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.
Pedestrian Hit by Garbage Truck Suffers Brain Injury: $3.5 Million Recovery
We represented a 62-year-old MUNI mechanic who was struck by a garbage truck as he crossed the street near his home in San Francisco. He suffered a fractured skull, brain damage, broken ribs and cognitive defects (personality changes). The truck company claimed our client was partly responsible for the accident because he was holding an umbrella which blocked his vision and ignored the approaching truck. Due to his brain injuries, our client had no recollection of the accident. However, we performed a digital reconstruction of the accident which proved the truck driver should have seen our client crossing directly in front of him. We also obtained state-of-the-art MRI imaging of our client’s brain to show the injuries that were causing his personality changes, which were likely permanent. After a series of mediations, the defendant settled our client’s claim for $3.5 million. Mark Fong, Seth Rosenberg, Dale Minami, and Eunice Yang represented the Plaintiff.
Injured Motorcyclist Suffers Broken Femur and Brain Injury: $3 Million Settlement
Our client was riding his motorcycle when the defendant pulled out of a driveway in front of him, causing him to “T-bone” the defendant’s car. Our client suffered a concussion and a broken femur, which required several surgeries to repair. The defendant disputed the extent of our client’s injuries. Through extensive neurological and neuropsychological testing, and neuroradiologic imaging (including functional magnetic resonance imaging), we showed our client suffered a traumatic brain injury in the crash, as well as depression and anxiety. The case was settled at mediation for $3 million by Dale Minami, Mark Fong, and Seema Bhatt.
$2.675 Million Settlement for Injured Pedestrians
“May,” a 36-year-old woman, was walking across a street when she was struck by a truck that failed to yield to her, injuring her and her 74-year-old aunt, “June.” May complained initially of pain on her head where she struck the pavement. However, in monitoring her symptoms over the next several months, we noted she developed symptoms of post-concussive syndrome, including dizziness, slurred speech, and inability to focus.
We referred May for further treatment and evaluation with experts in traumatic brain injury. May also complained of soreness in her hip, which suggested a more serious injury than originally reported. We encouraged further workup of this condition, which led her doctors to find a tear in her hip cartilage.
May worked in a startup company in customer relations and quality assurance, but her symptoms made her job too difficult to continue working there, and caused her to take a less stressful job. May underwent arthroscopic surgery on her hip, and may require another surgery in the future. However, her concussion symptoms continued to interfere with her job and her relations with her husband and children.
May’s doctors diagnosed her with mild traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from the collision. The experts hired by the defendant driver claimed she was simply depressed, and her emotional problems were due to causes other than the collision. We rebutted these defense claims with the testimony of a world-recognized expert on PTSD and, at mediation, MT Senior Associate Seema Bhatt settled May’s claim for $2,250,000.
May’s aunt June suffered fractures of her left ankle and right wrist, trauma to her left wrist, and soft tissue injury to her left thigh. Complicating June’s case, she had a cyst in her left wrist due to an autoimmune condition, dermatomyositis, which made her wrist susceptible to inflammation from trauma. As a result of the collision, her dermatomyositis flared up, and required June to undergo surgery to remove the cyst. This was followed by a procedure to drain the wound, and hand therapy to restore function of her hand. At mediation, Seema obtained a settlement for June in the amount of $425,000, bringing the total settlement for our clients to $2,675,000.
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.
Man Suffers Second Brain Injury in Rear-End Collision: $1.5 Million Settlement
We represented a 50year-old Information Technology worker whose car was rear-ended by a Dr. Pepper salesman who was on his way home after making his last delivery for the day. After answering paramedics’ questions at the scene, our client suddenly fell unconscious and required mechanical assistance to breathe. He recovered after a brief hospitalization, but was left with cognitive deficits, including memory problems, loss of focus and attention, and disordered thinking. He had suffered a brain injury 7 years before the crash, and imaging studies were unable to identify any new brain injury from this crash. We argued, based on his symptoms of short-term memory loss, post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disturbance, anxiety, depression, and inability to work, that he had indeed suffered a traumatic brain injury from the crash. Our first hurdle was to prove Dr. Pepper’s auto insurance policy should cover its salesman for the crash. We did so by taking the driver’s deposition. Although the crash occurred while he was off the clock, we proved that our client’s situation fell within an exception to the general rule that an employer is not liable for accidents during its employees’ commute to and from work. We did this by showing he had to travel for work and was reimbursed for mileage during his commute, Thus, Dr. Pepper’s insurance company was forced to compensate our client for his injuries. Our second hurdle was to overcome the argument that our client’s cognitive deficits were due to his prior brain injury, which admittedly had left him with residual cognitive problems. To combat this, we deposed our client’s former employers, friends, and family to show he was functioning well after his prior brain injury, but deteriorated significantly after the subject crash. We also hired experts in the fields of neurology, psychiatry, neuropsychology, and vocational rehabilitation, who stated our client would be unable to continue working as a result of his cognitive limitations. Thus, although he returned to work after the crash, we argued Dr. Pepper should pay for his potential future loss of earnings. Shortly after mediation, Mark Fong and Seema Bhatt settled the case for $1.5 million for the client and his wife, who sued for loss of his consortium.
