Eric was featured by the Press Enterprise and the Orange County Register for his success in a recent arbitration award. Say the newspapers, "A Placentia woman who slipped and fell at the Pechanga Resort & Casino has been awarded more than $2.8 million in damages after her attorney argued that injuries forced her to leave a schoolteacher’s position." Read more...
A record $2.88M arbitration award was issued June 22, 2016, by a retired judge following a slip and fall incident by a schoolteacher resulting in loss of work due to a concussion with vertigo and nausea. It is the only case to proceed to binding arbitration against the Pechanga Casino and the largest verdict in the state’s history against the Pechanga Indian Reservation under the Pechanga Tort Liability Act. Attorney Eric Traut represented the claimant to its conclusion after coming on as lead counsel only four months prior to the five-day arbitration. Numerous doctors, neuro-psychologists, a vocational rehabilitation expert, and financial experts testified in the case, heard by arbitrator, Hon. J. Richard Haden (Ret.), who ruled in favor of the victim of the slip and fall injury, awarding $2.884,077.60 for medical expenses, lost income and non economic damages. The only settlement offer made by Pechanga was $60,000. Pechanga claimed it was all a hoax perpetrated by the claimant to stay at home with her teenage daughter and quit her job. The evidence of it being anything but a hoax came through the testimony of the treating doctors, and teachers and the principal at the school at which she had taught for 20+ years.
The victim fell on a wet floor while entering the Pechanga Casino in May 2013. She slid, fell onto her buttocks, felt a jolt, and then her concussion symptoms increased dramatically over the next few days including loss of memory, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and vomiting. These are common symptoms of what the treating doctors diagnosed as post-concussion syndrome. Doctors hired by Pechanga claimed she did not sustain a concussion, but had no explanation as to what was causing her continuing debilitating symptoms.
Traut has seen that many times the effects of an injury don’t necessarily appear right away, an element that sometimes discourages individuals from seeking legal relief following a fall. Says Traut of the award for his client, a former elementary school teacher, “It is my hope that this ruling brings a greater degree of safety for all those who attend a gaming facility and that it also brings peace of mind for my client for all that she has been through. She would give the money back in an instant if she could have her former life back again.”
Having tried over 100 civil jury trials, many of them personal injury and slip and fall cases, attorney Eric Traut has successfully represented people who have been injured due to negligence, hazards, or other dangerous conditions.