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When people are injured while they are on the property of others, they may have legal grounds to file lawsuits when their injuries were caused by dangerous conditions about which the property owners knew about or should have reasonably known about. If a person is injured by a dangerous condition that exists on public property, the municipality, governmental agency, or another governmental body that owns the property may likewise be liable to pay damages. However, it may be more difficult to prove that a condition on public property is dangerous than a condition on private property. In Huckey v. City of Temecula, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. E070213, the court considered whether a plaintiff had met his initial burden of proving that a condition that existed on a public sidewalk was dangerous.

Factual and procedural background of the case

Charles Huckey was helping a real estate agent named Valentina N. who had an open house in the area of Rancho California Road and Meadows Parkway in Temecula on Dec. 12, 2015, somewhere between the times of 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Huckey picked up some of Valentina’s signs, which he was carrying underneath his arms as he walked on the sidewalk close to the northeast corner of the intersection when he tripped over a raised area and fell, striking his head, hands, and arms. Huckey filed a lawsuit against the city of Temecula, alleging that the city had negligently failed to repair a dangerous condition that caused his injury. The city filed a motion for summary judgment and asked the court to dismiss Huckey’s lawsuit.

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work-injury-claims-attorney-Los-AngelesPeople who are injured while they are working are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits through their employers’ insurance carriers. Doctors are able to request specific medical services for injured workers. When employers either change the requests or deny them, the modifications or denials undergo a utilization review by medical experts. In Allied Signal Aerospace vs. Workers Compensation Appeals Board, Cal.Ct. App. Case No. B293080, the California Court of Appeal considered an employer’s petition for review of a decision that was made by the appeals board concerning a utilization review for a woman whose doctor had requested heavy housecleaning assistance.

Factual and procedural background

Maxine Wiggs was an employee of Allied Signal Aerospace who suffered an industrial injury that was cumulative in nature from May 3, 1997, to May 30, 1998. The injury required her to undergo six surgeries between 1998 and 2012. By 2012, Wiggs had to take multiple narcotic and opioid medications to manage her pain. She had three more surgeries from 2014 to 2017. Wiggs requested home health care services. On Oct. 22, 2012, the parties agreed that a registered nurse named Irene Mefford would conduct an in-home assessment of the need for housekeeping services and would write a report and submit it to Wiggs’s doctor for his review.

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sexual-abuse-attorneyThe victims of sexual abuse committed against them in schools may file lawsuits against the perpetrators, administrators, and the school district when the school knew or reasonably should have known about the risk that the perpetrator posed to others. When these cases go to trial, plaintiffs may have to rely on earlier misconduct to show that the school district had notice. In D.Z. v. Los Angeles Unified School District, Cal. Ct. App., Case No. B283799, the California Court of Appeals reviewed whether the trial court should have admitted evidence of other prior misconduct on the part of a teacher to show that the Los Angeles Unified School District had notice that the teacher had a propensity to commit sexual abuse of students.[1]

Procedural and factual background of the case

D.Z. was a 16-year-old girl who was expelled from her previous high school because she reportedly threw a book at the school’s dean. She was subsequently enrolled at Miguel Leonis High School in Sept. 2010, a school within the Los Angeles Unified School District for at-risk students. The school consisted of four classrooms with the principal’s office central to each one. The principal was able to see into the individual classrooms through open doors. There were only 130 students at the school, so the setting was more intimate, and the students were able to develop closer relationships with their teachers than students were in larger schools.

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workplace-sexual-assault-attorneyIt doesn’t matter the nature of the organization – the workplace should feel like a safe and secure environment for its employees. However, in countless unfortunate cases, it can be a place of unwelcomed interactions leading to sexual discrimination, harassment, or worse – sexual assault.Not only are these actions physically and emotionally abusive, they create an unhealthy, unproductive atmosphere in the workplace that holds employers accountable. In 2018, the #MeToo movement raised considerable awareness and visibility of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, making clear the personal toll it takes on victims’ lives. As a result, more and more victims are taking legal action to bring justice and closure to their cases.  Sexual assault and sexual harassment are both situations that can be difficult to distinguish. For instance, a common question that arises in these cases is “Where does sexual harassment end and sexual assault begin?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question may not be as clear as you would think. Below we help to develop clarity around situations of sexual assault in the workplace, and what victims need to know after encountering such behaviors.

Understanding the Difference Between Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault in the Workplace

The difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault can be a gray area somewhat ambiguous to distinguish. Not only is there confusion between these terms, many people diminish sexual harassment as an issue that takes a distant back seat compared to sexual assault. The fact of the matter is, there’s considerable overlap between how these occurrences are defined, and within the continuum of harm, sexual harassment may eventually lead to sexual assault.

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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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