Mark j Zanobini


Defective Highway
On behalf of his clients, a widow and her two children, Mr. Zanobini successfully resolved a multiparty, multi-plaintiff case resulting in wrongful death of two different families. A 53-year-old tow truck driver, with a wife and two young children, died in a massive vehicular accident when his tow truck was struck and pushed out of control by a passing vehicle. Because of a defect in the upper highway, the tow truck was propelled up and over an inadequate barrier and onto both the northbound and southbound lanes of the highway below. The truck landed directly onto a vehicle, instantly killing the occupants and the tow truck driver. During the third week of jury selection a confidential six figure settlement against two separate public entities was obtained for the family of the tow truck driver.

High Speed Police Chase Accident
$622,500 settlement in an uninsured personal injury/wrongful death case. An elderly couple, in their nineties (married 75 years), were taking a family friend to dinner for his birthday. As they traveled through the streets of San Francisco, they approached the corner of Golden Gate Avenue at the intersection of Laguna Street. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a vehicle being chased by police ran a red light at the intersection and slammed forcefully into the passenger side of the elderly couple's vehicle. The force of this impact threw the 90-year-old wife and mother into the passenger window causing fatal head injuries. An appropriate recovery was obtained for all occupants of the vehicle.

Solo Vehicle Accident - Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Mr. Zanobini successfully obtained a confidential seven figure settlement with two insurance companies under the liability and underinsured provisions of the policies. Benjamin, a then 21-year-old mechanical engineering student at Berkeley, and his friends had spent the day enjoying a river rafting trip. While returning home, Benjamin's friend was driving and Benjamin was in the backseat with his girlfriend and another female friend. The driver fell asleep at the wheel and the SUV slid out of control, crashing through a call box and flipping onto its left side. Ben's injuries consisted of fractures to both of the major bones in his left forearm, a fractured left femur and a significant closed head injury. His face had been fractured in multiple places, as well as his left clavicle and left first rib. X-rays showed contusions to his left lung. As severe as his physical injuries were, of greater concern were his head injuries. The extent of these brain injuries was hotly disputed by the insurance companies and their lawyers.

Medical Malpractice –Kaiser Arbitration Award
$400,000 arbitration award for wrongful death of a newborn and negligent infliction of emotional distress to the mother. Mom, a type one, class C, insulin dependent diabetic lost her infant son after one minute of life. On December 16, 2004, 22-year-old Angelica was scheduled for an induction of labor on her due date representing 40 completed weeks of pregnancy.

On Angelica's behalf, we contended that Kaiser doctors failed to meet the standard of care because they failed to deliver her baby by 39 completed weeks in light of her type one, class C, insulin dependent diabetic status. Further, it was contended that Kaiser breached the standard of care by failing to inform Angelica of the risks of delivering past 39 completed weeks, and failing to discuss the risks and benefits related to the timing of delivery, and spontaneous labor versus induction of labor. The arbitrator agreed that Kaiser failed to secure an informed consent to proceed to 40 completed weeks of pregnancy, and awarded the MICRA limit of $250,000 to the parents for the wrongful death of Jesus and $150,000 to Angelica for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

Jane Doe v. The Breast Center, Mills Peninsula Hospital
This case involved the medical negligence of a mammography technician during the administration of a mammogram. The plaintiff was referred for a mammogram. At that time, she had just completed chemotherapy following a modified radical mastectomy and breast reconstruction as a result of breast cancer. The plaintiff informed the technician at the time of the mammogram that she had a saline breast implant on the right side. She also informed the technician that she felt uncomfortable having her right breast X-rayed due to the recent breast reconstruction. The technician ignored the plaintiff's concerns, despite the fact that there was no breast tissue to photograph in her right breast. During the procedure, the right breast was squeezed so tightly that the plaintiff's implant was damaged, and second surgery was required to replace the implant. The case was settled through mediation for a confidential six figure sum.

Failure to Monitor
$1,534,000. Medical malpractice/wrongful death. Decedent, age 44 years, suffered from severe back pain. His pain had been so severe that he had endured back surgeries in 1994, 1995 and 1998. Over the years, Plaintiff had been prescribed numerous medications to help control his pain including Oxycontin and Actiq. Unfortunately, he also had become dependent on prescription pain medications. In order to get his life back, Chris began looking for a safe inpatient detoxification program that would assist him with his addiction. He looked into several addiction centers across the nation and discovered a relatively new procedure that was being performed at a number of facilities across the country known as ultra rapid opiate detoxification (UROD).

