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7 posts from February 2013

February 24, 2013

Mishandling of Corpses: Your Right to Sue

Corpse 002 ripThe death of a loved one is by far one of the saddest and toughest experiences that we will ever go through.

When a loved one passes, his or her body deserves to be treated with love, respect and dignity.  They deserve to rest in peace.

We expect that a funeral home, funeral directors, creamatoria and all of their staff members are going to care for our departed loved ones with the utmost sensitivity and care.

We don’t expect them to add to our grief and emotional pain by mishandling the remains of our loved ones and causing emotional distress to those of us left behind.

What Is Emotional Distress?

Emotional distress includes suffering, anguish, fright, horror, nervousness, grief, anxiety, worry, shock, humiliation, and shame. Serious emotional distress exists if an ordinary, reasonable person would be unable to cope with it. (California Civil Jury Instruction 1620)

Your Special Relationship With The Mortuary

When a mortuary agrees to provide funeral services and burial or cremation of our loved one, a special relationship is created between that mortuary and the close relatives of the person that has passed.  That special relationship creates a duty on the mortuary to perform the funeral-related “services in a dignified and respectful manner that the bereaved expect of mortuary and crematory operators.”

There was a case back in 1991 which was heard and decided by the California Supreme Court entitled Christensen vs. Superior Court of Los Angeles (click here to read the case).  Basically, from 1980-1987 several mortuaries and crematoria desecrated the human remains of some 16,500 bodies entrusted to them by the bereaved families. 

And what did these mortuaries and crematoria do to these bodies?  These were your worst nightmares come true.

  1. Pulled the gold from the decedents’ teeth with pliers. This heinous act is known as “popping chops” or “making the pliers sing” throughout the industry.
  2. Removed and sold hearts, eyes, corneas, brains and other body parts and sold them to companies for commercial distribution.
  3. Cremated the bodies of numerous decedents together and placed the remains in 55 gallon oil drums from which they were distributed to the bereaved families

The court ruled that If the mortuary and crematory staff mishandle the remains of our loved ones, then they have breached their duty of care and are liable to the close family members for the emotional distress that they create by their acts.

Mishandling of the remains of loved ones continues today

You and your family may be able to sue the mortuary, funeral director, crematorium, etc., for emotional distress should the remains of your loved one be mishandled by those to whom you have entrusted them.  Examples:

  1. Improper embalming: Techniques that cause premature decomposition of the body, especially when the body of your loved one is going to be presented in an open-casket funeral
  2. Not properly refrigerating the body immediately following death but before embalming can lead to rapid decomposition
  3. Commingling of ashes: putting several bodies in the same crematorium during the same burn cycle, undermining the respect due your loved one
  4. Selling body parts
  5. Not disposing of the body in a manner authorized by you

Read the National Funeral Director Association's Code of

Professional Conduct and Enforcement Procedures

Honoring Your Loved One's Memory

If you believe that the remains of a deceased family member have been mishandled the please contact me for a free consultation.  I'm a California Personal Injury lawyer and I'm here for you.

Call me 002

(877) 487-8221

Email me now 001[email protected]

LS 2012

All Consultations Are Free

February 15, 2013

Five Immediate Steps You Should Take After an Accident or Injury

You’re going to need the advice and representation of a personal injury attorney if you’re injured in California.  Chances are, though, you’re not going to be hiring an attorney within the first few hours of the incident. 

So, with or without an attorney, here are Five Very Important Steps you should take immediately after an accident or injury.

Step One: Don’t Discuss The Incident With the Other Party or Their Representative

Steps 003 silenceThe other party, or their representative (usually an insurance company adjuster or investigator) may try to get to you to answer questions soon after the incident – oftentimes within hours.  Statements that you make at the time of the accident or following the accident could be used against you as the case unfolds.

Do not talk to the other party or their representative with your attorney present!

Step Two: Seek Immediate Medical Attention 

Steps 002 medicalIf you’ve been injured, or there is a possibility that you’ve been injured, get thee to a doctor, emergency room or an urgent care facility immediately.  Be sure that the medical practitioner documents your injuries and the fact that you’ve just been involved in an accident (or fall, or dog bite, etc.)


Step Three: Write Things Down 

Steps 003 write it downIt’s natural for our memories to fade with the passage of time.  We’re all human.  Make written notes so that you can refresh your memory about the incident.  In California, some cases don’t get to court for years.   Defense attorneys (the lawyers who are going to try to gut your case) will do their best to paint you as a liar or exaggerator if you don’t have a great recollection of the incident.

Step Four: Save The Evidence

You want to be sure, to the extent possible, that evidence is preserved.  Evidence is essential in proving your case down the line!

Do not lose, alter or destroy evidence!

Steps 001 evidence
Vehicle Accident: Repair work should not be started until detailed pictures have been taken of your vehicle (car, truck, bicycle, motorcycle, etc.)

Dangerous or Defective Product: Save the product and its parts (for example, if a bottle breaks, save the broken pieces!).  Keep the box in which it came.  Save the receipt!

