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CURRENT NEWS

9/25/2014 Victim of Police Misconduct Settles Lawsuit With City for $115,000
The victim of a wrongful arrest and excessive force has settled his case against the responsible City for a total of $115,000.
6/2/2014 Bicycle Accident Case Settles for Driver's Policy Limits
The victim in an automobile versus bicycle accident has settled his claim for the $100,000.00 policy limits available.
11/4/2013 Lawsuit Filed in Orange County Trip and Fall
A lawsuit for personal injury has been filed on behalf of the firm's client after a serious fall within a Buena Park store in which the client badly fractured both arms.
2/18/2013 Glass Case Against Orange County Apartment Complex Settled
Last month the lawsuit against an Orange County apartment complex for an allegedly dangerous window was settled for $185,000.00. The firm had filed suit on behalf of a female resident after a window shattered near her bed cutting her leg severely, resulting in surgery and residual scarring.
9/3/2012 Case Resolved In Anaheim Bar Assault
Firm resolves assault victim's third-party case against bar owner in Anaheim. In spite of the fact the attackers were never identified by the police, the claim against the bar owner was a success.

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Fall in Anaheim Leaves Man Critically Injured

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/23/2014
Last Friday night, a 23-year old man fell through a gap in the roadway on Katella Avenue near the Honda Center in Anaheim and was critically injured. According to the report by KNBC News, the gap between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the road is the same location where a man fell and was killed in 2008.

Pedestrian Killed in Fullerton Crosswalk Collision

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/01/2014
A pedestrian was killed Saturday afternoon when crossing a street in the City of Fullerton. According to the KABC News, the accident happened at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Valencia Drive at about 2:45 p.m.

Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Suit - Understanding the Verdict

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/03/2013
As reported by many media outlets yesterday afternoon, the civil jury in the Michael Jackson wrongful death action has found in favor of the Defendant, AEG Live, and against the Jackson family.

Elderly Pedestrian Struck and Killed in Orange County

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 08/28/2013
An elderly pedestrian was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Tuesday morning on Euclid Street in Santa Ana. According to KABC News, the accident happened just after 5:00 a.m. in the 500 block of Euclid when the 85-year-old victim, Joseph Rudolph, was jaywalking

Azusa Car Crash Results in Fatality

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/16/2013
A four-vehicle car crash last night in Azusa proved fatal for a 4-year-old girl. As reported by KABC News, this tragic collision involved two passenger vehicles, a truck and a transit bus at the intersection of Citrus Avenue and Gladstone Street at about 8:30 p.m. The little girl was apparently one of three children injured, and all were taken to the hospital after the accident.

Gardena Hit-and-Run Suspect Identified as Daughter of LAPD Officer

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/05/2013
The suspect arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter in connection to a fatal hit-and-run in Gardena has been identified as the daughter of a veteran LAPD officer. According to KTLA News, the suspect, 22-year-old Vanessa Yanez, was taken into custody on Wednesday and booked for vehicular manslaughter, perjury, filing a false police report and felony hit and run.

Elderly Pedestrian Killed by Hit-And-Run Driver in Compton

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/03/2013
An elderly pedestrian was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver last night in the City of Compton. According to KABC News, the 65-year-old victim was struck and dragged approximately 75 feet by a white sedan. The accident reportedly happened about 9:00 p.m. on North Alameda Street near East Oaks Street.

Doctor Killed in Accident With Wrong-Way Driver

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/09/2013
On Friday morning, a 66-year-old doctor was killed in an auto accident with a wrong-way driver in San Bernardino. According to the Press Enterprise, the crash occurred at Waterman Avenue and Marshall Boulevard just before noon. The victim, Allen Newton, M.D., from Lake Arrowhead was traveling south on Waterman when a northbound pickup truck, driven by 33-year-old Brian Bohn, crossed the double yellow line and crashed head-on into the Ford Taurus being driven by Dr. Newton.

Colton Police Cleared in Another Officer-Involved Shooting

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/07/2013
The San Bernardino County District Attorney's office has found that Colton police officers were justified in shooting an unarmed man 13 times. According to the Press Enterprise, the officers fatally wounded the suspect after a high-speed chase on July 31, 2012, when the suspect allegedly reached for what the officers thought might be a weapon.

Wrongful Death Suit Against MONSTER Ordered to Mediation

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/05/2013
A products liability action against MONSTER Beverage alleging the wrongful death of a 14-year-old girl has been ordered to mediation by a Riverside County judge. According to CNBC News, the court ordered that the case be mediated prior to November 26, 2013. The alleged victim, Anais Fournier, reportedly died within 24 hours after consuming two MONSTER drinks.

Two Fatalities in Riverside Hit-and-Run

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/29/2013
Very early Monday morning a hit-and-run driver ran a red light in Riverside, striking a car and killing both of its occupants. According to the Press Enterprise, the accident happened at about 12:30 a.m. when a truck heading west on 14th Street ran the stoplight at Sedgwick Avenue.

Vehicle Abandoned on Freeway Causes Two Fatalities

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 03/28/2013
A single car accident led a driver to abandon her vehicle on the southbound 605 Freeway in Whittier early this morning. What happened next, according to the KTLA news report, was tragic, and two people lost their lives after running into the abandoned vehicle.

Two Killed in Orange County Auto Versus Pedestrian Accident

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 03/12/2013
man and woman were struck and killed in Irvine this morning by a young male driver who inexplicably veered off a roadway. According to the Orange County Register, a 17-year-old driver was reportedly on his way to school when the Honda he was driving suddenly left the road, went up on a sidewalk and into some shrubs. The accident happened on Eastwood near the Venta Spur trail.

Driver Suffers Fatal Injuries After Running Into Cement Truck

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 02/27/2013
According to the Press Enterprise, a 25-year-old Fallbrook resident was killed on Tuesday when he ran into the rear of cement truck stopped on Anza Road near Temecula. The victim, identified as Cort Hedrick, was traveling northbound in an SUV when he struck the rear of the cement mixer that had stopped in the middle of the road. Citing official sources, the Press Enterprise has reported the cement truck had its hazard lights operating at the time of the collision.

One Killed in Suspected DUI Crash

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 02/16/2013
A suspected drunk driver has landed himself in the hospital, and his female passenger has perished in a crash this morning at about 1:30 a.m. According to KABC news, the 22-year-old driver, who has yet to be identified, will be arrested on manslaughter charges once he is released from the hospital. The crash happened on Van Nuys Boulevard near Friar Street in the City of Van Nuys, just after the suspect sped past a police vehicle and then lost control. The vehicle struck a curb and then flew

Two Fatalities in Lake Elsinore Head-On Accident

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 01/30/2013
According to a report in the Press Enterprise, two people were killed last evening in a head-on collision near Lake Elsinore. The tragic crash reportedly occurred 8:00 p.m. near Grand Avenue and Adelfa Street. The two vehicles collided on Grand Avenue, and the victims, identified as William Messemore, 40, and Mathew Camili, 25, both of Lake Elsinore, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Fatal Bar Shooting and Civil Liability

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 01/28/2013
The Sun has reported that the suspect in a fatal shooting outside of a Colton bar has been arrested near the Mexican border. The shooting occurred just after 1:00 a.m. on Friday (January 25th) just outside the Linko's Cocktail Bar. The suspect, 25-year-old Larry Flaco Morales, has been booked on suspicion of murder. The Sun report indicates the killing may have occurred after a fight at the bar.

