Case Results - Demas Law Group, P.C.

At Demas Law Group, P.C., we are committed to representing our clients to the fullest extent possible and to maximizing their monetary recovery. Many of the settlements we have achieved for our clients are confidential in nature and cannot be disclosed to the public. However, we have compiled the following representative list of non-confidential settlements and verdicts. Keep in mind that the facts are never exactly the same in any two cases, and each case is as unique as the individuals who are the parties to a lawsuit. The results in each case will vary accordingly.

For immediate advice on your particular personal injury matter, please call us for a free consultation at (916)444-0100 or fill out our on-line case evaluation form.

Below is a sample of our firm’s verdicts and settlements. Please click on the links to view the details of each case.

This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.

$10.2M Jury Verdict after $150K Insurance Company Offer

Attorney John Demas represented Carol K. and Ken K. who were injured in a bicycle collision on the American River Bike Trail in Folsom, California.  The case resulted in a $10,200,000 verdict.

Bicycle Accident Settlement SacramentoThe case arose from a collision that occurred on the evening of June 2, 2014.  The Defendants, a 19-year-old male, and 16-year-old female were walking on the paved American River Bike Trail near Lake Natoma Shores on a first date.  Carol K., a charter school teacher, and Ken K., a commercial airline pilot, were riding their tandem bicycle on the trail.  They came around a curve in the trail and saw the pedestrians in front of them.  Despite trail rules requiring pedestrians to stay left, and walk on the shoulder in a single file, the Defendants were straddling the dashed line that divides the trail. Ken rang his bicycle bell to alert the pedestrians of his approach and they split apart with the male moving to the left and the female moving to the right.  Ken steered the bike to go between the couple, but, at the last moment, the male pedestrians instructed the female pedestrian, who had no experience on the trail, to move to the left. The female pedestrian complied and walked directly into the path of the tandem bicycle, giving Ken no time to react. The bicycle struck the pedestrian and then crashed onto the pavement.  

Ken and Carol were both wearing their helmets but were nevertheless knocked unconscious. Though Ken recovered from his injuries, Carol sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for several days.  When she regained consciousness, she was hospitalized for months and is left with significant cognitive impairments and a multitude of related conditions.  

Ken and Carol retained the Demas Law Group to help them navigate the legal process and seek justice for Carol’s life-changing injuries.  John Demas immediately set out to investigate the collision and gain a deep understanding of Carol’s injuries and their impacts. 

Mr. Demas filed a civil lawsuit against both pedestrians involved in the collision.  He and his team faced aggressive tactics by the Defendants, including a failed attempt to have the case dismissed based on the argument that the male pedestrian, who was not directly involved in the collision, did not owe a duty of care to Carol and Ken.  

During the course of the litigation, Mr. Demas assembled a team of some of the top medical experts specializing in traumatic brain injuries, including experts in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Neuropsychology, along with an expert in accident reconstruction and experts in life care planning and economics to calculate the losses suffered by Carol and the cost of the medical care that she will need for the rest of her life. 

Sacramento Bicycle Accident SettlementDefendants steadfastly denied responsibility, hiring 8 experts to challenge liability and damages. After multiple, unsuccessful, settlement discussions with an extremely recalcitrant Defendant, the case headed for trial. As the trial date approached, Mr. Demas conducted focus groups to test case themes, evaluate evidence, and learn how potential jurors would react to the facts of the case and to better understand their preconceptions and biases.   

The hard-fought jury trial spanned over three weeks and 20 witnesses.  A settlement was reached during the trial with the pedestrian who had walked in front of the tandem bicycle, however, the pedestrian who had given his date the ill-timed instruction to move adamantly refused to take any responsibility.  Ultimately, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Carol and Ken, awarding a total of $10,200,000 in damages. 

Carol, who before her injuries was a home school teacher described by others as a “visionary” educator, and Ken, a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, are an example of the finest members of our community.  The Demas Law Group was honored and privileged to fight for them. Although this family’s lives were irrevocably changed by this collision, the case stands as an example of how purpose and perseverance can bring justice to those injured by the carelessness of others.

