Ben Siminou is co-lead of the firm’s Appellate & Complex Motion practice group. In addition to supporting the firm’s trial lawyers, Ben handles appeals and complex motions for plaintiff lawyers in high-stakes cases throughout California and the United States.

In 2018, Ben received the prestigious “Appellate Advocacy Award” from the Pound Civil Justice Institute, a national award that “recognizes excellence in appellate advocacy in America.” In addition, Super Lawyers recognized Ben as a “Rising Star” in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021.

Ben graduated Order of the Coif with High Distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law. During law school, Ben was the Editor-in-Chief of the Nebraska Law Review and earned numerous honors and awards, particularly for his legal research and writing.

Before joining Singleton Schreiber McKenzie & Scott as a Senior Partner, Ben started Siminou Appeals, Inc., a firm dedicated to appeals and complex motions in civil cases. Earlier in his career, Ben spent nearly a decade with Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire LLP, a prominent San Diego-based plaintiffs’ firm. Prior to entering private practice, Ben served as a judicial clerk to Chief Justice Michael G. Heavican of the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Although perhaps best known for the landmark California Supreme Court decision T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp., 4 Cal.5th 145 (2017), Ben has also won cases in the Nebraska Supreme Court, California Court of Appeal, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, Ben routinely handles complex motions in state and federal courts across the United States, with an extraordinarily high winning percentage against the biggest defendants. Below are some of Ben’s recent victories:

CASE RESULTS

McCarley V. Anesthesia Service Medical Group, INC., NO. D074353 (CAL. CT. APP. 2021)

Ben successfully defeated the defendants’ appeal from an $11 million medical-malpractice judgment following a jury verdict in favor of a young woman who suffered a severe brain injury during a medical procedure.

Golden V. Medpro Group, INC., NO. 30-2018-01035776 (O.C. SUPER. CT., DEC. 18, 2020)

Ben defeated a motion for summary judgment in an insurance-bad-faith lawsuit arising out of an insurance company’s failure to settle a medical-malpractice lawsuit, resulting in a $6 million excess judgment against its insured. The underlying medical-malpractice lawsuit arose when a vocational nurse mismanaged an infant’s breathing tube, resulting in permanent brain damage.

Takahashi V. Prime Healthcare Paradise Valley, LLC, NO. 37-2019-00020065 (S.D. SUPER. CT., DEC. 4, 2020)

Ben defeated a motion for summary judgment in a wrongful-death case brought by the widow and minor son of a man who committed suicide while in the custody of a mental-health facility to whom he had been admitted for psychiatric treatment.

Lefiti, et al. v. Allied Universal Security Services, et al., No. GCG-17-559883 (S.F. Super. Ct., Sept. 16, 2020)

Ben defeated a motion for summary judgment in wrongful-death and personal-injury lawsuits brought by dozens of victims of a mass shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco against the security contractor responsible for access control at the facility.

T.H. V. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., NO. 37-2013-00070440-CU-MM-CTL (S.D. SUPER. CT., Sept. 4, 2020)

After persuading the California Court of Appeal and California Supreme Court to reinstate the case, Ben defeated a motion for summary judgment in this long-running lawsuit against Novartis for failing to issue adequate warnings regarding its drug’s potential to disrupt fetal brain development.

Nolasco V. Malcom, 949 N.W.2D 201 (NEB. 2020)

Ben’s amicus brief on behalf of the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys persuaded the Nebraska Supreme Court to abandon the parental-immunity doctrine, which prohibited minors from suing their parents for most torts. Before this case, Nebraska was one of seven states—including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, and Louisiana—that recognized the doctrine.

OMIDI V. WAL-MART STORES, INC., 742 F. APP’X 260 (9TH CIR. 2018)

Ben persuaded the Ninth Circuit to reinstate a lawsuit by consumers who alleged they were defrauded into purchasing eye examinations from purportedly “independent” optometrists who were actually under Walmart’s extensive control as part of a scheme to sell more prescription eyewear.

T.H. V. Novartis Pharmaceuticals CORP., 4 CAL.5TH 145 (2017)

After losing to Ben in the California Court of Appeal in T.H. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., 245 Cal.App.4th 589 (2016), Novartis — joined by members of its powerful lobby, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the drug industry, and the defense bar — appealed to the California Supreme Court. Ben, joined by Leslie Brueckner of Public Justice, persuaded the California Supreme Court to affirm the Court of Appeal’s decision. The resulting majority opinion broke with over 90 decisions from state and federal courts in other jurisdictions and became the first standing state supreme court decision in the United States to recognize that consumers injured by generic drugs have a cause of action against even brand-name manufacturers who negligently failed to add necessary warnings to the drug’s label. For their work in this case, the Pound Civil Justice Institute awarded Ben and Leslie their 2018 “Appellate Advocacy Award,” a national award that “recognizes excellence in appellate advocacy in America.”

T.H. V. Novartis Pharmaceuticals CORP., 245 CAL.APP.4TH 589 (2016)

Ben persuaded the California Court of Appeal to reinstate a lawsuit that two minors brought against the brand-name manufacturer of an asthma drug for failing to update a drug label with warnings regarding the drug’s potential to disrupt fetal brain development. The minors alleged they were injured when an OB/GYN gave their mother a generic form of the drug to treat preterm labor. The Court of Appeal’s decision reinstating the lawsuit was just the third published appellate decision in the United States to recognize that consumers injured by generic drugs have a cause of action against brand-name manufacturers who negligently failed to add necessary warnings to the drug’s label, and was the first decision in the United States to expressly recognize such claims against a former brand-name manufacturer.

Rashidi V. Moser, 60 CAL.4TH 718 (2014)

Ben’s amicus brief helped persuade the California Supreme Court to hold that settlement money does not count toward the $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages a plaintiff can recover from medical-malpractice defendants under MICRA.

Clevenstine V. Professional Security Consultants, NO. D056205, 2011 WL 773478
(CAL. CT. APP. 2011)

Ben represented the victim of a stabbing at a local shopping mall against the mall and its security contractor. After the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of both defendants, Ben persuaded the California Court of Appeal to reverse the summary judgment and remand the case for trial. The mall subsequently settled with Ben’s client.