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Many people in California have heard the shocking story about 19-year-old Miya Marcano, a Florida college student who was brutally slain by a co-worker. Marcano was initially reported missing by her family when she failed to take a flight home for a planned visit. She worked in the office of an apartment complex located in Orlando, Florida and also lived in an apartment in the complex. Marcano’s family has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Arden Villas and its operator for negligent hiring and supervision. The case provides a good illustration of negligent hiring and supervision cases.

Marcano’s case

Miya Marcano was a 19-year-old student who was studying at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida. She lived and worked at the Arden Villas, an apartment complex where she was employed in the leasing office.

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electrical-burn-injury-lawyersWhen employees of contractors are injured while performing work on behalf of a third party, they generally cannot hold the company that hired the contractors liable for their injuries. However, exceptions exist when the hirer retains control over the safety conditions of the work environment, fails to disclose a hidden, dangerous condition, or affirmatively contributes to the workers’ injuries. In Sandoval v. Qualcomm Inc., Cal. S. Ct., No. S252796 (2021), the California Supreme Court considered whether a hirer has a tort duty to inform individual employees of an independent contractor about hidden safety hazards in the workplace.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Martin Sandoval was an electrical parts specialist who worked for ROS Electrical Supply & Equipment. He was hired by Transpower Testing, Inc. to help Transpower’s president, Frank Sharghi, a licensed electrical engineer, to locate some busbars in the main cogen circuit at Qualcommm Inc.’s campus. Qualcomm had hired Transpower Testing to upgrade the company’s turbines in 2013. Sharghi had previously worked on Qualcomm’s switchgear for more than 20 years.

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Personal-Injury-Claims-Attorneys-CaliforniaIs an insurance company required to disclose and tender policy limits in California?  When insurance companies receive accident claims that are likely to involve damages far exceeding their policy limits, they are required to try to settle the claims within their insured’s policy limits. In Hedayati v. Interinsurance Exchange of the Auto. Club, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. G058189, the Court of Appeal considered whether an insurance company had acted in bad faith when it refused to disclose its insured’s policy limits and to communicate a settlement demand that had been made.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Maryam Hedayati was a 43-year-old woman who had recently graduated from medical school. While taking a break from studying for her medical board exam on Oct. 1, 2012, she took a walk. As she crossed the street in a crosswalk, 45-year-old Maurice Vanwyk struck her with his vehicle. The collision severed one of Hedayati’s legs, shattered the other, and left her in a coma and on life support.

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When people are seriously injured at work, they are generally limited to pursuing remedies under their employers’ workers’ compensation policies. However, when their employers fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance, they can file lawsuits against their employers in court. In the case of Hollingsworth v. Heavy Transport, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B306127, the court considered whether the trial court had erred when it denied a jury trial to determine whether an employer had workers’ compensation insurance or not.

Factual and procedural background

Kirk Hollingsworth was employed by Heavy Transport, Inc. as a maintenance worker. On June 20, 2016, Hollingsworth was called to the scene where a truck hauling a crane had two tires that failed. He changed those two tires and was subsequently called back to the scene after a third tire failed. The third tire had blown out, and its tire treads were wrapped around the axle. When he tried to free the treads from the axle, the truck fell and crushed him, killing him.

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California-Motorcycle-Accident-Attorneys-LawyersUnder California law, when people are working within the course and scope of their jobs, their employers may be vicariously liable when they negligently injure others. Employers might also be directly liable when their employees injure others when the employers negligently hired, supervised, or retained incompetent or unqualified workers. Recently, the California Republican Party paid a settlement of $11 million after one of its precinct workers caused serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident.[1]

Background of the case

Richard Ruehle was riding his motorcycle on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim on Aug. 5, 2016. A precinct worker who had been hired by Eric Linder’s reelection campaign had knocked on doors all morning and was driving back to work after his lunch break. The worker did not have a driver’s license. He did not check his mirrors or blind spots when he changed lanes, crashing into Ruehle and his motorcycle. The collision left Ruehle with quadriplegia, and he only had limited use of his arms. He will never be able to walk again. Ruehle was also married and had six children and was an avid hiker before his accident. Ruehle filed a lawsuit against both the California Republican Party and Eric Linder’s campaign.

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Califfornia-Vacation-Accident-Attorneys-Lawyers-300x200Each year, millions of people visit California for vacations and sightseeing. According to data from the California Travel and Tourism Commission, an estimated 42 million people visited California in 2018 alone and added $140.6 billion to the state’s economy.[1] Many people who vacation in California rent vehicles and try to navigate their way around the state’s interstates, freeways, highways, and streets. Unfortunately, some visitors to California sustain serious injuries in motor vehicle accidents during their visits. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident in California while on vacation that was caused by another driver, you might not know how to handle your claim. Since California’s laws differ from those of some other states, retaining an experienced personal injury attorney in Los Angeles at the Steven M. Sweat Personal Injury Lawyers might be a better choice than hiring a lawyer in your home state. Here is some information about how to handle car accident claims for collisions that happen when you are vacationing in California.

