Stephen M. Garcia
Stephen M. Garcia represents victims of elder and nursing home abuse in Los Angeles County, and is known as one of the leading civil litigators in the country. Senior Partner at Garcia & Artigliere, the firm’s practice focuses on elder abuse, nursing home abuse, trucking accidents and wrongful deaths. Aiding Los Angeles County and other cities nationwide, Garcia has served as counsel in litigation leading to over $1.25 billion in compensation awarded to afflicted parties and consumers in the United States. These cases involved insurance bad faith, medical malpractice, elder abuse, nursing home abuse and products liability. Other notable verdicts and settlements obtained by Garcia include:
- A $1.25 million settlement on behalf of Korean War veteran from the Veteran’s Administration. This was found to be one of the “top settlements of the year”
- A $6.0 million class action settlement award in an elder abuse case on behalf of elder and dependent adult residents of the Ensign Corporation’s California long term care facilities
- A $5.2 million elder abuse trial verdict by a Santa Monica court where a resident suffered 16 falls at a licensed residential care facility for the elderly
Prior to becoming a civil trial lawyer in 1994, Garcia was a criminal trial lawyer. The Law Offices of Stephen M. Garcia, founded in 1987, was purchased by the nationally- recognized elder abuse and nursing home abuse litigation boutique firm, Wilkes & McHugh in 2001. Garcia served as Wilkes & McHugh’s managing attorney for the western United States for two years prior to returning to his own firm in April, 2003.
Garcia’s nationwide practice grew rapidly with elder abuse, nursing home abuse, truck accidents and wrongful death cases litigated across the country. As his practice grew, in addition to the California office, Garcia opened new offices in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida and Kentucky.
Garcia has concentrated on his civil trial practice since 1994, following nine years of focusing on criminal trial advocacy. He has served as lead counsel on behalf of disenfranchised consumers in cases including, insurance bad faith, medical malpractice, elder abuse, nursing home abuse and products liability. Garcia served as counsel in class actions brought on behalf of consumers against such major diverse corporations as Allstate Insurance Company, Tenet Healthcare, Pennzoil, Medtronics, Hewlett Packard, Countrywide Home Loans, Sun Healthcare Corporation, The County of Los Angeles, Sony, British Airways United Airlines, Motorola, State Farm Insurance Company and AT&T. Garcia has also served as a staunch defender for those companies who hold themselves up to the highest ideals of service and wish to work towards the absolute best practices to provide quality service to those whom they serve.
Garcia has been honored to be named one of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America” by Lawdragon Magazine. Garcia was one of only 100 Plaintiff’s lawyers throughout the nation named to the Lawdragon list. Garcia was also honored to be named a recipient of the California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award for elder law in 2009; the prestigious award presented by the California Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Previous honors received by Garcia include his being named one of the “500 leading Plaintiff’s Lawyers in America;” one of 2,500 nationwide “Fellows of The American Academy of Trial Counsel” (whose membership is by invitation only and limited to one half of one percent of America’s lawyers); and one of the “3000 Top Lawyers in America” on multiple occasions.
Garcia is also a member of the prestigious “Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum” whose membership is limited to attorneys who have been awarded, and collected, verdicts in excess of multi-million dollars. Garcia was honored to be named a member of the prestigious “Super Lawyers” of Southern California by Los Angeles magazine on numerous occasions from 1997 through 2015 (including being having been named one of the “Super Lawyers Top 100”) and was listed as a member of the “Billion Dollar Club” by the Los Angeles Daily Journal for having generated more than $10 million in fees in a calendar year. The Consumers Attorneys of California named Garcia a finalist for their distinguished “Street fighter of the Year” award in 2007.
Garcia has served as lead class counsel in the nationally certified class actions Morgan v. Medtronics and In Re Bluetooth; as well as serving as lead counsel in the California action certified for class approval effecting the lives of over 22,000 elder and infirm California residents in Smietana v. Pleasant Care et al.; lead counsel in the California action certified for class approval effecting the lives of over 25,000 elder and infirm California residents in Benkle v. Longwood; lead counsel in the California action certified for class approval effecting the lives of over 35,000 elder and infirm California residents in Williamson v. Ensign Group; lead counsel in the California action certified for class approval effecting over 4,000 elder and infirm adults in California and another 2,000 in Oregon in In Re Sunwest Healthcare; as lead class counsel in the California action certified for class approval effecting over 2,000 elder and infirm adults in California In Re Sun Mar and as class settlement counsel for fraudulent practices by AOL and Best Buy in a national class action settlement entitled Gergel v. AOL, as well as being named to the executive committee of a national class actions including Obi v. Hewlett Packard, In Re Imphonics (rebate fraud venued in Washington D.C.), and In re AT&T, to name a few.