Record settlement of $9,750,000 obtained in trial

Steve S. v. City of Sacramento, et al.,
Motor Vehicle Collision: Wrongful death of 9- month-old infant
Record settlement of $9.75 million obtained in trial

Attorney John Demas represented the parents of Raiden S., a 9-month-old baby that was killed in a motor vehicle collision involving a police officer for the City of Sacramento, obtaining the largest wrongful death settlement involving an infant in California.

The case arose from a collision that occurred on December 17, 2013. At that time, the defendant, a police officer employed by the City of Sacramento, was driving an unmarked car westbound on Interstate 80 near the Highway 65 exit. Traffic on Interstate 80 slowed to a complete stop. For unknown reasons, the defendant failed to see that traffic in front of was stopped and rear-ended a vehicle driven by Steve S. at a speed of nearly 65 miles an hour. Nine-month old Raiden S. was properly secured in an infant car seat in the back seat of the S’s vehicle. The initial impact from the defendant’s vehicle was devastating. It pushed Steve’s car forward and to the left, where it was struck by a big-rig and propelled into another car. When his car finally came to rest, Steve S. immediately tended to his son. The impact was so severe that the rear seat had been pushed forward and Raiden’s car seat was stuck between the rear and front seats. A retired paramedic assisted Steve and helped cut the seat belt, freeing the car seat and Raiden. Emergency aid was rendered to Raiden at the scene and he was rushed to the hospital. Raiden fought valiantly for five days until he succumbed to his injuries.

The family retained John Demas to help them navigate the legal process and seek justice for Raiden. Mr. Demas immediately retained one of the best accident reconstruction experts in California and an investigator to start gathering evidence. Meanwhile, the CHP was conducting its own investigation and ultimately determined the police officer was the sole cause of the collision. Despite the CHP recommending that criminal charges be filed against the police officer, the District Attorney declined to pursue any charges and the family was forced to turn to the civil justice system.

Attorney John Demas filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Sacramento and the police officer in the effort to gain justice for baby Raiden. The City fought the case aggressively for three years and denied that the police officer was on the clock at the time of the collision. Ultimately, John Demas proved the City was legally responsible for the actions of its police officer.

During the course of the case John Demas continued to assemble an all-star team of expert witnesses including psychologists, doctors, and computer animation experts that prepared an animation of the entire collision. After multiple unsuccessful settlement discussions, the case headed to trial. As the trial date approached, numerous focus groups were held to further refine and test arguments and the evidence. Once trial started, the parties began discussing a resolution. The case ultimately settled on the second day of trial for $9.75 million.

It was an honor and privilege to represent this family. Baby Raiden was an inspiration for all of us at Demas Law Group and a reminder of why we all have a deep desire to help those in need. Although the family’s loss was profound and permanent, the resolution of the case brought them some sense of justice and closure.

$5,475,000: Mediated Settlement – Motor Vehicle Collision

Our client, Ken H., was seriously injured in a car collision in Sacramento County.When the accident occurred, Ken had just entered an intersection on a green light and was hit on the driver’s side by a woman driving a company car. The impact was significant. Ken was unconscious at the scene and was rushed to the emergency room. At the hospital, he was diagnosed with a head injury and a fracture in his neck vertebrae that required surgery. At the time of the collision, Ken was an extremely active 75-year-old man who raced motorcycles and worked part-time. This accident significantly impacted his health and quality of life.

Immediately after Ken’s family contacted us, we began investigating the collision and retained a team of experts, including an accident reconstruction expert, a biomechanical specialist, and a private investigator. We were able to locate the “black box” of the defendant’s vehicle, despite being told that the vehicle had been destroyed. The data from that box proved that the driver was traveling at 45 miles per hour when she collided with Ken H, while witness statements showed that she had also ran the red light prior to the collision. With the help of our experts, we were also able to show that although Ken was not wearing his seatbelt, he would not have suffered lesser injuries had he been restrained. To estimate the future impact of Ken’s injuries on his health, quality of life, and finances, we also retained a team of medical specialists– including one of the best head-injury doctors in the country–a rehabilitation consultant, and an economist.

