International Business Dispute

International Centre for Dispute Resolution,
American Arbitration Association

Arbitration Award: $20,733,285

In this arbitration involving multiple international parties, The Pivtorak Law Firm represented an e-wallet company that contracted with a credit card processor in California to handle its customers' credit card transactions. Our client did a large volume of business with the processor and, after more than $20 million owing to our client had accumulated in overseas bank accounts, the processor stopped making payments. Eventually, the processor claimed it had no contractual relationship with our client but that the contracts were entered into with companies in Hong Kong and Moldova which had the exact same name. During the arbitration, we were able to prove to the arbitrator that these identically-named companies were alter-egos of the California corporation. As a result, our client was allowed to recover full compensation for the money it was owed. 

Lubomirski v. PCAL-BB, Inc. dba Sansai Japanese Grill

Los Angeles County Superior Court

Elderly woman is injured after falling in restaurant.

Jury Verdict: $185,179

On March 19, 2015 Isabella Lubomirski, who had just celebrated her 90th birthday, suffered a fractured femur after being hit by a defective restroom door at the Sansai Japanese Grill in Burbank. The injury required surgery, including placing a titanium rod down the length of her femur. Before the injury Isabella lived on her own, was completely independent, and very active. After the surgery, despite tireless efforts, she was never able to regain her levels of activity. The restaurant refused to admit its negligence until shortly before trial. Even then they refused to offer sufficient compensation for Isabella’s injuries. Following a 6 day trial a Los Angeles jury finally gave Isabella the justice she had been seeking.


Reyes v. Wells Fargo

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

Settlement: $1,000,000

Pivtorak Law Firm served as co-lead counsel representing California homeowners in a class action lawsuit which resulted in a total settlement of $1,000,000. The lawsuit alleged that Wells Fargo sent defaulted borrowers a deceptive forbearance agreement which promised them a loan modification if they made three monthly trial payments under the program. Instead, many borrowers allegedly never received a loan modification and had their homes foreclosed.


Barnett v. UFC

Successful Defense of Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett in Contaminated Supplement Case

Arbitration Award

The Pivtorak Law Firm successfully represented mixed martial arts fighter Josh Barnett in an arbitration against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Barnett was accused of violating the UFC's Anti-Doping Policy even though he unequivocally showed he was the victim of a tainted supplement. In an award issued March 23, 2018, the Arbitrator Richard H. McLaren, who was featured in the documentary Icarus, ruled that Barnett “is not a drug cheat. He unknowingly ingested a Contaminated Product. …he did not actively engage in attempting, in any way, to engage in the use of the Prohibited Substance.”  Whereas USADA had sought, among other things, a four year period of ineligibility, we were able to prove that Barnett was the victim of a contaminated supplement, and was minimally at fault at most, so the arbitrator imposed the minimal possible penalty, which is a reprimand. You can read more about the case here or download the arbitrator's award


Wellhausen v. Jacobson

San Francisco County Superior Court

Car vs. Motorcycle

Policy Limits Settlement: $250,000

Professional musician Dave Wellhausen suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder after a non-contact collision when he was forced to lay down his motorcycle to avoid being struck by Defendant, who made a left turn right in front of the oncoming bike. Initially, the insurance company denied liability and claimed that Dave was not seriously injured in the accident. They offered to settle the case for a fraction of its worth and hired a team of doctors to testify at trial that Dave's injuries were not caused by the accident even though his own doctors said the connection was obvious. We showed them how not only were the accident and injuries connected but the serious toll they had taken on Dave's life. After selecting a jury, the case settled for the Defendant's $250,000 insurance policy limits.


Johnson v. Guittard Chocolate Co.

Alameda County Superior Court

Auto vs. Truck case with disputed liability and damages.

Jury Verdict: $196,508

David Pivtorak represented a professional saxophone player who was injured after being rear-ended by an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer in a multi-vehicle collision on I-80 near Berkeley, CA. Plaintiff sustained injuries to his upper back and leg, limiting his ability to work. The defendants and their insurance company refused to take any responsibility for the injuries they inflicted on our client for two years, forcing us to take the case to trial. During the trial, the defendant truck driver made the preposterous claim that our client cut across several lanes to cut him off - during heavy, bumper-to-bumper morning traffic! The driver's corporate employer also tried to avoid responsibility by claiming the driver was an independent contractor and not an employee. The jury saw through all these defenses and allowed our client to recover damages of $196,508.

Defendant's last offer before trial was $40,000.


Defective bicycle accident.

Names are confidential as a condition of the settlement.

Settlement: $468,750

Avid bicyclist suffered severe injuries after a bolt on his bicycle stem fractured, causing him to lose control of his bicycle and fall face-first into the pavement. Plaintiff spent six days in the emergency room with broken vertebrae, a fractured jaw, broken nose, and other injuries. Plaintiff alleged that his bicycle stem was defectively manufactured due to bolts that were insufficiently strong to withstand normal use.


Concord motor vehicle accident.

Names are confidential as a condition of the settlement.

Settlement: $100,000

Plaintiff sustained lower back injuries after being rear-ended at a traffic light in Concord, CA. Plaintiff suffered a herniated disc in his lower back and subsequent spinal stenosis as a result of the accident. He also began experiencing numbness in his lower extremities after sitting for long period. The negligent motorist's insurance company settled the case for the $100,000.00 policy limits.

Los Angeles motor vehicle accident.

Names are confidential as a condition of the settlement.

Settlement: $100,000

Plaintiff, a school teacher, was rear-ended while returning home from his place of employment. He was asymptomatic immediately after the accident but began experiencing pain in both his wrists shortly thereafter. Plaintiff underwent MRI's of both wrists which revealed bilateral tears of the triangular fibrocartilage complex ("TFCC") in his wrists, causing Plaintiff to undergo arthroscopic wrist surgery.


Vincent v. Redwood Park Estates Homeowners Association

Contra Costa County Superior Court

Dog bite

Settlement: $58,000

Our client was bitten by a dog that had previously attacked a resident of the community. Despite multiple complaints to the owner of the dog and the homeowner's association, no action was taken to prevent this foreseeable attack. Initially, the HOA denied all responsibility claiming that it had no control over the dog or its owner. However, an exhaustive investigation revealed multiple incidents involving this same dog and the HOA's refusal to take action despite having the power to do so. Once the HOA and its insurance company saw that we were more than willing to have a jury decide the case they quickly offered a settlement the Plaintiff was happy with.


Richmond motor vehicle accident.

Names are confidential as a condition of the settlement.

Policy Limits Settlement

Our client, who was driving home from the Hilltop Mall was hit by another vehicle making an allegedly illegal left-hand turn. The airbags in our client's car deployed, causing a fracture in her hand as well as neck and back pain from the force of the collision. She was unable to return to her job as a CNA and was forced to follow a different career path. The case was settled shortly after the lawsuit was filed.