Alexander S. Polsky, FCIArb

T: 714-939-1300
F: 714-939-8710
Personal Injury/Torts

Mr. Polsky has participated in the resolution of more than 1,000 personal injury, elder abuse, product liability, premises liability, and wrongful death claims. His extensive experience, knowledge of medical and insurance issues, and ability to settle even the most contentious disputes have earned him a stellar reputation among plaintiff, defense and insurance counsel.

Mr. Polsky lectures throughout the country for bar associations, law firms, corporations, and lawyer associations and has been widely published in this area. He has handled MDL matters in Federal Court involving complications following use of various pharmaceuticals, as well as cases involving automobile product defect allegations including rollover, crashworthiness, transmission slippage, and tire delamination issues.

Representative Matters

  • Elder Abuse: 89-year-old wheelchair bound patient not secured during transport suffered cervical fracture and cardiac death secondary to tip-back of wheelchair.
  • Elder Abuse: Alzheimer patient wandered away from convalescent hospital. Police found her and took her to a medical center where she came under the care of an assigned physician. Following tests she was taken to a care center for the elderly. She developed ulcerations to her buttocks, pneumonia, sepsis, decubitus ulcers, and dehydration. She was transferred back to the hospital where she died. Elder abuse, medical malpractice, and punitive damage claims asserted against hospital and facility by the estate. (Settled)
  • Elder Abuse: Failure to monitor, deliver medication to control diabetes, and prevent falls of elderly patient. (Settled)
  • Elder Abuse: Failure to provide adequate care resulting in walk away of elderly mental patient and subsequent accident causing severe orthopedic injury. (Settlement $250 k)
  • Elder Abuse: Failure to use and monitor bed rails in connection with resident of elder care facility. Patient fall resulting in leg wound with secondary healing issues. ($35 K)
  • Elder Abuse: Person in long-term care facility fell from bed post-surgery resulting in hip replacement. Allegations centered upon failure to provide adequate nursing care and lack of bed rails. Patient had a history of falling from bed, which resulted in the first surgery. (Settlement $150 k)
  • Elder Abuse: Skin breakdown on coccyx of patient, resulting in sepsis and decubitus ulcers to feet. ($150 k)
  • Personal Injury: Assault by security guard on residents of community where he was performing services. Assault witnessed by family of plaintiff following plaintiff's refusal to put out fireworks. (Settlement $250 k)
  • Personal Injury: Automobile vs. motorcycle resulting in paraplegia. Plaintiff, intoxicated and not licensed to drive a motorcycle, drove into path of truck which was engaged in an unlawful turning movement. (Settlement lifetime payment of current earnings with 3% cola, payoff of past medicals and attorney fees)
  • Personal Injury: Claim by estate of decedent. Decedent was working on a container ship at the Long Beach Shipyard when he was run over by a crane. His legs were severed and he died. At issue was the status of decedent under the Jones Act. Specifically whether he could be classified as a seaman possessing an employment related connection to a vessel in navigation thereby giving rise to tort damages, or an employee of the vessel owner thereby giving rise to worker’s compensation benefits.
  • Personal Injury: Closed head trauma following broadside accident at intersection. Dispute over nature of brain injury. (Settlement $150k)
  • Personal Injury: Collapse of lounge chair causing severing of tip of plaintiff’s small finger. Dispute regarding maintenance of chairs by hotel vs. manufacturing defect. (Settlement $100 k)
  • Personal Injury: Collision between motorist and bus occurring in Minnesota. Plaintiff was proceeding around a curve at 45 mph. Bus was traveling at 5 mph in preparation for a left-turn. Plaintiff was 61 years of age and was treated and released. One year later he had spinal fusion. Issue was comparative negligence and causation due to plaintiff's longstanding medical history of degenerative joint disease. (Settlement $450 k)
  • Personal Injury: Crash of tour bus resulting from driver suffering an acute heart attack. No history of prior heart condition and driver had recently passed a Department of Transportation medical exam. Injured passengers were part of a traveling charity dance troupe and mentally retarded young adults benefited by the charity. Defense of lack of negligence argued. (Pre-suit mediation resulted in 24 individual settlements)
  • Personal Injury: Crush death to an 18-month-old child who was left in the care of her grandfather and permitted to wander into a rural roadway while a trash truck was in the process of backing down the roadway. Allegation of impaired vision of truck driver. (Settlement $1.2 mm)
  • Personal Injury: Electrocution of 23-year-old construction worker at asbestos abatement project.
  • Personal Injury: Error in communication to police officer at intersection permitted release of motor vehicle into path of bicyclist competing in marathon. Bicyclist, an iron man tri-athlete who had lost his leg in an accident five years earlier was rendered a C-3 quadriplegic. Major issue regarding scope of release documents. (Settlement $3.4 mm)
  • Personal Injury: Flyaway wheel off tractor-trailer impacted passenger vehicle at driver’s front roofline resulting in unconsciousness, physical injuries, and brain injury to 35-year-old male. (Settlement $13 mm)
  • Personal Injury: Intersectional accident between pick-up truck and automobile. Driver who violated right of way was convicted of DUI and was residing in a Salvation Army rehabilitation center. Mediation was of UIM claim. (Settlement $200 k)
  • Personal Injury: Liability to tow truck operator for wrongful death of 28-year-old father of one following foot pursuit to recover towed vehicle.
  • Personal Injury: Minor shot while standing in living room of home. Shots were fired by a man shooting at fleeing robbers. Injuries to 8-year-old boy included ruptured intestine, colostomy, abdominal scars, non-coordination of urination and defecation functions. (Settlement $700 k placed into annuity)
  • Personal Injury: Pedestrian run over and dragged by trash truck. Neither truck operator nor pedestrian saw one another though it was a clear day and vision was not obstructed. Injuries were severe and permanent to this 35-year-old female mother of two. (Settlement $2.7 mm placed into structure)