Mission Viejo Accident Proves Fatal for Pedestrian

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 01/25/2013
The Orange County Register has reported the happening of a fatal motor vehicle versus pedestrian accident this morning in Mission Viejo. According to the report, a man was killed after being struck by at least two vehicles while crossing a rain slick Alicia Parkway near Coronel Drive. Only two of the motorist stopped, and it is not known whether the other drivers involved were aware of what had happened. Initial reports from authorities question whether darkness and the condition of the road

Three Killed in Redlands Crash on Orange Street

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 01/19/2013
The Banning-Beaumont Patch has reported a tragic accident in Redlands that took the lives of three people on Thursday morning. Two vans, one a minivan carrying eight people, collided head-on while traveling on Orange Street near the Santa Ana River bridge. According to the news report, all three of the victims who were killed were riding in the northbound minivan and none was wearing a seatbelt.

Skateboarder Killed in Orange County Accident

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 01/12/2013
The Orange County Register has reported that a 14-year-old boy on a skateboard was fatally struck by a car on Friday night in Placentia. The accident happened just before 9:00 p.m. on northbound Rose Drive just north of Castner Drive. Tragically, the victim, Anthony Duran, died Saturday morning while in the hospital, and the driver, yet to be identified, was taken into custody on suspicion of driving while under the influence.

Tragic Christmas Day Crash Kills Two in Pasadena

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 12/26/2012

According to KTLA news, a police pursuit in the City of Pasadena on Christmas has left two people dead.  The victims, a boy 11 years old, and a woman, 26 years old, were among the five occupants of a minivan that was struck by an SUV fleeing the police.  Apparently, the SUV had failed to stop at a stop sign earlier and was being chased by police when it ran through a red light at the intersection of Claremont Street and Marengo Avenue, where it struck the minivan.  KTLA, citing police sources, has reported that the occupants of the minivan were family members visiting Southern California from the San Francisco area.  The three surviving passengers in the minivan and all four occupants of the SUV were taken to the hospital for treatment.  Since none of the occupants of the SUV would admit they were the driver at the time of the crash, all four were arrested and booked for murder.

LIABILITY FOR THE FATAL CRASH

In the case above, it might seem the City of Pasadena would have some responsibility for the collision and the damages sustained by the victims and their families.  However, as a public entity, Pasadena is fairly well protected from liability because of governmental immunities.  Those legal protections generally require certain policies and training be in place relative to police pursuits before they become operative.  The liability of the driver and perhaps owner of the of the SUV would seem fairly easy to establish.  The driver, whichever of the four occupants it was, reportedly failed to stop for a red light, a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 21453.  That violation of the traffic laws should be enough to establish the driver was negligent and therefore liable for the accident.  Since the occupants of the SUV have thus far refused to cooperate with police in identifying the driver at the time of the collision, the victims and their families would likely need to file suit against all of the occupants. The burden would then be shifted to these defendants to identify the driver or jointly suffer the consequences of an adverse judgment.

WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIMS

As a result of this tragic crash, two lives were cut way too short.  Their families would certainly have the right to pursue wrongful death claims.  The parents of the 11-year-old and the husband/children of the woman killed would be the likely plaintiffs in any such action.  As a society, we exact justice collectively by way of a criminal conviction and the individual victims and their family members may seek civil justice by way of a lawsuit.  In those types of cases, the families are compensated for the lost relationship with their loved ones, including the loss of financial support that would have been provided by the decedent.

When a wrongful death case is pursued, an experienced personal injury attorney can be of assistance in evaluating those claims.  Often the potential recovery is dictated by the closeness of the relationship between the plaintiff and the decedent and the extent of financial support that was provided in the past and would likely have been given the future.  Attorneys with experience at handling these wrongful death cases have the insight necessary to assess their value and collectibility 

SOURCE:  WOMAN, BOY KILLED IN PASADENA PURSUIT CRASH, KTLA News, December 26, 2012, by Kellan Connor

Motorcyclist Killed in Ontario Collision

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 12/13/2012

According to a report by the Press Enterprise, a 52-year-old motorcyclist was killed Tuesday in a traffic collision along a busy street in Ontario.  Citing official sources, the Enterprise reported that the victim, Robert John Tangredi, was pronounced dead at a local hospital about 3 hours after the collision.  The accident happened just after 9:00 a.m. in an industrial area at the intersection of Parco Avenue and Francis Street.  It is unknown what caused the accident, but it does not appear anyone was cited in relation to the incident.

Motorcycle Accident Risk

Riding a motorcycle on city streets carries a significant risk of injury and death.  It is no wonder some people say there are only two types of motorcycle riders: those have been down and those who are going down.  While deaths from automobile accidents have been on the decline recently, the number of motorcycle crash-related deaths has been on the rise.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motorcyclist death rates increased 55% from 2001 to 2008 (1.12 per 100,000 persons in 2001 to 1.74 per 100,000 persons in 2008).  To reduce the risk of a serious or fatal accident, riders should always wear a DOT approved helmet.  Head and neck injuries are the second most common type of injuries sustained by motorcyclists in nonfatal collisions, according to recent studies.

Responsibility For This Tragic Accident

While it is unknown what specifically caused this fatal accident, from a review of the accident scene it appears only one of the parties would have been required to stop at the Parco and Francis intersection.   Although the streets are relatively straight and flat, there are trees that line Francis which could affect a driver's or rider's ability to see cross traffic at the intersection.  Visibility is often a factor in the happening of auto versus motorcycle accidents.  Motorcyclists should always think about that aspect of being a rider and do what they can to maintain their visibility while on the road.  To assess liability for the accident above, a personal injury attorney can analyze the subject Traffic Collision report, witness statements and accident scene photographs to determine whether a wrongful death action would be meritorious.  

SOURCE:  ONTARIO: Traffic wreck kills motorcyclist, December 13, 2012, Richard Brooks

 

Mother Pushing Wheelchair-Bound Son is Hit and Killed in Riverside

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 12/07/2012

The Press Enterprise has reported an accident in Riverside in which a woman pushing her wheelchair-bound son was struck and killed.  The accident happened yesterday just before 5:30 p.m. on Magnolia Avenue near its intersection with McCray Street.  A pickup truck, operated by 76-year-old man from Corona, struck the woman but just missed impacting her disabled, adult son.  Both were taken to a local hospital where the woman was later pronounced dead.  The woman was pushing her son westbound across Magnolia at the time of the accident.  There is no marked crosswalk at this intersection.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the accident should call Detective Rick Prince at 951-826-8722.

Intersection Accidents Involving Pedestrians

As you might expect, intersection accidents involving pedestrians are not uncommon.  It is often assumed that someone crossing the street outside of a marked crosswalk is solely responsible for any accident that occurs.  That is not, however, the law in California.  In automobile-versus-pedestrian accident cases, the appellate courts have held that the driver of a car must, in order to avoid liability, keep a proper lookout for persons on highway.  Even though the driver may be traveling at lawful rate of speed, he still remains bound to anticipate that he may meet persons at any point on the roadway.  

Factors To Be Considered in Determining Liability

In the case above, regardless of whether the driver was obeying the speed laws, he may still be found negligent in relation to the accident.  For example, if the woman and her son were visible for more than 100 feet (which is about the distance headlights will illuminate the roadway ahead) a driver traveling at the posted speed limit (35 mph in this case) would have at least two seconds to avoid the accident.  If it can be shown the visibility was even greater or his speed slower then the wrongful death claim against the driver would be strengthened.  It should be kept in mind that pedestrian visibility is one the leading pedestrian safety problems at intersections.  Pedestrians often assume they can be seen for a greater distance than they are actually visible.

An experienced Orange County Car Accident Lawyer with experience handling this type of case can be of assistance in evaluating wrongful death and pedestrian accidents like the one above.   A free consultation is available to injured parties and the families of accident victims.

