Kathy’s 33 year-old, developmentally-disabled daughter lived in her own home with the assistance of caregivers employed by the Defendants. This case was a Wrongful Death and Abuse of a Dependent Adult action brought by the parents. Kathy’s daughter died after a brief struggle with her caregivers.
Defendants offered $200,000 six weeks before trial. The jury awarded $7,700,000; a San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge awarded an additional $1,507,270 in attorney’s fees and $2,105,155 in costs and interest for a total trial recovery of $11,062,385. In ruling on post-trial motions, the Superior Court Judge stated:
“Plaintiffs’ lead trial counsel (Mr.Murphy) has appeared before the Court on numerous occasions over a period of many years. His reputation for honesty is impeccable and, as discussed herein, his performance was outstanding!
Stated somewhat differently, the quality of representation provided by Plaintiffs’ counsel far exceeds the quality of representation that would have been provided by attorneys in San Luis Obispo, billing at the hourly rates used in the defense’s lodestar calculation. . . . In particular, attorney Murphy’s credentials establish him as a highly skilled, very experienced, exceptional plaintiff’s counsel.”