Plaintiff

Our “never give up” attitude, meticulous preparation, and keen trial skills define McManis Faulkner’s plaintiff’s litigation practice. We have a long-established history of pursuing challenging plaintiff-side litigation for individuals and corporations. Over the years, we have handled every type of case—approach, we take cases on a contingency, hybrid or mixed-fee, hourly rate, success-related bonus, or court-determined basis. We are also willing to consider other non-traditional arrangements when a situation calls for it.

In the civil rights arena, McManis Faulkner lawyers represent both individual and corporate plaintiffs, whose rights have been violated in such areas as discrimination, excessive force, false arrest, contracts clause violations, and takings. We possess years of experience advocating for clients against government entities in both state and federal court, and have tried cases under Title 42 United States Code Section 1983, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other state and federal statutes.

Our proficiency also extends to representation of individuals, businesses, and class members in torts, antitrust, copyright and trademark; consumer credit and consumer fraud; shareholder, taxpayer and derivative suits; and employment discrimination and wage and hour claims. Firm attorneys are equally adept at handling class actions and other complex litigation in both state and federal courts. Our acuity in such cases has resulted in substantial recoveries from manufacturers, insurance companies and lenders, as well as other corporate and individual wrongdoers.

As plaintiffs’ trial lawyers, we are very familiar with matters involving unfair business practices, securities violations, breach of fiduciary duty, elder abuse, and statutory and common-law fraud. We are also experts in representing individuals who have been seriously injured due to professional negligence, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents and products liability.


Case Studies

Plaintiff Case Studies

McManis Faulkner Obtains $11.3 Million Settlement

Result:
An $11.3 million settlement.

Client:
Jerry Kielty, a shotcrete concrete pump operator and general construction worker

Overview:

McManis Faulkner obtained an $11.3 million settlement for Jerry Kielty, a 54-year-old shotcrete concrete pump operator, who fell through an unguarded open hole at a construction site in San Jose. Kielty also successfully settled with his worker’s compensation carrier, which guaranteed payments of his medical bills for life.

The case, Kielty v. Advent, et al., was litigated in Santa Clara County Superior Court and involved 10 defendants, including the general contractor, carpentry contractor, masonry contractor, developers, fire sprinkler company and other subcontractors. The defendants contended they took all reasonable steps to maintain workplace safety and that the plaintiff was at fault for the accident. 

After four years in court that saw the defeat of numerous summary judgment motions, McManis Faulkner successfully negotiated a global settlement with the defendants. The firm then worked with the client to obtain a trust to ensure care for him for the rest of his life.




McManis Faulkner Obtains Large Settlement for Computer Hardware Manufacturer

Result:
McManis Faulkner obtained substantial settlement to the satisfaction of the client.

Client:
Major Computer Hardware Manufacturer

Overview:

A private security firm failed to protect the extremely valuable property of a major computer hardware manufacturer from theft. As a result, the computer hardware manufacturer represented by McManis Faulkner filed suit. The ensuing litigation was tough-fought, with the security firm disclaiming responsibility for its employee’s theft of property and refusing to pay any damages. McManis Faulkner ultimately obtained a sizable settlement from the security firm in an amount representing the value of the stolen property.




Unanimous Jury Verdict Vindicates Client’s Constitutional Rights

Result:
Unanimous jury verdict in favor of plaintiff

Client:
Female Chinese-American Ph.D. and Registered Nurse

Overview:

McManis Faulkner obtained a unanimous jury verdict in Chang v. County of Santa Clara, vindicating our client’s constitutional rights.  Dr. Chang, a female Chinese-American Ph.D. and Registered Nurse, was violently arrested after declining to sign a traffic citation for “driving too slowly.”  Although Dr. Chang was not legally required to sign the citation, the recordings from the deputies’ dash cams showed the deputies antagonized Dr. Chang and insisted repeatedly that she sign the citation.  When Dr. Chang persisted in requesting to speak with a supervisor, the deputies—who were more than twice Dr. Chang’s size—became exasperated, grabbed her arm, ripped her out of her car, twisted her about, and pushed her head against the car, breaking her glasses and cutting her face. Dr. Chang was never told she was under arrest or asked to get out of her vehicle. In the recording, she can be heard pleading that she would go peacefully, and saying, “You are hurting me.”  One deputy responded, “Yeah, I know; you are going to go to jail now too.”  

Dr. Chang made an Internal Affairs complaint with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office against the deputies for excessive force.  She was later informed that the County had investigated her complaint, but the County “exonerated” the deputies because the conduct occurred but it “was justified, lawful and proper.”  She then hired McManis Faulkner to file a civil suit.  Following a week of trial and three days of deliberations, the jury unanimously found both deputies used excessive force during Dr. Chang’s arrest, and that Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith ratified their conduct.




McManis Faulkner Obtains Ninth Circuit Ruling

Result:
U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned District Court decision.

Client:
Rahinah Ibrahim, a Stanford graduate student from Malaysia

Overview:

McManis Faulkner successfully represented Rahinah Ibrahim, a Stanford graduate student, who found herself inexplicably on the No-Fly List. Ibrahim was arrested at San Francisco International Airport in 2005 before being allowed to fly to her native Malaysia for an academic conference. She was not allowed to return to the U.S. due to her ‘No-Fly’ List status.

Filing in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, government lawyers argued that with the passage of 49 USC Section 46110 by Congress, federal judges had no jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA). As such, only appellate courts have jurisdiction over such cases, making them impossible to litigate because appellate courts cannot take evidence and had no lower court decision – complete with evidence – to review and reconsider.

