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BRADLEY S. THOMAS, ESQ.

  • Based in Northern California, available in All of California
  • Available for Mediation, Arbitration, and Private Judging assignments

Introduction

Mr. Thomas has participated in hundreds of mediations throughout California as a practicing attorney. He was invited to join the initial appellate mediation panel for the Third District Court of Appeals and served as a Settlement Officer in Department 59 in the Sacramento Superior Court. After years of having served on these panels and with his extensive mediation training, realized his passion and skill for resolving disputes. In 2018, after having tried in excess of 100 civil jury trials, he made a commitment to become a full time neutral. His considerable experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants has earned him a reputation for being an effective mediator who can see a dispute from all angles. Based in our Sacramento office, he is available to mediate and arbitrate personal injury, business, professional malpractice, employment and insurance coverage matters.

Practice Areas

Hobbies & Interests

In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, bicycle riding, photography and woodworking.

Testimonials

"I appreciate him taking the time to speak with the carrier presentative and work to address her points."
- Attorney on a Premises Liability case

"Bradley Thomas was about perfect for this mediation. He listened, had great ideas about how to move the parties closer together, understood the emotional content for Plaintiff, and the operational difficulties for Defendant."
- Attorney on a complex Employment Discrimination matter

"Brad was great, smart, diligent [and] committed to getting the case resolved."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Slip & Fall Matter

"Brad’s experience, background, reputation and ability to read lawyers and people are HUGE assets to his mediation practice."
- Attorney on a Premises Liability Matter

"Brad did a great job communicating with the client and listened to the concerns regarding the process without being judgmental."
- Attorney on a Personal Injury Auto Matter

"He’s very smart, gets to the heart of the issues and his no nonsense approach had respect of clients and lawyers in the room. Great demeanor. He’s willing to and is following up on the case to try to resolve it."
- Attorney on a business/contractual dispute

"Clearly presented weakness, strengths of both sides to achieve settlement."
- Attorney, Sacramento County, California

Experience Summary

Legal Career

  • Neutral, Judicate West (Current)
  • Managing Partner, The Thomas Law Firm (2014 – Present)
  • Mediator, Third District Court of Appeal, Sacramento (2008-Present)
  • Settlement Conference Officer, Sacramento County Superior Court (2000-Present)
  • Partner, handling civil litigation, Mason & Thomas (1984-2015)
  • Attorney, handling civil litigation, Stumbos & Mason (1978-1984)
  • Trial and appellate counsel for cases that resulted in five appellate court decisions: Menasco v Snyder (1984); Hernandez v Modesto Portuguese Pentecost Ass’n (1995); Pemberton v Compass Orthopedic (2018); Vasilenko v Grace Family Church (2017) [California Supreme Court]; Williams v Fremont Corners, Inc. (2019)

Education & Professional Affiliations

  • J.D. University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (1974-1977)
  • B.S., University of California, Davis (1970-1974)
  • Third District Court of Appeal, Mediation Programs
  • Member, American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), (1988-Present)
  • Member, Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada (1980-Present)
  • Member, Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court, with Emeritus Status (2005-Present)
  • Board of Directors Member, CalABOTA (2004-2007)
  • President, Sacramento Valley Chapter of ABOTA (2004)

Achievements & Awards

  • AV “Preeminent” Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Directory
  • Named, Best of the Bar, Sacramento Business Journal
  • Named, Trial Lawyer of the Year, Sacramento Valley Chapter of ABOTA (2017)
  • Recipient, Professionalism and Civility Award, Sacrament Valley Chapter of ABOTA (2008)
  • Panel Member, Masters in Trial Programs, ABOTA (5 years)

Legal Experience

  • All types of Personal Injury including Wrongful Death
  • Business/Contractual
  • Elder Abuse
  • Employment
  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
  • Professional Negligence
  • Product Liability

Representative Case Information

Recent Representative Cases

Business/Commercial

Fraud/Misrepresentation

  • Plaintiff manufacturer of specialty product claimed defendant manufacturer of competitive specialty product violated Lanham Act. Plaintiff claimed minimum damages of $6 million attributed to loss of customers as result of defendants fraudulent misrepresentations to potential clients about having received FDA approval for competing product.