SOURCE:  RIVERSIDE: Mother Pushing Wheelchair is Hit, Killed, David Keck, Press Enterprise, December 6, 2012

Fatal La Habra Crash May Have Been DUI Related

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 12/03/2012

According to the Orange County Register, a 55-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene of a traffic collision in La Habra on Sunday night.  The two-vehicle crash occurred at 10:33 p.m. on Harbor Boulevard and Arbolita Drive.  Citing official sources, the Register  reported that one of the vehicles actually rolled off the roadway.  The deceased driver has been identified as Oscar Rodriguez of Buena Park.  The driver of the second vehicle involved in this Orange County auto accident was reportedly uninjured.  The La Habra Police Department is investigating the accident as a possible DUI.

Traffic Fatalities Actually On The Decline

According to statistics published by the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of fatal automobile accidents and the number of DUI fatalities occurring on California actually decreased, as of the time the numbers were last reported.  In 2010, California’s traffic fatalities decreased 11.9 percent, reaching their lowest level since the federal government began recording traffic fatalities in 1975.  Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities (fatalities in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or greater) dropped by 14.4 percent from 924 in 2009 to 791 in 2010.   The 2010 figure is the lowest DUI death total ever.  In spite of this trend, nearly every week a fatal or serious-injury automobile accident is reported in Orange County.  While the recent numbers are encouraging, if we can further diminish the number of alcohol and drug-related crashes, we can greatly diminish the risk we all take while behind the wheel.

Fault For This Accident

A complete accident reconstruction will likely be necessary in order to completely understand this tragedy and assign liability for Rodriguez' death.  At this point, we do not know which of the drivers, if either of them, may have been impaired behind the wheel.  In addition to the impairment issue, there is also the fact the roadway where there this accident happened is curved, and the roadway was wet from the rain.  With all of these factors to be considered, fault for this accident will require a detailed analysis.

Assuming the accident was caused by the neglect of the surviving driver, Rodriquez' family would be legally entitled to pursue a claim for wrongful death.  Assessing the liability picture and the potential damage recovery is something that can be addressed by an experienced Orange County injury attorney.

SOURCE55-year-old man dies in La Habra crash, Orange County Register, Alejandra Molina and Sean Emery, December 3, 2012

 

Three Killed in Long Beach Collision

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 11/19/2012

According to KTLA news and the Belmont Shore-Naples Dispatch, two men were instantly killed and a third died in the hospital as a result of a traffic collision in Long Beach Saturday night.  The first two victims, Mark Martineau, 36, and Richard McAleavey, 54, were declared at the scene of the accident in the 2900 block of Redondo Avenue.  Reportedly, Martineau lost control of his  Dodge Ram when trying to change lanes, causing the vehicle to careen over a sidewalk and into a pylon beneath the 405 Freeway.  Another passenger, 36-year-old Terrence Harris, was badly injured and succumbed to his injuries on Sunday afternoon.  The crash is under investigation, but the driver may have been speeding and lost control in wet weather.  The Long Beach Police Department would like witnesses to call them at (562) 570-7355.

LONG BEACH TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the City of Long Beach ranks 10th/9th out of the 13 cities in Los Angeles County with a population of more than 250,000 residents, in terms of injury and fatal accidents.  In 2010, there were 1,874 injury or fatal accidents in Long Beach.  Of those accidents, 254 were reportedly speed related, as may have been the case in the accident above.  From a quick review of the scene via Google Maps, there does not appear to be anything unusual or dangerous about this particular area of Redondo Avenue.  To the contrary, the roadway appears flat and straight with virtually no obstacles of any kind.  Absent other information to the contrary, this tragic, triple-fatality accident would appear to be the result of driver negligence.

WRONGFUL DEATH RECOVERY

The families of McAleavey and Harris would appear to have the right to pursue claims for wrongful death against the insurance carrier for Martineau and/or his estate.  Under California law, surviving family members (typically the spouse and children) have the right to pursue claims for the loss of the society, care, comfort, affection, love and support their loved one would otherwise have provided.  Claims such as this are generally unlimited in terms of the amount the family can recover, except in the context of a medical malpractice case.  What does impact the recoverable compensation are factors such as the amount the deceased provided in the way of financial support and the closeness of the relationship with the family left behind.

An experienced Orange County personal injury attorney is perhaps in the best position to assess the above factors and the best approach to a wrongful death claim.  

Laguna Woods Man Killed on Lawnmower

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 11/05/2012
A man who was riding a lawnmower in Laguna Woods was killed when he was rear-ended by a vehicle. Jose Lopez, 58, was driving his riding mower south on Avenida Sevilla and was apparently attempting to move around a parked car when an 86-year-old unidentified driver struck his lawnmower, ejecting him from the vehicle. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Santa Ana Freeway Crash Kills One, Injuries One

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/28/2012
Maria Lemus-Tellez, 44, of Anaheim, was pronounced dead at the scene. An unidentified 18-year-old male suffered serious injuries and was taken to an area hospital. There is no word on his condition. Two lanes of the collector road were closed while the police investigated the crash site.

Mission Viejo Victim Killed in Bridge Accident

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/23/2012
An unidentified victim died in an automobile accident when a car went off a bridge and landed on railroad tracks below, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department authorities. A Lexus was traveling east on Alicia Parkway when the driver lost control of the vehicle, went over the median, and plunged off the bridge to land on the train tracks below. The car fell about 40 feet and landed upside down on the railroad tracks. There was no train in the area at the time.

Las Vegas family wants answers for death after ambulance crash

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/17/2012
A Las Vegas family is still searching for answers about their loved one who died following an ambulance crash. 63-year-old Dorothy Anita Gray's daughter says that her mother was having a seizure when the ambulance carrying her was hit by a pickup in northwest Las Vegas.

Multiple Truck Accident Kills Driver

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/12/2012
On Saturday morning a catastrophic accident occurred on the Wyoming Highway. According to Wyoming State Patrol the four truck accident was in part caused by difficult road conditions and bad weather. One of the drivers in the deadly 4 truck crash had slowed because of an earlier crash that was blocking the highway. As he was slowing, his trailer was clipped by a second rig. A third truck collided with the second truck and then caught on fire. Irakli Metskhvarishvili, 38, of Bensalem, PA was the

Motorcyclist in San Juan Capistrano Killed in Traffic Backup

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/10/2012
Travis Tucker, 29, died in a motorcycle accident on the Ortega Highway during a traffic backup around noon on Saturday, according to the Orange County Register. Mr. Tucker was driving a 2004 Suzuki motorcycle and swerved to avoid a Honda that made a sudden turn into the left lane to avoid rear-ending backed-up traffic.

Woman Dies in Five-Car Pileup

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 09/26/2012
According to the Orange County Register, the woman who may have been responsible for a five-car pileup died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the Orange auto accident. Several other motorists were also injured in the crash. Xuan Tran, 30, allegedly ran a red light at East Taft Avenue and Tustin Street, according to Orange police. The car accident occurred around 11:00 a.m., and involved five vehicles by the time the collisions were over. According to Orange police, Tran was the

Sheriff's Deputy Involved In Fatal Rearend Crash

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 09/11/2012

According to news reports, a San Bernardino County Deputy Sheriff was involved in a rearend, three-vehicle collision that killed a 38-year-old woman this weekend in Victorville.  The victim, Vanessa Rosales, reportedly died at a hospital approximately 45 minutes after the the crash at 8 p.m. on Sunday.  The collision happened on Air Expressway about a quarter-mile west of Village Drive.  The deputy's patrol car rearended a Honda, and that collision caused the Honda to veer into oncoming traffic where it struck a Mercedes.  Rosales was a passenger in the Honda, and the other two occupants sustained mild to moderate injuries.  The driver of the Mercedes, the sheriff's deputy and a juvenile prisoner all sustained minor injuries.  The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

See the Press Enterprise story HERE.

