Making Lives Better

Best Lawyers | Best Law Firms | U.S. News & World Report | 2020


At Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire, we are dedicated to creating successes for our clients in San Diego and throughout California. These are selected examples of actual settlements and verdicts we have won. We are proud to have been a part of cases that have protected the rights of our clients and offered them a strong financial foundation for their future.

Personal Injury Cases

$20.3 Million Jury Verdict

Rollover accident involving a Ford van that left our client a quadriplegic. The case involved multiple design failures including a faulty seat restraint system and roof crush standards.

$14.5 Million Settlement

Our client was providing construction related services in a building in downtown San Diego. The Defendant failed to provide properly odorized natural gas to the building resulting in a massive explosion in May 2008. Our client suffered third-degree burns to his face, head, arms, hands and upper body. The explosion occurred when a large amount of natural gas escaped into the building and since it was not odorized properly it accumulated undetected until presumably an electrical spark set it off.

$6.25 Million Settlement

Our client was seriously injured when a vehicle driven by an employee of Halliburton Energy Corp., lost control on the I-5 freeway, entered the shoulder of the roadway and was launched over the center divider by a berm of earth created and maintained by co-defendant State of California. The Halliburton vehicle crashed head-on into the van our client was traveling in. He suffered serious personal injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.

$3.1 Million Negotiated Settlement

Plaintiff Doe, a 51-year old physician, collapsed several hours after participating in a local marathon. The plaintiff alleged that Roe Racing, the race organizer, had provided insufficient water stations and electrolyte fluids for the number of participants involved. The plaintiff further alleged that, as a result, he had suffered hyponatremia and subsequent brain damage and that the related cognitive deficits precluded him from returning to his internal medicine practice. The defendant disputed the lack of adequate fluid stations, as well as the cause of the plaintiff’s medical condition. Although the defendant initially prevailed on summary judgment based on primary assumption of risk, our client succeeded in obtaining a reversal on appeal. The resulting published opinion held that the race organizer had a duty not to increase the risks inherent in the sport.

$2.59 Million Prelitigation Settlement For Car Accident Case

One defendant backed his car out of his driveway into traffic causing a Winnebago driven by another defendant to swerve into oncoming traffic and ram our client’s car. Our client and his family were returning from Thanksgiving vacation at the time of the accident. Injuries incurred by our client included massive closed head trauma and permanent disability.

$2.1 Million Settlement For Injuries

The client was the employee of an electrical subcontractor who suffered a fall through a skylight. The plaintiff alleged defective design of the skylight because an economically practical safer alternative (shatter resistant) product was possible. Contested liability.

$1.55 Million Settlement

A 12-year-old pedestrian suffered the amputation of their left foot caused by being run over by the defendant’s tractor-trailer rig. Contested liability.

$1.1 Million And Favorable Reduction Of A Workers Comp Lien

One of the plaintiffs, age 20, fell three stories down an unprotected elevator shaft under construction, shattering his leg, jaw and teeth. He underwent more than 10 surgeries to his leg and jaw and continues rehabilitative care more than two years post-incident. His father, the other plaintiff, witnessed the fall. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants – two general contractors and several subcontractors – removed a protective barricade during construction, exposing the open elevator shaft. Defendants denied removing the barricade and contended that the injured plaintiff failed to mitigate his damages by not complying with physician orders. The worker’s compensation carrier intervened, seeking more than $2 million.

Confidential Settlement Of More Than $1 Million

Personal injury and property damage claim involving a family of four whose exposure to mold and bacteria damaged their immune systems. Actual damages were less than $25,000, but a confidential settlement was reached exceeding $1 million.

$1 Million Policy Limit Settlement

A client suffered permanent brain damage in a car accident. The client had been in a rollover car accident and was awaiting rescue when a tow-truck driver, ignoring obvious signs of danger, passed at least four other cars stopped because of the accident and, traveling at 45-50 mph, slammed through the driver’s side of the overturned car before the client could escape.

$1 Million For The Death Of A Cement Finisher

The cement finisher was killed when roofing trusses were dropped on him by a subcontractor at a construction site supervised by the defendant. It was a contested liability.

$1 Million Policy Limit Settlement For A Head-On Collision

A collision occurred between a semi truck and rental car in which our client was a passenger. The accident killed our client and the driver of the car she was riding in.