The case was litigated extensively, and a mediation was eventually set. In preparation for the mediation, we conducted interviews of witnesses, friends and family, videotaped the collision scene and edited home videos to prepare a settlement DVD. The DVD thoroughly covered all of the issues surrounding the accident and Ken H.’s injuries and was instrumental in the success of the mediation process. Ken’s portion of the case settled for $5,475,000, an amount the mediator believed is the largest settlement in Sacramento County involving an injured 76-year-old plaintiff.

$4,500,000: Jury Verdict – Auto Accident Case / Back Injury

Client: Tim F.; County: Sacramento

Our client, Tim F., was stopped for traffic on the freeway when he was rear-ended by a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Officer. Tim was a 48 year-old man who had worked for over twenty years as a construction estimator. Prior to the collision with the Sheriff’s Officer, Tim had had four prior low back surgeries. However, his last surgery was over ten years before the subject collision. Following the collision, and an unsuccessful course of physical therapy and non-surgical treatment, Tim decided to have another back surgery to treat his injuries. Unfortunately, his back surgery did not provide the relief he was hoping for and he continued to have significant low back pain.

Tim’s medical bills from the collision were less than $50,000. By the time of trial, Tim’s wage loss was approximately $100,000. Tim returned to work after his surgery and tried hard to continue working, but his pain was severe. When his pain increased, he was forced to stop working.

The central issue in the case was whether Tim could go back to work given the injuries he sustained. The defense argued that Tim could return to work if he had another back surgery, this time a more complicated and risky procedure, called a back fusion. They argued the fusion surgery would relieve his symptoms and allow him to resume his productive career.

The County pushed hard to settle the case and offered $1,000,000. Tim’s last demand through attorney John Demas was $1,900,000 with an indication Tim would settle the case at $1,500,000. When the County would not budge from their offer, Attorney John Demas worked tirelessly preparing the case for trial.

At trial, Mr. Demas argued that the choice to have another surgery was Tim’s alone – not the County’s. Mr. Demas proved that Tim could not work as a result of the collision and that the decision not to have a fusion surgery was reasonable. The jury was convinced that Tim should not have to gamble with his health since the County put him in the position where he could no longer work. The jury returned a verdict for Tim of $4,500,000, one of the largest jury verdicts ever for a car accident case against Sacramento County.

Kyle Doe vs. CPS

“Hide Me, Hide Me, They’re Coming to Get Me.”

It was a plea for help that the beaten and terrified young man had repeated, in one form or another, countless times for over five years. This time however, the teen was standing bloody and half naked, with a large chain around his ankle, in the lobby of In-Shape City Sports Club located in Tracy, CA. Giving the ragged boy a banana and some water, gym personnel listened as the young man desperately tried to explain his situation, detailing what had happened and what could happen if these people did not help him.

He rambled, incoherently with blood streaming down his legs and his emaciated frame heaving from exhaustion. It was at that moment, for the first time in the young man’s short and brutal life that someone heard his cry – and put an end to the cycle of violence he had endured for so long.

In the ensuing weeks, the city of Sacramento-and the nation for that matter-would learn the full horrific scope of abuse that the young man named Kyle was forced to endure for so long. Beginning in the early 2000s, and until his brave escape in December of 2008, Kyle was subjected to unfathomable levels of torment at the hands of his illegally assigned guardian, Caren Ramirez. Investigators would eventually uncover evidence that indicated three other individuals contributed to Kyle’s anguish – Michael Luther Schumacher, his wife Kelly Layne Lau-Schumacher and their next-door neighbor Anthony Vincent Waiters. The sheer ferocity of the sadism involved was incomprehensible. It also begged the question – didn’t anyone know this was taking place? Didn’t anyone hear the young man’s call for help? And if they did, why wasn’t something done about it?

