Needham Kepner & Fish LLP are finalists for the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association’s 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award tonight in Santa Clara California.
Needham Kepner & Fish represented a man who was riding his bicycle to work and was struck by a vehicle that turned left through an intersection was controlled by a “keep clear” zone. Despite numerous attorneys turning down the case and having initial difficulty finding an expert, the firm persisted; we had visited the scene numerous times and were concerned that it presented a dangerous condition and were motivated to fight for the clients. The cyclist had suffered catastrophic injuries and required 24 hour care; his family was dedicated to providing him the best possible care. The firm pursued the case against the vehicle driver who unfortunately was inadequately insured and was also able to articulate a strong case against the driver’s employer even though he was driving to the jobsite when the collision occurred. Despite strong opposition and insurance coverage challenges, the firm succeed at achieving a significant settlement against the driver and his employer. The case continued against the public entity for the dangerous condition of public property. The public entity defended itself vigorously citing multiple immunities and filed a summary judgment motion seeking a dismissal from the Court. Needham Kepner & Fish prevailed and beat the motion. Unfortunately, our client died shortly thereafter and the case became a wrongful death suit on behalf of the cyclist’s wife and two adult children. After defeating the defendant’s motion to trifurcate the trial, it sought to break the trial into three phases: immunities, liability, and then damages, the firm was able to negotiate a significant settlement . This was not an easy case and legal and factual challenges were faced at every stage and with every defendant; but the attorneys of Needham Kepner & Fish worked as a team and persevered for what was best for their clients.