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"We're here to fight for you so that you get the best possible outcome."
- Renée J. Nordstrand

Case Results | Current Cases | 2012 Binding Arbitration Award

∗ Selected cases listed. Every case is different. Past case results are not a guarantee, and similar results may not be obtained in your case.

$1,200,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Motorcycle v. Automobile Accident

FACTS: Client was riding his motorcycle when a woman, intending to turn left, drove her vehicle in front of him. Client laid down his motorcycle to avoid impact and fractured his wrist. Client underwent two unsuccessful surgeries and ultimately had a wrist fusion surgery. Woman driving the car yelled at client at the scene while he was on the ground that the accident was his fault and he would not get a penny from her.


$1,000,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto vs. Pedestrian

FACTS: Our client is a developmentally disabled man who was legally crossing the street in a crosswalk with a green light when a Santa Barbara City employee in a city vehicle clipped him and caused him to fall backward and fall, fracturing his hip.

INJURIES: Hip fracture, gluteal nerve injury; left clavicle fracture; aggravation of preexisting left acromioclavicular joint and rotator cuff impingement, contracture, and limited range of motion of left shoulder; left elbow injury.


Confidential Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: A 65-year-old woman was exiting a big-box store and fell when her shoe got stuck in an expansion joint. Defendant refused to provide the construction plans so we obtained the approved plans from the city, located the architect who drew the plans, and proved that the expansion joint was not safe because it was too wide and not built in conformance with the approved plans.

INJURIES: Left wrist fracture.


Confidential Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Motorist opened door in path of bicyclist

FACTS: Due to the nature of our client’s injury, the insurance company did not dispute his claim. We were able to settle this case quickly.

INJURIES: Client developed Peyronie’s disease, which required surgery to correct.


$750,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

INJURIES: Burst fracture L1, arm fracture distal radial, nasal fracture


$750,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Personal Injury

FACTS: Homeowner removed guard from electric grinder. Client was not wearing required eye protection. Lawsuit against homeowner.

INJURIES: Orbital fractures, blindness right eye


$750,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

INJURIES: Minor shoulder and elbow surgery in man with kidney disease leading to kidney failure


$700,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto vs. Pedestrian

FACTS: A woman in her 60s was a pedestrian in a crosswalk, crossing the street with a green light when a vehicle turned left onto the street. The driver of the vehicle saw the pedestrian and applied her brakes but did hit the pedestrian, knocking her to the ground and causing her to fracture her hip. Although our client had the right of way, the defense argued that the pedestrian was partially at fault because she was not paying attention to traffic.

The at-fault driver’s insurance offered the auto policy limit of $250,000.00. NordstrandBlack PC rejected the offer and settled the case at mediation for $700,000.00.

INJURIES: Hip fracture, knee pain


$690,000.00 Settlement ( $370,000.00 for man and $320,000.00 for woman.)

TYPE OF CASE: Truck Accident

FACTS: Big Rig Truck ran through intersection colliding with elderly couple’s vehicle.

INJURIES: 86 year old man, Post-Concussion Syndrome, head injury caused acceleration of preexisting, mild dementia 80 year old woman suffered loss of consortium and shoulder impingement.


$625,000.00 Settlement during Trial

TYPE OF CASE: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

FACTS: Defective wall heater caused Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Lawsuit against property management company and property owner for failure to clean heater as required in lease agreement.

INJURIES: Memory Loss- cognitive impairment


$595,000.00 Judgment at Trial

TYPE OF CASE: Bike Accident

FACTS: Bicycle in bike lane struck by pick-up truck.

INJURIES: Non displaced tibia plateau fracture, Acetabular Tear. No surgery


Settlement with driver $550,000.00
Settlement with shopping center $175,000.00

TYPE OF CASE: Car Accident/Premises Liability

FACTS: Elderly driver accidentally stepped on gas pedal instead of brake and ran over client in a parking lot. Claim of negligence against driver and negligent design by property owner.

