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Articles Posted in Premises Liability

Last summer, Californians and the nation watched in disbelief as the story of the Berkeley balcony collapse unfolded.  Six people died and many others were injured in the tragedy.  The pictures were shocking and made many of us think twice before stepping out onto our own balconies and terraces.  Some ten months later, lawmakers and others are trying to figure out what went wrong.  As a San Francisco construction law firm committed to helping people injured or left grieving by dangerous structures, the Brod Law Firm is following the developments.

State Senate Looks at Safety Records and State Law in Balcony Collapse Review

As KPIX reports, a California State Senate subcommittee is looking into what caused the deadly balcony collapse last June.  State Senator Jerry Hill focused the discussion on the history of the construction company that has been accused of performing shoddy construction that allegedly led to the structural failure.  Hill noted that the company has paid some $26.5 million to settle construction defect cases in the past.

There are countless poems and other verses about the beauty of trees.  They can provide shelter, give fruit, and offer shade.  Part of their beauty is in their powerful size, stretching to the sky and often much wider than an adult’s arm span.  This is also what makes them potentially dangerous, potentially deadly.  In some cases, property owners are responsible when a tree falls and injures or kills someone else.  Do not assume you are without recourse if you or a loved one are the victim of a tree fall injury; read on for some general information and call our Northern California tree fall injury law firm in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, or Oakland to learn more.

Tree Fall Kills Driver in SoCal

According to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Associated Press, a motorist in Pacific Beach died Sunday when powerful winds knocked a tree onto a residential roadway.  Fire Captain Joe Amador told reporters the tree measured eight feet in diameter and also crushed three unoccupied, parked vehicles.  The storm’s strong winds knocked down dozens of trees throughout Southern California, even ripping up rooftops before continuing its journey up the coast.

Sometimes the smallest foes are the toughest to battle.  Bedbugs are a great example of this truth.  Bedbugs can cause painful itching that can feel like torture to individuals sensitive to their bites.  Bedbugs are mobile, hitching a ride from one place to another and quickly making themselves at home in residences, offices, even libraries.  They are tough to eradicate, typically requiring professional intervention, and repeat infestations can occur.  Attorney Greg Brod, a San Francisco bed bug lawyer, helps bed bug victims when infestations are caused or exacerbated by a person’s/entity’s negligence.  Today’s post focuses on bedbugs in hotels, a problem that can cause extreme discomfort and can lead to additional infestations in the victim’s home or place of business.

California Man Says Hotel Bedbugs Turned Dream Vacation into a Nightmare

One California couple says they learned the hard way about bedbugs in hotel rooms.  SFGate.com reported on the incident and shared a video that may make viewers’ skin crawl.  In the clip, the Long Beach man flips over a mattress to reveal numerous small, scurrying bugs.  The man told the press that he and his girlfriend had been splurging on a $400-per-night room in New York’s Central Park to celebrate New Year’s Eve and a milestone birthday when they encountered the pests.  The video also shows the girlfriend’s body, covered in a rash and more than 75 bites allegedly incurred during the stay including marks on her arms, stomach, fingers, and toes.

xmaslightLoading the family into the car, perhaps armed with steaming travel mugs filled with hot cocoa, and looking at Christmas lights and other holiday decorations is a cherished part of many families’ holiday traditions.  Whether you are looking to see what your neighbors have come up with (The Sacramento Bee lists some of the best home displays in the capitol region) or you prefer to tour some of our region’s grand estates (see The Press Democrat’s article for ideas), there are many options in the Northern California region.  Still, the best decorations are quite often those you hang yourself and our San Francisco home injury lawyer wants to remind you of the importance of holiday decoration safety to ensure your holiday display is not only beautiful but also safe.

A Holiday Decoration Safety Tips pamphlet authored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission contains many tips for keeping your holiday decorations safe.  These tips include:

  • Tree Safety

teddyChildren are our most precious resource and protecting them is both a duty and an honor.  Children are naturally curious and unable to fully appreciate potential dangers, making it important for adults to exercise vigilance to keep them safe.  The law reflects this shared responsibility, including in the context of children and premises liability law.  Our Oakland child injury lawyer helps parents fight for the rights of children who are injured or killed because someone else did not maintain their property in a safe manner.

Child Nearly Drowns at Oakley Pond

The Oakland Tribune reports that a young child nearly drowned in a pond in Oakley on Monday.  Responding to a call, East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District arrived at a pond near the 5300 block of Tule Tree Lane where a one-year-old had nearly drowned.  As of this writing, the child’s injuries are unknown but the article reports that an air ambulance transported the baby to a hospital.

It’s a story we’ve followed for years – problems that plagued the Bay Bridge construction project and continue to arise more than two years after the grand re-opening.  We hope that paying attention NOW helps prevent tragedy LATER, such as the frightening collapse of the previous span during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.  As a San Francisco construction defect injury law firm, we represent plaintiffs injured by construction defects, people for whom repairs come too late.  We hope our services are never needed for injuries tied to the Bay Bridge construction (or any other project, for that matter), but when shoddy workmanship on a home, road, or any other manmade structure leads to injuries anywhere in Northern California we are here to help.

