Personal Injury in California, January 2024 - Adamson Ahdoot

California Legal Blog

Record Number of Dog Bites and Traffic Deaths in California

February 19, 2024 María López Garcia

California’s January News Round-Up Features $700M Johnson & Johnson Settlements, a $35M Verdict for Sexual Abuse in the 90s, and School Civil Rights Violations

Home » Blog » Record Number of Dog Bites and Traffic Deaths in California

The beginning of 2024 has caused numerous damages, personal injury, and deaths in California during January. In the first days of the year, the weather did not give Californians a break. The situation was so severe that California declared a state of emergency.

Piled-up cars, flash flooding in thousands of homes, and debris in the streets have been a constant in much of the state. This is a problem for millions of residents who still need to commute to work, take their children to school, or perform other tasks. But, what if they get into a traffic accident? Or what if they get injured at an establishment? Could these citizens file a personal injury claim? Yes, a negligent accident caused by rain or wind can be grounds for compensation. This is especially true if the accident occurred on property that was not well maintained or if someone else was at fault. To avoid such mishaps, many schools and businesses in California and West Texas have closed.

We would like to remind you that Adamson Ahdoot is expanding its services to assist the individuals of Texas from 2024 onwards. If you live in California or Texas and have been involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence during the recent storms, or in any other accident, do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can either call us at (800) 310-1606 or contact our attorneys through our website today.

Traffic Fatalities and Dog Bites Break Records

Injuries and deaths are not limited to natural disasters. This month was filled with stories that affected the well-being of hundreds of Californians. One of the most shocking news stories was the reversal of a deadly trend in Los Angeles: for the first time in nine years, the city recorded more traffic fatalities than homicides. These traffic incidents have increased due to more collisions with bicyclists and pedestrians, hit-and-runs, and drunk driving.

Likewise, motor vehicle accidents have not been the only mode of transportation to cause casualties. As we will see, there have also been numerous injuries and deaths on trains and planes.

Another surprising news report comes from the Department of Health Information and Access. According to this agency, 2022 saw the highest number of people treated in emergency rooms for dog bites. Since 2005, this number has increased by 70%, with 48,596 visits annually, or 125 per 100,000 residents.

The start of the year was also accompanied by several high-profile media lawsuits. One of the most high-profile came from renowned surgeon Dr. Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend, Cerissa Riley, who are suing Orange County for pain and suffering. The alleged victims are seeking compensation after prosecutors falsely accused them of drugging and sexually assaulting more than 1,000 women.

Another family seeking justice is that of Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old who disappeared in 1996. Nearly 30 years later, her relatives are suing Cal Poly for wrongful death. The university had prior reports that Paul Flores, the accused killer of Smart, had molested several female students.

California Personal Injury News Highlights for January 2024

In this blog post, we will share with you the latest news from the Golden State. January 2024 brings with it accidents and incidents in California that have left thousands of people with personal injuries – and some have died. In addition to injury claims related to transportation such as automobiles, trains, and airplanes, the Golden State has seen sexual abuse claims resulting in lawsuits. Many of these have been filed against celebrities.

We also cover cases involving police negligence and misconduct, physical and emotional assault, civil rights violations, and defective products in this post.

If you have ever been in a similar situation, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance. We can help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses by calling (800) 310-1606.

Many of the January 2024 personal injury cases in California have resulted in lawsuits.
California personal injury news in January 2024 features airplane crashes, motor industry scandals, and sexual abuse lawsuits.

Record Number of Emergency Room Visits for Dog Attacks

Practice Area: Dog Bites

As we discussed at the beginning of this blog, California started the year with the news that our beloved pets have attacked more than ever before. HCAI has confirmed that 2022 saw the highest number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths due to dog bites in California. In total, there were 70% more incidents than in 2005, with nearly 50,000 visits. Interestingly, the most serious bites occur in rural areas of the state.

But, why was there a record-breaking 12% increase in dog attacks between 2021 and 2022? The answer, experts say, is clear: the Covid pandemic. During this period, poorly socialized puppies grew into more aggressive adults. Recent national data shows that in 2023, 782 dogs attacked 143 children and 490 adults, resulting in 69 deaths and 547 disfigurements.

On the other hand, organizations such as ACLU California Action have once again raised concerns about the performance of police dogs. For several years now, the use and behavior of K-9s in California have been somewhat problematic. In fact, numerous organizations and citizens have recently criticized their dangerous police practices. Now, an ACLU report shows that police are using an outdated method with the K-9s that encourages them to bite and injure suspects. The analysis reveals that a significant number of cases involving police dog attacks display a disturbing pattern of racialized violence. The organization is hopeful that House Bill 742, which seeks to restrict the use of K-9 dogs, can be passed promptly.

