The Daily Journal selected the March 2018 Goodell DeVries defense verdict in favor of Crown Equipment Corporation as one of the top ten verdicts in California in 2018.
Goodell DeVries attorneys Thomas J. Cullen, Jr. and Kali Enyeart Book defended Crown, a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment, in a lawsuit brought by a plaintiff who alleged serious injuries after he suffered a heel amputation while operating a Crown stand-up rider forklift. The plaintiff presented theories of negligent maintenance and design defect and sought $3 million in damages, proceeding under California’s consumer expectation design defect theory. After a two-week trial in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Eastern Division, before Judge Jesus G. Bernal, Goodell DeVries obtained a unanimous defense verdict. The jury deliberated for less than 45 minutes.
A key to the verdict was the discovery of plaintiff’s Facebook posts, which he had made under an alias and which contradicted many of plaintiff’s damage claims. Mr. Cullen successfully confronted plaintiff with the posts during cross-examination.
See Linares v. Crown Equipment Corporation, 16-CV01637 (C.D. Cal., filed July 27, 2016).