Daniel Kramer & Teresa Johnson | Louis Acosta v. MAS Realty, LLC et al. | $12.6 million verdict


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This week, your hosts Steve Lowry and Yvonne Godfrey interview Daniel Kramer and Teresa Johnson of Kramer Trial Law (https://www.kramerlaw.com/).

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Episode Details:

California trial lawyers Daniel Kramer and Teresa Johnson of Kramer Trial Law share how they secured justice in a major premises liability case that was one of the first in-person civil jury trials to be held in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kramer and Johnson represented Louis Acosta, a 40-year-old electrician who was severely injured on a job site at a strip mall in Riverside, California in 2016. Two years earlier, Athena Management, Inc. — the property management company that MAS Realty, LLC hired to oversee a shopping center they owned in Riverside — was told by roofing inspectors that a rooftop hatch was broken and the access ladder needed to be repaired in order to meet OSHA compliance requirements and to address safety concerns. The rooftop hatch was never repaired, so when Louis attempted to fix malfunctioning exterior lights, he opened the hatch — not realizing it was broken — and the 40-pound hatch door slammed down on his spine. Louis immediately felt his right side go numb. He continues to struggle with chronic pain and has endured numerous surgeries, resulting in hardware being placed in his spine, neck and lower back. Trial lawyers Daniel Kramer and Teresa Johnson countered the defendants' attempts to claim they were not notified in 2014 about the broken hatch and to blame the roofing inspector as well as Louis for his own injuries. In August 2021, a Los Angeles jury found defendants Athena Management, Inc. and MAS Realty, LLC negligent and responsible for Louis's injuries, awarding him $12,622,238.75 in total damages. The jury found that the property management company was 80% at fault and the property owner was 20% at fault, with no comparative fault for the plaintiff.

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Guest Bios:

Daniel Kramer

Daniel Kramer is a trial lawyer who specializes in representing families and individuals involved in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death matters, as well as employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits. Daniel has obtained numerous jury verdicts as lead counsel, all victories on behalf of his clients. Multiple verdicts have been featured in both The Daily Journal, Verdict Search, The Huffington Post, and Fox 11 News. Five verdicts were ranked as the top 50 verdicts in the state of California for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 by TopVerdict.com. Early in his career, Daniel tried one of the first cases in Los Angeles County history to embrace a controversial new law regarding the recoverability of health insurance payments in personal injury actions. In his first year with the firm, Daniel obtained a $3 million settlement on behalf of the family of a WWII veteran who was tragically killed when a truck owned by a large grocery store chain ran a red light and crushed their husband and father to death. In 2015, Daniel obtained a $1,237,500 settlement on the eve of trial on behalf of CalTrans worker who was severely injured in a freeway collision. In 2016, Daniel obtained a $1,420,000 settlement just before trial against a shopping center for failing to protect its customers when a vehicle jumped a curb severely injuring a mother and her two daughters. Also in 2016, Daniel obtained a $1,000,000 policy limits settlement on behalf of a family who lost their 87-year-old father and grandfather who fell down a poorly lit stairwell. In late 2016, Daniel obtained a $2,160,000 jury verdict against the City of Los Angeles in a slip and fall case. That verdict was selected as one of California’s Top 100 verdicts in 2016. In 2017, he obtained a $1,830,000 wrongful termination verdict and judgement on behalf of a minimum wage worker who was terminated because of his disability, where the jury awarded punitive damages. In 2018, Daniel received a $2,847,500 verdict against two large construction companies after his client fell in an open trench resulting in 3 broken ribs and permanent nerve damage. Last year, Daniel obtained an $850,000 verdict in a very difficult slip and fall trial where the client suffered a fractured knee cap.

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Teresa Johnson

Teresa is a trial lawyer practicing in the areas of plaintiff’s personal injury, wrongful death and employment litigation. Along with Dan Kramer, Teresa has second-chaired several trials, and has secured numerous six and seven figure verdicts and settlements for her clients. Since 2016, four of the verdicts have ranked among the top verdicts in the state of California by TopVerdict.com. As her clients’ legal representative during their most difficult times, Teresa is committed to zealously advocating for her clients from the moment the case is signed up and all the way through trial.

In 2018, Teresa graduated from the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA) Plaintiff Trial Academy, a rigorous six-week course designed to teach advanced trial skills. Teresa has also authored several articles on subjects such as cross-examination of expert witnesses and how to conduct jury selection in a premise liability case.

Prior to joining the firm, Teresa attended Loyola Law School, where she earned her Juris Doctorate in 2015. While at Loyola, Teresa gained experience as a judicial extern to the Honorable R. Gary Klausner in the United States District Court, Central District of California. Teresa was President of the Consumer Law Society, a student-run organization intended to educate other students on the role of the Plaintiff’s bar, and was also on the Editorial Board as the Chief Research Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review. In 2015 after graduating, Teresa completed a Fellowship sponsored by the American Board of Trial Advocates, a prominent organization comprised of trial lawyers throughout the nation.

Teresa is currently licensed to practice in California state courts and federal district courts in the Central District of California, and is an active member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Teresa was selected as a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers in 2020.

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Free Resources:

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 1

Stages Of A Jury Trial - Part 2

145 episodes