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John A. Koeppel - Representative Experience

  • Issues
  • Venue
  • Client Type
  • Practice Areas
  • Full Description
  • Result
  • Construction Defect
  • California Superior Court for the County of Sacramento
  • Cross-Defendant Cabinet and Counter Company
  • Construction
  • Thirty homeowners brought an action against the general contractor that constructed the development in which their tract homes were located alleging numerous defects in the construction of various components of the homes, including but not limited to the roof, foundation, windows, and cabinetry. The general contractor filed a cross-complaint naming numerous subcontractors including our client, a subcontractor, who installed the kitchen and bathroom cabinets in the homes.

  • This matter settled on very favorable terms for our client.

  • LSAT; Copyright
  • Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Defendant Test Preparation Company
  • Intellectual PropertyUnfair Competition
  • Defended our client in a case involving a copyright and defamation action between two test preparation companies which provided instructional services for the Law School Admissions Test (“LSAT”). The plaintiff accused the defendants, former employees who started a competing company, of copying its course materials and defaming the defendant on internet discussion boards using pseudonyms to disguise their identities. Summary judgment was granted in favor of defendants on the plaintiff’s unfair competition claim that the defendants helped students cheat on the LSAT. The plaintiff expended more than $8 million in fees and costs to litigate the case.


     

  • The plaintiff demanded $5 Million and a permanent injunction that would force the defendants out of business. The plaintiff rejected a large settlement offer and after a 25 day trial, the jury denied the plaintiff’s request for $18.5 Million and instead awarded $256,000. The plaintiff’s claims for trade libel and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage were dismissed on non-suit and directed verdict. The court denied the plaintiff’s request for a permanent injunction and stated that the course materials separately developed by defendants added significant originality to the to the test prep industry. Two articles about the trial were published in IP Law 360. A number of pre-trial issues are on appeal.

  • Breach of Contract
  • Judicial Arbitration & Mediation Services
  • Defendant Provider of Telephone, Cable Television and High Speed Internet Service
  • Catastrophic/Personal InjuryCoverageProduct LiabilityProfessional Liability
  • Defended a provider of telephone, cable television and high speed internet services in a commercial litigation action involving an alleged breach of contract that provided for the construction of a broad band telecommunications network in the Bay Area. Counsel for the parties met to agree on mediation issues, and then participated in extended negotiations during mediation. Upon failure to resolve the case at mediation, counsel negotiated strict limits to discovery, briefing and arbitration time. This action went to binding arbitration over a two week period.

  • The award was 80% less than the contractor's last settlement demand.

  • Premises Liability; Wrongful Eviction
  • San Francisco County Superior Court
  • Defendant Landlord
  • Premises Liability
  • Defended a landlord in a premises liability action involving an alleged wrongful eviction that was tried in a jury trial. The plaintiff claimed wrongful eviction based on a conspiracy involving family member owners.

  • This case settled favorably after three plus weeks of trial.

  • Product Liability
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court
  • Defendant Plastic Container Manufacturer
  • HealthcareProduct Liability
  • Defended a plastic container manufacturer in a product liability action involving a disabling brain injury and serious physical injuries to a 42-year old father of three. The plaintiffs alleged that our client’s grape transport bin could not be safely trucked due to an alleged failure to warn. The bin separated from the vehicle in which it had been loaded, falling onto the highway where the plaintiff struck it at a high rate of speed on his motorcycle. Experts on both sides ranged from safety engineers to accident reconstructionists to physical medicine specialists.

  • The case was tried after the plaintiffs made an eight figure demand, and settled favorably after four weeks.

  • Negligence
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court
  • Defendant Electric Utility Provider
  • Toxic Tort
  • Defended an electric utility provider in a negligence action involving the alleged exposure to carbon monoxide. The plaintiff, an office worker, claimed exposure on the job resulting in injury to herself and her fetus.

  • After a two-week jury trial, the case settled to our client's satisfaction.

  • Product Liability
  • San Francisco County Superior Court
  • Defendant Portable Pump System Manufacturer
  • Product Liability
  • Defended a portable pump system manufacturer in a product liability action involving the sinking of a two-mast sailboat in the South Seas. The plaintiff sued our client claiming that defects in the pump caused the sinking of the vessel after its internal, primary pumping system failed. The issues included the plaintiff's comparative fault in allowing the hull of the vessel to be breached, efforts to save the vessel once it began to take on water and the plaintiff's possible surreptitious salvage of the vehicle after the accident.

