A former San Jose police officer who was at the center of a drunken driving cover-up scandal is now on the hook for close to $250,000 after a jury verdict in a civil trial brought forth by the law firm of Corsiglia McMahon & Allard on behalf of their injured client.
Online PR News – 24-February-2011 – – San Jose, CA - A Santa Clara County Superior Court Jury today returned a punitive damages verdict against former San Jose Police Officer and District Attorney Investigator Sandra Woodall (Superior Court Case #1-09-CV-136463), holding her accountable for the injuries she caused as a result of driving while intoxicated. Following the jury verdict personal injury attorney Robert Allard with the law firm of Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, representing the victim, agreed to forego a hearing to establish the amount of punitive damages by stipulating for a total of just over $247,000.
“This was never about the money. From day one the family of the victim has pursued justice against Woodall and the San Jose Police officers involved through various channels with the lawsuit being a last resort,” said Allard, who tried the case with the assistance of attorney Dan Schaar, also with Corsiglia McMahon & Allard. “Much like in the OJ Simpson case where the Goldman family resorted to civil justice, the family in this case viewed the Court as their last hope for justice and accountability. With the jury acting as the watchdogs of our community, they awarded punitive damages to punish Woodall for her malicious behavior and to prevent our community from further egregious behavior from her going forward,” added Allard.
In March of 2008, Woodall smashed her speeding Cadillac into several cars, injuring the teenage victim. The accident set off a series of events driven by the victim’s family that led to a San Jose Police investigation resulting in two officers being fired for allegedly covering up for Woodall by not citing her or testing her for alcohol. The officers later were reinstated after a lengthy arbitration determined that the punishment was too harsh.
“Woodall has avoided personal responsibility for nearly three years,” said Allard. Woodall pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drunk driving which meant that she was able to avoid serving time in state prison and was instead assigned to a work furlough program. “With Woodall being able to sleep in her own bed and cook her own meals the family viewed this more as detention rather than punishment,” said Allard.
The victim was seeking monetary damages to cover her injuries sustained by Woodall's driving and for punitive damages to deter Woodall from potentially hurting others in the future.
About Corsiglia McMahon & Allard
Corsiglia McMahon & Allard was named one of the best law firms in America in 2010 by U.S. News Best Law Firms. Timothy McMahon, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and Robert Allard, selected twice by The American Trial Lawyers Association as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California join partner Brad Corsiglia, selected by Best Lawyers in America, along with associate Mark Sigala, former President, Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, to position Corsiglia McMahon & Allard as the preeminent personal injury law firm in San Jose and California.