Boxer & Gerson, LLP’s personal injury attorneys Gary Roth and Eric Ritigstein teamed up recently to win an $896,468 jury award in Alameda County Superior Court for a severely injured California Highway Patrol officer who was sideswiped by a car while traveling on Highway 580 in September 2016. The case went to jury trial after Roth and Ritigstein rejected the opposing counsel’s settlement offer of $115,000.
The veteran officer was thrown from his bike while traveling at freeway speeds. He suffered a concussion and was left with intense head, neck and back pain, along with an inability to swivel his neck. This latter condition made it impossible for him to resume motorcycle duty upon his return to work. He had been much decorated through his career and had served as a training officer and mentor for motorcycle officers just entering the ranks.
Speaking of his colleague and lead counsel Roth, Ritigstein observed, “Gary did a masterful job in cross-examining the opposing counsel’s medical expert, who had said the officer should be completely recovered from his injuries after three months. He claimed the officer’s neck limitations were due to simple aging, though the officer was only 41 years old.”
The accident occurred when a young driver made an unsafe lane change next to the officer on the highway just west of Dublin. The impact sent the officer skidding along the pavement, resulting in the severe scraping of his tool belt, badge and helmet.
“He was unconscious at the scene and had to be rushed to the hospital,” said Roth. “He then had continuing memory issues, including vocabulary recall and executive function problems, for many months after the accident. He also has a wife and three children at home, and he can no longer do the work he loved doing.”
Roth and Ritigstein work closely together to handle a good portion of the personal injury cases coming to Boxer & Gerson. Roth joined the firm in 2007 and became a partner early in 2014, just as Ritigstein joined the firm as an associate. They both maintain their own caseloads while occasionally joining forces when it proves advantageous in particular cases.