Large Civil Jury Trial Begins in San Bernardino

Person Running On A Track

After the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District denied defendants’ petition to delay trial in Freeman v. Board of Trustees of the California State University et al., the trial is now underway in San Bernardino County, the Daily Journal reported.

The article published on Nov. 11 stated that this is the first large, multiparty civil trial in the County since the COVID-19 shutdown.

Ms. Freeman accused California State University (CSU) employees of negligence when she collapsed due to heat stroke and suffered severe brain injury after she was required to run a 5K course during hot weather for academic credit. The university then cross-sued emergency personnel and hospital doctors for negligence in their treatment of Ms. Freeman.

Panish Shea & Boyle LLP is representing Ms. Freeman in the civil rights suit and retained Larson LLP to argue against the CSU defendants’ appeal after Superior Court Judge Lynn M. Poncin refused to delay the trial. “Non-preference civil jury trials were suspended until 2021 by the San Bernardino County Superior Court, but Poncin found good cause was shown to proceed, with safety measures in place,” the Daily Journal explained. 

“Freeman’s lawyers from Larson LLP and Panish Shea & Boyle LLP argued the court found good cause to start trial, given her severe injuries and required round-the-clock care, and that the court went above and beyond having the courtroom thoroughly reviewed by the county’s public health officers. [Partner] Stephen G. Larson argued the CSU was fighting tooth and nail to delay the case.” 

In addition to Stephen, the Larson LLP team handling the appeal includes partner Jonathan E. Phillips and associate Matthew S. Manacek.

Read the full article by Gina Kim of the Daily Journal covering the appeal and trial here


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