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As it turns out, both Sacramento Child Protective Services (CPS) and the County Sheriff’s Department were at least partially aware of the circumstances that Kyle found himself in – and failed on multiple occasions to take any action. Records indicated that both departments had dealt with Caren Ramirez and even arrested her for abusing the young man at one point. Yet the pattern of behavior persisted until the winter of 2008, when Kyle stumbled through the door of a local gym, begging for protection. Whether it stemmed from incompetence, laziness, or blatant disregard, the system had failed the young man terribly, which meant in some regard, it was responsible for his suffering. To that end, Kyle filed a civil suit against both the Sacramento CPS and the Sheriff’s Department, with Demas Law Group, P.C. acting as his counsel.

The case presented a number of challenges, but attorney John Demas was committed to answering Kyle’s call for help and ensuring that local and state agencies were held accountable for their negligence. After a hard fought battle, both the Sacramento CPS and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department were ordered to pay a record $4 million settlement to Kyle for their systematic failure to protect him. This was not only a first in the state but also a first for the law firm. We recently had a chance to sit down with John and discuss his thoughts on the case and what it meant for him and the rest of the team:

Kyle Doe Vs CPS

How did the Demas Law Group, P.C., get involved in the case initially?

A: “There were a couple of lawyers who looked at the case, rejected it, and then referred it to me. I immediately jumped on the case. Regardless of whether we were going to win or not I wanted to see what I could do to help Kyle. I was committed from the beginning to do my best to help him.”

This isn’t a typical case for the firm. What compelled you to take it on?

A: “At the end of the day, what we do is help people who have been victimized or traumatized by different situations, whether it’s in motor vehicle accidents, construction accidents, defective products, or whatever the case may be. In Kyle’s case, it was obvious that he was screaming out for help; and that’s what we try to do for all our clients. Help them and represent them aggressively, do the best we can, and get them the best possible result. So even though this was not a case that we would normally handle, it still shared common elements found in all of our cases- which are -someone has been victimized and someone else needs to be held accountable.”

What do you believe was the most challenging element of the case?

A: “There were a lot of complex and challenging legal issues that we had to deal with. The County didn’t roll over and settle quickly; they fought us tooth and nail from beginning to end, for over four years. So it wasn’t a situation where we resolved the case quickly and cheaply. It involved battling aggressive county counsel on very complex issues throughout the entirety of the case.”

What impact do you think this case result will have on CPS?

A: “Given the amount of money the County put forth to resolve the claim, it is evident that they also believed there were major issues with the CPS system at the time. I would hope that this sends a message to CPS, that they can’t continue to operate the way they have been and realize that people are going to hold them accountable when they don’t follow their own rules, protocol, and the law.”

How is Kyle today?

A: “Kyle is a remarkably resilient and strong kid and has received some great love and support from his aunt and uncle. I think they have been instrumental in providing him with a level of comfort and support he needed so desperately, and have helped him heal, grow and develop. Overall he’s made remarkable progress considering what he’s been through. He’s graduated from high school, he’s going to college, he’s playing football – and one can only hope that he continues to progress in a positive direction and put his past completely behind him.”

Would the Demas Law Group, P.C., consider taking such a case on again?

A: “This is a unique case and, frankly, I don’t think there are many cases like it out there. One sure hopes that the level of oversight and incompetence that CPS demonstrated in this case would be difficult to encounter again. However, we are always willing to help anyone who might be in a similar situation as a result of another party’s negligence.”

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Tortured Teen Represented by Demas Law Group Awarded $4 Million

Sacramento County agrees to pay massive settlement for failure to protect a teenager tormented by his caregiver until his brave escape

SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The teenage boy who made national headlines after escaping horrific abuse by his caregiver will receive $4 million in a settlement with Sacramento County on behalf of Child Protective Services (Superior Court of The State of California, Kyle Doe vs. Department of Health and Human Services, Child Protective Services, Sacramento County, et al., Case #34-2011-00101330).

Child Protective Services (CPS) social workers were accused of repeatedly breaking the law and violating protocol as they failed to protect Kyle, who was imprisoned, tortured and starved for seven years by his caregiver, first in Sacramento County and later in Tracy (Kyle’s full name is being withheld because he was the victim of abuse as a minor).

