Goldberg & Ibarra win big at trial! In Moreno v. Kern County Superintendent the Honorable Christopher Brown awarded a payout of $1.8 million and lifetime medical. Moreno v. Kern County Superintendent has now been listed by Lexis Nexis as one of “California’s Top Noteworthy Panel Decisions of 2020 January, through June, 2020”.

On March 13, 2012, the life of Suguey Moreno was changed forever. She sustained an injury while working as a site supervisor for Kern County Superintendent of Schools. Ms. Moreno was performing her employment duties, moving furniture when a desk was dropped on her right foot. As she lifted the desk to remove it from her foot, she experienced low back pain which radiated up to her neck.  At the time, Ms. Moreno did not understand how extensive this injury would become.

The injury, in combination with a pre-existing malformation in her spine, continued to cause many severe health problems. These severe health problems ultimately prevented Ms. Moreno from returning to her usual and customary job. Not only was Ms. Moreno not able to return to her previous position, but she was also not able to return to any job in the open labor market.

Ms. Moreno was evaluated by multiple state doctors and vocational counselors, all whom concluded that she was 100% permanent and totally disabled.

The case was defended by the Bakersfield Law Firm of Hanna, Brophy, Maclean, Mcaleer, & Jensen. Defendants presented and argument that Ms. Moreno’s pre-existing condition, as noted by one state doctor, required the WCJ to apportion 40 percent of Ms. Moreno’s disability, substantially reducing her award to nearly a third of her ultimate recovery. Upon review of the state doctor reports, Goldberg & Ibarra presented a counter argument that the apportionment by the state doctor was not substantiated and therefore defendants had not met their burden, thereby requiring an unapportioned award of 100% disability.

This case was heard in front of the Bakersfield Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board. The matter proceeded to trial and the Honorable Christopher Brown agreed with Goldberg & Ibarra’s argument and ruled in Ms. Moreno’s favor, awarding Ms. Moreno $1,818,326.49 and lifetime medical for her work-related injury.

Defendants filed a petition for reconsideration and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board affirmed the findings.

Defendants filed a second petition for reconsideration on the amount of the award and the WCAB denied their petition.

The trial attorney on this case was Goldberg & Ibarra’s owner, David Ibarra. Mr. Ibarra was assisted by Ruby Flores, Paralegal and Noemi Soto, Legal Assistant.

Mr. Ibarra has said of this case, “It was a team effort by all at Goldberg & Ibarra. I appreciate all that my amazing team did to represent Ms. Moreno. I especially want to thank my paralegal, Ruby Flores and Legal Assistant, Noemi Soto. As we reflected on this case, we recognize, that we couldn’t have done it without the insight and profound teachings of our beloved Michael Goldberg. I would also like to thank additional members of our team, Rocio Mendez, Paralegal and Mena Kouch, Paralegal. Ms. Moreno is a fighter, she deserves every penny that this case guaranteed her. She has been put through a tremendous physical trauma, and I am privileged to have had the opportunity to represent her.”