Eric and Colin Yuhl Obtain $3,081,000 For Injured Electrician
9. 6. 18

On October 5, 2015, subcontractor defendant Cross dug up an underground utility during excavation work on behalf of general contractor defendant PMC, breaking open the outer plastic conduit and exposing the interior lines. The Plaintiff, a 64 year-old electrician was asked by Cross to confirm the exposed utility was an abandoned (not live) low voltage communications line. After Plaintiff’s initial wand test was negative for power, he cut into the insulation of one of the lines intending to perform a second verification wire test. The line exploded blowing Plaintiff out of the trench. Even though both the subcontractor and general contractor both testified they believed it was a low voltage communications line, it turned out to be a 12,000 voltage SCE high power line.

Plaintiff received a settlement totaling $3.081 million. Read more about the case here

Eric and Colin Yuhl Obtain Final Approval of Class Action Against Mercedes-Benz
3. 8. 18

On March 5, 2018, Judge James V. Selna of the United States District Court granted a motion for  Final Approval of a class action settlement involving defective Mercedes-Benz seat heaters. Eric Yuhl and Colin Yuhl were approved as class counsel.  It is estimated that the settlement may generate up to $72 million in recovery for affected consumers. The class alleged that approximately 270,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles nationwide have defectively designed seat heaters that may smoke, spark, burn or catch fire while in use. The settlement provides a free repair for any affected vehicle, reimbursement for past repairs up to $1,000 for consumers that already experienced a seat heater failure, and automatic extended warranty coverage for seat heaters. The seat heater repair was specifically created by Mercedes as a direct result of this class action suit. Vehicles covered by the settlement include the M-Class, R-Class, and GL-Class SUV’s for model years 2000 – 2007. 

Eric and Colin Yuhl Obtain Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement for Defective Seat Heaters
9. 21. 17

On September 18, 2017, Judge James V. Selna of the United States District Court granted a motion for pre-approval of a class action settlement involving defective Mercedes-Benz seat heaters. Eric Yuhl and Colin Yuhl were approved as class counsel.  It is estimated that the settlement generated between $54 and $72 million in recovery for affected consumers. The class alleged that approximately 270,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles nationwide have defectively designed seat heaters that may smoke, spark, burn or catch fire while in use. The settlement provides a free repair for any affected vehicle, reimbursement for past repairs up to $1,000 for consumers that already experienced a seat heater failure, and automatic extended warranty coverage for seat heaters. The seat heater repair was specifically created by Mercedes as a direct result of this class action suit. Vehicles covered by the settlement include the M-Class, R-Class, and GL-Class SUV’s for model years 2000 – 2007. 

YUHL | CARR Sponsors Charity Event for Kids
3. 16. 17

YUHL | CARR LLP is proud to be a title sponsor of the Urban Compass charity event "A Supreme Evening." This fantastic event, taking place April 27, 2017 at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens, will be honoring Girardi Keese Lawyers and MUSE/IQE for their commitment to direct student support for Urban Compass kids.  Established in 2004, Urban Compass offers services to the youth and families of Los Angeles. Focusing on mentorship from local high school and college students, core academic support, and engaging enrichment activities, its after-school and summer programs for Kindergarten through 5th graders aim to help students navigate through elementary school, keeping them out of gangs and on a path to college and a hopeful future. Using a cohort model, Urban Compass works to support the same families through each of their crucial elementary school years to improve school attendance, family engagement, homework completion, reading and core academic performance, and create a solid foundation for a successful college pathway.  YUHL | CARR LLP is honored to be a title sponsor of the event.  To learn more about Urban Compass, visit its website.  For tickets and additional information about "A Supreme Evening," click here.

