W. Matthew Nakajima

Top rated products liability attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio

Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima
W. Matthew Nakajima
Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima

Practice Areas: Products liability, Personal injury, Medical malpractice; view more

Licensed in Ohio since: 2009

Education: Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2013 - 2022

Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima

3734 Eastern Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45226 Visit website


A trial attorney with Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima, Wesley (Matt) Nakajima represents clients in Kentucky and Ohio in matters of personal injury. These include trucking accidents, defective products, brain injuries and wrongful death. Through settlements, judgments and verdicts, he has obtained tens of millions of dollars for those who have been injured by another. He has an Avvo “Superb” rating and was named to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 in Kentucky and Ohio.

At Bellarmine University, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 2004. He was also on the Dean’s List and graduated with high honors and a major in economics. Mr. Nakajima then attended Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where he again graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor. While in law school, he was an Associate Editor for the Northern Kentucky Law Review.

After law school, he earned an LL.D. in 2008 from Northern Kentucky University. Mr. Nakajima is admitted to practice in the following states: Kentucky and Ohio. He is also admitted before the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, the United State District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, the United States Federal Claims Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Mr. Nakajima is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Kentucky Justice Association and the Ohio Association for Justice. Within the Kentucky Justice Association, he served for seven years on the Board of Governors.

Practice areas

Personal injury - products: plaintiff, Personal injury - general: plaintiff, Personal injury - medical malpractice: plaintiff

Focus areas

Motor vehicle accidents, Personal injury - plaintiff, Wrongful death, Brain injury, Trucking accidents, Premises liability - plaintiff, Medical malpractice

  • 10% Personal injury - products: plaintiff
  • 80% Personal injury - general: plaintiff
  • 10% Personal injury - medical malpractice: plaintiff