Employment

Discrimination

  • Two female medical doctors employed by state agency responsible for accepting, modifying, or denying MediCal payment requests, claimed they constructively forced to demote into lower paying position because the division's policies and practices constitued illegal practice of medicine and placed their medical licenses in jeopardy. Both claimed they were harsassed following repeated complaints they made about the practices and policies. The mediation extended across two sessions and over 16 hours.
  • Two female physicians claimed constructive demotion and gender discrimination in retaliation for whistle blowing activity at State agency
  • 56 year old female corrections officer claims the CDCR discriminated against her in retaliation for reporting misconduct by other officers and refused to accommodate her physical and emotional disabilities.
  • Plaintiff was a 70 year old caucasion woman who was employed as the "scheduler" for an elected state official.  She claimed her employment was terminated in part because of her age and race and that the official's chief of staff essentially set her up to fail at her job because she wanted to replace her with a younger person of color.  Plaintiff presented eight separate circumstantial events which our courts have affirmed as demonstrating evidence of age/race discrimination.  The state contended that plaintiff was simply "in over her head" at this new position and she was terminated with good cause while still a probationary employee.  The state also relied on undisputed evidence that the same officials who hired plaintiff were the ones who terminated her.
  • Plaintiff is 50 year old African-American who was employed by defendant public entity for 12 years.  He was terminated by his new supervisor of one year.  Plaintiff claimed he was terminated because of his race and/or age.  Defendant employer presented several written records documenting concerns with plaintiff's job performance including checklists for specific areas of improvement.  Plaintiff did not comply with most of the items on the list.  Defendant denied there was any racial animosity or motive behind the termination.
  • A public entity employee of 20 years alleged he was denied promotion and career-enhancement opportunities due to his race and to engaging in protected activity related to discrimination complaints of other minority employees. Defendant county denied any discrimination or retaliation, claiming legitimate business decisions for denial of promotions and other perceived acts of unequal treatment.

Sexual Harassment

  • 21 year old female employed by County as animal control officer was sexually harassed by her male supervisor. Investigation corroborated plaintiff's complaint and the supervisor was demoted back to his position as animal control officer. However, there were no additional funded officer positions so the County HR Dept concluded that pursuant to the colletive bargaining agreement, they had no choice but to terminate plaintiff's employment since she was still a probationary employee. The County alleged the sexual harassment was relatively minor and did not involve personal contact and that her termination was not in retaliation for fiiling the complaint but was just the unfortunate consequence of her supervisor's demotion.

Wage and Hour

  • Plaintiff/employee claimed over $60,000 for unpaid overtime, failure to provide rest/lunch breaks, improper pay stubs, and various penalties and attorney fees.  Defendant/employer conceded much of the claim based on poor record keeping or other documentation but claimed employee had embezzled over $35,000 she had received in cash deposits from customers who reserved banquet halls owned by defendant.  The mediation was pre-litigation so neither side had the benefit of formal discovery. 

Wage and Hour Class Action

  • Early mediation of class action suit against interstate trucking company for wage/hour/break violations.  Significant legal issues raised by claims, primarily involving federal preemption of state labor laws.  There was also a dispute between the parties regarding the proper modeling for damages claims.

Insurance

Coverage

  • Plaintiff's home was insured for fire loss and it was destroyed in the "Camp Fire" fire. Plaintiff had been moved out of her home and placed into elder care facility more than 60 days before the home was destroyed. The insurance company denied payment on the basis that an exclusion to coverage applied: the coverage did not apply if the house was "vacant beyond 60 days before the loss". Plaintiff claimed the exclusion was not operative because the loss occurred less than 60 days after the policy was issued. She also claimed the insurer had expressly waived enforcement of the exclusion. Plaintiff sued the insurance company for bad faith denial of coverage and sued her insurance broker for failing to obtain the approriate coverage knowing she no longer lived in the home.

Professional Malpractice

Medical Malpractice

  • Plaintiff was admitted to hospital for MAZE procedure and developed heparin induced thrombocytosis There was a delay in the diagnosis of HITT and claimed delay in instituting and undertaking proper remedial care. Plaintiff lost left lower leg, right lower leg, and right lower arm by way of amputation.

