Wendy W. Kramer, Esq.

Profile

Wendy W. Kramer is a highly effective full-time mediator. Formerly a partner with Kramer & Kramer handling a wide variety of insurance-related matters, she has developed particular expertise in matters involving personal injury, business disputes, professional malpractice, landlord tenant disputes and complex litigation.

In addition to serving as the 2013 President of the Southern California Mediation Association, Ms. Kramer has served as the ADR Chair for the Santa Monica Bar Association, a panel neutral for Kaiser Permanente, the Los Angeles and Ventura Superior Courts ADR Programs, and a Fee Dispute Mediator/Arbitrator for both the Beverly Hills and Santa Monica Bar Associations. Ms. Kramer currently serves on the Board of Governors for the International Academy of Mediation.  She has mediated over 2,000 matters and arbitrated over 300 matters. She is known for her ability to deal with difficult personalities, multi-party matters and complicated legal issues.

Areas of Expertise

  • Vehicular Accidents:   Catastrophic and soft tissue injuries involving automobiles, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, trucks, buses, metrorail, taxis, vanpools, pedestrians, DUI, wrongful death, roadway design defect, municipalities, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist claims, police, fire, paramedics, off road vehicles and dirt bikes.
  • Premises Liability:  Slip/trip and falls, sidewalks, roadways, commerical and residential property, exposure to hazardous materials, toxic torts, dogbites, public entities, security guards, safety issues, false arrest/imprisonment, trivial defects, dangerous conditions, electrical, gas, schools, municipalities, elevators, escalators, workplace accidents, construction, workers’ compensation.
  • Insurance:  Bad faith, subrogation, property damage, water damage, fire damage, coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, workers’ compensation liens.
  • Employment:  Wrongful termination, sexual harassment, wage & hour, retaliation, whistleblower
  • Real Estate:  Commercial and residential landlord/tenant disputes, homeowners associations, condominium conversions, eviction, unlawful detainer, buy-sell agreements, franchise disputes.
  • Professional Malpractice:  Legal, medical, dental, pharmacuetical, spas.
  • Business:  Complex business and commercial contracts; attorney/client fee disputes, fraudulent transfers, lemon law, consignment.
  • Products Liability:  Design defects, manufacturing defects.
  • Assault and Battery:  Nightclubs, bars, concerts, casinos, road rage, security gaurds, bouncers.

Education

  • Ms. Kramer earned her J.D. from Loyola University School of Law.
  •  In 2004, she completed the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution Training from Pepperdine University, School of Law. She is available to hear matters throughout Southern California.

Representative Cases

Assault and Battery

  • Auction: Plaintiff alleged that defendant assaulted him after an argument over irregularities during a rare coin auction. Defendant claimed self- defense presenting pictures of scratches, bruising and his torn shirt, and cross-complained against plaintiff’s employer. Plaintiff alleged permanent damage to his jaw resulting in TMJ; $34,000 in past medical bills; $18,000 for future surgery and indeterminate amount for future loss of earnings.
  • Security Guards/Nightclub: Security guards allegedly beat plaintiff outside a nightclub after plaintiff had been asked to leave due to an altercation within the club. Plaintiff sustained a fractured ankle requiring 2 surgeries, 6 pins and plates with alleged need for future surgery; $42,000 in past medical bills; $35,000 in loss of earnings and $25,000 for future surgical procedure.
  • Beach Assault: Plaintiff was assaulted with an oar during an argument over surfing turf at a local beach. Defendant had pled guilty to a misdemeanor and paid plaintiff damages for restitution. Plaintiff now pursued a civil suit against defendant. Initial demand high 6 figures.
  • Restaurant/Bar: Plaintiff was enjoying an alcohol-infused afternoon at a restaurant/bar watching a Laker playoff game. A male acquaintance and his female companion passed by and defendant allegedly made a comment about the young lady. A fracas erupted in which plaintiff was thrown to the ground and beaten by defendant and other patrons jumped into the fight. Plaintiff was transported to the hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple facial fractures, concussion, fractured ankle requiring surgical pinning and bruising. Plaintiff sued assaulter, restaurant and private security company. Over $50k in medical bills and need for future treatment.
  • Apartment Incident: Plaintiff attended a bbq at defendant’s apartment complex. On-site manager was present and policies required no alcohol in common areas. While guests were celebrating a soccer victory...a fight broke out. Plaintiff alleged the manager was involved in the assault. One of the assaulters shot at plaintiff with a BB gun, taking out his eye. Medical specials were $75k, past and future loss of earnings totaled $245k. (Plaintiff was terminated from 20 year job as employer believed he could no longer do the work.)
  • Street Vendor: Plaintiff became involved in an altercation with a street vender over a CD which he had allegedly inadvertently stepped on. As he was turning to get away from the assaulter, he stepped into a sidewalk grate which was allegedly not maintained properly, while continuing to be beaten by the vendor, fracturing his ankle and sustaining a concussion and other injuries. Specials were in excess of $300k. Initial demand 7 figures.
  • Security Guards: Plaintiff was allegedly shoplifting and when apprehended, beaten by security guards. Medical expenses of $25k, loss of past and future earnings $150k, psychological trauma.

