La Jolla, California, November 22, 2019 – –We are happy to announce the California Court of Appeal has quickly affirmed the $4,000,000 verdict in favor of RDM Legal Group’s client and Olympic Champion Craig Blanchette.
Craig Blanchette was a world-class elite wheelchair athlete with 21 world records, an Olympic medal, and a plaque at the Nike Hall-of-Fame. He had signed major sponsorships and starred in television commercials with other Nike athletes such as Andre Agassi, Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan which aired during the Super Bowl. Mr. Blanchette traveled the world dominating his competitors for over 20 years.
Competitor Group, Inc. operates the internationally renowned Rock-n-Roll Marathon events, and in 2014 they invited Mr. Blanchette to race in their marathon. Racers were shown a video of the course that did not include a critical detail. The course would narrow by 13 feet around a blind turn. Once Mr. Blanchette saw the difference in the course it was too late to compensate, and he collided with a car ending his elite wheelchair racing career.
Craig is now the Director at the National Wheelchair Sports Camp and owns Crave Optimal Health based in Vancouver, WA where he coaches people to transform their lives.
Attorney Russel Myrick of The RDM Legal Group represented Mr. Blanchette through a two-week jury trial in San Diego. In the end, the jury awarded $4 million dollars to Mr. Blanchette, and on November 20, 2019, this verdict was affirmed in the Fourth Court of Appeal. The jury in its verdict found Mr. Blanchette to have 20% fault, which reduced the judgement to $3,200,000.
When asked about the award Mr. Blanchette remarked, “I’d rather not had to go through all this and be racing still today. I grieve the loss of my wheelchair racing career.” Mr. Myrick sums up the issues in the case as: “We are pro-athlete and pro-race organizer. We intend to use this case to improve wheelchair racing for both the athletes as well as the entities who put these fantastic events on.”
Attorney Russel Myrick of The RDM Legal Group is an experienced trial attorney with several high-profile verdicts on his resume, including a verdict for $54.6 million against Walmart for underpaying their employees, and a $10 million verdict exonerating former Orange County Treasurer Mr. Chriss Street. Both he and Mr. Blanchette plan to use some of the proceeds of the case to improve the National Wheelchair Sports Camp.
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