Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Millions More Recalled by Toyota for Defective Gas Pedal

Most motor vehicle accidents are caused by driver errors but there are also incidents wherein auto defects are to blame for fatal car crashes.

Following the deaths of a CHP officer and his family, car-maker giant Toyota has launched the recall of millions of affected models said to have “unsecured floor mats” which cause unintended accelerations.

Some 4.2 million vehicles recalled later, Toyota has recently announced another massive recall in order to fix accelerator pedals with mechanical problems. The gas pedal mechanism can potentially get worn down and this may cause the accelerator to get harder to press, slower to return or even stuck.

Since Toyota’s first recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 100 reported accidents, wherein 17 crashes and 5 fatalities are suspected to have been caused by defective floor mats and accelerator pedals in Toyota vehicles.

The latest recall made by Toyota involves the following car models:

• 2005-2010 Avalon
• 2007-2010 Camry
• 2007-2010 Tundra
• 2008-2010 Sequoia
• 2009-2010 RAV4
• 2009-2010 Corolla
• 2009-2010 Matrix
• 2010 Highlander

At present, the Japanese company with a previously sterling reputation, is working on a solution to the accelerator pedal problem. However, the problematic gas pedal system came from a single supplier. Toyota is quick to shoulder responsibility when Toyota spokesman John Hanson said, “"Responsibility for this in the end is ours."

Indeed, motor vehicle defect liability falls squarely on the shoulders of car manufacturers. There is a warrant of safety and quality that once a car is sold on the market, consumers can expect to be safe with the purchase.

In the event that a car crash accident occurs because of auto defects, car owners have every right to hold car manufacturers or auto parts suppliers liable in a product liability lawsuit.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Property Damages in Ventura Maybe caused by Tornado

Witnesses believe that a wind funnel that caused massive property damages all over Ventura County is a tornado though it is not yet confirmed by the National Weather Service.

Lifting a car atop a tree and boats have been knocked off from trailers are just some of the incidents caused by recent fierce winds in the area which a meteorologist called a “microbust” which is a form of wind gust.

Though no one was reportedly injured in the incident, owners must secure their property so that they would not be burdened with the expenses for the repairs and replacements of the damaged property.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Police Chief Resigns Amidst Charges of Discrimination and Retaliation

Following the $30 million legal battle over the alleged discrimination and retaliation committed by the Montebello police chief against his officers, Police Chief Dan Weast resigned recently.

Last October, several police officers filed a complaint against Chief Weast, which claimed that he discriminated against qualified minority candidates and only promoted his friends as well as other officers who belonged to an “all-white” group called Mahan’s Marauders.

Morale has dropped low within the department and there was even a 90% vote of no confidence in the police chief issued by the Montebello Police Officers Association.

The suit filed by the officers against Weast is seeking $30 million in damages although the amount has been reduced to less than a quarter of it following talks over the settlement.

Following the same laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on gender, race, color, religion and disability, employers are likewise prohibited from retaliating against employees who have validly complained discriminatory practices or labor violations.

An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise "retaliate" against an individual for:

• Filing a charge of discrimination
• Participating in a discrimination proceeding
• Opposing discrimination or unlawful practices
• Requesting accommodations related to employment discrimination
• Refusing to obey an order reasonably believed to be discriminatory
• Threatening to file a charge of discrimination

There is retaliation against the employee who complained when he or she is subjected to adverse actions such as denial of promotion, termination, harassment, or even filing groundless cases against the employee to intimidate or coerce the employee into foregoing the action against the employer.

While $30 Million worth of damages may seem exorbitant, employers found guilty of discrimination and retaliation against their employees will be held liable for compensation which may include back pay, front pay, policy changes, actual damages, damages for emotional distress and punitive damages.

Fire Burns Mobile Home in Chula Vista

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that consumed a mobile home in Chula Vista.

At least 6 fire vehicles responded to put out the fire and prevent it from spreading to the other residences.

The incident occurred at a mobile home park in Broadway and was reported at about 1:30pm.

At least one person was treated for smoke inhalation.

Hopefully, the owners have an insurance that includes property damage coverage.

To make a property damage claim, the owners should inform their provider immediately to avoid any problems with time limits.

They should also get at least two estimates for either repairs or replacements.

The owners should also hire the services of a property damage attorney to guide them through the process and to ensure that they get the right amount of compensation from the insurance company.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beef Possibly Contaminated by E. Coli Recalled

Food manufacturing companies are expected to produce quality foods that are safe eating to eat. Product recalls may be initiated if it was proven that the company has failed to fulfill such duty.

