Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire recently settled a lawsuit on behalf of a founding member of a multi-platinum and Grammy award winning band. The lawsuit alleged that the band’s leader and other members deprived plaintiff of royalties and other compensation due to him over the band’s twenty-year plus history. The parties settled the case for a significant cash payment as well as the transfer of real estate holdings. Plaintiff was represented by attorneys Vincent J. Bartolotta, Karen Frostrom, and Jarrett Charo and paralegal Bridget Gonzales. Plaintiff has formed a new band that has already received great critical acclaim and is presently touring the U.S.
By Jarrett S. Charo
We would like to congratulate our former client and lifetime friend, Dr. Sarka Southern, for the recent award of Army grant funding to pursue clinical studies in furtherance of developing non-invasive diagnostics tools. We were pleased to represent Dr. Southern in a breach of contract suit when she was hampered in her ability to re-enter the field of scientific research after she stayed home to raise her children. The jury’s unanimous verdict in her favor in that case gave her the validation she badly needed to try again. It is wonderful to see how well a client can rebuild her life despite the wrongful conduct of others and even more wonderful to see these talents being used to benefit the lives of others.
By Karen Frostrom, Partner
As a San Diego real estate lawyer I saw a lot of American developers flocking to Mexico’s Baja coastline during the real estate boom to build luxury condos – most of these projects were geared to American purchasers. Buyers were told that the developments were a rare opportunity to purchase relatively inexpensive beach front property. But they were not, for the most part, told that most developers had not obtained the financing they needed to complete their respective projects in advance of starting construction and selling units. A few of the developments got off the ground, but without the financing you’d need to get to the finish line they ultimately suspended construction indefinitely, or folded entirely.
You’ve likely heard that real estate mogul Donald Trump got caught in the snafu. According to a Los Angeles Times report on a recent settlement, the proposed “Trump Ocean Resort” was a planned luxury high-rise with a “panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, swimming pools, tennis courts and fine dining[.]” (Read it here: LA Times/Trump Article). When the project failed, purchasers quickly learned that Mr. Trump was not, in fact, the project’s developer, but had instead licensed the use of his name for half a million dollars to two ambitious developers. According to the Times, the developers have settled with their buyers for $7.25 million. Claims directly against Mr. Trump appear to be still pending.
If you invested in a Baja development, the frustration is understandable. Many American purchasers – who were wary of the potential risks involved with purchasing property in Baja – took efforts at the outset to ensure the safety of their deposit funds. We have litigation pending against a development on the Mexican coast that told prospective buyers (our clients) that their deposit funds would be paid to, and held by, a licensed escrow company for the duration of construction. When the project stalled our clients tried to retrieve their deposit funds – only to find out that their money had long since been transferred out of escrow and spent on construction.
Hopefully you’ve avoided this real estate mess – but in the event you’ve found yourself in a similar predicament, give us a call to vent and discuss your potential claims.
by Rebecca L. Blain
Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire has recovered more than $70,000,000 on behalf of victims of the 2007 Wildland Fires. Attorneys John “Mickey” McGuire, Ian Fusselman and Rebecca Blain, and paralegals Tara Krieger and Kathy Norvell have teamed up to resolve more than ninety separate claims on behalf of individuals and business who suffered losses in the 2007 fires that swept across San Diego County. Representative claims included homeowners who had “total losses” of their homes and personal property, growers who suffered damage to avocado and citrus groves, businesses that lost inventory and future business, and investors and developers with losses to investment properties. The team has also successfully prosecuted and resolved several disputes the firm’s clients had with their first-party insurance carriers. In addition to the resolution of these past cases, Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire has joined other prominent San Diego law firms to form the team that will represent any remaining clients in a trial expected to take place in 2014.
Mickey McGuire, Partner Ian Fusselman, Partner
SDG&E v. Boudreau et al. A condemnation action filed by SDG&E as part of its Power Link project. SDG&E took 24.20 acres across the center of the Boudreau property. The highest and best use of the property was in dispute, with SDG&E contending that it was residential and Boudreau contended it was as environmental mitigation land. The case settled at mediation for $1.3 million.
Karen Frostom, Partner
In a case that could reshape the generic drug industry and how manufacturers are held accountable to injured consumers, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this week about whether federal law preempts state products liability claims that allege a generic drug was unreasonably dangerous and defective. The justices wavered between recognizing that the decision could be limited to the facts of the case and issuing a broad ruling that could significantly affect both generic and brand-name drug companies. (Mutual Pharm. Co., Inc. v. Bartlett, No. 12-142 (U.S. oral arg. Mar. 19, 2013).)
Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., Inc., asked the Court to overturn a jury award to Karen Bartlett, a New Hampshire woman who was seriously injured when she used the generic anti-inflammatory drug sulindac for shoulder pain in 2004. Bartlett developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS)—a rare drug reaction and a life-threatening skin condition. She also developed a more severe form of SJS, known as toxic epidermal necrolysis, which resulted in burn-like lesions on almost two-thirds of her body and permanent near-blindness. Mutual’s argument before the Supreme Court was essentially that once the FDA approved a drug then state tort law should not be allowed to second-guess such decisions. Justice Sotomayor immediately responded, “You’re basically saying the minute the FDA gives you permission to sell, it’s a right to sell. And it can’t be altered by any state police power.” A broad ruling by the Supreme Court against the plaintiff could be disastrous for any consumer injured by a defective pharmaceutical. The Court could rule that the FDA approval means you can never sue a pharmaceutical company. Stay tuned.
If you feel you or a loved one has been harmed by a prescription drug please don’t hesitate to call us and ask to speak to one of our San Diego personal injury attorneys.
On Friday, March 8, 2013 a Los Angeles jury found Depuy Orthopedics and its parent company Johnson and Johnson liable for $8.3 million in damages arising from the defective ASR hip system. This was the first case to go to trial against Depuy/J&J for injuries sustained as a result of the defective and now recalled ASR device. Nearly ten thousand active cases are in line behind this one. The plaintiff, Loren Kransky, is a retired prison guard from Montana whose case was granted preference by the court due to his declining health condition. Depuy vigorously defended the action claiming that the ASR hip system was not defective and that all of Mr. Kransky’s injuries were caused by his prior health ailments and infection in the ASR device, but not caused by the defective device itself. The jury resoundingly disagreed with Depuy/J&J and delivered Mr. Kransky the justice he deserved. With over 93,000 ASR hip systems implanted in patients worldwide and a failure rate approaching 40% this device has caused and will cause one of the largest public health disasters this country has ever seen. Currently, the San Diego personal injury lawyers at Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire represent nearly two dozen injury victims against Depuy/J&J arising from the defective ASR and Pinnacle hip systems. We look forward to the opportunity of giving each of our clients their day in Court. Bloomberg News has a great story on this here: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-08/j-j-must-pay-8-3-million-in-suit-over-defective-hip-jury-says.html
As a San Diego medical malpractice lawyer who deals with elder abuse and nursing home neglect cases I thought I had seen it all. But in the news comes word of a nursing home that actually has a policy banning its nurses from performing CPR.
Recently Bakersfield 911 handled a call from the Glenwood Gardens retirement facility when resident Lorraine Bayless collapsed and began to have difficulty breathing. That is putting it mildly, the truth is she was barely breathing. When the 911 operator told the nurse, that’s right a NURSE, to perform CPR until the paramedics got there the nurse refused citing company policy not to perform CPR. In fact the nurse even refused to hand the phone to a passerby or visitor to help. Lorraine Bayless eventually died. Listen to the 911 call and read the whole story here: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/state&id=9013895
The Centers for Disease Control calls nursing home neglect and elder abuse one of the most common unrecognized social problems in America. For more about this important issue and how to spot it if you have a loved one in a care facility click here:
Kevin F. Quinn, Partner
Do you ever wonder why health care costs so much? Have you or anyone you know gone to a doctor, received a medical bill, paid a medical bill, have health insurance or need health insurance? If the answer is yes to any of the above, you need to read this article. http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/20/bitter-pill-why-medical-bills-are-killing-us/ It is incredibly insightful and maddening at the same time. We may disagree on the final solution but everyone should recognize that the current state of for-profit medicine is unsustainable. Something has to change. And you have to decide, are you part of the problem? Or the solution?
As a San Diego medical malpractice attorney I am disturbed by another frightening statistic from the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s study done in 1999. They found that medical errors caused as many as 98,000 deaths and more than 1 million injuries each year. To put this into perspective, you are more than twice as likely to die from a medical mistake than a car accident. Bloomberg lays it all out in their April 2011 article here: http://goo.gl/EF4nO.
It just may be that healthcare in America is sicker than we ever imagined.