  • Personal Injury: Personal injuries sustained by mail handler upon opening a sealed package that contained sodium hydroxide. Product not shipped using hazmat shipping guidelines. Claims against shipper and employer alleging loss of lung capacity. (Settlement for $200 k against shipper and preservation of worker's compensation claim with waiver of credit assertion rights)
  • Personal Injury: Plaintiff rendered a quadriplegic while operating a vibratory asphalt roller at a construction site. Plaintiff operated the vehicle close to a tree with an overhanging branch. The branch caught on the vehicle and snapped back, breaking plaintiff’s neck. Claim alleges design defect in not having the operator caged, premises liability, and negligence against property owner and job site superintendent for directing plaintiff near the tree without providing lookout. Plaintiff conceded massive comparative negligence and risk of defense award. However, due to size of special damages claim would be prosecuted seeking Proposition 51 allocation. (Each of five defendants settled for amount that totaled $2.8 mm)
  • Personal Injury: Police chase culminating in crash through front window of home. Father of three asleep on couch lapsed into persistent vegetative state. Mediation included compromise of $1 mm Blue Cross lien, arrangement for lifetime care, negotiation of cost of care and purchase of an annuity with reversion back to buyer depending on length of payout, settlement of future wrongful death claims. (Settlement $7.5 mm)
  • Personal Injury: Rear-end auto accident at off ramp of freeway resulting in burn death of single mother of two. Mother worked two jobs to support children and was en route home from night job when accident occurred. (Settlement $2.0 mm)
  • Personal Injury: Rear-end truck vs. auto resulting in plaintiff sustaining severe burns to the face, arms, airway and head. Truck rear-ended Bronco which rear-ended plaintiff. Occupant of Bronco died. This action was against the trucking company by the burned driver of the auto. (Settlement $3.4 mm) The next action was on behalf of decedent. (Settlement $2.5 mm)
  • Personal Injury: Sexual relations with mentally retarded female while being transported by taxi driver on behalf of local hospital. (Settlement $100 k)
  • Personal Injury: Tractor/trailer vs. emotionally impaired pedestrian resulting in severed urethra, crushed pelvis and fractured lumbar spine. (Settlement $3.5 mm placed into special needs trust)
  • Personal Injury: Tractor/trailer vs. motorcycle resulting in paraplegia of 31-year-old father of three.
  • Personal Injury: Trip and fall by 61-year-old security guard at motor home park. Mobile home vacant and plaintiff entered to inspect. Rear steps had been removed. Plaintiff fell three feet and sustained a hip fracture, crushed testicle, and back injuries. Plaintiff's preexisting conditions superimposed upon current injuries rendered him unemployable. (Settlement $750 k)
  • Personal Injury: Truck vs. auto accident resulting in blunt head and chest trauma to 79-year-old retired father of eight. Plaintiff sustained brain damage and went from independent to dependent on family. (Settlement $950 k)
  • Premises Liability: 70-year-old man tripped and fell on green vegetables at produce area of super market. There was no mat on the tile floor. Fractured hip required replacement. (Settlement $225 k)
  • Premises Liability: 80-year-old patron of national chain restaurant tripped on leading edge of handicap ramp and fractured her hip. The ramp had defective striping and an edge elevated by 1/2 inch, which was difficult to observe due to the placement of a stripe over it. Medical expenses $65 k (Settlement $250 k)
  • Premises Liability: Alleged gas range tip over while small children were stepping onto the door. Scalding hot water poured over face of one child causing severe injuries. The installer had not placed stability brackets that were shipped with the range. Manufacturer defended based on lack of evidence of an actual tip over and failure to place the brackets. (Settled)
  • Premises Liability: Claim against tour company and motel used as lodging for student tour arising from auto accident when teenage tour participants attempted to cross busy highway behind the motel. (Settlement $47 K)
  • Premises Liability: Failure to adequately secure pool resulting in death of child. (Settlement $1.2 mm)
  • Premises Liability: Fall into newly placed manhole. Plaintiff was working on the highway project laying plastic when he stepped backward into the hole. The hole was three feet below grade. The surface was a black asphalt base coat. Injuries included fractured ankle, and surgery to reconstruct plaintiff's lateral ligament. Post surgery there was a spur and a scar. (Settlement $335 k)
  • Premises Liability: Fraternity and landlord/tenant liability for brain damage suffered by college student after fall from suspended bed. (Settlement $650 k)
  • Premises Liability: Injuries to sole driver of truck after a recently repaired braking system failed on its first use. The truck was proceeding down a grade. It struck a curb and flipped over. Action against repair contractor. Fracture of left humerus requiring open reduction and right leg crush injury. (Settlement $900 k)
  • Premises Liability: Numerous cases involving sexual or physical assaults by security guard.
  • Premises Liability: Numerous lighting cases.
  • Premises Liability: Numerous shopping center floor surface cases.
  • Premises Liability: Plaintiff injured in auto accident. Defense positioned the case as low back strain. Plaintiff contended surgery was inevitable. Arbitrator agreed with defense and awarded $36 k. Three months later plaintiff had a laminectomy with fusion. (Settlement $400 k)
  • Premises Liability: Plaintiff rendered a quadriplegic while operating a vibratory asphalt roller at a construction site. Plaintiff operated the vehicle close to a tree with an overhanging branch. The branch caught on the vehicle and snapped back, breaking plaintiff's neck. Claim alleges design defect in not having the operator caged, premises liability and negligence against property owner and job site superintendent for directing plaintiff near the tree without providing lookout. Plaintiff conceded massive comparative negligence and risk of defense award. However, due to size of special damages claim would be prosecuted seeking Proposition 51 allocation. (Each of five defendants settled for amount that totaled $2.8 mm)