The difference between typical treatment programs and UROD is that UROD offers the possibility of breaking the addiction cycle in 24 to 72 hours as compared to the two to three-week stay at a clinic because all of the withdrawal symptoms would be controlled with anesthesia. Chris found the most attractive of these programs to be one offered by the Waismann Institute in Beverly Hills. When Chris called the Waismann Institute, he was told that if he underwent the procedure, it would occur at the Roe Hospital and Medical Center under the care of a doctor trained in the Waismann method. Chris had been told that the Waismann's had invented the procedure. Chris underwent several tests, including heart stress tests, to ensure that he could tolerate the procedure. He passed the tests, and the procedure was scheduled. After the procedure, Chris was placed in ICU where he was monitored. Despite the fact that his heart rate hovered in the 40s and low 50s, plaintiff was transferred to the general ward, where he was not properly monitored. On January 21, 2004, plaintiff's heart rate spiked to 110 and then crashed to 52 only two hours later. No one contacted the physicians. The nurses' notes reflect that at 8:00 a.m., plaintiff was complaining of nausea and shortness of breath. He also had diarrhea. It was clear from these notes that plaintiff was suffering from typical withdrawal symptoms, symptoms that UROD was designed to prevent. At 8:45 a.m., a nurse's assistant helped Chris wash himself and got him back into bed. Fifteen minutes later, an LVN found Chris unresponsive. A code blue was called, and Chris was pronounced dead 45 minutes later. Had he been properly monitored, Chris would, in all medical probability, have survived the procedure.

Dental Malpractice
$50,000. The firm successfully settled a dental malpractice action relating to poorly placed dental implants on plaintiff's front teeth, as well as inappropriate and negligent gum surgery, which had caused receding gums and the need for future treatment.

Prescription Error
$500,000 settlement in a wrongful death case. Jennifer, a wife and mother of three young children, had a history of suffering from migraine headaches. One evening, she was suffering from a debilitating migraine, and her husband took her to Novato Hospital for treatment. The attending physician, who had previously treated Jennifer, prescribed a new medication for pain and ordered six milligrams of a powerful narcotic, which was three times the recommended dosage. Jennifer was discharged from the hospital 11 minutes after receiving this new medication. Her husband drove her home, and Jennifer went to bed. Her husband found Jennifer dead the next morning. An autopsy determined that the most likely cause of death was an excessive amount of the narcotic drug.

Cancer Misdiagnosis
$1,100,000 settlement against Kaiser. When she was 43 years old, Sandy was seen by a physician at UCLA who noted a density in the right lower left area of her lungs and some questionable granulomas in an MRI and chest X-ray taken of her. The physician gave the films to Sandy and urged her to be seen by a pulmonologist to evaluate them. Sandy subsequently consulted with a pulmonologist at Kaiser Oakland. The pulmonologist reassured Sandy that even in light of her family's history of lung cancer, she was fine and there was no need for any follow-ups.

Three years later, Sandy began coughing and had a prolonged period of malaise and illness. Chest X-rays taken at the time revealed that Sandy now had a large tumor in her lung, exceeding five centimeters in size. The tumor was in the exact location of the prior density that appeared in the earlier films, but Sandy's cancer was now in stage four, and her prognosis was grim. Had the cancer been caught when she was 43, it would have been operable and she would have had an 85-95 percent chance of survival. The firm resolved Sandy's medical malpractice case, her husband's loss of consortium cause of action, and the future wrongful death action, in addition to obtaining compensation for future lost earnings. Sandy died when she was 48 years old.

Train Accident
Our attorneys recovered $2.3 million on behalf of a railroad worker. Plaintiff, a 35-year-old, was switching railroad tanker cars in the course of his employment with a contractor working for the railroad when he was struck by an approaching train and dragged over 60 feet. Plaintiff sued the contractor and its parent company alleging common carrier liability under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), 45 U.S.C. '51 et. seq. and the Safety Appliance Act (SAA), 49 U.S.C. '1 et. seq., and negligent hiring and training of employees.

Additionally, plaintiff contended that the accident was caused by inadequate communication with co-workers, and his co-workers' failure to keep a proper lookout and follow his instructions. The case settled prior to trial and the defendant's insurance carrier funded the $2.3 million settlement. (Mullikin v. Hall Buck Marine)

Product Liability
The firm obtained a successful six-figure settlement against a manufacturer and distributor of infant carriers. In that case, a newborn slipped out the side of the infant carrier sustaining skull fractures. Several similar accidents were uncovered in the U.S.A. The terms of the settlement were confidential. The design of the infant carrier was changed to prevent future injuries.

Employment Law-Race Discrimination
The firm sucessfully resolved a case involving the wrongful termination of an African-American plaintiff because of his race. Plaintiff was terminated after experiencing a pattern of harassing and discriminatory conduct at a well-known national company. The case was settled shortly before trial.

Slip and Fall Down Apartment Stairs
(under construction)


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