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California Legal Blog

Product liability lawsuit against Amazon allowed to move forward

Dangerous products can pose a significant risk to consumers in California. Many times these hazardous products leave innocent and unsuspecting individuals seriously injured. In the worst cases, victims die from these injuries. The dangers can present themselves several ways, which is why the law places liability on manufacturers, distributors, and/or retailers who fail to ensure that consumers are safe from the harms posed by their products.

Yet, the law as it stands now protects companies from liability when third-party put claims regarding their products on the company's website. This means that online retailers like Amazon can't be sued for harmful products that are sold on their sites by third-party vendors. This law was enacted in 1996, though, when online retailers were miniscule compared to today.

Macy's faces racial discrimination employment lawsuit

No one should feel unsafe or unwelcome in the workplace. Sadly, though, many workers in California face hostile work environments every day. Some are subjected to sexual harassment while others face discrimination. The harm caused by these workplaces can be dramatic, too. Individuals can end up seeing their hours reduced, their opportunities for advancement disappear and sometimes their jobs lost. Also, they are often humiliated and embarrassed. This is unacceptable, which is why there are laws that protect workers who have been subjected to this type of treatment.

Recently, a number of individuals filed a claim indicating that they have faced discrimination through Macy's employment practices. The lawsuit, which is seeking class status, was filed by The Fortune Society Inc., a nonprofit. The claim specifically indicates that the company discriminates against blacks and Latinos by firing or refusing to hire people with criminal backgrounds, even if convictions are old or irrelevant to the position in question. The lawsuit goes on to claim that blacks and Latinos are disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system, and that relying on it to make employment decisions violates several federally recognized protections.

A herniated disc can be a painful personal injury

A car accident or slip-and-fall incident can leave an individual with serious injuries. Some people in California are lucky to escape these matters with nothing more than scrapes and bruises, but others are left with serious harm. While brain and spinal cord injuries are amongst the most severe, there is a long list of injuries that fall somewhere in the middle of the injury severity spectrum.

Amongst these moderate injuries are herniated discs. The vertebrae of the spine are sandwiched between cushions that are filled with a softer fluid-like substance. These "discs" are meant to cushion the strain placed on the spine. At times, though, these discs can rupture causing the jelly-like substance to push out of the disc.

Defective warnings can support product liability lawsuits

Californians tend to put a lot of trust in the products they use. Many people consider children's toys, tools, medications, electronics and other products to be safe if they are placed on store shelves. Yet, far too often these products are released on the market with defects that can pose a serious risk of harm to consumers. Those who end up injured as a result of a defective product may be able to take legal action in hopes of recovering compensation for the damages they have suffered.

One reason a person may pursue a products liability lawsuits is due to a defective warning. Under this legal argument, a product is deemed unsafe -- even if it is properly designed and manufactured -- if inadequate instructions or warnings prevent a reduction or elimination of foreseeable risks of harm posed by the product in question. In order to succeed on this argument, an injured individual must also show that the lack of proper instructions or warning renders the product below a reasonably safe standard.

When can California companies enforce non-compete agreements?

Laws tend to affect broad groups of people, which is one reason why lawmakers use broad language and courts have the power to interpret that language. Each area of the law has its own complexities. For example, employment law has to balance the protections that keep employers from taking advantage of employees with protections for companies that assume risk by hiring staff members.

Sometimes, the balance has to fall in a way that protects individual rights over the rights of a company. California's approach to non-compete agreements seems to fall into that category. Although many states recognize non-compete agreements, which are documents that prevent an employee from working with a direct competitor after leaving a company, California does not.

Gold River firm stand up for those with serious injuries

Our last post on the blog discussed the tremendous costs associated with spinal cord injuries. As staggering as those figures may seem, other injuries can cause comparable damages. Brain injuries can also cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat, and they can be just as ruinous to an individual's life. These catastrophic injuries often completely reshape an individual's life, redefining what constitutes a normal day. This can be emotionally and financially draining on an individual, and they can find it difficult to move on.

At the Costa Law Firm, we understand the struggles faced by the seriously injured. This is why we aggressively and diligently work to provide them with the legal representation they need to give them the possible chance of succeeding on a personal injury lawsuit. We utilize the law and competently apply it to the facts at hand so that our clients' positions are strongly supported, and they can put their minds at ease.

Personal injury claims: the cost of spinal cord injuries

An unexpected event like a car accident or a slip and fall incident can have a tremendous impact on an individual's life. He or she will have to deal with the immediate pain that accompanies injuries suffered in these accidents, but the physical, emotional and financial damage can be quite long-reaching. In fact, many people in California who are harmed in various types of accidents suffer injuries that last a lifetime. For these victims, merely making ends meet can be extremely challenging.

Just look at spinal cord injuries as an example. An individual who suffers a spinal cord injury that results in any incomplete motor function can see medical costs and living expenses exceed $300,000 for the first year of treatment alone. Each subsequent year can cost more than $40,000. A victim who suffers high tetraplegia may wind up with more than $1 million in medical and living expenses the first year after the injury is suffered. Each year following that can cost as much as $185,000.

Motor vehicle accidents cause most pedestrian deaths in 30 years

Despite a crackdown on drunk and distracted driving, as well as the implementation of a number of safety features in vehicles, car accidents continue to occur in California and across the U.S. at an alarming rate. Perhaps the most vulnerable to these wrecks are pedestrians. These individuals are, of course, without the protections afforded by motor vehicles, which means that they often suffer extensive harm when struck by a car, truck or motorcycle.

In fact, one report indicates that more than 6,000 pedestrian deaths occurred nationwide in 2018, which is the highest number of pedestrian deaths in the last three decades. What's the cause of this significant rise? There are a number of factors. While an increase in roads that lack crosswalks and sidewalks are partially to blame, the bigger issue is distracted drivers and the increased use of larger vehicles like SUVs. Cellphone data usage has skyrocketed by 4,000% in the last decade, which goes to show that motorists are likely more distracted today than they have ever been in the history of the automobile.

Employment law and pregnancy discrimination

California workplaces are meant to be fair and safe for all. Even though that basic concept is well-known, people with biases and outdated practices will still discriminate against others in the workplace. For employees, this can mean being passed over for jobs, promotions or raises, and it can even lead to a hostile work environment when an individual is demeaned and humiliated in the workplace. For employers, claims of discrimination can have a profound financial impact. It is easy to see how there is a lot on the line for both parties when claims of discrimination are raised.

One often overlooked form of discrimination is discrimination against pregnant women. Employers sometimes find themselves concerned about hiring a pregnant woman, because she may soon be taking significant time off of work. The same thinking is sometimes held with regards to promoting a pregnant woman. Some employers even go so far as to fire pregnant women out of fear of lost production during their maternity leave. None of these actions are acceptable in the eyes of the law, and they may lead to a lawsuit.

When does a California company have to pay workers overtime?

There are many laws at the state, local and even federal levels that help manage the relationship between employers and employees. Some of the most basic and critical rights are the rights of hourly workers to a fair and reasonable wage.

Federal law sets specific minimum wages that employers must pay their hourly workers. Hourly workers also have the right to overtime compensation under federal law. Understanding when businesses have an obligation to pay overtime compensation can help employers remain in compliance with laws and employees advocate for their rights.

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