Results & Settlements

Big Rig/Tractor/Trailer Rig Accident Outstanding ResultsFamily v. Trucking Company
Accidental Tractor Trailer Rig Multi-Party Death Case
Plaintiff’s filed in Nevada (only state which has a long arm statute), due to Nevada’s favorable wrongful death damages statutes (joint and several liability for special and punitive damages).  Defendants attempted vigorously to transfer the case to Barstow, CA.  The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in Plaintiff’s favor and the case proceeded to trial in Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada.
A tractor trailer rig on highway 58 was transporting three seven and one-half tons of concrete pipes loaded in a pyramid position.  The intoxicated Defendant truck driver attempted to negotiate a curve and the wood supporting the concrete pipes penetrated the flatbed trailer’s wood floor causing the straps holding the pipes to break off.  The pipes became dislodged, due to inadequate loading, inspection, defctive/worn straps, and landed directly on a Nissan van killing Decendents upon impact.  Plaintiffs sued Defendants truck driver, strap manufacturer, pipe manufacturer (for loading procedures), as well as the pipe company, which ordered the pipe delivery.  After nearly one month in trial, we successfully negotiated a $10,500,00.00 settlement in this multi-party wrongful death case.
Settled During Trial: $10,500,000.00

Vehicle Rearended By Tractor Trailer Rig
Plaintiff was traveling on the 805 freeway and was rearended by a tractor-trailer resulting in a hip injury.  Plaintiff incurred $60,000.00 in medical bills, $40,000.00 in lost wages and made a full recovery.
Settlement: $1,000,000.00

Automobile Accident and Oustanding Settlement Results

Stolen Ambulance Case
Estate v. Ambulance Company, Medical Center and Security Company

Psychiatric woman escaped from hospital, steals an ambulance (which was parked in the hospital entryway with the keys left in the ignition), then the woman speeds off running a red light and crashes into a car killing Plaintiff’s son who was a passenger in a vehicle legally driving through a green light on his way to church.  Defense attorney for the ambulance company bragged “we’re never going to pay, there is no liability for keys left in a vehicle.”  Additionally, defense attorney for the hospital boasted “she (psychiatric woman) was never a patient, we are not responsible for her actions.”  On the eve of trial all Defendants (ambulance company, hospital and private security company) contributed to their major settlement.
Confidential Settlement: $1,000,000.00(+)

Family v. Family, Elderly Man
Elderly man experienced an uncontrollable seizure, runs a red light killing Plaintiff’s mother, while young child survived with minor injuries but experienced emotional distress (Dillon Claim).
Trial/Settlement: $2,000,000.00 (Recovery for Minor Plaintiff)
Note: Largest recovery in a wrongful death case that year in Riverside County.

Auto v. Auto
Client’s previous attorney recommended to Plaintiff to “take the $30,000…it’s a gift,” even after plaintiff has undergone a painful hip surgery.
Settlement: $500,000.00 (Policy Limits)

Auto v. Auto Accidents, Policy Limits (Maximum Insurance Recoveries)
Our office has examples of dozens and dozens of case histories of $300,000 policy limit recoveries and more in difficult to next to impossible cases!  Our comprehensive and systematic legal approach in these complex automobile cases, places our client(s) in the most favorable position to recover the maximum policy limits (i.e., $300,000, $500,000, $1,000,000, $2,000,000, $3,000,000 etc.) by exposing the Defendant’s Insurance Company to a judgement potentially in excess of the policy limits, in which case, the Defendant’s Insurance Company would be forced to pay the entire judgement regardless what their insurance policy maximum limits are.