Garcia is admitted to practice in all State Courts of California, Washington, Texas, Arizona and Kentucky as well as in the United States District Court for the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Districts of California, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, the United States District Court for Arizona and the Ninth Circuit.
Garcia has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Consumer Attorneys of California and the Board of Governors of Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles.
Garcia maintains membership with the American Academy of Trial Counsel (A Founding Fellow), Mexican-American Bar Association, the South Bay Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Fresno County Bar Association, the American Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals.
Garcia has served as a legislative analyst on behalf of elders in the State of California regarding legislation affecting the rights and safety of elder and infirm adults and those to whom their care is entrusted. He has testified before the California Legislature in support of legislation advancing the rights and concerns of California’s elders and those to whom their care is entrusted.
Throughout his years of practice, Garcia has been a frequent lecturer advocating the rights of elders and those to whom their care is entrusted at Continuing Education seminars before such groups as The Florida Judges College of Advanced Judicial Studies, The Los Angeles County District Attorneys, American Health Lawyers Association, USC’s Andrus School of Gerontology, The Southern California Association of Defense Counsel, the American Academy of Legal Nurse Consultants, Consumer Attorneys of California, California Advocates of Nursing Home Reform, the California Health Care Association, Loyola Law School, Whittier Law School, Judicate West and numerous other entities.
Garcia was trial counsel in the matter of Muccianti vs. Fountain View, Inc., et al. the largest nursing home verdict in the history of Fresno County and the then second largest nursing home verdict in the history of the State of California. The Muccianti punitive damage award was noted to be one of the ten largest punitive damage awards in the State of California in the year 2001.
Garcia served as lead counsel in the matter of Sandoval v. Summit Care Corporation, where, in November of 2003, a Fresno County jury awarded a multi-million dollar compensatory award which led to the matter being settled as opening statements in the punitive damage phase was about to begin. This was the then third largest nursing home verdict in the history of elder abuse litigation in the State of California.
Garcia has also served as lead counsel in over 2,500 elder and/or dependent adult abuse cases and has been involved in litigated matters generating over $1 billion in awards for afflicted consumers and their families.
Garcia’s appellate efforts include authoring the amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Consumer Attorneys of California in the seminal matter of Inclan v. Covenant Care (March 25, 2004 California Supreme Court) wherein the Supreme Court of California distinguished Elder and Dependent Adult abuse claims from those of “professional negligence” confirming his long held belief that California Code of Civil Procedure Section 425.13 does not apply to elder abuse claims.
Garcia has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching elder abuse litigation at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles and has served on the Board of Directors of the South Bay Volunteer Center as well as being a continuing supporter of the Richstone Center, a volunteer organization wholly devoted to addressing issues relating to child abuse treatment and prevention. He is a founder, and member of the Board of Directors, of Urban Compass a group whose mission is to end the cycle of death and violence in the inner city and he is also a member of the Board of Directors of One Revolution, an organization whose goal is to create social change through visibility and opportunity for disabled persons and their families.
Garcia received his Bachelor’s degree in 1982 from Loyola Marymount University and his Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola University in 1985.
