Daily Journal has Named Garo Mardirossian as Top 100 California Lawyers

By Pat Broderick

Civil rights cases are often personal injury disputes in which people’s constitutional rights have been violated, Mardirossian said.

“Coming from people who have been persecuted over the centuries, I wanted to do what I could do to help those in this country who have been persecuted,” said Mardirossian, who is of Armenian heritage.

In 1989m he found his calling when he ended up representing the Dole family, who were his friends, in a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department stemming from charges that deputies had brutalized 36 party goers at a wedding shower in Cerritos.

Mardirossian obtained a jury verdict and judgment of $24.8 million – the largest judgment in history against the department.

Since then, Mardirossian has tackled a number of landmark products and negligence cases with multimillion dollar verdicts.

Currently, he is preparing for what will be the first state bellwhether personal injury case to go on trial in California next year in the closely-watched Toyota unintended acceleration litigation. Toyota Motor Cases, JCCP 4621 (L.A Superior Court filed March 22, 2010).

Mardirossian is representing the son and husband of Noriko Uno, who was killed in a 2009 accident when her 2006 Camry allegedly sped out of control, forcing her to turn into oncoming traffic on a one-way street in Upland.

In another emotional case, Mardirossian represents the father of a homeless, mentally ill man who died after an encounter with six Fullerton police officers.

In July, Ron Thomas, the father of Kelly Thomas, filed suit in Orange County Superior Court against the city and the officers involved. Thomas v. City of Fullerton, 30-2012-00581299 (Orange County Superior Court filed July 5th, 2012).

The lawsuit was filed on the first anniversary of Kelly Thomas’ fatal beating, which was caught on a nearby police surveillance camera.

The case has attracted attention abroad, Mardirossian said, recalling his conversation at a fast food emporium with police who had heard about the incident.

“I was in London for the Olympics and my son and I went to McDonald’s,” Mardirossian said, “There were a couple of British bobbies there, and they were shaking their heads. They were shocked at the quick call-to-arms and beatings by American police.”

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