Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

a-l-117960-copy-300x198On Saturday, November 25, four individuals were killed in a hit-and-run accident on I-80 in San Pablo, California. The collision was sizable, involving five vehicles and blocking all westbound lanes off I-80. The four individuals killed were a family from Napa Valley and included Daryl Horn, an active community member. The only Horn family member to survive the accident was Daryl’s eldest son. In addition to the four individuals killed in the crash, six others were injured.

The accident took place when Fred Lowe, 47, hit the Horn family’s Nissan sedan, which flipped over and crashed into oncoming traffic. Lowe was arrested later that night when he was involved in a second crash. Authorities reported that Lowe was intoxicated at the time and was driving on a suspended license due to a previous DUI. Lowe has been charged with four counts of felony hit and run, a felony DUI, and driving on a suspended license.

The Criminal and Civil Aspects of the Accident

dawn-armfield-66060-copy-300x225Kressa Shepherd, 17, passed away at the end of October due to burns she sustained from the wildfires that swept into Mendocino County, California. Kressa and both of her parents were badly injured by the wildfire, with burns covering a great deal of their bodies. Kressa suffered burns over more than 60% of her body. Her parents, Sara, 40, and Jon, 44, remain hospitalized. They have gone through several surgeries and will require a great deal more medical care in the months to come. Her brother was killed in the wildfire. With Kressa’s passing, the California wildfires in October have taken 43 lives.

Determining Responsibility for the California Wildfires

Responsibility for the California wildfires has yet to be determined. However, major utility company PG&E is under investigation by California’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for the blazes that devastated large portions of the state, including a great deal of the famed Wine Country. PUC is looking into whether PG&E’s maintenance, or lack thereof, of its equipment in Sonoma and Napa counties caused or played a role in the fires. Regulators are particularly interested in whether a lack of vegetation-related maintenance was an issue, such as not cutting back trees, bushes, and other plants.

stephane-milot-135111-copy-300x169In late September, two Alameda-Contra Costa (AC) Transit buses collided near Howard and Fremont streets in San Francisco just before 9:30 in the morning. AC Transit officials stated that both buses exited I-80, heading north on Fremont. The buses were supposed to turn right onto Folsom. The first made the turn, and the second bus appears to have lost control before doing the same. The second bus collided with multiple vehicles before driving onto a sidewalk and stopping once it collided with the scaffolding of a building. Initial reports from passengers and pedestrians who stopped to help state that the driver appeared to have lost consciousness just before the incident. Four individuals, including at least one of the drivers, were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. It also appears that a fifth person was injured and took themselves to the emergency room.

It is likely these individuals will need to file insurance claims or lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries. If you have been hurt in a bus or public transportation accident, do not hesitate to seek legal advice regarding your rights and legal options. At Brod Law Firm, we are ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve under the law and need to move forward with life.

Bus Accident Statistics

ethan-hoover-331847-copy-300x200Everyone enjoys the annual county fairs or pop-up circuses that occasionally head into town. No matter your age, there is something to enjoy. Children and teenagers, in particular, look forward to the rides. Miniature roller coasters offer a little fun without amusement park prices. However, what happens when the rides are not as safe as they should be and someone is injured or killed? That is a question families in Ohio are now facing after one adolescent was killed and others were injured at the Ohio State Fair.

If you were injured on a broken fair ride or lost a loved one in a tragic accident, do not hesitate to seek out objective and experienced legal advice from a California personal injury lawyer at Brod Law Firm. We will thoroughly investigate the situation to determine your legal rights and options.

High School Student Dies at Ohio State Fair

taduuda-76960-copy-300x200In June 2017, an armed United Parcel Service (UPS) employee entered into a package delivery warehouse in San Francisco and began shooting. Three UPS workers were killed and two were wounded. An additional three employees were hurt while trying to escape. This tragic and violent incident has led the families of the deceased victims and the injured employees to file a lawsuit against UPS, Allied Universal Security Services, and the owner of the warehouse.

