Assault and Battery Legal Expertise

Dec 10, 2019

Uber Forced to Admit to Thousands of Rapes and Assaults in its Services

Attacks By Drivers For Hire Part of a Much Larger Problem? Attention Los Angeles commuters, especially females, Uber is back in the news. Unfortunately, it's for a simple reason. The now infamous ride-sharing company is on the hook for the story that it allowed thousands of rapes and sexual assaults. Companies like Uber and Lyft attempted to cover up such charges. And that is part of a much larger problem of power and money protecting evil companies. But now it's out in the open. So in just two years, Uber's services saw nearly 6,000 rapes and sexual assaults. 5,981, according to CNN. And the crimes took place between 2017-2018. This includes 464 reports of rape. Astonishingly, the company previously forced victims to clam up about the attacks and sign binding arbitration agreements. "The report showed that about 92% of the victims of rape were riders, and about 7% of the victims were drivers," CNN reported. Uber is likely to release further statements. However, no matter how they spin it, this is a damning report. Also, Uber's poor attitude allows for more assaults. Victims Deserve Justice. Victims of such attacks deserve more than statements from the company. Ridesharing corporations have so far gotten away with allowing these heinous acts for years. It's simply unacceptable. Worse, some people think we have to rely on lawmakers to make the difference. With a few exceptions, the states and the feds are scarcely interested in challenging a top political donor. It's often up to the victims themselves and their families. There is justice, including suing the companies that allowed this and the drivers themselves. Negligence is no excuse. The Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC, is one of the leading experts in ridesharing assault cases in the state of California. We fight for the victims of attacks and don't rest until they win. That is why we promise something simple: if you don't succeed, we don't get paid. We also offer immediate legal service, 24/7. Our firm will travel to you to inform you of your statutory rights. To find out more, and to speak to one of our legal experts, please call or email us immediately.

Jan 6, 2019

The Evil Prank of "Popcorning" and Lawsuits

Disabled man on crutches from popcorning
Photo credit: Daily Mail
I admit it. I am guilty; I laughed when someone sent me a "popcorning" video. But I regretted laughing. Because after I had watched it a few more times, my laughter turned to rage and disgust. This type of prank belongs in the same category as the "Knock Out Game.' But in many of these popcorning cases, there may be a way to get some monetary damages. But most street thugs knocking people out will not always have assets. Exceptions include them being in the course and scope of employment. An example would consist of a McDonald's employee knocking a person out during business hours. Popcorning Defined: Popcorning seems the newest fad that has hit the internet. But it has genuine effects in the real world for bystanders and other innocent people who got pranked. Popcorning begins by taking an unexploded airbag from a motor vehicle. Next, it gets exploded under an unsuspecting victim who sits on the bag, setting it off. But the damages and spine injuries from this practice, make it much more than just a typical college type shenanigan. Popcorning has the makings of a civil and even a criminal battery. Also, it likely was an unconsented to physical contact. Further, it causes injury and harm (Defined Here.) Think about that before you jump on the bandwagon. BEWARE - Airbag Pranks Lead to Serious Injuries! Intended to be just a lighthearted joke, it has led to severe injuries to individuals and property damage. Watch some effects of the practice below. What starts as what you think will be a single small explosion, easily escalates to an explosive, jarring injury. Watch below at 1:16 to see the effects of one on an individual. These injuries could widely range due to these airbag explosions. Some include ruptured eardrums, lacerations, soft tissue damage. Others result in fractured bones and brain damage, or even death. And these injuries are nothing to joke about. They could lead to significant medical bills and emotional trauma. One injury was so severe that a concussion likely followed, as seen below: One of the reasons that such pranks cause so much damage is because pranksters don't believe grave dangers exist. Also, since the victim does not know of the prank, they do not correctly brace themselves. In one case reported in the U.K. Daily Mail, a teenager that took part in popcorning was severely injured. The 19-year-old suffered spinal damage, as described by one of his friends: "I don't think he thought it was going to hurt as much. He couldn't walk after it happened, he lay in the bush for about half an hour. In the end, we picked him up and took him to the hospital in my mate's van." Photo credit: Daily Mail If you or a loved one was hurt in such a prank and suffered injury, do something about it NOW! Don't let the medical bills pile up while you grieve and go along with the joke. Skilled attorneys specialized in prank injuries, such as Ehline Law, will be able to assist. So that means we assess the causes of the injuries, their extent and long-term costs, and your legal rights. Call us today for more information 24/7. After all, we are willing to come to you for a free, no-pressure consultation anywhere in California, and assess how to proceed. Plus, our firm uses experience with similar personal injury claims. And we investigate whether the pranksters, property owner or others, are responsible for your injuries. Also, ff so, we hold them liable in and out of court. After all, often, the prank was on the unsuspecting victim at a garage, business, or in a private home. Sometimes the jokester owns the property, or perhaps a relative does. Also, probably a policy of insurance covers the event. And we injury lawyers go after that money for you. So it's time to get you some money for your suffering, lost work, or lost a loved one. Call us today to speak to one of our caring attorneys. Let's discuss seeking out and finding some insurance coverage or assets. Michael Ehline or his staff may be reached at (213) 596-9642.  

