Case Conclusion Date: November 10, 2010
Practice Area: Civil Rights
Outcome: 1.735 Million Dollar Jury Verdict
Description: The following is a verdict summary of Castaneda v. State of California, which is a companion case to Hui v. Castaneda, 130 S.Ct. 1845 (2010), argued by Mr. Doyle before the Supreme Court this past March. On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, a Los Angeles jury returned a 1.735 million dollar verdict. Style: Yanira Castaneda, as personal representative of the Estate of Francisco Castaneda; Vanessa Castaneda, as heir and beneficiary of the Estate, by and through her guardian ad litem, Lucia Pelayo vs. State of California Facts: It is a wrongful death claim brought by the 17 year old daughter of Francisco Castaneda, an immigration detainee who had his penis amputated and died of penile cancer because State and Federal officials refused him a urology consult and biopsy despite the documented presence of a large fungating penile lesion while he was in their custody. Mr. Castaneda was detained in State custody from December 5, 2005 until March 27, 2006 and then transferred to federal immigration custody on March 28, 2006 until his release from federal custody on February 5, 2007. This case sought to hold the State responsible for its conduct during its four month detention of Mr. Castaneda. Plaintiffs counsel: Conal Doyle was lead trial counsel. Defense Counsel: Mark Santa Romana and Richard Rojo, California Attorney General's Office, Los Angeles. Pre-trial offer by defense: $10,000. Pre-trial Demand: $1,800,000. Trial Demand: $1,500,000 in non-economic damages, and $235,557 in past medical bills. Verdict: $1,735,557. Jury gave exact amount we requested after deliberating for less than four hours. No comparative fault or reduction due to MICRA. Venue: Los Angeles County Superior Court, Norwalk Division; Case No: VC050229. A very conservative working class jurisdiction. Judge: Thomas McKnew.