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Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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.

yaoqi-lai-227961-copy-300x200The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced on July 11 that inmate Frank Anaya, 22, who worked as a firefighter in San Diego County, passed away from work-related injuries. While fighting a grass fire on July 5, Anaya severely cut his leg with a chainsaw. Other firefighters on the scene provided care and CPR until he was taken to a nearby hospital. Anaya’s femoral artery was cut and he underwent multiple surgeries. Unfortunately, he did not recover from his injuries and passed away at the hospital.

A Previous Death for Inmate Firefighters

This is not the first inmate firefighter death in California this year. On May 24, Matthew Beck, 26, was clearing brush in Humboldt County with his firefighter crew when a 120-foot tree fell on him. He suffered serious head, neck, and back injuries and died before emergency crews could reach him. It is now known that the radio used by prison supervisors was unable to connect with emergency authorities. A supervisor attempted to use a mobile radio in a Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) emergency vehicle, which too had difficulties connecting to emergency officials. The supervisor had to drive a quarter mile down the road before being able to contact the command center.

samuel-zeller-118195-copy-300x200On Wednesday, June 14, a gunman opened fire in a United Parcel Service facility in San Francisco, killing three people and wounding two others before he killed himself. The shooter has been described as a UPS driver and was dressed in a company uniform at the time. Unfortunately, violence is committed by unhappy workers all too often. This violence leads to unnecessary injuries and fatalities that other workers and their families are left to deal with. In situations like these, the wounded employees and their families may have the right to pursue workers’ compensation claims with their employers and personal injury or wrongful death suits against the deceased gunman’s estate.

Filing a Lawsuit Against the Offender’s Estate

When an accident or violent act leads to the death of the at-fault party, the victims of the incident may worry that they can no longer recover the compensation they deserve. For instance, the individuals wounded in the San Francisco UPS shooting may worry about gaining compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial injuries. The families of those who were killed in such an incident may now wonder whether they can pursue a wrongful death claim and gain compensation for their injuries. The answer is yes, it is possible. California allows individuals injured by carelessness, recklessness, and intentional misconduct to pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s estate.

justin-luebke-43166-copy-300x200In early May, three men were involved in a deadly accident on Highway 168 between Auberry and Shaver Lake. The men were in a Chevrolet Avalanche truck, which rolled 200 to 300 feet down an embankment on the side of the highway. Two men from Clovis, aged 19 and 20, were ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. A third man, 24, was still within the vehicle, possibly up to 12 hours after the crash. Once he was extricated, he was airlifted to a Fresno-area hospital.

The tragic accident is also under investigation as a possible intentional act, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation’s direction was guided after statements made by the survivor of the accident rose some red flags for law enforcement officers.

A Wrongful Death Claim Following a Crash

hogarth-de-la-plante-17754-copy-300x179On May 1, the San Francisco Bay Area experienced at least three fatal traffic accidents between midnight and 5 in the morning. The first accident took place on Highway 880 in San Leandro, just south of Marina Boulevard. Two vehicles were part of the initial collision, though a total of four vehicles were involved. The driver of one vehicle died at the scene while another driver was taken to the hospital with major injuries. The other motorists were uninjured.

The second incident was on Highway 101 in San Francisco. A pedestrian walking within a crosswalk was hit by a motorist who lost control of his vehicle. Initial reports are that the motorist left the scene but later reported hitting the pedestrian through 911 and has been interviewed by investigators. There is no evidence that the driver was intoxicated at the time and no arrest has been made.

The third accident was also on Highway 880, but this time in Oakland. Three vehicles were involved in the crash and one of the vehicles caught on fire. Two individuals were killed, a 34-year-old man and a 4-year-old girl who was not properly restrained in a child safety seat. An initial statement by the California Highway Patrol said one of the diver’s may face charges for the unrestrained child’s death. Other passengers, including a 2-year-old girl, were hospitalized.                                                                

102abqkkhby-rezaul-karim-200x300A vehicle crashed into a Muni bus stand, injuring 10 people, several of them critically. The accident occurred on Stockton Street in Chinatown. The crash is under investigation. According to reports, the crash happened when a driver lost control of her vehicle. First, the car hit a parked vehicle and a moving car before careening into the bus stop enclosure. The crash happened on December 22, 2016.

Injuries Due to the Crash

Many people suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident. Reportedly, injuries included broken bones, head and neck injuries, and back injuries. An elderly woman suffered fractures to her pelvis, ribs, and leg. Most victims are expected to make a full recovery, but several were initially listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

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