Three Cases Listed in The Recorder’s Top Settlements of 2015
In a record-breaking year, three of Partner Matthew McNicholas’ cases were selected for inclusion on the 2015 list of “California’s Million Dollar Verdicts” including a premise liability settlement for $10 million and two employment settlements for $1.1 and $1.5 million. All three settlements all made The Recorder’s list of the highest settlements in California in their respective categories.
The $10-million-verdict lead poisoning case (Nolan v. State of California, Department of Transportation) is The Recorder’s fourth highest premise liability award. The case involved a young child with lead poisoning from old paint in a home rented from Caltrans, which ultimately caused permanent brain damage and rendered him unable to form words.
Shoemaker v. City of Los Angeles was named the second highest employment award at $1.5 million. After severely injuring his left knee at work, the Los Angeles Police Department failed to properly determine and accommodate Jeffrey Shoemaker’s work restrictions. The nine-year veteran was assigned to the training division as a firearms instructor and his injuries were exacerbated. When Shoemaker expressed his opposition to the department’s practices, he was harassed and retaliated against.
Podesta v. City of Los Angeles’ $1.1 million settlement was named the third highest employment award. Podesta, a 20-year LAPD veteran, was retaliated against after complaining that a new captain actively sought to promote racial minorities and moved him out because he was white. The retaliation and negative employment actions caused damage to Podesta’s professional reputation and prevented him from being selected for other units.