Representative Cases

Rosen v. Kerr Corporation;
Defense Jury Verdict For Manufacturer and Distributor of Dental Products

Oium Reyen & Pryor  represents Kerr Corporation, a manufacturer and distributor of dental products. The Rosen case was a wrongful death claim brought by the heirs of Dr. Sherwin Rosen. Plaintiffs alleged that Dr. Rosen, a 59-year old former dentist, died of mesothelioma caused by exposure to an asbestos tape distributed by Kerr Corporation. Plaintiffs claimed that Dr. Rosen used the tape while he was a dental student at the University of California in San Francisco between 1958 and 1962. Plaintiffs settled out with numerous other asbestos defendants prior to trial and focused on trying the case against Kerr and the University.

Keith Reyen and Frank Petrek, an attorney with Bollinger, Ruberry and Garvey in Chicago, tried the case on behalf of Kerr. The case was tried in Alameda Superior Court in Oakland over a four-week period. Cross-examination of some of the most frequently used plaintiffs’ experts actually aided the defense and ultimately led to a defense verdict.

KONE Inc. vs. Kaiser Permanente;
Large Monetary Settlement Obtained For Manufacturer of Escalators and Elevators

The firm represents KONE Inc., an international manufacturer of escalators and elevators, in its personal injury and commercial cases throughout Northern California.  This case involved the breach of KONE’s maintenance contract by Kaiser Permanente.  The contract called for KONE to provide maintenance and repair services to 24 elevators and escalators located at Kaiser’s Oakland-based hospital.  The contract was entered into in 1989 and contained an Evergreen Clause, which renewed the contract for a five-year term unless one of the parties gave notice to terminate it.

Kaiser renewed the contract without comment in 2004, but three months later Kaiser unilaterally breached the contract and terminated it, claiming that KONE was not adequately providing services as called for under the contract.  KONE initiated arbitration pursuant to the contract.  Prior to binding arbitration, the parties entered into an early mediation and KONE obtained a mid six-figure settlement from Kaiser.

Masterson, et al. vs. Simons & Brecht;
Victory For Developer and Landlord of Commercial Property

Oium Reyen & Pryor represented the developer and landlord of a commercial property in Santa Rosa, California.  Twenty individuals who worked in the building filed a “sick building” claim, asserting that the ventilation in the building caused a variety of health complaints.  Plaintiffs alleged the defendants were negligent and strictly liable for their injuries.

Oium Reyen & Pryor investigated each of the plaintiffs’ medical claims, took the deposition of each plaintiff and coordinated numerous expert evaluations by toxicologists, industrial hygienists, and HVAC specialists.  As a result of the aggressive investigative strategy, we obtained a complete dismissal of each plaintiff’s claims.

In addition we recouped most of the defense costs incurred by aggressively pursuing a cross-complaint for breach of contract, breach of insurance agreements, and indemnity against plaintiffs’ employer its insurers.

Hines v. Dr. K.;
Successful Defense of Novel Claims Against Psychiatrist

A 90-year old patient refused to return to her home after discharge from the hospital, because she claimed that her home had been consumed by noxious sewer fumes.  She was evaluated by our client, a psychiatrist, who concluded the patient suffered from a fixed paranoid delusion and was unable to manage her affairs.  The patient brought an action against our client for Elder Abuse, Fraud, and Violation of the California Confidential Medical Information Act (CMIA).  Plaintiff claimed that our client obtained confidential information under false pretenses and disclosed this information without her consent, thereby resulting in the imposition of a conservatorship and its attendant expenses.

Virgil Pryor was successful in eliminating the elder abuse and fraud causes of action. Confident that we would prevail before a jury as to the alleged CMIA violation, we rejected all settlement demands and pressed forward.  After several months, we persuaded the patient’s attorney to dismiss all claims against the psychiatrist.

McFarland v. Dr. S;
Successful Defense Of Claims Against Radiologist

A patient who underwent gastric bypass surgery claimed that our client, a radiologist, failed to diagnose a bowel injury and led to a delay in surgical intervention. Following exploratory surgery, the patient developed near-fatal complications, including bowel perforation and burns over most of her body as a result of a reaction to medication.  The patient, represented by attorneys involved in a landmark Elder Abuse case, contended that the hospital and the defendant physicians had committed medical negligence, elder abuse, and had conspired to defraud her.  In connection with her allegations, plaintiff exposed our client’s personal assets by seeking to recover punitive damages. After Virgil Pryor successfully thwarted plaintiffs’ allegation of intentional conduct and attempt to recover punitive damages, we rejected settlement demands and prepared for trial.  Plaintiff elected to dismiss all claims against our client.

Goerner v. Kone, Inc.;
Successful Defense of Incomplete Paraplegia Elevator Accident

An 80 year old receptionist tripped and fell while entering an elevator in a downtown San Francisco office building. The plaintiff sustained major injuries to her spinal cord requiring cervical fusion surgery, extended hospitalization, and lifelong attendant care. She sued our client, the elevator maintenance contractor, and the owner and manager of the building.

Mark Oium worked with the building owner and manager to form a cooperative defense.  At mediation, he convinced the co-defendants to pay the entire settlement with the plaintiff and to also reimburse Kone for its defense costs.

Williams v. Cardon, MD;
Jury Verdict for Hand Surgeon

Plaintiff developed a painful ganglion cyst in her left wrist and sought the services of our client, a hand surgeon.  The surgery was successful, but following the procedure plaintiff developed a disruption of one of her tendons and could not fully move her left index finger.  Our client reoperated on the plaintiff and repaired the extensor tendon with a transplanted tendon from the plaintiff’s pinky finger.  At trial, plaintiff claimed that our client negligently performed the initial surgery.

Mark Oium tried the case, explaining to the jury that plaintiff’s injury was a result of a recognized surgical complication and not the result of negligence.  The jury agreed, and a defense verdict was entered in our client’s favor.

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