Nowadays, it seems that ordering items from Amazon is as ubiquitous as getting groceries from the store. With a vast array and selection of products at various price points and fast two-day shipping, California consumers have built a reliance on the e-commerce provider over the years. When a product you order from Amazon injures you, however, you may have grounds to bring a product liability claim against the company or the seller depending on the context of the case.

In a recent California Court of Appeal decision, a plaintiff brought a product liability claim against Amazon for injuries she suffered from an allegedly defective hoverboard. The plaintiff purchased the board as a Christmas gift for her son, who plugged it into an outlet in the plaintiff’s bedroom to charge. The plaintiff’s boyfriend later discovered a fire burning in her bedroom, and her bed and the hoverboard were on fire. The plaintiff suffered burns to her hand and foot as a result of fighting the fire. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Amazon. The plaintiff appealed her strict and negligent product liability claims.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment. In its opinion, the court acknowledged that Amazon was a link in the vertical chain of distribution. E-commerce, however, may not fit into a traditional sales structure analysis adopted by the court, so there was a triable issue of material fact and the trial court erred in dismissing the case too soon. In addition, the Court was unpersuaded by Amazon’s argument that it was merely a service provider and not liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.

As the world slowly begins to open back up again, more people are making their way back onto the roads as life before the pandemic slowly resumes. This also means, however, that there may be an uptick in drunk driving again as people return to gatherings and celebrations. When accidents caused by drunk driving take place, they are often tragic—and frequently deadly. These preventable and highly consequential accidents are entirely preventable, and those who are at fault when these accidents take place must be held accountable.

According to a recent local news report, authorities suspect the influence of alcohol played a role in a deadly six-car crash on a California freeway. According to Sacramento law enforcement, a Ford car was speeding erratically in and out of lanes at times exceeding 90 miles per hour. Minutes later, the Ford slammed into the back of a Chrysler, initiating the chain-reaction crash involving six vehicles. At least one person was killed after the accident, with another hospitalized with serious injuries. The driver suspected of causing the crash and one other person suffered minor injuries. Following the driver’s release from the hospital, he was arrested.

When you are injured or someone you love is killed because of a crash caused by a drunk or intoxicated driver, you may be able to sue for damages. If you are considering filing a lawsuit for damages, the driver does not need to be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) before a civil claim can be filed for compensation.

Accidents involving large commercial vehicles often result in serious and devastating damages to anyone in the vicinity of the collision. California experiences some of the highest numbers of fatal trucking accidents in the country. Yearly, there are approximately 113 fatal California truck accidents and almost 3,000 truck accidents resulting in injuries. The majority of these accidents occur on the highway in and around Los Angeles County. Those who suffer injuries or experience a loved one’s death after a California trucking accident should contact experienced attorneys to discuss their rights and remedies.

Many California truck accidents involve negligent conduct on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. In addition to truck defects and malfunction, many California accidents involve driver fatigue, distraction, and impairment. These accidents often cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, paralysis, organ damage, broken bones and fractures, and permanent disfigurement.

For example, a recent harrowing California accident between an SUV and tractor-trailer resulted in devastating injuries and fatalities. According to a national news report, footage revealed that two SUVs were traveling near a steel border fence when one of the vehicles burst into flames shortly after crossing through the fence. Another SUV continued through the fence and slammed into a tractor-trailer. When police responded, they discovered that 12 people died in the accident. Some individuals were thrown from the SUV upon impact, whereas others were inside the car. Another person died at the hospital, and six others received treatment for serious injuries.

When you are injured by the actions of someone who works for the government, you may have a claim for compensation following your injury. The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) allows for private citizens to bring lawsuits against the United States for damage or loss of property, injury, or death if the harm was inflicted by a government employee’s negligence. A California personal injury attorney can assist with bringing these complex claims.

There is, however, an exception to the FTCA—the discretionary function exception (DFE). A private citizen is unable to sue the government in a tort claim if the government employee was performing a discretionary function or duty when they injured the plaintiff. In other words, if the government employee had leeway to make decisions or to act independently while performing the action that injured the plaintiff, you may be unable to sue the government under the FTCA for damages.

