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defective-tire-lawyerDefective tires are the cause of over 400 deaths annually in this country, and thousands of injuries. A tire defect usually occurs in the manufacturing stage, during a process where fabric, wire, and rubber are molded together to create tires as we know and use them.

Today, San Diego’s 10News concluded an investigation revealing that automobile tires that are being marketed as new, are actually old, raising all kinds of safety concerns. According to the report, there are no federal regulations that require a seller of tires to disclose the actually age of the tire to the consumer. The tire may look new, and be presented as such, but the tire may have been manufactured years earlier.

It is well understood that the structural integrity of rubber will degrade over time, causing the tire to become more susceptible to stress, and more likely to fail in a catastrophic way. The failure of a tire while traveling at a high rate of speed can lead to serious injury or death.

Have you been reading news about sports-related brain injuries? Whether it’s a report about the dangers of concussions or other more immediate life-threatening injuries, these stories are becoming more prominent than they were in previous years (and decades). In fact, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) states that traumatic brain injuries are now the leading cause of death from sports-related injuries.

From AANS medical reports to the high-profile cases concerning athletes in the National Football League (NFL), it’s important to know the causes and symptoms of these brain injuries. And more significantly, you should know of potential legal claims that can arise from head traumas incurred while playing sports.

What Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur in Sports?

A freelance photographer happened to have his camera at the ready when a semi-tractor trailer truck slammed into a car parked on the side of the I-805 freeway.

According to reports, just prior to the crash a driver clipped an electronic CalTrans sign and knocked it into the freeway. Numerous cars struck the debris, causing traffic to slow. One driver, Doug Calapan, pulled over to the shoulder to report the accident when a large big-rig truck came barreling down upon him. As the video shows, his car was struck with tremendous force.

Amazingly, the Mr. Calapan survived without serious injury.

motorcycle.jpgSouthern California saw yet another unfortunate crash between a vehicle and a motorcycle, leaving several people with injuries. According to 10 News, on Tuesday a Yamaha motorcycle rear ended a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta in San Diego’s Torrey Pines neighborhood. California personal injury lawyers are all too familiar with the dangers of motorcycle versus vehicle accidents like this one. As is usually the case in these types of accidents, the motorcyclist and his passenger sustained injuries that were much more severe than the passengers of the vehicle. The motorcyclist, a male in his 20s, suffered a fractured spine and the motorcycle passenger, a female in her 20s, suffered a broken hip. Luckily, the driver of the Jetta, a man in his 50s, was unharmed, however his two passengers suffered minor injuries.

Motorcycle Safety
This accident is a reminder of the substantially heightened risk that motorcyclists take every time they go out on the road. With this heightened risk in mind, it is of vital importance for motorcyclists to adhere to safety rules, such as traveling a safe distance from other vehicles and wearing the proper safety equipment.

However, even if all of the proper safety measures are taken by motorcyclists it does not guarantee that everyone else on the road will drive safely too. Drivers make negligent decisions every day across the country. Many drivers failed to see riders, cut in front of them, or otherwise engage in risky conduct that increases the risk of collision. When these errors are made if is more often the motorcyclists most often pay the higher price. It is not uncommon for riders to face serious (even fatal) injuries while car drivers and passengers are unharmed.

Legal Assistance
If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in our area it is important to contact a San Diego motorcycle accident attorney immediately for several reasons. One extremely important reason to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an accident is that statute of limitation laws are applicable to all personal injury and wrongful death cases. This means that if a victim or a victim’s family waits too long to take legal action they may lose their right to bring a lawsuit at all. This time limit varies depending on the particular circumstances of the case—who was hurt, who was at fault, and how they were negligent. Since the time limit can vary greatly it is important to contact a lawyer specializing in personal injury and wrongful death, and can make sure that a suit is brought within the appropriate time frame.

Beyond the statue of limitations, an attorney can help ensure that an appropriate investigation is conducted and that evidence from the accident is obtained and properly saved for a future case. Even if a suit is filed within the statute of limitations, the further away from the time of the accident a case begins, sometimes the harder it is to preserve crucial information about exactly what happened.

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Our San Diego injury lawyer was encourages to read that the California Public Utilities Commission is showing that it takes threats to California consumer safety seriously this week with the announcement that it will investigate allegations of wrongdoing by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (“PG&E”). PG&E is responsible for building and maintaining a large portion of the state’s pipelines that deliver gas to homes and businesses. The investigation comes on the heels of reports filed by two PG&E welders, Marshall Worland and Mike Mikich, both of whom claim that PG&E has violated safety protocols and failed to properly make necessary repairs to existing lines.