In a decided victory, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to allow federal trial judges to investigate the make-up of the ‘No-Fly’ List. The court held that the Terrorist Screening Center, the agency that compiles the list, is part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is not listed in 49 USC Section 46110.

McManis Faulkner then filed a suit in U.S. District Court to have Ibrahim's name removed; however, Judge William Alsup dismissed the suit. He ruled that Ibrahim had no constitutional rights at stake because she was a foreigner who had left the U.S. voluntarily.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the District Court decision, ruling that Ibrahim had significant U.S. connections - she had spent four years as a graduate student at Stanford, traveled abroad only to present her research at a Stanford-sponsored conference, and would have returned for academic and personal visits if the government hadn't barred her.




Civil Rights

Result:
$250,000 settlement with the City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Police. Case is ongoing against the federal government.

Client:
Malaysian Stanford Ph.D. Candidate

Overview:

Landmark Ruling in No-Fly Case

McManis Faulkner represented the client in a case against the federal government and the City and County of San Francisco regarding the wrongful placement of her name on the No-Fly List and wrongful arrest. The client is a professor, officer of the Malaysian government and a Muslim. In 2005, she was a Stanford Ph.D. student who was studying in the U.S. on a student visa. 

On January 2, 2005, the client arrived at the San Francisco airport with her 14 year-old daughter to board a flight to Malaysia. She was told that she was on the No-Fly List and arrested without probable cause by the San Francisco police. Two hours after her arrest, she was released and was told that she could board a flight to Malaysia the next day. However, her visa was later revoked, and she has not been allowed to return to the U.S. since.  McManis Faulkner represented the client in a federal action to remove her name from any terror watch lists and for monetary damages for her wrongful arrest. The firm obtained a landmark ruling from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the client had a right to pursue her action for removal of her name from any watch lists in federal district court. 

After returning to the Northern District Court, McManis Faulkner obtained another landmark decision, allowing the client to obtain substantial discovery from the defendants into the reason for her arrest, communications between local and federal government surrounding her false arrest, and overruling defendants’ objections that this information is privileged or should not be disclosed as sensitive security information. After this sweeping win, the client obtained a $250,000 settlement for her false and unlawful arrest with the City and County of San Francisco and U.S. Investigations Services, Inc., whose employee ordered her arrest. Having been vindicated for her unlawful arrest, the client now pursues her claims against the federal government for the removal of her name from the No-Fly List.




Wrongful Death

Result:
Substantial Confidential Settlement

Client:
Oral Surgeon’s Spouse, Individually and as Successor-in-Interest to Oral Surgeon

Overview:

An oral surgeon working with a highly addictive controlled narcotic, Fentanyl, performed patient surgeries at the offices of a dental practice management service company. The company ordered the Fentanyl for the doctor and took the responsibility of handing the narcotic in its offices. Unfortunately, the company did not take reasonable steps to track the narcotics, which inevitably resulted in employees’ ability to divert these substances for their own use. The doctor began diverting Fentanyl and became addicted. McManis Faulkner argued that had the company taken proper measures to track the narcotic, it would have either prevented the doctor’s diversion or it would have been discovered and he would have been required to enter an in-patient treatment program. The doctor overdosed on Fentanyl at the company’s dental offices. He slipped into an irreversible coma because of the overdose and died at the age of 37. Representing the doctor’s wife, McManis Faulkner filed a wrongful death action. After successfully defeating the company’s motion for summary judgment, McManis Faulkner obtained a substantial confidential settlement on behalf of client.




Consumer Fraud Class Action

Result:
$45 million settlement

Client:
Nationwide Class of Hundreds of Thousands of Diabetic Consumers

Overview:

In consumer fraud actions brought in both federal and state courts, McManis Faulkner’s efforts on behalf of a nationwide class of hundreds of thousands of diabetic consumers resulted in a cash settlement of $45 million obtained from a renowned medical device manufacturer.




Personal Injury

Result:
$500,000 Settlement

Client:
20 year-old Amateur German Bicyclist

Overview:

The client, a 20 year-old amateur German bicyclist, was with a group of cyclists on a training ride southbound on Stevens Canyon Road in Cupertino, California. A Sheriff’s Deputy was headed northbound on Stevens Canyon Road in his patrol car, when he crossed over the double yellow line and struck the client and two other cyclists. The two other cyclists were both killed. The client lived, sustaining a broken leg and arm. He returned home to Germany and, after a recovery period, was able to return to school and cycling. McManis Faulkner filed suit against the County of Santa Clara. After the parties conducted limited discovery, the County agreed to settle the bicyclist’s claims for $500,000.




Product Defect

Result:
Substantial Confidential Settlement

Client:
Midwest Attorney and Spouse

Overview:

The client had a surgical repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The client chose an implant manufactured by Guidant Corporation, the Ancure Endograft. Two years later, he suffered a life threatening ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm resulting from complications caused by the device. McManis Faulkner filed suit against Guidant Corporation and related defendants. The complaint alleged that the client was misled by defendants’ marketing materials regarding the risks of the procedure. The complaint further alleged that the defendants failed to give adequate warnings of undisclosed dangers and latent defects. As a result, the client suffered physical and mental damage and incurred large medical bills. The defendants filed three motions for summary judgment. McManis Faulkner successfully defeated all. As a result, clients were able to obtain a substantial confidential settlement.