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Business and Insurance

  • Subrogation matter involving alleged design defect/strict liability regarding failed fire sprinkler, which leaked and caused major property damage in high end home.
  • Business Dispute: Complaint for fraudulent transfer of business to avoid payment of two judgments totaling over $36,000. Defendant claimed his company went out of business. He then became an employee of another company selling a similar product. Plaintiff alleged defendant was the actual owner of the third company, that it sold identical goods and that defendant was seeking to avoid payment of the judgments via the fraudulent transfer.
  • Bad Faith: Plaintiff alleged his insurer failed to handle three incidents of water damage in his home in good faith. Plaintiff suffered from mental illness and defendant alleged the delays in claims handling and payment of relocation fees were due to inability to properly communicate with its insured.
  • Breach of Warranty: Plaintiff purchased a used tow truck from a dealer to add to his fleet and alleged that due to numerous mechanical difficulties, it was placed out of service for 4 months. Plaintiff sued for breach of warranty, implied and express, merchantability, fitness for use, etc.
  • Business Dispute: Plaintiff sought to recover premiums allegedly owed after a workers compensation audit revealed more payroll than had been estimated and reclassification of some employees into a higher premium bracket. Defendant contended that reclassification was erroneous and that it was actually owed premiums.
  • Embezzlement: Plaintiff alleged defendant property manager embezzled $120k from its accounts. The lead defendant claimed another employee embezzled the funds but admitted to poor oversight. The second defendant had “loaned” his brokers’ license to first defendant for a fee and was also the subject of a Department of Real Estate Complaint and potential loss of his license.
  • Banking: The plaintiff Bank sued two corporations and their owners for defaulting on lines of credit with personal guarantees. Defendants had been paying the minimums on the lines and were not late; however, when the bank sought updated financials which they did not provide, the bank defaulted both. Defendants cross-complained against bank.
  • Contract Dispute: Dispute arising out of the sale a security system and the maintenance agreement installed by plaintiff in a mall with the amount in controversy over $400k. Issues of fraud potentially nullifying contract, an embezzlement scheme to inflate the cost of the system and threats to shut down the system during the busy holiday season.
  • Fire Damage: One of many Station Fire cases resulting in soot and ash damage to residences. Experts for both defense and plaintiff appeared at mediation to voice their opinions regarding causation, remediation and actual vs. speculative damages.
  • Banking: Dispute between lender and borrower over yacht loan where borrower had made arrangements with lender to work together to try to sell the yacht to avoid foreclosure, borrower had arranged for purchaser and would have allegedly cured the default in payments on the loan. Sudden personnel shift at bank was made and lender foreclosed and repossessed.
  • Business Dispute: Third lawsuit over several years arising out of sales of imported beer. Previous temporary restraining order expired with permanent injunction being sought while defendant claimed a non-exclusive contract loophole allowing for the sales.
  • Lemon Law: Plaintiff purchased a $90k truck to utilize as a tow truck for a newly formed towing business. It allegedly had numerous mechanical difficulties, placing it out of service some 120 days to date. Plaintiff sued for breach of warranty, implied and express, merchantability, fitness for use, etc.
  • Consulting Contract: Plaintiff contracted with defendant to provide consultation to its food manufacturing company to devise savings which contract specified defendant would not unreasonably withhold consent to implement recommendations. After testing, defendant lost confidence in the proposal, refused to implement and canceled the contract.
  • Business Dispute: Plaintiff's insured placed his vehicle for sale on consignment with a used car dealer. The dealer sold the vehicle, subsequently the business was closed and plaintiff's insured was not paid. Insurance company paid for the fair market value of the vehicle under a theft claim and sought recovery of the $37,000 paid from a corporate entity believed to be the “front” for the now defunct used car dealership.
  • Diminution in Value/Loss of Use: Luxury car involved in auto accident. Insurer deemed the vehicle fully repaired to its pre-accident condition. Plaintiff retained an expert to dispute that the car was repaired fully and regarding diminution in value in future sale.
  • Insurance Agent Malpractice: Fire damaged a rental unit owned by plaintiffs. Defendant insurance agent alleged plaintiffs failed to renew fire insurance policy. Plaintiffs maintained multiple insurance policies on commercial and residential properties as well as auto, with agent during coverage period. Plaintiffs alleged failure to give adequate notice of expiration of policy.
  • Subrogation: Soda machine positioned in tenant’s suite in commercial building sprung a leak in a hose and flooded the firm and adjacent offices.
  • Subrogation: Homeowner’s insurance company brought action against heating company to recover damages paid to its insured arising out of a fire which allegedly originated due to faulty repair of a gas pilot light.
  • Property Damage: Plaintiff condominium owner experienced an overflow of sewage due to main line back up. Insurance carrier for HOA paid damages for mold testing, repair, remediation, replacement and living expenses; however plaintiff sued for additional repairs allegedly due to water intrusion, and out of pocket expenses denied by carrier.

