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Biker-Crash-Injury-Lawyers-Los AngelesManufacturers and others involved in the chain of distribution can be liable when consumers are harmed by product defects when they use the products in the manner in which they were intended to be used. When an agent of a manufacturer introduces a defect in a product that later injures a consumer, the manufacturer might still be liable. In Defries v. Yamaha Motor Corporation USA, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. E073017, the California Court of Appeal considered a case in which a man was injured while riding a motorbike that had been improperly assembled by an authorized dealer of Yamaha and whether Yamaha could properly be held liable for the dealer’s negligence.

Factual and Procedural Background

In December 2016, Chad Defries’ wife bought a Yamaha dirt bike for her husband as a Christmas present. Mr. Defries first rode the bike one month later. He took it out a second time on Feb. 2017 with two friends, including Johnny Kitchin and Johnny Butcher. The trio decided to ride their bikes at a dirt bike course in Perris. While riding through a portion of the course that consisted of a series of small hills, the throttle on Defries’ motorcycle fell off the handlebar, causing the handlebar to turn to the left and Defries to fall off the bike in a motorcycle accident. Defries broke his right femur, suffered a separated shoulder, and suffered a hernia. Butcher and Kitchin both testified that they saw the throttle hanging off of the bike detached from the handlebar when they loaded the bike in their truck.

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car-accident-attorneys-LosAngelesDespite the fact that the costs involved with medical treatment and car repairs following motor vehicle accidents have dramatically risen over the past five decades, California’s mandatory minimum liability insurance requirements have remained the same for more than 50 years. Recently, however, the California legislature passed a bill that would increase the minimum mandatory liability insurance requirements for motorists in the state, which is a move that is long overdue.

California’s Current Liability Insurance Law

Under Cal. Veh. Code § 16056, all motorists in the state are required to carry minimum liability insurance in at least the following amounts:

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slip-fall-accident-lawyerIn California, when an employee negligently creates a dangerous condition on the premises of their employer and fails to correct it, the employee’s knowledge of the dangerous condition is imputed to the employer. Employers are vicariously liable for the negligence of their employees while they are working. In Perez v. Hibachi Buffet, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B304824, the Court of Appeal considered a case to determine whether a jury’s verdict in favor of a plaintiff who had been injured in a slip and fall in spilled liquid in a hallway was based on a reasonable inference instead of impermissible speculation.[1]

Factual and Procedural Background

Hibachi Buffet is a restaurant with seating for 200 guests. Jorge Perez was a customer who went to the restaurant for lunch. During his visit, he walked up a hallway to the restroom and adjusted his dentures. When he entered the hallway to go to the restroom, the floor tiles were dry. After he left the restroom, there was a spill of liquid on the hallway floor that he slipped in and fell hard on the tiled surface, sustaining serious injuries.

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California-Wrongful-Death-AttorneysEmployers are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees when the employees injure others while acting within the scope and course of their employment. In Musgrove v. Silver, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B311504, the Court of Appeal considered whether Hollywood producer Joel Silver was directly or vicariously liable for the death of his assistant while they were in Bora Bora for Jennifer Anniston’s wedding.

Factual and Procedural Background

Carmel Musgrove was a 28-year-old executive assistant to Hollywood Producer Joel Silver. In August 2015, Silver invited Musgrove and Silver’s personal chef, Martin Herold to travel to Bora Bora with him, his family members, and friends to Bora Bora to celebrate actress Jennifer Aniston’s wedding. Silver gave Musgrove the option of attending but did not mandate her presence. He told her if she went, she would only have minimal duties of coordinating the schedules of Silver and his family but would otherwise be free to do what she wished. He also paid all of her expenses for travel, food, and alcohol during her stay. Herold traveled to make the family’s meals but also was otherwise free to do what wished and was paid for preparing meals. His expenses were also covered, including alcohol.

