Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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A California Appeals Court ruled earlier this year in a case that touched upon the various legal claims that can be involved in personal injury cases.

The plaintiff was a member of the fitness chain 24 Hour Fitness. On one occasion while exercising, he used a “hack squat” machine. The health club had two of the machines, one that had a safety catch and one that did not. On the day of the incident, the plaintiff was using the machine, and his legs became tired, so he was unable to return the weight to the required height. Since the machine he was using did not have a catch, the weights descended too low for comfort, causing the plaintiff to suffer an injury.

The plaintiff filed suit against the maker of the machine, the health club, and other affiliated entities, alleging products liability claims based upon negligence, strict liability, and breach of warranty in addition to claims for premises liability and negligence.

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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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lacountybldgIn these challenging economic times more and more people are either uninsured or substantially underinsured. This legal guide provides an explanation of different coverage’s and how they affect the legal rights of injury victims and their family members.

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What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

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NORTH COUNTY TIMES reporter Sarah Gordon reported that four people were injured, during the annual Fourth of July firework show at Bradley Park in San Marcos, on Monday. An errant firework shot sideways into a crowd of spectators who were watching the show. One man was taken to Palomar Medical Center for treatment for burns and three others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, said Jenny Peterson a spokeswoman for the city. Pyro Spectacular, one of the largest and oldest fireworks producers who had been putting on the show for the city for the last four years without incident, has had no comment so far. The city has hosted the show with the support from community donations for twenty-five years without any major incidents, said Peterson.

Applicable California Law

As a general rule government entities are not responsible for the acts of independent contractors, unless it involves a duty that can not be delegated. In this particular instance the city would most likely be immune from liability. However, if the injuries are severe enough, a timely claim should be filed with the city to preserve any potential claims, if any. With regard to Pyro Spectacular, generally the city would require adequate insurance coverage and or bond to cover any damage or injuries. Although the incident is still under investigation, even if the exact cause of the accident is never determined, the legal concept of res ipsa loquitur, latin for the thing speaks for itself, would create a rebuttable presumption of negligence . This rule of evidence states that the elements of duty of care and breach can be sometimes inferred from the very nature of the accident, even without direct evidence of how any defendant behaved. If the required elements can be proven Pyro Spectacular would be responsible for the damages.

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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.

Applicable California Law

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NORTH COUNTY TIMES Staff Writer Michael Williams reported that Carrie McKinney, a Point Loma woman in her early 20’s, will loose custody of her 6-month-old son after he was mauled by two pit bulls on April 3. The attack happened when the infant was left alone in a carrier on the floor of a friend’s apartment in Murrieta, according to police. The dogs tore off the child’s diaper and bit his scrotum after which he was rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center where he underwent surgery. Lance Brown, chief of pediatric emergency medicine at the hospital, stated that if the child were castrated he would require a lifetime of hormone replacement therapy and possible reconstructive surgery. “While such an injury is not life-threatening, it is massively life-altering,” he said. The two dogs will be quarantined and then euthanized at the regional animal shelter in Lake Elsinore.

Applicable California Law

California Civil Code3342. (a) provides that the owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. A person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner within the meaning of this section when he is on such property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or by the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner.

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UNION TRIBUNE Staff Writer Karen Kucher reports that an unnamed 30-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son were struck while crossing Fury Lane Wednesday evening at around 6:10 p.m.. The woman was hit by 21-year-old Carolann Rogers of La Mesa, who was travelling westbound on Fury Lane in her 2003 Toyota Camry and was allegedly adjusting her sun visor because the sun was in her eyes when she struck the woman and her child, according to CHP officer Derek Vinyard.

The victims were flown to a hospital by helicopter. The woman was reported to be in stable but serious condition, according to CHP Sgt. Chris Ertzner, and her son’s condition was not released.

Applicable California Law