Verdicts & Settlements

05 Aug: Guy Kornblum settles a seven figure claim this month for a couple who suffered injuries

This month (August 2020) Guy Kornblum settled a claim in the seven figures for a couple who suffered injuries from a fire in their apartment building two years ago in the San Francisco Avenues.  The husband was not home when the fire started but had a “relationship” claim.  His wife, also a plaintiff, had to jump out a window to escape because the smoke alarm had not been inspected since installation and did not sound an alarm.  She lived but suffered serious ankle/foot/back injuries.  She is able to move about now so her recovery was fortunate.  This was an excellent settlement which gives this middle aged couple lifetime security.

31 Jan: Guy Kornblum Settles Disability Case for NFL Player

Our firm just settled a disability case for an NFL player who was disabled from an injury for mid-seven figures. His insurer, a private insurer who issued a disability policy which paid if he were disabled from playing professional football in the NFL, denied his claim, but we were able to overcome its position and get a very favorable settlement for our client. The terms are confidential. We worked with our colleagues, Bostwick & Peterson, San Francisco attorneys, on the case.

Past Verdicts & Settlements

Representing two injured teenagers in a serious dog bite case, Yaelle Shaham prevailed in opposing a recent motion filed by the dog owners. The motion, which was denied, sought to remove the possibility of punitive damages being awarded to the teenagers against the dog owners. The ruling is below.

Ruling 11/02/2018

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Guy O. Kornblum and Yaelle Shaham have prevailed by defeating a Motion to Dismiss their client insured’s case against his insurer for failure to settle a liability claim against the insured. The opinion by Magistrate Judge Nathaniel Counsins sitting in the San Jose Division of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is set forth below. James Spering of Monterey, California is co-counsel with Mr. Kornblum and Ms. Shaham and should share credit for the victory.

Order Denying MTD_092918

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In January 2016, KCEH Lawyers Guy Kornblum & Nick Peterson received a $1.35 million award for our client in an underinsured motorist arbitration which was held in November. The client was struck in a pedestrian crosswalk in Oakland by a vehicle at a low speed. He suffered a broken knee cap but also a serious psychological injury including depression, anxiety attacks and chronic pain syndrome and was off work for eight months. The insurer offered $175,000, but the arbitrator awarded 8x that.

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We obtained a $6.8 million settlement in a case in federal court in Idaho arising out of a denied health insurance claim by the parents on a brain damaged boy. We tried Phase I of the case, after which the insurer settled.

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We obtained a $1.8 million settlement in a wrongful death case in San Mateo County. The defendant driver crossed the center divide and struck the car with our client’s husband head on and killed him. The husband was a low-income wage earner. The couple had no children. We were awarded a lifetime annuity for the wife.

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Our attorneys obtained a settlement in cash and annuity payments totaling $1.2 million with the State of California for the parents of an adult daughter who was fatally injured in a cross-over accident on Highway 12 in Solano County.

We were able to obtain this settlement by using our team of experts to show the dangerous condition of the Highway created a “trap” for our clients’ daughter.

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We settled an insurance bad faith case for $700,000 against a commercial general liability carrier which refused to provide liability insurance coverage for a cab company which picked up our client after a night partying and, over objection at 2 a.m. stopped for gas at a filing station in a marginal area of San Francisco with a high crime rate. Our client was stabbed by a random man who was fighting with someone else at a nearby pump and decided to challenge our client. The client suffered internal injuries and was hospitalized for a week. His then attorney (the referring attorney to our office), sued the cab company and driver and eventually got a judgment against them in San Francisco Superior Court. Their insurance company refused to defend them taking the position that the case arose out of the “use of an auto” and thus was excluded. The cab company and driver then assigned their claims against the insurance company that refused to defend them in return for our client’s agreement to enforce any judgment only against their insurer. After the judgment our firm was hired to sue the insurance company and enforce our client’s claims as a judgment creditor against it. After rulings in the Superior Court that improved our case against the insurance company, its lawyers called and requested mediation. Again, the case settled within 5 months of filing suit because we were able to get the leverage against the insurer that brought them to the table and forced it to bargain. A mediation in the underlying injury case had valued our client’s claims in the low five figures. Our settlement was a multiple of that sum.

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Guy O. Kornblum and David F. McNamar, Of Counsel to our firm who practices out of an Indianapolis office (Mr. Kornblum is a member of the Indiana bar) successfully mediated and negotiated a settlement of a class action of homeowners whose homes suffered from defects leading to their lawsuit against the builder. After extensive litigation and Mr. McNamar successfully appealing one of the class action coverage actions to the Indiana Supreme Court (Sheehan v. Continental Cas. Co., 944 N.E.2d 935 (2010)), the case was resolved with the carriers, who requested that the settlement terms remain confidential.

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We settled a case involving a mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) for a client for $450,000 within 8 months of filing the complaint against a public entity and its public transportation vendor. The client was struck in a crosswalk when the bus, while the drivers was distracted, was making a left turn at about 10 miles per hour. The client was knocked to the ground, taken to the hospital, but released the next day to recuperate. He has made a good recovery and will soon be back to work.

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A $110,000 cash settlement was obtained on behalf of a 62-year old man whose long term disability benefits were wrongfully terminated by his long term disability insurer. The case was mediated and settled within five months of filing suit against our client’s insurance company. Our client only had three years remaining on his policy but our attorneys prevailed with our demand that the insurer pay in advance to fulfill the insurer’s promises of coverage.

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Our attorneys prevailed at arbitration for our client, a quadriplegic, who suffered severe brain damage in a near-drowning while swimming at the Jewish Community Center (“JCC”) in San Francisco in 1974. While under the care of JCC personnel, he was permitted to remain underwater for over 20 minutes, became paralyzed from the neck down, lost all of his bodily functions and all ability to speak. He has lived in a life care facility since.

The case was settled with the insurer of the JCC, the Insurance Company of North America (INA), who agreed to a life care contract, which essentially was to pay all of our client’s expenses for his medical and personal care for his lifetime.

After paying for many years, INA started to balk. They attempted to inspect our client’s medical records at the facility where he was living, without any notice and were also attempting to dictate his medical care, which the settlement expressly prohibited. There were other instances of attempting to intrude into our Client’s medical care. INA commenced arbitration, challenging a number of expenses, and seeking a ruling that they had a right to dictate our client’s care, as well as obtain records and information about him.

The Arbitrator agreed with our position that INA had no right to dictate our client’s care, and awarded attorney’s fees and costs of over $60,000.

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Our attorneys obtained a settlement on behalf of a couple against a multi-national insurance company that had engaged in dilatory claims handling. Our attorneys used case law that had come down just days prior to the mediation to show that the insurance company had failed to properly investigate our clients’ claims.

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We filed a lawsuit based on fraudulent misrepresentations by a life insurance company and its agent claiming that contributions to a trust for purposes of purchasing life insurance were tax deductible under IRS rules permitting such when the contributions are made for the benefit of employees. The plaintiffs were owners of an oral surgery practice; there were no employees other than themselves. The deductions were clearly improper, and depositions revealed the chicanery by the insurance company and its agent. The case was settled for a substantial amount which is confidential at the defendants’ request. Our clients got their money back.