INJURIES: Hip and leg fractures/Shoulder injury- tear to rotator cuff tendon


$525,000.00 Settlement for Policy Limit

TYPE OF CASE: Bike/Truck Accident

FACTS: Client riding bicycle struck by pick-up truck turning left.

INJURIES: Fractured left leg


$500,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

FACTS: Motorcycle parked perpendicular to traffic sideswiped by automobile.

INJURIES: Fractured hip, no surgery


$438,500.00 Global Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: A six-foot-two-inch, 210-pound, 62-year-old man took his elderly mother to the hospital. While he was filling out paperwork on her behalf, the chair he was sitting in collapsed underneath him. As he fell, he hit his knee, tore his shoulder, and twisted his back. He required three separate surgeries to each injured body part.

NordstrandBlack PC discovered that the hospital never inspected these chairs even though there was a label on the bottom of the chair stating that the chairs should be inspected. We also learned that at least 60 chairs had broken before the one that broke when our client was injured. The chair manufacturer and the hospital settled at mediation.

INJURIES: Torn rotator cuff, torn meniscus in knee, neck injury, back injury.


$375,785.00 Settlement ($100,000.00 from at-fault driver, $275,785.00 from UIM)

TYPE OF CASE: Auto vs. Pedestrian

FACTS: A 70-year-old woman was walking in a shopping center parking lot when an elderly driver softly hit her with his car while stopping the vehicle, causing her to fall and fracture her hip. The driver denied that his vehicle contacted our client.

NordstrandBlack PC was able to settle the case for the driver’s insurance policy limit of $100,000.00 and demanded our client’s UIM insurance pay the excess in damages. The UIM carrier offered only an additional $25,000.00. NordstrandBlack PC filed a lawsuit alleging bad faith and breach of contract and eventually settled with our client’s UIM insurance carrier at mediation for an additional $275,785.00.

INJURIES: Hip fracture.


$335,750.00 Arbitration award

TYPE OF CASE: Pedestrian Accident

FACTS: 85 year old client crossing street in unmarked sidewalk at intersection struck by auto turning left.

INJURIES: Knee fracture/shoulder rotator cuff injury


$326,472.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Wrongful Death

FACTS: Kaiser negligently misread an MRI report and failed to timely diagnose and treat the deceased's pancreatic cancer.

INJURIES: Death due to pancreatic cancer


$317,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: Our 80-year-old client exited a store and tripped over a wheel stop, located just outside the exit of the store. The pedestrian claimed that she did not see the wheel stop due to its unexpected placement abutting the painted white line of the parking stall. The defense argued that our client was not paying attention to where she was walking when she fell and that the wheel stop was open and obvious. Our expert referenced industry standards for wheel-stop placement and referenced that distracting nature of a busy parking lot to support our client’s reasonable actions.

Initial settlement offer was $40,000.00. The case settled for $317,000,00.

INJURIES: Hip fracture, wrist injury.


$301,950.00 Arbitration Award

TYPE OF CASE: Dog Bite

FACTS: Claim against landlord who allowed dangerous dog to live on property. 61 year old client had complained to landlord about neighbor’s dangerous dog. Dog attacked client.

INJURIES: Scarring on left leg and emotional injuries.


$300,000.00 Binding Arbitration

TYPE OF CASE: Automobile Accident

FACTS: Client claimed her light was green as she drove through an intersection, and another vehicle turned left and struck the front of her car. Defendant claimed client was at fault for driving too fast, disputed the nature and extent of injuries, and claimed her injuries preexisted before this accident.

INJURIES: Cervical and thoracic strain, L-5 S-1 annular tear, hip and back pain.


$300,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Rear-End Automobile Accident

INJURIES: Tear to ligaments in dominant right hand; cervical, thoracic, and lumbar strain and myofascitis.


$295,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: Elderly Client / Grocery store trip and fall over corner of wooden pallet protruding from display.

