Carson City native wins a $3.1 million manicure case |

Carson City native wins a $3.1 million manicure case

Maggie O'Neill

A native of Carson City, attorney Richard Martillaro of Arvada, Colo., won a $3.1 million case last week for his client who sued Colorado-based Top Nails for giving her herpes from unsterilized manicure tools.

On Wednesday, ABC featured Martillaro and his client on “Good Morning America.”

Martillaro’s father, Carl, practiced criminal law in Carson City for 40 years. Martillaro decided to pursue law when he was 22, and after he graduated from Chico State University, California, with a political science degree and a minor in history he attended McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific in Sacramento.

Martillaro’s father inspired him to become a lawyer.

“I was just trying to be like dad,” he said.

He wanted to join his dad in practice, but the year before his graduation from law school his father passed away.

During his seven years as a lawyer, Martillaro has practiced general law with an emphasis on personal injury. The $3.1 million the jury awarded his client is the largest case Martillaro has ever won.

Producers of “Good Morning America” flew Martillaro and his client to New York City for Wednesday’s show.

“It was a rewarding experience,” Martillaro said. “It’s nice to get that kind of national recognition, to know there’s something you’ve done in your profession that merits attention.”

A 1984 graduate of Carson High School, Martillaro played middle linebacker and running back on the Senator football team. He made all-state, all-conference, and all-decade. Martillaro began playing football in Pop Warner.

“He was a great kid,” said Harvey Whitcome, his coach and future father-in-law. “He came up through the Pop Warners ranks. I coached the Midgets, the Pee Wees, and I drafted him onto the team and I knew him quite well.”

Martillaro, father of three daughters, Antonia, Milanna and Isabella, and his wife, Judy Whitcome, live in Denver.

“We both grew up together,” he said. “We were junior high sweethearts.”

Martillaro also played baseball in high school in his junior and senior years for the Senators. A promotional picture of the team taken at the Nugget shows Martillaro, then a junior, with his teammates in powder-blue tuxedos.

Matt Williams, a senior in the photo, plays third base for the Arizona Diamondbacks now. Martillaro attends Diamondback games when they play in Colorado.

At 18 or 19, Martillaro, left Carson City for college. His parents had owned a Carson City restaurant serving continental cuisine, but Richard spent much of his time in sports, the outdoors and his Isuzu truck.

“It was a good place to grow up,” Martillaro said. “It was valuable in the sense you really got ingrained into you a sense of family and a hometown atmosphere. Just the things that were available to me, like the Sierra Mountains and Lake Tahoe, I’ll cherish and remember for the rest of my life.”