Jan 5, 2019

Is It Time to Ban Dangerous Dogs?

German Shepherd Attacks
German Shepherd Attacks - 3D Render
German Shepherd Attacks - 3D Render A Canine Menace? Recently, authorities shot several animals. The facts show a woman and her son were mauled in Modesto, California. Many consumer attorneys and safety organizations are clamoring for an outright ban on these types of animals. After all, the California government has successfully passed laws banning "assault" weapons, like AR15's. And they did this even though these sporting rifles are used in less than 1% of gun crimes. So it makes sense that the senate and house in the Golden State would outlaw certain types of dogs. After all, these dogs remain responsible for many maimings, deaths, and disfigurement of children. Highlighting the new calls for more dog laws is this most recent and tragic case. According to Stanislaus Sheriff Adam Christianson, the incident took place at approximately 5:45 p.m. in the 800 blocks of Glenn Avenue in Modesto. The Sheriff said emergency officials received several 911 calls reporting the attack. Deputies arriving at the residence found three pit bulls attacking a man. Also, a fourth dog was circling the attack in the man’s backyard, Christianson said. One organization on Facebook remains dedicated to banning pit bulls. Some opine the only way to stop them is to kill them and end their breeding. Use of Deadly Force It appears that the police agree, at least in the most recent instance. The sheriff said deputies shot and killed two of the dogs. Afterward, the other pit bulls became frightened by the gunfire. So they ran to a nearby yard. After securing the backyard where the attack took place, sheriff department investigators found a senior woman located inside of the home. She also was attacked by the pit bulls. The woman had sustained multiple traumatic bite wounds. The Sheriff’s Department did not release the identity of the older woman or man. Deputies set up a perimeter in the neighboring yard. And this was done to contain the other two pit bulls. They, too, were shot and killed. Assault Dogs A Threat to the Community? Both the mauling victims were treated and transported to an area hospital by paramedics at the scene. Officials are still determining who owned the dogs. Christianson said the were acting viciously. Theywere charging the deputies. He stated that they were a threat to the community. According to officials, detectives are investigating witnesses and gathering evidence in conjunction with the Stanislaus County Animal Services. The goal is to find whether other reports of the dog’s bad behavior or attacks exist. Also, authorities are checking the dogs for micro-chipping. One neighbor identified as Celeste Vaughn stated the dogs are known in the community. She also said they have attacked other dogs, but not people. She said she avoided the pit bulls. Compare Pitbulls to an AR15 Sporting Rifle. Authorities said criminal, and civil charges await the pit bull's owner. That is all well and good. But where is the outrage from politicians? I mean, an AR-15 cannot jump off a table and shoot someone. But a dog trained to kill bulls sure can. Isn't it only fair to ban pit bulls, or have their teeth removed? The so-called "high capacity" magazine ban compares to this. This limits how many rounds law-abiding citizens can have in their weapons for self-defense. So why not pull the teeth out of a guard dog's mouth so that only police dogs can have teeth? Only The Government Should Have Guns and Dangerous Dogs? Won't the world be a safer place if only the government has weapons and dangerous dogs? I mean, after all, look at how great King George was. That is what he wanted, right? In any event, this should not be hard to achieve. Also, it will probably garner a lot of votes from soccer moms. Nothing in the Bill of Rights comes close to the "shall not be infringed" language of the Second Amendment. Only the government can have over ten rounds in their firearms in the Golden State. But citizens voted for politicians who, in turn voted to deny their constituents unalienable rights. Of course, this is presented in jest. But this should give us all food for thought. And the outcomes are potentially disastrous ,considering the terrible and unfair state of California law. Legislation on the books already exists to prevent and mitigate dog attacks. Also, dog owners are accountable for recklessness. I will keep you updated on the outcome as the legal cases progress. Modesto Pitbull Attack: How Did Pit Bulls Get Such a Bad Rap?: Ban Pitbulls:

Nov 27, 2018

What Legal Theories Do Lawyers Use to Prove Night Club Bouncer Assault and Unsafe Building Hazards Cases?

