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When people in California are injured in accidents, they may be able to recover compensation by filing lawsuits against parties who negligently contributed to their accidents and injuries. People who file lawsuits need to be aware of the discovery rules as shown by Du-All Safety, LLC v. Superior Court, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. A115119. The discovery rules outline when expert witnesses that the parties intend to call should be disclosed to the other side.

Factual background of the case

In Nov. 2015, Mark Krein was walking on a suspended steel footbridge at his job at the Tuolomne Water District. The bridge had been constructed in 1974 as a part of a wastewater treatment plant, and it connected one digester tank to another. While Krein was walking across the footbridge, it suddenly collapsed beneath him. He plummeted to the ground and suffered severe injuries that resulted in paraplegia.

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Californians who suffer serious injuries in accidents because of negligence may be entitled to recover compensation for their losses. However, as the decision in Stokes v. Muschinske, Cal. Ct. App, Case No. B280116 demonstrates, it is important to properly value your claim and that you do not overreach. Even when jury misconduct might have occurred, it may not be enough to secure a new trial when your damages award is much less than what you expected.

Factual and procedural background

Plaintiffs James Stokes and Patricia Stokes were traveling in their car on March 28, 2013. Defendant Martin Muschinske was operating a pickup truck with a horse trailer at the same time. The truck and trailer were fully loaded, and Muschinske rear-ended the Stokes’s car, causing serious injuries to James Stokes.

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People who are seriously injured when they are visiting the property of others may be able to recover damages from the property owners or possessors in some cases. In some instances, injured plaintiffs may be able to reach defendants that are national companies or organizations. However, as Barenborg v. Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B289766, some defendants may not be vicariously liable for the actions of chapters that are run independently.

Factual background of the case

Sigma Alpha Epsilon is a national fraternal organization with more than 13,000 members and chapters at universities and colleges across the nation. The organization has bylaws that local chapters are supposed to follow, but each local chapter independently manages its own affairs and has its own bylaws. The California Gamma chapter was located at the University of Southern California. It had committed multiple violations in the past and occasionally held parties on Thursdays in violation of the organization’s rule that there should be no parties on Monday through Thursday.

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company-car-accident-lawyerIn California, if you are injured in an accident that is caused by someone who is working, the at-fault driver’s employer may be liable to pay damages to you. Like other states, California assigns liability to employers when their employees negligently cause injuries to others while they are working. However, employers are not responsible for the negligent actions of their employees when their employees are not acting within the scope and course of their jobs.

In Moreno v. Visser Ranch, Cal. Ct. App., Case No. F075822, the court explored a situation in which a worker was driving an employer-provided vehicle after hours. However, since the worker was required to drive the employer-provided vehicle at all times and was on-call 24 hours per day, the court still found that he may have been acting within the scope and course of his job, meaning that his employer could be found to be liable by the trier of fact.

Factual and procedural background of the case

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California courts normally give deference to forum selection clauses that are included in contracts when people suffer injuries while they are on cruises. When people purchase cruise line tickets, they are provided with copies of the contracts. Many of these contracts contain clauses that mandate where claims for injury must be filed. As the decision in Korman v. Princess Cruise Lines, LTD., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B290681 shows, plaintiffs must make certain that they file their complaints in the correct court. It is important for plaintiffs to consult with an experienced cruise ship accident and injury attorney to make certain that their cases are filed correctly.

Factual and procedural background

Barry Korman went on a cruise with Princess Cruise Lines in Feb. 2017. While he was using the day spa, the cruise ship encountered a storm. The passengers were not warned of the impending storm before the cruise ship encountered it. The bad weather caused the cruise ship to tip, which resulted in Korman falling in the spa and breaking his hip. He suffered a permanent injury as a result and filed a lawsuit against Princess Cruise Lines on Aug. 29, 2017.

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A recent case that happened in Phoenix, Arizona shocked many people in California and around the world. The case involved a woman who has been in a vegetative state for years who gave birth. The woman’s case involves both potential criminal and civil liability issues. If it had occurred in California, there are a couple of potential causes of action that could apply.