While this tragic accident is still under investigation, under California law there is a presumption of negligence on the part of the deputy sheriff.   Generally speaking, there is a permissible inference of negligence from the fact of a rear-end collision requiring some explanation or excuse from the driver of the rear car.   Ordinarily, in a collision in which a following motorist collides with the rear end of a vehicle ahead the happening of the accident s some evidence of negligence on the part of the following motorist.  In cases in which the rear car has collided with a stopped or stationary vehicle, the courts have applied the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur and have held that an inference arises that the collision was caused by some negligent conduct on the part of the driver of the rear car, which can be rebutted.  It is not clear from the description of the accident above whether the Honda was stopped when hit by the police cruiser, but there is at least an inference of negligence on the part of the deputy at this point.  The Rosales family and the other victims in this crash are entitled to a fair and complete investigation of the cause so the responsible party can compensate them as well as the law allows.

Compensation for the victims of preventable, rearend automobile accidents should be an important concern for everyone.  When a careless driver causes a crash and a death results,  he or she should be held accountable.   An Orange County wrongful death lawyer with experience at handling auto accident cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 21 years of experience handling auto accident cases, including those involving rearending drivers.   He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family member been the victim of a serious or fatal rearend automobile accident?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Horrible Accident In Ontario Leaves 5 Dead

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 09/02/2012

Early this morning a horrific crash in Ontario left 5 young men dead after a rollover.  According to KTLA news, the accident reportedly happened at about 1:40 a.m. when the driver ran a red light on Haven Avenue south of Creekside Drive.  The vehicle flipped and ultimately came to rest in the backyard of a home.  One of the five occupants was ejected from the Nissan, and he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.  The four occupants who remained the in the car during the accident were all pronounced dead at the scene.  Investigators believe that alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash.

See the KTLA news story HERE.

The cause of this tragic crash will undoubtedly be investigated thoroughly by the responsible police agency.  Unfortunately, at this moment, it would appear to be a solo vehicle accident likely resulting from the driver's intoxication or other impairment.  A late night/early morning crash without an obvious cause, especially one involving a relatively young driver, is often presumed to be the result of drug or alcohol use.  A toxicology screen on the driver and a detailed accident reconstruction will enable the investigators to make a determination of the cause.  Regardless, this accident ended the lives of 5 young men way too early, and it can only be described as heartbreaking for their families.

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents involving intoxicated or otherwise impaired drivers should be an important concern for everyone.   When an impaired driver causes a crash and lives are lost, like the accident above, he or she should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death lawyer with experience at handling pedestrian accident cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.   Mr. Ralph has more than 21 years of experience handling auto accident cases, including those caused by impaired drivers.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family member been the victim of a serious or fatal automobile accident?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

 

Valley Village Electrocution Deaths Raise Rescue Doctrine Issues

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 08/26/2012

Last Wednesday, a solo traffic accident involving a 19-year-old driver in Valley Village resulted in the tragic deaths of two women who had come to the driver's aid.  According to news reports, the driver of a white SUV, traveling at perhaps an excessive speed, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a fire hydrant and light pole, knocking it to the ground.  The wire from the pole apparently electrified the pooling water around the accident scene, unbeknownst to a number of rescuers and bystanders.  When two women, Stacey Schreiber (39) and Irma Zamora (40) approached the SUV and stepped into the water, they were electrocuted and dropped to the ground instantly.  A number of other bystanders were injured by the electricity when they approached.  Schreiber and Zamora were eventually removed from the water by firefighters, and sadly both died shortly after being transported to a local hospital.

See the KTLA/Los Angeles Times news story HERE.

The precise cause of the crash has yet to be determined, but preliminary reports suggest excessive speed on the part of the SUV driver was at least a contributing factor.  This incredibly tragic story not only evokes sympathy for the victims and their families, it raises important legal questions.  Perhaps one of the most interesting questions is one of liability.  Should the driver of the white SUV be liable for the two deaths and the injuries sustained by rescuers if it is shown he was negligent in causing the accident?  Under California law, there is little doubt a firefighter or police officer would be precluded from recovery against the driver since they assume the risk of such injury by virtue of their jobs.  However, private rescuers (such as Schreiber and Zamora) and their families may recover if it can be shown they did not act rashly or recklessly during their rescue efforts.  Here, the electrified water was a danger not readily apparent to bystanders as evidenced by the number of people who were electrocuted so it would seem none of the rescuers (particularly Schreiber and Zamora) acted in a rash or reckless manner in trying to come to the aid of the SUV driver.  It appears the rescue doctrine would permit a recovery under these circumstances.

Compensation for rescuers and their families should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a private person comes to the aid of a negligent driver and is injured or killed as a result, the one who carelessly caused the accident should be held accountable.  An Orange County injury lawyer with experience at handling traffic collision and rescue cases can make a fair assessment of these claims. Mr. Ralph has more than 21 years of experience handling automobile accident cases, including those raising legal issues like the one above.   He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family member been injured or killed while rescuing someone following an avoidable accident?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Three Victims Killed in Two Apparent DUI Crashes

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/24/2012

Early Sunday morning, two construction workers were hit and killed by drunk drivers on the northbound 405 Freeway in Torrance.   According to KTLA news, citing official sources, the two cars entered a closed portion of the 405 freeway and collided with each other.  The vehicles then spun into the construction zone and struck the two construction workers, killing the two innocent victims.  The two workers, Ramon Lopez, 56, of Chino Hills, and Ricardo Zamora, 58, of Winchester, had been retained for the job through CalTrans.  

See the KTLA news story and video HERE.

Also on Sunday, a 42-year-old was reportedly killed by a DUI driver while pushing his bicycle in Lytle Creek.  The victim, Dondi Allen Quimby, was walking with a woman shortly before 1 a.m.  The alleged DUI driver,  twenty-year-old Matthew Harry Eldridge of Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested at 2:05 a.m. and booked for investigation of felony drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter.  According to the Press Enterprise, citing a CHP source, the area of Lytle Creek Road has a narrow shoulder and is very dark.

See the Press Enterprise story HERE.

In the first accident, it is almost incomprehensible that two drunk drivers would manage to crash into one another and then cause a multi-fatality accident involving two pedestrians.  If that were not enough, a third driver, also reportedly intoxicated, struck a pedestrian pushing a bicycle and killed him.  All three of these drivers will likely be facing wrongful death lawsuits by the families of Lopez, Zamora and Quimby.  Under California law, the surviving family members have the right to be compensated for the loss of the society, care, comfort, love, affection and support of their deceased relatives, if the deaths occurred because of negligence or during the commission of an unlawful act.  Assuming that Gomez, Casenta and/or Eldridge are convicted of felonies in relation to the happening of these collisions, any suit for wrongful death would necessarily receive priority trial setting preference by the court.  

Compensation for the victims of fatal automobile accidents caused by an intoxicated driver should be an important concern for all Californians.  When an intoxicated driver causes a tragic accident like the ones above, the responsible parties should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death lawyer with experience at handling traffic collision cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 21 years of experience handling Orange County personal injury cases, including those involving DUI drivers.   He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you lost a family member because of an intoxicated driver?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

 

Good News - Traffic Deaths Are Down In California

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 04/10/2012

Finally there is good news about the accidents on California and Orange County roadways.  The number of fatal automobile collisions is actually declining.  According to statistics just released, fewer people died from traffic crashes statewide and in Orange County in 2010 when compared to the year before.  The Orange County Register has reported the statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which shows that California had a total of 2,715 traffic accident fatalities in 2010, a drop of 375 from 2009.  In Orange County, 105 traffic deaths were reported in 2010, a fall of 49 when compared to the year before.  

See the Orange County Register article HERE.  

