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.
DJ’s Stage Dive Causes Fan to Suffer Stroke: $4.5 Million Trial Verdict
Our client Jennifer, a 24-year-old college student, was standing near the front of the stage at a concert being given by world-famous Electronic Dance Music artist Skrillex, when Skrillex unexpectedly decided to do a stage dive on top of her, causing her to suffer a blow to her head and neck. Sixteen days after the show, Jennifer suffered a stroke which left her with permanent weakness on half her body. The Defendants claimed Skrillex did nothing wrong, and that stage diving was a normal part of EDM concerts which Jennifer should have anticipated. They claimed Jennifer assumed the risk she might be harmed, and that the stage dive was not what caused her stroke. After a five-week trial, a Los Angeles jury reached a $4.5 million verdict against Skrillex, his management company, and the venue where the concert was held. The jury also found Jennifer 15% at fault for attending the show. The verdict was more than 5½ times the Defendants’ pretrial settlement offer. Mark Fong, Seema Bhatt, and Seth Rosenberg tried the case. This is the first known successful verdict for personal injuries suffered by an audience member as a result of a performer’s stage dive.
Negligence – Man Suffers Brain Damage Due To Lack of Defibrillator at Gym: $1.8 Million Recovery
A 56-year-old chemist was exercising at a gym when he suffered a heart attack while using the gym equipment. Another member saw him slumped over and yelled for help. The employees of the gym were not trained well in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and no Automated Electronic Defibrillator (AED) was available. Our client was unconscious for over six minutes before paramedics arrived and suffered permanent brain damage due to lack of oxygen. The defendant gym argued, correctly, that it was not required to have AEDs at its facilities at the time of the incident. However, we showed having an AED would likely have corrected the electrical dysfunction to his heart which prevented oxygen from reaching his brain. Dale Minami obtained $1.8 million in settlement for the victim.
Runaway All-Terrain Vehicle Injures Husband and Wife: $1,350,000 Settlement
Our clients “John,” a 68-year-old retired UC Berkeley manager, and his wife “Jane,” a 66-year-old retired school teacher, were guests at a celebration hosted at the Defendants’ Napa Valley vineyard. At the end of the party, one of the Defendants offered to drive them in her all-terrain vehicle (ATV) to their car, which was parked at the bottom of the hill. Our clients sat on a bench seat in the ATV which had no seatbelts. The Defendant drove down a narrow road and hit a bump, causing the Defendant driver to be ejected from the ATV, leaving our clients alone aboard the out-of-control ATV as it careened down the hill. Their terrifying descent ended when the ATV struck a car at the bottom of the hill. The impact caused Jane to suffer a mild traumatic brain injury, a broken femur which required two surgeries, a broken nose, and a broken heel. John suffered a broken humerus in his shoulder which required surgery, a lacerated lip, and post-concussion syndrome. After rehabilitation, John and Jane went on to make satisfactory recoveries from their injuries. We argued that the incident has had a lasting impact on their retirement and recreational activities, which they greatly looked forward to enjoying in their “golden years.” Mark Fong and Dale Minami settled John and Jane’s claims against the ATV owners for $1 million (the limit of the Defendants’ liability insurance), plus an additional $350,000 paid personally by the owners, for a total of $1.35 million.
Underground Drilling through Power Lines: $1.15 Million Recovery
An excavation subcontractor was hired to do trenching work for underground fiber-optic lines in Santa Clara, California. The contractor did not follow proper procedures to locate and mark the underground electric lines near where they were digging their trench, and drilled through power lines owned by our client, an electrical company. This caused thousands of residents and businesses to lose power. Mark Fong obtained $1.15 million in settlement for the electrical company.
Tenant Fall Caused by Landlord Negligence: $1 Million Settlement
Our client, a 48-year-old retail manager, was entertaining friends on the second-story balcony of his San Francisco apartment. As he leaned against the railing it gave way, causing him to fall 10 feet to the concrete patio below and strike his head on the concrete. Our safety expert determined the railing was dry-rotted and improperly affixed to the building with nails that had become corroded. We also discovered the staircase of which the balcony was a part had undergone renovation several years before our client’s accident, but the rotted condition of the railing was never discovered. Instead, the landlord painted over the railing and covered its defective condition. Mark Fong settled our client’s claim against his landlord for a total of $1,000,000.
Elderly Jogger Suffers Fatal Injuries on Middle School Track: $545,000 Settlement
We represented the family of a 79-year-old man who died as a result of injuries he suffered while jogging on the track of a middle school in San Leandro, California. The decedent was jogging on the track for exercise after school hours while 30 members of a nearby high school’s track team were conducting practice on the track. One of the students ran into the decedent from behind, causing him to strike his head and ultimately die of a head injury. Liability was hotly contested by the school district, which initially refused to pay anything. Seema Bhatt and Mark Fong prosecuted a lawsuit against San Leandro School District for its negligence in failing to monitor its students and allowing track practice to be conducted at the same time members of the public used the track. The district blamed the decedent for the incident, claiming he assumed the risk he might be harmed, and was negligent for failing to avoid the members of the track team while they ran on the track. Through the use of experts in the areas of track and field, safety, and human factors, and by taking the testimony of the coaches and students involved in the incident, Seema Bhatt and Mark Fong obtained a settlement of $545,000 for the decedent’s family shortly before trial.
Premises Liability – Hip Fracture: $400,000 Recovery
An 81-year-old business owner was leaving his office in San Francisco when he tripped and fell over sections of sidewalk that had been pushed up due to overgrown tree roots. The fall caused the man to fracture his hip, necessitating surgery and the use of a walker. He leased his office from the defendant property owner. A San Francisco City code requires property owners to maintain the safety of the sidewalks adjacent to their property. The defendant knew of this dangerous condition yet failed to remedy it even after previous falls by other people. The case was settled prior to going to court. Seth Rosenberg represented the plaintiff and obtained a $400,000 settlement for the client.