The California Court of Appeal recently addressed an appeal brought by a plaintiff who alleged his injuries were caused by a defective elevator.   Southern California injury lawyers understand that in cases like this, there may be legal claims against more than one defendant.  In this case, the plaintiff initially brought legal claims against multiple parties, including the manufacturer and the maintenance company for the elevator.

After stepping ielevatornto an elevator at the CalTrans building in Los Angeles, the plaintiff in this personal injury case pressed the button for the first floor. According to the plaintiff, the elevator quickly dropped and then stopped between the first and second floors.  The plaintiff alleged he was thrown around and landed on his back in the elevator when it abruptly dropped.  The plaintiff claimed he suffered knee injuries due to the incident, and he brought legal claims against the elevator manufacturer and the maintenance company that services the elevator.

The plaintiff eventually dismissed his claims for product liability and negligence against the manufacturer, and the remaining defendant (the maintenance company) moved for summary judgment.  The trial court granted summary judgment, finding that the plaintiff had not met his burden of showing a material dispute of fact remained.

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California personal injury attorneys understand that individuals who participate in certain sports may place themselves at risk of injury. In a recent personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff had alleged that the defendant’s negligent, reckless, or intentional misconduct harmed her.  She also alleged that the defendant had an animal with a dangerous propensity. The facts indicate that the plaintiff suffered injuries while endurance horseback riding, and the issue before the California appellate court was whether the plaintiff had assumed the risk inherent in horseback riding, which would bar her claim for recovery.  Additionally, the court examined whether the plaintiff had met her burden of showing there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding the defendant’s alleged recklessness.horse racing

Both the plaintiff and the defendant participated in an organized endurance horseback riding event, with approximately 50 other riders.  While stopped at a required checkpoint, the defendant’s horse struck the plaintiff while she was standing on the ground. She suffered injuries and brought this lawsuit against the defendant. After the trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, she appealed.

On appeal, the court examined whether the defendant met the burden of persuasion that one or more elements of the plaintiff’s cause of action could not be established, or there was a complete defense to the cause of action. If the defendant meets their burden of production, showing that there is not a triable issue of material fact, the burden of production shifts to the plaintiff to show a remaining triable issue of fact.

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All drivers owe others on the road a duty of care to exercise reasonable caution.  When driving, it is negligent to use any substance that impairs your ability to drive.  Alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs affect the ability of drivers to safely operate their vehicles and may cause harm to others on the road. When a driver’s negligence causes an accident and resulting harm, injured victims may hold the driver accountable in a legal claim.

impaired driving crash

California motor vehicle collision claims involving marijuana use by drivers are rising.  Since marijuana has been legalized, it is likely the state will see an increase in car accidents caused by drivers impaired by smoking or ingesting marijuana.  According to a recent insurance study, crash statistics in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado indicate that after legalizing recreational marijuana, there was an increase in the number of car accident claims in those states. After suffering injuries in an accident with a driver impaired by marijuana, victims may recover damages by filing personal injury civil claims against the at-fault drivers.

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Recently, the California Court of Appeal addressed whether the lower court had properly excluded evidence that the defendant in a pedestrian collision lawsuit had fled the scene of the accident, without rendering aid to the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged that excluding this evidence prejudiced her, since she suffered mental distress due to the defendant’s conduct. The defendant countered that she had already been deemed negligent, and the issue before the jury was damages.  The evidence, according to the defendant and affirmed by the appellate court, was not relevant to the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s damages.

pedestrian collision

Together with her husband, the plaintiff brought a complaint against the defendant for negligence and loss of consortium after the defendant struck the plaintiff while she was crossing a street on North Figueroa Avenue in Los Angeles.  The defendant admitted negligence but disputed the extent of the alleged damages and injuries.  The trial court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs on negligence and awarded the plaintiffs a net judgment of $876.85.  The plaintiffs appealed from the judgment.

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After suffering injuries in a fall while working in the defendants’ home, the plaintiff in a recent personal injury case before the California Court of Appeal brought causes of action for premises liability and negligence.  A lower court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant homeowners, but the appellate court reversed, finding that triable issues of fact remained as to whether there had been a hidden dangerous condition the owners should have disclosed, and whether the parties involved in the lawsuit acted reasonably.

attic

The defendants in this case hired a licensed contractor to paint their home, and the plaintiff was an employee of this contractor.  While moving a cabinet in an attic, on the second floor, the plaintiff stepped on a portion of the floor covered by a thin plastic sheet and fell 10 to 12 feet to the floor, suffering serious injuries.  While he believed he had stepped onto the floor, it was in fact a poorly constructed and concealed skylight, built into the floor.

