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California Trial Lawyer cited for his good work

California Trial lawyer Terry O’Reilly has been named “2003 Lawyer of the Year” by the Consumer Attorneys of California. The Oakland Tribune reported O’Reilly, founder of the San Mateo law firm of O’Reilly, Collins and Danko, was honored for his trial work involving a dangerous gel candy from China that was linked to the choking death of a San Jose girl and reports of three other children’s deaths in the U.S. and Canada.

O’Reilly successfully fought to ban the candy gel sold under the brand names Fruit Poppers and Gel-ly from more than 2,000 supermarket and warehouse store shelves. It was removed from shelves at stores such as Albertson’s, Safeway and Costco.

O’Reilly’s award was based on a number of cases involving candy containing a conjac gel that did not dissolve from heat and moisture in the mouth.

O’Reilly, 58, achieved a jury trial verdict of $16.8 million for the family of Michele Enrile, an 11-year-old South Bay girl who choked on the candy in 1999 and was in a coma for two years before her death in 2001.

This year’s 15 attorney finalists included many of the state’s most prominent and successful trial lawyers.

The finalists had secured significant victories for injured parties in areas ranging from medical malpractice to product liability and antitrust issues.

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