  • Premises Liability: Plaintiff was being dropped off at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) by a commuter van. The van stopped in the second lane from the curb. As plaintiff was stepping out, another commuter van drove past in the first lane. Plaintiff's head was struck by the mirror assembly causing a closed head injury. Dispute regarding nature and extent of injuries, potential future loss of use and comparative negligence. (Settlement $750 k)
  • Premises Liability: Traffic death of jaywalking father of three. Decedent was crossing Pacific Coast Highway, at night, wearing dark clothing, when he was struck by defendant's Saab. Defendant did not see decedent at any time. Although defendant registered a .04 blood alcohol level, police at the scene testified he was not under the influence. (Settlement $1 mm)
  • Premises Liability: Trip and fall resulting in double fractures of left arm of 55-year-old female. Fractures resulted in non-union of ulna and mal-union of radius. (Settlement $250 k)
  • Premises Liability: Wrongful death of mother of three occurring when she was ejected from vehicle following single vehicle rollover. Witnesses observed decedent slumped over steering wheel prior to the crash. Allegation of seat belt crashworthiness based on testimony that decedent routinely used her seat belt. (Settlement)
  • Product Liability: Claim against manufacturer of SUV alleging that a three-point lap belt for the middle rear seat would have precluded substantial forward movement, into the center consul and avoided injuries. Fractures to T-12 – L1 resulting in insertion of rods and plates following de compression surgery. Lacerated small intestine. (Settlement $500 k)
  • Product Liability: Collapse of lounge chair causing severing of tip of plaintiff's small finger. Dispute regarding maintenance of chairs by hotel vs. manufacturing defect. (Settlement $100 k)
  • Product Liability: Flyaway wheel off tractor-trailer impacted oncoming passenger vehicle at driver's front roofline resulting in unconsciousness, physical injuries and brain injury to 35-year-old male. (Settlement $13 mm)
  • Product Liability: Numerous cases involving alleged inadequate guarding of lathes, extruders and various other items of machinery. Injuries generally involve loss of body parts.
  • Product Liability: Park to reverse transmission syndrome resulting in crush death of 5-year-old child. (Settlement $1.8mm)
  • Product Liability: Plaintiff had sustained many injuries to his back while working as a driver-warehouseman. He had had surgery twice and had been retrained as a technician. He was re-injured using an exercise device while receiving physical therapy. A nut came off the equipment while it was under tension. The action was a workers compensation, product liability, and medical malpractice claim. (Settlement $175 k)
  • Product Liability: Plaintiff rendered a quadriplegic while operating a vibratory asphalt roller at a construction site. Plaintiff operated the vehicle close to a tree with an overhanging branch. The branch caught on the vehicle and snapped back, breaking plaintiff’s neck. Claim alleges design defect in not having the operator caged, premises liability, and negligence against property owner and job site superintendent for directing plaintiff near the tree without providing lookout. Plaintiff conceded massive comparative negligence and risk of defense award. However, due to size of special damages claim would be prosecuted seeking Proposition 51 allocation. (Each of five defendants settled for amount that totaled $2.8 mm)
  • Product Liability: Product liability in connection with rupture of breast implants secondary to automobile accidents. (Settlement $200,000.)
  • Product Liability: Rear end accident of motorcycle-riding plaintiff. Severe injuries. Allegation that motorcycle lost power due to electrical failure. Defense that vehicle ran out of gas. (Settlement $750 k)
  • Product Liability: Rollover of passenger van following multi-vehicle impact, which resulted in ejection of driver. Driver (plaintiff) sustained a fractured C-6 vertebrae without paralysis. Theory of liability was under design of seating assembly which allowed the seat to collapse backward permitting a belted passenger to fall out. Manufacturer denied defection and argued driver was not belted. (Settlement $350 k)
  • Product Liability: Strict product liability alleged against automobile manufacturer for failure, in 1990, to disclose burn hazards secondary to use of air bags.
  • Product Liability: Wheelchair confined 42-year-old was operating her electric wheel chair on a public street when the chair malfunctioned, turned left and over a curb causing the user to fall and sustain serious injury. Injuries included knee fracture and closed head trauma with seizure disorder. (Settled at mediation)
  • Product Liability: Wrongful death claim arising out of single vehicle rollover of SUV on rural road in New Mexico. Vehicle rolled at high speed, became fully airborne, and engaged in three full rollover sequences. 23-year-old driver was killed. Her six and seven year old children were not injured. Decedent’s boyfriend was not seriously injured. Decedent determined by highway patrol to have been the sole cause of accident. Claims allege faulty design of vehicle resulting in drift towards center median and weak structural integrity of roof and A-B pillars. (Settled $2.8 mm)
  • Product Liability: Wrongful death claims arising out of incident involving family driving van conversion when tire tread separated and rollover occurred. Adult drivers (parents) were in the front seats and were belted. Six children in rear of the van were sleeping and were not belted. Upon rollover, top over conversion popped and children were ejected. Three children were killed, one seriously injured and two insignificantly injured. Adults were not injured. (Settlement $2.1 mm)
  • Product Liability: Wrongful death of 22-year-old arising from fall out of rear passenger door of rented SUV. Decedent and friends were going to Las Vegas at 2:00 AM and had consumed significant quantities of alcohol. After stopping at a mini-mart for beer, they discovered that the rear door would not latch. Decedent sat next to the rear door to hold it shut. Decedent refused to use his seat belt. Driver lost control of vehicle causing it to swerve, and decedent fell out. (Settlement $30 k)

