Over the years, the personal injury lawyers at HHJ Trial Attorneys have worked tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive the financial compensation that they deserve. When you work with our team, you have the peace of mind of knowing that you have the very best when it comes to legal representation in San Diego. Our commitment to our clients goes beyond just securing compensation; we are dedicated to providing compassionate and personalized support during what can be a challenging time in your life.
Our experienced team of attorneys understands the physical, emotional, and financial toll that accidents and injuries can take on individuals and their families. We are here to guide you through every step of the legal process, from the initial consultation to the resolution of your case. Our track record of successful outcomes in personal injury cases is a testament to our dedication and expertise.
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we recognize that every case is unique, and we approach each one with a tailored strategy to achieve the best possible result for our clients. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, a slip and fall incident, a workplace accident, or any other type of personal injury situation, we have the knowledge and resources to advocate for your rights vigorously.
VERDICT AMOUNT: $50,000.00
It was a sunny summer San Diego afternoon. Enrique was driving to the Del Mar fair to start work. Enrique pulls off the freeway and slowly comes to a stop at the signal. BAM! Enrique felt pain shooting up his back. He realizes that he was rear-ended. He asked a prominent local figure in San Diego if he knew anyone that could help him. Lucky for Enrique, he was referred to HHJ.
Elliott was assigned to the case and sent off a demand letter to the insurance company. The insurance responded only offering $15,000.00 because they said Enrique’s pain was caused by pre-existing injuries. Elliott told Enrique that he should not take that offer and explained that he is entitled to compensation for pain that was made worse by the collision. Elliott filed a lawsuit and started taking depositions. The defense attorney called Elliott and said they will pay his client the max policy of $50,000.00. Enrique was thrilled. He said he didn’t know attorneys like this existed in the personal injury field and he thought we were going to tell him to take the $15,000.00 so we can move on to the next case.
VERDICT AMOUNT: $1.75 Million
Claire was 24 years old at the time. She had just graduated college at the top of her class and was trying to figure out what to do with her life. Claire was always smiling. Her friends said she was always so positive and she was like sunshine every time she was around. But unfortunately for her, she was suffering from anxiety, depression and boundary issues caused from sexual trauma from someone at her college. Claire started going to PsyCare for help.
Claire was assigned to a therapist named Rodrigo. Rodrigo was great. He seemed polite and understanding. Claire felt comfortable sharing everything with him. At some point Rodrigo started taking a different approach that Claire was not used to. He would do role playing scenarios where he was her boyfriend while they were on a date. He would ask her about her sexual relationships and how often she masturbated. Claire thought this was a part of treatment. Eventually he told Claire that many of his clients are attracted to him and he asked her if she was too. Claire said she was but she would never act on it. In the last session, Rodrigo asked Claire if she would have a sexual relationship with him. She was conflicted but said yes. After they met up, he never talked to her again.
Claire came to us for help in late 2019. We immediately filed a lawsuit against Rodrigo and PsyCare. In mediation, PsyCare said they were not offering a dollar because they didn’t do anything wrong. We told the mediator to release them from the mediation in the first 10 minutes. Rodrigo’s attorney said that his insurance does not cover sexual acts and they will not pay anything. We told him that they have a duty to defend and they can either settle it now for $250,000.00 or we will see him at trial where he will be spending a lot more on attorney fees and costs. They gave us the $250,000.00.
We then set our sites on PsyCare. During the discovery process, we learned that Rodrigo had a prior complaint for making sexually inappropriate comments to a female patient 6 months earlier. Defense sent us a 998 offer for zero dollars and a plan to file malicious prosecution/slander charges against us after they win. The defense attorney told us several times that she had been doing medical malpractice for 16 years and we have no case. She said she would lose patience with the way we conducted discovery but had to keep reminding herself that this was our first med-mal case. Defense sent us another 998 the week before trial with a reminder that this was the last opportunity we had to dismiss this case or they were going to go after our client for costs when they win.
Michael and Elliott started trial on July 5th in downtown San Diego. They had a strategy of what type of jurors they needed based off of several focus groups. They left 2 attorneys and a law student on the panel. They called PsyCare’s owner as their first witness. Elliott destroyed her. We used her as the villain of our case with a sub-theme that she was more concerned about money than her patient’s safety. Defense went with the strategy that it was a consensual relationship that Rodrigo and Claire chose to have as adults and they couldn’t have prevented it. We went into every detail about the grooming and the therapist, who was the person that was supposed to help, took advantage and manipulated one of the most vulnerable people in our society. We pointed out that he was on probation for making sexually inappropriate comments to another female and they chose to keep him on and take the risk.
In closing argument, Michael asked the jury for 1.25 million dollars. After a day of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict of 1.75 million dollars. This was the second highest medical malpractice verdict in San Diego history.