Recent Case Results


Medical Malpractice

CLIENT SUFFERED SECOND DEGREE BURNS DURING ROUTINE SKIN PROCEDURE

Client suffered second degree burns over her body during a Broad Band Laser (BBL) treatment for skin rejuvenation. We contended that the defendant doctor negligently operated the BBL causing severe second degree skin burns. This case was vigorously litigated and settled shortly before trial.

Case Result: Substantial Confidential Settlement Reached at Mediation.

STAGE IV SACRAL BED SORE AT SKILLED NURSING FACILITY

Client suffered a large Stage IV sacral bed sore (ulcer) while rehabilitating at a Skilled Nursing Facility following a stroke. At the time of client’s admission, she had impaired cognition, confusion, bowel, and urinary incontinence and was unable to express her needs. Despite being high risk for skin integrity issues, we contended that the facility failed to follow its own care plans leading to this avoidable outcome. Our office alleged negligence and elder abuse causes of action against the facility. This case was vigorously litigated and settled shortly before trial.

Case Result: Substantial Confidential Settlement Reached.

BROKEN NECK AT SKILLED NURSING FACILITY

Client, an elderly man, was rehabilitating at a Skilled Nursing Facility following surgery. Client suffered with dementia. At the time of admission into the Skilled Nursing Facility, client was confused, agitated, restless, disoriented, unable to follow commands, combative and forgetful. A 1 on 1 sitter was ordered by a physician to stay with client to prevent injury. The sitter was discontinued by the facility without notice to the family. We contended that the discontinuation of the sitter was negligent. One evening, our client, by himself, wandered the halls of the facility in the middle of the night and fell and broke his neck. Client required major surgical intervention and months of recovery.

Case Result: Substantial Confidential Settlement Reached.

HOSPITAL NEGLIGENCE

Client suffered significant 3rd degree burns to her lower back after hospital employee failed to remove heating pad for therapy. At the time, client was recovering from a motor vehicle accident and, due to her injuries from the motor vehicle collision, was unable to feel the area of her back where the heating pad was placed.

Case Result: Confidential Settlement Reached Prior to Filing Lawsuit.

PHYSICAL THERAPY NEGLIGENCE

Client was rehabilitating at hospital following knee replacement surgery. During routine physical therapy, the physical therapist caused client to fall and suffer a bimalleolar left ankle fracture. The fall also caused the knee replacement to fail due to polyethylene dislodgement. Client required rehab in a skilled nursing facility for approximately six weeks due to the fall and required further surgery.

Case Result: Substantial Confidential Settlement Reached.

Brain Injury

Client suffered hypoxic brain injury and damages when she was receiving induction of anesthesia for non-emergent retina eye surgery. Sklar & Sklar filed a lawsuit against defendant Hospital, Cardiologist, Anesthesiologist, Anesthesiologist Group and Certified Nurse Anesthetist for negligence.

Case Result: Case settled prior to trial and resulted in a High Six Figure Settlement.

Failure to Diagnosis Lung Cancer

Client was discharged from defendant hospital after hospitalist failed to review chest x-ray showing nodular opacity in the upper left lung and request that patient follow up regarding the finding following discharge. Almost two years later, client presented back to the hospital and now presented with a large spiculated lobulated left upper lobe posterior apical segment mass on his lung. Client and his spouse brought action against defendant hospital, ER physician and hospitalist.

Case Result: Case settled prior to trial and resulted in a High Six Figure settlement. Unfortunately, client passed away shortly after settlement due to metastasis of the lung cancer.

Medication Error

Decedent presented to defendant hospital’s emergency room in mild distress with shortness of breath. Decedent did not appear to be acutely ill. Defendant doctor ordered excessive anticoagulation therapy for a presumed massive pulmonary embolism, which did not exist. Patient ultimately died of a cerebral hemorrhage due to over anticoagulation therapy. Domestic Partner, client, brought action against defendant hospital, emergency room physician and hospitalist for wrongful death.

Case Result: High Six Figure Settlement following Plaintiff’s C.C.P. § 998 Offer To Compromise.