In a recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case, the court had to consider an issue involving the FTCA. The plaintiff was asleep in a park recreation area in his tent when a tree crashed into the tent and smashed his foot. The plaintiff sued under the FTCA and argued that the government negligently failed to cut down the tree. The district court dismissed under the DFE of the FTCA, and the plaintiff appealed.

Head-on collisions make up a small percentage of the overall number of California car accidents; however, they are also among the most deadly. Those that survive a head-on collision typically require extensive and long-term medical care. During recovery, many head-on accident victims cannot work, presenting significant financial burdens, as treatment is often costly. California car accident victims should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies after a head-on collision.

Head-on collisions occur when a front-end of a vehicle collides with the front-end of another vehicle. The speed rate can affect the extent of damages; however, even collisions at a slow speed can result in serious damages. California head-on collisions’ most common causes involve driver fatigue, speeding, driver distraction, texting and driving, and poor road conditions. Even if an airbag deploys, these accidents can still result in extensive injuries. The most common types of injuries include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, abrasions, organ damage, and traumatic brain injury.

California law requires drivers to operate their car safely and use due care to avoid causing injuries to others. Drivers must obey safety laws and modify their driving to comport with weather and traffic conditions. When a driver engages in negligent or reckless driving, they may be liable for negligence. Although insurance may cover some damages, the at-fault driver may be responsible for paying damages that the insurance company will not cover. In some cases, head-on collision lawsuits proceed to a jury trial.

People often get frustrated when the check engine light appears on their car, along with many other motor vehicle issues. However, when a person purchases a vehicle, it often comes with an express warranty that the manufacturer will fix the car if issues arise within a certain period of time. A willful violation of a car’s express warranty occurs when a manufacturer performs an inadequate solution to the issue and knows the fix is insufficient. In a recent California appellate case, the court was tasked with deciding whether a manufacturer willfully violated the terms of the express warranty when they knew about an issue with the vehicle and did not fix it. Ultimately, the court decided that the manufacturer committed a willful violation of the express warranty – and thus was liable for greater damages – by not fixing the problem with the plaintiff’s car.

The plaintiff purchased the car from the manufacturer with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. Within days of buying the car, the plaintiff had issues with the fuel pump, which helps regulate the power to most of the systems of the vehicle. One time the plaintiff brought the car to the shop, the manufacturer attempted to fix the faulty fuel pump, but in doing so, caused the battery to fail. There was evidence presented at trial that the manufacturer knew about the battery failure but sent the car home with the plaintiff regardless. After further issues with the car, the plaintiff then brought a lawsuit against the manufacturer, alleging a willful violation of the express warranty.

The plaintiff specifically relied on the Song-Beverly Act, arguing the defendant committed a willful violation of the express warranty. The Song-Beverly Act is a California consumer warranty statute that applies to the sale of consumer goods. The Song-Beverly Act requires manufacturers to repair a vehicle within a reasonable amount of time if the good does not conform with the express warranty made by the company. If the manufacturer is unable to repair the vehicle in order to conform with the express warranty after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer must either replace the vehicle or repay the buyer. The plaintiff can recuperate additional damages if they can establish the failure to comply was willful, meaning the repair was intentionally inadequate.

California’s beautiful weather year-round means people are always taking advantage of all of nature and recreational activities available outdoors. Whether you prefer to hike, bike, or just enjoy a local walking trail, there’s something for everyone. These outdoor recreational spaces, however, can sometimes pose unknown or unexpected dangers. However, when accidents occur at a local park or recreational area, accident victims may face legal hurdles when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

In a recent California Court of Appeal decision, the court considered a claim relating to trail immunity. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff frequently rode bis bicycle through a local park, where a fence created a physical barrier that cyclists had to maneuver around when moving along the trail. At some point unknown to the plaintiff, the old fence was replaced with a wire cable type fence.

On the day of the accident, the plaintiff was riding his bicycle along the trail, did not see the wire cables strung between the new fence posts, and mistakenly believed he could ride through them. When he attempted to do so, he was thrown from his bicycle over the handlebars and onto the ground, suffering serious injuries. The plaintiff sued the local county in charge of maintaining the park. The county responded by asserting that the plaintiff’s claims were under the county’s trail immunity. The lower court sided with the defendants, holding that because the new fencing was a “condition” of the trail, the defendants were immune from legal action.

