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California Legal Blog

Illness under investigation, may be linked to vaping products

If you've followed the news recently, you've probably heard arguments over the safety of vaping. To some, this is a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. To others, however, the nicotine concentrations are more problematic than regular tobacco products, and the variety of flavors seek to hook kids on a dangerous activity. These disputes were heightened recently when a spate of individuals fell ill because of vaping.

According to reports, hundreds of individuals have developed a serious lung illness that has been linked to vaping. Some of these individuals have even died. Although many of those who have fallen ill have used vaping products to inhale THC, more than 50 of those who are injured were using only nicotine-based products. The illness often presents as a type of bacterial or viral pneumonia, but no infection can be found by medical professionals. Symptoms of the condition include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, fever, and coughing.

Car accidents can result in serious skull fractures

The sudden impact of a car accident can cause extensive damage to vehicles and people alike. Although many victims are able to escape with minor injuries, others suffer catastrophic injuries. Brain and spinal cord injuries are among the most severe injuries that can be suffered, and they can leave individuals forever changed. Far too often these victims are left with permanent disabilities that are expensive to treat and prevent them from living what they once considered a normal life.

Yet, brain and spinal cord injuries aren't the only catastrophic injuries that car accident victims can suffer. Skull fractures, for example, can also be extremely problematic. Although many skull fractures have accompanying brain injuries, this isn't always the case.

We fight for those in California facing workplace retaliation

Discrimination and harassment are all too common occurrences in the workplace. Despite efforts made by federal and state governments, as well as nonprofit organizations and even some businesses, bad actors continue to perpetuate hostile work environments throughout California. Although there are laws designed to protect workers who have the strength and courage to step forward and take action against those who have harassed them or discriminated against them, oftentimes simply bringing these actions to an employer's attention can result in retaliation.

The ramifications of retaliation can be quite significant. A worker may be passed over for promotion, come under scrutiny, lose hours, see a pay cut or even lose his or her job. Additionally, an employer may start rumors that degrade an individual's reputation in the workplace, which in itself can cause a ripple effect of damages.

Employment law: what is retaliation?

Friction in the workplace can not only make it challenging for work to be conducted, but it can stifle relationships and lead to allegations of illegal acts. Quite often this is seen in the context of discrimination and harassment, as well as retaliation. Of course, it is illegal for an employer in California to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on classifications such as age, race and religion, but it is also illegal for an employer to retaliate when allegations of discrimination or harassment are brought to its attention or are reported to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Retaliation can take many forms. It may present itself in unwarranted disciplinary action or a performance appraisal that is less than what is deserved. Also, retaliation can occur when an employer increases its scrutiny of an employee's job performance and/or decides to transfer an employee to a less desirable position. Reducing pay, job hours and even spreading rumors about an employee or his or her family can all be classified as retaliation.

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.

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Gold River, CA 95670

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