  • The jury returned a verdict in our client's favor.

  • Product Liability; Breach of Contract
  • Federal Court in San Jose
  • Defendant Corporation
  • Business And Commercial LitigationProduct Liability
  • Defended a corporation in a commercial litigation action involving a combined breach of contract and product liability claim that was tried in a jury trial. The plaintiff, a multinational computer technology and IT consulting corporation, claimed that the defendant provided defective fans for their data storage devices sold to its mainframe customers.

  • This case settled favorably before the final argument after the plaintiff made a $70 million claim.

  • Construction Defect
  • California Superior Court for the County of Sacramento
  • Cross-Defendant Alarm Installation Company
  • Construction
  • Twelve homeowners brought an action against the general contractor that constructed the development in which their tract homes were located, alleging numerous defects in the construction of various components of the homes, including but not limited to the roof, foundation, electrical, cabinetry and windows. The general contractor filed a cross-complaint naming numerous subcontractors including our client, the subcontractor that pre-wired the homes for and/or installed alarm systems. Our client's work was alleged to have contributed to water damage in several homes.

     

  • This matter settled on very favorable terms for our client.

  • Construction Defect; Real Estate; Fraud; Conspiracy; Professional Liability; Architects
  • Sonoma County Superior Court
  • Defendant Architect Consultant
  • ConstructionProfessional LiabilityReal Estate
  • A real estate developer developed a 108 unit apartment complex and sold it to a real estate investment company, Company A.  The real estate investment company hired our architectural consultant client to perform a due diligence inspection and report.  Within two years, real estate investment Company A sold the apartment complex to real estate investment Company B.  Plaintiff, real estate investment Company B sued the developer, the original general contractor and subcontractors, real estate investment Company A as seller and our architectural consultant client for construction defects, negligence, breach of contract and fraud and conspiracy.

  • The case was settled for a fraction of the plaintiff's original demand.

  • Personal Injury; Construction
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court; Unlimited Jurisdiction
  • Defendant Manufacturer
  • Catastrophic/Personal InjuryConstructionContract/UCCProfessional Liability
  • Defended a manufacturer in a case involving a permanent brain injury to a 40-year old chemical engineer who was working on site, at our client's plant, to install a new food processing line. The plaintiff fell approximately 10 feet to a concrete floor, striking his head. The plaintiffs included the victim, his employer and the employer's workers compensation carrier. The plaintiff also sued the steel fabricator responsible for the construction of the platform.  To prepare for the trial, safety, economic and medical experts were retained. In addition, a mediator began to meet with the defendants at regular intervals to monitor the process of discovery, analyze prospective settlement negotiations and ensure the proper scheduling of a trial.

  • Our client paid 20% of a multi-million settlement.

  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court
  • Defendant Manufacturer
  • HealthcarePremises Liability
  • Defended a manufacturer in a suit in which the plaintiff was a business invitee who claimed total disability resulting from back, shoulder and arm injuries when he was struck by a falling pallet of empty 50 gallon drums. The plaintiff sought compensatory and punitive damages based on earlier incidents under similar circumstances. Surveillance footage of the plaintiff indicated that his injuries were considerably less serious than alleged.

  • The case settled favorably after two plus weeks of evidence were presented to a jury.

  • Personal Injury; Wrongful Death
  • San Francisco County Superior Court
  • Defendant Ground Transportation Service
  • Catastrophic/Personal InjuryHealthcare
  • Defended a ground transportation service in an action involving a high speed auto accident involving two pedestrians in inclement weather. The case included a wrongful death action and a personal injury action for an individual who suffered a brain injury and disabling, crushing injuries to his legs. Our firm was retained six weeks before trial, after expert disclosure. Review of medical records indicated both pedestrians were under the influence. Working with an accident reconstruction expert and photographic reconstruction expert, the defense visually recreated the scene of the accident under comparable rain conditions. We also unilaterally disclosed and deposed a toxicologist regarding the intoxication issue. The plaintiffs' demand totaled $10,000,000, representing our primary and excess limits. At mediation, our experts narrated the film reconstructing the accident and we highlighted the deposition testimony of our toxicologist.

  • The action eventually settled for approximately 20% of the original demand.