Blog : personal injury

Minami Tamaki Assists Small Business Owner Injured by Hazardous Sidewalk Panels

Seth RosenbergAssociate Seth Rosenberg obtained a $400,000 settlement for client Kenneth T. for hip injuries suffered after he tripped and fell over elevated sidewalk panels on a street in San Francisco.

Kenneth, then 81, and a small business owner, suffered his injuries in January 2008 from tripping over panels that were pushed up as much as one inch above the sidewalk due to tree roots that were planted in the area. Approximately 26 panels were pushed up in a similar way because of those tree roots and other pedestrians had fallen at the same spot.

Because of injuries suffered from the sidewalk panels, Kenneth needs assistance with activities for daily living and employs home health aides for eight hours per day. He will need this home assistance for the remainder of his life.

Kenneth can no longer work at the home improvements company he owned and the settlement Rosenberg obtained for him will help cover medical costs and lost earnings.

Man Suffering Permanent Injuries from Two-Story Fall Holds Irresponsible Landlord Accountable

dale_minamiA man who leaned on a defective railing that crumbled and fell two stories in his apartment building recovered $1,066,690 through the efforts of Partner Dale Minami. The fall caused Roger D. permanent knee injuries, including a fracture in the leg, torn ligaments and chronic post-traumatic arthritis according to his doctors.

Roger, then 58, had returned home from work with his son and walked to the second floor deck to call out to his neighbor to move his car so his son could park in the driveway. As he leaned slightly on railing, the entire railing collapsed and Roger pitched forward, falling straight down from approximately two stories to the concrete pavement. His head struck a wooden fence, which caused his body and legs to flip over, severely contorting his legs and falling on his back legs.

Roger now experiences permanent weakness in his leg and knee and can no longer work at his occupation as a warehouseman. Before the accident, Roger was independent and active and while he is still able to care for himself, cannot engage in the physical activities he enjoyed.

Minami was able to prove that the that the landlord demonstrated a pattern of neglect and failure to conduct routine maintenance, resulting in building and permit code violations, ignoring construction standards and disregard of the tenants’ well-being.

By painting the picture of an uncaring and careless landlord, Roger was able to obtain the insurance policy limits of the landlord’s policy and an additional amount to be paid from the landlord’s personal assets. This settlement will cover Roger’s lifetime loss of wages, past and future medical costs, and his loss of enjoyment of life.

$3.5M Settlement to Help Brain Injured Client with Care and Lost Wages

pedestrian-crossingDale Minami, Mark Fong and Seth Rosenberg in our Personal Injury practice recently obtained a $3.5 million settlement for a man who suffered brain injuries after being struck and knocked unconscious by a waste management truck while walking in a crosswalk in San Francisco.

The client, “George,” had to undergo emergency neurosurgery to relieve bleeding and pressure on his brain. Afterward, he required physical therapy and rehabilitation. The incident prevented him from continuing work as a mechanic for San Francisco’s Municipal Transit Authority.

The defendants, the company that owned and operated the truck, litigated the case for more than a year, claiming that George was not paying attention in the drizzling rain. They claimed the umbrella he was holding blocked his view of the right turning truck, as well as the driver’s view of him.

Lawyers for George were able to prove that he had suffered subtle, but significant mental and emotional changes and, using advanced technology, could demonstrate through a simulated video that the truck driver could have seen George despite the conditions and the rain.

The defendants eventually agreed to pay George $3.5 million dollars for his past medical expenses, lost wages, future care and residual brain damage. He will now be able to afford life care assistance for the rest of his life and not have to worry about his future medical care or providing for his family.

Dale, Mark and Seth felt the settlement sent a message to the truck company to pay more attention to the safety of the public and will donate some of their attorneys’ fees to the distribution of a pamphlet on pedestrian safety.

“I’ve seen so many auto/pedestrian accidents in San Francisco where drivers were simply not paying attention,” said Dale. “I’m glad we were able to help George’s family.”