$20,000,000 Verdict - Confidential settlement reached in 2006
In December 2005, I won a 20-million-dollar verdict for Guillermina Leyva, an injured factory worker in Philadelphia County. That product liability verdict was the largest personal injury verdict in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for that year and the 88th largest verdict in the entire nation. The National Law Journal named the verdict one of the top 100 verdicts of 2005. Our research indicates that at thirty-six (36) years of age, I became the youngest attorney in the history of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to win a verdict of that size. In this case, Ms. Leyva, a 24 year old immigrant mother of three from Mexico, was operating a auto part cleaning machine when her arm was crushed by a forklift driver who accidentally turned the wrong way while passing her work station. Ms. Leyva's machine was designed to be fed dirty auto parts via forklift.
Despite the fact the machine was using was intended to be used in conjunction with forklifts and around forklift traffic, Ms. Leyva's machine had been designed in such a way that it offered no protection to her while she was operating the machine. Other similar machines in the factory had been modified to eliminate the possibility that a forklift could come into contact with the operator of the machine through the repositioning of the control panel and by placing steel guarding around the control panel. Ms. Leyva suffered horrible crush injuries, multiple surgeries, skin grafts, unsightly and significant disfigurement and scarring. Prior to the accident she was an accomplished seamstress and championship point guard.
This case is a prime example of how creative thinking and dogged persistence can result in a life-changing event. Ms. Leyva's lawsuit began with a devastating work injury, that other lawyers thought was only a simple worker's compensation case. However, because we are experienced and creative trial attorneys we worked hard to secure her a verdict that would compensate for her injuries, Ms. Leyva settlement will take care of her and her family for the rest of her life. She has moved back to Mexico.