During his 40 years of litigation experience, including 22 years on the trial bench in Santa Clara County, Judge Baines has had extensive involvement in personal injury matters. He was the trial judge for Santa Clara County’s largest toxic tort trial (Leth v. IBM
– a four and one-half month jury trial pitting ailing disk-drive fabrication workers against their employer for allegedly concealing the fact that job-site chemicals were poisoning them). He has presided over literally hundreds of other personal injury trials, including those arising from automobile accidents, premises liability claims, excessive police force claims, civil rights claims, and professional negligence (medical and legal) claims. Judge Baines has settled an even larger number of cases, and brings his unique settlement abilities to both mediations and arbitrations. His experience includes the following:
- Judge Baines has successfully resolved a wide variety of personal injury matters at JAMS, from automobile accidents, to premises liability (tenant injured when non-tempered glass door on shower shattered), to false arrest/excessive force. In one matter he achieved agreement, and much-needed family peace, among family members unable to reach agreement on the proper allocation of a policy-limits settlement in a wrongful death case.
- Judge Baines has been selected, and served, as the neutral arbitrator in various personal injury matters, ranging from uninsured motorist arbitrations, to professional negligence claims against health care providers.
- Representative personal injury matters handled while on the bench include the following:
- Minieri v. Sears (1999) 76 Cal. App. 4th 1238 -- regarding the scope of the duty of a business owner to protect customers from an alleged danger existing outside and adjacent to the business premises (i.e., a nearby homeless encampment)
- Laico v. Chevron (2004) 123 Cal.App.4th 647 – six week toxic tort trial involving plaintiff’s claims of serious illness allegedly resulting from job-site exposure to benzene; involved issues of defendant’s prior knowledge of, and ability to control, the allegedly dangerous condition created by the tenant on the property
- Vargas v. Carmel Development Co., multi-million dollar verdict in case raising complex issues of liability of owner, contractor, and sub-contractor for injuries resulting from sub-contractor’s CalOSHA violations