UPS Employees File Suit Following Deadly Workplace Shooting

The attorneys for the employees and their families argue that the accident was entirely preventable. Despite metal detectors and security guards at the facility, it appears as if the shooter walked right in. The employees and their families claim that none of the security measures in place were sufficient to prevent such an incident. They also state there had been previous complaints about the lack of appropriate security as unauthorized people had gotten into the building.

taduuda-76960-copy-300x200The Associated Press analyzed federal statistics and found older workers are being killed on the job at higher rates than younger workers. This is bad news for older individuals who are forced due to their finances to continue to work beyond retirement age and for people who simply enjoy working while they are physically and mentally able. This is also a worrisome finding as by 2024, older workers will make up a quarter of the workforce.

Workers in their 50s, 60s, and 70s are not going anywhere, and employers need to be sure they are keeping their senior employees safe. If employers fail to follow or increase safety measures, older worker’s deaths could result in a greater number of workers’ compensation and wrongful death claims.

APs Study of Older Workers’ Deaths

miguel-a-ramirez-18261-copy-217x300When individuals are jailed while criminal charges are pending or imprisoned after a conviction, they do not lose their civil rights. Inmates of state and federal facilities have the right to receive adequate physical and psychological care, including treatment for any injuries or medical conditions. However, recent inmate deaths in California shine a spotlight on the issue of inmate care and civil rights. Two individuals lost their lives in state facilities after receiving potentially negligent care.

If you have a loved one currently in jail or prison and you believe he or she has been injured due to a lack of proper care, contact an experienced attorney of Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020.

59-Year-Old Dies at Sonoma County Jail

jacob-ufkes-102143-copy-300x200In mid-August, Edwin Gomez-Zarate, 35, was working for SiteOne Landscape Supply and operating a forklift to load and unload paver stones for a residential driveway project. Details are not immediately known, but Gomez-Zarate became trapped in the forklift in some way. Police were sent to the worksite that afternoon and Gomez-Zarate died shortly after 3 p.m. before arriving at a hospital.

This tragedy is an example of the dangers of many common workplace vehicles and equipment. While forklifts are routinely operated across the country, they require special training and a great deal of care. If the operator and workings around vehicle are not careful and observant, deadly accidents can occur.

The situation that led to Gomez-Zarate’s death is currently under investigation by the California Division of Occupational Safety & Health (CAL/OSHA), which may lead to more information. If there is evidence of a health and safety violation, SiteOne Landscape Supply may be sanctioned. Additionally, evidence of a violation or another person’s negligence may support a legal claim by the surviving spouse.

filippo-ascione-161021-copy-300x200Following a deadly charter bus accident in August 2016, Merced County district attorneys have brought multiple charges against the driver, Mario David Vasquez. A law enforcement investigation uncovered Vasquez was overly tired, talking on his cell phone, and violating multiple commercial regulations at the time of the crash, which led to four fatalities. Due to the evidence of Vasquez’s negligent actions while behind the wheel, he has been charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter and five misdemeanor traffic violations.

While Vasquez faces criminal charges, he and his employer, Auto Buses Coordinados USA, could also face civil wrongful death suits based on his actions. If the families of those lost in the charter bus crash can prove the driver’s negligence, they may be able to obtain compensation for their losses.

California’s Wrongful Death Law

christina-sicoli-19892-copy-300x212William Sachs Goldman, 38, passed away in July after his small personal aircraft crashed for an unknown reason. Goldman was an assistant professor of international studies at the University of San Francisco. He was the son of Richard Goldman and Susan Sachs Goldman, and the grandson of well-known philanthropists Richard N. and Rhoda Goldman, who established the Goldman Environmental Prize. As a member of a philanthropic family, Goldman and his wife were on numerous institution’s boards.

Small Plane Accident to be Investigated

Goldman was one of four passengers in the single-engine Cirrus SR22 plane, which crashed in a field in Schell Vista, southwest of Sonoma Skypark Airport. Goldman’s two minor children, George and Marie, and their caretaker, Valeria Anselmi, were the other passengers. They were all taken to local hospitals to treat their serious injuries.