INJURIES: Hip Fracture


$285,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

FACTS: A woman in her 60s was driving down a residential street when a vehicle parked on the right suddenly pulled away from the curb and crashed into her vehicle. We settled with the at-fault driver for their $15,000.00 policy limit and then pursued our client’s UIM policy. The UIM insurance initially offered an additional $55,000.00. The case settled for the policy limit of an additional $285,000.00.

INJURIES: Lower back injury, neck injury.


$250,000.00 Settlement Policy Limit

TYPE OF CASE: Pedestrian Accident

FACTS: Pedestrian hit by vehicle.

INJURIES: Both legs broken


$225,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: Woman with preexisting knee and back pain walking in parking lot fell 3 feet into improperly guarded loading ramp.

INJURIES: Knee Arthroscopic surgery/Back Pain


Jury Awarded $219,667.63 + Cost Award for $10,565.98

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

FACTS: Client struck from the rear while waiting at a stop light. Insurance company offered $20,000.00 to settle.

INJURIES: Thoracic Spine bulging disc touching spinal cord.


$200,000.00 Arbitration Award

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

FACTS: 80 year old woman’s vehicle struck from behind at low speed.

INJURIES: Back Injury


$181,250.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: Our client was in a big-box store when he slipped and fell in liquid from broken beer bottles. Store employees were aware of the spill for 3-5 minutes before attending to it. The store denied liability but settled the case for $181,250.00.

INJURIES: Back injury with injections.


$150,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

FACTS: Our client was rear-ended while stopped at an intersection. The at-fault driver’s insurance company initially offered $15,000.00. After filing a lawsuit, NordstrandBlack PC settled this case for $150,000.00.

INJURIES: Back injury, neck injury, headaches.


$150,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

INJURIES: Arm fracture


$135,000.00 Settlement ($105,000.00 from Shop 1; $30,000.00 from Shop 2)

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: Several push carts were parked on a sidewalk in front of a scuba shop. These carts took up at least 25% of the sidewalk. One of the carts was dangerous because there was a sharp cotter pin protruding from one of the wheels. The injury happened when a young man was walking with his friends on a crowded sidewalk and brushed against the exposed cotter pin as he tried to allow people to walk by him. The cotter pain made a 2- to 3-inch-deep laceration on the calf of his leg, which, when stitched, left a scar.

NordstrandBlack PC discovered that the carts were used by three shops, all of which denied ownership of the cart that caused our client’s injury. We were able to prove that both shops used the dangerous carts and knowingly allowed the dangerous carts in front of their premises.

INJURIES: 2- to 3-inch laceration on leg/laser scar removal treatment


$125,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Rear-end auto accident

FACTS: Two years after suffering a rear-end collision, our client’s medical bills came to $16,000.00. The at-fault driver’s insurance company offered the client $18,000.00 to settle and denied the client’s claim that she needed shoulder surgery due to the accident. NordstrandBlack PC took the case, and six months later, settled it for $125,000.00.

INJURIES: Torn rotator cuff. Client underwent surgery two years after the accident; temporary neck and back complaints.


$120,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: Client in motorized wheelchair struck on sidewalk as he passed by exit to parking lot by auto leaving parking lot. Case against property owner for failing to properly maintain the landscaping so driver could readily see pedestrians on the sidewalk.

INJURIES: Elbow fracture


$102,500.00 Settlement ($65,000.00 from dog owner; $37,500.00 from homeowner)

TYPE OF CASE: Dog Attack/Premises Liability

FACTS: A man in his 30s was walking his dog on the sidewalk close to his home. As he passed a nearby residence, a pit bull dog charged from the front door and attacked our client and his dog. Our client was bit on the knee and knocked to the ground, landing on his shoulder. Investigation revealed that the dog had several prior attacks on other dogs in two different cities. The absentee homeowner/landlord claimed that dogs were not allowed on his property and he had no notice or knowledge that a dog was kept on the property and so he was not responsible. The owner of the dog claimed that it was the injured man who provoked the dog to attack him.