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Catastrophic Injuries

  • Negligent Roadway Design: While driving on a connector ramp between two freeways, plaintiff’s vehicle began to fishtail, became airborne, hit a guardrail and rolled twice, rendering plaintiff a quadriplegic. Plaintiff alleged negligent roadway design and dangerous condition of public property (compound curve, lack of sufficient superelevation, poor signage). Defendant public entity alleged design immunity.
  • Product Defect: Plaintiff suffered a traumatic brain injury and a stroke resulting in paralysis after an incident in which he was punched while sparring using defendant’s allegedly defective headgear at a gym.
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Plaintiff sustained multiple fractures to her dominant wrist when she fell descending an interior stairway. ORIF with the development of complex regional pain syndrome and allegedly permanent impairment.
  • Bicycles: Plaintiff, an adult bicyclist, alleged traumatic brain injury when hit by a left-turning vehicle while commuting to work. Vehicular traffic had stopped to allow left turning vehicle through; high profile SUV blocked the view of both the bicyclist and the defendant from seeing one another.
  • Plaintiff bicyclist was impacted when a police car activated its emergency lights and siren and pulled from a parking spot sustaining a dislocated shoulder and lumbar spine injuries, necessitating multiple surgical interventions with allegedly permanent impairment.

Landlord/Tenant

  • Plaintiff Tenant discovered a leak under guest bath sink which had been present for some time causing toxic mold (Penicillium/Aspergillus) to form. Plaintiff alleged chronic sinusitis, fatigue, bronchitis and asthma due to exposure. Defendant asserted that lack of notice and causation as well as incomplete mold testing (lack of air samples) would bar any recovery.