Professional Malpractice Legal

  • Plaintiff was a physician who had his medical license revoked following trial of an accusation by the Medical Board that he engaged in sexual relationship with a patient and violated other ethical requirements. Plaintiff was defended against that accusation by a lawyer retained by and paid for by his employer. Plaintiff claimed the attorney violated a number of ethical requirements and that the quality of the legal represenation fell below the standard of care. He lost his license due to the poor quality of legal representation. The attorney was insured through a policy with a relatively low indemnity limit which, itself, was subject to being reduced by attorney fees and costs.

Real Estate

Breach Of Contract

  • Claim was for breach of real estate lease/purchase option agreement. The plaintiff property owner claimed that defendant lessee breached various material terms of the lease agreement and thereby waived his right to purchase the property. Defendant insisted he did not violate terms of the agreement, that property owner developed seller's remorse, and that property owner was harassing him with multiple unnecessary inspections.

Buy/Sell

  • Buyers of expensive house claimed that sellers failed to disclose known material defect leading to need for repairs.

Landlord/Tenant

  • Breach of contract case between owner of dairy farm and lessee with claim that lessee damaged property beyond normal wear and tear. Lessee defended on basis that owner cannot demonstrate condition of property prior to lease and that any provable property damage is the result of normal wear and tear.

Neighbor Dispute

  • The plaintiffs are homeowners who claim their house foundation and structural support was compromised by defendant adjoining neighbor's use of heavy soil compaction equipment during reconstruction of neighbor's home.  The compaction work was performed by a non-licensed heavy equipment operator who claimed he was acting as agent for a licensed contractor.  The licensed contractor denied any knowledge of this project and claimed the operator fraudulently used his letterhead to contract for the job.  Neither the operator nor the licensed contractor were insured. The defendant adjoining homeowners were insured but their policy had a limit several hundred thousand dollars less than the estimated cost of repair.  Defendant disputed that the foundational/structural damages were caused by the compaction activity.
  • Plaintiff's neighbor was given permission to cut branches off a very large old "heritage" tree that were overhanging her yard.  Plaintiff claimed the neighbor's work (done through a tree trimming company) far exceeded the scope of the permission and the tree was "butchered".  This tree has particular aesthetic value to plaintiff and the tree trimmer allegedly damaged surrounding area.  Plaintiff claimed he is entitled to treble damages (per statute), including aesthetic and loss of use damages.  Defendants asserted the trimming was done professionally and with full consent and knowledge.

Tort

Elder Abuse

  • Elder physical abuse claim invoving 90 year old woman of four children. Entered defendant's RCFE at high risk fall resident with dementia. Claim was that resident was required to use walker for all ambulation and the she fell when she was being assisted by care giver but without walker. Resident fell and suffered C1 fracture resulting in her death 7 days later.
  • Wrongful death and elder abuse claim arising out of death of 86 year old women brought by her only heir, her neice. The decedent was a resident at an RCFE for under a month with care plan that required constant supervision while eating to prevent choking. Plaintiff claimed that, while unattended, decedent choked on improperly prepared food and asphyxiated. Defendant claimed decedent died from heart attack and that niece had very limited contact with her aunt.
  • Elder physical abuse claim brought by heirs of 85 year old deceased mother against RCFE. Mother died as result of complications from cancer but claim was that the RCFE negligently allowed development of pressure ulcers while a resident prior to final hospitalization.

General Negligence

  • A teenager born without sight, hearing, or speech, and who had a near full spinal fusion and hip fusion, was attending special education school when he was being assisted by a teacher into a mechanical lift from his specially designed chair.  During the standard process for doing so, according to the teacher, she lifted plaintiff from under his arm pits to allow the sling to be placed underneath his torso.  She heard a loud snap in one of plaintiff's legs.  Plaintiff's femur was fractured.  The issue was whether the fracture was spontaneous as the result of severe osteopenia or whether the teacher was negligent in assisting with the transfer. The medical expenses were fairly small because the doctors decided surgery would not be effective to repair the fracture due to severe osteopenia.  The fracture site did develop callous.  The damages issue involved evidence as to the effect this fracture had on plaintiff's quality of life considering his very profound disabilities prior to the accident.