Recently, a California appellate court issued an opinion in a plaintiff’s product liability lawsuit against the popular online marketplace, Amazon, LLC (Amazon). According to the court’s opinion, the case arose after the plaintiff purchased a replacement laptop battery from a seller on Amazon. Amazon facilitated the payment, charged the plaintiff, retrieved the battery from an Amazon warehouse, prepared the product, and mailed it to the plaintiff. The battery exploded a few months after the plaintiff purchased and installed the product. The explosion caused the plaintiff to suffer serious burns.

The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against several parties, including Amazon and the seller who listed the website’s battery. The seller did not appear, and as such, the trial court entered a default judgment against them. Amazon moved to dismiss the case, arguing that they cannot be liable if they did not sell, distribute, or manufacture the product. The trial court found in favor of Amazon, and the plaintiffs appealed. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that Amazon is strictly liable for defective products it lists on its website.

Strict liability is a theory that imposes legal responsibility on sellers, distributors, manufacturers for defective products, regardless of whether the party engaged in any negligence. Unlike many other types of personal injury cases, strict liability does not require the fact finder to determine the defendant was negligent. In most strict liability cases, the plaintiff must establish that the product was unreasonably safe when designed, manufactured, or sold. The seller intended or expected that the product would reach the consumer, and the plaintiff suffered actual harm by the defective product.

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from a fatal California car accident. The record indicates that the victim was driving around 70 miles per hour on a highway in the same lane as the defendant. The defendant saw a car stopped in the middle of the highway in front of him and moved over to pass the stopped vehicle. When the defendant was about 300 feet past the car, he saw the victim’s car collide with the stopped vehicle. The collision caused the victim’s car to leave the lane it was in, colliding with another vehicle. The defendant saw the accident in his rear-view mirror, and called 911.

The victim’s representative filed a complaint against several parties, including the driver of the stopped car, the driver of the car that hit the victim, the owner of the stopped vehicle, and the owner of the vehicle that hit the victim. Sometime after the original complaint, the plaintiff added the defendant as a party, reasoning that the defendant’s late lane change prevented the victim from noticing the vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. In response, the defendant cited California’s sudden emergency doctrine. The trial court agreed that the doctrine provided the defendant with a complete defense, and the plaintiff appealed.

California’s “sudden emergency” or “imminent peril” doctrine protects defendants from liability in a negligence lawsuit. It typically applies when a defendant, who was otherwise acting with reasonable care, is suddenly and unexpectedly faced with an emergency that the defendant did not cause. To prevail on this defense, a defendant must establish three main elements. A defendant must prove that the events arose when there was a sudden emergency where someone was in actual or imminent injury, the defendant did not cause the emergency, and the defendant acted with due care, even if an alternative action was safer.

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a California product liability claim against a pet store company after a man’s son contracted a bacterial infection from a rat he purchased at the store. The 10-year-old kept his rat in a vivarium at his grandmother’s house, but he occasionally held the animals outside the cage. About two weeks after the purchase, the young boy developed a fever and collapsed. Tragically, he passed away at the hospital shortly after he arrived. An analysis of his blood and tissue samples revealed that the rat carried the bacteria that caused the boy’s infection.

After his son’s death, the plaintiff alleged, among other claims, that the pet store was strictly liable for injuries that stemmed from the sale of the pet rat. The trial court issued a jury instruction under an ordinary negligence theory based on failure to warn, manufacturing defects, and design defects. However, on appeal, the plaintiff contended that the jury should have received a consumer expectations test warning instruction.

In analyzing the case, the court explained that California products liability law applies in situations where the defendant supplies goods or products for the use of others. These defendants are liable to losses that purchasers, users, or bystanders suffer because of the product’s defects. Although California law does not address whether animals are a product for strict liability purposes, courts generally rely on supplemental guidance, which explains that pets carrying bacteria are not subject to design defect claims.

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