Representative Cases: Please note that every legal matter is different. The outcome of each legal case depends upon many factors, including the facts of the case, and no attorney can guarantee a positive result in any particular case. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Rental Car Driver Negligence and Malpractice – $3.1 Million Recovery
We represented a 51-year-old Home Care Provider, who was driving in the course and scope of his employment as a caregiver in San Francisco. Our client was struck by a Hummer rented from the Hertz Corporation and driven by a foreign tourist making an illegal turn on a red light. He was taken the emergency department of the local hospital by ambulance but at the emergency department, Vernon’s treating physicians’ inadvertently injured his spinal cord rendering him a partial quadriplegic. Senior Counsel Mark Fong, Partner Dale Minami and Associate Eunice Yang, handled both the auto accident claim which settled for Hertz’ policy limits of $1 million and later settled the claim against the physicians and the hospital for $2.1 million. Our client faced a number of challenges in settling the medical malpractice case. First, noneconomic damages were capped at $250,000 due to MICRA. His past and future wage loss claim was $252,157. Defendants argued plaintiff’s claim for future medical expenses was unrecoverable as a matter of law, as the compensation carrier had agreed to provide John with lifetime medical care and defendants were entitled to introduce this fact to the jury. The PI team argued, however, through Plaintiff’s experts in healthcare financial administration, life care planning and workers compensation utilization review, that workers compensation is unlikely to pay for much of the treatment he will need over the next 30 years, leaving him exposed at the time when he will most need care. The team settled the medical malpractice case for $2.1 million, recovering his entire wage and the terms of the settlement provides Vernon with the lifetime care that he needs.
Motorcyclist vs. Auto – Failure to Yield: $3 Million Settlement
Our client, a 22-year-old college student, was riding his motorcycle on a busy street in Los Angeles when the defendant, a 65 year old lawyer from Arizona, exited the driveway of the hotel where he was staying and drove directly in front of him. Our client “T-boned” the defendant’s car, and suffered a broken right femur and thumb, a concussion, and ongoing neurocognitive problems—slowness in thinking, and inability to plan. Due to non-union of his femoral fracture, our client needed several surgeries to repair his broken leg. He was required to go on medical leave from college, and developed severe anxiety and depression. The defendants disputed the extent of his injuries, claiming his neurocognitive deficits were due simply to depression, not any traumatic brain injury. Through extensive neurological, and neuropsychological testing, and neuro-radiologic imaging studies (including functional magnetic resonance imaging), we showed our client was indeed suffering from traumatic brain injury, in addition to depression and anxiety. The case was settled at mediation for $3 Million by Partners Dale Minami and Mark Fong, and Associate Seema Bhatt.
Underinsured Motor Vehicle Accident: $2.65 Million Recovery
In 1993, our client was severely injured in an automobile crash in which a delivery messenger ran a red light and crushed her car. The client had been in a coma for over a month. The driver only had a $15,000 insurance policy and his employer had no insurance. Both defendants disappeared and the insurance company later declared insolvency. Outraged by the defendants’ and insurance company’s irresponsibility, Dale Minami filed a lawsuit and obtained a default judgment of over $2.4 million, which was uncollectible at the time since there appeared to be no insurance and no assets of the defendants. We then filed the judgment in Florida where the insolvent insurance company purportedly conducted business. In 2004, Dale Minami was contacted by the Department of Insurance and was able to negotiate a $2.65 Million recovery for the client.
