Alexander S. Polsky, FCIArb

T: 714-939-1300
F: 714-939-8710
Professional Liability

Mr. Polsky has extensive experience in the area of medical, dental, psychiatric, chiropractic, veterinary, and legal malpractice claims. His articles on the subject have been published in Bar journals and legal newspapers. Mr. Polsky serves as mediator and neutral arbitrator in these matters and is an approved Kaiser neutral.

Representative Matters

  • Legal Malpractice 
    • Action by developer to recover $2.6 mm settlement payment and $400 k in defense costs arising from representation in partnership dispute in a limited liability company set up to develop residential real estate. Developer alleges that law firm failed to draft operating agreement in a manner that would have avoided the dispute, failed to give developer a priority distribution and failed to characterize related transactions as that term was used in the partnership operating agreement. (Settlement $1.575 mm) 
    • Action by original writer and producer of old line television series for attorney malpractice, which culminated in the loss of distribution rights to all of his series and productions. (Settlement was obtained) 
    • Allegation of legal malpractice in connection with representation in wrongful termination action. Allegation is failure to move for summary adjudication, and allowing the case to go to trial where there was a clear legal defense. At trial plaintiff recovered $490 k. Appeal bonds were posted and the matter was settled. This action seeks to recover the settlement plus attorney fees. (Settlement $325 k) 
    • Attorney retained to represent client following a motor vehicle accident failed to file a complaint within the period required by the statute of limitations. (Case settled through use of a neutral evaluation process) 
    • Coverage dispute following sinking of vessel in calm seas. Insurer asserted that vessel not seaworthy at the time of the sinking due to rust out of drain plug. Jury ruled against insurer and mediation utilized to resolve bad faith claim and insurer’s errors and omissions claim against counsel at the underlying trial. 
    • Individual sold his company in October 2000 in exchange for a minority interest in the acquiring company plus cash and employment. The best was that the acquiring company could make better use of the purchased technology, prosper, and increase in value. Shortly thereafter tech crashed and so did the deal. The stock of the acquiring company fell 98% in value, the individual was terminated, and then proceeded to sue everyone, including his law firm. Suit against corporate counsel alleged that they failed to insure that employment could not be terminated and failed to keep the client informed of all relevant terms before the contract was signed. Losses were estimated at $5mm. (Settlement $250 k)
    • Many mediations that began as attorney fee disputes and were responded to by legal malpractice claims.
  • Medical Malpractice
    • 89 year-old-wheelchair bound patient not secured during transport suffered cervical fracture and cardiac death secondary to tip-back of wheelchair. ($300 k) 
    • Allegations of improper dental remediation plan resulting in loss of multiple teeth due to caries. 
    • 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)
    • Binge drinking plaintiff admitted to hospital in an anxious and agitated state. A first-year intern and a medical student attended to him and ordered administration of ativan. Impact of ETOH withdrawal was not considered. Ativan dosing increased and four point restraints were used. Interns failed to diagnose delerium tremons or myocardial infarction. Plaintiff aspirated and went into full cardiac and respiratory arrest while restrained and un-supervised. Plaintiff sustained severe anoxic encephalopathy. (Settlement $3.5 mm) 
    • Botched breast augmentation surgery resulting in left breast deformity. Saline implants not properly inserted below the pectoralis muscle and protruded out of the pocket on the medial side. Assisting physician did not disclose that he is an osteopath and not licensed in California and not insured. Primary physician did not disclose his primary practice as urology. Repeat surgery by a different surgeon corrected most of the conditions. (Settlement $187,500) 
    • Brain damage due to hypoxic encephalopathy following cardiac arrest resulting in persistent vegetative state in 49-year-old woman. (Settlement $1.8 mm) 
    • Claim against hospital, physician and County alleging negligent delivery and neonatal care resulting in an acute hypoxic injury and severe brain damage. (Settled $2.1 mm) 
    • Claim against hospital, physician and County alleging negligent delivery and neonatal care, including failure to account for group B strep infection in mother, resulting in a birth asphyxia and brain damage. (Settled $1.1 mm) 
    • Claim against OB/Gyn for failure to timely administer VZIG immunization following exposure of mother to chickenpox. Claim included allegation of "wrongful birth." (Arbitration) 
    • Claim arising from care of plaintiff at local hospital for failure to timely treat for a diagnosed myocardial infarction. Due to insurance issues, the regional hospital transferred plaintiff to a County hospital following initial treatment for ventricular fibrillation. At the regional hospital plaintiff was treated, given a stress test, and discharged. Within 24 hours she suffered a massive infarct, encephalopathy and brain damage. (Settlement $1.6 mm) 