About 864,000 pounds of ground beef, possibly affected by E. coli, were recently recalled by a southern California meat-packing firm.

According to the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Services, there were no reported illnesses from the pound beef sold by Montebello based Huntington Meat Packing Inc., under the Huntington, El Rancho, and Imperial Meat Co. brands.

The contaminated beef was already sold to restaurants, hotels, and distribution centers in California between Jan. 5 and Jan. 15, 2010 and Feb. 19 and May 15, 2008.

Reports said that department personnel noticed the problem while a food safety assessment is being conducted.

If the department did not discover the problem and the infected beef was made available for public consumption, people may suddenly suffer from dehydration, bloody diarrhea, or even kidney failure due to the deadly germ that the food might be contaminated with.

All food manufacturers should carefully do their job because they may be held liable if someone acquired an illness after eating a contaminated food produced by them. In addition, being extremely careful while manufacturing a certain kind of product, not limited to foods, will save the company from different legal problems that may be brought by product recalls.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Disabled Woman Dies a Week after Hit-and-Accident

Fines and imprisonment await a hit-and-run driver if he or she is caught by the authorities. This may be the reason why a hit-and-run driver who was involved in a fatal car accident in San Diego remained hidden and has not turned himself in.

According to authorities, Judith Tellez, 63, was hit by the driver in Lakeside. The victim was struck while she was crossing Old Highway 80 near Los Coches Road, around 125 feet away from where she lived.

She suffered from a skull fracture, and broken back and legs. She died due to her injuries a week after the accident.

The car may have been a dark-colored Ford Expedition, as described by the witnesses. In addition, police said the vehicle probably sustained front-end damage.

No proper legal action that can bring justice to Tellez’s family may be done if the hit-and-run driver remains hidden. He or she should turn himself or herself in so that the victim’s loved ones will have the chance of receiving wrongful death damages after legal procedures were conducted.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eleven-year-old Driver Killed in Car Crash

The law mandates that only drivers sixteen years old and above are allowed to drive. This law is aimed at promoting road safety.

It follows then that an 11-year-old boy is not allowed to drive because of the danger and inexperience entail with the age. Consequently, in Tulare County, when an 11-year old boy drove a car, the result has been fatal.

Three people were killed including children aged eleven and six in an accident that happened between Porterville and Tipton. The victims were all occupants of a 1993 Honda.

According to reports, the Honda driver, with four occupants on board, ran a stop sign and was hit by a 1999 Ford.

The Honda’s only survivor, Froylon Gonzales, sustained serious injuries while the Ford’s driver, Charles Seguin, was treated for minor injuries.

Aside from inexperienced driving, the fatal deaths were caused by not wearing seatbelts. Authorities revealed that the Honda’s two rear passengers were ejected from the car into a walnut grove.

This particular incident was a blatant violation of traffic rules. Negligence obviously attended its occurrence. Hence, the victims were the ones to blame for their misfortune.

For the injuries sustained by Seguin, a personal injury case may be filed to recover claims. A car accident lawyer can help expedite the claim proceedings.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Flat Tire Causes Car to Rollover

A Pomona resident must have been very grateful to come out alive from a rollover accident on the northbound 57 freeway just north of Tonner Canyon Road.

Cuong Thach was heading home when a flat tire caused his Toyota 4Runner to rollover and landed on its roof. California Highway Officer Alvin Yamaguchi relayed that Thach got flat from a bald back tire.

No reports as to whether or not Thach sustained injury.

Rollover accidents are often due to vehicle’s stability. In most cases, rollover accidents lead to the filing of product liability claims due to car manufacturer’s negligence.

A responsible driver should ensure that the car or its parts are safe. This responsibility includes checking the car’s tires. Thach should have done the same but did not. He should have realized that driving a car with a bald tire entails danger.

Sadly, Thach would have to bear with whatever damages the accident might cause. A personal injury case may be pursued against him if someone was injured. Further, a damage suit may also be filed against him for any property damage.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Five Minutes Later

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire officials have reported that a 10-month old baby boy is in a critical condition after a drowning accident in a swimming pool.

The little boy was discovered floating by his father and promptly performed CPR before the emergency unit took over resuscitating the child who was not breathing and had no pulse.

The baby, who was taken to Methodist Hospital had his pulse revived and is currently on a ventilator, fighting for his life.

The parents reportedly told the authorities that the baby was only briefly out of their sight right before they found him in the water. There was no evidence of foul play.