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 schoolteacher, 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 road and hit a bump, causing her 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.
Pedestrian Hit by Taxicab Suffers Brain Injury: $1 Million Recovery
While walking in a crosswalk in San Francisco, our client, a 65-year-old retired woman, was hit by a taxicab. She suffered traumatic brain injury, which resulted in vision problems, headaches, cognitive deficits, personality changes, depression, and difficulties with memory. The cab company claimed her damages were not as severe as we argued, and initially refused to pay its policy limits of $1 million. After several mediations, we were able to obtain the policy limits. Dale Minami, Mark Fong, Seth Rosenberg, and Eunice Yang represented the Plaintiff.
Bicyclist Hit by Auto Suffers Fractures and Brain Injury – $1 Million Settlement
Our 34-year-old client Johnny was riding his mountain bike in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco when he struck an oncoming car that turned left in front of him. Johnny suffered a traumatic brain injury, as well as fractures of the vertebrae in his mid-back. He was unable to work as a delivery person for his family’s business for a number of months, but went on to make a good recovery. His medical bills exceeded the $100,000 policy limits of the insurance company for the driver. Johnny and his wife lived several days a week at his wife’s parents’ home, as well as their own separate residence. We argued that, due to his dual residence, he was covered for the crash under his in-laws’ personal auto insurance policy. This allowed us to recover $400,000 from this insurance company, in addition to the $100,000 limits of the driver’s insurance. Then, since Johnny was an employee of his father-in-law’s business, we made a claim on the business’ commercial auto insurance policy. By providing physical evidence and statements under oath to prove Johnny’s dual residence, we obtained another $500,000 in insurance money for him from that insurance company. In total, we obtained $1,000,000 for Johnny from all sources. Mark Fong and Counsel Dale Minami handled Johnny’s case.
Client Suffers Third Major Concussion: $1 Million Recovery
Our 43-year-old client, a customer of a wild boar hunting company, was injured during a post-hunt barbecue when one of the company owners invited him for a ride on his all-terrain vehicle (ATV). During the course of the ride, the owner drove the ATV off a cliff, causing our client to suffer a fractured jaw and forehead, as well as neck lacerations. He was also diagnosed with a concussion and post-concussive syndrome. At his deposition, we forced the driver to admit he was not paying attention, was likely intoxicated, and was responsible for the crash.
Unfortunately, this was the third severe concussion our client had suffered in his lifetime. We argued this one was the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” and disabled him from returning to his job as a software engineer for a bank. The defense argued our client’s cognitive symptoms should have resolved a year after the incident, and he was no longer suffering the effects of a traumatic brain injury. They claimed any decline in his cognitive status was because our client was an alcoholic. We subpoenaed Plaintiff’s past neuropsychological and school records to show he was actually of superior intelligence before the crash, and the crash caused a decline to only average intelligence. Seema Bhatt and Mark Fong settled the case at mediation for the Defendant’s insurance policy limits of $1 million dollars.
Negligent Injection Causes Stroke: $490,000 Recovery
Our client was a 35-year-old unemployed security guard who went to the Defendant Medical Center in San Bernardino County with complaints of abdominal pain. He was admitted to the intensive care unit after being diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis. The doctor administered an anti-nausea drug, Phenergan, through an IV. Immediately after the injection, our client suffered a stroke which left him with brain injury. We alleged the Phenegran had been erroneously injected into his artery, rather than his vein, and caused his stroke. Ourclient sued the County and the Medical Center for medical malpractice. Seth Rosenberg and Mark Fong represented the Plaintiff and obtained a $490,000 settlement for him.
Bicyclist’s Fork Snaps, Causes Brain Injury: $450,000 Settlement
We represented a 60-year-old cyclist who was riding his bicycle through a parking lot in Palm Desert, California, when the bicycle’s carbon fiber front fork suddenly snapped, causing him to fall headfirst and strike his face on the pavement. Our client suffered fractures of his eye socket, a brain bleed, and mild traumatic brain injury, from which he went on to make a good recovery. We filed suit for product liability against the bicycle’s manufacturer and the store which sold him the bike, alleging the fork was defectively designed and manufactured. Through scanning electron microscope testing, we showed the fork was designed with insufficient layers of carbon fiber, which made the spot where the fork snapped dangerously weak. We also argued the fork was defectively manufactured, as it had voids and delamination (separation) of the layers of carbon fiber which were intended to give the fork its strength. We showed the manufacturer knew of the dangers of delamination, as it warned of this risk in the bicycle’s owner’s manual, and instructed owners to inspect their bicycles for signs of delamination. Mark Fong, Seema Bhatt, and Dale Minami prosecuted this case, which settled for $450,000.