Personal Injury

  • 55 year old female office adminstrator/massage therapist slipped in grease on concrete floor of big box store. In addition to multiple soft tissue sprain/strain injuries, claimed that ever since accident has had brain fog, lack of concentration, and frequent involuntary backward jerking of her head, all the result of a mild traumatic brain injury. Initial treating neurologist diagnosed only tension headaches. Second neurologist diagnosed brain injury following extensive EEG testing and symptoms.
  • 11 year old female was bitten in face by friend's dog. She sustained several facial lacerations on and around nose. Minimal medical expenses and admitted excellent healing. Left with a couple of fairly minor but noticeable scars. Case settled for six figures.
  • Slip and fall accident that occurred when plaintiff, on the property in the early morning hours prior to arrival of any customers to repair computer problems, allegedly slipped on wet floor.  Plaintiff sustained a comminuted fracture of his left wrist that required open reduction and internal fixation.  

PI Auto

  • Disputed liability for side-swipe big rig truck vs. automobile accident in which plaintiff claimed neck and back injuries including herniated discs. Plaintiff underwent treatment by spinal surgeon including multiple injections. Defendant contended injuries were only aggravation of preexisting injuries from earlier automobile accident.
  • 52 year old plaintiff, a professional wedding photographer, involved in rear end automobile collision, claimed she sustained bilateral carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome. She is able to perform her photography but now has to pay a third party to process all of the images at considerable expense to her. The physician witnesses agreed on the diagnosis but disagreed whether the symptoms were caused by the accident.
  • Motor vehicle vs. pedestrian accident that resulted in knee injury to plaintiff. Underwent meniscectomy and medial plica resection and low back pain with conservative treatment. Comparative negligence was disputed.
  • 40 year old plaintiff who sustained two herniated cervical discs in automobile collision while in the course and scope of employment. Plaintiff received policy limit from adverse driver and received workers compensation benefits. Although a two-level discectomy and fusion were recommended by two treating spine surgeons, plaintiff had not had such surgery at the time of the mediation of this Underinsured Motorist claim, some five years following the accident.
  • Father, mother, and daughter involved in high speed T-bone automobile collision. Father sustained comminuted fracture of distal humerous and underwent open reduction and internal fixation. Mother sustained head trauma resulting in neurogenic headaches.
  • Plaintiff on motorcycle collided with left-turning automobile. There was a videotape recorded of the accident by a camera in a truck which the plaintiff had passed just seconds before collision. The defendant claimed the plaintiff was traveling at twice the posted speed limit on downtown street. Injuries were fractured wrist that required fusion, and aggravation of preexisting PTSD. Claim of 35 year old plaintiff that was permanently disabled from performing mechanical work.
  • 45 year old unemployed married plaintiff was injured when his small car was struck from rear by defendant's big rig. Substantial property damage to plaintiff's car. He suffered a depressed skull fracture with brain trauma. Primary issue was whether plaintiff had recovered from the mild tbi or whethere he was, two years later, still experiencing personality and cognitive changes as consequence.
  • Automobile accident caused by drunk driver who was, allegedly, in the course and scope of employment at the time of the accident. Plaintiffs were husband and wife each of whom sustained fractured arm. In addition, the wife claimed she sustained a traumatic brain injury that disabled her from employment and required ongoing medical and psychiatric care. Defendants denied the driver was in the the course and scope at the time time of accident. They denied, through expert opinion, that the wife sustained any sort of brain trauma.
