Welcome to KERN SEGAL & MURRAY
Kern Segal & Murray was founded in 1974 by Lawrence E. Kern and since that time has been called upon by insurance companies, corporations, municipalities and other quasi governmental entities for its expertise in the defense of high exposure personal injury claims, warranty of habitability claims, employment, multi party/class action defense in commercial and product liability actions, fraudulent claims, AVMA, ADA, and construction defect litigation. In recent years, the firm has expanded to represent consumers on a selective basis for personal injuries. The firm continues to be recognized as one of the top litigation firms in the State, most recently by U.S. News and World Report as one of the best firms in 2019.
Our Practice Areas
KERN SEGAL & MURRAY is dedicated to the innovative and aggressive defense of these cases, while simultaneously controlling costs and expenses for our clients. For over two decades, the firm has specialized in the defense of personal injury litigation and has had a variety of experience in general defense litigation, along with selectively representing individual clients.
Recently, the firm has expanded to represent private clients in the pursuit of personal injury matters where the office has determined that a legitimate claim is presented with significant damages. The firm is dedicated and takes pride in its expertise, along with providing economical legal fees and costs to its prospective clients.
|KERN SEGAL & MURRAY has a wide range of experience. Our practice areas are as follows:|
Kern Segal & Murray RESULTS
- T.J. Murray and Jake Colvin prevailed in an admitted liability UIM case. The Claimant rejected the carrier’s $100,000.00 “new money” offer, demanding the $285,000.00 remaining on her UM policy and threatening a bad faith claim for failure to pay it. The arbitration award was $69,000.00, minus the $15,000.00 underlying settlement, for a net verdict of $54,000.00. Of note is that the carrier’s 100k new money offer came prior to expert discovery and Claimant deposed 6 treating physicians for testimony to be used at trial in addition to defense experts. Query whether his client received anything after these costs were deducted from the award.
- T.J. Murray and Jake Colvin obtained a summary judgment in favor of the City of Merced. Plaintiff had purchased a home that the City had refurbished as part of its Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The City took over foreclosed homes, refurbished them, and then sold them to low income residents with loan assistance. Plaintiff was able to purchase the home that had new heater, water tank, floors, appliances, counters, windows, roof, a/c unit, etc. It was really nice. Two years later mold appeared from a leak in the a/c condenser. Plaintiff sued the City, proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished. The court granted the summary judgment as Plaintiff had signed all of the disclosures and rights of inspection that go with every home sale. Yet she had filed a verified Complaint saying she was a renter and that the City had a duty to maintain the premises as a Landlord. The court also awarded attorney fees pursuant to a provision in the sales contract but the City waived its claim thereto.
- T.J. Murray and Dan Balich had a demurrer sustained without leave to amend in a Santa Clara County wrongful death case. In addition to the wrongful death cause of action against co-defendants, Plaintiff asserted a cause of action for negligent infliction of emotional distress (“NIED”) against the employer of decedent alleging that employer deliberately withheld notice of the fatality from decedent’s family, the Plaintiffs. The Court agreed with Defendant’s arguments that the requisite duty for purposes of NIED was not established in Plaintiff’s Complaint and that Plaintiff failed to demonstrate any manner in which the Complaint could be amended to adequately support the finding of such duty.
- T.J. Murray and Michelle Levinson obtained a summary judgment in favor of the City of Cupertino on a disability discrimination case brought by a former employee. The Court found that the City established that Plaintiff was unable to perform the essential job functions of his position and that the City had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for terminating Plaintiff’s employment.
- Phil Segal obtained a defense verdict against a plaintiff who claimed that defendant landlord’s negligence resulted in a fire in a commercial rental property causing Plaintiff to suffer catastrophic injuries including third degree burns and a spinal fracture. Plaintiff demanded $1.65 million, the jury awarded 0.
- Daniel Balich obtained defense verdict against a Plaintiff claiming subrogation damages stemming from a rear end accident in San Francisco. Defendants, a landscaping company, argued that Plaintiff’s insured was negligent and the sole cause of the rear end accident. Plaintiff demanded $10,000.00, the jury awarded 0.
- T.J. Murray obtained a defense verdict for the City of Cupertino in Santa Clara Superior Court after a one week jury trial. A homeowner exited his driveway and attempted to make a U turn across the westbound lane of Cristo Rey Drive into the eastbound lane. He collided with a motorcycle travelling in the westbound lane which caused serious injury to the motorcyclist. The homeowner settled with the motorcyclist then sued the cities of Cupertino and Los Altos for indemnity. The basis of the claim was that the curve in the road near the house had a limited sight line of westbound vehicles constituting a “dangerous condition” and that cities had notice thereof. The factual twist here is that the house and driveway were located within Los Altos but the street where the accident happened (in front of the house) was located within Cupertino.
- T.J. Murray obtained a very favorable jury verdict in an admitted liability auto case. Plaintiff’s pre-trial settlement demand was $1,000,000.00. Plaintiff’s counsel requested the jury award $1.7 million at trial. Defendant offered 100K to settle pre-trial. Jury verdict – $46,000.00. The cost bill was negotiated and final settlement was for $42,000.00.
- Mike Thomas and T.J. Murray obtained a summary judgment in favor of their paving contractor client against the City of Lafayette. Plaintiff bicyclist fell after hitting a “ridge” in an asphalt paved road. Plaintiff sued the City and the City cross complained on an express indemnity claim. The contract at issue was ambiguous in that it relieved the paving contractor from any 3rd party liability upon acceptance of the work by the City yet a separate indemnity provision called for indemnity arising out of any claim related to the paving work. In this case the City had accepted the work 6 years prior to the accident at issue. The court found in favor of the paving contractor given the City had accepted the work and any ambiguity was caused by the City, who drafted the contract at issue. The cost bill for attorney fees (as provided for in the contract) is pending.
- T.J. Murray obtained a defense verdict in Mendocino County in a Wrongful Death action brought by 5 surviving heirs. Defendant was exiting a driveway and making a right turn onto a 4 lane road, with a middle turn (suicide) lane. He was looking to his left, made the turn, and the decedent ran into his passenger door. Decedent was riding a power scooter the wrong way down the adjacent bike lane, with no flag on the scooter. The jury found no liability on the part of Defendant.
- Phil Segal obtained a defense verdict against three plaintiffs who claimed they had carbon monoxide poisoning and resulting brain damage from a heater malfunction and sued their landlord. Offers of $7,500 were made to each Plaintiff, which were rejected. Plaintiffs made a 1 million policy demand. After that was rejected, Plaintiffs demanded 9.7 million before trial. In response, Mr. Segal increased the offer to $50,000 with an indication of $100,000, which Plaintiffs rejected. The jury returned a defense verdict, finding that the landlord was not negligent. Mr. Segal negotiated an agreement to waive costs and in exchange, plaintiffs waived their right to file an appeal.