“It’s not just justice for me,” Kyle said about the outcome of the case. “It’s for other kids all over who struggle just like me.”

CPS left Kyle in the care of a woman who was not a relative and never had custody, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney John N. Demas of Sacramento (please see below for a detailed list of CPS violations). CPS records also reveal nine separate abuse reports from teachers and neighbors, yet social workers failed to take action to protect Kyle. CPS failed to follow State mandates and their own policies and procedures, and left Kyle with a caretaker who brutalized and nearly killed him. He suffered immensely until his brave escape in 2008 from a home in Tracy to a nearby health club. Kyle required skin graft surgery and spent ten days in the hospital. His tragic story drew widespread media attention and demands for CPS reform and accountability.

“This could be the biggest CPS settlement paid out in the state of California, which reveals just how poorly they handled Kyle’s tragic case,” said attorney John Demas, founder of the Demas Law Group, P.C. “We can only hope this lawsuit will bring changes to CPS. Our fear is that there are other ‘Kyles’ out there, suffering abuse that no child should ever endure.”

Sacramento County attorneys tried repeatedly to have this case thrown out in an effort to dodge any responsibility for what happened to Kyle, according to Demas. Their legal tactics were rejected by the court, and Kyle prevailed after a four-year battle.

“We hope that the settlement spurs changes at CPS and sends a message that you have to follow the law and can’t cut corners when it comes to protecting children,” said Demas.

“The County did everything they could to win,” said Kyle’s aunt, Sydney Perry, who has served as his caretaker since his escape. “I’m just so grateful that Mr. Demas fought so hard for Kyle and held CPS accountable. Justice was served for Kyle.”

As for the criminal case, Kyle’s caregiver, Caren Ramirez, and her friends Michael Schumacher, Kelly Lau and Anthony Waiters are serving prison sentences for their participation in the abuse. Remarkably, Kyle does not express ill will towards the captors who relentlessly tortured him.

“I wish them the best with where they are at in life,” Kyle said. “I hope they find their peace.”

Kyle’s story is now one of inspiration, as he recovers from his painful past and tries to piece his life together. After missing most of elementary, junior high and high school because his caregiver kept him home to conceal injuries, Kyle worked hard after his escape to graduate from high school. He is now a college student and football player. Kyle is eager to move on with his life.

“I’m doing great, I feel better than ever,” said Kyle. “I’m healthy. I have a roof over my head. I have friends and I have family that love me. I’m happy with where I’m at right now.”

Timeline and CPS Violations

The timeline below was derived from a collection of documents tracking CPS’s handling of the case involving Kyle and his half-brother.

