The Golden Advocates Underdog Award celebrates the success of a small firm or independent attorney who demonstrated great determination in litigating for their clients. Shafeeq Sadiq of Sadiq Law Firm, P.C. attained a record-breaking $29,000,000 settlement against Union Pacific Railroad after its employee was found liable for causing a life-changing crash.

A driver employed by Central California Traction Company – a subsidiary of Union Pacific Railroad – made an unprotected left turn at an intersection in his company Ford Explorer. He failed to yield the right of way to a 30-year-old motorcyclist approaching in the opposite lane, causing the man to crash into the right side of the vehicle. The motorcyclist suffered horrific injuries, including hip and skull fractures, a shattered jaw, impaired vision in his left eye, and a severe traumatic brain injury. To repair his face, surgeons removed portions of his mouth during an eight-hour procedure.

Union Pacific Railroad fought tooth and nail to deny responsibility and any relation to Central California Traction Company. The Defense counsel even alleged that Shafeeq’s client caused the crash. Shafeeq submitted a reasonable demand package, offering to settle the matter for $10,000,000, but the Defendants turned it down. Months later, a judge reviewed the evidence during a court trial and found Union Pacific Railroad liable for its subsidiary’s actions, piercing the corporate veil.

With trial approaching, Shafeeq needed to demonstrate that his client was in no way liable for the collision. So, first, he retained a team of experts, including an accident reconstructionist, an economist, and a lifecare planner. Then, he worked with DK Global to organize his evidence and expert testimony into an animated presentation.

The accident reconstruction began with a bird’s-eye view of the Defendant driver slowly turning left into an intersection, blocking the Plaintiff’s path. The animation paused as the Plaintiff impacted the SUV’s right A-pillar, his helmeted face shattering the car’s windshield. Photos from the collision were shown to demonstrate the accuracy of the visual. Finally, the Plaintiff’s staggering number of injuries were depicted while dozens of metal plates were fastened to his skull.

Shafeeq used the medical animation during a deposition of the defense medical expert. The expert said it was the best animation he had seen in 30 years and verified its accuracy. The Defense increased its offer to $9,000,000, but Shafeeq and his client declined and prepared for trial. Shafeeq played the animation during his direct examination of the accident reconstructionist; the jurors gasped, seeing the collision unfold. He shared the defense expert's testimony. The opposing counsel increased their offers to $12,000,000 and then $15,000,000 – but again, Shafeeq and his client stood firm. After careful deliberation, the jurors awarded the Plaintiff $23,965,999, the highest personal injury verdict in San Joaquin County to date. After including litigation expenses and interest, the case ultimately settled for $29,000,000.

In 2004, Shafeeq Sadiq of Sadiq Law Firm, P.C. began his legal career defending a large insurance company. After seven years, Shafeeq launched his solo practice dedicated to representing the victims of personal injury and wrongful death matters. In addition to obtaining the highest personal injury verdict in San Joaquin County history, Shafeeq is a member of the Capital City Trial Lawyers Association (CCTLA) and the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

Although the facts and outcomes presented in this email are intended to be true and accurate, they represent the reporting of a unique matter and do not imply or guarantee any type of result or outcome for matters in which DK Global is involved.
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