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Examples Of Cases That We Have Handled
IMPORTANT: Although I have achieved exceptional results in the past, every case is unique. Pursuant to California Rule of Professional Conduct 1-400, it should be noted that my recoveries for former clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

Elizabeth S. v. Farmers Insurance: $812,500 settlement (Alameda County) Claimant was a 30 year old woman who was a passenger in a vehicle in a collision in Arkansas on May 10, 2002.  Claimant retained a highly-regarded Arkansas attorney but she was not pleased with his case handling or lack of communication, so she retained me after she moved to California for graduate school.  Claimant sustained a fracture to her left (non-dominant) wrist which was surgically repaired.  She did not make a complete recovery from that surgery and had another surgery to remove metal hardware, but continued to suffer pain, weakness, and limitation of range of motion.  Claimant eventually developed a mild case of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome).

After obtaining a $25,000 settlement from the insurance company for the driver who rear-ended Claimant, I initiated an Uninsured Motorist (UIM) claim with Farmers, who was the insurance carrier for Claimant's father. Claimant had over $100,000 in past medical bills and alleged that she would need an additional $100,000 in future medical treatment.  Claimant had hoped to become an editor for a prominent magazine, and thus contended that she would have over $750,000 in wage loss due to her inability to type for long periods of time.  Farmers argued that Claimant could use voice recognition software, and consequently her wage loss was minimal.  Arkansas juries tend to be extremely conservative in their awards, so I had the UIM claim transferred to California as permitted under the policy.  After litigating with Farmers for over a year, Farmers eventually offered $400,000 to settle the UIM claim, but on my advice, Claimant rejected that $400,000 settlement offer.  Farmers attempted to stop the arbitration hearing in California and filed a motion in Arkansas to transfer venue back to Arkansas, but I was able to convince them to settle the UIM claim for an additional $787,500, making the total settlement $812,500.

Ryan R. v. Simon: $625,000 settlement: Plaintiff was a 21 year old UC-Berkeley student who was riding his motorcycle into the Berkeley hills when a driver of a van made a left turn directly in front of him, causing Plaintiff's motorcycle to collide with the van.  The Traffic Collision Report stated that the van driver was completely at fault for the collision, but the insurance company for the van driver argued that Plaintiff was partially at fault.
Plaintiff's only injury was a ruptured left testicle, and he had 2/3 to 3/4 of the testicle surgically removed.  His fertility and testosterone levels were not affected by his injury, but he sustained residuals of scrotal disfigurement and testicular discomfort after sexual intercourse. Plaintiff's medical expert testified that it was more likely than not that Plaintiff would always have some degree of discomfort after intercourse, but Defendant's medical expert stated that the discomfort would resolve within one to two years.  Plaintiff's only economic damages were medical bills of approximately $40,000.00, although Defendant argued only $6,217.35 were collectible from the van driver under Hanif.  The initial settlement offer by the defendant's insurance company was only $15,000.  The previous highest recorded jury verdict found by both counsel was $325,000, and defendant's insurance company stated that they would never offer more than that amount in this case.  After many months of negotiations, the case settled shortly before trial for $625,000, which appears to be the largest recorded recovery for a testicular injury in California.  

Carey C. v. USAA: $355,110.97 binding arbitration award.  Claimant was a 49 year old woman who had been a curator at the Oakland Museum for 18 years. She was recovering from hip replacement surgery when a SUV ran a stop sign and slammed into the driver's side door of her vehicle.  She went to the Emergency Room that evening but no fractures were detected.  After continuing to receive treatment for her pain and other symptoms, subsequent X-rays revealed a femur fracture which had to be surgically repaired.  She was also diagnosed with a permanent twisting of the prosthesis in her left leg.

I obtained a $100,000 settlement for Claimant with the adverse driver's insurance company.  I then proceeded with an Underinsured Motorist claim to Claimant's own insurance company under her $300,000 UM policy.  I demanded the remaining $200,000 policy limits, but USAA refused to offering< anything for more than a year, and finally offered only $50,000 shortly before arbitration.  USAA's medical expert wrote a report initially stating he believed that Claimant "did sustain a rotation of the femoral component from the motor vehicle accident in question."  However, at the arbitration hearing, he completely changed his opinion and claimed the collision did not cause this obvious deformity.  Despite this testimony, Claimant obtained a< binding arbitration award of $355,110.97, far more than USAA's $50,000 settlement offer.

