Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Cases

No other San Diego law firm has earned more Outstanding Trial Lawyer Awards and Trial Lawyer of the Year Awards than Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire for their work on behalf of clients’ personal injury and wrongful death cases.

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Our personal injury law practice includes, but is not limited to: wrongful death, catastrophic injuries, medical device and implant failures, prescription drug injury, medical malpractice, boating accidents, brain damage, elder abuse and nursing home neglect, car and motorcycle accidents and aviation disasters and plane crashes.

Below are our more interesting cases. If you cannot find a case similar to yours, please call us as this list only represents a few of the personal injury cases we have handled.

Doe v. Roe Company & Moe Contractors

A settlement in excess of $14.5 million dollars for a personal injury case. Our client was providing construction related services in a building in downtown San Diego. The Defendant failed to provide properly odorized natural gas to the building resulting in a massive explosion in May, 2008. Our client suffered third degree burns to his face, head, arms, hands and upper body. The explosion occurred when a large amount of natural gas escaped into the building and since it was not odorized properly it accumulated undetected until presumably an electrical spark set it off.

Doe v. Roe: Scaffold Company

A personal injury case, our client suffered severe orthopedic injuries while working on an improperly installed and uninspected scaffold that collapsed. At mediation the case was settled for $5 million with a portion of the proceeds placed in structured annuities resulting in lifetime payments to our client exceeding $10 million. This case was handled by partner Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr. and partner Brett J. Schreiber.

Audrey Aguilar, Gerardo Aguilar, Irene Taffolla, Gail Romero and Nicanor Romero v. State of California, by and through the Department of Transportation; Tricor America, Inc.

A personal injury case involving the dangerous condition of public property and negligence resulting in wrongful death and catastrophic life changing injuries. This case involved multiple plaintiffs represented by three law firms in a consolidated action. Partners Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr. and Brett J. Schrieber represented plaintiffs Irene Taffeta, Gail Romero and Nicanor Romero. This case involved a head-on collision on Route 78 caused by a dangerous pavement edge drop resulting from a failure by CalTrans to “shoulder back” the roadway. A vehicle driven by an employee of Tricor America encountered the dangerous edge drop, and in his struggle to regain control of his vehicle at 60 mph swerved across the center line, and collided with the vehicle containing our clients. One client, a six-year old girl was rendered a paraplegic and the other children suffered severe to moderate life changing injuries. CalTrans offered $500,000.00 prior to the trial. The jury awarded the victims a total of $22.67 million.

Pierson v. Ford, et al.

Rollover accident involving a Ford van and the rock group Subtle that left the drummer a quadriplegic. The case involved multiple design failures including a faulty seat restraint system and roof crush standards. After a two week trial the jury awarded a verdict of $20,366,157.52.

Buxbaum v. Halliburton, et al.

A personal injury case, our client, Michael Buxbaum was seriously injured when a vehicle driven by an employee of Halliburton Energy Corp., lost control on the I-5 freeway, entered the shoulder of the roadway and was launched over the center divider by a berm of earth created and maintained by co-defendant State of California.  The Halliburton vehicle crashed head-on into the van Michael was traveling in. Michael suffered serious personal injuries, including a traumatic brain injury. After nearly five years of litigation we secured a settlement of $6.25 million.

Pearl Dunlap v. City of Los Angeles; John Rosales

P.I./Sexual Harassment/Sexual Battery.

Jason Walczak and Ami Walczak v. Julio C. Ventura dba Ventura Trucking

$3,000,000.00 settlement for a personal injury case involving a contract driver who was rendered quadriplegic when he was rear-ended by a tractor trailer rig. Lead attorney was partner Kevin Quinn with associate Allyson Taub.

Military – Related (Confidential)

$3,000,000.00 settlement for the families of two marines who were killed when a rivet hole fractured causing the tail fin to separate and their helicopter crashed.

KDME, INC. v. Bucci et al.