Security Guards can be weak
Poorly trained bouncer
Poorly trained bouncer Gatherings at night clubs or bars are a way to have fun with a friend or group of friends. But a barroom brawl or assault was never on anyone's list, right? Also, patrons expect bouncers to keep order and the building to be safe. There are many legal theories lawyers use to prove a case like this. But first, you need to understand some basics, so here we go. Constructive knowledge is the term that indicates such knowledge. But an assessment of what had been happening around the business remains at issue. Failing to provide adequate security doesn't just mean hiring a guard. It also means guarding against dangerous conditions on your property. For example: Consuming alcohol diminishes your inhibitions, and this can lead to problems like tripping at a bar. Slipping and falling on liquid, a chair, or table in a high traffic area of an eatery is a typical scenario we also see. But crimes and bouncer assaults are also a risk of harm to customers. Type of harm suffered in negligence security cases includes: Head trauma Broken bones or sprains. These types of incidents happen due to a defect or failure by the property owner or management. So they fail to maintain the building securely and adequately. The other types of harm that can occur may include criminal conduct in the form of: Assault Battery Rape, and in rare cases, death. What Is The Main Function of Security Guards? Most bouncer attack lawyers will tell you that patrons of a nightclub or bar usually are not concerned with criminal dangers. After all, these establishments typically have security guards, right? The bouncer is another name for "private guard." And their job is to protect you and the club, or bar, etc. If there is a scuffle, they must peacefully try to diffuse the situation. Bouncers are usually large men with presence enough to keep patrons from misbehaving. (Read more here.) So the bouncer is typically the employee who will have contact and cooperate with the police. So the idea is that the bouncer helps police in subduing or responding to a potential crime. But the bouncer is not usually a sworn peace officer. Observe, report, and refrain from using emotions are the duties of a bouncer. And this is no easy task when dealing with patrons who may misbehave. Sometimes customers are out of line and want to test their mixed martial arts skills on the bouncer or another visitor. In other cases, the security guard can step over the edge of their intended functions. So now, rather than controlling dangerous situations, the bouncer makes it worse. If so, liability attaches. What Are Some Examples of Bouncer Assaults? News stories about violent bouncers are nothing new. Most happened in situations where bouncers assaulted patrons of nightclubs or bars. One occurred in Worcester, Massachusetts, where a security guard was arrested for armed robbery, kidnapping, along with assault and battery. In that case, a video went viral on the internet. Witnesses saw the security guard/bouncer punch the patron. Next, he robbed him in the bathroom of a strip club. The bouncer later said he believed the man was dealing drugs in the club. An incident occurred in Muhlenberg Township, Pennsylvania, in a night club saw a bouncer kick a person out of the club. This resulted in the patron hitting his head on the sidewalk. The man required emergency surgery. The charges were assault and endangerment after his arrest. Are Even Vets Not Off Limits? In Lawton Kansas, a veteran was attacked by a bouncer in a night club. The former soldier was beaten to the point that his face was fractured. He required facial reconstructive surgery after being injured by an improvised explosive device. Police suspected this bouncer of two similar assaults that occurred at the same club! In Henderson, Kentucky, a patron ended up dead after complaining about his drink. Police observed a photo that was taken the same night as the altercation, where one of the security team can be seen holding a baton. (Read More Here.) Police believed it was the same baton witnesses claim saw striking the man who had complained about his drink. The bouncer was arrested, charged with murder and released on $50,000 bail. Bouncers harming patron can be charged criminally. And the injured patron may be able to bring a lawsuit against the bouncer and the night club or bar. The bar or night club owner can be held liable for negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligent entrustment (examples include a road rage employee given a company vehicle), negligent hiring, negligent retention, and even dram shop. (depending on your jurisdiction.) In the event of death, all defendants can face a wrongful death lawsuit. What is Security Negligence? When businesses fail to provide the needed security to their customers, it's said that they showed negligence towards security measures. A business that has the public coming within its premises has to offer protection to its customers. In other words, if it is within the knowledge of the business that crimes or even a trip and fall can occur, it becomes a responsibility for business to protect its patrons. If crime causes harm to the patron or his personal property, the business will become held liable. What about when a gang-banger shoots up a club or a disco? Well, if the owner knows it's a possibility, it is a foreseeable crime. In other words, was there a