Beyond the drop in traffic fatalities in 2010, the statistics being compiled by NHTSA show a decline in the numbers for the first nine months of 2011.   The number of traffic accident deaths in California has actually been steadily dropping since 2005.  This is also true for Orange County.  While the numbers are clear, the reasons behind them are at least a little murky.  Some ascribe the drop in traffic deaths to the slow economy and less driving.  However, the death rate per million vehicle miles of travel has also dropped steadily for the last six years.  Another factor which may be at work is that the vehicles on the road now are on average newer and safer than they were years ago.  Beyond that, according to the Orange County Register, the California Highway Patrol has indicated more enforcement is also a reason for the drop as all 103 CHP field offices are staffed around the clock.  Of course, the potential for civil and criminal accountability may both play some role in prompting greater care behind the wheel.  Whatever the reason or combination of reasons, the good news remains...fewer lives are being lost because of traffic accidents.

Compensation for the victims of fatal traffic accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner causing a serious or fatal accident, they should be held accountable for all of the injuries and damages they cause.  An attorney with experience at handling wrongful death and auto accident cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.    Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling automobile accident cases.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you lost a loved one because of a fatal traffic collision?

This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Ortega Highway Crash Claims O.C. Victim

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 03/15/2012

A crash on Ortega Highway near Lake Elsinore has claimed the life of a 20-year-old O.C. resident.  The accident happened late Wednesday night when the driver of a Ford F-150 reportedly lost control and drove up an embankment, causing the truck to overturn.  According to the news story in the Press Enterprise, the driver, Delbert Parada, and two of his passengers suffered only minor injuries.  However, the 20-year-old Orange County resident, Zachary Butcher, was pronounced dead at about 11:45 p.m. at the scene of the accident.  Shortly after the F150 overturned, a second truck collided with the F150, but that driver was reportedly unhurt in the collision.  Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in either accident.

See the Press Enterprise story HERE.

Ortega Highway between Orange and Riverside Counties has a notorious reputation for being dangerous.  A higher than average number of injury and fatal accidents reportedly occur on the Highway 74.  A quick search of "Ortega Highway accidents" on Google reveals just how prevalent automobile and motorcycle accidents are on the Ortega.  Given Highway 74's well-deserved reputation, it is the obligation of every driver to operate their vehicle in a manner safe for the prevailing conditions.  On a winding road, like Highway 74, every driver should ensure they are not traveling at a speed that might be too fast for the curves they are likely to encounter.  Failing to adjust your speed so as to accommodate for sudden, unexpected turns is negligent driving, which is likely to cause a tragic accident, like the one above.

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents caused by a careless driver and/or a dangerous roadway should  be an important concern for all Californians.   When a driver operates their vehicle at a speed unsafe for the conditions, considering the curvature of the road and related hazards, they should be held accountable.   A California injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.   Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years years of experience handling automobile accident cases caused by unsafe roadways and negligent drivers.   He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in an accident caused by a careless driver and/or a dangerous roadway?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

 

San Diego County Postal Dies After Dog Attack

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 03/08/2012

A postal worker in San Diego County has died after being mauled by a pit bull four days earlier.  According to KTLA news, the 59-year-old victim, Diane Jansen of Sun City, was bitten by a pit bull while on her normal route last Thursday, and she died Sunday from a stroke while at Palomar Medical Center.  Jansen was bitten by the dog on both of her legs while doing her job on Carlann Lane and E. Washington Avenue in Escondido.  The dog reportedly came from a house through an open garage door.  According to the news article, when emergency responders arrived at the scene, Jansen developed slurred speech and became unresponsive, and she was transported to the hospital where she was diagnosed with bleeding on the brain.  From there, her condition worsened, and she died four days later, from a combination of the pit bull attack and heart disease.

See the KTLA news article HERE.

This tragic incident demonstrates just how serious a dog attack can be.  When a vicious dog attacks someone with a pre-existing condition, the outcome can be devastating to the victim and their family.  In this situation, the dog owner is strictly liable for the injuries sustained and even the death.  Under California law, a dog owner is strictly liable when their animal bites someone, regardless of whether or not the owner knew the dog was vicious and even if it had bitten no one in the past.  Beyond that, if the dog bites someone particularly susceptible to injury or death, the responsibility falls on dog owner as they take the victim as they find them.  It is no excuse that perhaps the average person would not have been as badly injured or died.  So long as the dog bite was a "substantial factor" in causing the fatality, the dog owner is liable for wrongful death.  While no amount of money can return the victim to their family, the surviving family members are entitled to be compensated for the loss of the society, care, comfort, love and affection occasioned by the wrongful death.

Compensation for the victims of serious dog bites should be an important concern for all Californians.  When someone is bitten and seriously injured or killed, the dog’s owner should be held accountable for all of the injuries and damages suffered by the victim and their family.   An Orange County dog bite attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.   Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family member been the victim of a serious dog bite?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Tragic Bicycle Accident Claims The Life of Elderly Orange County Man

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 02/29/2012

An elderly bicyclist from Westminster was reportedly killed in a traffic accident this morning at about 11:00 a.m.  According to the Orange County Register, the victim was a 79-year-old bicyclist, and the accident occurred on Bolsa Avenue west of Able Lane in Huntington Beach.  The bicyclist was apparently riding eastbound on Bolsa when he was struck by the driver of a BMW, a 23-year-old man from Long Beach.  Following the collision, the elderly cyclist was taken to UCI Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.  No arrests of citations were issued and any witnesses are urged to call the Huntington Beach Police Department at 714-536-5670.

See the Orange County Register article HERE.

According to published statistics, bicycle and other "pedalcycles" are involved in approximately 2% of all fatal traffic accidents.  Most of the fatal accidents occur in urban areas, away from intersections, and the pedalcyclists are, on average, 41 years of age.  Interestingly, the average age of those fatally injured in such accidents has steadily increased since the year 2000.  Some people tend to forget that bicyclists are considered vehicle operators, and they are required to obey the same rules of the road as other vehicle operators, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.  (See the National Highway Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts 2009)  In the case above, it remains to be seen how and why this tragic accident occurred.  Eastbound Bolsa Avenue includes three regular travel and one bike lane.  A further investigation, including the taking of witness statements, will likely aid in determining whether the accident actually occurred within the bike lane or whether the bicyclist was within one of the regular travel lanes.  Given the configuration of the roadway and the fact this was a daytime accident, it is hard to imagine how this fatal collision occurred without some neglect by either the driver or the elderly bicyclist.

Compensation for the victims of bicycle versus motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle so as to cause an accident with a cyclist, they should be held accountable for the injuries and damages they cause.  An Orange County bicycle accident attorney with the necessary experience can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling Orange County vehicle accident cases, including those involving bicyclists.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.


Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in a motor vehicle versus bicycle accident?


Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

 

Tragic Accident In Covina Leaves Young Girl Fatally Injured

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 11/08/2011

A tragic automobile accident in Covina early Monday morning has left a teenage girl dead from the injuries she sustained.  According to a news report by KTLA, one of two young girls hospitalized after they were hit by a car near Gladstone High School succumbed to her injuries while at County USC Medical Center.  The accident happened at 6:44 a.m. at Lark Ellen Avenue and Tudor Street, an intersection some residents say needs a traffic light.  The girls, about 14 years old, were apparently struck while in a crosswalk on Lark Ellen by a 2007 Honda Civic traveling at about 30 miles per hour southbound on the street.  The other young girl is still in critical condition.

See the KTLA news story HERE.

From a Google maps view of the intersection, it appears the roadway is relatively flat and the view of drivers unobstructed on Lark Ellen.  However, there is no traffic light on any of the four corners, and it looks as though vehicles could reach a relatively high rate of speed while traveling through that intersection.  In addition to the lack of a traffic control signal, there is most likely an element of driver inattention in this case.  Depending on the precise area of impact, it is hard to imagine the girls could not be seen in the crosswalk for some distance prior to the point of impact.  Assuming the Honda was traveling 30 miles per hour, there should have been ample time to see two pedestrians and avoid a collision, particularly when those pedestrians would have been visible from more than one hundred feet away, given the roadway is straight and flat.  At just one hundred feet, a driver traveling at 30 miles per hour has more than 2 full seconds to perceive the potential collision and react to avoid it.