Dog Bite or Animal Attack: Save the torn clothing and any other evidence of the attack.  Don’t wash the clothes you were wearing.

Slip and Fall  / Trip and Fall: Keep the shoes you were wearing, do not throw them out and do not keep wearing them.  You will want to keep them in the condition that they were in at the time of your fall.  In other words: Don’t wear, repair or throw them out until your case is settled!

Step Five: Take Pictures of Your Injuries

Steps 001 picturesTake pictures of all parts of your anatomy that show signs of injury before the healing process begins.  Date the pictures accordingly (be sure that your digital camera has the right date!).  Then take daily pictures of your injuries.

If you have scarring, be sure to get pictures.  If you’re going to have the scars surgically removed or reduced, be sure to take before and after pictures.

In some situations, your lawyer may hire a professional medical photographer to take these pictures.



I represent people who have been injured due to the carelessness of others.  It's my job to take the pressure off of you so that you are free to heal.

Call me 002

(877) 487-8221

Email me now 001[email protected]

LS 2012

All Consultations Are Free

February 10, 2013

Shame on Lance Armstrong - and he's got the lawsuits to prove it

Armstrong 001

Oprah Winfrey gave Lance Armstrong the opportunity to come clean about his doping past.  He told Oprah that he was never afraid of getting caught and attributed his actions to a "ruthless desire to win."

Read the NPR article Lance Armstrong Admits to Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Do you care whether Lance Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs? 

He cheated, he lied but, actually, I don’t care that he chose to destroy his body.  I’m guessing that he wasn’t the only one doing it.  So, as they say, caveat emptor.


What I DO care about is that he took people down, in a big way, in order to perpetuate his lies.  He sued people, ruined people and lied under oath to keep the lie alive.  He was a heartless bully whose need to keep it all going knew no bounds. 

Natural News (.com) published an insightful article Lance Armstrong empire implodes under mountain of lies, intimidation, doping and betrayal back in October 2012

            Armstrong 002Shame on him.

            This will cost him.  He’s now the subject of two lawsuits and I’m sure there will be more.


SCA Promotions vs Lance Armstrong, et al

SCA Promotions is suing Armstrong for $12 Million.  Read the New York Times article here.  Here’s a nice highlight, sort of sums everything up: 

Armstrong 003 tillotsonJeffrey Tillotson, a lawyer for SCA, said that Armstrong and his representatives were “confident and cocky” back then that Armstrong would never be stripped of his titles.

“They never thought this would happen,” he said. “It was like they were saying, ‘If you can find a unicorn and produce him, of course we will give you your money back.’ To them, losing those titles was unimaginable.”

Class Action: Readers Sue Lance Armstrong

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Sacramento, said the plaintiffs "would not have purchased the books had they known the true facts concerning Armstrong's misconduct and his admitted involvement in a sports doping scandal."

"It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life" in 2000 and "Every Second Counts" in 2003 are the works in question.

Read the Los Angeles Times article here

Don't be bashful.  What are your thoughts?

Underinsured Motorist Causes Injury. Now What?

    Time and again people are severely injured in a car accident and the at-fault party has insurance but not enough insurance to compensate the victim.

Uim uninsured 001    Well, if you're the victim and have Uninsured Motorist Coverage in California then it becomes Underinsured Motorist Coverage.  The legality and logistics of Underinsured Motorist Coverage can be quite tricky so you will want to consult a California Personal Injury lawyer in this regard.  Basically, your car insurance provider "steps into the shoes" of the at-fault driver and, without increasing your premiums, affords you more coverage.

Peggy Gets Rear-endedReal Life Example

                My client, Peggy (not her real name), was minding her own business at a stop light when a driver, let's call him "Texting Bob", smashed into the rear of her brand new VW Bug, totaling it and sending Peggy to the hospital.

Uim texting 001
                The hit was so hard that it blew out a disk in Peggy’s neck.  Peggy had to undergo surgery to remove and replace the disc in her neck.  Apparently Bob invested significant money in his iPhone but not in his automobile liability insurance. 

                Peggy’s medical bills were $105,000.  Bob had a $25,000 policy limit.  Bob’s insurance immediately offered the $25,000 to settle the case. 

                Peggy had Uninsured Motorist Coverage in the amount of $500,000.  I spoke with Peggy’s insurance carrier and asked what it was that they needed, in particular, to open an Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claim for Peggy.

                Her carrier wanted a certified copy of Bob’s Declarations Page, a declaration under penalty of perjury that he carried no other applicable insurance, a copy of the signed Release of All Claims and a copy of the Settlement Check for $25,000.

                My office provided all of the requested documents along with the relevant medical documentation including reports, chart notes and bills along with a demand to Peggy’s insurance carrier that, due to the seriousness of her injuries and treatment, they pay the $500,000 policy limit.

                After several rounds of negotiations, fighting, arguing and legal wrangling, Peggy’s insurance carrier offered the $500,000 less an offset (to which they are legally entitled) for the $25,000 paid by Texting Bob’s insurance. 