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, Best Lawyers in America, 2008-2018
  • Recognized as a SuperLawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution category, SuperLawyers, 2006-2016
  • Recognized as a Top Master, Daily Journal
  • Recognized with AV Preeminent Status as a Top Rated Lawyer in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized as a Top California Neutral, Daily Journal, 2006-2010, 2012
  • Speaker, "What Real Estate Attorneys Can Learn From Mediators—And Vice Versa," Tokyo Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, 2014
  • Panelist, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Mediation Panel
  • Successfully completed "Accelerated Route to Fellowship International Arbitration Program with Award Writing Examination, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, North American Branch, 2014
  • Fellow, International Academy of Mediators
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Southern California School of Law and Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Lecturer (partial list): California Bar Association, American Bar Association, Association of Southern and Northern California Defense Counsel; Consumer Attorneys of California, Los Angeles and Orange County; Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco Bar Associations; Pepperdine University Law School; Building Industry Association
  • Past Director: Orange County Bar Association, Orange County Trial Lawyer's Association, Southern California Adjuster's Association
  • Past Chairperson, Orange County Bar Association Committee on ADR
  • Delegate, State Bar of California, Conference of Delegates
  • National Institute of Forensic Studies, Professional Advisory Board
  • Publications on ADR and Attorney Fee Disputes for State and Local Bar Associations, firms, trade associations, and newspapers. Author: "A System for Cost Effective Management of Construction Defect and Complex Litigation." Author: "ADR, Why Does it Work?" Author: "Use of the Special Master in Complex Litigation." Author: "Use of Risk Based Facilitative Dispute Resolution."
  • Mr. Polsky is a sought after negotiation skills trainer and has lectured throughout the United States. He is an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, where he teaches a course he designed on ADR and negotiation, and at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law, where he teaches courses in the LLM program. He is available to provide training in negotiation and mediation skill development to corporations and professional organizations.
  • Pro bono activities include Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) Board of Directors; Los Angeles/Long Beach Legal Aid Grand Cru Board of Directors; Public Law Center of Orange County Board of Directors; Los Angeles County Bar Association volunteer mediation program volunteer

    Comprehensive Overview

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    This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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