$1,200,000+ bench verdict in a personal injury case involving maritime matters, where the claimants (a group of vacationing girls) claimed that KDME, Inc. was grossly negligent in the rental of the motorboat to them. Lead attorney partner Kevin Quinn with associate Alyson Taub.

Joey Harper v. Civic Helicopters, et al.

$2,065,000 settlement in a helicopter crash case involving reckless flying when the pilot of the aircraft flew into power lines at Catalina Island. Lead attorney partner Mickey McGuire with associate Ian Fusselman.

Leonora Figueroa, et al. v. Jeffrey Johnson

$4,000,000.00 structured settlement for a head-on collision caused by a drunk driver. Lead attorney partner Vincent J, Bartolotta with associate Brett J. Schrieber.

Doe v. United States of America

A medical malpractice case involving breach of standard of care. Our client was left severely brain damaged when the surgeon removed health brain tissue in an attempt to treat a benign condition after failing to perform the correct tests. The second surgery on our client ignored standard procedures for this kind of operation and was performed without adequate support staff being available. The resulting bleeding and brain swelling left our client profoundly disabled. The lead attorney on this case was partner Kevin F. Quinn.

Goros, et. al. v. Silberstein

A personal injury case involving a car accident that injured a 90 year-old passenger and an elderly driver who were badly injured when a car pulled into the intersection before it was safe to do so. Lead attorney was Kevin F. Quinn with associate Theresa Conley.

Graham v. Encinitas Physical Therapy

$77,500.00 settlement on behalf of a 72 year-old woman who was injured when a wall bracket came loose and struck her while she was undergoing physical therapy.

Stanley Kurash and Naomi Kurash v. CJ Resorts, Inc

Plaintiff, age 74, claimed the resort was negligent in failing to properly “safety trim” a large pine tree that bordered the ninth fairway and that defendants lack of proper maintenance caused the limb, which weighed approximately 750 pounds, to fall with little prior warning.

Thomas Andrews v. Selco, Inc.

Backhoe operator was struck by a box car carrying U.S. Postal Service mailboxes. Injuries included cervical strains and paralumbar strain with sciatica; permanent restrictions of no heavy lifting. Jury verdict for $498,465.00.

Doody v. Castle Rock Healthcare Services, Inc. dba Advanced Medical Sales, Chad Therapeutics, Inc.

A personal injury and products liability case involving the spontaneous combustion of an oxygen device while being used by the victim while watching a Christmas show in a theater. Victim suffered terrible burns to his legs. Combination settlement and verdict totalling $249,224.68.

Hussong v. Fatouhi

$80,000.00 settlement for a passenger in a vehicle that was crushed between two trucks. Incredibly, the passenger only sustained cuts, bruises and soft tissue injuries. Suit was against the driver of the car and the trucking company.

Richard Dietz (minor) v. Doe

Five year-old boy burned over 30% of his body by an improperly set and secured hot water heater, allowing apartment tenants to raise the water temperature. Mother sued for emotional damages. Lifetime amount of the structured settlement of policy limits of $2,911,721.00.

James and Grace Crick v. John Doe et al

Auto collision involving alcohol results in brain damage. $4,500,000.00 total settlement.

Roger Webb v. Skywest Airlines

$75,000.00 settlement for a slip and fall from a commuter airliner

Joanson v. Wooden

$85,000.00 settlement for pregnant woman and her husband who were struck by a driver who was learning to drive.

Kelly Dodge v Jorge Zuniga, Casper Concrete Cutting, Inc; FCC Construction, Inc; and Triarc

Plaintiff was walking her dog near a construction site where improperly placed yellow tape and traffic cones directed her off the sidewalk and into the street where she was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver. She was injured and her dog was killed. Jury verdict for $261,318.00.

Petrie (minor) v. Western Coach & Girl Scouts of America et al

Girl Scout bus accident. A global settlement involving 21 bus passengers was reached for a total payment of $4.9 million dollars, allowing the defendant to reserve $100,000.00 for potential future claims.

