Scott J. Dickinson, Esq.

Profile

Scott Dickinson, Esq. has 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil matters. He spent 10 years as an Insurance defense lawyer handling third party personal injury claims, first party bad faith and UM/UIM matters. He subsequently spent 10 years representing plaintiffs in employment matters involving FEHA and federal claims for sexual harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour violations, and employment contract violations. He served as a consultant for Toshiba, Inc. in resolving employment disputes between management and employees. During this time, Mr. Dickinson also represented plaintiffs in the areas of head trauma, neurological and orthopedic injury cases, premises liability, landlord/tenant, and mold exposure cases.

Mr. Dickinson began his mediation practice after attending the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University in 2005. He built his practice to full-time status in 2006 and has mediated over 3,500 cases to date. In 2006, he was recognized by the Los Angeles Superior Court for his voluntary work in resolving employment disputes, and he was recognized by the Daily Journal as one the Top 50 Neutrals in California for four consecutive years from 2010 to 2013, until the publication ceased featuring the list.

Mr. Dickinson’s mediation style is one of transparency. His “cut to the chase” approach is much appreciated by both sides as an efficient and effective means to resolution. He spends considerable time with the parties so as to fully understand the parties’ arguments and positions, particularly in employment cases where emotions can run high in matters involving sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Additionally, his background as both a plaintiff and defense lawyer enables him to fairly evaluate the merits of the case and provide impartial assessments of possible outcomes.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Dickinson attended the United States International University in San Diego, where he played college football for two years until a shoulder injury ended his athletic career. He then attended the University of Mexico City, where he learned to speak Spanish. His interest in Anatomy and Physiology led him to the University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse, where he received his certification in Cardiac Rehabilitation Therapy. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physiology from California State University, Fullerton. He later served as a Cardiac Therapist while training at St. Jude Hospital; attended UCLA for additional Physiology training; taught graduate level Sports Medicine courses; and served as a Provider for the California Nursing Registry in the area of Physiology. He is currently a provider of Continuing Legal Education to California attorneys in the fields of Anatomy and Physiology.

Mr. Dickinson, an avid college football aficionado, enjoys U.S. Military History and Aviation. On occasion you may find him listening to 1960s rock and roll or reminiscing about his youth growing up in Buffalo, New York. He also enjoys supporting community and charitable causes.

Areas of Expertise

Mr. Dickinson is highly sought after for the following types of cases:

  • Personal Injury – Brain (TBI), Orthopedic and Neurological injury, Wrongful Death,Medical Malpractice, Premises Liability, Mold exposure, Products liability
  • UM/UIM, Bad Faith claims, Loss of Use, Diminution of Value on vehicles.
  • Employment – Wrongful Termination, Sexual Harassment, Contract Disputes, Wage & Hour, Discrimination Allegations
  • Elder Abuse – Claims against Nursing Facilities/ Health Care Service Providers

Mediation Experience / Acknowledgements

  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Former Panel Mediator for Orange County and Los Angeles County Superior Courts
  • Daily Journal “Top 50” Neutral (2010-2013)
  • “Outstanding Contribution as a Dispute Resolution Neutral” presented by the Los Angeles Superior Court
  • Author of “Mediation: Most Effective Forum to Resolve Your Case,” Advocate Journal of Consumer Attorneys Association of Southern California, March 2007
  • Author of “How to Better Evaluate and Negotiate a Neck and Back Injury Case,” Advocate Magazine for Consumer Attorneys Association of Southern California, August 2017

Education

  • California State University, Fullerton, CA – Bachelor of Science Degree, 1977
  • California State University, Fullerton, CA – Masters of Science Degree, 1979
  • Western State University College of Law – Juris Doctorate, 1985
  • UCLA Anatomy and Physiology 1988

Representative Cases

Elder Abuse

  • Claim against nursing home for neglect of care and supervision resulting in alleged injuries from falling out of bed causing significant injuries to the hip and back. Surgery was recommended but due to the age of the plaintiff surgical intervention was not done.
  • Claim against assisted living facility for neglect and bed sores around the hips and tailbone areas. Claimant was in her eighties.
  • Claim by elderly man against nursing home for lack of medical care, neglect and deficient in the reporting of plaintiff’s condition in chart notes.
  • Claims for elder abuse, negligence against skilled nursing facility along with wrongful death. The contention issues included whether or not the patient/decedent was abused/neglected by the nursing staff in violation of elder abuse and dependent adult civil protection acts; whether the nursing facility was negligent in the care and treatment, and if so, was the negligence the proximate cause of the claimed injuries and whether the nursing facility’s actions caused the death of the decedent.
  • 30 year old female claims she was not mentally stable when she was admitted into nursing facility. She claims the facility was negligent in the supervision of the staff and in keeping poor chart notes. Plaintiff claims she was sexually molested by male attendants on numerous occasions. Plaintiff was unable to identify the perpetrator but narrowed it down to two males, both of which denied the allegations.
  • Numerous cases as against elder care facilities for statutory violations and negligence resulting in bodily injuries.