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents caused by careless drivers and/or dangerous roadways should be an important concern for all Californians. When a driver operates their vehicle in such a manner to cause or contribute to the happening of a serious or fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  Likewise, when a dangerous roadway contributes to the occurrence of a motor vehicle accident, the public entity should be held accountable.  An Orange County auto accident attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims. Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling Orange County automobile accident cases, including those involving wrongful death. He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent driver and/or a dangerous roadway?

Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

 

Four Teens Killed In Crash In Fontana

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 10/25/2011

On Sunday at about 1:00 a.m., a horrific, solo car accident in Fontana resulted in the deaths of four teenagers.  According to a story published in the Press Enterprise, the four victims (including two sisters, ages 16 and 18) were riding in a Chrysler Sebring when the driver apparently lost control and struck a train trestle at Foothill Boulevard and Lime Street .  All four of the teens were residents of Fontana.  The Chrysler caught fire as a result of the impact.  The Fontana Police Department is still investigating the accident.

See the Press Enterprise story HERE.

From a Google maps aerial view of the crash site, it appears the area is relatively straight and flat.  However, Foothill Boulevard does go downhill as it passes under a bike trail and the train trestle.  It is not known what caused the driver of the Chrysler to lose control, but speed is often a contributing factor in crashes like this.  Additionally, when a downhill is combined with an already high speed, the result may be a loss of control, as gravity and inertia affect a driver's ability to steer their vehicle.   It is highly likely, given the tragic nature of this accident, that the Fontana Police Department will undertake a complete accident reconstruction to determine the most likely cause.

Compensation for the victims of automobile accidents caused by a careless driver should be an important concern for all Californians. When a driver operates their vehicle in such a manner to cause a serious or fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County auto accident attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has more than 20 years of experience handling Orange County automobile accident cases, including those involving wrongful death.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

 Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in an Orange County motor vehicle accident?

 Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Three Women Killed in Glendora Accident On 57 Freeway

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/10/2011

Three women were killed early today when the driver of a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer apparently rear-ended a slow moving Nissan pickup truck on the 57 Freeway in Glendora.  Fox news, citing official sources, has reported the accident occurred at about 3 a.m. on the southbound freeway near Auto Center Drive.  The pickup truck was described as having slowed to around 5 miles per hour for some sort of mechanical problem.  The impact was so severe it ruptured the pickup truck’s gas tank, and the vehicle burst into flames with three female passengers still inside.  All of  the victims, ranging in ages from 47 to 62, were pronounced dead at the scene of this horrific tragedy.

See the Fox news story HERE.

The precise cause or causes of this very sad accident will likely be determined by a detailed accident investigation and reconstruction.  Given the time of the accident, it will be important to determine whether the pickup truck had lights operating at the time and whether the Wal-Mart driver was using his headlights.  Skid marks and witness statements will likely aid in determining the speed of the two vehicles just before the collision. 

Another issue that comes to mind in an early morning collision like this is driver fatigue.  According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is a serious problem that leads to thousands of automobile crashes each year.  A typical crash related to sleepiness has the following characteristics:

  • The problem occurs during late night/ early morning or midafternoon.
  • The crash is likely to be serious.
  • A single vehicle leaves the roadway.
  • The crash occurs on a high-speed road.
  • The driver does not attempt to avoid a crash.
  • The driver is alone in the vehicle.

The accident above appears to have a number of these characteristics: the accident was serious, the Wal-Mart driver was alone and the crash occurred on a high speed road.  A detailed, forensic investigation will likely reveal whether this horrific accident was caused by driver fatigue.

Compensation for the victims of truck accidents caused by a driver’s negligence and/or driver fatigue, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a careless driver negligently or recklessly causes a traffic accident and death results, the driver should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving fatigued, negligent drivers.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an automobile accident involving a fatigued or negligent driver?
 

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Another Patient Dies After Lap Band Surgery

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/10/2011

A 33 year-old woman from Chula Vista,  Cheronna Marie Williams,  who underwent a stomach-banding surgery in Tijuana died during the procedure on May 26th.  The San Diego Union Tribune reported that Williams’s family has filed a complaint with the Baja California Attorney General’s Office against Dr. Pedro Kuri, a Tijuana physician with years of experience in Lap-Band surgery who operates at a reputable private hospital.  The Attorney General’s office has launched an investigation into the matter.

See the Tribune story HERE.

The lap band procedure involves the placement of an inflatable device around the top portion of the stomach, via a laparoscope.  Small holes are placed in the patient’s abdomen and through those holes a camera and instruments are passed in order to place the band.  This type of bariatric procedure is used to treat patients with obesity and other, related conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.   This surgery is generally utilized only after less invasive methods of weight loss, such as diet and exercise, have failed.  Unfortunately, some physicians performing the lap band do not always provide the best surgical care, either during the procedure or following its completion.  For example, patients can die from intra-operative complications related to anesthesia, blood loss or post-operative infection.  Before undergoing this procedure, patients should ensure their doctor is well-qualified and the facility at which the surgery is done is well-equipped to handle most medical emergencies.

Compensation for victims of medical malpractice, resulting in serious personal injury or death, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a physician fails to comply with the standard of care required during or after an invasive procedure, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County medical malpractice attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years of experience handling medical negligence and other personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been a victim of medical malpractice occurring during bariatric surgery?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Inglewood Police Vehicle Involved in Fatal Crash

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 07/10/2011

KTLA news has reported a police cruiser, believed to be on its way to a shooting in Inglewood, was involved in a deadly crash early Tuesday.  At about 1:00 a.m. this morning, the Inglewood police vehicle was involved in a collision with a Range Rover at Prairie Avenue and Manchester Boulevard, near the Forum.  According to the report, an unidentified female passenger in the Range Rover was killed in the accident, and two officers were injured.  It is not yet known who was at fault for this tragic automobile accident.

See the KTLA news story HERE.

As for the operation of the Inglewood Police unit, under California law the police are not permitted to drive with impunity from the moment they activate their sirens and flashing lights. Even though the Vehicle Code sets out certain protections for law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties, the law does not relieve the driver of a police vehicle from the duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons using the highway.  A police officer operating his vehicle in the line of duty must drive in such a manner as would not impose upon others an unreasonable risk of harm.   Generally speaking, the question is whether the officer acted as a reasonable, prudent emergency driver under all of the circumstances, including that of the emergency.  In the case above, it remains to be seen what caused the tragic accident that took the female passenger’s life, but an analysis of responsibility must take into account the law above.

Compensation for the victims of emergency vehicle accidents, caused by the operator’s negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a police officer or other public employee negligently causes a traffic accident and serious injuries or death result, the public entity should be held accountable.  An Orange County auto accident attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those for wrongful death.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an automobile accident involving a public employee?

  •  Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Couple Killed in Head-On Crash Near Temecula

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

The Press Enterprise has reported a couple was killed late Friday night near Temecula when the car they were driving was reportedly struck head-on by a hit-and-run driver.  Citing official sources, the Enterprise reported the victims in the crash, Carlos and Laurie Castro (both in their 50s), were driving a 2004 Honda Civic east on Glenoaks Road west of Bella Vista Road, just a few miles from their home when the crash occurred.  A westbound 1997 Chrysler Sebring apparently crossed into their lane, striking the Castros' car head-on.   The driver of the Sebring was described by witnesses as getting out of his car and running from the accident.  According to police, an open container of alcohol was found in the vehicle.  Both Castros died at the scene.  Citing the CHP's incident information website, the Enterprise story describes the suspect as a Hispanic male, about 30 years old, 5-foot-10, 190 to 200 pounds, with dark, wavy hair, wearing an orange and white striped shirt and white tennis shoes.  Police are asking for the public's assistance in apprehending the suspect.

See the Enterprise story HERE.