history or knowledge that gang-bangers have caused trouble in the area? If so, liability attaches. From foreseeability we mean that it was in the knowledge of the business (the runners of the business) that a crime can take place. Negligent security happens when bouncers or owners and employees do not adequately perform their functions. So the result is a patron being harmed. Below are some of the most common claims against establishments. The security guard or bouncer failed to take action. The patron was not protected from being harmed. Knowledge of violence by the owner of crimes, or violent behavior of the bouncer can also be used when a bouncer attacks a patron. What is Owner Premises Liability? When a guest of a nightclub or bar is hurt, under the legal theory of premises liability, premises liability in the state of California outlines that the owner of a property must provide reasonably safe conditions. And this duty includes preventing any foreseeable harm to any visitor to the business. Negligent actions by the employees of a bar or nightclub owner in the performance of their duties can make them liable to you. But you must suffer harm. That is what gives rise to your money damages award. For example, liability could exist because security had been alerted to a slippery spill, but it was not cleaned up quickly. So now, another patron has a slip and fall incident with serious injuries. In that case, the owner could be held liable for negligent premises liability. What is the Stance of Defense Counsel? Attorneys for the defense will almost always argue they did not know about any potential problem. They will come up with a litany of excuses to avoid paying for the injuries. So victims at the bar, nightclub, or regular old corporate offices have to prove the case. We just discussed that courts would look for whether or not a duty is owed. The defense will argue that even if the task was breached, it was not foreseeable. So no liability lies even if someone was hurt from a crime. Plus, the mere fact a crime took place while you were hanging out matters not since it was not a PSI. If those basic things are not present, the jury instructions will provide the framework to the trier of fact to find zero or partial liability. “Series 1000 – Premises Liability 1000. Premises Liability—Essential Factual Elements 1001. Basic Duty of Care 1002. Extent of Control Over Premises Area 1003. Unsafe Conditions 1004. Obviously Unsafe Conditions 1005. Business Proprietor’s Liability for the Negligent/Intentional/Criminal Conduct of Others 1006. Landlord’s Duty 1007. Sidewalk Abutting Property 1008. Liability for Adjacent Altered Sidewalk—Essential Factual Elements 1009A. Liability to Employees of Independent Contractors for Unsafe Concealed Conditions 1009B. Liability to Employees of Independent Contractors for Unsafe Conditions—Retained Control 1009C. Reserved for Future Use 1009D. Liability to Employees of Independent Contractors for Unsafe Conditions—Defective Equipment 1010. Affirmative Defense—Recreation Immunity (Civ. Code, § 846) 1011. Constructive Notice Regarding Dangerous Conditions on Property 1012. Knowledge of Employee Imputed to Owner 1013–1099. Reserved for Future Use VF-1000. Premises Liability—Comparative Negligence of Others Not at Issue VF-1001. Premises Liability—Affirmative Defense—Recreation Immunity VF-1002. Premises Liability—Comparative Fault of Plaintiff at Issue VF-1003–VF-1099. Reserved for Future Use” What's The Foreseeability Of Crime Test? Whether the victim will win in a case where a third party committed a crime against you, majorly depends on proving the Foreseeability of the crime.  Most of this test comes from case law. But some courts have different thresholds and variations of this test in California. But none the less, this is the threshold you must meet. And if not, the court could dismiss your case with or without prejudice to you re-filing the case. So naturally, a real personal injury warrior will note that this is a critical element. This must become nailed down before you consider moving forward with your lawsuit. From Foreseeability, we mean that it was in the knowledge of the business (the runners of the company) that a crime can take place at or near the site. What About the Businesses' Knowledge of Prior Crimes or Accidents to Show Foreseeability? So it's implied sometimes that the business knew or should have known about a crime or other dangers on the premises. Examples of noncriminal events giving rise to landlord liability could be where could be: Falling objects. For example, a ceiling fixture breaking loose from its anchors and falling on your head. The trash in a parking area. This type of rubbish can hide or block liquid and grease, causing a slip, trip, and fall case. But how do you show the owner knew or should have known about the criminal or civil dangers to guests. Well, one way is to show they understood the ceiling was collapsing, or the trash in the garage was a fall hazard. However, most of the time, it is not that easy.  