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Treating California’s Injured With Dignity And Respect
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Amputation injuries can be devastating financially and emotionally. The financial burden associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation, prosthetics, and home modifications can be significant.  Emotionally, the consequences of an amputation to the victim, as well as family and friends, are tremendously difficult and stressful. Daily tasks that once were so easy may now be challenging.

At Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, our personal injury lawyers understand amputation injuries and the challenges they present to victims. Though we cannot take away the pain, we can assist you in recovering compensation for rehabilitation, lifetime care costs, and the pain and suffering experienced by you or your loved one.  We have been fighting to achieve fair compensation for amputation victims for more many years. Our commitment to people suffering from amputation injuries has resulted in a track record of significant verdicts and settlements, a sample of which are listed below.

If you are ready to talk to a lawyer who truly understands the challenges you face, contact Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, today for a free consultation.

 Past Cases About Amputations

Construction Worker v. Construction Company – $8,900,000

 Construction worker struck by water truck, causing leg amputation

$8,900,000 settlement for a 21-year-old college student working a summer job for a construction company when he sustained an above-the-knee (AK) amputation of his leg.  While standing behind his water truck coiling his water hose at a project in Pleasanton, Alameda County, another water truck driver with a clear and unobstructed view of our client drove directly into him.  The impact crushed our client between the two water trucks and traumatically amputated his right leg near his hip.  The trial in this case began in Alameda County Superior Court and settled after the judge ruled on various motions.

Family v. Caltrans – $10,000,000

Two family members suffered serious impalement injuries when the father fell asleep at the wheel, veered off the freeway and struck the end of a guardrail which had been installed backwards by Caltrans, creating a substantial hazard.

A father fell asleep at the wheel with his son in a child seat in the backseat.  The van veered off the freeway and into the end of a guardrail. Caltrans installed a guardrail backwards, causing it to provide no protection and instead created a sharp spear that penetrated the front of their vehicle, through the driver’s compartment, and into the rear seat.  The guardrail impaled both occupants, traumatically amputating the father’s leg and causing internal injuries to his son.  Caltrans settled the case for $10,000,000.

Motorcyclist v. Caltrans – $3,000,000

Traumatic amputation of motorcyclist’s foot when struck by a left-turning vehicle.

$3,000,000 for our 50-year-old client, who was riding a motorcycle northbound on El Camino Real in Burlingame when a vehicle driven by Defendant Qun Tang attempted a left turn at Floribunda Avenue and struck our client.  The collision caused a traumatic below-the-knee (BK) amputation to his left leg.  The State of California (“Caltrans”) owns, maintains, and controls El Camino Real.  Caltrans knew that the very narrow roadway caused obstructed views of opposing vehicles and created a dangerous condition.  During the 10 years before the incident, Caltrans data showed that more than 100 collisions occurred at this intersection and that more than 60 of those collisions were correctable with a left turn lane and protected left turn signal phases.  Yet, Caltrans failed to do anything to remedy the dangerous condition.  A simple sign prohibiting left turns would have been easy and inexpensive, and would have prevented this collision.

Motorcyclist v. Driver – $2,700,000

Our client suffered a lower leg amputation after a driver made an illegal U-turn

While operating her motorcycle eastbound on Market Street near Gough Street in San Francisco, an out-of-state driver in a rental car made a sudden illegal U-turn, striking the side of the motorcycle and crushing her lower left leg, leading to a below-the-knee (BK) amputation.

Our Client v. Power Company

Search and rescue volunteer suffered foot amputation and traumatic brain injury when electrocuted and revived after El Dorado County truck antenna raised into electrical power lines 

While serving as a search and rescue volunteer for the El Dorado Sheriff’s Department in South Lake Tahoe, and responding to an emergency in High Meadows area at dusk, our client rested her arm on a fold down metal desk at the rear side of a search and rescue truck to clean her contact lenses.  There, our client suffered a severe electrical shock when another volunteer raised the truck’s 30-foot communication antenna into an overhead high voltage power line without first checking above.  Fortunately, our client was resuscitated by fellow volunteers who knew CPR and brought back to life.  But the strong electrical current entered her body through her arm, knocked her back 10 feet, and grounded itself through her left foot, causing third degree burns and a brain injury due to the fact that she went without oxygen during the time her heart stopped beating and she was not breathing.  The serious burns caused by the electricity exiting through her foot lead to a partial amputation.  She received treatment for her burn injuries at UC Davis and St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco.  Her residual injuries included cognitive deficits, balance, and gait problems due to the loss of a good portion of her foot, and a cosmetic deformity.  On behalf of the volunteer, our office brought a case against the local power company for maintaining low power lines above an area where vehicles commonly parked and for not providing any warnings of the presence of the power lines.

