Young-Petrillo v. Ruggio

Jury Returns Defense Verdict for Firm Client in Wrongful Death Case.

In this case tried in March 2018 in Contra Costa County Superior Court, a jury found Rick Jacobson and co-lead trial counsel Joseph Urbanic’s client not liable for causing the death of Plaintiff’s father in a horrible vehicle/motorcycle accident on Interstate 680 in Walnut Creek, California. The case stemmed from a mid-day accident in moderate traffic. Jacobson and Urbanic’s client had been changing lanes in an effort to exit the freeway. As she was changing into the exit lane, she saw another vehicle going horribly out of control to her right. That vehicle crossed all lanes of northbound traffic at a nearly 90-degree angle and squarely struck a motorcycle ridden by the decedent, killing him instantly. Jacobson and Urbanic’s client immediately pulled over to the side of the freeway, and within the span of an hour admitted that she caused the accident five times verbally and in writing to five different people. Plaintiff was the 22-year-old daughter of the decedent. Her attorney focused the jury on the admissions by Jacobson and Urbanic’s client. The other driver had only a $100,000 insurance limit, whereas Jacobson’s client, within the scope of employment, had $6,050,000 in insurance. Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award $7,250,000 in damages against both defendants. By a vote of 9-3, the jury found Jacobson and Urbanic’s client not liable.