Automobile v. Auto Accident
Client’s previous attorney adamantly insisted that client settle for the bare bones $15,000 policy limits of the negligent automobile driver.  Defendant’s (i.e., automobile driver’s) attorneys concealed Defendant’s substantial “Umbrella Insurance” policy.
Settlement: $3,000,000.00 (Umbrella Insurance Policy Limits)

Automobile Products Liability Settlements

Family v. Ford Motor Company
Products liability against Ford Motor Company for the dangerous and defective design and manufacturing of a Ford F-150 model truck fuel tank which caught on fire in a (slow) low impact collision resulting in Plaintiff’s husband burning to death.
Settlement: Confidential

Family v. Ford Motor Company
Crashworthiness Case/Wrongful Death Case against Ford Motor Company
for failure of the Ford Ranger front-seat restraint system and defective roof of the Ford Ranger which crushed during a roll-over accident in Temecula, California.
Settlement: Confidential

SUV Roll-Over/Roof Crush v. General Motors Co.
Driver was speeding on California Interstate 5 in and out of the fast lane, lost control and the truck rolled over and the roof crushed/collapsed thus killing the driver and injuring the front seat passenger.
Settlement: Confidential

Auto Products Liability Case
A single vehicle roll-over accident.  Driver fell asleep at the wheel and caused Chevrolet to roll-over and the roof caved in crushing and killing the driver.
Settlement: $2,000,000.00

Plaintiff v. Suzuki Dealership
Plaintiff drove her vehicle to a “Suzuki” dealership informing the mechanic that her transmission was making loud noises.  The manager of the Suzuki dealership stated “we stopped servicing Suzuki Samuri and all Suzuki vehicles yesterday.”  He further told Plaintiff it was safe to drive her car to the nearest dealership (twenty miles away).  On the way to the dealership, Plaintiff car’s transmission began to fail and Plaintiff lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the center divider on Highway 5.  At first, dealership denied Plaintiff even came to their dealership, after a dozen depositions, the mechanic finally admitted he thought he may have seen her, as he turned red.  Plaintiff sustained injuries.
Settlement: $750,000.00

Heirs v. Automobile Manufacturer
Automobile gas tank ruptured resulting in explosion in a rearend collision.  Decedant was not employed at the time of accident.

Plaintiff v. Defective Asphalt Spreader
Plaintiff was a construction worker who sustained serious burns due to a dangerously defective asphalt spreader truck.
Settlement: $2,000,000.00

Aviation Accident Settlements

Family v. Aircraft Rental Company
Negligence against an aircraft rental company due to the plane crashing upon “take-off”, killing the pilot and one passenger.
Settlement: Confidential

Estate v. Airlines and Airplane Component Manufacturers
Action against airlines and airplane component manufacturers regarding death of one paseenger.
Settlement: Confidential

Boating Accident and Outstanding Settlement Results

Family v. Family
Accidental Boating Death
For that year, it was the largest settlement in the State of Oregon for a boating fatality accident case.  Plaintiff’s previous attorney (another nationally known trial lawyer) told Plaintiff “she had no case!”  Our firm took over representation, conducted an extensive investigation and retained experts.  In fact, Oregon has a mere $500,000.00 cap for wrongful death (general damages), which Mr. Kessler was able to persuade the Mediator and the insurance carriers (over a three day madiation) to award the Plaintiffs $2,500,000.00 by arguing the “direct impact theory” requirement under Oregon law – wherein, the husband had witnessed his wife’s death in his arms at the moment of impact, as well as, simultaneously sustained a broken arm.
Settlement: The case settled for $2,500,000.00 after three days of intensive mediation.

Family v. Family
Lake Perris Boating Collision Death/Drowning Case
Decendent (inexperienced boater and unemployed at the time of the accident) who was under the influence when he lost control of his jet ski was subsequently run over by a second boat (his best friend) and pronounced dead.  Defendants contended that decendent was an inexperienced boater, intoxicated and caused the collision (i.e., as was also stated in the “Vessels and Waterways” Investigative Report).
Settlement: $2,000,000.00 (Insurance Policy Limits)

Doe v. Doe
Jet Ski Collision Accident
Plaintiff and his best friend rented jet skis in South Lake Tahoe.  Officers warned the boys “not to operate the jet skis so close to eachother”.  Within minutes of the Officer’s warning, the Defendant collided into Plaintiff’s jet ski.  Plaintiff sustained moderate injuries but has since made a full recovery.
Settlement: $500,000.00