Hong vs. City of San Diego

High-speed police chase that ended when the pursuing officer ran a red light and broadsided Mrs. Hung’s car killing Mrs. Hung. $1,950,000.00 settlement.

Woodard v. Becton Dickinson & Company, et al.

$946,000.00 jury verdict on behalf of a Navy SEAL officer whose career was ended after suffering severe head and spine injuries in an auto accident.

Roberts v. Council

A $6,687,192.00 jury verdict. An unusual case where a movie stuntman and SEAL team candidate was struck and maimed by a boat’s propeller when the owner of the boat ignored or did not see the diver’s fluorescent buoy. Our client suffered massive, career ending head injuries. Partner Kevin Quinn was awarded an Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego for his victory on behalf of Mr. Roberts.

Lyerly v. Park & Park, Inc., dba Rancho Bernardo Towing

A $1,000,000.00 policy limit settlement for client who suffered permanent brain damage in a car accident. Client had been in a roll over car accident and was awaiting rescue when a tow truck driver, ignoring obvious signs of danger passed at least four other cars stopped because of the accident and traveling at 45-50 mph slammed through the driver’s side of the overturned car before the client could escape.

Doe v. Roe: ATV Manufacturer

$1,775,000.00 settlement for a closed head injury to the operator of an ATV resulting from defective throttle design. Contested liability. Partner Daral Mazzarella was lead attorney. Sorry, no further details are available for this case.

Doe v. Roe: Skylight Manufacturer

$2,100,000.00 settlement for injuries to employee of electrical subcontractor which resulted from a fall through a skylight. Plaintiff alleged defective design of the skylight because an economically practical safer alternative (shatter resistent) product was possible. Contested liability.

Marika v. North American Van Lines

$1,550,000.00 settlement for the amputation of left foot of a 12-year-old pedestrian caused by being run over by the Defendant’s tractor-trailer rig. Contested liability

Doe v. Roe: Forklift Manufacturer

Paraplegia resulted when forklift capsized on uneven terrain due to defective design of the machine. Contested liability

Diaz v. Roe: General Construction Company

$1,070,000.00 for a cement finisher killed when roofing trusses were dropped on him by a subcontractor at construction site supervised by Defendant. Contested liability.

Doe v Roe Car v. Bike Accident

$725,000.00 settlement for injuries resulting from an automobile versus bike collision at an intersection. Contested liability.

Doe v Roe Construction Company

$1,123,000.00 and favorable reduction of a Workers Comp lien for an accident at a construction site. Plaintiff Doe1, age 20, fell three stories down an unprotected elevator shaft under construction, shattering his leg, jaw and teeth. Plaintiff Doe 2, Doe 1’s father, witnessed the fall and alleged an NIED claim. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant Roes – two general contractors and several subcontractors – removed a protective barricade during construction, exposing the open elevator shaft. Defendants denied removing the barricade and alleged that Plaintiffs were comparatively negligent. Defendants also contended that Plaintiff Doe1 failed to mitigate his damages by not complying with physician orders. Plaintiff Doe1 underwent more than 10 surgeries to his leg and jaw and continues rehabilitative care more than two years post-incident. The Worker’s Compensation carrier intervened, seeking more than $200,000. (Lead attorney partner Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr.

Keelin et. al. v. Allis

$1,000,000.00 mediation settlement. Lead counsel partner Vincent J Bartolotta, Jr with former partner Catherine Richardson and partner Brett J Schreiber.

Lisa Wallin v. Nanette O’Gara, Michael O’Gara

A $225,000.00 settlement in a dog bite case on behalf of a Spring Valley woman whose left hand was mauled by a golden retriever. Lead attorney was partner Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr.

Doe v. Roe Marathon Racing Co.