Products Liability

  • RV Refrigerator Recall: Products liability subrogation involving RV’s refrigerator recall and the subsequent fire, which caused the loss of the RV and its contents, as well as adjacent structures.
  • Helmet Failure: Downhill BMX bikeracer was doing a practice jump in Brazil where he resided when he fell and the helmet failed. Multiple facial and dental injuries with medical bills of $30k and loss of earnings of $10k. Helmet manufactured in China, shipped to Taiwan then to Los Angeles, then to Brazil. Carrier for manufacturer claimed no point of sale in L.A. Distributor had tendered defense to manufacturer which had been denied. Cross-complaints by both and coverage counsel participated in mediation.
  • Glass Shards in Beverage: Plaintiff was allegedly drinking a bottle of iced tea when she discovered shards of glass at the bottom. Alleged emotional distress.
  • Watercraft: Plaintiffs took their watercraft out on the ocean after it had been tuned up by one of the defendants. The boat stalled and they were unable to restart it. Plaintiffs spent 20 hours through the night in the water before being rescued by Coast Guard. Allegations by mechanic who cross-complained against manufacturer and vice versa regarding negligence by mechanic during tune-up vs. manufacturing defect in starter.
  • Salad Bar Defect: Plaintiff was injured when salad bar glass fell and shattered onto her foot allegedly causing permanent disability. Allegation of strict liability due to design defect as the vegetables caused foreseeable moisture build-up rusting the screws which loosen and allow glass to fall with failure of manufacturer to advise purchaser to regularly apply silicone. Initial demand mid-6 figures.
  • Room Diffuser: Plaintiff was browsing in a department store and stooped down to pick up a sample room diffuser from the bottom shelf of a display. The top separated from the glass bottle and fell to the ground with the contents spraying onto her face and into her eyes. She suffered burns and alleged residual tearing and visual deficiencies. Plaintiff sued the manufacturer under theory of design defect and the department store for failure to warn.
  • Cruise Control: Plaintiff alleged defect in manufacture and design of cruise control caused it to spontaneously combust; vehicle caught on fire and damaged garage and home. Recall notices had been issued but plaintiff was secondary purchaser and claimed the notice had never reached him.
  • Water Heater: Water heater leaked causing damage to commercial tenants. Causation issue as to installation vs. manufacturing defect and whether water heater was intended for home not commercial use. Multiple defendants and cross-complaints.
  • School Incident: High school student sliced her arm using a table saw during woodshop class. Plaintiff sued the school district for negligent supervision, negligent maintenance of table saw, negligent modifications and school cross-complained against manufacturer for design defect, failure to warn, etc.

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Professional Malpractice

  • Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff alleged misplacement of an I.V. in an emergency room causing a large wound in her right forearm and resulting in an extensive hospital stay which allegedly hastened her dementia symptoms.
  • Dental Malpractice: Plaintiff alleged lack of informed consent when dentist performed a biopsy and removed a tooth causing permanent damage and constituting a “medical battery.”
  • Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Plaintiff alleged defendant plastic surgeon negligently treated her upper chest area broken capillaries utilizing a laser treatment and failure to obtain informed consent. Blisters/burning developed post treatment. Defendant doctor had provided further procedures to treat the complications but future treatment was still needed.
  • Insurance Agent Malpractice: Fire damaged a rental unit owned by plaintiffs. Defendant insurance agent alleged plaintiffs failed to renew fire insurance policy. Plaintiffs maintained multiple insurance policies on commercial and residential properties as well as auto, with agent during coverage period. Plaintiffs alleged failure to give adequate notice of expiration of policy.
  • Pharmaceutical Malpractice: Plaintiff was given Coumadin pills by mistake instead of her diabetes prescription and suffered a stroke, subdural hematoma and brain hemorrhage. She underwent a craniotomy and two week stay in the hospital.
  • Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital for a hysterectomy during which the OB/GYN lacerated her rectum requiring colorectal surgical repair which was unsuccessful, requiring another surgery to place a colostomy bag which she wore for 5 months then was surgically removed. Incisional scarring and residual tenderness.
  • Spa Malpractice: Plaintiff underwent a series of laser treatments, the fourth of which burned her forehead and cheeks. Defendant alleges plaintiff failed to advise defendant’s technician of recent sun exposure and would have declined to administer treatments had she been so informed.
  • Legal Malpractice: Plaintiff alleged defendant failed to obtain proper documentation/disclosures in divorce proceedings resulting in her agreement to a settlement that she would not have consented to with full knowledge of her ex-husband’s holdings.
  • Legal Malpractice: Plaintiff alleged his attorney failed to file a timely objection to an Arbitration ruling which would have resulted in the arbitrator losing jurisdiction to award attorney’s fees as part of his award. The arbitrator issued an Award against the plaintiff including attorney’s fees.
  • Plastic Surgery Malpractice: Plaintiff underwent a neck lift and alleged defendant doctor failed to appropriately treat a staph infection which developed.

