiffs claimed that while removing a Eucalyptus tree that had fallen nearby, the foreman of the maintenance division for the Monterey District Department of Transportation did a cursory inspection of the trees remaining, including the Monterey Cypress involved in this incident and found that they were fine. Plaintiffs' expert testified that had a proper inspection been performed at that time which was within two (2) years of the accident, he would have discovered the dangerous condition and the tree could have been removed before it fell onto the Sarmiento vehicle killing Jacine Sarmiento and injuring Athena Rose Sarmiento.

Defense claimed it would have been impossible to have inspected the more than 10,000 trees in Monterey County on Highway 1. It would be too expensive and they also would have a difficult time removing trees because of the environmentalists. Basically, their contention was that this was an unusually severe storm with unusually high winds coming from an unanticipated direction. It is also claimed that their expert found nothing significantly wrong with the tree and would not have ordered it to be taken down.

Plaintiff Athena Rose claimed $905,000 in damages for economic loss from the age of six (6) through twenty-two (22) since she was living with her mother and would have been supported by her mother. Plaintiffs Jacine Hewitt, born June 3, 1990 and Maxfield Hewitt, born May 31, 1992 who are seventeen (17) and fifteen (15) years old respectively were living with their father in Altoona, PA and would visit their mother during the summer. They alleged that they were deprived of their real mother with whom they had a close relationship by telephone and by summer vacations.


TAYLOR vs. KAISER
SETTLEMENT: Confidential (mid six figures)


Catastrophic Injury

DUNBAR vs. DOE DOCTORS AND HOSPITAL (BIRTH INJURY)
ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
SETTLEMENT: (RGS Co-Counsel) Confidential Settlement - ;mid six (6) figures

This case arises out of the treatment provided by the above named defendants to plaintiffs Tesha Raymond and Jordan James Dunbar at Doe Hospital on April 27, 1996 and April 28, 1996, the day Jordan James Dunbar was born. Plaintiffs allege that defendants were negligent in the care and treatment of plaintiffs and that as a result of that negligence Jordan James Dunbar sustained severe brain damage at birth. Defendants denied negligence in the care and treatment of plaintiffs. Jordan James Dunbar has cerebral palsy accompanied by a host of related problems due to the negligence of defendants.


Insurance / Bad Faith

  • LESSARD vs. APPLIED RISK MANAGEMENT, INC., et al.
    U.S. DISTRICT COURT NO.: C 99-03371 WHO (Co-Counsel)

Plaintiff Lessard, an employee of Applied Risk Management, was out on MEDICAL disability. Her company was sold, and absorbed by another company with all employees being transferred to the new company. Those persons out on disability were not transferred to the new company and had to re-apply to work for the new company once they were no longer disabled. In fact, they weren't being brought to the new company for financial reasons. A motion for summary judgment was made against Plaintiff by the defendants that included the original company and the new company which motion was then granted by Federal Court Judge William Orrick, Jr. On appeal, the appellate court reversed and entered judgment in favor of Plaintiff holding that as a matter of law Defendants violated the employment rights of Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff was then awarded all benefits that she was entitled to and attorneys' fees of approximately two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00). Co-Counsel was Laurence Padway.


Employment

  • LESSARD vs. APPLIED RISK MANAGEMENT, INC., et al.
    U.S. DISTRICT COURT NO.: C 99-03371 WHO (Co-Counsel)

The Plaintiff was then awarded all benefits that she was entitled to and attorneys' fees of approximately two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00). Co-Counsel was Laurence Padway.


Sexual Harassment

  • DOE vs. HAYWARD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
    ALAMEDA COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT NO.: RG03089739
    SETTLED: CONFIDENTIAL

Doe Plaintiff in this case was a student at Hayward Unified Middle School. Part of the Hayward Unified School District had a rule, which was communicated to parents and students that no student would be released from school without the appropriate authorization from a parent. In this case, a non-parent was allowed to remove, or excuse, a fifteen (15) year old student who then participated in sexual relations with this person who was an adult over the age of twenty one (21) years old. Plaintiff sued the school district on the basis that they violated the rules that they had instituted. Had they followed their own rules she would not have been improperly released from school and would not have suffered sexual indignities at the hands of an adult. The settlement was significant and was confidential. Co-Counsel was Stephen Cornet.


Products Liability

  • ZERMINO vs. BUTTE COLLEGE DISTRICT

This case involved the improper supervision of the use of hoist in a shop course at Butte College that was defective in that it released a ranch weed mower which was being lifted and caused it to fall on the toes of the plaintiff Zermeno resulting in the loss of two toes. Plaintiff had thought the mower was properly secured. The instructor had inspected the hoist, which then failed.

Medical bills were approximately fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) and there was no wage loss claimed. The total demand was thirty five thousand dollars ($35,000) while the offer was five thousand dollars ($5,000) which was then withdrawn. The jury awarded one hundred and forty seven thousand dollars ($147,000).

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