In June 2011, Ray Gates represented Renown Regional Medical Center, the sole trauma center in Reno, Nevada. This case involved a 2 ½ year old child with claims of failure to diagnose a small bowel obstruction resulting in permanent bowel damage and shortened life span. The jury returned a defense verdict after a four week trial.
In June 2010, the California Court of Appeal affirmed in Whittemore v. Owens, 185 Cal. App. 4th 1194 (2010) the trial court’s dismissal of the claims against our client a retail pharmacy. In the original trial court action, Ray Gates and Brian Rosenthal successfully argued that the doctrine of “unclean hands” bars the plaintiff from recovery as she was engaging in illegal conduct. Plaintiff appealed this judgment arguing that the Drug Dealer Liability Act (Health and Safety Code § 11700 et seq.) created an exception to the unclean hands doctrine. Ray Gates and Brian Rosenthal also represented the pharmacy during the appeal. The appellate court affirmed the Judgment of Dismissal and published the decision.
In Towns v. Davidson, Mammoth Mountain, 147 Cal.App.4th 461 (2007), is one of Mark Tokunaga’s victories in the Court of Appeal. In Towns, the plaintiff was injured while skiing at Mammoth Mountain when she was involved in a collision with a ski host, an employee of Mammoth Mountain. The plaintiff argued that Mammoth Mountain increased the risk of collisions by requiring employees to be skiing on the slopes. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Mammoth Mountain. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that collisions between skiers is an inherent risk of skiing no matter who the other skier is. The Court of Appeal also ruled that the trial court correctly struck the entire declaration of the plaintiff’s expert, who submitted a declaration alleging that Mammoth Mountain’s employee was reckless, not merely negligent.
Ray Gates defended a vascular surgeon in a month long medical malpractice, wrongful death trial in Placer County. Plaintiff alleged failure to treat an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The jury returned a defense verdict.
In Korton v. Conrad, Inc., 119 Nev. Adv. Rep. 14, 67 P.2d 316 (2003), the Nevada Supreme Court upheld a grant of summary judgment Ray Gates obtained in favor of an employer who was sued for wrongful death allegedly caused by the employer’s employee. The case, which Ray handled both the trial court and Supreme Court levels, further defined Nevada’s “going and coming rule”, which establishes when an employer is liable for injuries caused by an employee’s driving.
In 2003, Mark Tokunaga defended a California ski resort. Plaintiff claimed that the ski resort created a dangerous condition on a ski run and failed to remedy or warn of that condition. Mark successfully defended the ski resort at trial in which the jury took only 11 minutes to deliberate before returning the defense verdict.
Platzer v. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area was tried in May 2001 by Mark Tokunaga. This was a case in which the mother of a seven-year-old boy signed a release of liability when she placed her son in a ski school lesson. The boy was seriously injured when he fell from a chairlift (a common carrier). The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of all negligence claims based on the release and upheld the jury’s verdict in favor of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area on the issue of gross negligence. Platzer v. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, 104 Cal.App.4th 1253 (2002)
In a 2001 jury trial, Ray Gates successfully defended Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Central California where plaintiff claimed a failure to diagnose a myocardial infarction in the Intensive Care Unit resulting in permanent heart damage.
Ray defended USAA in bad faith cases at trial and through appeal, including the highly publicized case of Moralez v. USAA, which involved the disappearance and likely murder of his key witness, Doris Inzunza, a USAA employee and member of a Sacramento organization protecting women from stalkers. The CBS news program “48 Hours” extensively covered the case.
In Westlye v. Look Sports, Inc., 17 Cal.App.4th 1715 (1993), Mark Tokunaga successfully defended ski area clients at the appellate level, where the California Third District Court of Appeal upheld a ski rental shop’s release of liability as to the negligence and warranty claims.