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Governmental Liability

We have a longstanding practice representing governmental entities, including counties, cities, law enforcement agencies, departments of children and family services, departments of public works, probation departments, public medical facilities, departments of public health, school districts, and their respective employees in litigation of all types.  These matters have arisen from allegations of abuse and neglect, negligent supervision, automobile collisions, and dangerous conditions of public property resulting in alleged slip, trip and fall incidents, and road design matters.

Because we routinely represent government entities in such matters, we are well versed in the Government/Tort Claims Act and the immunities applicable to public entities.  Our aggressive approach to defending such cases has consistently led to defense verdicts, dismissals, summary judgments, and nominal settlements. 

Illustrative Cases

  • Defense verdict in a case where the plaintiff-a student claims that on his way to lunch, he climbed a tree causing a branch to break off and fell as a result.  Plaintiff hit the back of his head on the raised concrete border surrounding the planter box.  As a result, he alleged he sustained severe and permanent injuries, including a traumatic brain injury that required lifelong care.  We represented the school defendant at trial.  After an hour and a half of deliberations, the jury returned a defense verdict, finding that there was no evidence any employee was negligent and that the property in question did not constitute a dangerous condition of public property.  

  • Summary judgment granted in a case where plaintiff claimed he sustained severe injuries after he tripped and fell over a hole while playing soccer on a field owned by our public entity client.  Plaintiff alleged that the hole constituted a dangerous condition of public property under Government Code § 835.  We moved for summary judgment pursuant to Government Code § 831.7 immunizing a public entity from allegations of dangerous condition of public property where a plaintiff is injured while engaged in a hazardous recreational activity.  The Court found that soccer is a hazardous recreational activity and granted our motion, disposing of the case.  

  • Summary judgment in favor of municipal client in case alleging the design of a road constituted a dangerous condition of public property in a motor vehicle collision.  Our motion for summary judgment based on various statutory immunities were granted, and affirmed on appeal.  We also handled the appeal.  

  • Summary judgment granted in a case based on statutory immunity where the plaintiff sustained injuries when he fell into a trophy case while playing basketball at a recreational facility owned and operated by a public entity.  

  • Dismissal of a county and district attorney's office where the plaintiff alleged claims for false imprisonment and negligence arising out of the alleged misconduct of the prosecutor in a criminal case against the plaintiff.  Our demurrer based on statutory immunities and the statute of limitations (including timely compliance with the Government Claims process) was sustained without leave to amend.  Plaintiff's appeal similarly failed.  

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