According to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle, Worland and Mikich have cited many problems with gas pipelines throughout the state. For example, they have said that many of the state’s older gas transmission lines are plagued by rust and corrosion and are in need of repair or replacement. In addition, Worland and Mikich assert that during the re-installation of pipelines that had been tested for strength using high-pressure water tests, no workers were assigned to inspect the welding and ensure that it was being done properly. The welders say they have personally observed substandard welding work that they claim may make large portions of the gas pipelines extremely dangerous. explosion.jpg

If the welding is not done correctly, of course, the structural integrity of the pipelines will be compromised, and there can be devastating consequences. In fact, part of the reason for concern with the quality and safety of PG&E pipelines stems from an explosion that occurred in September of 2010 when a gas transmission line blew up in a residential area. Eight people were killed, and more than three dozen homes were destroyed in the blast. Since then, PG&E has been under more and more scrutiny, and with the welders’ recent allegations, that scrutiny is only increasing.

When the U.S. Government brokered a bankruptcy for Chrysler two years ago, it allowed the car maker to discharge any obligations it owed to car accident victims with pending cases against the automaker, or those who had already won an award or settlement.

The Wall Street Journal has tracked several stories of some of the losers in the government deal, including the family of Vicki Denton. Ms. Denton died when the airbag in her 1998 Dodge Caravan failed to deploy in a collision. After years of litigation, in 2009 a jury determined that Ms. Denton’s vehicle was defective, and order Chrysler to pay her son $2.2 million in damages. Despite the jury’s finding, Chrysler has not paid the judgment, and under the rules of the bailout will never have to.

The bailout and restructuring, like most bankruptcies, caused winners and losers. Those pursing product liability claims were the losers.

“The government was deciding who was going to be taken care of and who was not,” said David Skeel, a University of Pennsylvania law school professor and bankruptcy expert who has testified before Congress on the auto bailouts. Even if the auto makers had legal rights to leave behind product-liability claims, “there is a deep unfairness. It would have been easy enough to set something aside for them.”

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The creator of an Australian hair care product will likely have to pay the $4.2 million dollar verdict rendered against him for knowingly infecting a Palm Springs woman with herpes. Thomas Redmond appealed the Riverside County verdict, but was unsuccessful. The verdict is thought to be one of the largest of its kind for this type of case.

“Ordinarily, you don’t see juries give awards that big against an individual,” said USC law professor Greg Keating. “That makes you speculate that the jury sort of calibrated the award in light of the fact that guy was a real jerk.”

In the lawsuit, Redmond testified that, prior to engaging in intercourse with the woman that he informed her of his herpes, that he had it for 30 years, and that he had never infected anyone. In essence, he argued, she assumed the risk. Of course, the woman had a different story, and jury believed her.

News reports don’t identify the legal theories used in the case, but it’s likely the thrust of the case was presented as one of negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Because $2.75 million of the award was for punitive damages, it suggests that the jury found Redmond acted with malice in the transmission of the disease.

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We have all heard about arrogant doctors (and lawyers for that matter), but this guy wins the prize. Dr. Red Alinsod, a Laguna Beach gynecologist was sued for branding his patients name into her uterus using a cauterizing device.

According to reports, Dr. Alinsod carved the name “Ingrid” into the uterine wall, in inch-high letters, because he did not want to get her uterus “confused” with others. Though he apparently conceded it is not standard practice to tag his patients during surgery, he said he felt it was no big deal since he was really good friends with the patient (but obviously not as good as the thought).

The lawsuit came about after the patient, Irene Paulicivic, complained to Dr. Alinsod of burns to her legs that she believed occurred during the operation. During the visit, Paulicivic asked for copies of images taken during the operation. When Alinsod hesitated in giving them to her, Paulicivic sensed something was wrong. When her named appeared (rather obviously) in the pictures, she was stunned.

The fireworks show at San Marcos’ Bradley Park turned out to be a bit of a dud, and a painful dud at that, when an errant firework shot into a crowd of spectators and injured four people. Thankfully, the injuries don’t sound serious, but one individual was taken to Palomar Hospital for treatment and apparently released.

It’s unclear what caused the firework to shoot sideways instead of up, and the company Pyro Spectators of Rialto did not return calls from the North County Times.

The misfire occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. just as the crowd of about 4,000 was waiting for the grand finale. Those injured were all sitting near the caretaker’s residence inside the park. According to city spokesperson Jenny Peterson, this is the first time in 25 years there was a mishap.

It was announced yesterday that the Pacific Law Center is no longer taking new clients, and will be closing its doors. The heavy-advertising law firm with a checkered past has concluded that the business model of taking cases on payment plans is just not working in today’s economic times. The 107 employees were apparently informed yesterday.

Most people know the firm from its heavy advertising, particularly during Padres games. It was a firm with a questionable reputation until Kerry Steigerwalt, a highly regarded criminal defense attorney, took over the firm in 2008. It was renamed Kerry Steigerwalt’s Pacific Law Center, and focused on criminal, personal injury, bankruptcy, and, as of late, loan-modification cases.

“Our model is predicated on people making payments,” Steigerwalt told the San Diego Union Tribune. “Fewer and fewer people have money to hire us, and those that do are not paying. It just became a managerial nightmare.”

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