Plaintiff Doe, a 51-year old physician, collapsed several hours after participating in a local marathon. Plaintiff alleged that Roe Racing, the race organizer, had provided insufficient water stations and electrolyte fluids for the number of participants involved. Plaintiff further alleged that, as a result, Plaintiff suffered hyponatremia and subsequent brain damage. Plaintiff’s cognitive deficits precluded him from returning to his internal medicine practice. Defendant disputed the lack of adequate fluid stations, as well as the cause of Plaintiff’s medical condition. Although defendant initially prevailed on summary judgment based on primary assumption of risk, our client succeeded in obtaining a reversal on appeal. The resulting published opinion held that the race organizer had a duty not to increase the risks inherent in the sport. Our team successfully negotiated a settlement of $3.1 million which includes a partial structure. Lead attorney was Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr.

Toni Falcone v. Gregory Z. Jigamian and Daniel I. Aldridge

Plaintiff was a passenger in Defendant Jigamian’s car. Plaintiff alleged that Jigamian and Aldridge began to race along Faraday Avenue and that the defendants reached speeds of approximately 70 miles per hour in the 40 mph zone. The defendants’ cars collided, they lost control and crashed in a rollover collision off road. The defendants were charged with engaging in a speed contest (Cal. Veh. Code section 23109). Lead attorney was partner Mickey McGuire.

Daniel Derbes, Patricia Derbes, et. al. v. Frederick Karma, James Abernathy

A prelitigation settlement of $2,597,500.00 for a car accident case. Interesting facts and liability. Defendant Karma backed his car out of his driveway into traffic causing a Winnebago driven by defendant Abernathy to swerve into oncoming traffic and ram our client’s car. Our client and his family were returning from Thanksgiving vacation at the time of the accident. Injuries incurred by our client included massive closed head trauma and permanent disability.

Reyes vs. Alfa Leisue

A $6,860,000.00 settlement in a wrongful death case involving two 11 year-old boys. The boys were killed when a tire blew out in the motorhome they were riding in on the way to a camping trip. The tire burst through the wheel well and punctured a propane flooding the motorhome with high pressure burning propane. Case was handled by partner Vincent J. Bartolotta, Jr.

Arendsee vs. SDGE

$3,100,000.00 – Verdict. 14 year old boy electrocuted while on power pole to erect Holloween party ghost.

Olivas vs. K-Mart

$1,375,000.00 – Settlement. Structure exceeds $5,000,000.00. Tuna boat unloader hideously burned on face and upper body in car fire. Suit against retail clothing manufacturer for product liability. (Advised largest products liability case in the history of K-Mart as of that time).

Marx vs. Roberts

$2,300,000.00 – Verdict. Helo-Ski guide suffers compression fracture in back from helicopter crash.

Peake vs. City of San Diego/U.S. Government

$5,000,000.00 – Settlement. Structure exceeds $21,000,000.00. One boy killed and his brother injured from military bomb explosion.

Thomson vs. Pappillon

$6,000,000.00 – Settlement. Wrongful death – helicopter crash due to lack of safety devices on aircraft.

Doe vs. Roe Corporation

$700,000.00 – Settlement. Confidential Settlement as to Nursing Home. Wrongful death due to nurse’s negligence in misprogramming decedent’s morphine and antibiotic pump.

Ward vs. Doe Corporation

$3,500,000.00 – Settlement. Structure yielded $17,167,000.00 for minor. Four year old severely burned to head, face, neck and body with scalding hot coffee from glass coffee pot.

Sumpter vs. County of San Diego

$2,500,000.00 – Settlement. Structure yielded $5,192,451.00. Auto collision with sheriff’s vehicle with bald tires.

Schmal vs. Regents of California

$475,000.00 – Settlement. Medical Malpractice due to failure of monitoring decedent after brain surgery.

Doe vs. Roe Corporation

$950,000.00 – Settlement. Loss of eye in products liability case.

Foster vs. Auto Club

$1,250,000.00 – Settlement. Employee truck driver negligently threw burning gasoline on plaintiff.

Hong vs. City of San Diego

$1,950,000.00 – Settlement. Wrongful death – Auto collision during police pursuit.

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