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Ericksen Arbuthnot Prevails in an Assault and Battery Case

Sharon L. Hightower, a partner in the firm’s San Jose office, successfully obtained a complete defense verdict this week in a court trial in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The matter of Jones v. Kambish, et al. involved claims of assault, battery and negligence against an officer of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 265, as well as the Union itself. The claim arose from a quarterly sign-up meeting for coach operators of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA). The plaintiff in the case was a coach operator who claimed that a member of the Board of the Union “grabbed his arm and yanked it down twice while pushing his shoulder forward” in an attempt to get him to leave the room during the sign-ups.

The facts established that there were periods of time during the sign-ups when the staff had to authenticate the bids that had been made to assure accuracy and they needed quiet to focus on their work. Officials from VTA and the Union had requested quiet of all the individuals in the room or that they leave the room during the break.

The testimony at trial showed that the plaintiff raised his voice and/or ignored the requests which resulted in the Union official approaching him to guide him out of the room. Plaintiff contended that he suffered a torn rotator cuff and was seeking compensation for medical specials, wage loss, loss of disability, general damages and punitive damages. The last demand made by the plaintiff to our client was $100,000 and the only offer made by our client was for a waiver of costs.

After hearing all of the testimony and reviewing the exhibits, the court determined that the plaintiff had failed to sustain his burden of proof and that the prevailing parties was our client. Moreover, the court ordered that our client was entitled to an award of its costs as the prevailing party.

Sharon Hightower can be reached at 408.286.0880 or .