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CONTRACTS Maker of failed blades liable for cost of repairs A Miami jet plane maintenance company on Aug. 12 won $837,641 on a cost-of-repair claim against a San Antonio company that had certified two sets of turbine engine blades as properly functioning, but which failed after being installed on aircraft. The plaintiff also won a default judgment against a Los Angeles re-seller. M & M Aircraft Services had bought the blades from Aviation Distributors Inc. of L.A., which obtained them from San Antonio’s EC Technologies Inc. M & M sued EC and Aviation Distributors, claiming that they misrepresented the product. Aviation Distributors defaulted and EC claimed lack of privity. Both were found liable. American Distributors is no longer in existence, leaving EC Technologies liable for the entire amount. M & M Aircraft Services Inc. v. EC Technologies Inc., No. 97-28611-ca-06 (Duval Co., Fla., Cir. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Dirk Lorenzen, Caruana & Lorenzen, Miami DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: William Burd and John McPhee, Tew Cardenas Rebak Kellogg Lehman DeMaria Tague Raymond & Levine, Miami CONVERSION Attorney and paralegal hit with theft verdict A Pensacola, Fla., attorney and his paralegal, both of whom had served time for stealing from elderly clients, were found by a Florida civil jury on July 31 to have stolen $136,567 from Theodore and Virginia Kast, and were ordered to pay more than $2 million in damages, including $300,000 in punitives. Attorney Jon Searcy set up an irrevocable trust with the plaintiffs’ life savings, naming his paralegal, Debra Sellars, trustee. Searcy and Sellars then spent all the money on artwork and gambling. The plaintiffs sued for conversion, misleading advertising (Searcy had held himself out as a friend of the elderly) and violation of the state’s Exploitation of Elderly statute. Searcy represented himself at trial and blamed Sellars, who was unrepresented and failed to appear at trial. Kast v. Searcy, No. 98-0259-CA-01 (Escambia Co., Fla., Cir. Ct.). PLAINTIFFS’ ATTORNEY: Lisa Minshew, Pensacola, Fla. DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Jon Searcy, pro se EMPLOYMENT Replaced while on leave, 55-year-old wins award A man who was terminated while on medical leave and replaced by younger workers was awarded $298,678 by a Washington jury on Aug. 4. Langdon Johnson, a 55-year-old director at the Washington Convention Center (WCC), was terminated by supervisor Lewis Dawlie, ostensibly because his position was being eliminated. Johnson claimed that after he was terminated, the WCC hired two less experienced and younger women to replace him. He claimed that they performed the same duties for $3,000 a year more. Johnson sued the WCC and Dawlie for age discrimination and violation of the district’s Family Medical Leave Act. Johnson v. Washington Convention Center Authority, No. 01-ca-004677 (D.C. Super. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Amy Goldson, Law Office of Amy Goldson, Washington DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Dwight Murray, Washington WRONGFUL DEATH $2.7 million for broken hemodialysis catheter The family of a woman who bled to death after her hemodialysis catheter broke settled for $2.7 million on Aug. 8. Francisca Guevara, 76, was found dead, lying in a pool of blood. Her family sued Medical Components Inc. and Angiodynamics Inc., the manufacturer and distributor, respectively, of the catheter, for wrongful death and products liability, alleging that the manufacturer’s internal documents showed that the catheter became brittle and subject to breakage when in contact with Betadine, a common antiseptic. Claims that the staff of Corpus Christi Medical Center reacted negligently to the emergency settled for $300,000. Guevara v. Columbia Medical, No. 003373A (Nueces Co., Texas, Dist. Ct.). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEYS: William Edwards, Jo Emma Arechiga and Angelina Beltran, Edwards Law Firm, Corpus Christi, Texas DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: John Scully and Kevin Oliver, Cooper & Scully, Dallas; Alfred Monte Jr., Monte & McGraw, Skippack, Pa.; Dina Sforza, Porzio, Brombert & Newman, Morristown, N.J.; James Williams, Baily & Williams, Dallas Civil decision for mother of disappeared babysitter A federal judge on Aug. 4 awarded the mother of a girl allegedly killed while babysitting $3 million. Jonnie Renee White, 16, went with Ronald Tennison and Sharon Raikoglo on a camping trip to look after Raikoglo’s child. Tennison claimed that he and White went off to search for wood, but ended up getting stuck on the beach and had to sleep in his truck. When Tennison awoke, White was gone, he told police. She was never seen again. A jury declared her legally dead, but Tennison and Raikoglo were never charged with a crime. White’s mother claimed that Tennison killed her and that Raikoglo was at fault for hiring White. The defendants, who defaulted, were each liable for $1.5 million. Bond v. Tennison, No. A02-0095 CV (D. Alaska). PLAINTIFF’S ATTORNEY: Scott Sterling, Sterling & Dearmond, Wasilla, Alaska DEFENSE ATTORNEYS: Both defendants defaulted These jury verdicts were collected and reported by VerdictSearch, an American Lawyer Media affiliate serving lawyers nationwide. More information about these cases, as well as full reports on other verdicts and settlements, can be found in the VerdictSearch National Reporter or at www.VerdictSearch.com. To submit a case, call (212) 313-9057, fax (212) 313-9145 or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit. For subscription information or jury verdict research, call (800) 832-1900.

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