Police Strangle 7-Year-Old Girl and Racist Texts in Excessive Use of Force Case

Practice Area: Police Misconduct

Continuing with negligent police practices, January was marked by a national case in which a seven-year-old girl was seriously injured. The police officer responsible took the girl to the hospital, where her injuries were discovered. The little girl confirmed to nurses that the officer had choked and beaten her with a belt.

In another case of police negligence in Los Angeles, a former sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. Andrew Lyons fatally shot Ryan Twyman as Twyman, who was unarmed in a parking lot, attempted to flee by backing his vehicle out. Lyons will serve 30 days in jail and receive 2 years of probation.

Finally, there seems to be no end in sight to the controversial case of former police officer Mark McNamara. As we reported months ago, McNamara was accused of excessive force by K’aun Green, a shooting victim. Green also filed a lawsuit against the San Jose Police Department and the city. But, as the investigation has unfolded, what initially appeared to be an isolated incident has led to other allegations. Court records revealed dozens of racist and offensive text messages from McNamara to Green and other victims. The former officer mocked the shooting of black people and expressed his hatred in messages and posts on social media. He eventually deleted all traces of his hate from the Internet.

It’s important to note that deleting evidence, such as messages, posts, or network profiles, can be a key factor in a judge’s dismissal of an injury case. This is because, in the context of active litigation, removing a message is considered illegal spoliation of evidence.

Adamson Ahdoot Law Team

$35M Sexual Assault Verdict and Lawsuit Against Multiple California Officials for Sex Crimes

Practice Area: Sexual Harassment or Sexual Abuse

In a case of police misconduct, 130 former inmates of Chino and Chowchilla women’s prisons have made allegations of various forms of prison abuse. The victims have filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and 30 staff members for incidents that occurred over the past decade. The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for cases that include sexual and physical assault, neglect, civil rights violations, and emotional harm. According to the victims, life in these prisons was described as “every woman’s worst nightmare.”

Sex crimes are alleged to have occurred at the California Institution for Women in Chino.

Continuing a pattern of allegations against public employees, a senior official in the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) has been accused of sexual harassment, retaliation, and fostering a hostile work environment. Kendra Bowyer, the victim, worked for Cal OES when the alleged sexual harassment began in 2020. Ryan Buras, the harasser and deputy director of the agency, was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. According to the lawsuit, as many as four women had previously filed sexual complaints against Buras.

In a separate case, a California jury recently ordered the Pomona Unified School District to pay $35 million to a woman who was sexually assaulted in 1990. The verdict held Pomona High School responsible for allowing a coach to rape the student. Assembly Bill 218, passed in 2019, made the lawsuit possible by allowing survivors of sex crimes to file lawsuits within three years.

The List of Celebrities Accused of Sexual Misconduct Continues to Grow

  • Sexual allegations have been made against Vince McMahon, co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment, and his former head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis. Janel Grant, a former employee, is suing them for assault and sex trafficking.
  • Fran DeBernardo, the CEO of a prominent real estate company, was indicted by a judge on three counts of rape.
  • Tim Ballard, the CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, faces four new felony sexual assault charges in California.
  • A judge has denied Nick Carter‘s request to have his sexual assault charges transferred out of state. The alleged incidents involving Melissa Schuman occurred in California in 2003.
  • James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks and Rangers, is named in a lawsuit alleging sexual assault by a masseur for events that took place in Los Angeles a decade ago.

Discrimination Lawsuits Against California Colleges and Universities

Practice Area: Civil Rights Violations

Any form of sexual offense that results in injury is a violation of individual rights, particularly in relation to the reported cases involving former California prison inmates throughout January 2024. However, there have been additional complaints of civil rights violations. Some notable cases include:

  • Los Angeles County agreed to a $5 million settlement for the founder of a software company who was falsely accused and arrested for data theft.
  • An “alarming” report on civil rights violations has led to the initiation of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education into close to 90 elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as colleges. The department suspects cases of discrimination against Muslims and Arabs in educational institutions such as UC Davis and the University of California.
  • The Oakland Unified School District faced legal action for organizing discriminatory events. The school hosted an event exclusively for “Black, Brown, and API (Asian/Pacific Islander) students. The event was planned by the school’s Equity and Inclusion Committee.
  • In San Diego, an eight-year-old boy was accused of a racist incident when he painted his face black during a soccer game. Despite his parents’ claims that the boy was imitating professional athletes, the school principal suspended the boy for two days and banned him from participating in sports. The parents, who reported the incident to the media, have now filed a lawsuit against the principal for false accusations.

