CTLA Recognizes Jim Puga for Lifetime Achievement, Farrell v. Castle Rock Senior Living wins Case of the Year

Jim Puga gives a speech to the crowd after receiving the Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jim Puga accepts the Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award. / Michael Rummel for Law Week Colorado.

The Colorado Trial Lawyers Association held its 2024 Spring Dinner on May 9. In attendance were trial lawyers, judges, arbitrators and Colorado Rep. Kyle Brown, who was celebrated for the successful passage of House Bill 24-1472, which raised tort damage limits across the state. 

The raising of those tort limits was a hot topic at the dinner, as was the work done by the organizations and individuals who won this year’s suite of awards.

Matthew Farrell v. Castle Rock Senior Living, LLC Wins Case of the Year 

Three cases were named finalists for CTLA’s Case of the Year award: Anderson, et al. v. Griswold, et. al; Matthew Farrell v. Castle Rock Senior Living, LLC, et. al.; and Ward v. Acuity.

At the dinner, it was announced that Porya Mansorian of Mansorian Law Group and Jerome Reinan and Jordana Gingrass of Reinan Law were the winners of the award for their work representing Matthew Farrell against Castle Rock Senior Living. The trio accepted the award with Farrell’s father in attendance. 

Jerome Reinan speaks to the crowd with Matthew Farrell's father, Porya Mansorian and Jordana Gingrass behind him.
Jerome Reinan speaks to the crowd about the CTLA Case of the Year, Matthew Farrell v. Castle Rock Senior Living. / Michael Rummel for Law Week Colorado

Farrell, a 30-year-old quadriplegic, suffered extreme neglect at Castle Rock Senior living. Due to this neglect, Farrell developed massive pressure injuries causing sepsis and the need for a colostomy. The first case against Castle Rock Senior Living resulted in a $4.87 million award, but Castle Rock Senior Living employed several tactics, including fraudulent asset transfers and the deceit of state and federal agencies, in an attempt to evade payment of the award, according to the guide given by CTLA.

This led to a second trial and an eight-year legal battle, eventually resulting in a victory for Farrell. 

Porya Mansorian, Jerome Reinan, Jordana Gingrass, Matthew Farrell's father and CTLA President Kari Jones Dunlin pose with the Case of the Year Award.
Porya Mansorian (Right), Jerome Reinan (Center) and Jordana Gingrass (Third from Left) with CTLA President Kari Jones (Left) pose with their Case of the Year Award. / Photo courtesy of CTLA.

“It was quite an amazing trip that took about eight years to get through the justice system and went through several judges, several courts and lots of litigation,” said Reinan. “And it was a case that involved a nursing home that moved sacks of money from one truck to another.” 

“If you guys don’t take away anything else from this case,” said Mansorian. “If you know what’s right, it might not look like the best business decision at the time, but keep going.” 

Jim Puga Awarded the Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim Puga, a member of CTLA for nearly three decades and partner at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C., was recognized for his service to CTLA and work in the courtroom with the Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Jim Puga holds his Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award and poses with CTLA President Kari Jones Dunlin
Jim Puga receives the Kenneth Norman Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award from CTLA President Kari Jones Dunlin. / Photo courtesy of CTLA.

Puga’s practice focuses on medical malpractice and personal injury. He’s served on CTLA’s board of directors, executive committee and lobby council. In addition, Puga led efforts to remove damage caps, and his efforts were rewarded in this legislative session. 

One of Puga’s most notable cases was a $17.9 million verdict in favor of a child with brain damage, according to Molly Greenblatt, an attorney at Leventhal Puga Braley, P.C. 

“When somebody achieves something, the people who know what they have sacrificed more than anyone, and more importantly, the people who have sacrificed for them, are their family,” said Puga. “And I’ve been beyond blessed with family.” 

Puga added he was moved to be listed among the recipients of this award, and he challenged the younger members of the organization to take command and control of CTLA. 

“So I hope that the new and younger generation of this organization, the diverse part of this organization, will now take up and carry forward what these stalwarts that I now get to be able to be associated with have started,” said Puga. “I can guarantee you that Leventhal, Puga and Braley, long after those three have retired, that that firm will always be here and will always stand by this organization.”  

Recognition for Access to Justice, Trial Lawyers, Consumer Protection, Legal Staff and Outstanding Service to CTLA 

The Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center took the first prize of the night, the Access to Justice Award. RMVLC offers free legal information and representation, facilitates referrals and extends technical assistance, consultation, training and outreach across Colorado’s judicial districts. With the award, CTLA paid “homage to RMVLC’s tireless advocacy and unwavering integrity.” 

That award was followed by the Consumer Protection Award, and this year’s honoree was Matthew Osborne of Ramos Law. Osborne is the director of the consumer law division at Ramos. He began his professional career in the U.S. Navy, serving for five years before earning his law degree at Michigan State University. 

Randal Manning, managing partner at Ramos Law, told CTLA “Matt embodies the quintessence of consumer advocacy in Colorado.” In 2023, Osborne won two verdicts exceeding $1 million and two arbitration awards surpassing $500,000. 

Following Osborne was Cameron Sramek, who was awarded CTLA’s Legal Staff of Year award. Sramek is a paralegal at Bowman Law, and has worked at the firm for over a decade. 

“His unwavering dedication and impeccable work ethic have been the bedrock of our success,” said Jerry Bowman, owner and managing attorney at Bowman Law. 

The next honoree was Bill Babich, who earned the Outstanding Service to CTLA award. Babich is the owner of the Law Firm of William Babich, and his law experience in Colorado extends across more than four decades. 

Babich has served on the board of directors of CTLA for 30 years, with stints on CTLA’s executive and legislative committees. He is the co-chair of CTLA’s Premises Liability Committee, a position he’s held for nine years. 

Tim Ganuzzi speaks to the crowd after him and Kevin Cheney, also pictured, received New Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.
Tim Ganuzzi speaks to the crowd after receiving CTLA’s New Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. / Michael Rummel for Law Week Colorado.

In a unique moment, the New Trial Lawyer of the Year Award was given to two attorneys, Tim Galuzzi and Kevin Cheney. Cheney serves as the managing partner of Cheney, Galluzi & Howard, with Galuzzi serving as the firm’s director of litigation. 

Both are graduates of the University of Colorado Law School and founded their firm together after graduating. In a speech full of thanks, Cheney gave a special shout-out to his friend and colleague Galuzzi. 

Kevin Cheney and Tim Galuzzi hold their New Trial Lawyer of the Year Awards with CTLA president Kari Jones Dulin
Tim Ganuzzi (left) and Kevin Cheney (right) accept their awards with CTLA President Kari Jones Dulin. / Photo Courtesy of CTLA.

“And perhaps most importantly, thank you to my partner and best friend Tim,” said Cheney. “Thank you for developing this shared dream of ours, thank you for having the courage to leap when we had this crazy idea to start a law firm the day we got admitted to the bar and thank you for structuring our firm that plays into both of our strengths and allows us to flourish.”

Previous articleStill much unknown on how marijuana policies would change in states under Biden plan
Next articleCourt Opinion: Presiding Disciplinary Judge Opinion for May 10


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here