Examples Of How We Have Helped In California Brain Injury Cases
The legal team at Walkup, Melodia, Kelly & Schoenberger has represented hundreds of brain injury victims across California during the past 55 years. Our attorneys have the experience and passion to successfully handle a brain injury case and can help you make informed decisions regarding your legal options.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, call us at (415) 981-7210 or contact the Walkup firm online. Our consultations are free and confidential.
Our Representative Brain Injury Cases
Failure To Treat Stroke — $33.1 Million Jury Verdict
A Walkup neuro-injury trial team obtained this verdict on behalf of a 19-year-old man against a Bakersfield doctor. The Walkup team obtained this verdict in 2013 in San Francisco Superior Court when it proved that an attending physician failed to take prompt action in the face of symptoms suggesting a stroke. As a result, brain-saving care was delayed and the young man suffered massive injury, destroying his ability to speak, work or care for himself. Our client benefited from a Walkup trial team that included a licensed physician.
Birth Injury — $23.2 Million Jury Verdict
A senior partner at Walkup obtained a $23.2 million verdict in a case involving cerebral palsy, quadriplegia and cognitive impairment in a 2½-year-old child whose family doctor failed to appreciate the warning signs of fetal distress during her birth. As a result, a timely cesarean section was not performed. The child was deprived of oxygen for 28 minutes before an emergency C–section could be completed. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy resulted, and the child now has multiple health problems.
Brain Injury — Bicycle Vs. Automobile — $17 Million Verdict
We represented a 53-year-old software engineer who was injured in an automobile versus bicycle collision in Silicon Valley. A left-turning vehicle struck our client and propelled him onto the hood and roof of the vehicle. He sustained a fracture of the temporal bone with resulting subdural hemorrhage and brain stem compression. The driver claimed that her view of the cyclist was obscured by the sun. Our attorneys produced visibility experts at trial. Prior to trial, the defense had offered only $150,000 in settlement.
Dangerous Intersection — Pedestrian Brain Injury $12.2 Million Jury Verdict
Our attorneys obtained a jury verdict in excess of $12 million on behalf of a 17-year-old girl who was injured in a pedestrian accident in San Mateo County. Our client was struck by a slow-moving vehicle while walking across a dark marked crosswalk. She sustained a catastrophic brain injury that has left her in a permanent vegetative state.
Head-On Auto Collision — $8.7 Million Brain Damage Jury Verdict
Our traumatic brain injury (TBI) trial lawyers obtained a jury verdict in Sacramento County in the amount of $8,775,000 on behalf of a 21-year-old woman who suffered massive brain damage after her car was struck by a rental car driven by an unlicensed and unauthorized driver. Our attorneys brought suit against both the driver and the rental company. The jury verdict compensated our injured client for severe brain damage and loss of independence, lost wages, and costs of rehabilitation and future medical care. After an initial period of coma, our client was left with memory impairment and permanent left-side weakness.
Anoxic Encephalopathy — $5 Million Present Value Settlement
Our traumatic brain injury attorneys obtained a cash and annuity settlement having a present cash value of more than $5 million on behalf of a 6-year-old girl who sustained irreparable brain damage during birth. The defendant in the case was a national health maintenance organization. The obstetricians employed by the health maintenance organization failed to correctly analyze or diagnose signs of fetal distress as shown on fetal monitoring tapes. Our brain injury attorneys hired experts in obstetrics and perinatology to testify that a timely cesarean section, occurring 45 minutes or more before the actual birth, would have prevented the child from sustaining anoxic brain damage (brain cell death due to lack of oxygen). Attorneys for the defendant health care provider attempted to prove that the child’s brain injuries were not the result of oxygen deprivation during the labor process, but rather were the result of an infection, which the mother experienced one month before her delivery. When combined with available benefits provided by private insurance and government programs, the guaranteed future monthly and annual payments to be made under the settlement should assure that her medical and special needs will be met regardless of her life expectancy.