Dozens of People Injured and Killed in Multi-Car Crashes and Hit-And-Run Collisions

Practice Area: Traffic Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents can take many forms and involve all types of vehicles. Unfortunately, in January 2024, California witnessed several significant car crashes that resulted in several fatalities and personal injury cases. In particular, there were several incidents of multi-vehicle collisions and hit-and-run accidents.

Among these multi-vehicle accidents, the one in Littlerock stands out. It involved a Los Angeles Fire Department vehicle, an official Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation vehicle, and a local resident’s car. Three people had to be taken to the hospital. Since these vehicles are operated by government entities, can victims sue the state for car accidents or other injury mishaps? The answer is yes, they can. However, filing a claim against a government agency or employee follows a different process than usual. In such cases, it is crucial to contact a specialized attorney.

Nevertheless, the most serious multi-vehicle accident took place on Interstate 5 in California. It resulted in nine people being seriously injured, while two lost their lives. The massive multi-vehicle crash was caused by poor visibility. The half-mile collision involved 17 passenger vehicles and 18 heavy trucks.

In terms of hit-and-run collisions, this month has registered a high number of injuries and fatalities.

  • A woman is dead, and a man is in critical condition after being struck by a driver in the Vermont Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. The couple was walking when they were violently hit. The driver, who fled on foot after abandoning the vehicle, did not stop or render aid.
  • A man crossing a street in Pacoima was killed in a triple hit-and-run. As many as three drivers struck the man, who died at the scene. Police said the victim was alive after the first impact. But as he tried to get up, another vehicle hit him, throwing him into the oncoming lane, where he was ultimately struck a third time.
  • Two victims were injured in a three-car accident. It appears that one of the cars violently slammed into the other two. Authorities suspect the driver, who fled the scene, was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Last but not least, a rather peculiar hit-and-run occurred in Palmdale. A driver intentionally smashed his truck into the front of a local restaurant and then fled on foot. Apparently, the suspect was thrown out by the managers after arguing with a woman inside the bar. He later drove the car out of the parking lot and crashed into the business. Fortunately, no personal injuries were reported, but the business suffered extensive property damage.

Alaska Airlines Flight, Close to Tragedy

Practice Area: Transportation Accidents

While traffic accidents usually receive widespread media coverage, the unusual cases of personal injury and fatalities resulting from alternative modes of transportation in California in January 2024 have attracted significant attention.

The year commenced with an incident involving Alaska Airlines on California-bound Flight 1282. Within six minutes of takeoff, a Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft departing from Portland International Airport suffered window loss and partial fuselage damage. The aircraft had reached an altitude of 16,000 feet when the cabin depressurized. The resulting hole caused considerable noise and high winds in the cabin, resulting in injuries from ejected debris.

Although a disaster was averted, passengers experienced panic attacks upon landing. Authorities have stated that if the explosion had occurred a few minutes later when the plane reached its cruising altitude, the accident would have been a true tragedy.

If you have ever found yourself in an emotionally distressing situation, do not miss the opportunity to seek legal recourse. Do not allow those responsible for your emotional distress to go unpunished.

Similarly, another airplane that caused no severe physical injuries, but resulted in significant emotional harm to passengers was an American Airlines Boeing 737-800. Departing from Texas, the aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing after an engine caught fire.

Four people died in a plane crash off the coast of Half Moon Bay. Preliminary investigations indicate that the single-engine plane was built by amateur builders and was considered experimental. However, it is believed that inadequate maintenance played a key role.

Unpaid Bus Accident Claims and Train Wreck Fatalities

Without the guidance of an accident attorney, it can be difficult for victims to recover compensation for their injuries. This happened to a man whose car was struck by a Metro bus while parked on a Los Angeles street. The victim decided to file a claim against the agency and went to court. Despite winning the case, Metro decided to appeal the verdict and refused to pay any form of compensation.

According to data from lawsuits filed against Metro in 2022, the agency only settled 41% of all claims filed. If you have been involved in a city bus accident that resulted in injury or property damage, do not hesitate to contact an attorney at Adamson Ahdoot today. Our dedicated team has a wealth of experience in securing just compensation for victims.

Lastly, another life was lost in a tragic Caltrain accident. The fatal incident occurred near the Hayward Park Station in San Mateo and is currently under investigation.