More Defects Found in Bay Bridge Components

baybridgeAccording to the San Francisco Chronicle, new documents are raising new concerns about the integrity of steel rods used in the eastern span of the Bay Bridge.  The newly released report includes statements from an independent engineer suggesting that previously discovered micro-cracks caused by water exposure are present in parts of the span far from where issues were first discovered.  Cracking could, per experts, lead to failure.  The report is part of a $20 million testing program undertaken after flooded sleeves caused cracking and, in one case, failure of tower rods.

Wildfires continue to dominate the headlines in California and throughout our region.  For some, fires are a hard-to-watch story on the news.  For others, they are a very present danger, a threat to property and well-being.  Some wildfires are sparked by nature, but others are manmade.  Our San Francisco fire injury lawyer represents people who are injured or suffer the loss of a relative because of a manmade fire.  Attorney Brod and his team also use this blog to provide information that we hope helps prevent future tragedies.  Today’s topic is fresh from the headlines — water heater fires.

Water Heater Blamed for Massive Fire

On Wednesday, officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (“Cal Fire”) identified a faulty water heater located in an outbuilding as a significant factor causing one of our region’s massive fires.  According to the Napa Valley Register, Cal Fire representatives said the gas water heater sparked one of two fires that eventually became the Rocky Fire.  Flammable liquids in the outbuilding caught fire and then the blaze spread to nearby vegetation.  The Rocky Fire consumed almost 70,000 acres, caused the evacuation of 13,000 residents, and destroyed 43 homes before it was contained late last week.  Officials are still looking into the circumstances surrounding the fire and working to identify the cause of the second fire that became part of the Rocky Fire.

powerlinesEvery day the news seems to get more and more frightening as wildfires consume so much of our lovely state.  Our thoughts are with those who’ve been impacted by the fires and our thanks go out to all the men and women working to keep Californians safe and limit property damage.  While wildfires are, with good reason, the top fire-related headline at the moment, it is important to remember that other types of fires are always a concern.  As people in Guerneville and the surrounding areas were reminded this week, electrical fires are a real threat.  When an electrical fire causes injuries or death and the blaze can be traced to the negligence or wrongdoing of a person or entity, our Santa Rosa fire injury lawyer is prepared to fight for those affected using civil personal injury and/or wrongful death law.

Blaze that Consumed Shop in Guerneville Blamed on Electrical Transformer

The Press Democrat reports that a fire destroyed much of the Odd Fellows Recreation Club’s store located on the 13500 block of Riverside Drive.  The store is part of Odd Fellows Park, a private, limited-admission facility east of Guerneville encompassing 317 acres with campsites and a Russian River beach.  Fire broke out around 9:30 P.M. on Tuesday night and by 11 P.M. flames had gutted much of the structure.  Firefighters from at least seven fire agencies worked to extinguish the blaze which may have been ignited by a blown electrical transformer.  The paper does not mention any injuries, although it does not specifically state no injuries occurred.

Picture an escalator.  Some people stand still, others power-walk.  Parents hold children’s hands.  Some people barely break stride as they board, others hesitate and wait for just the right moment.  Typically, the biggest concern is an out-of-service flight that turns would-be-riders into climbers.  However, as we were reminded this week, escalator accidents are a very real danger and can have life-altering or even life-ending consequences.  When people are injured or killed due to an escalator accident in Northern California, our San Francisco injury lawyer is prepared to fight for their legal rights and the compensation they deserve.

Escalator Abruptly Stops Causing Stumble and Minor Injuries

At the time of this writing, few details had emerged about a Sunday afternoon escalator accident at the Powell BART station.  ABC7 reports that a man fell backwards into four women when an escalator stopped abruptly between the platform and the concourse.  Four people received treatment for minor injuries.

For many apartment dwellers, a balcony is their version of a backyard providing a chance to enjoy a sunny day or cool evening and functioning as an extension of their home.  Both occupants and visitors should be able to enjoy a balcony with confidence in its stability.  Sadly, as we were reminded this week, balcony and deck collapses are a very real danger.   San Francisco balcony collapse lawyer Greg Brod is prepared to use California law to help injured victims and grieving families following devastating balcony collapse tragedies.

Berkeley Balcony Collapse Kills Six, Injures Seven

In the early hours of Tuesday June 16, a balcony collapsed in downtown Berkeley claiming at least six lives and leaving seven others injured.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the collapse occurred at Liberty Gardens, a four-story apartment building on Kittredge Street near Shattuck Avenue.  The victims were attending a birthday celebration when the balcony of a top-floor apartment detached from the building and sent partygoers tumbling.  Most of those attending the party were Irish students participating in work-study programs.

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