According to the Metropolitan Fire Captain Christian Pebbles, drowning prevention is a duty that is 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Drowning is in fact, the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children aged 1 to 14 years old in a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, in a state like California where the climate is often hot, drowning is the leading cause of child death, injury and disability.

Most children under 1 year old drown in drown in bathtubs, buckets, or toilets but children ages 1 to 4 years drown in residential swimming pools. Most of the children who drowned were also out of their parents’ sight for less than 5 minutes.

Should the child survive the drowning accident, it can still cause debilitating injuries such as long-term disabilities which include memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning.

Letting your child out of your sight briefly, even for less than 5 minutes is enough to put your child’s life at risk especially if you’re anywhere near bodies of water.

While putting barriers or fences around pools will help decrease the chances of a drowning accident (as well as liability for owners of swimming pools), the presence of parents or adult supervision is still the primary way to prevent drowning accidents.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Man Arrested for Causing Head-on Collision in Watsonville

The invention of the 2-way street system has significantly reduced incidents of head-on collisions. Under this system, vehicles going on either directions – north and south, for instance - have separate lanes to take.

Yet even though not frequent, head on collisions still happen.

The reason? Reckless driving and DUI.

And those are probably the cause of the recent head-on collision that occurred in Watsonville.

According to the CHP, 23-year-old Savatiel Sanchez Guttierrez was driving and weaving his BMW badly on Holohan road when he crossed over the other lane and collided with a Toyota Camry.

Guttierrez and the 26-year-old woman driving the Camry were brought to separate hospitals after sustaining moderate injuries.

The Camry driver should file a personal injury suit against Guttierrez to cover the expenses she sustained from medical treatment.

Not to mention the pain and suffering that the injury caused her when she was peacefully minding her own business on her side of the road.

A personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, is the last problem Guttierrez should be worrying about.

After being treated for his injuries, he was arrested for felony DUI and for driving without a license.

If convicted, he would be lucky not to face jail time and just do community service.
He would also be placed on probation and he won’t be able to obtain his own driving license for quite a while.

Right now, Guttierrez is being held on a $10,000 bail.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fertility Doctor Charged of Gross Negligence

After having fourteen children, Octomom Nadya Suleman filed a gross negligence complaint against her fertility doctor Michael Kamrava. The complaint was lodged before the California Medical Board.

Among other things, the complaint filed by a woman with the initials “N.S.” alleged that Kamrava acted “beyond the reasonable judgment of a treating physician.”

The gross negligence accusation was cited in three cases, first, by transferring too many embryos, second, by repeatedly transferring fresh embryos and third, by failing to refer Suleman for a mental health evaluation.

The complaint also alleged Kamrava giving Suleman too much hormone while stimulating in vitro fertilization.

Kamrava’s lawyer Peter Osinoff claimed that fertility patients are not usually screened for mental health problems.

When a doctor negligently performs, prescribes or operates on a patient, a medical malpractice case may be filed to recover damages. If Kamrava is found to be negligent, he can face jail time and pay damages.

As medical malpractice suit is hard to prove, a victim may summon an experienced personal injury lawyer to evaluate the case to be able to consider her legal options.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Safer Driving For Seniors

In Windsor, a 67-year old man died in a solo vehicle crash when his black Volvo SUV drifted off the highway and ended up in a ditch on Shiloh Road.

Authorities speculate that the man may have suffered a medical emergency while driving which caused him to lose control of his vehicle.

According to the California Highway Patrol’s estimates, by 2020, the number of senior citizens in California will double, which could also relatively increase the incident rates of elderly drivers being involved in road accidents.

Aging is an inevitable process and sooner or later, even the best drivers would succumb to the decline of their physical, cognitive, and visual abilities which in turn will seriously affect their driving capabilities.

Even physically and mentally fit elderly drivers may become a road hazard because of the medication they take.

However in terms of fatalities, drivers aged 75 and older kill fewer pedestrians, bicyclists, and other motorists and are mostly a danger to themselves and their passengers.

In order to curb the incidence of fatal car crashes involving senior citizens, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the CHP and the American Automobile Association are offering driving courses to help elderly drivers such as:

• Stay Vital seminar – A refresher course on traffic safety rules, driving scenarios and tips to improve drivers' comfort and safety.

• AAA Online Mature Driver Course – Aims to reduce the risk of traffic collisions and violations.

• CarFit – A program which helps older drivers adjust their seat and vehicle to improve their comfort and safety.

• Drive Sharp – An online program which uses a brain-fitness training program to help drivers be more alert.

• Mature Driver Improvement Course – This course provides instruction, specifically tailored to older drivers, regarding defensive driving and California motor vehicle laws.