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Representing consumers who have suffered due to the negligence of others

 

Personal InjuryAuto AccidentsProduct Defects
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Porter Ranch Gas Leak Litigation Update

Liaison counsel, Paul Kiesel, providing latest news on the 344 filed cases

 

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The court held its most recent status conference on November 15, 2017. The case is moving into the discovery phase of the litigation. Southern California Gas Co (SCG) has produced hundreds of thousands of documents that the plaintiff attorneys are currently reviewing and evaluating.  There are hundreds of thousands more documents to come. Additionally, within the next 60 days, “depositions” will begin where witnesses will give live testimony relating to what has occurred. There will likely be dozens if not hundreds of depositions taken over the next 6-8 months. At this time, we hope that the first personal injury case(s) will begin in December of next year.

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Johnson & Johnson Hit With $417M Verdict In 1st California Talc Cancer Trial

Kiesel Law LLP partner Helen Zukin member of legal team that won historic verdict
on behalf of women against Johnson & Johnson

By Daniel Siegal

Law360, Los Angeles — The first California state jury to evaluate the possible link between Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and ovarian cancer set a high-water mark on Monday with a $417 million verdict for the company’s role in causing a woman’s terminal cancer, surpassing large awards from earlier trials in Missouri.

After two days of deliberations following the four-week trial in Los Angeles, the jury found for plaintiff Eva Echeverria, finding that J&J had failed to warn consumers about the increased risk of ovarian cancer caused by its Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, and that Echeverria’s terminal ovarian cancer was caused by her use of those products.

The jury awarded Echeverria $70 million in compensatory damages and slapped J&J and its subsidiary and co-defendant Johnson & Johnson Consumer with $347 million in punitive damages, far surpassing even the eight and nine-figure verdicts the company has been hit with after similar trials in St. Louis.

Kiesel Law LLP partner Helen Zukin  tried this case with Mark P Robinson Jr. and Allen Smith.

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Helen Zukin, Partner at Kiesel Law LLP

Helen Zukin expressed her gratitude to the jury and said, “This is a verdict on behalf of all women in America who use Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder. Now, perhaps, for the first time in 40 years, Johnson and Johnson will warn women of the risks of ovarian cancer. A risk J&J has know about for decades.”

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Verdict Against Nissan

$25 Million for Paul R. Kiesel Clients

A Los Angeles Jury decided that the braking system software defect in a Nissan-made SUV was the cause of a traffic accident that killed three people, awarding roughly $25 million to the surviving driver and family members of the deceased.

Nissan North America Inc. faced claims in the nearly month-long trial from both Solomon Mathenge, represented by Paul Kiesel, whose Infiniti QX56 SUV in 2012 crashed into a minivan in a Hollywood intersection, killing a woman and her two daughters, and by family members of the deceased.

Solomon Mathenge was initially charged with vehicular manslaughter after the collision. Those charges were only dropped in December of last year. Cruz sued Mathenge after the accident, but later dropped those claims and Mathenge joined his lawsuit against Nissan.

After charging Mathenge, prosecutors became aware that the brake failure Mathenge claimed he experienced was similar to the failures alleged in a federal class action lawsuit against Nissan involving the same Infiniti vehicles. Nissan settled the case in 2014 in a deal that offered compensation of up to $800 for 350,000 2004-2008 Nissan Titans, Armadas and Infiniti QX56’s.

That lawsuit dealt also with supposedly faulty delta stroke sensors, the software element that Mathenge and Cruz’s attorneys claim caused the crash. The plaintiff class accused the auto manufacturer of withholding information about the defect from the public “to [Nissan’s] significant financial gain.”  Prosecutors interviewed class members in the federal lawsuit, and after determining that they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mathenge’s vehicle didn’t have the same alleged defect, dropped the charges against him.

The trial was before Judge Randolph Hammock and lasted five weeks.  The case, Cruz v. Nissan North America, et al., was tried in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County.

 

Closing Moments from Nissan Trial, Clip Courtesy of Courtroom View Network

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Wright Medical Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Settlements Surpass $340 Million


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Kiesel Law LLP, along with other members of the leadership counsel, is proud to announce the successful negotiation of a settlement program to resolve all remaining eligible metal-on-metal claims pending against Wright Medical.

