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Reiner beats State in Prison Bus Case | Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel, LLP

Our own Russell Reiner challenged the State of California on behalf of a local Fall River Mills contractor and won. The Shasta County jury awarded $1.89 million, holding the State of California responsible for a prison bus crash. Russ spent many days and nights for months ensuring that he could get Stephen Murphy fair compensation for his injuries.

Reiner stated, “Before the crash, Mr. Murphy worked most days with his hands, arms, and shoulders to build custom homes in the Shasta County area. He was lauded by the Fall River Mills community for taking on inexperienced workers and turning them into highly skilled local craftsmen. This jury has sent a message that the State of California must be as accountable as it expects citizens to be.”

Murphy stated, “This verdict allows me to rebuild my life, support my family and cover future medical treatment. I appreciated the guidance of Mr. Reiner and the law firm as we moved through the justice system. I also am thankful for the service of the jurors and the Court.”

Reiner added, “Insurance companies, car manufacturers, and the State routinely refuse to settle legitimate claims and expect us to take unacceptable settlements because of their perceptions of Shasta County juries. The truth is, Shasta County juries believe that people must take responsibility for their actions and there are consequences for those actions. This jury proved that point once again.”

Murphy and Reiner also praised local orthopedic surgeons Dr. Paul Schwartz, Dr. Richard Cross and pain specialist Dr. Sabet. Schwartz, a shoulder specialist, performed multiple surgeries on Murphy. Dr. Cross, who devotes a significant amount of his practice to treating patients with shoulder injuries, served as an expert witness.

Reiner added, “These surgeons were willing to take time out of their busy schedules to come to court and testify and explain Mr. Murphy’s extensive injuries and the requirements of his future medical care. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Cross believe it is their responsibility to stand up for what is right, even in litigation.”

The path to victory in this case was long and arduous, but in the end, Russ was proud of the result and was glad to help.


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Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel is a nationally recognized law firm located in Redding, California. The firm has achieved a peer-reviewed listing as Pre-Eminent Law Firm by Martindale-Hubbell. Two of our lawyers have been recognized in Northern California Super Lawyers. Reiner, Slaughter & Frankel has won over 98 percent of the cases that have gone to trial.

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