Estate v. Chartered Fishing Boat
Accidental Boating Death
Our client’s husband died on a chartered fishing boat which capsized outside the Tillamook Bay jetty in Oregon.  We conducted a comprehensive investigation and concluded that the captain of the boat was negligent since he knew the waves were unusually high when he sailed out of the jetty that fateful day.
Settlement: Confidential (Insurance Policy Limits)

Family v. Family
Accidental Boating Death
The decendent and two friends allegedly took a Cheetah speed boat without the boat owner’s consent and capsized the speed boat.  The boat owner’s attorneys contended that the decendent and all boat occupants were barred from recovery since they took the boat without permission.  Additionally, the boat owner’s attorneys bragged “we’ll never pay a penny” since the boat was taken without the boat owner’s permission.  We conducted an exhaustive investigation and convinced Defendant’s (boat owner’s) insurance company to “pay our client” the policy limits for the death of their son because the boys had “implied consent” to use the Cheetah speed boat on a prior occasiopn.
Settlement: Confidential (Insurance Policy Limits)

Family v. Family
Accidental Boating Death Collision
Plaintiff’s young son was operating a jet ski, in violation of statute (he was under 14 years old) which collided with another boat resulting in his death.  At first, Defendants refused to settle since Plaintiff’s son was under fourteen years old and in clear violation of California’s boating operator statute.  After extensive investigation and persistant negotiations, the case settled prior to trial.  We were able to prove that Defendant boat owner knew that the young boy in the jet ski in front of them was running out of shoreline and would have to turn in front of Defendant boat owner. At no time prior to the collision did Defendant boat owner attempt to stop, in fact he increased his speed contributing to the accident.
Settlement: Confidential

Swimming Pool Drowning Settlements and Outstanding Results

Family v. Pool Owner
Accidental Pool Drowning
At first the insurance carrier for Defendant homeowner refused to settle, since Plaintiffs were present at uncle’s home where their two-year old son drowned. After a thorough investigation, we were able to prove that the defective pool cover and gate latch was a key factor in the young boy’s death.
Settlement: Confidential (Insurance Policy Limits)

Family v. Pool Owner
Accidental Pool Drowning
Plaintiff was present when their son drowned at their best friend’s pool. At first the insurance carrier refused to settle. After an extensive investigation and commencement of jury selection, the case was settled prior to trial
Settlement: Confidential (Insurance Policy Limits)

Family v. Jacuzzi Parts Manufacturer (Spa Drain Cover)
Jacuzzi Spa Suction Drowning Case
Plaintiff’s daughter, who was an experienced surfer, had her hair sucked underwater and she drowned due to the defective design of the jacuzzi drain cover. After an extensive investigation and numerous depositions, the case settled prior to trial. Additionally, due to our client’s succesful lawsuit against the jacuzzi spa drain cover manufacturer, Defendant was required to recall over 300,000 defective spa covers throughout the United States, preventing future tragedies! The case was featured nationwide on CBS, ABC, as well as the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register.
Settlement: Confidential

Family v. Homeowner Association
Association Pool Drowning Case
Plaintiff’s 2 year old daughter was swimming at the associations natural rock pool on “Father’s Day”, when no lifeguards were on duty! Plaintiff’s daughter was only out of her father’s sight for a few minutes when she drowned. Plaintiffs conducted their own thorough investigation and contended that since the Association had the means to hire gate guards in order to charge entrance pool fees for non-members, there was no plausible reason not to have “life guards on duty” during a busy Father’s Day weekend! The following weekend lifeguards were scheduled to begin their job duties. In addition to these facts, the natural rock pool had a dark slippery surface and a dangerous steep slope that the decedant had slipped on the slippery pool floor near the shallow end of the pool and was knocked unconscious.  After the case was settled, due to our client’s lawsuit, lifeguards are required to be on duty when the association pool is open and the dark slippery pool surface was redesigned with a light pool bottom and a non-slippery pool surface!
Settlement: Confidential (Insurance Policy Limits)

Estate of Doe v. National Hotel Chain
Decendent checked into hotel, changed into his swim trunks and proceeded to dive into the swimming pool.  Sometime later (30-40 minutes), hotel guests began yelling that “a man was lying face down at the bottom of the deep end.”  A hotel guest, who was certified in lifesaving techniques, dragged decendent out of the pool and immediately began CPR.  The night desk clerk told rescuer (hotel guest), “stop touching the victim” and the desk clerk secured the scene.  Other hotel guests told the hotel clerk “you can’t stop CPR!”  

