Rise in Hate Crimes, Immigrant Labor Exploitation, and Disney Lawsuits
California’s August News Round-Up Features Civil Rights Violation Lawsuits, Dog Bites, and Plane, Train, or Boat Accidents
During summer, forest fires are the cause of many accidents. Fires often cause numerous human and material losses. This was the case with the Maui fires. Although to a lesser extent, deaths and personal injury cases have also occurred in California as a result of the various fires that broke out during the month of August 2023.
Although the death toll is still low, the Golden State is at risk of the same devastating fires as its Hawaiian neighbors for the same reason: wind is a major threat and can help spread the flames. In fact, the various wildfires that erupted in California over the summer have already claimed a dozen lives. These deaths have come from both burns and smoke inhalation. One of the most devastating news stories was the death of several firefighters in helicopters trying to prevent a fire from spreading and colliding due to poor visibility.
Road accidents remain a widespread problem, affecting thousands of people every day. Earlier this month, four people were seriously injured in a wrong-way crash and five were killed in a distracted driving accident.
However, it’s not just road traffic that gets people killed. Several fatal incidents involving ships and airplanes have been reported this month. In the first, a boat exploded, killing two people and injuring three; in the second, the plane malfunctioned, crashed, and burst into flames, killing two people.
California Personal Injury News Highlights for August 2023
In this blog post, we’ll share California’s latest news with you. This month will be notable this year for the number of civil rights lawsuits. And, in addition to the usual product and car recalls due to injury risks, we also have shocking cases of sexual abuse. This time, around 500 victims have filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of San Francisco for incidents that occurred two and three decades ago.
If at any time you are identified or have experienced 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.
Cardi B and Dodgers Security Attack Several People
Practice Area: Assault
Excessive force used by Dodgers’ security guards in several incidents between 2021 and 2023 has resulted in four personal injury lawsuits. The victims allege that the security guards suddenly attacked them. According to the lawsuit, these workers “trespassed” on the victims, who now seek damages for emotional distress and punitive damages.
Another example of an illegal act causing unwanted physical harm came from Cardi B. On the same day, the famous rapper staged two similar incidents at two separate events in Las Vegas. Both incidents were caught on video and went viral within hours. In the first, the Dominican-born singer threw the microphone at an audience member after she threw a drink at her during a performance. In the second, Cardi B throws her microphone again, but this time at the DJ who was in charge of her concert.
Racism Lawsuits Against Southwest Airlines and San Francisco State University
Practice Area: Civil Rights Violations
Civil rights violations are arguably the most important area of personal injury in California during August 2023. The month began with an LAPD report announcing a 15% increase in hate crimes in Los Angeles. In total, 701 hate crimes were filed in 2022, 100 more than the previous year. Gay and transgender people were the most affected groups, along with Jews.
One race hate case that resulted in a lawsuit involved San Francisco State University and Karen Rubin, director of the Counselling Resource Center. DeMauriae Vaughn, an academic counselor at the university, is seeking punitive damages after accusing the university system and Rubin of racism and harassment. Vaughn claims the university did nothing after Rubin called him a “runaway slave” and hung a portrait of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in his office.
In other xenophobic cases, a woman has sued Southwest Airlines for racial discrimination after an outrageous in-flight experience. Mary MacCarthy, who is white, was traveling with her daughter, who is black, to a family member’s funeral in October 2021. Upon landing, MacCarthy and her daughter were detained by police after a Southwest flight attendant called 911 on suspicion of child trafficking. The plaintiff alleges that the blatant racism she received from Southwest caused her and her daughter extreme emotional distress.
Exploitation of Immigrant Workers
One of the most scandalous news stories in society is the exploitation of immigrants. And unfortunately, there are too many cases of this in California. Recently, a video surfaced showing the owner of a farm assaulting an illegal worker after several workers had not been paid for some time. The images quickly went viral and the owner is being investigated for human trafficking.
And lastly, a report has just shown that the Los Angeles Police Department “disproportionately” arrests black and Hispanic people. Based on data from 2019 to 2022, blacks and Latinos account for nearly 80% of all arrests. In the analysis of nearly 300,000 arrests made by the Los Angeles Police Department in recent years, Latinos or Hispanics account for nearly 51%, followed by blacks at 27%.
Multiple Lawsuits Against Various Cities for Police Misconduct
Practice Area: Police Misconduct
While the above news story may be part of a pattern of racial policing that points to misconduct, there are other events that demonstrate police behavior that contributes to these numbers continuing to rise. Such is the case of several Los Angeles police officers who were caught laughing and joking after shooting a machete-wielding Hispanic man. After fatally shooting him, the officers joked about the overtime they would be working after the fatal outcome.
While the above case is likely to result in legal action, there are other cases of police misconduct that have already been reported. In fact, some cases have already been settled with the city to compensate the victims. This is the case of a man protesting the death of George Floyd in 2020. During the march, an LAPD projectile struck him in the face, causing severe injuries. In total, the victim received nearly $800,000 in medical and punitive damages.
Multiple Complaints of Police Misconduct
Other personal injury lawsuits filed against multiple California law enforcement agencies for misconduct in August 2023 include
- Wrongful death of Lonnie Rupard in San Diego. Causes of action: wrongful death, neglect of a dependent adult, violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, failure to provide medical care, and negligence. Rupard, 47, died in San Diego Central Jail as a result of severe neglect. The lawsuit alleges that his basic needs and mental health were “grossly” neglected. His cell was filled with feces, garbage, and old food containing larvae and insects.