  • May 23, 2001: CPS receives a call that Kyle’s birth mother has left Kyle and his half-brother with a family friend, Caren Ramirez. Kyle is 8 years old at the time. CPS investigates and closes the referral as “inconclusive,” despite failing to contact Kyle’s birth mother, as required by law. Instead, CPS accepts a one-page, hand-written note from Ramirez, allegedly written by the birth mother, giving her custody of Kyle. The note is notarized, but it is Ramirez’s signature that is attested to, not Kyle’s mother.
  • April 22, 2002: CPS receives a report of Ramirez neglecting Kyle and his half-brother, and using inappropriate discipline (The half-brother was allegedly dropped off barefoot in Del Paso Heights and told to find his way home to Carmichael in the rain; both boys were also bringing cookies to school in place of lunch.) The half-brother is reported to have blisters on his feet, but Ramirez explains that they are from rollerblading without socks. CPS fails to contact the birth mother as required, and closes the referral as “unfounded,” essentially labeling the allegations as false. In fact, CPS ends up assisting Ramirez by contacting the Social Security Administration and local welfare office and falsely confirming that the boys are “rightfully in Ramirez’s custody” and that “Ramirez possesses a notarized note granting her custody.” Ramirez starts claiming she is their aunt.
  • Feb. 11, 2003: CPS receives another referral regarding abuse of the boys by Ramirez, this time alleging that she smacked the half-brother in the face and that sounds of physical abuse (hitting) were heard coming from her apartment. CPS fails to investigate and closes the referral because no bruises were observed on the children. CPS fails to report the abuse to law enforcement and fails to determine if the children were at risk or in need of services as required by law. CPS documents following the referral state that “… the boys are safe and doing well in Aunt Caren’s home. No evidence of abuse or neglect. The children are safe in this home. They have a chance to make something of their lives with Caren’s influence. She is a strong taskmaster.”
  • March 7, 2003: CPS receives another referral of neglect and designates the referral as appropriate for a ten-day response, but do not investigate until twenty days later, in violation of State law.
  • June 24, 2003: CPS receives another report, this time from a teacher, describing Kyle as appearing very thin and jaundiced, losing patches of hair, with broken teeth and rarely bringing a lunch to school. CPS accepts Ramirez’s explanation that hair loss is from a genetic condition (i.e. that “he’s always had issues with thinning”), that he eats lunch earlier in the day, and that he is on medication that makes him hungry. CPS declares the allegations made in the report as unfounded, and fails to contact or give feedback to the mandated reporter (teacher) as required by law.
  • July 28, 2004: Kyle’s half-brother is picked up by the police outside a local hospital, and gets placed temporarily in protective custody. However, Kyle remains at Ramirez’s home. A CPS document acknowledges that “…without placement, one or more children will be likely to be in danger of immediate serious harm.” CPS requests, however, that Ramirez be allowed to provide written consent for the voluntary removal of the half-brother from custody and to consent to family services for Kyle. State law requires that consent must be from the parent or guardian only. CPS fails to contact the birth mother as required. Had they contacted her, the mother would have demanded her children back based on a referral of this very issue shortly thereafter (see October 9, 2004 referral).
  • October 9, 2004: While Ramirez is receiving family maintenance services for Kyle and his half-brother, a referral is made by a nurse that the birth mother is reporting that a woman by the name of Caren Ramirez “took her children away from her a few years ago and won’t give them back.” CPS deems the mother’s request for help in recovering her children not worthy of an investigation and closes the referral without conducting an investigation. No effort to contact or locate the mother is made as required by law. CPS also fails to report the kidnapping allegations to law enforcement as required, and never explains the reason the referral was closed.
  • Sept. 20, 2005: Kyle’s half-brother is taken into protective custody due to physical abuse by Ramirez. He tells CPS that Kyle has also been abused by Caren for years, and CPS describes what has happened to Kyle as “seven years of … physical torture, abuse and denial of the basic necessities of life.” However, CPS does nothing for 15 days and by the time they begin investigating, Ramirez is in hiding. CPS fails to investigate the report in a timely manner, fails to report the allegations to law enforcement, and does not file a missing person report for Kyle.
  • March 28, 2006: A felony warrant for child abuse is issued for Ramirez, stemming from the alleged beatings of the half-brother. She isn’t located and arrested until a year later.
  • May 30, 2006: Sacramento County Sheriff officers respond to a report regarding Ramirez’s abuse of Kyle. The call is made by Ramirez’s daughter, who discloses Kyle’s abuse by Ramirez and confirms there is no familial relationship between Kyle and Ramirez. Kyle tells the officers about how he was beaten with a martial arts stick several times, and the officers note severe bruising across Kyle’s back, legs, and buttocks, as well as a split lip. Photographs confirm Kyle’s injuries. The Sheriff’s office then calls the CPS hotline to report the abuse, and ask CPS if Kyle should be brought into protective custody. CPS fails to make any record of the call. Instead, CPS tells the officer to make a placement decision about Kyle. Kyle is left with Ramirez’s daughter, who promptly returns him to Ramirez. Sacramento Sheriff officers do not transmit a written report of the abuse to CPS within 36 hours as required by law. A referral for child abuse by law enforcement was not opened until 11 months later (March 2007) when the allegations are finally reviewed by a Detective in the Sheriff’s office.
  • April 11, 2007: Ramirez is finally arrested and Kyle is placed into protective custody at the Sacramento Receiving Home. His case is assigned to a social worker with less than three months experience. CPS recommends that Ramirez have telephone access to Kyle, despite not completing an assessment regarding Ramirez’s history with CPS, drug abuse or her actual relationship with Kyle. CPS allows Ramirez’s daughter visitation rights. Despite wanting to stay at the Receiving Home, Kyle acquiesces to the urgings of Ramirez to leave. He leaves the receiving home the day of his court hearing as instructed by Ramirez, and returns to Ramirez who eventually takes him to Tracy.
  • December 1, 2008: Kyle escapes from a home in Tracy and flees to a nearby health club. He reports that he’d been chained inside a fireplace, beaten, burned and starved. He is hospitalized for 10 days for skin graft surgery.
  • January 7, 2009: Confirmation is made that Kyle’s birth mother died in 2008. Kyle is placed in the care of an aunt and uncle, with whom he lives today, while attending school and continuing his recovery.