While the accident is still under investigation, it would appear the unidentified driver of the Sebring caused this accident by perhaps committing two unlawful acts:  driving while under the influence and violating the Castros' right of way by crossing into their lane.  Assuming that the suspect was under the influence (which may difficult to prove at this point), then he could be charged with a number of felonies relative to this accident.  Unfortunately, a conviction will not actually compensate the Castros' family for their loss.  A civil action for wrongful death would have to be pursued in order to recover monetary compensation for the family.  Under California law, the surviving family members are entitled to seek damages for the loss of society, care, comfort, affection, love and support lost as a result of the fatal accident.  While juries are not called upon to assess the value of human life in such cases, they are assigned the difficult task placing a monetary value on the lost relationship, which is all the law allows.

Compensation for the families of fatal hit and run accident victims should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a carelessly causes an automobile accident and then flees the scene, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you lost a loved one to a fatal automobile accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

   

6 Year-Old Girl Killed By Hit and Run Driver

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

KTLA news has reported  that the search is on for the driver of a SUV that struck and killed a 6 year-old girl in South Los Angeles.  The victim, Kemberly Arrue, was playing with a ball near her home in the 600 block of West 49th Place around 10:00 p.m. yesterday when the ball rolled into the street.  Arrue was struck by a dark-colored SUV, but the driver never stopped.  The Los Angeles Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying and locating the driver.   The only description of the vehicle is that it was dark colored and likely has front-end damage.

See the KTLA news story and photograph HERE.

This tragic accident is one that pulls at the heart strings.  It is shocking to think of a driver being so callous as to hit a little girl, 6 years of age, and not even stop to help.  From the Google Earth view of the neighborhood, the street is narrow and there are only single family homes nearby.  It would not appear to have been difficult to identify the girl's home and her family, after the accident.  While  little more than speculation at this point, it seems a logical inference the driver was in the process of doing something illegal behind the wheel of the SUV (either speeding or driving while intoxicated) at the time of the accident.  In fact, the driver's flight from the scene may even be used in court as evidence of "consciousness of guilt."

Compensation for victims of fatal hit and run accidents should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver negligently causes an accident and then flees the scene, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an automobile versus motorcycle accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Motorists Charged in Death of Bicyclist in Highland

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to a story in the Press Enterprise, a San Bernardino Superior Court judge ruled today that two men will be tried on charges of vehicular manslaughter in the death of a professional bicyclist in Highland.  Patrick Roraff and Brett Morin, both 19, each face a single count of manslaughter in the death of Jorge Alvarado in April 2010.  After a preliminary hearing, Judge John Martinruled that there was sufficient evidence for the two defendants to be tried on the charges.  Authorities contend Roraff and Marin were traveling about 70 mph on Greenspot Road, a narrow rural road, when Roraff attempted to pass Morin.  Roraff apparently lost control, spun across lanes and struck Alvarado, a 27-year-old Ontario resident and member of the Bahati Racing Team.

See the Enterprise story HERE.

In the case above, the two defendants have been charged in relation to Alvarado's death not because they intended to kill him, but because they were driving recklessly such that a serious or fatal accident was the probable result.  Under the California Penal Code, if a death occurs while the defendant is "driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, and with gross negligence; or driving a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence"  the driver may be convicted of vehicular manslaughter.  The offense which constitutes the "unlawful act" need not be an inherently dangerous misdemeanor or infraction, but it must be dangerous under the circumstances of its commission.  Here, Morin and Roraff were traveling approximately 70 miles per hour on a narrow, rural road.  Regardless of whether the two defendants are convicted of a crime, their speeding and loss of control are reflective of at least simple negligence for which they would be held liable in a civil, wrongful death case.

Compensation for victims of serious injury of fatal automobile collisions, caused by a criminally negligent driver, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle in an unlawful or reckless manner and causes a serious or fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County auto accident lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving serious automobile accidents.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured or killed in a motor vehicle collision caused by another’s unlawful or negligent driving?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

   

Pedestrian Killed After Being Dragged

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to a KTLA news story, a pedestrian was killed after being hit by a vehicle and then dragged in Walnut Park.  The accident happened around 1 a.m. Monday at the intersection of Pacific Boulevard and California Street.  Citing official police sources, KTLA reported an SUV heading eastbound on California Street ran a stop sign, striking a pedestrian.  The vehicle then dragged the pedestrian a short distance before it hit a tree and then a wall, flipping over on its side in a parking lot.  Tragically, the pedestrian, identified only as a man in his 30s, was killed.  The driver of the SUV, a 23-year-old man, was booked on suspicion of DUI and manslaughter, according to the California Highway Patrol.  This fatal accident is now under investigation.

See the KTLA story and photos HERE.

In the case above, California law provides specific rights to the victim of a felony offense when they pursue compensation for their injuries and damages in a civil court.  For a civil damage action against a defendant based on conduct that has resulted in the defendant's conviction of a felony offense, the Legislature has eased the plaintiff's burdens by waiving filing fees (Government Code, § 70611), giving those actions calendar preference (Code Civil Procedure, § 37), and allowing a prevailing plaintiff to recover attorney fees (C.C.P., § 1021.4).  In this case, the family of the pedestrian will be entitled to the benefit of these California statutes if the driver is convicted of a felony in relation to the accident.  In that wrongful death case, the family will be entitled to recover damages for the loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, and moral support.

Compensation for the family of victims killed in an automobile accident, caused by a driver who causes the death in the commission of a felony, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle in an extremely reckless manner or while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes a fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving wrongful death.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Has a loved one been lost in an accident caused by a driver committing a felony?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

   

6 Year-Old Girl Killed In Auto Collision

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

The Press Enterprise has reported  that a a 6-year-old Fontana girl died earlier this week of injuries she sustained during an automobile accident in her home town.  Citing San Bernardino County coroner's officials, the Enterprise article identified the victim as Destiny Hernandez.  The accident reportedly occurred on Monday at 7:28 a.m. when she was ejected from a vehicle during the crash at Alder and Miller Avenues.   Destiny was taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center and transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center where she died at 5:18 p.m. the same day, coroner's officials said.  The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the Fontana Police Department. See the Enterprise story HERE.

From a quick review of the Alder Avenue/Miller Avenue intersection in Fontana, it appears the intersection is a four-way stop.  The roadways at the intersection are flat and there do not appear to be any visual obstructions for drivers entering the four-way stop.  Additionally, these two streets intersect within a residential area, and the presumed speed limit is 25 miles per hour.  Interestingly, the intersection is scheduled for installation of traffic signals, with the project to be completed by the Spring of 2012, according to the City's official website.  The cause of this tragic accident remains undetermined, and it will be interesting to see what role, if any, the absence of traffic signals played.

Compensation for victims of automobile accidents, caused by a driver’s negligence and/or roadway flaws, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle carelessly and  causes a fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County auto accident attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including those involving wrongful death.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a serious or fatal motor vehicle accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Two Killed in Separate Motor Vehicle Accidents In The Inland Empire

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

The Press Enterprise reported today that a 5-year-old girl died at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday after being injured in a two-vehicle collision in Mead Valley.   Janet Gomez, of Perris, died at 3:08 p.m. at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, about 45 minutes after the collision at Kinney and Haines streets, the coroner's office said in a news release.  Janet was a passenger in one of two vehicles, reported to be a Jeep and a small sedan. Citing Fire Department sources, the Enterprise reported five other people were injured, two suffering moderate injuries, and three with minor injuries.

See the story HERE.

