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Garretson v. Harold I. Miller, PLC

California Court of Appeal
121 Cal. Rptr. 2d 317 (2002)


Monica Garretson-Miller (plaintiff) worked for Jackson Creek Dental Group (Jackson Creek). Garretson was injured by an electric shock when she flipped a switch controlling an air compressor that powered the office’s dental equipment. Jackson Creek’s principal, Dr. Ron Ask, had hired John Matta to construct the office building where the dental practice was located. Matta hired D & R Electric for the electrical work. D & R Electric installed the air compressor and wall switch. However, the wall switch was too small to operate the air compressor. After her injury, Garretson hired the law office of Harold I. Miller, PLC (defendant) to represent her. Harold Miller (defendant) pursued a workers’ compensation claim on her behalf. A few years later, Garretson moved and hired a new attorney. Garretson’s new attorney advised her that Miller should have also sued Dr. Ask, Matta, and D & R Electric for causing her injury. However, the statute of limitations had by that time expired. Garretson sued Miller and his law firm for legal malpractice. During the trial, Garretson did not introduce any evidence regarding the finances of Dr. Ask, Matta, or D & R Electric. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Garretson, and Miller moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The trial court granted the motion, and Garretson appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hull, J.)

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