 
Eric and Colin Yuhl Obtain Preliminary Approval of $120 Million Class Action Settlement
2. 3. 17

Co-lead counsel for the class Eric F. Yuhl and Colin A. Yuhl recently obtained preliminary approval of a $120 million class action settlement involving false and misleading advertising by a food manufacturer that misrepresented its meat-substitute protein as being similar to a mushroom, when in fact it was a scientifically-engineered mold.  United States District Judge Molly Gee granted a motion for pre-approval of the settlement terms, which will provide a full refund to any consumer with an itemized receipt for the products purchased within the last five years.  Further, consumers without an itemized receipt but with proof of purchase for any store that carried the manufacturer’s products and who provide a statement that they purchased those products are eligible to receive up to $200 in reimbursement.  Finally, the manufacturer agreed to remove references to its products as being similar to mushrooms from its food labeling and website, and instead provide an accurate label on its products informing consumers of the true contents of its food.  The settlement does not contain any cap on the amount of refunds, but estimates of the class size indicate that the total value created for the class is approximately $120 million. Additional information on the terms of the settlement may be found here.

Georgia Federal Court Sets First Bellwether Trial Against Wright Medical For Defective Hip
9. 2. 16

On August 31, 2015, United States District Judge William S. Duffey Jr., issued a 123-page order in the first bellwether trial for the consolidated Multi-District Litigation alleging that the Wright Medical Conserve metal-on metal hip replacement devices are defective. Wright faces claims in over 2,000 cases now pending between the MDL in the Northern District of Georgia and the concurrent proceeding in Los Angeles Superior Court, JCCP 4710. Christopher P. Yuhl of YUHL CARR, LLP is a member of the leadership group of attorneys spear heading the litigation.

The Court denied Wright’s Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiff Robyn Christiansen’s claims for defective design, fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment and allowed punitive damages for this conduct to remain in the case. The court rejected Wright Medical’s claim that the Medical Device Amendment to the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act preempted the design defect claims. As to the specific device involved, the Conserve metal-on-metal total-hip device, the Court found that Wright’s decision not to submit the device via Pre-Market Approval “denied the FDA the opportunity to determine if the Conserve implant provided a ‘reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness,’ and denied the FDA the opportunity to scrutinize and evaluate the device…” Instead, the evidence demonstrated that Wright chose only to submit a 510(k) short form clearance application to the FDA. The Court further rejected Wright’s argument that Comment K to §402A of the Restatement of Torts should apply to bar the plaintiffs strict liability design-defect claims, citing evidence that the Conserve metal-on-metal hip device was not made as safely as it could have been and was not properly marketed.

 

Although the Court held that the implanting surgeon’s failure to read the package insert ruled out the defective warnings claims, it also concluded that the evidence demonstrated questions as to Wright Medical’s active misrepresentations to and concealment of material information from the implanting surgeon. Thus, whether Wright Medical acted fraudulently and whether such fraudulent conduct supports an award of punitive damages against Wright Medical remains a question for the jury.

The Court also denied the motion for summary judgment by parent company Wright Medical Group, Inc. which argued that it had no involvement with the Conserve metal-on-metal hip devices and thus the court lacked personal jurisdiction. The Court found this “no involvement” argument was based entirely on a hearsay declaration by Wright Medical representative Debbie Daurer that failed to present competent, admissible evidence based on personal knowledge. The Court found the submission of Ms. Daurer’s under-oath declaration to be “troubling.” It concluded that Wright Medical Group’s SEC filings and other documents detailed Wright Medical Group’s involvement with the Conserve metal-on-metal hip device and that the personal-jurisdiction argument was untimely.

 

As to the multiple Daubert motions directed at Plaintiff’s experts, , the Court found on the whole that the expert evidence proffered by the Plaintiff, including her treating physician, another expert orthopedic surgeon, a pathologist, a biomedical engineer, a mechanical engineer, and a regulatory expert were reliable and could be considered by the jury. The Court excluded limited opinions and minor experts in the areas of toxicology, biostatistics and wear-volume calculation only.