About John N. Demas and Demas Law Group, P.C.

Demas Law Group, P.C., is one of Sacramento’s leading personal injury firms. The firm represents individuals and families injured in automobile and premises liability accidents, as well as those harmed by dangerous and defective products throughout California. John N. Demas is the founding partner of Demas Law Group, P.C., and has been representing injured victims for over twenty years. He has extensive trial experience with several multi-million dollar verdicts, and has been selected by his peers as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year since 2009. In 2014 and 2015, he was also named a Top 100 Attorney for Northern California, and made the Top 25 List of Sacramento Lawyers. More information can be found at www.injury-attorneys.com.

Over $4,000,000: Confidential Product Liability Settlement

Confidential settlement reached in complex product liability case involving severe injury to a young man’s leg. Part of the settlement agreement required that the details of this case be kept confidential. Therefore, we are not able to share any additional information about this particular case.

Multiple Millions: Class Action Product Liability / Defective Breast Implants

We represented a couple hundred women in a class action case against various manufacturers of silicone breast implants. The litigation spanned several years and eventually the major manufacturers agreed to a global settlement of over four billion dollars. As part of the settlement process, we obtained medical records for each of our clients and arranged for them to be evaluated by well- qualified physicians. We had the physicians prepare detailed medical reports, focusing specifically on the criteria outlined in the terms of the settlement agreement. We submitted the reports and in the cases that the settlement administrator disagreed with our assessment, we challenged their findings with remarkable success rates. In nearly every case, we were able to obtain the maximum allowable recovery for our respective client’s injuries.

$3,000,000: Bicycle vs. Commercial Truck Collision/Brain Injury

Client: George H.; County: Sacramento

Attorney John Demas represented George H. in a bicycle accident that occurred in Sacramento County. Our client was riding his bicycle through an intersection when the driver of a commercial van entered the intersection unsafely and struck him. The case was litigated aggressively. The commercial van’s insurance company claimed that our client bore some responsibility for the collision because he was riding on the wrong side of the road and was not wearing a bicycle helmet. In addition, the case posed significant challenges because our client was homeless at the time of the collision and a long-time drug user.

In California, there is no law requiring adults to wear bicycle helmets. However, defendants in cases involving head injuries and bicyclists often argue that “a reasonable person” would wear a helmet and that wearing a helmet would decrease the extent of injuries suffered. However, it is the defendant’s burden to prove that the helmet would have made a difference. To counter this defense, we hired a world-renowned expert on helmets and head trauma, an engineer who has even consulted with the NFL to reduce head injuries.

Our expert conclusively proved that even if our client was wearing a helmet, he still would have sustained a significant head injury due to the location of the skull fracture. The defendants also questioned the nature and extent of our client’s head injury by pointing to his long history of drug use as being the cause of his brain injury. We had our client evaluated by one of the leading head injury doctors in California and we proved he did, in fact, sustain a traumatic brain injury from the collision and that his ongoing cognitive issues were related to the collision and not his prior drug use. The case settled shortly before trial after an all-day mediation for $3,000,000 – the defendant’s insurance policy limit.

