Our office remains open and serving clients during COVID-19. We also remain available 24/7 to answer questions about any potential personal injury claim toll free at 866-966-5240.

Articles Posted in Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Published on:

company-car-accident-lawyerPeople who are injured in California accidents that are caused by the negligent actions of company drivers may be able to hold the employers vicariously liable to pay damages for the losses that they have suffered. However, employers are not liable under the coming and going rule for employees who are commuting to or from their jobs. If an exception applies, an employer may still be liable for the negligent actions of its employee while he or she is commuting to and from work. In Savaikie v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B291120, the California Court of Appeals considered whether the required vehicle use exception to the coming and going rule applied.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Wyatt Savaikie was a 14-year-old boy who was crossing the street in a crosswalk in Santa Clarita, California on July 16, 2015, when he was struck and killed by Ralph Steger. Steger was a volunteer who provided pet therapy to patients at Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. He had just completed his volunteer shift and had stopped at his bank before he hit Savaikie with his vehicle. Savaikie’s parents filed a lawsuit against Steger, the City of Santa Clarita, Southern California Edison, and the County of Los Angeles. The state of California was dismissed as a defendant, and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals was added. They argued that Kaiser was vicariously liable for Steger’s actions as his employer. They settled with all defendants except Kaiser Foundation Hospitals. Savaikie’s brother, Michael, witnessed the crash and filed a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress against the defendants.

Published on:

In California, companies that hire independent contractors to perform work are only liable to the independent contractors’ employees in limited circumstances. In Alaniz v. Sun Pacific Shippers, LP, Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B2920013, the California Court of Appeals reviewed a case in which an employee of an independent contractor was injured while he was working on the premises of a company to determine whether the jury instructions that the court gave were accurate or if they introduced prejudicial error against the defendants.[1]

Factual and procedural background

Jesus Alaniz was an employee of Navarro Trucking, which was contracted with Sun Pacific Shippers to deliver empty orange and apple bins to an orchard owned by Sun Pacific. In Feb. 2012, Alaniz delivered a truckload of bins to the orchard. A man named Roberto Reynosa, who as an employee of a different independent contractor named J. Antonio Rosa Lule, drove a forklift with the responsibility of unloading the bins from Alaniz’s truck.

Published on:

school-bus-accident-injuryA tragic case in San Bernardino County that involved a six-year-old girl who was struck by a car while crossing the street to catch her school bus demonstrates several things. Isabella Escamilla Sanchez, a minor, by and through her guardian ad litem, Carina Sanchez v. County of San Bernardino, a public entity; City of Highland, a public entity; et al., San Bernardino Superior Court, case no. 1309504, shows that accepted practices are not necessarily safe. The case also demonstrates how notice can affect the outcome of litigation and the vicarious liability that employers have when their employees’ negligence result in injuries to others.

Factual background

On Oct. 3, 2012, Isabella Escamilla Sanchez, a six-year-old, attempted to catch her school bus by crossing the street at midblock. She was struck by an oncoming Subaru Impreza and suffered numerous injuries, including a traumatic brain injury that left her with lifelong disabilities requiring round-the-clock nursing care. Her family filed a lawsuit against the Durham School Services because the drivers failed to report mid-street crossings by children in violation of their own policies.

Published on:

When a person is injured in an accident in in California and share a part of the blame for the accident’s cause, he or she may still be able to recover damages for the losses that were incurred. California follows a rule called comparative negligence, which means that people who have some of the fault may still recover compensation. However, the amount that they may receive will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is allocated to them. Allegations of partial negligence may not always result in a finding that a person was comparatively negligent, however. A recent case in California, Steven Meier v. PennySaver USA, LLC, et al, Riverside Superior Court / RIC1507069, demonstrates the principle that if a person’s negligence did not contribute to the accident, the person may still recover all of his or her damages.

Factual background

Steven Meier, a 59-year-old security guard who worked for Securitas Security Services, was working at a PennySaver USA facility on Oct. 20, 2013. While he was patrolling, a Pennysaver USA employee who was operating a forklift reversed into Meier, dragging him 15 feet and pinning his leg under the equipment. Another piece of machinery had to be brought in to lift the forklift off of his leg. Doctors attempted to save his leg, but it had to be amputated below the knee. Meier filed a lawsuit against PennySaver USA for its employee’s negligence and the company’s vicarious liability for the employee’s failure to look in the direction of travel while he was reversing the forklift.

Published on:

truck-accident-attorney-lawyer-CaliforniaA provision that is included in pending legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives may result in fewer truck drivers in California taking needed rest breaks while they are working. The bill would apply to truck drivers who drive into California from other states while exempting them from California’s mandatory rest break requirements. If this bill passes, truck drivers may be more fatigued and cause more accidents in both California and in the rest of the U.S.

The proposed law

A provision that is included in a House appropriations bill would exempt interstate truck drivers who drive into California from following the strict rest and meal break regulations in the state. Under California law, all workers, including truck drivers, must take one 30-minute meal break every five hours and one 10-minute rest break every four hours of work. Some other states, including Kentucky and Colorado, have similar rest and meal break laws on the books. Federal law only requires that truck drivers take one 30-minute break during the first eight hours of driving. Officials in California are concerned that reducing the amount of time that drivers spend resting may result in increased injury and accident rates in the state.

