Ian Fusselman


Ian Fusselman, a native Southern Californian, grew up in Costa Mesa, California. As a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol, he discovered a fascination for flying. He first flew a plane “solo” at the age of 16, and obtained his private pilot’s license soon after graduating from high school. He then completed a certificate program in Airway Science – Commercial Pilot at Orange Coast College and obtained an instrument rating. He has also logged several hours in sailplanes.

While attending high school and college, Ian worked in restaurants in Newport Beach’s popular “restaurant row.” By age 20, Ian earned a position as a chef at a world-class seafood restaurant, managing two kitchens and a staff of over 50 employees.

Ian then left the restaurant industry to help out with a friend’s family construction business. He learned a great deal about a number of construction trades and also had the opportunity to help the small family business grow from what was once a one-man operation into a company with sales in excess of $1,000,000 a year.

Ian continued working full-time at the construction company while attending California State University Long Beach, and he completed a degree in Philosophy in 1995. While in college, Ian completed subjects in Philosophy of Law and competed on the college intercollegiate debate team, sparking his interest in becoming a lawyer.

While attending the University of Southern California Law School, Ian clerked with a complex litigation firm, which specialized in representing victims of catastrophic aviation and automobile accidents. Ian gained valuable experience working on high-profile aviation cases, including the 1995 crash of the X-31A experimental fighter at Edwards Air Force Base, the 1994 “friendly fire” downing of two U.S. Blackhawk helicopters in Iraq resulting in 26 fatalities, and the 1993 explosion of an Air National Guard KC-135 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Upon graduation from law school, Ian joined a Los Angeles firm, continuing to work on catastrophic automobile and aviation cases, as well as insurance bad faith claims and employment litigation. Before moving to San Diego, Ian had the opportunity to represent the target defendant in the litigation arising out of folk singer John Denver’s fatal airplane crash. After relocating to San Diego, Ian worked at a local firm and used his depth of experience both inside and outside the law to achieve consistently superior results.

At Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, Ian continues to focus his practice on complex litigation, including catastrophic personal injury cases, insurance litigation, construction litigation and aviation law. Since 2004, he has helped to recover more than $175,000,000 on behalf of our clients. His recent successes include recovering more than $55,000,000 in property damage and business loss claims arising from the 2007 Wildland Fires, a confidential 8-figure settlement on behalf of a personal injury client, $3,700,000 on behalf of a developer for construction defects, $1,400,000 on behalf of a client whose insurance carrier denied coverage for a house fire, and $1,300,000 on behalf of families impacted by a landslide. He has also obtained coverage for clients whose health insurance carriers denied claims for medical procedures, including one claim for more than $750,000.

Ian’s wife, Natalia, is a Professor at the University of California, San Diego. The couple lives in a 1920’s era Craftsman-style home in the North Park area of San Diego with their son, Michael.

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Catastrophic Personal Injury Aviation Law
Construction Defects


2015 Super Lawyers

2014 San Diego Business Journal “Best of the Bar”

2013 San Diego Daily Transcript San Diego Top Attorney

Civil Trial Lawyers