  • 62 year old plaintiff, a surgical assistant, was involved in a rear end collision.  The defendant driver was intoxicated and conceded liability.  Plaintiff fractured her non-dominant arm and required internal reduction and fixation.  She has some residual restricted range of motion.  In addition, plaintiff claimed she sustained a mild traumatic brain injury that disabled her from continued employment.  Plaintiff claimed the driver was in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident since he had received notice of a work assignment for the following morning, was driving a company owned truck, and was on his way home to pick up his company assigned IPad for work the following morning.
  • Plaintiff sustained mild traumatic brain injury and lumbar disc injury when struck by an automobile in the parking lot of a shopping center owned by defendant.  Plaintiff claimed the parking lot was in an unreasonably dangerous condition because one of the overhead lights in the parking lot was inoperable at the time of the accident.  Defendant shopping  center claimed they inspected all of the overhead lights once per month and when last inspected 11 days prior to the accident, all lights were operating properly.  Defendant acknowledged the closest overhead light was not operating properly when inspected two weeks following the accident.  In any event, the lack of overhead light was not a contributing factor to the accident.
  • Three vehicle accident resulting in one death and four personal injury claims.  The defendant driver carried a policy limit of 250/500 and wished to settle all claims in a global resolution totaling $500,000.  The dispute was among the various plaintiffs as to how much of the $500,000 each should receive.  The matter was globally settled after extensive negotiations.
  • Automobile versus bicycle collision.  Auto driver was convicted of DUI.  Plaintiff/bicyclist was 55 year old college professor who sustained traumatic brain injury.  Because of residual excessive accumulation of spinal fluid around brain, has permanent ventriculoperiteneal shunt implaced.  Also diagnosed with PTSD.
  • Injuries to two plaintiffs arose out of multiple car automobile accident with each party blaming others for causing the accidents.  Each plaintiff sued the other along with a third party so each was represented by two attorneys.
  • Underinsured motorist claim following payment to claimant of $15,000 third party coverage.  Claimant was 65 year old gentleman whose car was struck at slow speed on the driver's door.  Claimed injury to shoulder and neck and underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery to repair capsulitis and adhesion. 
  • 69 year old female plaintiff injured in automobile accident.  Plaintiff sustained significant facial, chest, and abdominal bruising but required limited medical care after discharge from emergency room.  The settlement value of the case was driven largely by the amount of medical bills plaintiff would be entitled to recover.  She was a Kaiser member and Kaiser produced an itemized statement of benefits for emergency room care it considered was reasonable and customary.  Defendant disagreed that Kaiser statement or services were reasonable and necessary.
  • Plaintiff missed his exit lane from the freeway and suddenly slowed down to try to cross over the gore point to turn into the exit lane. Plaintiff's car was then struck from the rear by a big rig after an intermediate car swerved into an adjoining lane to avoid plaintiff. Plaintiff had a two-level cervical disc replacement three years post-accident. Defendant denied the surgery was necessitated by the accident but was the result of preexisting degenerative changes.
  • Arbitration of UIM claim. Plaintiff claimed soft tissue sprain/strain of neck, shoulders, and back. Liability and economic damages were stipulated. The unique claim involved enhanced emotional distress because the adult claimant was responsible for providing all care and comfort for the disabled father suffering from severe physical limitations and dementia. The claimant was unable to provide the required care due to her own injuries. Her father died two months following the accident.

