Committed to Justice in Los Angeles and Beyond

https://www.californiainjurylawyerblog.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/240/2017/03/Screen-Shot-2017-03-27-at-8.19.55-PM.pngAn unidentified Southern California woman is suing a hotel because an employee allegedly gave a stranger a key to her room, resulting in her sexual assault.

According to court documents, the incident occurred in April 2014 when the woman was staying in a Holiday Inn in Frazier Park in Kern County. She was there to visit her boyfriend for the weekend. According to the lawsuit, a hotel employee gave the victim’s room key to a man, J.P.

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A California man injured by plummeting metal laptop-sized boxes in a Home Depot is seeking roughly $50 million in damages in a recent lawsuit. 54-year-old J.B. argued the accident resulted in a traumatic brain injury with persisting symptoms. The case is currently being tried before a judge in Kern County Superior Court.

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J.B., who at the time was managing a cement company, entered the store to buy supplies in 2013. A Home Depot employee on a ladder accidentally dropped two metal boxes from a shelf, and they crashed onto J.B.’s head from a height of approximately eight feet.

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A federal judge recently dismissed claims by a former vice principal that the police violated his rights when they arrested him for having a gun at school, despite his having a permit for concealed carry.

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Filing suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, the former vice principal argued that two officers and the city of Bakersfield were liable for false arrest, negligence, and Fourth Amendment unlawful seizure violation because they lacked probable cause. A U.S. District Judge disagreed and granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding the officer acted reasonably under the circumstances.

The plaintiff was the vice principal at a junior high school for roughly five years, and he had been in the Bakersfield school system for nearly 30 years. At the time of the arrest, the California Gun Free Zone Act prohibited the possession of unauthorized firearms within 1,000 feet of school grounds without the permission of school authorities. However, the Act had an exception for law enforcement and those with concealed carry licenses.

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A plaintiff brought a personal injury action against the owners of an Oakland, California property after he was allegedly injured by a live bullet that a party guest threw into a bonfire. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants, and the plaintiff appealed, arguing the trial court erred as a matter of law in concluding the defendants owed him no legal duty to prevent that incident. The appeals court affirmed the judgment.

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The plaintiff filed suit in August 2013 against Madison Park Financial Corp. and two individuals. His complaint alleged general negligence and premises liability; specifically, he claimed that on June 29, 2012, the defendants failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent their party guests from throwing a live bullet into a bonfire, which exploded and injured him. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the ground they owed no duty to prevent that incident as a matter of law. The trial court granted the motion. The plaintiff subsequently amended the negligence cause of action to name as an additional defendant the individual who allegedly threw the bullet, who was not a party to the appeal.

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Ski season has seen a deluge of federal lawsuits seeking large sums in damages. For example, a California resident recently filed suit for negligence against a snowboarder who hit her from behind at Colorado’s Vail Ski Resort in a collision that resulted in severe injuries. The victim suffered rib and clavicle fractures.

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She sued the defendant in U.S. District Court in Denver for the January 17th collision. She seeks economic and non-economic damages, as well as attorney fees, amounting to over $75,000. Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, federal courts can hear cases between citizens of different states only when the matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $75,000. (28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)).

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Celebrity dentist Sherri L. Worth has been temporarily prohibited from practicing dentistry in California. The state dental board suspended Worth’s license this month, based on allegations that she put her patients in danger. On February 2, Worth’s attorney and Deputy Attorney General Shannon Brubaker signed a Stipulated Interim Suspension of License to “save time and expense.” Through this, Worth has waived the right to a hearing and is prohibited from practicing dentistry until the suspension is terminated.

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According to the Dental Board complaint, seven patients alleged that Worth committed incompetence, numerous acts of negligence and gross negligence, fraud, excessive treatment, and over-diagnosis. Examples include billing over $11,000 for two patients’ laser surgeries that were never performed, falsifying dental records, performing expensive restorations to already healthy teeth, and Photoshopping a digital x-ray to cover up two defective crowns. Worth’s actions, the board claims, demonstrated “a gross lack of clinical skill and diagnostic ability” and rendered her an immediate danger to patients.

