Articles Tagged with Northern California wrongful death law firm

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.

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

freestocks-org-126848-copy-300x200Coumadin and other blood thinners are commonly used by elderly individuals. These individuals are often prescribed this type of medication to reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke, and other major medical events. However, blood thinners are serious medications and patients taking them need to be closely monitored by a physician or nursing home staff. Being on this type of medication when it is unnecessary or taking too much can lead to injuries and fatalities. In fact, ProPublica and The Washington Post found that 165 nursing home residents were hospitalized or died after suffering from Coumadin, or the generic Warfarin, errors between 2011 and 2014. These incidents are preventable when elderly patients are given proper care.

The Dangers of Failing to Monitor Blood Thinners

Coumadin has well-documented benefits. However, when patients are given too much or too little of a blood thinner, they are put at risk for serious health issues and early death. For instance, when patients who are at risk for negative health events are given too low of a dosage or not given their prescribed medication, they remain highly at risk for blood clots, stroke, and heart attack. When elderly individuals are prescribed or unnecessarily given too much of a blood thinner, they can suffer internal bleeding. Warfarin can also dangerously interact with other medications like commonly prescribed antibiotics. If physicians and other nursing home staff are not on the lookout for common medication interactions, then elderly patients are seriously at risk for injuries.

p_pnznnd7-y-ashim-d-silva-300x200A Google charter bus traveling in Saratoga struck and killed a woman last week. The woman was walking to a bus stop when the bus reportedly turned the corner and hit her. The accident occurred at the corner of Fruitvale Avenue and Athletics Way on the campus of West Valley College in Saratoga. The bus is owned by Storer Coachways and is used to transport employees to and from the parking lots at the community college.

Weather Conditions May Have Played a Role

An investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing. However, initial reports indicate that there were strong winds and heavy rain at the time of the accident, which happened at 5:15 PM on January 3, 2017. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead. The bus company issues a statement of condolence to the woman’s family. It is not known whether the woman was in the crosswalk at the time of the accident.

Jim_CarreyFamous actor and comedian Jim Carrey was named as the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the estranged husband of Cathriona White. Ms. White and Mr. Carrey were involved in a dating relationship despite the fact that Ms. White was still married to her husband at the time. Ms. White committed suicide in 2015 by overdosing on several prescription medications. Now, Ms. White’s husband Mark Burton is claiming is claiming Carrey should pay compensation for causing and/or contributing to Ms. White’s death.

California Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The typical personal injury plaintiff prevails in his or her personal injury lawsuit if he or she can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence (that is, more likely than not) that the defendant named in the suit acted in an irresponsible or careless manner and that this behavior caused the injured plaintiff’s losses and injuries. Wrongful death lawsuits in California are similar in that the plaintiff alleges the named defendant’s careless or (sometimes) intentional acts caused a person’s death. The main difference between a personal injury lawsuit and a wrongful death lawsuit is the identity of the plaintiff: Whereas the injury victim him- or herself is the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit is usually the spouse, partner, or child of the decedent.

It’s a topic we’ve touched on often in recent weeks, but it is also the news story foremost in the minds of many Californians and one our team thinks about on both a personal and professional level every day.  Watching the news is both frightening and humbling; after all, if the images are coming to us from the news rather than from outside our own windows, we are luckier than many of our neighbors.  With reports suggesting that the Valley Fire has now claimed a human life, today’s post looks at the danger of wildfire injuries and wildfire deaths.  Our Northern California fire injury law firm also reminds readers that many, though certainly not all, fires are unfortunately the result of human negligence.  This truth should push all of us to be vigilant about fire safety and should serve as a reminder that those impacted by fire may have a legal recourse.

Lake County Fire Grows, Fatality Confirmed

On Monday morning, ABC30 published an update on the terrible wildfires ravaging the state.  Although details are not available, the network reports that the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (“Cal Fire”) has confirmed the death of one person in the Valley Fire.  The confirmation of one death comes as officials say area hospitals have treated at least 27 people for fire-related health problems. Most of the injuries involved smoke inhalation and were deemed minor.  Four firefighters were treated for burns.