Premises Liability

  • Plaintiff claimed a heavy tool box fell off a shelf while shopping at a big box store and struck his left shoulder. Plaintiff, 40 years old, had experienced 5 previous dislocations and admitted occasional shoulder pain, but not treatment, during the year preceding the incident. His pain level increased significantly after this incident and was experienced daily. An MRI scan showed damage that was equivocal whether is was acute or chronic or both. Conservative care failed to resolve the pain and open shoulder surgery was recommended to address a suspected labrum and rotator cuff tear. Plaintiff had not had that surgery for a variety of reasons. Plaintiff was self-employed installing electronic equipment in motor vehicles. He had to hire additioal employees to perform work that he normally would have completed by himself.
  • Wrongful death claim brought by husband/father of wife and child caused by "snow shedding" from a metal roof on top of the decedents. This mediation involved one of the peripheral defendants and the terms and conditions (including payment of money) under which plaintiff would not oppose summary judgment motion.
  • Claim of 7 year old plaintiff against school district and parks and recreation district for degloving injury to big toe caused by heavy drainage grate that dropped on foot.
  • Claim of 7 year old female child who experienced little toe amputation when it was cut by a loose light fixture in public swimming pool. Claim was that the public entity and its pool contractor created dangerous condition. Plaintiff also attributed emotional issues (OCD) to the trauma of the incident.
  • 65 year old female plaintiff entered WalMart store and walked to location where grocery carts were parked for use by customers. The carts were rolled parked on an indoor/outdoor carpet. A WalMart employee was responsible for collecting the individual carts in the parking lot and delivering them back into store. He allegedly caused one of the carpet edges to roll up when he last pushed a group of carts onto the carpet. Plaintiff tripped over this raised section of carpet. The incident was captured by a security camera and there was no dispute about how or where the accident occurred. The video recording did not show whether the carpet section where plaintiff fell was raised, rolled, or flat but witnesses corroborated the rolled edge. Plaintiff sustained a shoulder fracture that did not require surgery but did require some 75 physical therapy visits to regain functional range of motion following a diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis. Plaintiff was employed as a long-time manager for a See's Candy store and remained off work for nearly a year post-accident.
  • 65 year old plaintiff tripped over fallen tree limb, at night, while walking to car.  Plaintiff lived in a residential community with a homeowner's association charged with trimming all trees.  Plaintiff had warned defendant association that an oak tree was continuously dropping limbs and branches onto house and driveway and had requested that tree be trimmed prior to accident. Plaintiff sustained multiple fractured ribs and a punctured lung.  He was taking Coumadin and consequently experienced unusual amount of bleeding.  Plaintiff was admitted to ICU where he remained for 4 days, plus two days on a general ward. Plaintiff claimed that even after two years he was experiencing difficulty breathing and had to rely on CPAP unit to much greater extent after accident than before.
  • A mother and son were injured when the outside deck of their apartment collapsed while they were standing on the deck.  Mother claimed she suffered a herniated cervical disc and a spinal surgeon had offered to repair the disc with a fusion.  As of the date of the mediation (four years post-accident) mother had not undergone the surgery claiming she was having difficulty obtaining financing to pay for the surgery; she was a MediCal recipient.  Defendant claimed plaintiff has significant multi-level pre-existing degenerative changes in her cervical spine, that any surgery would be to repair a pre-existing problem, and that mother was not going to have the recommended surgery in any event.  Mother was making a substantial loss of income claim since she has not been able to return to work as an at home care giver. Son suffered at least a sprained ankle and emotional distress.  He claimed his ankle continues to cause occasional pain and prevents him from actively participating in sports. Both plaintiffs also were making lack of habitability claims against the owner of the apartment complex.
  • Damages arising from fire that destroyed apartment unit. Origin and cause of fire were disputed. Plaintiff claimed symptoms caused by PTSD resulted in substantial loss of income, past and future.

Product Liability

  • Plaintiff, in his early forties, claimed that he suffered a Lisfranc fracture when defendant's motocross boot split after placing foot on ground to to assist with making a turn. Injury required three surgeries and the last of which was a fusion. Defendant denied its boot was defective and, in any event, denied the failure of the boot caused the injury; rather the damage reflected the forces applied to plaintiff's foot.

Wrongful Death

  • Wrongful death claim brought on behalf of 13 year old son and 17 year old daughter, following death of father in motorcycle vs. automobile collision. Father had history of drug abuse and was traveling (according to defense ax recon expert) at 90 mph in a 55 mph speed zone when 16 year old defendant made left turn in front of decedent. Father had somewhat tenuous and periodic relationship with two children.
  • Plaintiffs were adult children of 88 year old woman who was a resident at a RCFE. They claimed the facility negligently failed to care for their mother and she developed multiple pressure ulcers that required hospitalization. The claim was complicated by the fact that at the same time, mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died one month after being admitted to the hospital. In addition to a claimed violation of elder abuse statutes, the plaintiffs also claimed wrongful death of their mother and bystander emotional distress resulting from witnessing the pain caused to mother.
  • Wrongful death claim for two adult daughters of 87-year-old mother who was killed when knocked to the concrete floor by a criminal running out of a drugstore following his robbery of the pharmacy of oxycontin. The claim against the drugstore was that it had a duty to institute practices and physical barriers that would have discouraged robbery attempts and that its employee violated company policy against chasing criminal suspects inside the store.