Benjamin T. Ikuta is an attorney who has been licensed in California since 2008 and who joined Hodes Milman, LLP in November of 2016. Ben focuses on cases of medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, elder abuse, personal injury and product liability. Since joining Hodes Milman, LLP, Ben has secured four 7-figure settlements and twenty-eight 6-figure settlements. In total, since joining the firm in late 2016, Ben has recovered over $16,000,000 on behalf of clients.
For the majority of his career prior to joining Hodes Milman, LLP, Ben worked for firms that primarily focused on defending skilled nursing facilities, residential care facilities for the elderly, hospitals, physicians, and nurses in actions of elder abuse and medical malpractice. In October of 2012, Ben co-chaired a trial in defending a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly ("RCFE") in an elder abuse case. The RCFE had served grade D commercial steak to its residents. After an 85-year old resident choked on the meat, the staff at the RCFE failed to call for the paramedics for approximately 20 minutes, resulting in the elder's death. After a 6-week trial, where Ben cross-examined the elder's family, the meat manufacturers and distributers, and an expert doctor, the jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Ben's client. In another case, Ben defended a registered nurse accused of sexual misconduct in an administrative board hearing and received a favorable result of probation. As a defense lawyer prior to joining Hodes Milman Liebeck, LLP, Ben routinely secured judgments in favor of healthcare providers and insurance companies and provided counseling and presentations on how to reduce or avoid liability.
In 2016, Ben realized that his true calling was not in defending healthcare providers and insurance companies, but rather to work for those injured by wrongdoing. Ben's extensive experience with defense firms provides him a unique perspective in relation to the tactics and strategies implemented by insurance companies, corporations, and defense attorneys. This experience from the other side of the table allows Ben to represent plaintiffs more effectively and obtain the best possible results.
In January of 2017, Ben represented a 66-year old woman who suffered from terminal, incurable Stage 4 breast cancer. Ben contended that a radiology group failed to appropriately identify breast cancer in mammograms, resulting in a delay of diagnosis of 29 months. The radiology group attempted to argue that the case was untimely under the applicable statute of limitations and that the patient waited too long to initiate legal action. Ben tried the first stage of a bifurcated trial and prevailed as to the timeliness of his client's action. The case settled shortly thereafter.
In July of 2017, Ben represented a couple involving the purchase of a house in Orange County. The couple were both cross-plaintiffs and defendants in a case where both sides claimed that they were rightful owners of the home. Not only did Ben obtain a defense award in favor his client, but Ben prevailed on his client's counter-claims for breach of contract and fraud. As a result, the Court ordered that full title and ownership of the home be transferred to his clients.
In October of 2018, Ben represented Valerie Fregoso, who, at 17-years old suffered a stillborn during an unplanned pregnancy. Ben contended that the baby's heart rate was not properly monitored by a nurse at Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, leading to the baby's demise. The hospital denied liability and argued that its nurses acted appropriately at all times. After a two-week jury trial in Riverside County, Ben obtained a unanimous verdict in the amount of $500,000.
Ben received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from UCLA. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, where he served as Symposium Editor of the Hastings Law Journal. During law school, Mr. Ikuta made significant contributions to the public sector, providing research and recommendations for the Judicial Council of California and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star (reserved for top 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40) in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Up-and-Coming 25 for Orange County Rising Stars in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and Up-and-Coming 100 for 2019 Southern California Rising Stars. Top 25 Up-And-Coming Attorneys in Orange County by Orange Coast Magazine, 2018 Top Southern California Up-And-Coming Lawyers by Los Angeles Magazine, 2018
Notable Recoveries March 26, 2019 - $2,005,000 settlement after a 12-year old girl who was not timely diagnosed or treated for a small bowel obstruction, leading to multi-organ failure. January 29, 2018 - $1,500,000 settlement after physicians at a hospital failed to properly diagnose the patient with adrenal insufficiency, resulting in brain damage. December 13, 2017 - $2,499,000 settlement involving a slip-and-fall case against an urgent care center resulting in a severe hematoma and brain damage. December 5, 2017 - $3,000,000 settlement of a baby who was brain damaged at a hospital after a NICU nurse failed to recognize the symptoms of a bacterial infection.
Publications Opposing the Inevitable Motion for Summary Judgment in Your Medical Malpractice Case - the Gavel Magazine, Volume 22, #2, Spring 2019 State Bar of California, Labor & Employment Law Review - "California Layoff Basics - Two Perspectives," Volume 23, #4, July 2009 (as a defense attorney) Lawdragon - "Identifying, Avoiding, and Remedying Employee Theft," July 2009 edition (as a defense attorney) Hastings Law Journal - "Why Binomial Distributions Do Not Work as Proof of Employment Discrimination," 59 Hastings L.J. 1235 (2008).