Failure to Diagnose Breast Cancer

Client underwent a full body CT Scan. The CT Scan clearly showed a spiculated mass with an irregular border, which defendant radiologist failed to identify. At the time CT Scan was taken, the mass was radiologically confined to the breast. A delay in eventual diagnosis caused the mass to spread to sternum significantly decreasing chance of survival. Client and spouse sued defendant radiologist and radiology group.

Case Result: Seven Figure Settlement one week prior to trial.

 

Personal Injury

INATTENTIVE DRIVER

Client, while driving her vehicle, collided with another vehicle due to the other driver being inattentive. Client suffered substantial injuries.

Case Result: Six Figure Policy Limit Settlement.

LIABILITY DISPUTED

Client, driving her vehicle, was seriously injured while entering an intersection and was broadsided by another vehicle. Liability was disputed as the other driver contended that our client entered the intersection on a red light. The police report was not favorable to our client.

Case Result: Policy Limit Settlement

PREMISE LIABILITY

Client while exiting a gas station convenience store stepped into a concealed pothole just below the curb and broke her ankle requiring surgery and months of rehabilitation. Liability was disputed. After extensive depositions and expert opinions, this case settled shortly before trial.

Case Result: Substantial Confidential Settlement Reached.

INATTENTIVE DRIVER

Client, a passenger in a vehicle, suffered major injuries in auto collision due to inattentive driver.

Case Result: Policy Limit Settlement

Motorcycle vs. Auto Wrongful Death

Client, a dependent surviving mother, sued a driver in a fatal vehicle accident in Santa Monica, California resulting in the death of her daughter. Client’s daughter was riding her motorcycle on a public street when defendant driver made an illegal u-turn in front of the motorcycle causing motorcycle to broadside the vehicle, killing Client’s daughter.

Case Result: Seven Figure Settlement.

Pedestrian vs. Auto

Client, a young mother of several children, was struck by a vehicle driving recklessly in a residential neighborhood while putting her children into her vehicle. Defendant driver was intoxicated at the time he was driving. Client was hospitalized and suffered severe injuries requiring physical therapy.

Case Result: High Six Figure Settlement.

Pedestrian vs. Auto

Client, a young marine, was injured on a military base by vehicle which struck him as he was crossing in a designated cross walk. Client suffered a right knee ACL tear and underwent a right knee arthroscopically assisted ACL reconstruction. A lengthy rehabilitation ensued. Client sued driver and owners of vehicle.

Case Result: Six Figure Settlement.

Retail Safety, Trip and Fall

Client tripped and fell on shoes which were in a cluttered aisle of in a well-known national clothing store chain. As a result of the fall, client broke her hip and required surgical intervention and extensive rehabilitation. Sklar & Sklar contended that defendant store maintained shoe department in an unsafe manner and was aware of constant clutter causing an unsafe condition.

Case Result: Six Figure Settlement.

 

Trust and Estate Litigation

Breach of Fiduciary Duty/Undue Influence Trial

Client, a Trustee, was the daughter of the Decedent who created a Trust in which the residue beneficiaries were his children from a prior marriage with the income beneficiary being his spouse who he married late in life for companionship. Decedent and his spouse had a premarital agreement prior to marriage, keeping all property separate. Several years prior to Decedent’s death, Decedent was diagnosed with dementia and was not capable of managing his finances. Decedent’s spouse managed the finances during this time and misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of Settlor’s separate property prior to his death. Client, Trustee sued Spouse for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Undue Influence and other theories.

Case Result: Over three-week court trial resulting in several hundred-thousand-dollar judgment against surviving spouse for breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence.

Trust Accounting Trial

Client, a local charity and one of several remainder beneficiaries of a Trust, objected to a Trustee’s 7th Amended First Account and Requested Surcharge against Trustee and Attorney’s Fees. Issues involved were complex and included, but were not limited to: Interpretation of Principle & Income Act Sections 16350, 16373, Surcharge Issues and Attorney Fees.

