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WSHB Wins Defense Verdict for Shopping Center Owner Property Manager

August 24, 2012

(Orange County, CA) In a contentious personal injury jury trial in Orange County Superior  Court, a 12 person jury returned a verdict for a defendant shopping center owner and property manager in a personal injury action filed by Robin Agers, an employee of the Regency Movie Theater in Laguna Niguel that was struck by a vehicle driven by a movie theater patron and out-of-state driver, who settled out of the lawsuit before the trial began. Plaintiff was represented by Chris Purcell of Santa Ana. Defendants were represented by Greg Amundson and Yvette Dumas Kohan of Wood Smith Henning & Berman’s Newport Beach office.

The jury trial lasted five weeks and included complex facts and legal issues related to the design and maintenance of Rancho Niguel Road, a private road that divides two portions of the Center at Rancho Niguel shopping center on Greenfield Drive. Plaintiff contended that automobile and pedestrian traffic on the roadway was not properly controlled and was therefore a dangerous condition. The jury found the owner of the roadway was not negligent and the condition of the roadway did not cause the accident.

Plaintiff asked the jury to award her over $13.5 million in damages. Plaintiff previously rejected defendants’ pretrial offers to compromise pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure section 998. Defendants plan to recover all costs incurred in the defense of this lawsuit, including expert witness fees.

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