Stephen M. Garcia may be reached at Garcia & Artigliere One World Trade Center, Suite 1950, Long Beach, California, (562) 216-5270 or (800) 281-8515 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles Written by Mr. Garcia
- “Ruling is a Win for Vulnerable Nursing Home Patients”(Daily Journal, 2017)
- “Navigating the Corporate Structural Maze; The Keys to Discovering Recoverable Assets.” (American Association of Justice 2008)
- “Class Actions Against Long Term Health Care Providers for Failing to Provide Services of the Standard and Quality Advertised after Alvarado v. Selma Convalescent Hospital: A New Approach” (Consumer Attorneys of California Beaver Creek Meeting, February, 2008)
- “Avoiding Caps in a Wrongful Death Action Predicated on Elder And/Or Dependent Adult Abuse Pursuant to the Elder Adult and Dependent Adult Abuse Pursuant to the Elder Adult and Dependent Adult Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act” (The Forum Magazine, January/February 2006)
- “HMO’s Abuse Elder and Dependent Adults Every Day-How We Can Stop Them” (Consumer Attorneys of California College of Trial Arts 2004 Winter Meeting-March 2004)
- “It’s Not Just for Nursing Homes Anymore – Using the Elder Abuse Act to Sue Insurers and HMO’s” (Consumer Attorneys of California 42nd Annual Convention)
- “Elder Abuse, It Is Not Medical Malpractice” (Consumer Attorneys of California 41st Annual Convention April 2002)
- “Dealing with Obligations in Difficult Cases From an Ethical Point of View” (Consumer Attorneys of California 34th Annual Convention)
- “RCFE’s: Freedom from MICRA” (Consumer Attorneys of California 36th Annual Convention)
- “Formal Discovery, is it Worth the Effort?” (Consumer Attorneys of California 38th Annual Convention)
- “Profits Over People, It’s A Fact: How to Convince the Jury” (Consumer Attorneys 40th Annual Convention)
- “Distinguishing Elder Abuse Claims from ‘Professional’ Negligence Claims: Why Section 425.13 Does Not Apply to Elder Abuse Claims” (Consumer Attorneys of California Forum, Vol. 30, No. 6, July/August 2000)
- “Skilled Nursing Facilities – How Many Time Can We Tell You ‘It’s Not Medical Malpractice!’” Verdict Magazine, January 2003
Lectures Given by Mr. Garcia
- University of Southern California, Senior Living Executive Course (Los Angeles, California, February 2016)
- American Health Care Lawyers Association, Long Term Care and the Law (Phoenix, Arizona, February 2012)
- Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies (Fort Meyers, Florida, May 2010)
- Abuse in the Long Term Care Setting (Los Angeles County District Attorneys Criminal Justice Institute’s Tenth Annual Symposium October 2009)
- Using Cy Pres to Right a Wrong (California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Annual Convention June 2009)
- Why the Other Side is Just Wrong (American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants-National Convention April 2009)
- Elder Abuse—Perspective Required (Consumer Attorneys of California November 2008 Annual Convention)
- Class Actions-A Tool To Improve Long Term Care (California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform Annual Convention May 2008)
- Elder Abuse-It is Important and Why (American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants-Sacramento Chapter-April 2008)
- Utilizing the Consumer Legal Remedies Act to Improve Long Term Care (Consumer Attorneys of California, February 2008)
- Elder Abuse: What A Plaintiff’s Counsel Looks For In Evaluating and Presenting a Case (Southern California Association of Defense Counsel Annual Convention (February, 2006)
- Elder Abuse-Discovery You Need (Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles Annual Convention September 2005)
- Avoiding Caps in a Wrongful Death Action Predicated on Elder And/Or Dependent Adult Abuse Pursuant to the Elder Adult and Dependent Adult Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (California Regional Trial Lawyers Association Conference June 2005)
- HMO’s Abuse Elder and Dependent Adults Every Day-How We Can Stop Them (Consumer Attorneys of California College of Trial Arts 2004 Winter Meeting-March 2004)
- Good Care is Not Always Enough (California Healthcare Association Annual Convention-October 2003)
- Using the Elder Abuse Act to Sue Insurers and HMO’s (Consumer Attorneys of California 42nd Annual Convention, April 2003)
- Elder Abuse Is Not Medical Malpractice (Consumer Attorneys of California 41st Annual Convention, April 2002)
- Profits Over People, it’s a fact proving it to a jury (Consumer Attorneys of California, 40th Annual November 2001)
- Formal Discovery: Is it worth the effort? (Consumer Attorneys of California 1999)
- RCFE’s Freedom From MICRA (Consumer Attorneys of California 1997; California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform 1998)
- Dealing with Objections in Difficult Cases from an Ethical Point of View (Consumer Attorneys of California 1996)
- How to Litigate the Elder Abuse Case (California Advocates of Nursing Home Reform 1999)
- Resident Counsel’s, “Your Eyes and Ears” (California Advocates of Nursing Home Reform 2000)
- Re-Victimizing the Nursing Home Plaintiff; Making a Bad Case Referral (Long Beach Probate and Estate Planning Counsel – November 2001)
- Views from Advocates and Neutrals, Judicate West (April 2001)