Kenneth M. Fitzgerald
Attorney at Law
I was raised in Visalia, California. I received my bachelor's degree from the University of California-Davis in 1986 and my law degree from the University of the Pacific-McGeorge School of Law in 1989. After working with a law firm in Visalia until 1993, I started my own practice. My philosophy is simple "Do a good job for my clients and success will follow."
Compassion and passion are the two most important values in representing clients. Those values were instilled in me by my parents and grandparents. They passed on the values of love and a strong work ethic.
Our clients have been awarded some of the largest verdicts and settlements in Tulare County history. In 2009, both Tulare County and Fresno County attorneys nominated me for consumer Attorneys of California Trial Attorney of the Year award.
The verdicts and settlements our clients have received are in the following areas:
*Product Liability - Gas explosions and other dangerous products
Our passion and compassion results in the best possible results in negotiating settlements and success at trial.
Our commitment is to treat every client the way we would want an attorney to treat us.
We have represented in excess of one thousand clients in our 29 years and have among the largest verdicts and settlements in Tulare County history.
Attorneys from both Tulare County and Fresno County nominated me for California Trial Attorney of the Year in 2009.
Settlements And Verdicts
- Two plumbers received second-degree burns in a natural gas explosion at a Porterville school that was under construction. Deodorized natural gas accumulated in a storage closet where the two plumbers were working. The natural gas could not be detected by the plumbers. An explosion occurred while they were attempting to light a water heater. Southern California Gas had known for decades that gas can become deodorized as it flows through a new steel pipe. The Gas Company treats its own lines to prevent deodorization but failed to warn the general public that their own gas lines, left untreated, could also deodorize the gas. The jury returned a verdict for $2,690,000 for the burn injuries sustained by the plumbers and awarded $10,000,000 in punitive damages to punish The Gas Company for failing to warn of a known dangerous condition. Following the verdict, Southern California Gas Company, PG&E, and most gas companies across the nation began warning about the deodorization of natural gas and changed their policies and procedures to ensure that deodorized gas was not delivered to its customers. This verdict has undoubtedly saved people's lives as there were many natural gas explosions caused by odor fade.
- Natural Gas explosion occurred at a hotel under construction in a California. Thirteen people were injured. Three received second and third-degree burns. Property damage to the hotel was approximately $20 million. We represented one of the burn victims. A confidential settlement was reached for tens of millions of dollars. Our client received $9,500,000.
- Plaintiff was playing on a home-made slip and slide with several other teenagers. While Plaintiff was sliding on his stomach, under another teenager's legs, another teenager slid at Plaintiff from the side. Plaintiff sustained severe injuries, resulting in paralysis. Settlement for policy limits $7,000,000.
- Box store set up a display that created a dangerous tripping hazard, which was difficult to see by shoppers. An elderly woman tripped and fell, striking her head on the concrete floor. Plaintiff suffered a hematoma and stroke as a result of the blow to her head. Settlement of $4,150,000.
- A woman tripped over a chipped tile in a store, which had existed for a long period of time. We established that there were various tripping hazards throughout and the company was negligent in it's maintenance of known dangerous conditions. She suffered significant injuries. Settlement of $3,500,000.
- Truck driver ran a red light, striking a car with four passengers. A young woman was ejected from the vehicle. She suffered a significant scar on her back and arm. Plaintiff's parents also received soft tissue injuries and emotional distress damages for witnessing their daughter's injuries. Plaintiff received a verdict for $3,000,000 in damages. The verdict also awarded the parents $250,000 each for emotional distress damages.
- Plaintiff was riding a motorcycle on a county road. Defendant was driving a pick-up truck in front of Plaintiff. Plaintiff went to pass the pick-up, the pick-up made a left turn, with a faulty left run signal, running the Plaintiff off the road. Liability was contested. Plaintiff sustained severe injuries resulting in paralysis. Settlement of $2,850,000.
- Parents sued for the wrongful death of their adult son, who was killed when a semi-truck ran a stop light. Settlement of $1,500,000.
- Wrongful termination and sexual harassment of four women by a female a manager of a restaurant. Settlement of $1,100,000.
- Wrongful and harassment of a Caucasian male employee by hispanic male co-workers. The jury reached a verdict of $450,000 for emotional distress damages and awarded punitive damages. Prior to the jury deliberating on the amount to award for punitive damages, a settlement in the amount of $1,100,000 was reached.
- Our client was sued for damage caused to rented heavy equipment. Our counter sued for negligence resulting in a business loss of $1,100,000. The arbitrator found against the heavy equipment rental company and for our client in the amount of $1,100,000.
- A cow escaped from a pasture with poorly maintained fences. The land owner was starving the cows, leading the escape of the cow that was struck by plaintiff on a county road. Plaintiff injuries resulted in his not being able to continue his employment. Case settled for policy limits of $1,000,000.
- Product liability where a man suffered a serious crush injury to his arm which was crushed as a result of a defective hydraulic on car hauler. Verdict of $1,000,000.
- Automobile collision where plaintiff hit a semi-truck making a left-turn in the fog. Plaintiff sustained significant injuries to her legs. Settlement of $800,000.
- Fraud and breach of contract where plaintiffs, two elderly women, invested money in a ponzi-type scheme. Settlement of $760,000.
- Intentional interference with business relationship. Verdict of $500,000. Jury found punitive damages. Settled punitive damages for $250,000 before jury reached verdict.
- Legal malpractice case wherein plaintiff was the passenger in a helicopter crash. She sustained serious injuries to her back. The law firm who originally represented her in that case committed malpractice resulting in her personal injury case being dismissed. We sued the law firm for malpractice resulting in a verdict of $805,000.
- Automobile collision where plaintiff hit a semi-truck that was crossing the road in the fog. Plaintiff sustained significant injuries to her legs. Settlement for $650,000.
- Minority Shareholder sued majority shareholder for breach of fiduciary duty. The jury returned a verdict for our client on liability. Settled before damages phase for $650,000.
- Wrongful termination and retaliation when heavy equipment operator was terminated for reporting wage and hour abuses. Settlement of $600,000.
- Plaintiff was injured when he tripped exiting an elevator that misleveled, plaintiff sustained serious injuries to his back. Settlement of $488,000.
- Wrongful termination and discrimination where plaintiff, a 68-year-old female truck driver, was terminated from a trucking company. Verdict of $450,000.
- Crop loss where plaintiff sustained significant damage to his crops due to inadequate warning on pesticides. Settled for $413,000.
- Fraud and breach of contract where plaintiffs invested money in a ponzi-type scheme. Settlement of $275,000.
- Crop loss - verdict of $275,000.
Our office has had numerous other verdicts and settlements, ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Our office has also represented many large companies in business disputes and employment litigation.