Articles Posted in Construction Accidents

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A worker examines plans and progress on a construction site. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that nearly one in every five workers’ deaths occurs on a construction site. Construction accident attorney Zev Rubinstein has successfully helped injured Oceanside workers and their families for more than 25 years.

Construction workers spend their days working with dangerous machinery at dizzying heights.. Construction companies have a responsibility to do everything reasonably possible to prevent worker injury and wrongful death.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, eliminating the construction industry’s Fatal Four most common construction accidents could save the lives of 500 American each year.

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Report_road_Defect_Logo6San Diego News 10 reported that 18-year-old Junethea Centeno, a student at Palomar College, was fatally injured on April 12, 2011. The auto accident happened around 3 a.m. when Junethea was driving northbound on I-15 near Felicita Road, lost control of her Honda Civic, and struck the corner of an unmarked and unprotected concrete barrier. Her father June Centeno, a Navy corpsman, was quoted as saying, “If she only hit the side of the road where the barrier is, the car could have slid down, versus hitting the end of a barrier. If things were set up the way they should be, they could have softened the impact. She’d be alive today.” Junethea’s boyfriend, Jon Mata, who came to the accident scene shortly after the crash, said that there were no cones, drums, reflectors, or other safety measures taken by construction crews, which might have saved her life.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Centeno family and friends.

Applicable California Law

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NORTH COUNTY TIMES Reporter Morgan Cook reported that 56-year-old, Manuel Moreno of Valley Center, died on July 27, 2010 while working at his job at Evergreen Nursery in Oceanside. According to Oceanside police officer Ernie Thibodeaux a co-worker found Moreno trapped in a conveyor belt of a soil-filtering machine. The accident happened between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. when he allegedly slipped while jumping from the machine to a tractor he had been using. Apparently his arm got caught between the conveyer belt and a wheel of the machine, causing him to be pulled forward and trapping him against the machine until he stopped breathing. He was dead when officers arrived at the scene shortly after the incident was reported. He is survived by his daughter, son, and other family members.

Our condolences go out to the Moreno family and friends.

Applicable California Law

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SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT reporter, Tyler Hayden, reported that Verizon has agreed to settle a wrongful death law suite for $7 million for the death of 49-year-old, Jose Vega, a Santa Barbara Housing Authority employee. The law suite arose out of a September 23, 2009 accident involving Mark Selander, a Verizon employee, who was driving a Verizon truck the wrong way on Highway 101 when he hit Vegas minivan head-on. Mr. Selander was suffering from a diabetic reaction when he got on the highway causing a six car accident. Verizon had knowledge of Selander’s “condition” but failed to do anything about it. He was also sleep deprived after working the graveyard shift when the accident occurred.

Applicable California law

Mr. Vega’s heirs, his wife Reyna, children and grandchildren will share in the settlement proceeds. Please see my prior Blog post on wrongful death law. Under a legal concept sometimes referred to as “respondeat superior” (Latin for “Let the superior answer”,) an employer is legally responsible for the actions of its employees. However, this rule only applies if the employee is acting within the course and scope of employment. In other words, the employer will generally be liable if the employee was doing his or her job, carrying out company business, or otherwise acting on the employer’s behalf when the incident took place. The purpose of this rule is fairly simple: To hold employers responsible for the costs of doing business, including the costs of employee carelessness or misconduct. If the injury caused by the employee is simply one of the risks of the business, the employer will have to bear the responsibility. In this case Verizon allowed Selander to continue to drive their trucks despite their knowledge of prior diabetic reaction incidents. Depending on the circumstances, Verizon could have been subject to punitive damages.

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The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons published the results of a study on new developments in the management of spinal cord injuries (SCI). The eventual cure will involve the use of expertise in different fields, according to Dr. Ranjan Gupta, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery, anatomy and neurobiology and biomedical engineering at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Each year, approximately 12,000 men and women sustain and survive spinal cord injuries, and about 259,000 Americans currently live with a long-lasting SCI.
  • Although traditionally associated primarily with young adults, today the average age of SCI patients has risen to 40.2 years.
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San Diego Reader reporter Dorian Hargrove’s story chronicles the events of Dorian, a traumatic brain injury survivor, and his family following his September 22 accident. The story focuses on a young San Diego man, whose life took a devastating turn of events one late afternoon when he decided to take his dog for a walk while riding his skate board. His dog was pulling him down a street past a construction site where water mains were being replaced, when the wheels of his skateboard hit a crack. The board stopped but he was launched into the air and hit the right side of his forehead on the pavement. Since there was no blood or signs of injury when a neighbor came to his aide, Dorian refused any help at first, but was transported to Scripps Memorial Hospital by the Fire Department. A CT scan revealed bleeding and bruising of the frontal lobes of his brain requiring him to be put into an induced coma. In the days to follow doctors had to remove parts of his skull to alleviate the pressure on his brain, which continued to swell, he also developed two cases of pneumonia and other complications almost causing his death.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dorian, his wife Aimee, and the rest of his family.

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Researchers at the University Of California San Diego and other research facilities around the world are exploring the benefits in the use of folic acid in treating brain and spinal cord injuries. It is well known that pregnant woman who do not consume enough folic acid (vitamin B9), have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with neural tube defects such as congenital deformities involving the development of the spinal cord and brain. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison have collected significant data suggesting that the use of folic acid might be beneficial in treating spinal cord and brain injuries. Folic acid was also found to promote healing and nerve cell regeneration following injury in rodents. Commentary by researchers at Universitatsmedizin Berlin, Germany indicate that the study data provides a rational for testing folic acid supplements on patients with spinal cord and brain trauma.

Hope For The Future.

Cutting edge and progressive research such as the use of supplements and other therapies including stem cell, are vital in promoting alternative treatment for brain injury and spinal cord injury victims. Individuals who have sustained serious injuries often have limited treatment options and have life long challenges, which impact their quality of life.