Motorcyclist v. Shopping Center – $2,000,000

Traumatic amputation of motorcyclist’s leg when a pickup truck struck him due to dangerous exit to shopping center

$2,000,000 for motorcyclist operating a Harley Davidson on Twin Cities Road in Galt when he was struck by a pickup truck turning left out of the Galt Village Center and suffered a below the knee (BK) amputation.  The left turning driver could not see the motorcycle because it was behind another approaching vehicle. Prior to this collision, 28 substantially similar collisions occurred between driveway traffic and traffic on Twin Cities Road.  Despite the collision occurring on the public road and not within the shopping center, our firm successfully advanced a case against the developer of the shopping center (Taylor Properties Development Company), the owner (Guttridge/Taylor LLC, and the property manager (Potter-Taylor and Company) for creating a traffic hazard by not restricting turns out of the shopping center and not installing stop signs.

Minor v. County of San Mateo

15-year-old girl lost both legs when she fell under a train while attempting to escape from custody of juvenile hall employees

San Mateo County juvenile hall employees were transporting our 15-year-old client to the San Mateo Juvenile Hall from the Butte County Juvenile Hall in the rear seat of a San Mateo County sedan with her hands handcuffed in front of her body.  When the vehicle stopped for a train at a train crossing, our client opened the rear door of the sedan, jumped out, ran towards the slow-moving freight train, and tried to climb onto a box car while still handcuffed.  She fell beneath the wheels of the train and lost both her legs. Our case against San Mateo County alleged that its employees lacked proper training, supervision, and equipment, including a vehicle with locked rear doors, and  failed to properly restrain and protect the minor.  The San Mateo County Superior Court granted San Mateo County’s motion for summary judgment, finding that the County and its employees were immune from liability pursuant to Government Code section 845.8 (immunity for injuries caused by an escaping prisoner) and Government Code section 846 (immunity for the failure to retain an arrested person in custody).  The Court of Appeal affirmed that San Mateo County and its employees were immune from liability under Government Code section 845.8 without reaching the question of whether defendants also were immune under section 846.

Construction Worker v. Property Owner – $1,200,000

Demolition worker suffered the amputation of his lower leg when he used a torch to cut a large piece of metal and it fell on his leg.

$1,200,000 settlement for a demolition worker at the abandoned Hercules Power plant in Hercules, in Contra Costa County, who was left without supervision and instructed to cut up a large metal cylinder with an acetylene torch.  As he had nearly made the final cut, the cylinder opened and a large, hot metal piece landed on his leg, crushing it and causing serious burn injuries that required the amputation of his leg.

Construction Worker v. Property Owner – $750,000

Demolition worker suffered the amputation of his lower leg when he used a torch to cut a metal tower and it fell on his arm.

$750,000 settlement for a demolition worker at a closed power plant in Hercules, Contra Costa County, who was left without supervision and instructed to cut up a large metal tower.  The worker used an acetylene torch to cut the legs off a tower to drop it to the ground.  When it started to fall on him, he attempted to run away but the tower landed on him traumatically amputating his arm.

Worker v. Butcher Boy – $3,200,000 verdict

Meat shop worker suffered an amputated arm in meat grinder

$3,200,000 jury verdict for worker who suffered an amputated arm in a Butcher Boy meat grinder due to its defective design.  Due to more than 300 prior amputations of the arms of other users of Butcher Boy meat grinders, the manufacturer went bankrupt but continued its business under another name.  At trial, we successfully established the liability of the successor company and that the owner of the company, William Lasar III, was its alter ego.

Worker v. Butcher Boy – $1,500,000

Meat shop worker suffered arm amputation in a Butcher Boy meat grinder due to its defective design. 

$1,500,000 in settlement in products liability case for an employee in the meat department in a Chicago grocery store who suffered an amputation of his right arm in a Butcher Boy meat grinder.  Lasar Manufacturing Co., Inc. defectively designed the meat grinder, and Westglen Corporation was the successor-in-interest to Lasar Manufacturing.  William Lasar III was the alter ego of Lasar Manufacturing and Westglen Corporation.  After more than 300 prior amputations of the arms of users of Butcher Boy meat grinders, William Lasar self-insured his company and as the claims continued to mount, took Lasar Manufacturing through bankruptcy.  Thereafter, Mr. Lasar transferred all Lasar Manufacturing’s assets to Westglen and manufactured the same meat grinders under the same product name with the same equipment, employees, and officers, directors and owners.