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GBW's Trial Team Prevails: $11.2 Million Verdict Against Beverage Industry Giant for Negligence in Dangerous Warehouse Design


GBW's trial team, including partner Bruce Broillet, partner Ivan Puchalt, and attorney Francisco Yeverino, secured an $11.2 million verdict in Yolo County Superior Court on April 10th against Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., a beverage industry giant in a case centered around a dangerously designed warehouse.

The team represented the plaintiff, Eldon R. Loeser, a seasoned 69-year-old truck driver tasked with delivering goods to a facility in West Sacramento. Maneuvering a 53-ft trailer, Loeser was left with little choice but to cross double yellow lines and park against traffic to prepare his trailer before backing into the unloading warehouse. Tragically, while opening the 4ft wide doors, he neglected to survey his surroundings for oncoming traffic, and while trying to pin the trailer’s door to the side of the trailer, a passing van struck the truck’s door which slammed into the plaintiff severely injuring him.

The trial presented many challenges, with the defense attempting to attribute fault to the plaintiff. However, GBW's legal team adeptly argued numerous instances of negligence at the corporate level. These included the failure to construct a facility accommodating 53-foot trailers, inadequate signage directing proper parking, and a glaring absence of written safety protocols for unloading procedures. GBW's trial team also proved that Nor-Cal exercised control over the public roadway which they were using for their own private unloading operations.

Lead trial attorney Bruce Broillet told the LA Daily Journal, "Even though [driver Eldon Loeser] admitted to making a human error, which he acknowledged from the very beginning of the trial, [defendant Nor-Cal Beverage] put him in a position of danger."

Following deliberation, the Yolo County jury assigned 70% responsibility to the defendant and 30% to the plaintiff for his enduring traumatic brain injuries.

"This verdict highlights the critical need for corporate accountability in ensuring workplace safety. It underscores companies' responsibility to provide adequate infrastructure and protocols to safeguard workers, especially in high-risk industries like transportation," said GBW partner Ivan Puchalt.