Published on:

Employer, Drunk Driving, Liability, CaliforniaIn some cases, employers in California may be liable when their employees are intoxicated and cause accidents. Plaintiffs may be able to sue the employers under a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. Employers may also be liable if they negligently retain or hire an employee who then injures others while drinking and driving. In a recent case in Los Angeles, the principles of negligent retention and vicarious liability were demonstrated.

Factual background

In George v. Firstservice Residential California LLC, Los Angeles Superior Court case number BC534796, a man was seriously injured when he was being driven by an employee of Firstservice Residential California LLC. Lance Sandman was a general manager of the company, and he was driving the plaintiff home after the pair had left a pub on March 17, 2013. The plaintiff, Tomislav George, was the vice president of a homeowners’ association board, which was a client of Sandman’s company. Both men had drunk alcohol at the club. On their way to the plaintiff’s home, Sandman crashed into another vehicle, seriously injuring the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s injuries included a near-amputation of his arm that later required more than 30 surgeries.

Published on:

In the largest jury verdict in California involving the death of a minor, a couple of parties who were involved in the Starline tour bus crash that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old Mira Costa High School student were found liable to pay $26 million in damages to the boy’s family. The verdict was handed down in Compton Superior Court after the conclusion of a long trial.

Background of the case

Mason Zisette was invited to attend a friend’s 16th birthday party on a Starline tour bus on July 10, 2014. Before heading to the party, he texted some friends and reportedly stated that he was planning to drink alcohol before he arrived. His friends testified that he drank three beers in 30 minutes before getting on the bus. In addition to the bus driver, there was a tour guide who was present along with the parents of the girl who was having the party. The mother of the girl who was having the party purchased six bottles of Smirnoff vodka, handed them to her daughter and told her to share them with her friends. There were 35 teenagers on the bus for the party. The teens went to the upper deck while the four adults remained on the lower level.

Published on:

Californians are sometimes injured by people who are working at the time of their accidents, including public employees. Both private and public employers may be held to be liable for the actions of their employees in certain situations. A recent case, Jonathan Soto v. City of Long Beach, BC 559317, that was filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court demonstrates the principle of vicarious liability for public employees.

Case background

On Feb. 4, 2014, Jonathan Soto, a 66-year-old man who was retired, fell asleep on the beach close to the 5400 block of Ocean Boulevard around 10 a.m. While he was sleeping, a city employee with the Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine was driving a city truck on the beach, picking up trash as a part of his job. The driver, Stanley Willie Delaney, also had a passenger in his vehicle. Failing to see Soto, Delaney ran over him. Soto was seriously injured and suffered a broken pelvis and fractures to his lumbar vertebrae numbers one through four. Soto filed his lawsuit against the City of Long Beach and against Delaney on Oct. 1, 2014.

Published on:

Rental Car Defects, Lawsuits, Wrongful Death, RecallsA long-term battle for justice for two 20-year-old women who lost their lives in a tragic accident has just ended in a huge way. Legislatures have just passed a law that governs how rental companies rent out their vehicles. The new law requires auto rental corporations to fix vehicles that are on their lots with recall orders on them. The legislation was passed because of the extremely catastrophic death of two sisters, Raechel and Jacqueline Houck. They lost their lives in 2004 in a crash that sent their mother on a mission to change laws.

An Unnecessary Loss of Life

Automobile accidents are always tragic no matter who loses their lives in them or who gets hurt. This incident was severely tragic because of the neglect that the auto rental company showed. The PT Cruiser that the girls rented was placed on the recall list. The manufacturer notified the vehicle owners, Enterprise Rental Company, of the defect and the need for repairs. Enterprise rented the vehicle to the Houck sisters and three other people instead of removing the vehicle from the inventory until the repairs were done.

Published on:

Delivery Truck, Accident, Injury AttorneyThe case of Kayleigh McCall v. Coast Line Distributing, Inc. and Paul Anthony Ceja in the San Luis Obispo Superior Court case no. 14CV0535 has taken the nation by storm. The original case was filed back on October 16, 2014 by 27 year-old Kayleigh McCall. Honorable Barry T. LaBarbera presided over the court proceedings in this auto v. auto accident. It wasn’t until March 10, 2016 that a jury verdict was actually reached in the case.

The whole case revolves around a father hiring his son to work as a truck driver for his dairy distribution company when he should never have been hired in the first place. Paul Ceja had a long-standing history of incarceration, drug abuse, license suspensions and felonies before ever being hired by his father. It was only 10 months into his being hired that he rear-ended the plaintiff on February 4, 2013 at the intersection of Yerba Buena and Highway 1 in Morro Bay. The son ended up crashing the heavy delivery truck into a smaller car traveling at 55-60 miles per hour.

The truck contained various drug paraphernalia such as burned foil containing drug residue, hypodermic needles and Suboxone. He ended up being arrested for driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. A blood test ended up confirming that he had opioids and methamphetamines in his system when the crash occurred. It wasn’t until trial that the defendants admitted fault. Because of the rate of speed and the size difference between the two vehicles, the driver of the smaller car sustained significant injuries and out of pocket costs.

Contact Information