Girardi | Keese

Los Angeles Personal Injury Law Blog

No One, Certainly Not Apple, Will Force Our Hand in Eliminating Texting While Driving

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In 2013, teenager Ashley Kubiak was in her Dodge Ram truck, speeding down a Texas highway. She was distracted, checking messages on her iPhone. She didn't see the SUV until it was too late, and the crash left the driver and passenger dead, along with a child in the vehicle paralyzed.

Crashes like this prompt a somewhat novel question: Should companies like Apple stop people from using their phones, like checking messages and texting, while behind the wheel?

The technology to do it is out there, but it's not yet being done, and some people want to know why.

Gov. Brown Just Signed a Law That Makes a Big Difference to California Workers

"Choice of Law"


This may sound like a dry topic; it's anything but, especially when your back is up against the wall in an employment dispute. The issue is venue - as in, where disputes get resolved, and how one decides on that location.

In very general terms, legal disputes are resolved where they arose.

But what happens when signing a contract is an explicit condition of employment? And the contract so happens to contain an arbitration clause that requires California employees to resolve disputes outside California?

Talk about inconvenience. You could even use the word injustice.

FDA Bans Antibacterial Hand Soap in Effort to Rid Marketplace of 19 Different Chemicals


Sabrina Tavernise with the New York Times reports that the FDA has banned the sale of many antibacterial soaps, in a rule that goes back to 2013, when the federal agency first introduced it. Tavernise quotes scientist Rolf Halden, who works for Arizona State University: "It has boggled my mind why we were clinging to these compounds, and now that they are gone I feel liberated."

Well, they're not quite gone yet. At least when it comes to the chemicals. 

Wells Fargo Settles with City of Los Angeles for $185 Million

The bank agreed to pay for employees who opened fake accounts under customers' names to meet sales goals.

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Earlier this month, banking giant Wells Fargo settled for $185 million with the city of Los Angeles after it was found the bank was opening accounts without the knowledge of their customers.

The city of Los Angeles, joined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the office of the Comptroller of the Currency, reached the settlement Sept. 8. Wells Fargo will pay $185 million in fines, plus $5 million in customer refunds.

Warfarin vs. Xarelto: Is One Safer?

Well-known and widely used anticoagulants, including Xarelto and Warfarin, are used to help individuals with serious conditions including stroke and pulmonary embolism thin their blood. Among other less serious side effects, the most concerning is internal bleeding.

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What is an anticoagulant?

Anticoagulant drugs, or blood thinners, do just that: they thin the blood and prevent clots from forming. Clots often occur in veins and arteries, which can lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism and stroke among other complications. Blood can clot because of different kinds of cancer and their treatment methods, as well as various lifestyle risk factors including: 

Energy at Any Cost? The Standing Rock Sioux Say No

From Hinkley to North Dakota: When will the environment start to matter?


When Pacific Gas and Electric Company polluted the groundwater of Hinkley, Calif., in the 1950s and 1960s, people suffered greatly for decades. Cancer and other serious ailments afflicted Hinkley residents. Many were sickened, and some lost their lives, from the cancer-causing agent chromium-6, used as part of PG&E's natural gas pipeline project.

It came to be known colloquially as the Erin Brockovich case (popularized by the movie of the same name), after the consumer activist who rallied for the residents of Hinkley. The case illustrates why it's so important to protect our environment.

And this is not just a "tree-hugging" notion to dismiss out of hand.

McDonald's Children's Toy Recalled; Causes Burns

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McDonald's has voluntarily recalled an activity tracker toy included in Happy Meals last month due to reports of skin irritation and even burns. The fast food restaurant chain is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada to formerly recall the defective items and ensure that were given out before McDonald's pulled them aren't being used.

The company had received over 70 complaints, including some on social media, that the STEP-iT Activity Bands were causing burns, blisters, and other skin irritations after being worn for as briefly as eight minutes.

Pregnant Women Face Health Care Shortage

pregnant woman illustration.jpgExpecting families here in California are experiencing extreme wait and travel times to see obstetrician-gynecologists and nurse midwives. California Assemblywoman Autumn Burke has said, "there are women in California who have to drive hours in order to see an ob-gyn." Concerns have grown exponentially for the health of expectant mothers, and several states are currently considering laws to help with the problem.

Causes of the shortage

University of New Mexico professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Willam Rayburn, points out that the problem is very simple: the population is growing faster than ob-gyns can be trained. The female population is expected to grow 18% in the United States from 2010 to 2030, and with that growth comes a sharp increase of births.

Immigration Status No Longer Affects an Injury Verdict

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This month brought a major win for undocumented immigrants and civil rights activists in California. AB 2159 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Aug. 17, which effectively blocks a plaintiff's immigration status as admissible in court during personal injury and wrongful death cases. Regardless of a person's immigration status, this law ensures a greater measure of justice for undocumented workers.


The law is based on an appellate court decision from 1986, Rodriguez v. Kline - an injured plaintiff was seeking compensation that included healthcare costs and damages for the loss of future work. The court ruled to use the plaintiff's immigration status as a key factor in the case, using their "home" country as a basis to calculate lost wages rather than their wages and medical care costs in the United States. If a person was wrongfully injured as an undocumented immigrant, they could potentially receive a fraction of the compensation they would if they were documented. This discouraged many immigrants from filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit in California, fearing they wouldn't be fairly compensated and that their immigration status would be on the public record.

Poor Design = Poor Outcomes: From the Jeep Grand Cherokee to the Space Shuttle

space shuttle.jpgYou trust companies to put safe products into the marketplace, but that doesn't always happen. From time to time, unsafe or poorly designed products make it to market, with the potential to cause serious injury or death. By no means is this a new phenomenon, as you will see in the recent examples below.


The Soto Verdict

Girardi | Keese attorneys have won a $2.3M verdict for a Long Beach resident run over by a Parks & Rec truck. Read more here.

The Madero Verdict

Attorney Christopher T. Aumais persuaded a San Bernardino County jury to deliver an  exceptionally high verdict in an area known for low jury awards.

A Champion of Justice

Partner Amy Fisch Solomon was a Champion of Justice in 2015, proving that success in law isn't just about the size of your verdict or settlement.

Own a VW Diesel?

Read about VW's emissions scandal and 
our class action against the automaker.



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