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Uber-Accident-Attorneys-CaliforniaMany people in Los Angeles and throughout California use Uber as a convenient and affordable mode of transportation. Uber has a duty to screen its drivers and take steps to protect people who use its app to hail rides. However, this duty covers when an Uber passenger rides with an Uber driver. In the case of Jane Doe No. 1 v. Uber Technologies, Inc, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B310131, the California Court of Appeal considered whether Uber’s duty extended to situations in which women were assaulted by fake Uber drivers.[1]

Factual and Procedural Background

Between June 2017 and Feb. 2018, three women in Los Angeles each attempted to use the Uber app to hail rides home after spending their nights out at clubs where they consumed alcohol. In each of the women’s cases, fake Uber drivers who had purchased Uber decals from the company’s website and attached them to their vehicles pulled up instead of the Uber drivers. Two of the women did not try to verify that the vehicles and drivers were the right ones before getting into the vehicles. The third woman noticed the license plate number didn’t match, but the fake Uber driver convinced her to get in by claiming he had recently crashed his car and had not yet updated his information in the app.

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Costco-Accident-Attorneys-CaliforniaBusinesses owe a duty of care to their customers to keep their premises reasonably safe. This duty includes a duty to inspect the premises and promptly correct any hazardous conditions that might be discovered. In Hassaine v. Club Demonstration Services, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. D079396, the Court of Appeal considered whether an independent contractor demonstrating products inside of a larger store also owed a duty of care to customers extending to the entire premises.

Factual and procedural background

Club Demonstration Services, Inc. (CDS) contracted with Costco to demonstrate products to customers shopping in Costco stores. CDS employees would demonstrate products to customers while stationed at various demonstration tables.

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Police reports are often found to be inadmissible as hearsay in both civil and criminal cases. However, there are certain situations in which the information contained in police reports might meet an exception to the hearsay rule and be admissible in court. In Doe v. Brightstar Residential Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B304084, the Court of Appeal considered whether the trial court had erroneously excluded a police file in a civil sexual assault case against a residential care home filed by a developmentally disabled woman and her father.

Factual and Procedural Background

Jane Doe was a developmentally disabled young woman with severe autism and other diagnoses in her 20s who lived at Brightstar Residential Incorporated, a facility that provides residential care and supervision for people with mental disabilities. Doe had the mental capacity of a child. Doe was unable to do things for herself or recognize hazards and required constant supervision.

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accidental-shooting-attorneys-CaliforniaCalifornia employers are vicariously liable for the negligent actions of their employees while they are acting within the scope and course of their jobs and negligently cause injuries to others. However, employers are generally not liable for the actions of their employees when they are off duty. In Perez v. City and County of San Francisco, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. A161279, the California Court of Appeal considered whether the city was vicariously liable for the actions of a police officer who left his weapon unsecured in his vehicle at home.

Factual and Procedural Background

Marvin Cabuntala was employed as a police officer with the San Francisco Police Department. The agency issued service weapons to its officers and also had the policy to allow officers to carry guns as secondary weapons as long as they were approved by the department. Cabuntala owned a handgun that was approved as a secondary weapon. He regularly carried it in his vehicle and also used it at home to protect his family.

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paraquat-injury-claims-CaliforniaParaquat pesticides have long been used by farmers and others in the agricultural industry because of their ability to kill weeds and pests. However, these pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Many lawyers have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of paraquat pesticides on behalf of agricultural workers who have developed Parkinson’s disease after chronic exposure. When plaintiffs are age 70 or older and have deteriorating health conditions that threaten their interests in the outcome of litigation, they have a right to request the court provide them with a preference and set trials within 120 days. In Isaak v. Superior Court, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. A163675, the Court of Appeal considered whether the preference rule applies even when a coordinated proceeding has been established under the Joint Civil Commission Proceeding (JCCP) rules.[1]

Factual and Procedural Background

George Isaak, an 84-year-old retired farmer, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the summer of 2020 after years of using paraquat pesticides for agricultural purposes on his fields. This type of pesticide has been linked to Parkinson’s disease. Isaak suffered multiple impairments as a result of his condition, including cognitive impacts, fatigue, weakness, the inability to walk, and incontinence.

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Street-Racing-Accidents-Attorneys-Los-AngelesCalifornians should be aware of several new laws that are effective in 2022. Multiple laws that were passed by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Newsom affect motorists and pedestrians, and most of them were effective as of Jan. 1, 2022. Here are some of these new laws and the changes that you can expect during the new year.

Reduced Speed Limits in Certain Situations

Assembly Bill 43 was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 8, 2021. This law amended several statutes and added some new statutes to the California Vehicle Code. Under AB43, local authorities have been granted the authority to reduce speed limits on state highways in areas where doing so is necessary to protect bicyclists, pedestrians, and other vulnerable populations from being injured in collisions with cars.

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