Committed to Justice in Los Angeles and Beyond

Respondent Leopoldo Jorge, Jr. sued Almir Da Fonseca and appellant Culinary Institute of America for injuries suffered when he was hit by a car driven by Da Fonseca, a chef instructor employed by the Institute. Although Da Fonseca had finished his shift at the Culinary Institute and was driving home in his own vehicle at the time of the accident, a jury found the Institute liable for Jorge’s injuries on a theory of respondeat superior. The Culinary Institute moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the ground that Da Fonseca was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. More specifically, it argued that there was no evidence supporting the application of the “required vehicle” exception to the “going and coming” rule, and thus it could not be vicariously liable for Da Fonseca’s negligent conduct while he was commuting home from work. The trial court denied the motion.

car accident

The Culinary Institute appealed, again arguing that it could not be liable to Jorge for injuries caused by Da Fonseca’s negligence because there was no evidence that at the time of the accident, Da Fonseca was acting within the scope of his employment. The California Court of Appeals for the First District agreed and reversed.

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On September 1, a lawsuit was filed in California U.S. District Court against Pop Warner, the United States’ largest league for youth football. The class action was filed by the mothers of two now-deceased players. The suit claims that the organization put players at risk by consciously disregarding the dangers of football-related head trauma.


The lawsuit suggests that youth football leagues are the next target in the ongoing influx of litigation regarding concussions. This class action is the greatest challenge to youth football yet. The lawsuit was filed as the NFL continues to accrue substantial legal fees to fight similar allegations. The NFL recently agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a major case. The NCAA and college football programs have also been fending off litigation.

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The widow and children of a construction worker killed at a wastewater treatment facility in Southern California were recently awarded $16.3 million in their case against the construction company. construction

In August 2011, Edgar Alejandro Gonzalez was working at the Hyperion Treatment Plant, a wastewater plant in Playa del Rey that handles Los Angeles’ water supply. Edgar was helping to erect a concrete wall panel when it collapsed, causing him to fall 30 feet. Part of the wall then fell on him, resulting in severe head trauma that ultimately caused his death. His family filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Atlas Construction Supply, Inc.

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The California Court of Appeals for the First Appellate District recently reversed a lower court’s grant of summary judgment for a defendant doctor in a medical malpractice lawsuit, holding that the lower court incorrectly found the plaintiff’s expert was unqualified simply for being licensed outside the United States.  sling

Plaintiff Lidia C. Borrayo sued defendant Dr. G. James Avery, alleging he engaged in medical malpractice during the course of her treatment for a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). Avery moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted after sustaining his objection to her sole expert witness’ declaration. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that this expert witness — a physician licensed to practice medicine in Mexico — was qualified to provide an opinion about the standard of care to which the defendant was held.

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The parents of actor Anton Yelchin — who acts in “Star Trek Beyond” — have filed a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court against Fiat Chrysler “for the wrongful death of their son due to significant defects.” At a press conference, Yelchin’s attorney indicated that the lawsuit was filed to punish the car company for the defective manufacturing of a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed Anton. jeep wheel

In mid-June of this year, Anton’s car, which was allegedly equipped with a defective electronic transmission shift, rolled out from the driveway of his home and pinned him between a brick pillar and a security fence. He was later found dead.

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The California Court of Appeals for the Second District recently reversed the lower court’s holding that plaintiffs lacked standing to sue a hotel that refused to rent a room to a parapalegic unless she paid a fee for her service dog. The appeals court held that the lower court erroneously sustained the defendants’ demurrers, incorrectly finding that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue.

guide dogs

The lawsuit arose from an incident that occurred at a hotel owned and managed by defendants Bruce and Alfred Yasmeh, American Property Management, and INE Capital Holdings. Plaintiffs John Flowers and Seth and Kody Messmer filed suit in November 2013 after visiting the hotel. Flowers is a parapalegic and uses a service dog. Osborne is Flowers’ wife, and the Messmers are Flowers’ stepsons. The plaintiffs alleged that they were refused to rent a hotel room unless they paid a non-refundable cleaning fee for the service dog. Hotel management allegedly demanded them to pay an additional $220 for the cleaning fee. (The hotel room itself was only $80.) The plaintiffs left the hotel without paying the fee.

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Gayle Yashar, 57, is suing OUE Skyspace LLC and Legends Hospitality LLC after breaking her ankle while riding down a tower slide managed and operated by the defendants. Yashar filed suit for negligence in Los Angeles Superior Court. skyscraper

Gayle was injured earlier this month, eight days after the 45-foot-long “Skyslide” opened. The glass-enclosed slide is attached to the U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast. It runs between the 70th and 69th floors, nearly 1,000 feet above the street.

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The California Court of Appeals for the Second District recently upheld a $5.42 million award to a plaintiff following her being raped by an employee in a West Hollywood club floor

Defendant 696 North Robertson, LLC owns and operates a West Hollywood bar and dance club called Here Lounge. The defendant appealed from a judgment based on the jury’s award of $5.42 million in damages to plaintiff Janice H. for failing to use reasonable care to protect her from sexual assault in a unisex bathroom stall. The defendant claimed it did not breach a duty to the plaintiff and did not cause the plaintiff’s injury. Therefore, it maintained the court abused its discretion in erroneously admitting irrelevant and prejudicial evidence. Finally, the defendant contended that the jury’s non-economic damages award was excessive and punitive.

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In a lawsuit filed on July 12 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Silicon Valley insider Shervin Pishevar was accused of mismanaging his latest startup, Hyperloop One, a company aiming to create a high-speed train. train

The lawsuit was filed by Brogan BamBrogan, who co-founded the Los Angeles-based startup with Pishevar in 2014, and three other former executives. He is suing Hyperloop One, Pishevar (the company’s executive chairman), and three others associated with the company. BamBrogan alleges that Hyperloop’s executives breached their fiduciary duty by placing their own interests above those of Hyperloop One. The causes of action include wrongful termination, breach of contract, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault.

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Last month, California sued Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn patients and doctors regarding the risks and likelihood of complications resulting from the company’s pelvic mesh devices. The suit also alleges false advertising and knowingly concealing the risks linked to the devices.  hospital bed

Specifically, the suit claims that Johnson & Johnson incorrectly marketed the devices as a safe alternative to non-mesh treatments for pelvic floor disorders, while knowing their use could potentially result in a number of side effects, including bleeding and losing sexual function.

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