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A plaintiff appealed from the judgment entered against her after the trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment on the ground that the two-year statute of limitations had expired. The incident in which the plaintiff was injured occurred in July 2010. She did not name the defendant in her initial complaint. On June 24, 2014, a year after settling with the other defendants, she amended her complaint to identify “Doe 1” as the defendant. She contended that she had no “actual knowledge” of the defendant’s identity or involvement until May 2013, and thus the statute of limitations was tolled under the law of “relation back.” Concluding that the woman did have actual knowledge, the appeals court affirmed the judgment.

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The plaintiff was a tenant in a building in which she maintained an office. On the morning of July 13, 2010, she was summoned because a burst water pipe had caused flooding in her office. Over a period of about an hour, she, her two sons, the building owners’ “maintenance guy,” and three or four of the defendant’s workers arrived at the building. They all began to move items out of the plaintiff’s office and into an empty office. In the course of doing so, someone moved four or five plastic carpet mats, which allow rolling desk chairs to move freely without damaging the carpet underneath, from the office to a concrete walkway outside the building. She slipped and fell on the wet carpet mats while removing her personal belongings from the office. She injured her back in the fall.

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slingAppellant F.G. sued her landlords A.N. and N.Z. for negligence after she allegedly tripped on the metal “nosing” of a step and fell down a stairway in a common area of her apartment building. The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding they lacked actual or constructive notice of any dangerous condition on the property and therefore did not breach their duty to exercise ordinary care. The appeals court reversed, concluding the record contained triable issues of material fact regarding whether the stairway constituted a dangerous condition and whether defendants had actual or constructive knowledge of such condition.

At her deposition, F.L. testified that on the morning of November 25, 2011, she left her apartment and started to walk down the stairway leading out to the front of the apartment building. As F.L. was stepping off the second or third step from the top of the stairway, her left foot caught on the metal strip or “nosing” at the edge of the step, causing her to fall and injure herself. F.L. had lived at the apartment building for approximately three years prior to the accident, and never had any problems with the stairway before her fall. She had never complained nor was she aware of anyone else complaining about the stairway.

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smart phoneA Texas couple recently sued Apple, Inc. in Santa Clara Superior Court. The suit claims that the iPhone’s FaceTime app caused the death of their 5-year-old daughter, Moriah Modisette, who was killed in a car crash due to a distracted driver using FaceTime. The child’s parents, James and Bethany Modisette, claim that Apple has failed to use “lock-out” technology to stop FaceTime from being used by drivers: “Apple has consistently and continuously failed to implement a safer, alternative design that would lock-out and prevent use of FaceTime while driving.” The suit alleges negligence and wrongful death, among other causes of action.

Moriah Modisette was killed on Christmas Eve 2014 when her parents’ Toyota Camry was hit from behind by a Toyota SUV driven by then 20-year-old Garrett Wilhelm. The lawsuit indicates the Camry had stopped for traffic when it was hit by Wilhelm’s SUV traveling at 65 mph on Interstate 35. His car allegedly rolled over the driver’s side of the Camry. While both James and Moriah were critically injured, Moriah did not survive the crash: she died of soon after being airlifted to a Fort Worth hospital. James, Bethany, the couples’ other daughter, Isabella, and Wilhelm were all taken in an ambulance to a Denton hospital.

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Early one evening in July 2015, 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was shot and killed on Pier 14 in San Francisco. The bullet hit Steinle from behind, piercing her aorta. She quickly collapsed to the ground and screamed for help. Her father performed CPR on his daughter before paramedics arrived. Kathryn died two hours later at the hospital. The shooter, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, was arrested roughly an hour after the shooting and charged with murder. The Steinles filed suit for wrongful death and negligence against various government officials in May 2016.

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Lopez-Sanchez was charged with first-degree murder on July 6, 2015. The defendant admitted in an interview that he fired the lethal shot, but that he found the gun under a bench after taking sleeping pills from the trash. He also said that he was aiming to shot sea lions and hit Steinle accidentally. Lopez-Sanchez pleaded not guilty to the charges. The trial is scheduled for February 17, 2017.

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