Winston Hayes was shot at 120 times in Compton at the conclusion of a car chase. See details at Insider Exclusive video with Steve Murphy, on You Tube, or Blip TV. We achieved a historic verdict March 7, 2008 in Compton which made headlines internationally.
The case was a civil rights case alleging excessive force by the Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff's Department, the largest police agency in the United States.
In 1995, I achieved another stunning and historic verdict in civil rights with my partner Garo Mardirossian, the largest civil rights verdict in United States history in another case against the L.A. County Deputy Sheriffs, a ten-year battle. In that case I took most of the depositoons, wrote the complaint, and fought side by side with the lawyers in a battle arising from a Samoan bridal shower at the Dole home in Cerritos, California. The verdict was over $18,000,000. After appeals, it rose to over $25,000,000.
The Winston Hayes case will change police practices in our area and make this a safer State, and hopefully have National effect.
We can change the world and make it a safer place, one verdict at a time.
Gozukara v. Ford Motor Company, et al.
Defective and dangerous products
Feb 09, 2002
This historic case was the first verdict in American history where a jury in Barstow, after a four-month trial, found the Ford Explorer to be defective in rollover propensity. We were the first to take on Ford Motor Company over the most profitable and prolific vehicle in U.S. history.
The Ford Explorer was extremely dangerous. It was known to flip with a quick turn of the wheel. Ford made a conscious choice to market and sell this vehicle to families, at 40% profit margin.
We worked for years to uncover the truth. I took historic depositions and fought with two of the greatest lawyers I know, Garo and Charlie, to prove this vehicle was defective by design. We were featured in The Los Angeles Daily Jounral for our efforts, and made international headlines for this achievement.
I am proud to be a pioneer and leader in product liability law. I am one of a select group of lawyers in California nominated and awarded the honor of being a Super Lawyer (Los Angeles Magazine) in the field of Products Liability, 2006, 2007, 2008.
I am very well-known to the major automobile lawyers and companies (Ford, GM, Daimler-Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, etc.) and the tire companies (Bridgestone/Firestone).
I was also a major part, again with Garo and Charlie, in achieving the largest settlement arising from the scandal that arose between the SUV's and tire companies in the early 21st century.
I continue to fight for auto safety and for the safety of children and the elderly in vehicles. There is simpy no excuse for putting profits ahead of safety in roofs, occupant restraint, and stability decisions. Until vehciles are made safe, I will fight. I must.
Melinda Williams v. WIlliam McLaughlin
Jun 22, 2006
This car crash case was given to me to take to trial by my good friend and ace trial lawyer, C. Michael Alder, a week before trial. I achieved a verdict more than 100 times what the experienced defense lawyer told the jury to pay. He bragged on his website that he had not lost a trial in 13 years. the streak ended in Los Angeles in June, 2006.
Melinda Williams had a mild traumatic brain injury. They claimed she just had whiplash from being hit on the side, and her claims were invented by prior lawyers, a typical and cynical defense ploy.
The jury believed us. Now, Melinda lives in Georgia and I was able to change her life. I'm very grateful that the first trial I did in my new practice in 2006 before joining the Cochran Firm as a partner was a verdict more than 100 times what Mercury Insurance's lawyers told the jury to pay.
I proved her injury with the help of family, co-workers, her pastor, a neurologist, and a neuropsychologist. I have studied traumatic brain injury for two decades and I believe this silent epidemic is under-represented and needs special legal attention. I bring that to my cases.
Jeff McCardle v. Greyhound
Jeff McCardle was on a bus which stopped quickly in the rain at 2 m.p.h.
He suffered whiplash.
Jeff had bad medical care and suffered quadriplegia when the surgeon did a poor neck surgery. Greyhound argued they were not responsible for anything more than a few thousand dollars of care. With Garo, I fought vigorously for Jeff and achived a verdict so stunning, it literally blew the minds of fellow lawyers throughout the region. We did this through effective jury selection, meticulous trial presentation, and the love we had for Jeff and his family, which the jury rewarded through a truly just verdict. We did this trial right after Gozukara. I will try case after case if need be.
This case and this client had a special place in my heart.
This was an insurance bad faith case which settled on the eve of trial in Federal Court. I was able to bring Farmers Insurance to their knees by proving they took advantage of a good man after the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake. His house was damaged but they would not pay to fix it properly. they acted in bad faith. I took depositions, conducted discovery, and handled the negotiations until they finally realized they needed to get this resolved. The case is now an important part of insurance bad faith law in this field.
Mindy Staples v. GE Insurance
Mar 10, 1999
Mindy was a widow. Her husband drank himself to death. She had two children, a mortgage, and needed the life insurance policy. They pushed her around and denied coverage. I fought across America, Virginia, Oklahoma, and back to gather the proof they were wrong. In the end, they had to pay.
Joel Mark v. Traveling Carnivals
Joel was injured while riding a ferris wheel when a piece of metal smacked him in the head and caused terrible trauma to his brain. Others would look at the same case and think he quickly fully recovered. We proved otherwise. I was the lead lawyer.
Jorge Lara v. Care Center
Jorge was a developmentally disable person who went on a trip with a group home to a lake in the Los Angeles area. They took their eyes off him and he drowned. Because of my bulldog approach to the litigation and good relationship with defense counsel built over years of trust and experience in litigation and trial, we achieved a wonderful settlement for his mother.
Galen Ball v. City of Long Beach
This was a civil rights case I cut my teeth on in this area. I took dozens of depostions, visited the scene repeatedly, and flew all over California pursuing justice for Galen. Shortly before trial in Federal Court, the case settled. He had a traumatic brain injury.