INJURIES: Left knee lacerations, puncture wounds and pain, left shoulder pain, emotional distress, and anxiety.


$100,000.00 Settlement for Policy Limit

TYPE OF CASE: Bike/Auto Accident

FACTS: Bicycle struck by auto in intersection.

INJURIES: Fractured wrist


$100,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

FACTS: Our client was a driving for a ride-share company with passengers in his vehicle when he was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver. The police were unable to identify the hit-and-run driver so NordstrandBlack compelled arbitration through the ride-share company’s uninsured motorist coverage. The defense contended that our client overtreated because he only had subjective complaints and treated with his chiropractor for almost two years. Undeterred, NordstrandBlack continued to pursue full justice for the client and got the case settled prior to scheduling arbitration.

INJURIES: Neck, back and knee pain.


$90,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Motorcycle Accident

FACTS: Motorcyclist stopped at stop light struck by auto.

INJURIES: Left knee injury


$85,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Bike/Auto Accident

FACTS: Bicycle struck by automobile.

INJURIES: Broken clavicle. No surgery. Healed without incident.


$80,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Motorist opened door in path of bicyclist

FACTS: An Uber driver stopped on the side of the road and the passenger exited the vehicle directly in the path of traffic and struck our client, who was riding by on his bicycle. The insurance company offered a low settlement, which NordstrandBlack was able to raise to $80,000.00.


$78,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Dog Bite

FACTS: Dog unleashed on beach ran straight toward client, who was recovering from knee surgery and thought the dog would run into her knee. Client moved quickly to avoid dog who did not run into her.

INJURIES: Re-injured knee


$65,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Dog Bite

INJURIES: Lacerations, and punctures of the lower lip


$60,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Burn

FACTS: While in her car, a woman was holding hot soup between her legs. She opened the lid and spilled some, burning her genitalia. Plaintiff claimed the soup was too hot. Defense denied responsibility.


$40,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Premises Liability

FACTS: 19 year old UCSB student injured when skateboard hit uneven cement path while skateboarding at UCSB.

INJURIES: C-3 Fracture with mild displacement. Healed without incident


$40,000.00 Settlement

TYPE OF CASE: Auto Accident

FACTS: Woman riding horse on horse trail adjacent to road. Van came around corner too close to horse which caused horse to rear and client to fall to ground. No injury to horse.

INJURIES: Soft Tissue Back Pain


2012 BINDING ARBITRATION AWARD

CASE NAME/NUMBER: Silva v. Gucciardi, Patrino dba Advance Investments

TYPE OF CASE: Pit Bull Attack and Mauling

JUDGE: Honorable, Retired Patricia L. Collins

LENGTH OF TRIAL: Four hour binding arbitration

AWARD DATE: November 2, 2012

CLAIMANT REPRESENTED BY: Renée J. Nordstrand, NordstrandBlack PC

RESPONDENTS REPRESENTED BY: Gina Weihert for State Farm Insurance Company

EXPERTS:
Claimant - Lester Zackler, M.D., neuropsychiatrist, testified, Stephen Bresnick, M.D. plastic surgeon wrote a report which was submitted.
Respondent - none

SUMMARY OF DAMAGES: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Adjustment Disorder caused by dog attack and mauling, experienced as depression, fear of large dogs, and withdrawal from society. Dr. Zackler testified Claimant would benefit from 6-12 months of psychotherapy (cost $7,000.00-$11,000.00) and psychiatric medication management for at least 2 years (cost $2,000.00). Claimant’s difficult upbringing made her more susceptible to the trauma and less able to cope.

Scarring, unsightly and prominent on left leg, particularly near shin, measuring 1½ inches at largest point. Puncture wound scars around knee. Report from Stephen Bresnick estimated fat injections to smooth out area (cost $3,500.00 x 2 procedures), scar revision, which would not make a huge impact (cost $2,000.00), and laser therapy with bleaching (cost $1,500.00.)