- Five people were injured during protests over the death of George Floyd in San Jose. Causes of action: violation of the First and Fourth Amendments through excessive use of police force. Five plaintiffs who were part of the George Floyd demonstration will go on trial in a federal lawsuit alleging excessive police force during the protests. The victims include a man who watched the protests passively and lost an eye after being shot in the face with a projectile, and a woman who was pushed and hit with batons “at least seventeen times.”
- Three teenagers were arrested and intimidated in Los Angeles for no reason. Cause of action: violation of civil rights. A group of teenagers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging abuse of authority. The complaint alleges that an officer stopped and intimidated them by shooting at them “without cause or provocation.”
Disneyland Security Dog Seriously Injures an Elderly Man
Practice Area: Dog Bites
An 81-year-old man has filed a civil lawsuit against Disneyland after being mauled by a security dog. The park’s K-9 bit him in the stomach after its owner was unable to control it. The man is now claiming damages for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and medical expenses.
Another elderly man experienced a similar situation but with more tragic results. The 70-year-old victim died after being attacked by four large dogs as he walked past a house.
California Inmates Sue for Sexual Assault in Jail
Area of Practice: Sexual Harassment or Abuse
In recent months, we have published several sexual allegations from female inmates for incidents that happened throughout the year. But now, thanks to a new law called AB 1455, victims of prison sexual assaults over the past decade can take legal action. Since this new California law went into effect in 2022, more than 250 lawsuits have been filed by female inmates alleging rape and sexual assault. Most of these inmates were held at the California Institute for Women, Central California Women’s Prison, and Folsom Women’s Center.
Beyond the sexual allegations from a decade ago, many female inmates continue to be sexually assaulted in California prisons today. The latest reported incidents come from eight women in a San Francisco Bay Area prison. The victims have filed a lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons. They claim that the sexual abuse and exploitation continued unabated after the initial incidents. This comes after several prison officials and the warden were dismissed for the same reason. The lawsuit directly names the new warden and 12 current and former guards.
On the other hand, the most media-hyped celebrity news this month has been the one involving Lizzo. The artist and her team have been denounced by three former dancers, who claim that they were forced to touch a stripper’s breast. They also claim that the rapper shamed one of them for her weight gain. The victims allege sexual, religious, and racial harassment, disability discrimination, assault, and false imprisonment.
Two People Run Over by Trains Killed
Practice Area: Train Accidents
As we mentioned at the beginning of this blog, accidents can happen in any mode of transport. Although road accidents are the most common, rail accidents have become a common occurrence in California recently. All of these have resulted from negligence and are being investigated to determine who is responsible. One of the most recent cases took place in Belmont. A person died after being hit by an oncoming Caltrain. It is being examined whether the victim was not given sufficient warning of the train’s arrival.
The same incident occurred earlier this month in San Francisco. In total, two people have died in negligence-related situations in a 20-day period.
Children With Head Contusions and Listeria in Ice Cream
Practice Area: Product Liability
The food industry is plagued by recalls due to health concerns. Such is the case with Real Kosher Ice Cream, a company that has recalled its ice cream in 20 states due to listeria. For the second month in a row, Trader Joe’s has also been implicated in the sale of tainted food. Specifically, the supermarket has recalled falafel and broccoli soup from its stores. The reason? They may be contaminated with rocks and insects.
As for children’s products, there are three products that have been linked to injury in California in August 2023. Bell Station Interiors folding and floor beds were recalled after the Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded several injuries to children. According to the CPSC, these cribs can pose a strangulation and potentially life-threatening hazard.
Similarly, Simplay3 recalled its kiddie towers after receiving 16 reports of injuries. These towers had a high risk of falling. Six of the children involved suffered head contusions.
Two products had to be recalled due to the risk of fire. These are Philips baby monitors and Gree Electric Appliances humidifiers sold at Walmart or Home Depot.
In terms of automotive issues, the following headlines stand out this month:
- Nissan is recalling nearly 240,000 cars over steering wheel problems. It has also announced that 70,000 cars have problems with cruise control acceleration.
- Ford is recalling nearly 900,000 vans because the parking brake can engage unexpectedly.
- Tesla is being investigated for steering problems after reports from 12 drivers.
- Fire risk in 90,000 Hyundai and Kia cars.
Legionellosis in a Spa and Power Outage in a Hospital
Practice Area: Premises Liability
To close this California personal injury blog in August 2023, we’re naming the two most impactful premises liability cases. The first involves Zen Day Spa. This relaxation center is accused of spreading Legionnaires’ disease to three people. All cases occurred after using the facility’s jacuzzi. Two people died.
Perhaps the most shocking case occurred after a power outage at a hospital in Los Angeles. This incident endangered the lives of more than two dozen critically injured patients. The victims had to be transferred to other facilities. Although no deaths have been reported, families have been traumatized and may seek compensation for emotional distress.
Have You Suffered a Wrongful Injury in California During August 2023? Call Us!
If you have been the victim of a negligent accident resulting in injury, we can help. With more than 100 years of combined legal experience, Adamson Ahdoot knows how to get the best possible result in every personal injury case.
Contact one of our lawyers today to explore your legal options. Indeed, our bilingual team is ready to assist you with your consultation and guide you through the legal process. Call us today at (800) 310-1606 or request a consultation through our website.
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