Pedestrian Fatality from Auto: $1,750,500 Settlement
On December 19, 2013, our clients’ wife and mother, an 84-year-old community activist, was walking across the street in San Francisco’s Chinatown, intending to put groceries in the trunk of her parked car, when she was struck by the Defendant’s Lexus. The defendant, age 76, had stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake, which caused her car to speed out of control and strike the decedent, as well as three parked vehicles and a light pole. The decedent was killed in the crash. Defendant claimed she suffered a stroke that caused her to mistake the gas for the brake, and this “sudden medical emergency” excused her from being at fault for the crash. She claimed bleeding on her brain seen on MRIs taken after the crash showed she had a degenerative brain condition called cerebral amyloid angiopathy, which caused her stroke. We argued the impact of the crash caused the Defendant’s brain bleeding, and the bleeding was the result, not the cause, of the crash. There was no convincing proof defendant had the degenerative brain condition she claimed she had, or that this condition made her mistake the gas for the brake. Discovery was unusual in that Defendant placed her medical condition at issue in order to assert the “sudden medical emergency” defense. We deposed all of the doctors who treated her after the crash. They agreed Defendant’s brain bleeds were caused by trauma from the crash, and therefore did not play a role in causing the crash. We also hired a world-renowned trauma neuroradiologist who testified that Defendant’s brain bleeds were caused by the trauma of the crash. The case was settled at mediation for $1,750,500 shortly before trial, by partner B. Mark Fong (lead counsel) and associate Seema Bhatt. Partner Dale Minami also assisted.
Motor Vehicle Collision – Negligent Hiring-Drunk Driving: $1,100,000 Recovery
Our client was injured in a head-on collision with a drunk driver that resulted in fractures to both of the client’s legs, a fractured wrist and a fractured ankle that left him permanently disabled. During the course of our investigation Seth Rosenberg discovered that the defendant was driving his car for work while inebriated and the defendant’s employer, a major alcoholic beverage distributor, knew of past DUI convictions of the defendant. The employer also knew of other of its employees drinking on the job, yet did nothing to stop this. Seth Rosenberg settled the case out of court for $100,000 with the defendant driver’s insurance and $1 Million with the defendant’s employer, by exposing the outrageous behavior that this major alcohol distributor was allowing to take place.
Motorcycle v. Auto: $740,432 Arbitration Award
Our client, Yoav T., a 40 year old line cook at Alta Bates Hospital, was driving his motorcycle on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland when he struck a car which pulled out in front of him from a side street. After having two operations to repair his knee and shoulder, Yoav was no longer able to perform his job as a cook, so he went back to college to retrain himself to a new occupation. The theme we presented to the arbitrator was that Yoav’s inability to be a cook any longer, after years of working in the restaurant industry, was not simply the loss of a job but the loss of his dream of being a cook/chef. Since the case could not resolve informally, partner Dale Minami and associate Eunice Yang began litigation but proposed binding arbitration, since that forum offered advantages to Yoav. The case was tried by Minami Tamaki Partner B. Mark Fong and Associate Eunice Yang. The arbitrator awarded total damages to Yoav and his wife (who sued for loss of consortium) of $740,432.75. $375,000 of this award was for Yoav’s pain and suffering.
High Speed Rear-end Collision Involving Multiple Vehicles: $650,000 Recovery
An 85 year old man who attending dancing events twice a week was driving on the freeway when the traffic ahead of him came to an abrupt stop. He was able to stop; however the defendant, who was looking at his GPS device, slammed into the rear of our client’s car with his SUV at 65 miles per hour. The impact pushed our client’s vehicle into the car in front of him as well as the next three cars in front. Our client suffered an unstable transverse fracture of his T-8 vertebra, partially collapsed lungs and multiple rib fractures. He required fusion of his T 6 through 11 vertebrae and was hospitalized for 49 days. We recovered $650,000 for him in settlement and our client was able to return to weekly dancing.
Head on Collision – Underinsured Motorist: $505,000 Recovery
We represented a 60 year old dentist, who was traveling through an intersection with a green light when the Defendant, who had been traveling in the opposite direction, made a sudden left turn in front of him and struck our client head-on. Our client suffered a compound fracture in his left wrist, carpel tunnel syndrome in his left arm and neck and back pain. Due to ongoing pain in his wrist he is only able to work part-time as a dentist now. Dale Minami recovered $25,000 from our client’s underinsured motorist policy as well as an additional $480,000 from the client’s own insurance company.