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Personal Injury

  • Middle aged male claimed soft tissue and cervical spine disk replacement from a rear-end accident. The surgery was successful with 100% recovery. Medical bills (Howell) were minimal.
  • Middle aged female claims continued low back pain that won’t go away after motor vehicle accident. Treatment included physical therapy, chiropractic, three epidural injections, facet joint injections and radio frequency ablation. Medical bills waived.
  • Elderly woman claims she needs hip replacement and knee surgery after slip-and-fall in grocery store. “Notice” was the issue. Summary Judgment Motion was pending at time of mediation.
  • Young adult female claims lung and bronchial infection due to long term mold exposure in apartment dwelling. Plaintiff was taking medications for asthma prior to mold exposure but claims it got worse after moving into mold infested apartment.
  • Middle aged male claims permanent nerve damage with “Parkinsons” type symptoms after electrical shock in warehouse. Doctors for both sides testified there is no cure.
  • Neurological (palsy), ankle fractures. Bicycle v. motor vehicle accident requiring several surgeries to the leg and ankle along with diffuse brain injury with peroneal nerve palsy, with permanent limp.
  • Slip and fall: Old roof causing water to drip on restaurant floor. Plaintiff suffered knee and shoulder injuries. There were surgeries to the shoulder and knee.
  • Burn/Scarring: Auto v. Auto resulting in severe burns and scars to left hand and leg.
  • Big rig 18 wheeler makes left turn in front of motorcyclist. Injuries included fractures to the femur resulting in internal fixation with metal rods and screws; shoulder meniscus tear resulting in arthroscopic surgery. Plaintiff hospitalized for 1 week, out of work for 1 year.
  • Scar case/Face Lacerations: bike v. auto. 2 – 5 inch scars on both forearms on male 30 year old. Facial lacerations, possible 20% comparative.
  • This was a longstanding claim for work related injuries to the knee (surgery) and back (2 surgeries) with a lien. Disputes in liability and causation – lienholder reduced lien.
  • Mold exposure and sewer backflow into apartment dwelling. Plaintiff exposed to this condition for 18 months resulting in chronic sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, sore throat and asthma. Mold types included: 1) aspergillius; 2) penicillium; 3) chaetomium; 4) tricoderma.
  • Severe lower back herniated disk case: Admitted to liability but denied causation for any injury as a result of the accident. Four years preceding the accident, the 33 year old plaintiff treated with physical therapists, pain management centers, MRI facilities, neurologists, and other health care providers. Surgery was conducted post-accident to the neck and low back. The defense contended that plaintiff was a surgical candidate prior to the accident.
  • Numerous wrongful death cases resulting from auto cases, trip and fall, electrocution, drowning, boat accidents and sexual assault.

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Personal Injury – Traumatic Brain Injury

  • 40 year old male claimed traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from MVA. Orthopedic injuries and internal organ injuries were reported as severe resulting in surgical intervention in the cervical spine. Orthopedists, neurologists and neuropsychologists testified. Medical bills were in high six figure range. Issue on the neurological aspect was extent of neurological deficit, if any.
  • Teenage female claimed traumatic head injury and orthopedic lower extremity injuries from a fall off a balcony. Disputed liability as comparative negligence is major issue. Alcohol was also involved.
  • Middle age female plaintiff was claiming a loss of smell and taste. Her head hit the ground in response to avoid getting struck by a motorcycle while standing on a corner waiting to cross the street. No loss of consciousness and hospital did not feel a CT of the head was warranted on the day of accident. A subsequent CT of head showed negative results. Plaintiff’s doctor suggested a residual compromise to the brain stem occurred which compromised the loss of taste and smell. Doctor couldn’t confirm or disaffirm a brain injury related to the accident.
  • Motorcycle causing serious internal injury. Big issue here was one of “causation”. 45 year old male riding a “crotch rocket” when defendant’s tractor-trailer rig fishtails and jack knifes in front of plaintiff causing plaintiff to collide with the big rig. Other motorists were able to see the truck go out of control to avoid a collision and because plaintiff tried to accelerate to speed by the truck, he miscalculated and ended up impacting the truck causing his demise. Injuries include head trauma, foot, ankle and shoulder injuries (both requiring surgery) with post-traumatic stress syndrome and memory issues.