$750,000 settlement

Death of our client resulted from liver failure after treatment with oral anti-fungal medication.

$725,000 Settlement

A settlement was negotiated for injuries resulting from an automobile versus bike collision at an intersection. Contested liability.

$650,000 Settlement

The victim’s wrongful death resulted from a vehicle rollover and ejection of the driver.

Wrongful Death

$5.99 Million Jury Verdict

A wrongful death resulting from a misread biopsy slide from a patient with squamus cell carcinoma. By the time the mistake was caught the cancer was widespread, eventually killing our client.

$2.5 Million Settlement In A Wrongful Death Case

The defendant’s company driver failed to observe traffic had stopped and rear-ended our client’s vehicle, bulldozing it into other vehicles. As the police attempted to rescue our client, the car she was trapped in caught on fire and she burned to death.

$465,000 Settlement In An Elder Abuse/Wrongful Death Case

Our client was an 84-year-old resident admitted to a skilled nursing facility. Despite the decedent being assessed as a high risk for falls due to her condition, the defendant failed to return her to her bed, left her alone in her wheelchair, turned off the wheelchair safety alarm and aborted all other safety interventions. Tired, sedated and alone, she fell out of her wheelchair and smashed her head against the tile floor.

Eminent Domain

$136 Million Result

A breach of contract and inverse condemnation action against the city of San Diego resulting in a $94.5 million jury verdict. Post verdict the judge granted fees and interest bringing the result for our client to above $132 million.

$55 Million Verdict

Verdict obtained at the first trial which was the largest condemnation verdict in the history of the state at that time. Ordered on appeal for retrial, the case eventually settled for $40 million.

$7.7 Million Jury Verdict

An Afghan refugee owned the Gran Havana Cigar Company in the Gas Lamp district of San Diego. After a rags-to-riches success story following his family’s fleeing Afghanistan in the 1980s, the city of San Diego at the behest of developers condemned his business. A complicated case involving consolidated actions, the city allowed the developers to pay for the attorneys used to enforce the condemnation action. A fascinating and relevant case that illustrates just how far the local government will go to pacify big-money developers.

Settlement Of $2.75 Million Plus Interest Totalling $2.79 Million

This eminent domain case involved the taking of a private residence for road expansion.

$1.18 Million Settlement

The case was on behalf of 26 San Marcos area homeowners. The Walnut Hills area of San Marcos is a rustic community with a country lifestyle. The North County Transit District wanted to expand rail service in the area and run a diesel train past their homes every six minutes. It offered them an insulting total of $34,000 for ruining their rustic way of life.

Business Litigation

$33 Million Verdict

Fraud/breach of contract action by Upper Deck Baseball Card Company.

$3.2 Million Settlement

A $3.2 million settlement was reached after the jury reached a verdict, but prior to the reading of the verdict; it was a fraud case involving the funding of the defendant power quality company. Plaintiffs were told that the defendant company had already developed and applied for patents on a revolutionary battery-less power supply. Defendant-inventor said that he had already marketed this new product to huge customers like Microsoft and AT&T. Some months later, the defendant-inventor introduced the plaintiffs to his “business advisor” and board member, Dr. Arthur B. Laffer, author of the Laffer Curve. They were excited hearing about such an amazing opportunity. At the time the plaintiffs invested the company had no patents, no products and no customers, and in fact, the plaintiffs were the only investors.

$1.5 Million Jury Verdict

Our client, a Czech immigrant, was accepted at UCSD as a post-doctoral fellow in microbiology. After raising two children and studying fishing stress on dolphins and whales she realized that the stress factors she discovered could be useful in the detection and treatment of HIV/AIDS. After presenting her theories to UCSD, they agreed to assign her a mentor so that she could receive a short-term developmental grant related to research leading to an NIMH Re-entry grant intended to help scientists who had been away from academia.

Inexplicably, only four months after the grant was awarded, the money was returned to the NIH, and our client was informed that her mentor had determined that her project was not feasible. For a month, she worked to reinstate the grant or find an explanation. Then, on June 10, 2004, the dean of the medical school informed her that UCSD did not intend to provide any further assistance, and she was left with a year and a half of her work wasted.