In the meantime, a major ambulance company’s employees were taking a personal cheeseburger break and when they were called, replied “we’re too busy eating our cheeseburger and french fries and our ambulance is too dirty.”  Ten minutes later, the ambulance company sent out for a second ambulance who got lost and arrived at the drowning scene forty-five minutes after the 911 call!
Settlement: Confidential
(Note: Not only did Plaintiff’s heirs settle with the national hotel chain who boasted “we never settle drowning cases”, but the ambulance company who also boasted “we never settle cases, we’re immune from liability, go sue the hotel”, also contributed to the settlement.)

Dog Bite Settlements

Rottweiler Dog Attack
Minor boy was attacked and bitten on the leg several times by a neighbor’s dog.  His mother was traumatized by witnessing this horrifying attack (Dillon Claim).
Settlement: $3,000,000.00
Note: The ultimate recovery was five times higher due to the fact that the funds are being paid through an annuity when her son entered and will eventually graduate from college.

Victim v. Homeowner of Pit Bull
Three pit bulls escaped from a home which was being rented by a “ficticious person.”  The renter of the home claimed the pit bulls were not hers and she did not know the owner of “the dogs.”  Plaintiff sustained several puncture wounds which necessitated plastic surgery.  Defendant homeowner’s lawyer bragged “you can’t prove that the homeowner knew the dogs ever lived at the house.”  We took the deposition of the mailman who testified that the three vicious dogs lived at the house for at least a year and the homeowner herself admitted to him that she was scared to pick up the rent.
Settlement: $500,000.00 (policy limits)

Pedestrian/Bicycle Accident Settlements

Pedestrian Doe v. Construction Company Truck Driver
Accidental Pedestrian Death
Plaintiff (75 years old), who was the husband of the decendent who was “jay walking” at the moment of impact.  The police report wrongly concluded that our client’s wife was the sole cause of the accident due to “jay walking”.  After an extensive investigation, we found an independant witness, who was eating her lunch in his office on the third floor of the Wells Fargo Bank building and testified that he saw the commercial truck driver pass the Wells Fargo ATM machine in front of the bank and then the truck illegally backed up in front of the bank knocking down the decendent, where the Plaintiff’s husband watched in horror as the truck driver then continued driving forward killing Plaintiff’s wife.
Settlement: $2,350,000.00
Note: Largest settlement in Orange County for a pedestrian death that year.

Pedestrian v. Tow Truck Company
Pedestrian was wearing dark clothing and “jay walking” at the moment of impact (approx. 7 p.m.).  Police report concluded that the Plaintiff was outside the crosswalk, intoxicated and caused the accident.  After extensive and numerous depositions, a witness came forward and placed the pedestrian half way across the intersection and within the crosswalk at the moment of impact.  Plaintiff sustained significant injuries.
Settlement: $2,000,000.00 (Policy Limits)

Personal Injury Settlements

Commercial Building Deck Collapses
Plaintiff sustained a fractured hip while he was standing on a deck which collapsed during a party.  Plaintiff had to undergo hip surgery and lost wages.  Plaintiff sued the tenant and the owner/landlord of the commercial building, claiming negligent maintenance.
Settlement: $1,500,000.00

Wrongful Death Outstanding Results

Wrongful Death – Big Rig Truck Collision
Plaintiff was the wife and mother of two children of decedent(husband)/pedestrian who was killed when a big rig truck backed into and ran over him.
Settlement: $3,000,000.00

Truck v. Pedestrian/Wrongful Death
Plaintiff was the husband of unemployed decedent “jaywalker” (wife) who was walking across the highway with a six pack in her hands.
Settlement: $2,000,000.00 (Policy Limits)