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After suffering injuries when a water truck ran over her at a fire base camp, a plaintiff in a recent case before the California Court of Appeal brought a lawsuit against the Fire District and their employees. She alleged that her damages were caused by their negligence, a dangerous condition of public property, and their failure to warn. The lower court had held that the defendants were immune fromfirefighter liability, according to the firefighter’s rule, and on appeal, the court analyzed whether the defendants had waived their claim to immunity.

A fire broke out in the Plumas National Forest in September 2009, and a base camp was set up at Plumas County Fairgrounds.  The plaintiff worked as a Forest Service firefighter and slept in an area that had not been properly roped off and marked “no vehicles allowed.”  In the evening, a water truck servicing a nearby shower unit ran over the plaintiff, who was sleeping on the ground, and severely damaged her heart, lungs, and eyes.

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After suffering injuries in a car accident, the plaintiff in a recent case before the Superior Court of Orange County argued that her insurance company breached their implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.  While the court had found that the insurance company was entitled to summary judgment, based on the legal doctrine of “genuine dispute,” the plaintiff appealed. The California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District held that there were triable issues regarding whether the insurance company’s decision that the plaintiff did not need steroid injections was made without conducting a good faith investigation and without a reasonabstethoscopele basis for a genuine dispute.

The case followed a vehicle collision in which another driver ran a red light and struck the plaintiff’s car. The other driver had caused the accident, and the plaintiff reported the accident to her insurance company the next day.  She also immediately reported chest pain in a police report at the scene of the accident. She was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where she complained of pain in her face and arm.

The plaintiff then sought medical treatment from a chiropractor, first stating she had back pain. Later, she saw an osteopath, who recommended she receive a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test for her spine.  The MRI was noted to indicate significant disc protrusion, requiring more therapy, medications, and injections.

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Pedestrian accidents and fatalities are unfortunately a common occurrence on California roads. Aggressive or careless drivers who speed near intersections or otherwise violate a statute put others at risk of severe harm.  Victims hurt in a pedestrian accident can file a civil lawsuit to pursue damages from the at-fault driver. By proving the other driver failed to meet their duty of care and did not drive reasonably under the circumstances, a victim may present a strong claim for compensation.
pedestrian sign

According to the California Vehicle Code, pedestrians are entitled to safe travel and access to roads.  Drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing the roadway within a marked crosswalk.  Motorists are also required to yield when pulling out of a parking lot or a driveway.  However, the law also states that pedestrians must use due care for their safety, and they cannot unnecessarily stop or delay traffic while in the crosswalk. In a legal claim for damages, a pedestrian deemed to have contributed to their injuries may find their recovery reduced by their percentage of fault.

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The California Court of Appeal reversed a decision in favor of a golf course owned by the City of Pasadena in a lawsuit brought by a baby and his mother after the baby was injured while on a trail adjacent to the golf course. The issue before the appellate court was whether the City was entitled to trail immunity.  The baby had been struck in the head by a golf ball while being pushed by his mother in a stroller. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a brain injury.

golf course

The plaintiffs brought a lawsuit on the legal theory of a dangerous condition of public property posed by the golf course.  At issue was whether the City had established that design immunity entitled it to summary judgment.  The court stated that a dangerous condition of public property creates a substantial (as opposed to a minor) risk of injury when the property has been used with due care, in a manner that is foreseeable for its use.

Public entities are liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions of property when the plaintiff shows that the property was dangerous at the time of the injury, the injury was proximately caused by the dangerous condition, the condition created a reasonably foreseeable risk of the kind of injury that resulted, and either an employee’s negligence created the condition or the public entity had notice of the condition.

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In a recent case before the California Court of Appeal, the court addressed whether the lower court had properly ruled in favor of the defendant, a company that shipped chemicals to the government that allegedly caused the plaintiff injuries while he was working for the government.

boat

The plaintiff alleged he was harmed while working as a machinist for a company that contracted with the United States Navy to supply insulation for stainless steel piping.  He brought a lawsuit for general negligence and strict liability manufacturing and design defect claims, including claims for failing to warn of the hazards of the chemical use. First, the court analyzed whether the defendant was a government contractor, entitled to the defense that shields military contractors from state tort law liability when there is a defect in military equipment that has been supplied to the United States.

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