Most of the time, we lawyers use the concept of constructive or implied knowledge. Constructive knowledge is the term that indicates such understanding. It is to become assessed in these cases what had been happening around the business in the past. Any crime that took place in the past that indicated that a crime might take place is enough reason for a business to take security measures. How recently a crime had taken place in the vicinity of the business where the victim has suffered harm. This is also of importance in deciding the Foreseeability of the crime. Prior knowledge Test - Used to Prove: Falling objects Drowning in a public or private pool Slipping, tripping and falling on public or private sidewalks Various burn injuries in your workplace Negligent Maintenance of roadway crashes, etc. Foreseeability Matters? Yes, this is key in most cases. So liability could lie if the incident that harmed you was similar to ones that had taken place in the past. But they must be in the proximity of the business or premises. It could be said the owner should have foreseen similar scenarios in the future. Also discussed below is another crucial factor when proving the Foreseeability of a crime or even a slippery floor case. Prior Similar Incidents are what lawyers look for to sue. What are Prior Similar Incidents or PSI? The similarity between the incidents that took place in the past and the plaintiff case remains essential. PSI or prior similar incidents can show it was avoidable if not but for owner negligence. Similarity Of Cases And Foreseeability There is quite a debate and controversy in many court cases over PSI. Different state judges are of different opinions. Some judges believe that only natural and similar crimes could allow a business to foresee an imminent danger. Under this jurisdictional split, the company is liable if there was a very same type of crime, for example. Even if it's a high crime area, a rape of a female patron next door will not give rise to knowledge, criminals will assault a male customer at your business, for example. So if, for example, a past a robbery had taken place in the nearby store, that would not instantly prove security negligence unless there was a similar robbery at your location. But if it's not similar enough, you can lose. So to prove the Foreseeability of the crime, it had to be similar in nature. Get it so far? PSI theory accepted by all courts? No! Some courts in California contradict this theory of PSI. These judges say even if the crime is dissimilar, the fact there was a high crime at all was enough notice to necessitate security. But some courts have given decisions in the favor victims even in dissimilar cases. What is The Stance Of The Plaintiff In Security Negligence Case? From the above information, we can easily conclude that any victim who wants to prove that a business' security negligent must come up with ample evidence to show past crime or PSI. But you must show the company knew or should have known about the possibility of the crime at the minimum. The plaintiff will have to collect information about past cases.  It is always best that the plaintiff collects information about similar cases. But bear in mind some courts think any crimes in the vicinity of the business should have encouraged security measures. Security Negligence Cases In Los Angeles. Los Angeles is one of the most populous regions in the U.S. Crimes are taking place in this area every minute. Were you part of an incident, suffering harm? Also, while at the premises, was your property damaged? If so, you should contact an experienced law firm as soon as possible. Citations:   The Free Dictionary Foreseeability legal definition of Foreseeability   Foreseeability | Nolo's Free Dictionary of Law Terms and Legal Definitions How Do Dram Shop Laws Apply? Noteworthy, Dram shop laws are on the books in 42 states and the District of Columbia. These laws hold the owner of the establishment and servers responsible in some cases. And examples include a drunken patron injuring another person inside or even outside of their establishment. So, in that case, the bar or nightclub owners and servers may be held liable. And this remains true if they permit a patron to become visibly intoxicated at the establishment. But California uses the foreseeability test, not Dramshop laws. What are the Wrongful Death Dangers? When there is an incident at a nightclub or bar that kills a patron, it could be from negligence. So, you can sue in wrongful death. Of particular interest, California cases are brought by the spouse, children, grandchildren, domestic partner, other dependents. And the personal representatives of the decedent may also sue. Two things will determine if damages get awarded to the heirs. The monetary loss involves financial support for the victim. This is what the dead person would have provided had they lived. And this will include funeral and burial expenses. Non-pecuniary damages are the loss of moral support, comfort, companionship, assistance in Maintenance. And it can include other damages caused by death. What About Punitive Damages? But the one damage that heirs will not usually recover in a wrongful death lawsuit is punitive damages. What About a Survivor's Action? So if the dead person was hospitalized and had medical expenses, the decedent's estate may bring a survivor's lawsuit. This is done on behalf of the deceased victim's estate. How Do You Protect the Rights of Patrons? Above, we discussed the various types of cases, statistics, and legal theories lawyers use to prove a negligent security case. Now that you understand more about your rights, you need to make a decision. Should you consult with a lawyer? We think so. An incident resulting in harm can have life-changing consequences. Call Ehline Law Firm now to learn more at (213) 596-9642.