Shooting from a Train Car and Gas Station Assault

Practice Area: Assault or Battery

Another incident involving trains occurred in Palmdale. This time, it involved an assault in the form of a shooting. Several shots were fired by a passenger on a Metrolink train, resulting in two people being shot and wounded.

The alarming number of unexplained deaths and numerous attacks on trains and their facilities in recent months have put authorities on high alert. Why are there so many deaths? Is carelessness responsible for these deaths? Does the lack of safety measures affect the well-being of Californians?

Authorities have also scrutinized gas stations as another facility. A homeless person was arrested for assaulting and harassing an employee at a Victorville gas station. According to police, the assailant was harassing both customers and employees before he was asked to leave. He was subsequently arrested for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and vandalism.

Loose Screws in Ford Vehicles, Salmonella Cases Increase, and $700M Settlement from Johnson & Johnson

Practice Area: Product Liability

Every month, there are numerous cases involving defective products. Unfortunately, many of them result in multiple victims suffering emotional, physical, or property damage. Let’s take a look at potential product liability personal injury cases that occurred in California in January 2024. If you have been affected by any of the following cases, contact Adamson Ahdoot. We can successfully litigate your cause and hold the responsible party accountable.

One of the most notable cases is the recent $700 million settlement reached by Johnson & Johnson. The pharmaceutical company faced thousands of lawsuits from consumers and states across the country in 2020. As many as 50,000 lawsuits are pending, with most alleging that the use of talcum powder and other products contributed to the development of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

In addition, approximately 50,000 Homedics massage guns have been recalled due to the risk of fire and burns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has received 17 reports of overheating injuries and one report of burns.

One more product that has caused several personal injuries is the Home Design platform beds. Manufacturers have issued a recall of 527,177 beds due to the danger of them collapsing or breaking while being used. These items were available for purchase at Wayfair, Overstock, and Walmart. Overall, CPSC has received 128 reports of beds breaking, collapsing, or giving way. Out of these cases, 36 resulted in injuries.

Home Design's defective beds caused severe personal injury to California residents.

Cummins and Ford Recall 600,000 and 2.1M Vehicles

Vehicle recalls are a common occurrence in the automotive industry. One of the biggest stories this month involves Cummins and RAM. The engine manufacturer was involved in an emissions cheating scandal. After reaching a $2 billion settlement, Cummins Inc. is recalling 600,000 Ram vehicles.

On the other hand, Ford dominated the automotive headlines. The automaker is recalling 113,000 F-150 models after 376 reports of problems with rear axle bolts and hub splines. Specifically, there is a risk that a rear axle bolt could break and cause the parked vehicle to roll.

At the same time, Ford is also addressing problems with Explorers manufactured between 2011 and 2019. The company has received 164 complaints about a trim piece that could come off and cause a crash. In total, 1,889 Explorer vehicles are affected.

A Large Number of Food Products Contaminated

Salm Partners, LLC is recalling approximately 135,000 pounds of kielbasa. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Parkview brand turkey may be contaminated with foreign material. There have been several consumer complaints regarding the presence of bone fragments. One of these complaints resulted in a mouth injury.

The WanaBana, Schnucks and Weis pouches recalled last month contained more toxic substances than originally discovered. In addition to lead, the FDA now claims that the applesauce bags had high levels of chemical chromium. Hundreds of American children have been treated for poisoning.

The number of people affected by salmonellosis from Busseto and Fratelli Beretta charcuterie meat trays continues to rise. Up to 47 people have fallen ill, with 10 victims requiring hospitalization after eating the contaminated meats. Despite this, the products continue to be sold at Costco and Sam’s Club.

Robitussin cough syrup is being voluntarily withdrawn from the market due to microbial contamination. According to the manufacturer, Haleon, consumption of these products can be fatal.

Have You Suffered a Personal Injury Accident in California During January 2024? Call Us!

The news shared by Adamson Ahdoot in this monthly special is meant to be an eye-opener for California residents. Whether it is to inform them about how to handle injury cases or to raise awareness about the possibility of suing for negligence.

With over 100 years of combined legal experience, our firm is here to help. If you or a loved one has been a victim of negligence resulting in personal injury in January 2024 or within the past year, don’t hesitate to contact our team in California. Trust Adamson Ahdoot. We have a proven track record of obtaining successful settlements for our clients.

To learn more about our services, call (800) 310-1606 or visit our website. Our team of bilingual attorneys is available 24 hours a day.

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