Facts of the case

A 29-year-old woman who is a member of the San Carlos Apache tribe in Arizona suffered a near-drowning incident. She has been in a coma ever since for more than a decade. The woman has lived in a long-term care facility called Hacienda Health Care in Phoenix since that time. On Dec. 29, the woman gave birth to a baby despite the fact that she has never regained consciousness from her coma.

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Carnival-Cruise-Accident-LawyerAre cruise lines like Carnival doing enough to prevent overboard accidents? Millions of people enjoy taking cruises each year. According to Statista, an estimated 13.89 million people from North America took cruises in 2018, and another 6.23 million Europeans also did so.[1] While the popularity of cruises is undeniable, people still need to take steps to ensure that they remain safe. Cruises are considered to be generally safe, but there are some problems that can happen that may result from the negligence of the cruise liner companies. One of these issues that has recently been in the news is the problem of people falling off of cruise ships.

Prevalence of overboard incidents on cruise ships

Time Magazine reports that a spate of five presumed deaths from falling off of cruises occurred during the months of November and December in 2018.[2] The five victims included both crewmembers and passengers. The list of incidents is as follows:

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sexual-abuse-attorney-los-angelesWhen people file civil lawsuits against entities, including churches, that might be responsible for sexual abuse that they have suffered, the organizations must comply with discovery rules. If they do not comply with discovery requests and orders, they may face sanctions. In J.W. v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Society of New York, Cal. Ct. App., Case No. E066555, the court reviewed whether terminating sanctions were appropriate in a case in which the defendant refused to turn over documents despite multiple court orders.

Factual and procedural background

J.W. is a female who was born in 1997. She was raised from birth in the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have an organizational hierarchy in which the Watchtower serves as the central power. Underneath the Watchtower, the church’s structure is divided into circuits, which are each composed of from 20 to 22 congregations. Each individual congregation is governed by a group of elders. The elders are responsible for managing all of the activities of the congregation, including door-to-door proselytizing, finances, and determining the guilt and punishment of individual members who commit serious sins.

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Butte-County-Camp-Fire-Lawsuits-Victim-Recovery-300x225Numerous California law firms have already filed a series of coordinated lawsuits, on behalf of some of the victims of California’s largest-ever wildfire, the Butte County Camp Fire.

The allegations are that Pacific, Gas & Electric (“PG&E”) had a long history of poor maintenance, and numerous other known issues and prior complaints.  And they have allegedly caused many other fires in the past. This shameful history demonstrates that PG&E knew that a serious fire could happen, but company executives put their own profits above the safety of thousands of people.  In this particular case, there is allegedly good evidence that a failed electrical component, owned by PG&E, started the Camp Fire.

Families may not realize what potential compensation they could possibly recover in these lawsuits.  This article explains the basic legal claims, and what damages can be recovered.

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When personal injury cases in California go to jury trials, both the plaintiffs and the defendants are allowed to question potential jurors. The courts may also allow them to make opening statements so that they can present information about the facts and circumstances of their cases. However, as the case of Alcazar v. Los Angeles Unified School District, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B281313 shows, the court is allowed to restrict the scope of the questioning and has discretion about allowing opening statements. People who have suffered injuries might benefit from consulting with experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers to obtain fair evaluations of their potential claims.

Factual background of the case

Edgar Alcazar was a 13-year-old middle school student with special needs. On May 7, 2013, Alcazar was swinging from a branch of a tree on the school’s campus that was growing inside of a concrete planter. Alcazar had been warned not to swing on the branches in the past and had been told that doing so was dangerous. Despite these warnings, he swang on the branch again, falling to the ground and striking his head on a pedestrian walkway during his lunchtime recess. The principal was called over a radio about the incident. When he got to the scene, he found Alcazar lying on his back next to a broken branch from the tree. The branch was about six feet long and 2 inches thick at its widest point.

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