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Real Estate

  • Building Code Violations: College Fraternity House (which was a historically protected building) fell out of compliance with City building codes resulting in eviction. Code violations cured and house reopened; however, allegations that Fraternity had destroyed the integrity of the protected building during the remodel. Numerous cross-complaints against contractors, subcontractors and governmental entities/agencies.
  • Eviction by Jackhammer: Plaintiffs claimed landlord was engaging in illegal condominium conversions in contravention to local ordinances and in doing so created undue noise, debris, dust and various hazards making the premises uninhabitable. Landlord claimed renovations as tenants left and denied intent to create conversions.
  • Landlord/Tenant: Tenants sought recovery against absentee landlord for alleged overcharges in rent over 10 year period in contravention of local Rent Control Ordinance. Foreign defendant had transferred title to property and claimed lack of jurisdiction.
  • Commercial Lease Dispute: Retail tenant sought reimbursement from landlord for money spent to repair damages due to water damage/intrusion including rent rebate and loss of use.
  • Real Estate Contract: Seller (Claimant) alleged that buyer (Respondent) breached contract when he failed to provide timely payment to the city for a plan check permit. Buyer had already paid $75k for development on the property and had a lien on three parcels securing the investment but seller, who was bottoms up, in bankruptcy, alleged he had discharged the debt to buyer in the bankruptcy, and the property was to be sold in trustee sale in the following week.
  • Landlord/Tenant: Plaintiffs sought relief from a Landlord/cross-complainant who had overcharged them and when they complained allegedly began harassing tenants. Landlord attempted to block settlement by his own carrier by refusing to drop his cross-complaint.
  • Bedbug Infestation: Tenant alleged landlord had knowledge of bedbug infestation prior to Tenant signing lease and move-in and intentionally/negligently withheld the information.
  • Mold: Landlord filed successful unlawful detainer action against tenant who refused to pay rent due to dispute regarding water intrusion, mold, etc. Tenant now sued Landlord for personal injuries due to mold exposure and damages to personal property. Landlord agreed to pay damages but kept UD judgment in force.
  • Security Deposit: Landlord retained one-half of tenant’s security deposit alleging tenant removed security system and air conditioner claiming they were fixtures and that their removal caused wall damage. Tenant claimed civil code violations pertaining to refund/itemization of damages, notice, etc.