In an unrelated incident, a 40-year-old Hesperia man died last night after a motorcycle crash in Colton.  Citing San Bernardino County coroner's officials, the Enterprise reported the accident occurred at 5:09 p.m. Tuesday.  The motorcycle rider, John Steven Lang, was riding a 2002 Yamaha north along Iowa Street south of the Interstate-215 on-ramp when he collided with a 1997 Ford utility truck traveling in the same direction.  According to the article, the investigating police officer has apparently concluded Lang was passing on the right when he collided with the front end of the Ford utility truck.  The victim died at  5:58 p.m. at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

See the story HERE.

The above accidents are still under investigation, and it is unknown what will be determined as the primary cause of these two tragic collisions.  Since both accidents happened during daylight hours, lighting was apparently not an issue.  However, the accident involving Lang may involve a visibility issue in that the truck driver apparently did not see Lang in time to avoid the collision.  With regard to Lang's apparent passing on the right, the California Vehicle Code does contain the following relevant provision:

§ 21755.  Passing on right safely (a) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting that movement in safety. In no event shall that movement be made by driving off the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway...

Here, it is unknown why and under what circumstances Lang reportedly attempted to pass the utility truck and whether that turning maneuver was reasonably safe.  Accident reconstruction, based on photographs, debris location, roadway marks and eyewitness accounts, will likely solve this tragic puzzle.

With regard to the accident in Mead Valley, involving little Janet Gomez, the primary cause and any related, contributing factors remain to be seen.  However, whenever a child of this age, 5 years, is the only one killed in an automobile collision the use of appropriate seating is to be considered.  In California, Vehicle Code § 27360 requires (with certain exceptions) the use of a child passenger restraint system or safety belt if the child is less than 6 years old or weighs less than 60 pounds.  It is highly likely the investigating agency looking into the Gomez accident will consider this an important factor in determining whether this tragedy could have been avoided.

Compensation for victims of automobile accidents, caused by a driver’s negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  The same holds true for the victim's families.  When a driver operates their vehicle carelessly a fatal accident, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you lost a loved one  in a motor vehicle accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Pedestrian Killed Crossing Street in Indio

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

According to a story in the Press Enterprise, last Wednesday a 57-year-old woman was killed while crossing a street to pick up her mail.  Citing police sources, the Enterprise reported the victim, Jacqueline Cramer,  was struck by a Ford Explorer at 4:41 p.m., along the 45200 block of Coeur d'Alene Drive inside Indian Springs Country Club.  In spite of being airlifted to Desert Regional Medical Center, Cramer died about three hours after the accident.  The truck was driven by a 68-year-old Indio man whose name has not been released.

See the full story HERE.

This fatal Indio automobile accident tragically demonstrates the danger all pedestrians face when crossing the street.  While the precise circumstances of this pedestrian accident have yet to be released, it is likely the responsibility will be determined only after a careful evaluation and reconstruction of the accident.  It remains to be seen whether the motorist was traveling at a safe speed and if there was sufficient time for him to have observed Cramer in the roadway, allowing for evasive action.  The Explorer's speed, the roadway configuration and the pedestrian's location in the street will all be important factors in assessing what caused this pedestrian accident.  In addition, the recount of the accident by any witnesses and their ability to observe how this accident unfolded will likely aid in determining whether negligence caused or contributed to the happening of this tragic, fatal accident.

Compensation for pedestrian victims of automobile accidents, caused by a driver’s negligence, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a driver operates their vehicle carelessly and strikes a pedestrian, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County wrongful death attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been injured in a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

   

Doctor Found Guilty in Death of Gallbladder Patient

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

On June 4, 2008, a 30-year-old man died on the operating table at an Inglewood home turned into a makeshift neighborhood clinic.  Earlier today, nearly three years later, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury Friday convicted the surgeon of involuntary manslaughter.  Dr. Roberto Bonilla, 64, was found guilty in a Torrance courthouse in the death of Osvaldo Hernandez, a restaurant dishwasher from Mexico who had paid the surgeon several thousand dollars in cash to relieve a sharp pain in his belly.  On the day of the gallbladder, surgery Bonilla used lidocaine, a local anesthetic, to perform the open surgery.  According to the California Medical Board's allegations, filed well before commencement of the criminal trial, the amount of Lidocaine used exceeded the safe limit to be administered at one time, and Hernandez died of Lidocaine intoxication.

Read the story of the criminal trial HERE and the Medical Board Accusation HERE.

What the Hernandez case demonstrates is that there are licensed physicians in this State who are willing to risk their patients' lives by performing surgery under inherently dangerous circumstances.  In general, an open gallbladder procedure is a major surgery requiring administration of general anesthesia, and the full resources of an operating room, not an ill-equipped home.  Dr. Bonilla knew, or should have known, he was taking a poorly calculated risk that care beyond his immediately available resources would be needed.  When Hernandez began to seize (apparently because of the Lidocaine), Dr. Bonilla and his staff failed to react meaningfully, and when the patient required advanced cardiac life support, it was not available.  Instead, Dr. Bonilla and his staff reportedly performed CPR on Hernandez for two and a half hours, and no one called 9-1-1.

Compensation for victims of medical neglect, should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a physician takes an unjustifiable risk with their patient's life and death results, they should be held accountable.  An Orange County trial lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has 20 years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a loved one been a victim of medical neglect?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

Fiery Crash in Orange County Results in Driver's Death

Posted by: Paul Ralph Posted Date: 06/03/2011

At approximately 11:15 p.m. on Tuesday night, a fiery crash along the westbound Artesia (91) Freeway in Buena Park took the life of a driver.  According to news reports citing sources from the California Highway Patrol, a van was reported on fire at 11:18 p.m. on the 91 east of Knott Avenue.  A tree also was reported on fire, and responding engine crews had several lanes of the freeway blocked at one point.  According to official sources, the man was driving in the number 3 lane at about 65 to 70 mph when his 2003 Chevrolet van caught fire.  The driver reportedly swerved to the right off the roadway, hit the shoulder wall, and crashed into a tree.  In spite of the fire department's quick response and dowsing of the flames, the victim, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene, the CHP said.  The accident remains under investigation, and witnesses are urged to call 714-892-4426 to assist.

See the full story and video at http://www.ocregister.com/news/chp-283767-right-fire.html

While the precise cause of the fire remains to be determined, it is possible the fire (since it apparently began while the driver was simply traveling down the freeway) was caused by a defect in the 2003 Chevrolet van.  Fire within a vehicle's engine compartment does not ordinarily start spontaneously unless there is an unreasonably dangerous defect with the motor vehicle.  A careful mechanical inspection by an expert, perhaps a member of the CHP, may reveal the precise cause. Ordinarily, a vehicle fire of this magnitude erupts from an impact causing the gas tank to explode.  For example, one of the most noteworthy products liability cases in Orange County history involved a 1972 Ford Pinto hatchback automobile which unexpectedly stalled on a freeway, erupting into flames when it was rear ended by a car proceeding in the same direction. Mrs. Lilly Gray, the driver of the Pinto, suffered fatal burns, and 13-year-old Richard Grimshaw, a passenger in the Pinto, suffered severe and permanently disfiguring burns on his face and entire body. Grimshaw and the heirs of Mrs. Gray (Grays) sued Ford Motor Company and others.  Following a very lengthy jury trial, verdicts were returned in favor of plaintiffs against Ford Motor Company.   Grimshaw was awarded $ 2,516,000 compensatory damages and $125 million punitive damages; the Grays were awarded $559,680 in compensatory damages.  The trial court effectively reduced the punitive damage award to $3 1/2 million.  (Grimshaw vs. Ford Motor Company (1981) 119 Cal. App. 3d 757)

Compensation for the victims of dangerously defective products should be an important concern for all Californians.  When a motor vehicle, or other product, causes severe injuries or death, the manufacturer should be held accountable for the injuries, damages and devastation they leave behind.  An Orange County injury lawyer with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims.  Mr. Ralph has nearly 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases, including just this type.  He can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Have you or a family been injured or killed by a defective product?

  • Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above.  This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter.  A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.

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