Archive for the ‘Automobile Accidents’ Category

Jury Awards $9 Million Dollars in Rear-end Auto Case

Last Thursday a California jury in Fresno County returned a verdict in the amount of $9,341,770.00 for two plaintiffs who were involved in a tragic rear-end automobile accident. Both plaintiffs suffered catastrophic injuries in the accident, one with permanent brain injuries and one who is now forced to use a wheelchair. This verdict is thought to be the largest verdict in a motor vehicle accident in Fresno County which is notorious for awarding very small amounts to injured victims.

The accident occurred when a truck driven by the defendant made an unsafe lane change and rear-ended the plaintiffs vehicle at 55 mph. Both plaintiffs were active in their churches. It is unknown if the defendant carries enough insurance to cover the amount of the verdict, how much the plaintiffs will actually receive or if the matter will be on appeal for years.

When a catastrophic injury occurs, it is recommended by the California State Bar the you find a personal injury lawyer by using a certified lawyer referral service. For additional details on this verdict please see the Fresno Bee  article.

Drunk Driver Verdict: $31.7 million

In a recently concluded civil case entitled Landeros v. Torres,  a jury awarded a verdict in the amount of $31.7 million dollars against a drunk driver who caused severe and permanent brain damage to 16 year old Rocio Landeros.  This is the second of several headline stories about  drunk driving tragedies. Last week in a criminal trial,  Andrew Gallo, age 23, was found guilty of second degree murder for driving while drunk and causing an accident that killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, age 22 and his friends, 20 year old Courtney Stewart and 25 year old Henry Pearson. Andrew Gallo will probably spend the rest of his life in prison.

The bottom line is that despite our tough laws on drinking and driving, people are still doing it. People are still being killed.  People are still going to jail.  And a lot of innocent lives are being shattered in the process.

Don’t drink and drive. Please.

Don’t let your tires kill you!

Do you know how old the tires on your car are? You need to find out right away.

WATCH THIS VIDEO! I recently viewed an abc News report entitled “Aged Tires: A Driving Hazard?” which scared the living heck out of me. I went out and bought new tires! I strongly urge you to take a few minutes to view this video clip. It might save your life. Some of the things the reporters uncovered are shocking. Here is the link to see the news video.

Wait until you see this report. Places like Goodyear Tires, ,Sears, Wal-Mart…all selling “new” tires (never been used) but they were manufactured up to 12 years ago! The report indicates that about 6 years after a tire is made it starts to break down and it too old to use. Can you imagine buying a “new” tire that is already 12 years old?

The report tells you how to read the numbers on your tires so you can go out and check the age of your tires right now. Don’t wait!

Don’t get ripped off!

I recently came across an interesting web site that I want to share with you. It’s called Ripoff Report .com.

A client called me the other day and wanted me to help her find a new (a good) lawyer.  I was impressed by all the research she had done, including a report she found about her lawyer on the Ripoff Report. Unfortunately for her, the information in the report confirmed her suspicion that she had the wrong lawyer. She wished she had done her research before she hired the lawyer.

I looked at the Ripoff Report web site and found the information in it to be very helpful, although at times it was a little bit cumbersome to navigate. If you find a report on what or who you are looking for, the information could be a life saver.

The Ripoff Report calls itself a worldwide consumer reporting web site which is written by consumers, for consumers, to document complaints about companies and individuals.  If you want to use it specifically to find information about a lawyer,  go to the “Advanced Search” (right below the search box) and limit your search to Los Angeles, or whatever city your lawyer is located in. Hopefully you won’t find the name of your lawyer in the Ripoff Report!

I thought I would bring this web site to your attention because it is a great resource to have to help you avoid the many scams that are out there (not to mention the creepy lawyers!) I bookmarked it. If you have your own personal injury lawyer “nightmare story”, please share it with me so I can help warn everyone else!

McDonald’s Coffee Case

I feel sorry for Stella Liebeck.

She was the 79 year old lady who had the living sh#t burned (third degree) out of her groin (private parts) by a cup of McDonald’s coffee which must have felt like it had been brewed directly on the surface of the sun.

We have all burned ourselves with some type of hot water or hot liquid, but I’ve never had any liquid touch my skin that was SO HOT it caused me to have multiple skin grafts, a seven day hospitalization and over $200,000 in medical bills (and that was in 1992).

Not only did she experience the type of excruciating pain that most of us will never know, she (or at least her case) became known as the poster child for “frivolous lawsuits”. Too bad for Stella, because nothing could be further from the truth.

McDonald’s (or more appropriately the insurance lobby) lead us all to believe that this crazy old litigious lady was driving around with at hot cup of coffee acting like a wild cowboy, spilled it all over herself and then blamed poor old Ronald McDonald for her burns. Poor Ronald!

In reality, good old Stella may have been in the car, but she wasn’t driving. She and her grandson were parked in the McDonald’s parking lot. All she was doing was taking the top off the coffee cup so she could pour in a little cream and sugar. Maybe she wasn’t supposed to put cream and sugar into her coffee!

This sweet old lady had never before in her life filed a lawsuit (that’s 79 years of life) and in fact she didn’t even want to file this one but stingy old McDonald’s wouldn’t even help out by offering a few bucks to help cover the deductible on her $200,000 plus medical bills.

Before this cup of hot lava burned through Stella’s crotch (all the way down to the bone), McDonald’s had received over 700 claims (that’s a lot of notice) regarding coffee burns suffered by its customers and it had paid out over $500,000 in damages to burn victims for the injuries their molten delight was causing. Either they were incredibly stupid, or they were intentionally trying to incinerate all of their customers.

During the trial McDonald’s own quality assurance manager admitted that the corporation was well aware of the major risk its ridiculously hot java caused to its unsuspecting customers, but (paraphrasing) it didn’t give a sh#t. In fact, the McDonald’s defense to the case was that, get ready for this, …it was Stella’s fault because she didn’t strip her flaming hot pants off fast enough (in front of her grandson) thereby causing her own burns and because her withered and  thin 79 year old skin was not as fire proof as normal skin is for a “younger individual”. It’s no wonder the jury was so mad at McDonald’s that it hit the corporation with at 2.7 million dollar judgment. If I had been on that jury it probably would have been for 207 million dollars!

What you didn’t hear (and this stuff never comes out in the news) is that the 2.7 million dollars was reduced by procedural motions to $480,000 and that after paying off all of her medical bills, court costs and attorneys fees, Stella wound up with next to nothing.

The moral of the story is don’t believe everything you hear about lawsuits! (but you already knew that)

To learn more about this case go to CAOC.