Benjamin T. Ikuta

Benjamin T. Ikuta

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Benjamin T. Ikuta is a trial 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.

Ben handles complex medical malpractice actions, typically involving serious injury or death. Since joining Hodes Milman, LLP, Ben has secured seven 7-figure settlements and thirty-three 6-figure settlements.  In total, since joining the firm in late 2016, Ben has recovered over $27,000,000 on behalf of clients.  Specifically, Ben has successfully litigated and handled many birth injury cases, including cases of delay in delivery that resulted in neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, acidosis/acidemia, and/or Erb’s palsy.   Ben has litigated cases in the delay in diagnosis or reporting of lymphoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, basal cell carcinoma, and other types of cancer.  Ben has also handled cases involving allegations of elder abuse and dependent adult abuse based on neglect leading to the development of decubitus ulcers, falls, or physical and/or sexual abuse by other residents.

For the majority of his career prior to joining Hodes Milman, LLP, Ben worked for firms that defended 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 defended a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (“RCFE”) in an elder abuse case at trial.  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, the jury returned a unanimous defense 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, 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 Valeria 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.

Education

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.

Honors

  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star(reserved for top 2.5% of attorneys under the age of 40) in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 for Civil Plaintiff in 2019 and 2020.
  • Up-and-Coming 25 for Orange County Rising Stars in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 in Super Lawyers.
  • Up-and-Coming 100 for 2019 and 2020 Southern California Rising Stars in Super Lawyers.
  • Top 25 Up-And-Coming Attorneys in Orange County by Orange Coast Magazine in 2018
  • Top 100 Southern California Up-And-Coming Lawyers by Los Angeles Magazine in 2018 and 2019

Notable Recoveries

  • March 26, 2019 – $2,005,000 recovery for a 12-year old girl who was not timely diagnosed or treated for a small bowel obstruction, leading to kidney failure and abdominal compartment syndrome.
  • January 29, 2018 – $1,500,000 settlement after physicians at a hospital failed to properly diagnose the patient with adrenal insufficiency as a result of a pituitary macroadenoma, resulting in an anoxic brain injury.
  • December 13, 2017 – $2,499,000 obtained in a case involving a slip-and-fall case against an urgent care center where the patient was not watched despite being severely hypokalemic and hyponatremic. She hit her head when she fell, resulting in a subdural hematoma and intraparenchymal hemorrhage.
  • December 5, 2017 – $3,000,000 settlement when a baby 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).

 

To reach Ben Ikuta, contact our firm by calling (949) 640-8222 or by email at bikuta@hodesmilman.com.

9.5Benjamin Taisuke Ikuta
benjamin ikuta

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