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Biren Law Group Wins $60M Verdict for Woman Who Suffered Aneurysm at a Hotel


Attorneys Matthew B.F. Biren and John A. Roberts of Biren Law Group—along with Attorney Arash Homampour of The Homampour Law Firm—achieved a $60 million verdict for their client, who suffered a serious cerebral aneurysm rupture at a hotel management company. The case was concluded on March 2, 2022 in Orange County Superior Court. Once prejudgment interest is factored in, the total client recovery will be in excess of $90 million.

About the Case

Our attorneys fought tirelessly to hold a hotel management company accountable, alleging that its negligence caused our client to suffer a far more devastating injury than she would have otherwise.

In 2014, our client, 59, decided to stay at one of the hotel management company's hotels and take in the sunset. She was alone in her hotel room when she suffered the aneurysm rupture, which incapacitated her and left her laying on the living room floor. It was 6:30 p.m.

She and her husband were in the habit of frequently talking on the phone when they weren’t together. Since he was back home caring for their dog business, he decided to give her a call at about 7 p.m. There was no answer, so he figured he would try again shortly.

Over the next three hours, our client's husband called numerous times, growing increasingly worried as call after call went unaswered.

A little after 10 p.m., our client's husband called the hotel and told the desk clerk that he was worried something bad had happened. He explained that it was uncharacteristic of his wife to ignore his calls, asking if they could do a welfare check.

The desk clerk complied and sent a maintenance man who was right there to go check our client's room. Sadly, however, he only opened the door, knocked, and called out to see if anyone was there. Since she could not respond and the furniture blocked her from view, the dark room appeared empty to the maintenance man. He left and reported back to the desk clerk that she wasn’t there.

Our client's husband had no idea what to do next. He could not imagine where his wife could be if she wasn’t in the room. And since he had lent his cell phone to our client (hers was not working), he decided to stay put near their home phone. That way, if she was okay, she could reach him.

Four in the morning rolled around with no word from his wife. Her husband grew frantic and drove to the hotel thinking that maybe she had left some information in the room about where she had gone. He got a key from the front desk and entered the room at 5:30 a.m. He took a few steps in and saw his wife laying on the floor; her breath was labored. 911 was called immediately. Emergency medical help arrived just minutes later.

Although our client survived, she now suffers from complete short-term memory loss, anterograde amnesia or the inability to lay down new memories. Her condition is permanent, and she cannot remember anything from more than 10 seconds ago. She has been rendered completely disabled and requires 24/7 care, certain therapies, and neurobehavioral-trained caregivers. Her husband does not have the financial means to provide this level of care. He has only been able to afford part-time caregivers, with him having to care for his wife alone when they were not there—often for hours or days at a time. He is completely exhausted and heartbroken from having to see his wife deal with such a disabling, earth-shattering condition.

Holding Hotels Accountable for Negligence

Upon hearing of this case, our team at Biren Law Group dug deep into the facts.

We found that the hotel’s room/welfare check policy was violated that night, as it required two employees to complete the check together. (One of those employees was supposed to be from management.) The hotel management company had yet to train the desk clerk and maintenance man on this crucial policy. As a result, our client was discovered a whole 7 hours after the 10:30 p.m. welfare check. That’s 11 hours after she suffered the initial injury.

Other than the issue of liability, the main issue was causation—did the delay in obtaining medical care cause our client's permanent, disabling memory loss? The trial was highly polarized, but we did not falter in our advocacy. The defendant relied on a neurosurgeon whose opinion was that the rupture of the anuerysm caused all of our client's problem, that she would have been exactly the same if found seconds or minutes after the rupture. We used a team composed of excellent experts—a neurocritcal care doctor, a neurologist who treats patients who survive ruptured anuerysms, a neuroratdiologist and a neuropsycholotist—to prove that had our client been found shortly after 10 p.m., her condition would have been far better, as the problems that caused her memory loss could have been avoided or treated in their early stages. In essence, we used facts and evidence to show the jury that time is of the essence when it comes to brain injuries, as well as that the defendant's claims that our client would be in the same condition regardless of what time she was discovered were simply false.

The jury ruled in the our clients' favor after two days of deliberation, as reported by the Daily Journal.

Our client was awarded $9.5 million for future care and $41 million in general damages: $12 million for past pain and suffering and $29 million for future pain and suffering. Our client's husband was awarded $10 million for past and future loss of consortium. Together, they are also entitled to $30 million in interest, bringing the total recovery to over $90 million.

The vote on liability was 12-0 and on damages 10-2, with two jury members wanting to award our clients more.

Financial compensation cannot turn back time, but our client will now be able to get the specialized care she needs and deserves.

A Family-Run Law Firm

Based in Los Angeles, Biren Law Group is committed to helping injured individuals recover their full and fair compensation. We fight hard to give our clients the chance to move forward after a catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Over the past 40 years, our aggressive advocacy has resulted in more than half a billion dollars recovered for our clients.

If you or a loved one has been injured by negligence, call (310) 896-4345 for a free consultation.