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Vehicular Accidents

  • Auto v. Auto: Disputed liability left turn incident. Heavy impact with medical specials of $6l,000 and continuing, loss of earnings and loss of grants and tuition for plaintiff’s graduate program totaling $32,000 and continuing. Medical complications alleged due to plaintiff suffering from Von Willebrand’s Disease complicating plaintiff’s healing process.
  • Wrongful Death/Auto v. Motorcycle: Plaintiffs’ son (aged 24) was operating a motorcycle when an underinsured driver attempted a U-turn to park at the beach at a free parking spot which he could not complete. He began backing up when motorcyclist broadsided his vehicle causing immediate death. UIM policy was tendered and plaintiffs now sought damages against City as numerous other similar U-turn accidents had occurred in same area alleging inadequate signage and/or other type of barrier.
  • Auto v. Pedestrian: Plaintiff was a carwash customer when an employee lost control of a vehicle and drove into a crowd. Plaintiff dove over a planter to escape the vehicle and fell. Prior laminectomy/fusion at multiple levels. MRI’s revealed a worsening of her condition.
  • Forklift Accident: Plaintiff was operating a forklift, loading a truck while in the course and scope of his employment. Truck driver allegedly pulled away from the loading dock before plaintiff had fully backed out of the truck. The forklift containing the plaintiff fell to the concrete. Defendant denied liability claiming plaintiff was moving into the truck bed improperly rather than backing out. 6 figure workers’ compensation lien. Multi-level lumbar and cervical disc injuries.
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Alleged hit and run collision on the freeway caused claimant to roll her vehicle. Respondent contested contact by a hit and run vehicle.
  • DUI: Plaintiff was a passenger with defendant/friend driving. Due to excessive speed and while driving under the influence, defendant lost control, hit the side of the road and flipped the car. Medical bills of $40k with punitive damages pled. Plaintiff underwent 9 epidural injections, facet blocks, continued to use a portable TENS unit and use of pain medications.
  • Motorcycle/Auto and Pedestrians: Plaintiffs were walking on the sidewalk when a vehicle impacted a motorcycle. The motorcyclist went up onto the sidewalk and struck plaintiff husband. Wife was Dillon v. Legg plaintiff. Joint demand mid 6 figures.
  • Auto v. Auto: Rear end auto collision in which plaintiff alleged she was an eggshell due to pre- existing fibromyalgia, complicating her recovery from cervical and lumbar disc injuries requiring multiple epidural injections.
  • Red Light Dispute: Plaintiff sustained multiple rib fractures and clavicle fracture in T-bone collision. Clavicle failed to heal properly requiring a second surgery to rebreak and reset it. Also sustained kidney damage, chipped teeth and injuries to breast and torso. Initial demand high 6 figures.
  • Neck Fracture: Heavy rear end collision in which plaintiff sustained a cervical fracture requiring 3 months of immobilization. Medical bills in excess of $50k, loss of earnings of $10k, need for future treatment. Policy limits sought in initial demand.
  • Auto v. Bike: Plaintiff bicyclist was crossing wide highway while in crosswalk. Two vehicles stopped while third vehicle failed to see him and struck him causing catastrophic injuries. Driver tendered his policy limits $500k. Lawsuit against the State of CA for failure to install traffic light at intersection in light of numerous prior incidents.
  • Roadway Design: Disputed liability head on collision in which plaintiff driver alleged she had to cross over the yellow line while coming around a curve on a narrow uphill grade in order to avoid hitting bicyclists to her right. Medical bills of $140k for three plaintiffs, one of whom lost his spleen due to injuries.
  • Train Incident: Disabled plaintiff was seated on her scooter riding as a passenger on a Metro rail train when it was impacted by a City Fire Truck. Plaintiff sued both City and County. Plaintiff suffered from cerebral palsy and alleged her condition dramatically worsened due to the impact. Health insurance lien and need for future therapies.
  • Auto vs. Motorcycle: Plaintiff motorcyclist was lane splitting while on the freeway when defendant, while operating a rental vehicle, changed lanes, impacted him and pushed him into another vehicle causing him to be ejected from the motorcycle sustaining a fractured clavicle and torn labrum requiring surgical repair.
  • Auto v. Bicycle: Plaintiff bicyclist came off of the curb from a sidewalk into a cross-walk on a green light when simultaneously a truck made a right turn impacting plaintiff who sustained multiple fractures requiring multiple surgeries with medical bills of $465k.
  • Closed Head Trauma: Plaintiff was involved in a moderate rear-end collision and sustained soft tissue injuries but also alleged closed head trauma causing inability for her to focus on doctoral thesis thus derailing her career as a tenured college professor.
  • Auto vs. Pedestrian: Plaintiff was crossing the street during a rainstorm when impacted by defendant. Defendant contended plaintiff was running and was not in the crosswalk. Plaintiff alleged he was walking at a normal pace within crosswalk. Plaintiff sustained C-6 fracture; herniated disc at C6-7; scalp laceration; scapular fracture, nose laceration, disc protrusion in lumbar spine, closed head trauma.
  • Auto v. Auto: Plaintiff was a passenger in defendant's vehicle. Defendant sped out of a parking lot as another vehicle was approaching in an alley. Defendant swerved and impacted an electric pole and airbags imploded. Plaintiff was not seat belted, but alleged he was in the process of fastening his seatbelt. Plaintiff sustained soft tissue and facial injuries.

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