Jurisdiction and venue for accident claims while vacationing in California

Car accident injuries that happen while you are vacationing in California are more complex because of issues of jurisdiction and venue.[2] Before a court can hear a case and award compensation to a plaintiff, the court must have jurisdiction over both the victim and the negligent party. The court where the claim is filed must also be convenient for all of the involved parties and be the proper venue.

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In California, victims of sexual assault and abuse have a right to file a civil lawsuit against their abusers and other parties responsible for what happened. However, when the defendant is a third party that did not cause the abuser’s conduct or the resulting abuse, the court will generally find that no duty exists. There is an exception to this general rule when the third party has a special relationship with either the perpetrator or the victim. In Brown v. USA Taekwondo, Cal. Sup. Ct. Case No. S259216, the California Supreme Court established a two-step framework for determining whether a special relationship and an affirmative duty to protect exists.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Yazmin Brown, Brianna Bordon, and Kendra Gatt trained in taekwondo for the Olympics when they were teenagers. Each of the three athletes was coached by Marc Gitelman and frequently traveled with him to competitions and training events in California and throughout the country. Gitelman sexually abused each of the teens when they traveled to competitions. His abuse continued for several years until he was banned from coaching by USA Taekwondo. Subsequently, Gitelman was convicted of multiple felony sex abuse offenses for his sexual assaults and abuse of the three teen girls.

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California-Swap-Meet-Accident-AttorneysProperty owners owe a duty of care to keep their premises reasonably safe for visitors and those who come to their properties for lawful business purposes. They also have a duty to warn people on their premises about dangers that are not open and obvious that could foreseeably cause harm. In Zuniga v. Cherry Avenue Auction, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. F074802 & F078557, the court considered whether a property owner was liable to a vendor who rented space at a swap meet who was electrocuted when the vendor’s flagpole came into contact with an overhead power line.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Araceli Zuniga and Jose Flores were a couple who married in 2009. Shortly after marrying, the couple began renting space to sell merchandise at the Cherry Avenue Auction, which is an outdoor swap meet in the Los Angeles area that holds events on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vendors pay fees ranging from $25 to $100 to rent space at the swap meets, and vendors erect booths with poles and fabric banners to attract customers.

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construction-site-accident-attorneys-Los-AngelesAt construction sites in California, it is common for several different companies to perform different types of work. When an employee of one company is injured while working on a construction site by a company other than his or her employer, he or she has the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party while also recovering benefits through his or her employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. In some construction accidents, several third parties may be involved. In Atlas Construction Supply v. Swinerton Builders, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. D076426, the Court of Appeals considered whether one third party had the standing to appeal the trial court’s decision to grant a motion for summary judgment to a codefendant.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Marcelo Devalasco, Sr. was employed by J.R. Construction as a construction worker. J.R. Construction was hired by Swinerton Builders, a general contractor who was working on a residential development in San Diego. Swinerton also hired Brewer Crane & Rigging to perform work on the project. J.R. Construction rented a concrete form that was 10 feet tall and between 300 and 400 pounds from Atlas Construction Supply. Brewer placed the form upright at the worksite without any supporting braces. Devalasco and a second worker climbed the concrete form to change its size. The other worker stepped off of the form, and Devalasco’s weight caused it to be unbalanced. It fell over, crushing Devalasco and killing him.

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California-Personal-Injury-LawsIn California, family members who witness their loved ones’ serious injuries may file claims against the responsible parties for negligent infliction of emotional distress. In the past, the California Supreme Court has held that people must be present at the time of the incidents and witness them before they will have valid claims of negligent infliction of emotional distress. However, technology has advanced since the California Supreme Court established its bright-line rule for NIED cases. Today, family members might observe their loved ones’ injury incidents by video on their smartphones or other mobile devices. In Ko v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B293672, the appeals court considered whether virtual presence at the time of an incident was enough to satisfy the California Supreme Court’s physical presence requirement.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Dyana and Christopher Ko were the parents of three children. Their youngest child, Landon, was born with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. The Kos both worked outside of the home and contracted with Maxim Healthcare Services to provide an in-home health care aide to care for Landon when they were at work or elsewhere. One of the in-home workers who was sent by Maxim to work in the Kos’ home with Landon was named Thelma Manalastas. After Manalastas had provided care for Landon for a year, the Kos went with their older two children to a basketball tournament on April 22, 2017.

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