A mechanical equipment corporation facing an adverse jury verdict of $36.3 million retained CALG to take the lead in handling post-judgment motions and bringing an appeal. Against long odds, CALG’s Rex Heinke and Jessica Weisel, with trial counsel’s assistance, successfully persuaded the trial court to vacate the $36.3 million judgment and grant their motion for a new trial.

The suit alleged the wrongful death of a motorcyclist who passed away after hitting a truck. The jury found the motorcyclist was negligent, but did not specify whether it was for speeding or methamphetamine impairment. The jury decided that the motorcyclist’s negligence was not a substantial factor in his death, however, and awarded more than $18 million to each of his parents.

The trial court agreed with CALG’s post-judgment arguments. It found the weight of the evidence established that the motorcyclist’s speeding and methamphetamine use were substantial factors in causing his death and ordered a new trial on the issue of comparative negligence. It further concluded that the damages were excessive as a matter of law and may have been inflated by plaintiff counsel’s improper closing argument.

The case is Andrade v. Norman S. Wright Climatec, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. 19STCV10659.