Uim settlement 001                If Peggy didn’t have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, she would have been out of luck because Texting Bob had no more insurance, no significant assets (we did an asset check) and worked at a low-paying job.  Essentially, Texting Bob was judgment proof.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

Call or E-Mail Me to Discuss Your Auto Insurance Coverage

                It is so important to have the proper insurance coverage in California.  My practice focuses on personal injury so car insurance is something with which I’m intimately familiar.  Even if you’re not a current or past client, I am more than happy to sit down with you in person, by phone or by e-mail, and discuss your car insurance coverage BEFORE YOU NEED IT.

                This is so important that I’m happy to provide you with this consultation without charge.

  Call me 002

(877) 487-8221

Email me now 001[email protected]

LS 2012

February 08, 2013

Free Consultation With a California Personal Injury Lawyer

    Being injured in a serious accident or losing a loved one due to negligence is an unexpected event that shakes your foundation right out from under you. I'm here to help you get through this traumatic, life-changing event.

Fc legal rights
    Our first meeting is the first step in determining your legal rights.  You’ll have a lot of questions for me, I’ll have a lot of questions for you. 

    In order to make the most of our first meeting together, I’ll be asking you to bring some things with you.  I know that you may have all or none of what I request so don’t stress yourself.  Once I’m representing you, my office will be able to get whatever you don’t have.

    If you can e-mail or fax some these things in advance of our meeting, great!  If not, bring them with you


  • Fc insurance 001
  • Fc insurance 002
  • Fc medical bill 001
  • Fc medical bill 002
  • Fc paycheck 001
  • Fc scene 001
  • Fc witness 001
Fc witness 001

CAVIAT: it’s very likely that some of the things that I’m requesting may not yet be available!!!

  • Names, addresses, phone, e-mail of those involved in the accident and their insurance information (policy number; claim number)
  • Names, addresses, phone, e-mail of witnesses
  • Written statements by you, the other party and/or witnesses
  • Police reports
  • Pictures of accident scene, vehicles or objects involved
  • Pictures of your injuries
  • Evidence of the accident such as torn clothing, broken or damaged instruments or equipment
  • Medical and hospital reports
  • Medical bills
  • Repair estimates
  • Rental bills
  • Documentation of lost earnings (pay stubs; employer information)
  • Insurance policies or declarations pages

  LS 2012

Please call or e-mail me

I'm here for you

(877) 487-8221 Toll Free

[email protected]


February 07, 2013

Motorcycle Helmets: California Personal Lawyer Says “Who Needs ‘Em?”

    Hey, our brains are a good thing.  For us to survive, we need them to stay undamaged.  So there is a law in California designed for that purpose.  In fact, California Vehicle Code Section 27803(a) requires that “a driver and any passenger shall wear a safety helmet meeting requirements established pursuant to Section 27802 when riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.”



  • Motorcycle helmet 003
  • Motorcycle helmet 001
  • Motorcycle helmet 002
Motorcycle helmet 002



    What’s the reasoning behind the law?  Simple.  Section (g) states “it is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that all persons are provided with an additional safety benefit while riding or operating a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or motorized bicycle.”

    Motorcycle helmets help protect your most valuable asset: Your Brain!

Love your brain
    A June 2012 report by the Centers for Disease Control states "Helmet use consistently has been shown to reduce motorcycle crash–related injuries and deaths." Read article here

    The CDC article "Motorcycle Safety" is a short piece chock full of great motorcycle safety tips for riders and passengers:

  • Always wear a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Never ride your motorcycle after drinking. Alcohol greatly impairs your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi.
  • Don't let friends ride impaired. Take their keys away.
  • Wear protective clothing that provides some level of injury protection. Upper body clothing should also include bright colors or reflective materials, so that other motorists can more easily see you.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.

Please call or e-mail me (consultations are ALWAYS free) if you have any questions or concerns related to motorcycle accidents or safety.  In my 14 years as a personal injury lawyer, I've represented many motorcyclists who've suffered injuries from broken bones to traumatic brain injury

LS 2012
(877) 487-8221 Toll Free

February 06, 2013

A California Personal Injury Lawyer's Perspective on Accidents

                A California personal injury case can take on many forms.  If you, or someone you love, has been injured in any one of the following situations, you may have a personal injury case worth pursuing. 

  • Car accident 002
  • Bike accident 001
  • Bike accident 003
  • Bus accident 001
  • Train accident 001
  • Vicious dog 001
Vicious dog 001



  • Assault Injuries
  • Bicycle Accident
  • Bus Accident
  • Car Accident
  • Dangerous Product
  • Defective Product
  • Dog Bite / Animal Attack
  • Elevator / Escalator Accident
  • False Arrest
  • Medical Negligence
  • Motorcycle Accident
  • Nursing Home Neglect / Abuse
  • Pedestrian Accident
  • Railroad Crossing Accident
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Slip & Fall Accident
  • Trip & Fall Accident
  • Truck Accident
  • Wrongful Death

Call me to discuss whether you have a personal injury case.  Consultations are free and unlike a vicious dog, I won’t bite! (But I will give you my undivided attention).

LS 2012

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