James B. v. Mariner's Center: $750,000 settlement (Alameda County) Plaintiff was a furniture installer who stepped out of his truck and slipped and fell on ice in a parking lot of a corporate complex in Foster City.  The corporate owner did not have an on-site manager as required by the maintenance contract, and an employee stated that ice had been allowed to exist in parking stalls for at least two days.  Plaintiff eventually underwent two back surgeries and a shoulder surgery. Defense counsel brought a motion to transfer the case to a less favorable county, and my opposition was so persuasive that the judge denied the motion and initially awarded sanctions against defense counsel. In addition to the $750,000 settlement, defendant also paid plaintiff's Workers Comp lien of approximately $200,000, thus  making the settlement worth nearly one million dollars.

Richard R. v. Armado H.: $440,000 settlement (Santa Clara County Superior Court) Plaintiff was viciously attacked by a dog owned by a married couple who owned a home in Gilroy. Plaintiff's first attorney was told that a particular large insurance company provided homeowners insurance liability coverage that would cover plaintiff's claim. When that insurance company denied that such a policy existed, that attorney dropped the case, and plaintiff could not find another attorney to take the case until I agreed to represent him. I obtained a large default judgement against the homeowner, and then spent nearly four years trying to find the homeowner or his homeowners insurance. I was able to track down homeowner, and then the insurance company finally admitted that there was an insurance policy. Plaintiff, who had lost his left thumb in the attack and had to quit his job as a chef, was able to start his own business with the settlement proceeds.

Ramirez v. Sanford: $262,400 binding arbitration award (Yolo County Superior Court, Case # 72387) Claimant's vehicle spun out on a rain-slicked freeway in West Sacramento and was stuck in mud off the roadway. While waiting for a tow truck, another vehicle spun out and collided with claimant's vehicle. Claimant sustained a fractured right calcaneus (heel), but did not require surgery. He incurred approximately $10,000 in medical bills, and was deemed to have a $37,000 wage loss. I obtained a settlement with the adverse driver for her $100,000 policy limits. I then represented claimants in an underinsured motorist arbitration against their own insurance company, obtaining an arbitration award of $262,400, minus offsets.

Jane Doe v. S.S., et al.: $150,000 recovery (Alameda County Superior Court) Plaintiff, a middle-aged woman, stepped on a metal grate in the sidewalk and twisted her knee. She sustained a torn meniscus and underwent arthroscopic surgery. She incurred approximately $14,000 in medical bills, but no wage loss. Defendants alleged that plaintiff's version of the accident contradicted her statements in the medical records, and that plaintiff was comparatively at fault for wearing dark glasses at dusk. I obtained $150,000 for plaintiff, of which approximately $136,000 was for non-economic pain and suffering damages.

Hamilton v. Southwick: $145,000 recovery (Mendocino Superior Court Case # 74997) Plaintiff, a 35 year old man, was driving a pick-up truck in Lake County which collided with a logging truck carrying 80,000 lbs. of timber. Plaintiff was knocked unconscious, sustaining a concussion and a fractured kneecap which required reconstructive surgery. Unfortunately, plaintiff did not have automobile insurance, and Proposition 213 prohibits drivers from recovering any non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) if they do not have the statutory minimum automobile liability insurance. Thus, plaintiff was limited to recovering only his medical bills and wage loss, and defendant argued that these should be reduced by 50% for comparative fault of plaintiff in contributing to accident. I eventually obtained a recovery of $145,000 for plaintiff.

B.A. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company: $100,000 policy limits settlement. (Mendocino County) Claimant, a 46 year old woman, was rear-ended by a drunk driver who did not have any automobile insurance. Claimant sustained a herniated disc in her neck as a result of the accident, but did not require any surgery. Since the driver who hit her did not have insurance, she made a uninsured motorist claim with the insurance company of the owner of the vehicle in which she was a passenger. State Farm sent claimant a check for $750 and a note implying that the money was an advance on her claim. State Farm then tried to close the file without paying any additional benefits or any explanation of her rights under the policy. Claimant called me three years after the accident inquiring about her rights, and had not filed a lawsuit or demanded arbitration.

