Worksite hand injury and a unanimous jury verdict. Napa County.


Worker making a delivery ended up with a crushed hand when he tried to help a warehouse employee. Jury awarded over $1 million and found the defendant completely at fault.

The Case

  • Case Name: Gonzalo Mayorga v. Biagi Bros. Inc.
  • Court and Case Number: Napa Superior/ 26-54399
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, November 16, 2011
  • Type of Case: Industrial Accident
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. Francisca P. Tisher
  • Plaintiffs:
    Gonzalo Mayorga, 50, truck driver
  • Defendants:
    Biagi Bros. Inc.
  • Type of Result: Jury Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $1,483,495
  • Net Verdict or Award: $483,495
  • Economic Damages:


  • Non-Economic Damages:


  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours
  • Jury Polls: 12-0

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:
    Kuvara Law Firm by Daniel Slijepcevich, San Rafael
  • Attorney for the Defendant:
    Murchison & Cumming, LLP by Kasey A. Townsend, San Francisco

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    On March 9, 2010, plaintiff delivered a container of wine cases to a warehouse owned by Biagi Bros. Inc. While there, he reached his non-dominant, right hand into the clamp of a forklift to straighten out a plastic slip sheet that separated cases of wine. While his hand was in the clamp, the forklift operator engaged the clamp, which crushed plaintiff's hand.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Employee forklift operator asked for plaintiff's help in straightening out the plastic slip sheet before engaging the clamp.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Plaintiff was not asked for assistance, acted of his own accord and should be considered at least comparatively negligent.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Mayorga was taken to the hospital by ambulance. His right hand was near amputation, but surgeons were able to re-attach it. He underwent five months of physical therapy as well as a second surgery to loosen adhesions and improve mobility.

    Plaintiff claimed his hand is dramatically disfigured and that he is only able to use his right hand to grasp small objects lightly with his thumb and forefinger. He also claimed daily residual pain that has prevented his return to work as a truck driver and kept him from his former hobby of boxing.