Pain and suffering: Claimant had severe pain for a total of 4 months. After the first month the wound became infected and Claimant had to go to the wound clinic weekly for 3 months for painful wound care. Due to pain Claimant couldn’t put weight on her leg for 4 months and required the use of a walker to ambulate. She had nightmares of the attack for 2 weeks and was awakened by pain in her leg at night for months.

Claimant worked as a bookkeeper for many years. She claimed $1,300.00 in lost wages when she couldn’t work due to pain from the wounds. She claimed that due to her PTSD and Adjustment Disorder she retired 10 months after the attack when she was eligible for early retirement because she needed to get away. She moved out of the State but then realized that she continued to experience anxiety and fear so she moved back to California. She testified that she intended to find another job because she needs the money. Claimant asked to be compensated for the time she took early retirement and for an additional 3 months for her to find another job.

FACTS: Claimant contended that she lived at the triplex for 13 years. Two years before, a 75 pound un-neutered pitbull-mastiff dog moved in next door to her. After immediately and continuously complaining to management regarding the dangerous condition presented by the dog, Claimant was attacked by the dog on May 20, 2011 as she passed by the apartment where the dog’s owners lived to take out her trash. The dog pushed open the door and bit into her right knee. She was able to jerk her knee from the dogs mouth and he immediately bit into her calf area, braced his hind legs in a crouch and yanked on her leg for possibly 5 minutes before the dog’s owner appeared and the dog let go. Claimant was too afraid of the dog to leave her apartment until her friend forced her to go to the hospital 48 hours after the mauling.

CONTENTIONS: Respondent contended that Claimant showed signs of exaggeration of symptoms and malingering on the MMPI, that the medical treatment suggested by Claimant’s plastic surgeon was not necessary and an attempt to build up the damages and that Claimant’s claim of lost wages was not reasonable given the fact that she continued to work for 10 months after the attack.

SETTLEMENT DISCUSSIONS: Case was arbitrated pursuant to Stipulation of the parties for binding arbitration with a mini-maxi of $100,000.00 low and $300,000.00 high. Arbitrator was unaware of the mini-maxi agreement. $100,000.00 was paid after the Stipulation was signed.

RESULT: TOTAL AWARD: $439,685.66

TOTAL ECONOMIC DAMAGES: Past Economic Damages: Medical: $6,985.66, Loss of earnings: $9,865.71. Future Economic Damages: Loss of Earnings (3 months) $3,834.29, Future Medical: $19,000.00

TOTAL NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES: $400,000.00: PAST GENERAL DAMAGES: $300,000.00. FUTURE GENERAL DAMAGES: $100,000.00.


RESULT DATE: April 30, 2012

Felicity Walker v. Burl Beveridge (1379892) 12-JV_1865

Hon. Donna Geck

Santa Barbara Superior

TOPIC: Personal Injury

SUB TOPIC: Auto v. Auto

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: Rear-End Collision

VERDICT: $219,668.00

ATTORNEY:
Plaintiff - Renée J. Nordstrand (NordstrandBlack PC, Santa Barbara).
Defendant - Charles Wessler (Law Offices of Gregory J. Lucett, Glendale).

MEDICAL:
Plaintiff - Alan Moelleken, M.D., orthopedic surgery, Santa Barbara.
Defendant - Stephen Nagelberg, M.D., orthopedics, Downey.

FACTS: On March 26, 2009, Felicity Walker was driving her Honda Civic when she was involved in a rear end collision. She presented to the UCSB walk in clinic a few hours following the accident. Her doctor cleared her for snowboarding the following day. She went snowboarding the next day, but could only complete two runs because she was not feeling well. She returned to the doctor two weeks later complaining of mid-back pain. She was later diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and was involved in a second accident on Nov. 10, 2011. Walker sued the driver who admitted liability but disputed the extent of the impact, claiming it was not serious. The second accident was similar to the first accident. She also claimed that the second accident exacerbated her mid back injury.

