November 27, 2018
The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40, a professional organization comprised of America’s top young trial attorneys, recently inducted attorney Michael Carrillo into its organization. Membership is by invitation only, and is extended exclusively to those individuals who meet the qualifications and practice in the areas of civil plaintiff work or criminal defense.
Mr. Carrillo’s experience in the legal field and his determination to help those suffering from heinous abuses has fueled his passion to give a voice to the voiceless. As a lead trial attorney at The Carrillo Law Firm, Mr. Carrillo, along with colleagues, obtained a nearly $140 million settlement for his representation of many child sexual abuse victims in the Miramonte case against the Los Angeles Unified School District. The settlement is considered the largest ever recorded against a school district in the country.
In November, 2017, he settled a wrongful death lawsuit against L.A. County for $2 million. Silvia Morillon sued the County of Los Angeles in a wrongful death case arising from the December 14, 2013 intersection collision between a Sheriff’s Department vehicle driven by a Deputy Sheriff who had previously been arrested for DUI and a Ford Explorer driven by a third party that resulted in the fatalities of two individuals. The accident occurred in the City of Palmdale. Deputy Kamal Jannah was driving his vehicle 86 mph in a 50-mph speed zone without his emergency lights, headlights or siren on in order to get to a non-emergency call. The Ford Explorer was traveling at 11 mph during the time of the accident and was spun around nearly three times as a result of the impact. Jannah never went to check on the driver or the other injured parties after the accident. During the post-accident interview, Deputy Jannah lied about his speed and couldn’t remember turning his lights on. Jannah was never charged with a crime by the District Attorney’s office despite already being on probation for a DUI, lying during his interview and not obeying any of his training regarding overhead lights and sirens.
Teacher abuse and sexual assault has a big impact not only on its victims but the school systems that have hired the teachers as well. In a high-profile school sex abuse scandal, Mr. Carrillo obtained a nearly $10 million settlement on behalf of three children who suffered abuse at De La Torre Elementary School. Their former teacher Robert Pimentel is serving 12 years in prison after pleading no contest to sex abuse allegations in 2009. The lawsuit exposed overwhelming evidence that the LAUSD ignored warnings, employee reports and parent complaints that several male teachers were molesting dozens of children in class.
In June of 2016, Mr. Carrillo obtained a $1.5 million settlement on behalf of a mentally challenged 16-year-old who was molested in the staircase of her school by Juan Carlos Gutierrez. Gutierrez worked as a “helper” during the school’s lunch hour and in 2013, he took the girl into a stairwell where he fondled her. The girl had been diagnosed with mental and cognitive disabilities and had difficulty communicating with others. The incident occurred at Leuzinger High School in the Centinela Valley Union High School District. The lawsuit alleges the school failed to take reasonable steps to implement any sort of safeguards against such abuses and that Gutierrez had previously behaved inappropriately with children but the school did nothing to protect the students against his predatory behavior.
Mr. Carrillo represents clients in cases from Northern California to Southern California.