Recoveries Against A Government Agency

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Nothing is more important than recovery and compensation for your loved one after a severe injury. 

Recoveries Against a Government Agency

San Francisco California Government Torts Attorneys

Family Settles With Caltrans For Almost $1 Million.
This personal injury case settled for $950,000 one week before trial, “on the courthouse steps.” A family of four from Sonoma County was driving south on highway 101 when a large Acacia tree fell on their moving SUV. The tree crushed the roof and injured the families’ dad who was driving, and mom who was the front seat passenger. Two small children were in the rear seat area and were not injured. » Read More

Our Client v. State of California
$5.5 million settlement during jury deliberations in a dangerous condition of public property case against Caltrans for its failure to warn of a sharp curve on Highway 1 in western Marin County, which caused a Mazda Miata to leave the roadway and plaintiff to become quadriplegic. » Read More

Our Client v. City of Walnut Creek
$27.75 million verdict for a 20-year-old state diving champion who was rendered a quadriplegic when he collided with a synchronized swimmer during diving practice in a public pool. The City of Walnut Creek, owner and operator of the pool, rented its dive pool to a diving team and a synchronized swimming team to hold practices at the same time without any means of separating the two inconsistent uses. The diver did not see a 15-year-old synchronized swimmer push off the wall under the diving board toward his landing area just as he began his dive. The pool now uses floating lane lines to separate the two groups. The verdict was identified as the 12th largest in California and the 67th largest in the United States in 2003.

Our Clients v. San Francisco Housing Authority
$12 million verdict for the wrongful death of a 44-year-old woman and four children ages 6, 4, 3, and 7 months resulting from a residential fire in a public housing unit that failed to have the required smoke detectors.

Our Clients v. City of Oakland and Parkwood Apartments
$4.75 million settlement for the death of a man and burn injuries to several people as they attempted to escape the Oakland Hills Fire Storm. The apartment complex where the fire significantly grew and spread negligently ignored plans for fire retardant landscaping that were required by the City of Oakland, leaving a very flammable eucalyptus trees on the premises. The City of Oakland negligently maintained Charing Cross Road without an adequate fire exit despite numerous previous fires in the area, creating a dangerous condition of public property.

Our Client v. City of Oakland
$1.5 million settlement for the wrongful death of a mother and her 18-year-old daughter during a home invasion robbery. Intruders tied up the mother and did not realize that the daughter had locked her bedroom door, hid in her closet, and called 911. Oakland Police Officers quietly surrounded the home. Without knowing whether or not the intruders were still inside the home, one responding officer communicated instructions to the 911 operator to have the girl to come out of her locked bedroom and ensured that it was safe to do so. When the girl opened her bedroom door, she startled the intruders, who began to chase her through the house. As the girl approached the backdoor one of the intruders shot and killed her, then killed her mother. The San Francisco Chronicle described the settlement as the City of Oakland’s largest payout for a police negligence case.

Our Client v. State of California
$1.25 million settlement in a wrongful death case arising out of a head-on collision that occurred on State Route 299 at Berry Summit, the highest peak in Humboldt County. The decedent’s vehicle lost traction with the roadway’s surface due to the presence of black ice, slid into oncoming traffic and collided with an on-coming truck. Despite Caltrans’ policy that freezing conditions must receive the highest level of priority, its employees scheduled for ÒIce PatrolÓ failed to identify and remedy the dangerous condition due, in part, to the malfunctioning thermometers on its trucks and its crew sleeping on the job.

Our Client v. State of California
$1.1 million settlement in a wrongful death case arising out of a two-car collision that occurred on State Route 88 in San Joaquin County. After numerous similar broadside collisions, Caltrans determined the need to install a stop sign at the subject intersection. However, it failed to do so for several years. Moreover, during construction at the intersection Caltrans increased the risk of a broadside collision by installing a series of delineators that blocked the vision of motorists at the intersection.

Our Client v. City of Oakland
$1 million settlement for the wrongful death of a 5-year-old who fell from a play structure onto the playground’s asphalt at an Oakland elementary school. The rubber mats to protect against such an injury had been in a Oakland Unified School District warehouse for many months prior to the incident.

Our Client v. Confidential School District
$6 million recovery against school district for traumatic brain injury and negligent supervision of students. » Read More

Jeffrey R. Smith

Jeffrey R. Smith

Managing Partner

Robert B. Waldsmith

Robert J. Waldsmith

Partner, 1999

William B. Smith

William B. Smith

Partner, 1978

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Vehicle Accidents

There are two things to establish in any motor vehicle accident case: the cause of the accident (fault) and the full cost of the injuries and losses. As we prepare your case, we will investigate both of these.


Abuse & Molestation

 Priests, ministers, church officials and workers, coaches, teachers, day care workers, park rangers, and other trusted adults who sexually molest children, ruin lives and cause irreparable psychological damage.


& Serious Injuries

People suffering from a brain injury, spinal cord injury or other severe injury will require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy and other long-term care.



Claims related to sports and recreation injuries can be complicated. These cases often include issues involving waivers and the “assumption of risk” defense.


& Spine Injuries

When you or a loved one suffers a traumatic brain injury (TBI), life changes dramatically. Even mild TBIs can lead to years of recovery and rehabilitation.


Practice areas

The personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP have more than 100 years of combined experience guiding clients through the legal process.

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