Normally, when making a claim against an adverse driver, California law provides that the statute of limitations is one year from the date of the accident. However, there are exceptions for uninsured motorist claims, and in this case the statute was tolled (suspended) indefinitely. State Farm first claimed that the case had settled for $750. When I explained to State Farm why this position was untenable, they then claimed that the statute of limitations had precluded any uninsured motorist claim. When I pointed out the exception that tolled the statute indefinitely, State Farm finally agreed to consider claimant's uninsured motorist claim.

After battling with State Farm for nearly a year, State Farm eventually offered $50,000 to settle the claim. Many attorneys may have been tempted to take the $50,000 and call it a day, but I advised my client that I thought she should hold out for the $100,000 policy limits, and that I would fight for her all the way through arbitration if she so wished. After battling with State Farm for several more months, State Farm finally paid the $100,000 policy limits, minus a offset for the $750 they had advanced. Because of State Farm's alleged improper claims handling, claimant had a bad faith lawsuit against State Farm, and that case settled for an additional $175,000. (See my published article which is located elsewhere in this Website for further discussion regarding this case - Click Here).

E.C. v. Farmers Insurance Group: $100,000 settlement (Alameda County) Plaintiff, a 33 year old woman, suffered a neck whiplash after being sideswiped on a freeway in Sacramento. Her whiplash eventually developed into severe migraine headaches, which fortunately were almost eliminated by medication. She incurred approximately $10,000 in medical bills, but no wage loss. Claimant settled for a total case value of $100,000, minus the $10,000 in medical bills which were paid by the insurance company.

J. H. v. D.R.: $71,500 recovery (Sonoma County Superior Court) Plaintiff, a 44 year old woman, was rear-ended in a low-speed collision in Santa Rosa in which her vehicle sustained approximately only $800 in property damage. She bumped her knee on the dashboard, and eventually developed a torn meniscus and cyst in her knee which required surgery a year and half after the accident. She incurred approximately $15,000 in medical bills, but no wage loss. Plaintiff obtained $71,500, of which over $56,000 was for non-economic pain and suffering damages.

Johnson v. Diogo: $50,000 policy limits settlement. (Alameda County) Plaintiff, a 28-year old man, was involved in a low speed collision in which he was a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended and sustained minor damage. Plaintiff did not notice any pain at the accident scene, but later that day began feeling a twinge in his chest, which he did not immediately relate to the accident. The next day, he developed a cough, and within a few days began experiencing great difficulty breathing. He was treated and released twice by Kaiser before finally being admitted into Brookside Hospital, where he was diagnosed with fluid in his lungs and pneumonia. He was kept in the hospital for several days and incurred in approximately $18,000 in medical bills and $2,000 wage loss.

The insurance company for the adverse driver initially stated that it was highly unlikely that a young man would contract pneumonia from a low speed fender-bender, and offered only $5,000 to settle the case. Although some attorneys may have accepted the insurance company's analysis and settlement offer, I contacted a pulmonary specialist for an expert opinion. I then pointed out to the insurance company that although it was highly unlikely that a young person would contract pneumonia from a low speed collision, it was far more unlikely that a young person would contract pneumonia without previously being ill. I maintained that causation should be analyzed by comparing the odds of the two scenarios, and thus the odds of the accident causing the pneumonia were very high. As a result, the insurance company then paid the entire policy limits of $50,000 to settle the claim.

Arney v. Banks: $75,000 settlement (Sonoma County) Plaintiff, a male in his forties, was driving a vehicle which was struck head-on by at trailer that broke loose from a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Plaintiff had a tooth knocked out from hitting the steering wheel, and a sore shoulder that he thought would resolve itself. Plaintiff had a CT scan which revealed a complete tear of his rotator cuff, which required surgical repair. Plaintiff settled for the $25,000 policy limits of the adverse driver and received an additional $50,000 in Underinsured Motorist benefits, for a total settlement of $75,000 (minus a Med-Pay set-off).

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