Bicyclist v. School Bus Crash
Plaintiffs were the parents of an eight (8) year old bicyclist who was outside of the crosswalk and darted in front of a school bus.  Plaintiff’s previous attorney was not equipped to try the case and never scheduled or took any depositions.  During the bus driver’s deposition, the bus driver admitted he heard children on his bus scream “Look Out!” and he was blinded by the afternoon sunlight failing to see minor bicyclist.  Our office after interviewing numerous witnesses and taking over a dozen depositions, as well as, retaining expert witnesses prepared for trial; settled at the courthouse on the eve of trial.
Settlement: $1,000,000.00

Bicycle v. Doe Utility Truck
Plaintiffs were the parents of a twelve (12) year old beginning bicylist who was outside the crosswalk, ran the stop and darted in front of a utility truck.  Plaintiffs previous attorney rejected the case telling Plaintiff “the police report says your son caused the accident” so the attorney concluded “you have no case.”  Attorney Gary A Kessler conducted an extensive investigation, took numerous depositions as well as retaining expert witnesses for trial.
Settlement: $500,000.00 (Insurance Policy Limits)

Pedestrian/Wrongful Death v. Automobile Driver
Plaintiff (62 years old) was the husband of decedent (55 years old) who was struck and killed by automobile driver.  Decedent was running across the highway with a twelve pack of beer in her hand, was wearing dark clothes late at night, and was under the influence (.16 blood alcohol).  At first, insurance company refused to negotiate.  After an extensive investigation, a passenger in defendant automobile driver’s car testified that he saw the decedent in the roadway and yelled “watch out” to the driver who freaked out and drove straight ahead hitting decedent.
Settlement: $1,000,000.00

Pedestrian/Wrongful Death v. Truck
Plaintiff was the husband and father of five adult children of decedent (wife) who was jaywalking when the construction truck backed over her at less than five (5) miles per hour causing her death.  Defendants insurance company at first disputed liability.  Case settled after two (2) days of intense mediation. 
Settlement: $2,500,000.00

Heirs of Minor Child v. Trash Truck
Pedestrian child who was running unattended behind a trash truck, was run over by the trash truck.  Plaintiffs counsel discovered that the trash trucks rear corner had a blind spot which resulted in the trash truck settling the case.
Settlement: $500,000.00

Wrongful Death
An individual was working in a trench which was not properly braced and suffocated when the trench gave way and buried him alive.
Settlement: Policy Limits

Wrongful Death
A four (4) year old child fell to her death from the fourth floor of an apartment building which had railings that were “too wide.”
Settlement: Policy Limits

Bus Accident Settlements

MTA Bus v. Pedestrian
Accidental Bus Injury Case
Plaintiff who was unemployed living underneath the freeway, was run over by MTA bus at less than five (5) miles per hour.  Plaintiff recovered from his injuries.
Settlement: $2,500,000.00 (included MTA paying all of Plaintiff’s medical bills)
Note: Largest settlement for a pedestrian injury accident caused by an MTA bus that year.

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Gary Kessler, California Personal Injury Lawyer Disclaimer: The California personal injury, wrongful death, swimming pool drowning, boating accident, dog bite, amusement park negligence, pedestrian accident, product liability, aviation accidents, or any other California legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the creation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. The information contained herein is intended for information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. All results described on this site were based on the individual facts of those said cases and are not indicative of future settlements. Results will differ from case to case. Please contact Gary A. Kessler, a California lawyer at our California law firm offices in Newport Beach or our San Francisco Bay Area office.

The Law Offices of Gary A. Kessler are licensed to practice in California, District of Columbia & Pennsylvania. Through local law firms with which we have associations, we are able to represent Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases across the United States. Our associations allow us to represent clients"pro hac vice", meaning "for this particular occasion". In order to effectively and efficiently represent the client in these cases, we will employ the local law firms (at no additional cost to our client) to make routine court appearances and proceedings where it is necessary to assist our clients case.