Hypoxic Ischemic Brain Damage — $5 Million Structured Settlement
Walkup brain injury specialists obtained a mediated settlement in a major obstetrical injury case involving anoxic brain damage and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. The case was brought on behalf of a 2-year-old Sonoma County boy who sustained global brain damage when fetal distress was neither noted nor responded to during his birth. The settlement also included resolution of his parents’ claims for emotional distress and his potential future wrongful death. The parents’ recovery was limited to the unfair and discriminatory cap of $250,000 per claim imposed by California’s outdated MICRA statute. A special needs trust was established with an initial corpus of more than $1.25 million into which future annuity payments (commencing at $5,000 per month, increasing at 5 percent annually, for life, guaranteed 20 years) are to be deposited. A second, separate annuity will begin paying an additional $4,000 per month, increasing at 4 percent per year, when the child reaches his 18th birthday. Because the child is eligible for both CCS and Regional Center benefits until he reaches the age of 3, the past out-of-pocket expenditures made by the parents have been modest. As a result, the settlement was designed to be backloaded (and guaranteed) to protect against the cost of custodial and attendant care in a home-based environment in the future. The settlement is believed to be among the largest ever negotiated on behalf of a North Bay plan member of this HMO.
Car Vs. Pedestrian Accident — $4 Million Settlement
Our team negotiated a cash and annuity settlement having a present cash value of $4,050,000 on behalf of a recent business school graduate who suffered a brain injury after being hit by a car while in a crosswalk.
The impact caused bleeding inside his skull and the increased pressure damaged his brain. The driver had a limited personal insurance policy ($50,000). She was employed by a large Silicon Valley company and she gave conflicting accounts as to what she was doing when the accident occurred. She told police that she was headed from one company campus to another. She later said she was going home. The company agreed to contribute $4 million toward the settlement after our team uncovered evidence showing that the driver was still on the clock when the accident occurred and that she sometimes used her car to run company errands.
Machine Failure — $4 Million Brain Damage Settlement
Our traumatic brain injury team negotiated a cash and annuity settlement with a present cash value of $4 million on behalf of a 47-year-old metal worker who suffered a catastrophic brain injury after a 50-pound piece of metal was ejected from a metal-forming lathe that was manufactured by the defendant corporation. Walkup attorneys demonstrated that the maker manufactured the lathe without analyzing and protecting against all possible failure modes. Our lawyers showed that the defendant was aware of at least two similar lathe accidents. Under the terms of the settlement, approximately $3 million was paid in cash and $1 million was dedicated to the purchase of multiple annuities to pay for ongoing medical costs. Our TBI attorneys also resolved a workers’ compensation lien in excess of $1 million, which was compromised and waived.
Failure To Diagnose Cardiomyopathy — Brain Damage — $4 Million Settlement
Our medical malpractice brain injury team represented a 12-year-old boy in a claim against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. After demonstrating signs of possible cardiac insufficiency, including fainting spells and seizures, the young man sustained a myocardial infarction (heart attack) that resulted in cessation of blood flow to the brain. As a result, global hypoxic anoxic encephalopathy left the child globally brain-damaged and wholly dependent upon others for support. Our brain injury attorneys, with the assistance of specialists in the fields of neurology, pediatric cardiology, neurosurgery, life care planning, economics and vocational rehabilitation, brought a claim against the health plan, which was ultimately settled for a combination of annuities and lump sum cash having a present cash value in excess of $4 million.
Brain Damage — $3.65 Million Settlement
Our obstetrical negligence lawyers obtained a cash and annuity settlement having a present cash value of $3.65 million on behalf of a Central Coast infant who suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy at birth. The hypoxia caused cerebral palsy and permanent brain damage. During labor, the baby became stuck in the birth canal because of an anatomic obstruction in the mother’s pelvis. As the mother’s contractions became more frequent and stronger in intensity because her uterus was being hyperstimulated with oxytocin, the child’s reserve was exhausted. Attempts to deliver the child via vacuum-assisted delivery failed and a prompt cesarean section was not ordered. By the time the infant was delivered, she was blue, flaccid and unresponsive. She was transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit, where she remained hospitalized for more than a month. She suffers from severe cognitive impairment and paralysis. Walkup attorneys filed suit against both the nurses and physicians who failed to properly respond to the baby’s nonreassuring fetal heart monitoring changes. Under the terms of the settlement, a trustee appointed for the child received more than $1 million in cash to cover immediate needs, and three different streams of periodic payments were funded by the defendants, beginning at differing ages in differing amounts, to fund the baby’s future medical care and rehabilitation needs as well as replace her lost income. The settlement proceeds were paid into a special needs trust to maintain the infant’s legal right to continue to receive local, state and federal government assistance.