The Law: Troika of Torts

After the jury delivered its verdict in San Jose Lawyer James Boccardo's most recent big case, one of Boccardo's colleagues gulped: "What was it, Jim, a class action?" The question was understandable. In the ever-soaring market of personal-injury verdicts, Boccardo and two associates had just captured the highest money award in legal history: $3,650,000.

Any jury would have sympathized with the plight of Boccardo's client. A diesel mechanic from Ely, Nev., Keith Bush, now 30, suffered grave brain damage when a bolt snapped and 1,250 Ibs. of electrical equipment hurtled down to crush...

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