First Admitted: 2009, Ohio

Professional Webpage: https://www.rittgers.com/attorney/Wesley-M-Nakajima/

Bar/Professional Activity:
  • The Kentucky Justice Associations, Member, 2009 - Present
  • The Kentucky Justice Associations, Board of Governor 2009-2016
  • The Ohio Association of Justice, Member, 2009 - Present
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky
  • Federal Claims Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • Kentucky, 2009
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio
  • Ohio, 2009
  • American Association of Justice, Member, 2009 - Present
  • Ohio Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 2014 - Present
  • Recipient of the prestigious “Rising Star” award, Super Lawyers every year since 2013
  • Top 40 under 40 attorneys Kentucky, National Trial Lawyers, 2014
  • Rated 10 out of 10, Avvo, 2015
  • Drame v. Irby – 7,500,000.00 judgment, https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/11/05/pit-bull-mauling-lawsuit/75216558/
  • Roberts v. Boehl, 2018 WL 1468734 (Court of Appeals 12th Dist OH)
  • Product liability - 1,000,000.00 settlement
  • $325,000.00 Settlement: In November 2016, the client (MWP) was t-boned by a drunk driver at an intersection in Butler County, Ohio. As a result of the crash, the client suffered a fractured hip resulting in surgery. The client's paid medical expenses totalled $67,000.00, 2017
  • Ollberding v. Kentucky Farm Bureau - A jury verdict of $1,028,317.17
  • $292,288.21 Settlement: In 2015, the client was involved in a high speed rear-end collision resulting in a herniated disk in her neck necessitating surgery. The client's paid medical expenses and lost wages totalled $65,691.72, 2017
  • $285,000.00 Settlement: Premises liability case involving a child burn injury, 2017
  • $1,125,000.00 Global Settlement: Product Liability Settlement, 2014
  • $385,000.00 settlement: In 2016, a client fractured her ankle in a high speed intersection crash resulting in multiple surgeries. The defendant denied liability pre-suit and throughout litigation. The client's medical expenses were approximately $70,000.00 and she had 13,500.00 in lost wages. The case was settled shortly before trial, 2019
  • $7.5 Million Judgment: A seven-year-old was attacked by two pit bulls while playing outside her home, 2015
  • $1,028,317 Verdict: In 2013, the Plaintiff injured his right shoulder in a head-on crash in a parking lot. A shoulder tear was eventually diagnosed and multiple shoulder surgeries were performed. The defense challenged causation claiming that the impact was not sufficient to cause a shoulder tear and that the tear was a pre-existing condition. The defense also argued that the Plaintiff was partially at fault in the crash. The case was tried in Campbell County Circuit Court, Kentucky, 2018
  • The Kentucky Court of Appeals last week upheld a $3.425 million jury verdict awarded to a Boone County man against the Indiana Insurance Company in an insurance bad-faith action that was tried in Campbell County Circuit in 2012. In October 2012, a jury in Campbell Circuit Court awarded compensatory and punitive damages against the company for violating the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act, and breaching the insurance contract with its policyholder, James Demetre. Indiana Insurance appealed jury verdict to the Court of Appeals, which unanimously upheld the jury’s decision in a decision released today. In its decision, the Court of Appeals held that the jury had ample evidence to support its decision that Indiana Insurance’s conduct toward Demetre violated Kentucky statutory and common law, making “the peace of mind Demetre bargained for in procuring insurance … merely illusory.” “We appreciate the thorough legal analysis conducted by the Court of Appeals in examining this case and upholding the jury verdict against Indiana Insurance,” said attorney Jeffrey Sanders, who represented Demetre in the legal action. “We think the jury decision, coupled with this appellate decision, sends a clear message to the insurance industry in Kentucky that you must treat your policyholders fairly and in good faith or you will be held accountable under Kentucky law.” The case arose from property that Demetre and his wife acquired in Newport, which they insured with Indiana Insurance. The property, which has been vacant for 50 years, formerly housed a gasoline station. However, the station closed in 1962 and its underground storage tanks were removed in 1998. In 2009, a family living near this property sued Demetre, alleging that petroleum fumes were flowing into their house from his property. The family claimed personal injuries and property damages and demanded that Demetre pay $10 million in damages. After Demetre turned the claim over to Indiana Insurance, instead of investigating the Demetre’s claim, the insurance company sued him, claiming it had no responsibility to cover the claim. Demetre then hired Sanders, who fought with the insurance company for more than three years in an effort to compel it to cover the claim. The jury awarded Demetre $925,000 in compensatory damages for emotional pain and suffering, stress, worry, anxiety, and mental anguish. At trial, Demetre testified that his experience was a “four-year nightmare” and told the jury about the stress and anxiety he suffered at the hands of his own insurance company. The jury also awarded Demetre $2.5 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish defendants who act with reckless or wanton disregard for the safety, security, rights, and well-being of others. Sanders tried the case with his brother, Robert E. Sanders. Other members of the trial team were Justin Sanders, Matt Nakajima, Irene Hartley, and Mary O’Neill. The expert witness who testified for Demetre at trial was Erlanger attorney Carl Grayson, 2012
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Law Review: N. KY L. Rev., Associate Editor, 2007 - 2008
  • Speaker, Subrogation & Reimbursement, Southwest Ohio Trial Lawyers Association Spring Seminar, 2013
  • Speaker, Reducing or Eliminating Non-ERISA State Health Plans, Kentucky Justice Association Subrogation Seminar, Kentucky Justice Association, 2012
  • Speaker, How to Reduce or Eliminate ERISA and Non ERISA Liens, Ohio Association for Justice, 2015
  • Speaker, Resolving Insurance Liens to Maximize Your Client’s Settlement, How to Deal With Complications in Personal Injury Cases, Kentucky Justice Association, 2015
  • Speaker, how to reduce and eliminate ERISA and non-ERISA private health insurance liens, Practical Strategies for Handling Liens and Reducing ERISA Liens, Ohio Association Of Justice, 2015
  • Abolition of the Impact Rule and the Unintended Consequences of the Supreme Court’s Decision in Osborne v. Keeney, The Advocate (Kentucky Justice Association), Co-Author, Kentucky Justice Association, 2013
  • Maximize Your Client’s Recovery in Auto Cases, Prove that the Tortfeasor’s Insurance Policy Covers Punitive Damages, The Advocate (Kentucky Justice Association), Author, The Advocate - Ohio Association of Justice, 2012
  • Utilizing the Common Fund Doctrine to Reduce Medical Payment Liens, Author, Ohio Trial - Ohio Association for Justice, 2012
  • Life or Death: How Roper v. Simmons Affects Juvenile Abortion Jurisprudence, Author, Northern Kentucky Law Review, 2007
Educational Background:
  • Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, B.A. in Economics with cum laude, Dean's List and With High Honors, 2004
  • Northern Kentucky University, LL.D., 2008

Office location for W. Matthew Nakajima

3734 Eastern Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45226

Phone: 513-496-0134


1 Year Super Lawyers
10 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2013 - 2022

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