    • Claim filed by 24-year-old plaintiff against County hospital and County for care following admission for abdominal complaints. Plaintiff, an acute alcoholic, developed pancreatitis. He was admitted and began withdrawal symptoms. During withdrawal he suffered a complete cardio pulmonary arrest. Primary caregivers prior to the arrest were all interns. Resuscitation was delayed as plaintiff had been placed in a supine position, under restraints and unattended. He sustained anoxic encephalopathy and brain damage. (Settlement $1.65 mm) 
    • Emergency room failure to diagnose C-3 fracture following auto accident. Plaintiff placed on gurney without spinal immobilization. Plaintiff rendered quadriplegic. 
    • ER physician reviewed incorrect patient’s EKG and diagnosed muscle strain. Patient discharged with anti-inflammatory medication. Upon return to ER the following day the chief of cardiology admitted plaintiff and initiated thrombolysis, catheterization, and angioplasty. Necrosis of the left ventricle with resulting ventricular dysfunction resulted. Issue was whether the delayed diagnosis resulted in the damage and shortened the life expectancy of the 58-year-old plaintiff. (Settled at mediation) 
    • Failure to diagnose a lung mass in a 66-year-old patient being treated for lupus. Delay of five months. At time of eventual diagnosis patient was terminal from the lung mass, which was adenocarcinoma. Issue was speed of the cancer as this related to causation. (Settlement $250k) 
    • Failure to monitor, deliver medication to control diabetes, and prevent falls of elderly patient. (Settled) 
    • Failure to provide adequate care resulting in walk away of mental patient and subsequent accident causing severe orthopedic injury. (Settlement $250 k) 
    • Failure to remove needle resulting in second surgery and alleged brain injury from exposure to anesthesia. (Settlement) 
    • Failure to secure roof access in hospital and failure to supervise mentally disturbed patient resulting in suicide of the patient. 
    • 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) 
    • Fraud and Medical Malpractice in connection with botched breast implant surgery. Defendant doctor a Board Certified urologist did not disclose lack of experience in breast augmentation surgery. Surgical errors corrected in subsequent surgical procedures performed by another MD. (Settlement $87,500) 
    • Improper and excessive use of steroid injections into strained left Achilles Tendon resulting in complete tendon rupture. (Settled at mediation) 
    • Improper removal of four adult teeth in preparation for orthodontia. 
    • Medical malpractice claim against national drug store chain and subcontractor arising out of injuries sustained when a flu shot was administered. It was contended that the flu shot was administered into the rotator cuff, causing a tear. The tear was surgically repaired. Plaintiff was physically active with no history of similar symptoms. (Settled) 
    • Multiple cases involving failure to diagnose breast cancer resulting in death. (Settlement ranged from dismissal to in excess of $1 mm) 
    • Multiple steroid injections to Achilles tendon with subsequent complete rupture of the tendon. 
    • Negligence claims against plasma donation center with allegations that improper plasma collection resulted in venuous thrombosis and right arm edema. Medical expenses and hospitalization exceed $55,000. (Settled at mediation)
    • Numerous neutral and party arbitrator services. 
    • Perforated septum secondary to application of liquid cocaine treatment for post-surgical congestion. 
    • Person in long-term care facility fell from bed post-surgery resulting in hip replacement. Allegations of failure to provide adequate nursing care and lack of bed rails. Patient had history of falling from bed, which resulted in the first surgery. (Settlement $150 k) 
    • 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) 
    • Removal of incorrect organ. (Arbitration) 
    • Sexual acts performed while patient under anesthesia. (Settlement $250 k) 
    • Skin breakdown on coccyx of elderly patient, resulting in sepsis and decubitus ulcers to feet. ($150 k) 
    • Two similar cases involving severe hypoxic ischemic brain injury resulting in mixed choreoathetoid and spastic cerebral palsy secondary to birthing complications. In case # 1, Mother was in a facility attended by a second-year resident who failed to notify a senior resident of complications during labor. Hospital did not have C section capability. Combination resulted in delay of delivery. (Settlement $1.5mm). In case # 2, the 16-year-old mother did not timely report when labor pains commenced. She reported 10 days late with contractions every 10 minutes. The hospital did not have an attending obgyn and the ER physician was too busy. Fetal monitor strips were abnormal but no physician was provided until the head was crowning. The baby was delivered by nursing staff and was flaccid at delivery. The ER physician arrived after birth competed. (Settlement 1.8 mm) 
    • Ultrasound interpretation under-weighted unborn child. Vaginal delivery attempted but baby was macrosomiac and delivery arrested. Shoulder dystocia complication occurred with damage to C5 nerve root and avulsion to C 6, 7, 8 nerves. Issue of timing of handoff by resident to MD. 
    • 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) 
    • Wrongful death claim resulting from alleged failure by medical provider to discontinue Heparin prior to and after a liver aspiration, leading to shock to the liver and multiple organ damage and death. (Settled $235,000)

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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