My clients, John and Val, are successful business owners and live in an elegant home in Granite Bay. Their passion is roses — all kinds of roses and roses from all over the world. Their landscaping is legendary in the Sacramento area for its uniqueness and beauty. In the middle of it all lies their 750 picture-perfect rose bushes. While their landscaping crew of four men work full time maintaining the gardens, John and Val hired a company to spray their gardens with pesticides. Instead, the company used a different chemical, apparently a herbicide, which chemically burned the roses and devastated the gardens John & Val had built and tended for over twenty years. Though seemingly indisputable, the company denied any liability and fought the litigation with every penny their insurance company had. The company pointed the finger of blame at its chemical supplier, at John & Val, and at their gardeners. The case went to trial in Placer County.
We knew the biggest hurdle would be convincing a jury of 12 people to that my clients should be awarded $1 million to replace their damaged gardens. After all, not too many people can imagine spending that much on their gardens.
The company called eight (8) expert witnesses to support its claim that someone other than them caused all the damage to the gardens. Our job was to discredit all of the experts. We cross-examined their chemicals expert, roses expert, soils expert and all the rest. One by one, we proved that the experts were — either intentionally or because of lack of knowledge — wrongly blaming others for the damage caused by the company.
In the end, we asked the jury to award $1 million to replace the damaged rose garden and the hundreds of mature trees, bushes and other plants. The jury awarded us not only all of the cost of replacing the damaged landscaping, but they also awarded $400,000 for pain and suffering caused by the event. After the jury verdict was read and the case was over, many of the jurors hugged my clients and wished them well. This trial was a complete vindication for my clients.