Martin Buchanan has successfully handled a variety of writs and appeals in many different areas of the law, including business torts, products liability, environmental, real property, intellectual property, automobile accident, employment, insurance, contracts, unfair competition, elder abuse, sexual molestation, and consumer law. Here are some examples of Martin’s successful writs and appeals.
Williamson v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. Martin represented the family of a woman who died in a car accident from injuries caused by a lap-only seatbelt installed in the aisle seat of a 1993 Mazda mini-van. The family sued Mazda for failure to install a lap/shoulder belt in the aisle seat. After a California court ruled that the state-law claims were preempted by a 1989 federal motor vehicle safety regulation, Martin appealed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Martin briefed and argued in the case in the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that the family’s claims were not preempted by federal law.
Karlsson v. Ford Motor Company. Martin represented the family of a five-year old boy who suffered paraplegic injuries caused by a lap-only seatbelt installed in a passenger van manufactured by Ford. On Ford’s appeal of a $30 million jury verdict, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment in its entirety. The California Supreme Court denied Ford’s petition for review.
B. Braun Medical, Inc. v. Rogers. Martin represented the inventors of a medical valve who sued Braun for trade secret misappropriation. On appeal from a jury verdict in favor of the inventors, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment. On the inventors’ cross-appeal from a post-judgment order reducing the damages by $11 million, the Ninth Circuit reversed the order and reinstated the jury’s original award. After both appeals, the total judgment in favor of the inventors was approximately $25 million. The United States Supreme Court denied Braun’s petition for a writ of certiorari.
Unruh-Haxton v. Regents of University of California. Martin represented multiple fertility patients who alleged that their fertilized eggs were stolen and used without their consent by doctors at a UCI fertility clinic. On consolidated appeals from orders dismissing all of their cases, the California Court of Appeal reversed the dismissals.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. v. Aguayo. Martin represented approximately 1,000 plaintiffs who sued for diseases caused by exposure to chromium six emitted from PG&E compressor stations. PG&E brought writ petitions in the California Court of Appeal challenging the evidence of medical causation. After requesting and receiving responses to the petitions, the California Court of Appeal denied the writs. Shortly thereafter, PG&E settled the cases for approximately $300 million.
Ambrose v. Farmers New World Life Insurance Company. Martin represented the husband of the decedent in an action against a life insurance company for the full benefits of a policy. The policy had been approved, but was not issued until one day after the decedent perished in a tsunami in Sri Lanka. On appeal, the California Court of Appeal reversed a summary judgment order in favor of the insurance company and ruled that the husband was entitled to the full policy coverage as a matter of law.
In re Marriage of Eaddy. Martin provided pro bono representation to an Australian mother whose ex-husband refused to return their daughter to Australia after a vacation in the United States. On appeal, the California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s order denying the mother’s petition for return of the child to Australia pursuant to the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The child was returned to her mother in Australia.