$2,900,000 Jury Verdict/ Back Injury Premises Liability Case

Our client, was involved in two separate incidents 10 days apart in May 2012.  The first incident involved a wooden garage door falling on the client’s back and pinning him to a truck and the second incident involved our client riding as a passenger in a truck that was rear-ended 10 days later.

At the time the client was injured, he was 42 years old and had recently moved from Washington State to California.  Brian was in the middle of a work comp retraining program that brought him to Sacramento for an accounting/business program at MTI in Sacramento.  In 2002 our client was injured at work and ultimately had to have two neck surgeries due to his injuries.  Later, in 2008, our client was injured again at work which disabled him from working as a finish carpenter.  The second work injury ultimately lead to two shoulder surgeries and two additional neck surgeries.   By 2012, our client had two levels at his neck fused (4 prior neck surgeries) and screws in his right shoulder.  Due to his previous injuries and then to the injuries he suffered as a result of the garage door falling on his back, he did not work from 2008 until September 2015.

The first incident in our case with our client took place at a home that he and his wife had rented in Sacramento, California from the Defendant.  The incident involved a spring/hinged wood garage door that became unhinged and ultimately fell on our client’s back, pinning him to a truck, when he was in his garage.  That night, after the door fell on him, he went to the Emergency Room complaining of severe low back pain and left leg weakness.  He did not have any visible bruising at the time and his CT scans and X-Rays showed no fractures.  He was given four injections of pain medication, a diagnosis of “a contusion” and a prescription for additional pain medication.  For the next 10 days, our client stayed home and did not return to the doctor.

On the 10th day from the garage door incident, he was riding as a passenger in a pickup truck.   At a stop, the truck our client was riding in was the last vehicle to be rear-ended in a four-car rear-end crash.  Ten days after the rear-end crash, he returned to the Emergency Room complaining of low back pain and left leg weakness.

He ultimately got an MRI that showed he had a small disc herniation at L5-S1.  He tried conservative treatment (traction, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and a discogram) which gave him little to no relief from his pain and symptoms.  He sought out a second opinion from another specialist where another epidural steroid injection was administered.  Like the first injection, this one gave him no relief and it was recommended he have a microdiscectomy and laminectomy. 

In December 2013, our client had the recommended surgery and initially found, that it provided him great relief for his leg pain and some relief of his low back pain.  Unfortunately, about 6-9 months later, his symptoms returned and he was back at square one.  Because he needed to provide for his family, he went to work as a commercial roofer in September 2015 and worked for two years until his pain reached a point he could no longer tolerate.

In 2017, six weeks before trial, he underwent a one level anterior fusion at L5-S1.  At the time of trial, the surgery appeared to have been a success as he has no leg symptoms, very little low back pain and testified at trial he is doing great and is off pain meds.

Brian told all of his medical providers his injuries started from the car crash and never mentioned the garage door incident to any of them.  He also testified at deposition that his symptoms from the garage door incident resolved prior to the car crash.

The Defendant in the car collision accepted responsibility for his actions and entered into a “Mary Carter” agreement after tendering their remaining policy limits of $285,000.  In great contrast, the homeowner Defendants maintained throughout the course of the case that Brian was the cause of his own injury, or was never truly injured by the garage door in the first place.  Defendant homeowners refused to put forth a legitimate offer.  Their only offer until the eve of trial was $5,000 and increased to $50,000.  Their policy limits were $500,000 which were demanded multiple times.

At trial, Mr. Demas worked day and night to provide jurors with a mountain of evidence through photos, emails, and testimony from the homeowner defendants themselves that our client’s injury was a result of the homeowner’s negligence.  After 12 days of trial and 2 days of deliberations, jurors rejected the homeowner defendant’s arguments when all 12 returned the verdict that the homeowners were negligent and that their negligence was a substantial factor in causing our client’s injury.  The jury found the defendant homeowners 93% responsible for his injury and awarded him all the economic damages asked for (approximately $800,00) and over $2,000,000 in non-economic damages.  The final verdict with costs and interest against the homeowner defendants will be close to $3,000,000.