Case Result: Court trial was 11 half days and Trustee was liable for Attorney Fees and Surcharge, Objections to Account sustained at Court Trial.

Spouse Secretly Disinherited after Long Term Marriage

Client was married to her husband for over 20 years. Husband had two children from a prior marriage. Client was a housewife who did not work during the marriage. Husband was a successful businessman and had interests in businesses that started prior to marriage with our Client. Husband secretly created an estate plan which disinherited his spouse (our client) and died a few months after the creation of this estate plan. Husband’s children from a prior marriage and trustee of husband’s trust claimed that most of the marital assets were the separate property of the husband’s. Client sued husband’s estate and trust in two counties, Orange County and Riverside County for fraud, breach of promise, community property rights and other equitable theories.

Case Result: Settlement prior to trial for community property interest in husband’s estate.

Defense of Estate Plan

Client (non-family member) was the 100% beneficiary under decedent’s will. Estate was valued at well over $1,000,000.00. Decedent’s family member objected to the will and filed a will contest alleging, among other things, undue influence, care custodian disqualification and that decedent’s was of unsound mind, and lacked testamentary capacity.

Case Result: After discovery, Will Contest Objections were Withdrawn and Will was probated adjudicating client as beneficiary of estate.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

Husband died intestate (without a will) leaving an estate valued over $24,000,000.00. Sklar & Sklar represented surviving spouse who contended that the funds were community property. Estranged daughter challenged characterization of property and argued that her father promised to leave a share of his estate to her and therefore objected to a Spousal Property Petition filed by our client.

Case Result: After discovery, Daughter withdrew Objection to Petition and surviving spouse inherits community property estate.

Challenge to Caretakers Gifts

Clients, relatives of a wealthy elderly single man who passed away (“Decedent”), filed a lawsuit against two hired caretakers for undue influence under Probate Code Section 21380. Decedent was an elder as defined in Welfare and Institutions Code § 15610.27, and was a dependent adult as defined in Probate Code § 21366 and Welfare and Institutions Code § 15610.23. Decedent was primarily bedridden during the approximate last year of his life. Decedent was physically handicapped, unable to walk or ambulate, and required a wheel chair or other assistive devices. Furthermore, Decedent was dependent on and required the help of hired care custodians to provide health or social services to Settlor, including, but not limited to: grocery shopping, banking, travel, assistance with finances, medication administration, cooking and household cleaning, among other things. Client’s sought to invalidate provision of an amendment in Decedent’s trust which provided 50% of the residue of a trust to go to his caretakers. This amendment was executed by Decedent approximately four months before Decedent’s death. The estimated value of this 50% interest in Decedent’s trust was approximately $1,000,000.00.

Case Result: Judgment against Caretaker #1, whose interest in the trust was terminated. Nominal settlement with Caretaker #2 which provided the vast majority of challenged assets to pass to the family.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Client, conservator of 82 year old man diagnosed with diminished mental capacity, sued predecessor conservator for breach of fiduciary duties and failure to preserve and protect assets of Conservatee’s estate, specifically Conservatee’s home. Conservatee’s home was vandalized and destroyed by vagrants and ultimately demolished.

Case Result: Substantial Monetary Settlement prior to trial.

 

Recent Criminal Defense Results

No Jail Time, Felony Charges Reduced

Client was charged with six felony charges (Two Counts of Burglary (PC 459), Two Counts of Forgery of a Prescription (HS 11368), and Two Counts Forgery with Intent to Defraud (PC 470(D)). Client was facing state prison.

Case Result: Four Felony Counts dismissed, remaining two felony counts reduced to misdemeanors. Client placed on summary probation.

No Jail Time, Felony Charges Reduced

Client was charged with Infliction of Corporal Injury on a Spouse (Felony) and Assault with a deadly weapon (non-firearm) or by force to cause great bodily Injury (PC 273.5 and 245(A)(1)). Client facing State Prison term.

Case Result: All counts were dismissed, and client pled to a PC415 Infraction for Offensive or Loud Noise.