$11 Million In Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit involving the California Republican Party

Case: Ruehle v. California Republican Party

Case Number: 30-2017-00912044

Court: Orange County Superior Court

Result: $11,065,000

Result Date: May 2021

Through aggressive litigation, partner Chris Aitken and attorney Megan Demshki obtained an $11 million settlement with the California Republican Party on behalf of a father of six from Riverside who was involved in a freeway accident that left him with a devastating spinal cord injury. The plaintiff, Richard Ruehle was traveling on his motorcycle eastbound on the 91 freeway in the City of Anaheim in 2016 when he was violently struck by a paid campaign worker.

Initially, investigators found the plaintiff completely at fault for the incident. However, the Aitken Aitken Cohn legal team discovered the defendant driver was connected to a much larger enterprise through his work as a paid employee on the reelection campaign for Republican Assemblyman Eric Linder. The defendant, who was an unlicensed driver, worked as a paid voter data collector. The state GOP was actively involved in Linder’s campaign and its effort to collect information about voters. Attorneys uncovered evidence that established the Linder campaign was a joint enterprise with the California Republican Party.

The settlement ended nearly five years of intense litigation that exposed serious dangers associated with the lax standards of paid political campaign precinct walkers. The firm’s litigation team, which included partners Wylie Aitken, Darren Aitken, and Casey Johnson, revealed that the joint legal venture made both entities liable for Ruehle’s injuries. This settlement will pay for our client’s lifelong medical care, help him focus on spending time with his family and building his new life.

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