INJURIES: Eleven months later, Walker was diagnosed with a degenerative disc disease and underwent several rounds of physical therapy and received epidural injections. Defendant disputed the extent of Walker's injuries, claiming that Walker had engaged in various activities that evidenced she was not as injured as she claimed to be. Walker claimed she suffered a bulging disk, central protrusion, annular fissure, and moderate impression on the ventral aspect of the thoracic cord. Walker also claimed that it took some time for her to feel the symptoms because it took a while for the disc material to leak into her spinal canal and cause symptoms.

DAMAGES: Walker claimed $68,678.00 in past medical expenses caused by the first collision and approximately $40,000.00 caused by the second collision. She also claimed future medical expenses, including, among others, $200,000.00 for physical therapy, doctor visits and MRIs for her lifetime or until she undergoes surgery.

RESULT: The jury rendered a verdict for Walker. She was awarded $219,668.00 in total damages, which included $68,668.00 for past medical expenses, $15,000.00 for future economic damages, $36,000.00 for future economic damages, and $100,000.00 for future non-economic damages.


∗ Selected cases listed. Every case is different. Past case results are not a guarantee, and similar results may not be obtained in your case.


Current Cases

Pedestrian Suffered Electrical Injury from Downed Power Line

NordstrandBlack PC filed a lawsuit against the City of Santa Barbara, Southern California Edison, and several subcontractors. The facts are thus: after a severe microburst in SB on Sunday, September 3, 2017, many trees were knocked down or otherwise damaged. In the area of San Pascual and Sutton Avenue, a large ficus tree dropped a huge limb onto a car, trapping people inside. No injuries were reported from that incident, but the City of Santa Barbara called a contractor to remove the tree. Two days later, another limb fell from the same ficus tree, made contact with a power line, and knocked it to the ground. Our client suffered severe electrical injury when he came into contact with the live wire. A bystander saw the entire incident. As paramedics and fire crews arrived to contain a house fire started by the downed power line, the bystander pulled our client to safety. He was rushed Cottage Hospital in critical condition. He suffered 2nd-degree burns on 40% of his body and spent months in a burn center, undergoing several skin grafts.

We have retained both an electrical expert and a tree expert, who determined the ficus tree was 50-60 years old and should have been removed. The responsible parties knew the tree was dangerous because another portion of the tree had fallen two days prior. Based on our research, we contend that the ficus tree was a dangerous condition because it was not properly trimmed, maintained, and inspected by the City. In addition, we contend that Edison and its subcontractors failed to maintain, prune, and inspect the tree to prevent it from contacting its power lines.

During recovery, our client lost his health insurance because he had just aged out of his parents’ plan, but we were able to help him obtain excellent medical care. He also suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after this incident. NordstrandBlack PC arranged to get him treatment from a psychiatrist and therapist as well.

This case is currently pending.

More about the incident:

NOOZHAWK: Man Critically Injured by High-Voltage Power Line in Santa Barbara


Biker Suffered Severe Foot Injury from Guy Anchor Cable on Railroad Property

Our client was in his early twenties, and lived with his parents near railroad tracks. One day, he was riding a dirt bike adjacent to the tracks when his foot hooked on metal cable – the bike went forward, but he didn’t, and he suffered multiple broken bones and torn ligaments in his foot and ankle. This will be a lifelong injury for the young man.

NordstrandBlack PC took a deposition of the railroad company, which admitted they failed to properly inspect the property after the pole and guy anchor were supposed to be removed by a contractor. However, the railroad is arguing it is immune to lawsuits. This issue has to be decided. We have brought a third-party contractor that failed to remove the guy anchor wire into the lawsuit.

This case is currently pending.

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