This settlement program will involve over 600 eligible metal-on-metal revised hip claims currently pending in the MDL, in the JCCP, and on tolling agreements. This follows the first phase of 1,300 claims settled against Wright Medical regarding metal-on-metal hip implant patient-claimants in 2016. Due to Wright’s financial situation, values will be discounted from the first settlement but will include standard awards as well as an Enhanced Injury Fund (EIF) to supplement more significant injuries. When completed, the only remaining claims will be ineligible claims which should be remanded by the court, non-revised claims to be dismissed by the court under a tolling agreement, and claims to be remanded by the court as settlement opt-outs. The total amount of the Wright Medical metal-on-metal settlements is over $340 million.

Helen Zukin, Kiesel Law partner who serves in Plaintiffs’ leadership, stated, “It is important that our clients receive compensation and resolution of their claims against Wright medical. This settlement will allow them to move forward with their lives.”

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Daily Journal Awards Paul Kiesel: Top 100 Lawyers In California for 2017

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Paul Kiesel Featured in This Month's Issue of Attorney at Law Magazine

Click Here to Read Story

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Kiesel Law LLP Retained by the Villanueva Family After
Their Son Pedro was Shot and Killed by CHP Officers


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On the evening of July 3, 2016, Villanueva, a 19-year-old student, was shot to death by undercover officers with the California Highway Patrol in Fullerton, California. The officers also shot and injured passenger Francisco Orozco. The officers began following Villanueva’s vehicle because Villanueva had attended a sideshow, which is an informal gathering of young adults and their vehicles in parking lots.

 “The only basis the undercover officers had for following Villanueva was that he attended the sideshow”, said attorney Paul R. Kiesel, who represents the family. “At most, the officers could have issued a ticket”.   Instead, the CHP officers followed Pedro and Francisco for over five miles without once identify themselves to Villanueva as law enforcement, as they were driving an unmarked police car, wearing plain clothes (no police uniforms), and failed to engage their loud speaker or siren.  The undercover officers then followed Villanueva down a cul-de-sac and opened fire on Villanueva’s vehicle killing Villanueva and seriously injuring his passenger before identifying themselves as law enforcement.

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Passenger Francisco Orozco recalls the panic he and Pedro felt while being chased by the unidentified car.  “We were followed from the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet by a black car and chased. They never once used a siren, a loud speaker or provided any warning whatsoever before they started shooting. They never identified themselves as law enforcement until after they stopped shooting.”  Immediately after the shooting, the undercover officers did not provide C.P.R. or provide any other emergency medical care to Mr. Villanueva, instead waiting for paramedics to arrive. As a result, Pedro Villanueva died from his injuries.

“Villanueva and Orozco feared for their lives because they did not know who was chasing them,” Paul Kiesel said, adding that law enforcement has never been “so brazen in their exercise of deadly force.”

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“It wasn’t until the bullets stopped that the officers identified themselves as police,” Kiesel said. “They were unarmed. They had Fiji water in the center console.”  Villanueva’s parents have called for justice and answers about why their son was shot. Pedro, they said, was a “good boy.”   “We have no words,” said Villanueva’s brother, Armando, 21. “There’s nothing we can say.”   The brothers worked together at the family restaurant, Villanueva Mexican Grill, and had hoped to one day open a branch of their own.

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Kiesel Law LLP Wins California Supreme Court Victory
for Consumers of Organic foods

“To buyers and sellers alike, labels matter."

Today, the CA Supreme Court held that state law claims which alleged that produce distributed and sold by Herb Thyme was being intentionally mislabeled as organic is not preempted by federal law. The Court further stated that lawsuits alleging intentional mislabeling of organic produce promote, rather than hinder, Congress’s purposes and objectives. The class action filed by Kiesel Law LLP alleging false advertising and unfair competition, can now proceed.

Kiesel Law LLP is proud of this victory for consumers across California. If you believe that a company is misleading in its advertising, we would be interested in hearing about it.

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City of Los Angeles Files Lawsuit Against PricewaterhouseCoopers

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PricewaterhouseCoopers fraudulently misrepresented its ability to implement a new billing system for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in order to secure a $70-million municipal contract and subsequently failed to deliver, according to a civil lawsuit filed Friday by the city attorney’s office.  According to the city attorney’s complaint, PricewaterhouseCoopers “overstated its knowledge, expertise and skills necessary to convert” the existing system and launch a new software platform.

The alleged misrepresentation began after the L.A. utility issued a request for proposals in an effort to modernize its nearly 40 years old customer care and billing system.  As a result of PricewaterhouseCoopers’s lack of skills and experience to perform the work stipulated in the contract, the LADWP’s system was unable to properly tally service bills for tens of thousands of customers.

Kiesel Law LLP is acting as special counsel for the City of Los Angeles.

 

Click Here to See Document

 

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