Lead Plaintiff’s MDL Counsel Mike McGlamry, of Pope McGlamry, P.C. stated: “Overall, we are very pleased with the Court’s thorough and timely opinion which allows us to move ahead with the trial. Ms. Christiansen looks forward to presenting her case to a jury now that we know Plaintiffs’ claims against the Wright Medical defendants will be considered by the Court.”

Jury Awards Record $11 Million in First Bellwether Conserve Hip Implant Trial
11. 25. 15

ATLANTA, GA – A verdict in favor of plaintiff for $11million was handed down by the jury on November 24, 2015 against Wright Medical Technology Inc. for injuries caused by the failure of defendant’s Conserve Hip Implant System. United States District Judge William S. Duffey, Jr., accepted the verdict after a two week trial. The trial team earning the record judgment were all part of the leadership group designated to both the Federal Multi-District Litigation and the California Joint Coordinated Case Proceeding pursuing nearly 2000 claims against Wright for injuries from the devices.

 

Christopher P. Yuhl of YUHL | CARR, LLP a member of the plaintiff’s national leadership group, was one of several lawyers who prepared the case and participated in the Atlanta trial which resulted in what appears to be a precedent setting award of punitive damages against a hip manufacturer for a similar device.

 

Despite tireless efforts to settle the litigation by global settlement beginning in May 2014, which was followed by 4 mediations over a 6 month period in Philadelphia, and a continuance by Judge Duffey of the original March 2015 trial date, the litigation could not be resolved. By August, without a resolution in sight, the court ruled on the dispositive motions and set the matter for Trial on November 9, 2015.

 

“The plaintiffs steering committee worked extremely hard over the past 2 years to get the cases settled so our injured folks could move on with their lives but it clearly was not something that could happen without a jury verdict. So, the lawyers and staff from our leadership firms simply put our collectively heads down and pushed ahead through many travel miles and hard-fought days to bring this first case to a jury. I am really proud of the talent in our trial team who dedicated themselves to this cause – it remains a sincere privilege to work with them all.”

 

The second bellwether trial is slated to begin in March 2016 before the honorable Jane Johnson in Los Angeles Superior Court.

$20,000 DONATION TO FUND ART PROGRAM AND FIELD TRIP FOR 1,400 CHILDREN
7. 15. 14

Christopher P. Yuhl, Yuhl | Carr partner and TheLA25 philanthropy group member, was honored to participate in the delivery of a $20,000 check to the Redondo Beach Education Foundation as part of the TheLA25 Foundation’s ART 90266 event held at the Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach on April 24, 2014. The event, now in its third successful year, brought 250 guests and artists together for a live auction of more than 35 fantastic art pieces donated by well know local artists and collectors – painters, photographers. and sculptors. The money raised will fill the gap in funding cutbacks in the arts so that more south bay school children can continue to explore their artistic talents and expand intellectual aptitude. Several hundred school children will have new art supplies, and art teachers will keep art classrooms vibrant. The funding culminates in a wonderful field trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for 1400 students! As ART90266 continues to grow each year, The LA25 Foundation is working toward establishing an “Artist in Residency Program” so that professional artists can work first hand in the classroom, further enhancing the overall benefit of art education for school children all across Los Angeles County.

TheLA25 Foundation retained the talents of Hollywood Shorts Film Company to record the auction, then follow teachers and students over the course of the year, filming the experience and impact of the ART90266 donation. The film documents the kids as they learn art history in the classroom, their bright faces as they discover hidden talents, and the excitement of touring the art museum, connecting their classroom learning with famous pieces and artists they know well. The interactive experience from classroom to museum is a priceless experience for the teachers, children and parents. This documentary, entitled “Room 19”, had its premiere in April 2014 and has been invited to air in several children’s film festivals across the US and Europe. The real impact of TheLA25 Foundations’ work to raise money comes to life in this film – the short can be viewed here.

Yuhl | Carr is very proud of Chris’ work with LA25 and how it continues to represent the firm’s philosophy and our belief in giving back to the community in ways that can have an immediate positive impact on our future leaders– the children.