Employment

  • Wage/hour dispute: Dispute between doctor and health care provider over amount of wages owed. Cross-Complaint against plaintiff for failure to provide services.
  • Wrongful termination: Plaintiff claimed gender based discrimination was substantial reason for her termination along with violation of whistle blower statute.
  • Sexual harassment/constructive termination: 30 year old employee of large company claims sexual harassment with sexually implicit comments by employer creating hostile environment. Plaintiff claims she was forced to quit her job due to hostile work environment. Defendant claims Plaintiff was insubordinate and had poor attendance.
  • 55 year old male brought claims for disability discrimination under Gov. Code along with constructive termination and wrongful denial of sick leave/differential pay benefits. Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment was denied. Defendant claimed Plaintiff exhausted the extended sick leave and that a second disability claim was properly denied per Education Code §444977 (the subsequent claim was essentially a combination of the prior claim of 4 years earlier). Plaintiff placed in a 39-month reemployment list per Education Code. Plaintiff claims damages include extended sick pay/overtime pay and additional long term disability benefits, lost income, and attorney fees.
  • 39 year old female claimed sexual abuse and harassment by co-worker on numerous occasions. Plaintiff also claims constructive termination due to hostile environment. Superiors claimed no knowledge and event was only a single occurrence and co-worker was immediately terminated upon being notified.
  • 19 year old female claims sexual harassment when supervisor had plaintiff sit on photocopy machine and photocopies were taken. Supervisor claims no damages as plaintiff consented and the event was considered a “joke.”
  • 35 year old female claims constructive termination, sexual battery, sexual harassment when employer/supervisor “tricked” plaintiff into sexual relations after work in the office and plaintiff contracted an STD and was forced to quit her job.
  • Two female plaintiffs (mid 40s) claim sexual harassment with fellow employee making sexual remarks and innuendos about plaintiffs’ physical appearance. Both plaintiffs quit their jobs based on hostile environment. Defendants claim both plaintiffs played along and were not damaged.
  • Dispute between doctor and health care provider over amount of wages owed. Cross-Complaint for breach of contract of Hospital against plaintiff for failure to provide services.
  • Plaintiff claims gender based discrimination which was a substantial reason for the termination of her employment. Additionally, Plaintiff claimed violation of Civil Code Section 1102.5 (Whistleblower Statute)
  • 34 year old employee of large corporation claims she was sexually harassed with sexually implicit comments by male employer creating hostile working environment. Plaintiff claimed she was forced to quit her job due to the hostile work environment. The defendant claimed plaintiff was insubordinate and had poor attendance.
  • Numerous cases involving co-employees/owners of businesses claimed to be victims of unconsented “touching” of “private parts” while on the job. Defenses of “consent” or “trivial” touching were often the defenses.

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Premises Liability

  • Inverse condemnation water damage v. Municipality: Claims for damages against Municipality for water main leak causing water to enter the home of the Plaintiff damaging floors, furniture, appliances and exterior damages to stucco, roofing and windows. Claim was coupled with bad faith allegations for delay in carrier’s assessment of the damages and underestimating “low balling” the property damages. Damages claimed included personal property, repair of the house, living expenses, emotional distress (bad faith) and attorney’s fees.
  • Plaintiff college student was injured while playing intramural basketball in college gymnasium. Plaintiff claimed the basketball court bleachers were constructed too close to the basketball court. Plaintiff was injured while attempting to block an opponent’s shot and landed on the bleachers.
  • Plaintiff’s condominium caught fire as a result of defective wiring in the walls of building. Plaintiff sustained significant property damage to personal items.
  • Numerous cases involved “falling” on landowner’s premises.
  • Numerous slip and fall cases against grocery store chains.

Insurance

  • First party bad faith claim for carrier’s denial of property damage claim to real property. Conflicting statements under oath. Carrier investigation suggests arson.
  • Homeowner had policy of insurance with “renter” exclusion – carrier denied coverage. Fire destroyed the home. Insured claims carrier wrongfully denied coverage based on ambiguity of exclusion coverage. Broker denied liability as all they did was provide a policy and it was the carrier who denied coverage, not the broker.
  • Insured claims bad faith against carrier for cancelling the auto policy just prior to the MVA – carrier claims insured let the policy lapse due to non-payment of premium. So insured sues broker as well for not telling insured the cancellation notice went out. Insured was sent cancellation notice timely, but insured failed to pay the premium.
  • Dispute between insured and auto-insurance carrier for bad-faith denial of coverage benefits after insured’s vehicle was struck by rolling object on freeway.

Loss of Use/Diminishing Value

  • Ferrari was sideswiped in parking lot. Property loss; loss of use claim for 58 days, and diminution of value.
  • Numerous cases involving exotic cars damaged in auto accident with Plaintiff out of possession of the vehicle for extended periods of time while repairs were conducted.
  • Numerous cases involving high-end exotic cars where the issues included diminished value, loss of use, property damage and extended time delays due to the auto parts being delivered outside the United States.