Construction Defects

$22 .4 Million Jury Verdict

Construction defect suit involving roofs, drainage, land subsidence, slope failure, and structural defects in a 419-unit condominium project. Jury found defendant defrauded Association, thus preventing the application of statute of limitations defenses which would have barred recovery of most of the units.

$18 Million Settlement

Settlement against developer and subcontractors for damages to a 234-unit condominium project resulting from improperly filled land, poor drainage and inadequate maintenance funding.

$15.6 Million Settlement

Construction defects involving leaking roofs and windows, stucco problems and various other defects. Action against developers was based on strict liability, breach of warranty and negligence.

$12 Million Jury Verdict And Settlement For Two

Developers constructed a 110-unit single-family development at the toe of a large, ancient landslide. This case involved 150 individual clients. The jury in the first case found the developer acted in conscious disregard of the plaintiffs’ rights and awarded over $3 million in punitive damages. Our attorney was honored with an Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award and Trial Lawyer of the Year Award for this case.

$9 Million Settlement And Buyback

A number of homes had suffered damages as a result of fill subsidence and expansive soils. The settlement included payment of money or buying back of homes in excess of undamaged market value.

$8 Million Settlement

This construction defect case resulted from landslides and land subsidence. This was a follow-up to the previous case and involved 60 plaintiffs.

$7.5 Million Settlement

This suit alleged structural design defects in 60 condominium units that would cause more damage to buildings in the event of an earthquake. The suit was settled for full repairs 30 days after Northridge, California, earthquake on the first day of trial.

$5.7 Million Settlement

Fifty-six homeowners suffered damages as a result of landslides, subsidence and expansive soils.

Medical Malpractice

$2.8 Million Verdict

Bench verdict against the United States of America for a brain-damaged baby.

$2.6 Million Settlement

A doctor failed to identify fetal distress and for failing to perform a timely cesarian section. The client was sent home instead without any instructions concerning the monitoring of the fetus for well-being. The client remains totally disabled, profoundly mentally retarded and requires constant care and attention.

$1.7 Million Settlement

The operator of an ATV suffered a closed head injury resulting from defective throttle design. Contested liability.

$1.2 Million Settlement

A woman showed clear symptoms of a stroke but was misdiagnosed as having a migraine. Our client eventually collapsed from a stroke that left her permanently disabled. Complicating this were the repeated falls she suffered when left alone in the hospital against the treating physician’s orders.

$950,000 Settlement

This case involved standard of care issues after an MRI showing a brain aneurysm was overlooked by Dr. Doe. Had the aneurysm not been overlooked, it could have been removed eight months before it ultimately ruptured.

Class And Mass Action Lawsuits

$55 Million Settlement

This was the largest settlement in the history of the False Claims Act where the government did not intervene in the action, and it was larger than all the prior such settlements combined. This Qui Tam action filed in the U.S. District Court in Utah involved an action in the name of the U.S. Government for damages arising from the falsification of manufacturing and inspection records on nine solid-fuel motor rocket systems (Trident I, C-4; Trident II, C-5; Titan IV, Delta, Pershing II, Sram, MX – Peacekeeper; Pegasus, and ICBM) over a ten-year period.

$40 Million Settlement

Obtained for members of the class against Readers Digest for a magazine subscription/school fundraising sales scheme.

$30 Million Settlement

A pre-litigation settlement with a large hospital district that arose from one single medical malpractice case. Through our extensive investigation, we determined that this was not an isolated incident of malpractice but rather a corporate profit-driven course of conduct that allowed for dozens of patients to needlessly suffer unnecessary joint replacement surgeries.

Millions Recovered For Faulty Medical Devices

Recovered millions of dollars to-date on behalf of victims of the defective Depuy ASR and Pinnacle Hip litigation. Unlike many law firms that advertise heavily with over the top commercials and websites, our mass tort attorneys are very selective in the cases they take. We will only represent mass tort victims whose cases we are ready, willing and able to take to trial. We strive to maintain quality and not quantity in the selection and preparation of our medical device cases.


Confidential Settlement Exceeding $1 Million

Suit for personal injuries and destruction of real property arising from a landslide that destroyed one home. The family members were sleeping in their home when it began to slide and had to jump from a window in order to escape with their lives. The principal settlement involved the soil engineers who missed the existence of an ancient landslide during the evaluation of the lot prior to construction.