Tom Tosdal

Tom Tosdal AttorneyThomas Tosdal graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1971 and cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1975.  After law school, Tom clerked for a year for the Honorable Edward J. Schwartz, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. For the two years following, Tom  prosecuted unfair labor practices on behalf of farm workers for the fledgling Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Since 1978, Tom has been in civil trial practice, most recently with the firm of Tosdal, Smith, Steiner & Wax.

Tom served as primary counsel and either alone, together with attorneys from his firm, or other attorneys with whom he associated, achieved the following  results in this sampling of cases:

(Listed in Alphabetical Order) 

2007 Individual San Diego Wildfire Litigation  (To date, settlements) San Diego Fire Lawyers, of which Tom is one of three principals, represented 550 families, businesses, and farmers against SDG&E, Sempra Energy, and other defendants for damages caused by the 2007 utility fires that devastated much of San Diego county. As of this writing, confidential settlements have been reached for all but a handful of  plaintiffs.

Adkins v. Teamsters  (Jury trial) Defense verdict for a local union being sued by some of its members for over $100 million for allegedly failing to represent them fairly.

Andres v. United States  (Settlement) $4.95 million settlement for a man seriously injured by Border Patrol officers at a check point in the desert.

Banks v. General Atomics  (Jury trial) $6 million verdict for a research scientist for breach of oral contract and fraud committed by his employer.

Calderon v. U.S. Elevator (Jury trial) $900,000 verdict for a young woman who was injured when the car in which she was riding struck elevator parts dropped onto a highway and crashed, killing her boyfriend.

Colombo and Slagel v. Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc.; BRP US; and Mission Bay Jet Sports (MBJS) (Court trial, settlement, and jury trial) Two young women suffered serious vaginal and anal injuries caused by the jet thrust of a personal water craft when they were thrown off the back of the craft.  A trial before a federal judge defeated the rental agency’s attempt to limit its liability under maritime law.  Thereafter, the rental agency settled for $1.3 million. A jury trial in state court against the manufacturer and distributor of the craft resulted in a verdict an judgment of an additional $4.7 million. This case is the first known trial victory against the industry for persons suffering this type of terrible injury caused by the jet thrust of personal water craft.

Fischl v. New Horizons Computer Learning Centers, Inc.  (Settlement) $850,000 settlement for an employee who was fired after his employer eavesdropped on a phone call he made at work.

Francis v. Roles (Settlement) $1.7 million settlement for the Cape Cod parents of a man killed by an intoxicated driver in Carlsbad.

Frischknect v. State of California (Settlement) Over $2 million settlement for a woman who was seriously injured when her car struck loose asphalt on Hwy 38 near Big Bear.

Goddard v. Keever Trucking Co., Inc. (Settlement) $1 million settlement for a workman who was injured when his truck was rear-ended by a big rig while stopped on a highway.

Godinez v. NASSCO  (Settlement) $8.8 million settlement, plus a substantial increase in pension benefits, for shipyard workers harmed by employer violations of state rest and meal period laws.

Jacobs v. United States  (Jury trial) $750,000 verdict, plus an award of attorney’s fees, for an Army veteran subjected to retaliation and discrimination by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Kerr v. United States  (Settlement) $1 million settlement for a sea lion trainer injured by a federal employee driving a fork lift.

Many Employment Arbitrations Tens of binding arbitrations on behalf of employees and labor unions.

McAfee v. Boart Longyear, Inc.; Pavement Specialists, Inc. (Settlement during jury trial) $2.4 million settlement for a workman whose foot was partially crushed by a defective highway pavement grinding machine.

Mendoza v. Club Car, Inc.  (Jury trial) $1.7 million verdict for a golfer injured when the brake of his golf cart spontaneously released.

Neely v. Weyerhauser,Inc.  (Jury trial) $2.4 million judgment for a truck driver who was black balled by his former employer.

Scully v. Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Jury trial) $8.3 million judgment for a biologist who was fired in retaliation for reporting sexual harrassment by her boss and was later unable to find another job.

Valenzuela v. Lochinvar Corporation; SEPCO.  (Settlement) $2 million settlement for a pipe fitter who was injured when a defective fitting failed under high water pressure.

Wearmouth v. Imperial Lakes (Jury trial) $750,000 verdict for adult children for the death of their father, a Canadian citizen, in a water skiing accident on a private lake.