REDDING, Calif., Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A Shasta County, Calif. jury found the State of California responsible for life-changing injuries 62-year-old Stephen Murphy sustained after his pickup truck was rear-ended by a state prison bus in 2008.
After a three-week trial and seven hours of deliberations, the jury awarded $1.89 million to Murphy, a general contractor from Fall River Mills, Calif., who was totally disabled in the crash on Highway 299 about 30 miles east of Redding. A judgment was entered today by Superior Court Judge Cara Beatty. The state has agreed to pay the judgment and will not appeal.
Murphy, whose shoulder rotator cuffs were torn in the collision, lost the use of most of his upper body for construction work and his ability to provide for his family, and the capacity to hire and train new workers. The state hired experts to claim that Murphy had only strained his upper body and shoulders and should only be allowed three months of treatment.
Murphy is represented by attorney Russell Reiner of the Redding, Calif., law firm Reiner, Simpson & Slaughter LLP.
Reiner stated, "Before the crash, Mr. Murphy worked most days with his hands, arms, and shoulders to build custom homes in the Shasta County area. He was lauded by the Fall River Mills community for taking on inexperienced workers and turning them into highly skilled local craftsmen. This jury has sent a message that the State of California must be as accountable as it expects citizens to be."
Murphy stated, "This verdict allows me to rebuild my life, support my family and cover future medical treatment. I appreciated the guidance of Mr. Reiner and the law firm as we moved through the justice system. I also am thankful for the service of the jurors and the Court."
Reiner added, "Insurance companies, car manufacturers and the State routinely refuse to settle legitimate claims and expect us to take unacceptable settlements because of their perceptions of Shasta County juries. The truth is, Shasta County juries believe that people must take responsibility for their actions and there are consequences for those actions. This jury proved that point once again."
Murphy and Reiner also praised local orthopedic surgeons Dr. Paul Schwartz and Dr. Richard Cross and pain specialist Dr. Sabet. Schwartz, a shoulder specialist, performed multiple surgeries on Murphy. Dr. Cross, who devotes a significant amount of his practice to treating patients with shoulder injuries, served as an expert witness.
Reiner added, "These surgeons were willing to take time out of their busy schedules to come to court and testify and explain Mr. Murphy's extensive injuries and the requirements of his future medical care. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Cross believe it is their responsibility to stand up for what is right, even in litigation."
The case is "Stephen Michael Murphy v. State of California," Case No. 168931 in the Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Shasta. More information about the case can be found at http://norcallaw.com.
About Reiner, Simpson & Slaughter LLP
For more than 30 years, Reiner, Simpson & Slaughter LLP has helped victims of auto accidents, defective product injuries, boating accidents, and other catastrophic injuries in Shasta County. More information about the firm can be found at http://norcallaw.com.
About Russell Reiner
Recognized as one of the best personal injury attorneys in California, Russ is best known for his successful representation of 345 victims of unnecessary heart procedures in the Tenet Health Care cases several years ago. He first entered the national legal spotlight in 1984 when a jury awarded $3.9 million to the estate of an 18-year-old woman who died as the result of a Jeep CJ-5 Rollover.
Contact: Russell Reiner, Reiner, Simpson & Slaughter LLP, (530) 241-1905 or (530) 227-9276, email@example.com.
SOURCE Reiner, Simpson & Slaughter LLP