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San Francisco Wrongful Death Law Blog

Bus driver charges in wrongful death of 4 passengers

Criminal charges may be only the beginning of the trouble ahead for the driver of a tour bus that met a deadly end one year ago this month. A district attorney in California recently announced a string of charges against the man at the wheel when the bus veered off the road, killing four. It is not uncommon for the families of those who lose their lives in commercial vehicle accidents to investigate the options for filing wrongful death lawsuits against those believed responsible for the tragedies.

The charter bus was passing through California on its way to another state when it left the roadway and plowed into a telephone pole, nearly slicing the vehicle in half. Four of the 26 passengers were crushed as the pole passed through the bus, and dozens others suffered injuries, including limb amputations. Witnesses say the bus had been weaving across lanes for several miles before it crashed.

Wrongful death or wrongful injury? It could make a big difference

A tragic case is gaining attention in California. A young girl hangs in the void between being alive and dead. If she is dead, her family will pursue a wrongful death claim against the hospital that they claim caused her injury. However, if she is alive, the claim would change to a wrongful injury. Now, a court must decide.

According to a report, the girl suffered injury during a throat surgery procedure in a California hospital. The surgery went awry and the child suffered severe brain injury. This resulted in her being declared dead in Dec. 2013. However, her family did not accept that declaration and have been fighting to change it in the years since.

When a manufacturer's mistake turns into a wrongful death claim

The Food and Drug Administration imposes rules and regulations on the manufacturers of the food, drinks and drugs that you consume. However, that does not stop manufacturers of these products from making critical errors during the manufacturing process that could put you and your family in harm's way. Some of those mistakes could end in your filing a wrongful death claim in a California civil court.

When mistakes occur, they are often not discovered until the products are already in the marketplace, purchased and consumed. Recalls are issued when a problem is found, but by then, the products subject to the recall have more than likely made it into homes across the country. Whether a consumer such as you or a member of your family hears about the recall in time is questionable.

Wrongful death claim against tennis star Venus Williams

Venus Williams, the tennis megastar, has remained at the top of the pro tour for many years. She is a five-time winner of Wimbledon, and at age 37, has made it to this year's finals. Many tennis fans in California will be rooting for her. Unfortunately, she's also the defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against her in another state. 

Williams and an elderly couple were involved in a two-car crash recently. According to reports of the accident, Williams' SUV was struck by another vehicle when both cars were in an intersection. What remains in dispute is whether Williams caused the crash by running a red light. Police now say Williams entered the intersection lawfully.

Drowning accident may be case of wrongful death

Every year, thousands of California residents flock to pools, spas, beaches and other locations to enjoy the day. Others take to the waterways for a day of boating, tubing or skiing. Most of the time, these occasions are fun-filled and end with everyone looking forward to the next opportunity. However, sometimes the unthinkable happens and someone drowns. Many times this is a simple accident; however, at other times it is the result of someone else's negligence, and a claim for wrongful death can be made.

Many individuals and families enjoy the day at their community or country club pool. These facilities usually provide the security of on-duty lifeguards. However, if the lifeguards are distracted or otherwise engaged, they may not be paying attention to someone in trouble. In other cases, the pool or property may not be appropriately maintained. If someone drowns, it may be determined that negligence contributed to a wrongful death.

Wrongful death claim follows overdose at 2015 music festival

Two years ago, a 24-year-old California man attended the Electric Daisy Carnival in another state and never returned home. The young man died that night from a drug overdose. His parents have now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the promoters of the event who are based in Beverly Hills.

Reportedly, the event was held in searing heat, and over 100,000 people attended the festival. According to the complaint, the parents accuse the defendants of failing to provide sufficient medical staff, based on the attendance figures. The man apparently overdosed on Ecstasy while he was at the music festival.

Chiropractor visit leads to wrongful death claim

Back pain, shoulder pain, a pinched nerve – these are all reasons why a California resident may decide to visit a chiropractor. Typically, the chiropractor will perform x-rays on a new patient and then recommend treatment. Treatment usually consists of manual adjustments to the patient's body in order to relieve the pain and provide proper alignment. A patient goes to the chiropractor seeking relief rather than the possibility of becoming a victim of wrongful death.

However, in February 2016, one family claims that a chiropractor visit is what led to the death of model Katie May. Apparently, the 34-year-old mother suffered injury due to a fall at a photo shoot. In an effort to find relief, she visited her chiropractor for what she believed was a pinched nerve.

Wrongful death claim settled for over $1 million

In the typical California traffic stop, a law enforcement officer signals for the individual to stop. After stopping, the individual and officer have a conversation and the end result is usually a ticket. At times, the individual may end up accompanying the officer to the police station. Unfortunately, sometimes something goes wrong in the interaction between the motorist and the police officer, and someone gets hurt or even killed. One such incident resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit that was recently settled.

In May 2014, a father was stopped by local police officers. Apparently during this traffic stop, something went wrong, and officers decided to restrain the man. It appears that they then used a Taser on him, causing him to lose consciousness. The man died while detained by police.

Texting and driving can lead to wrongful death

It may come across as a single sound, a series of musical tones or any number of other indicators. Regardless, one is notified that a text message is waiting. When not involved in something more important, the individual will most likely want to go ahead and check the message. However, if the individual is driving, that small act can have deadly consequences that end up in a wrongful death claim in a California court.

The average driver knows that any form of distracted driving is not a good idea. However, there is often a vast difference between what one knows and what one does. Sometimes that message is just too tempting.

Wrongful death claim filed again nursing home owner

After an injury or illness that requires hospitalization, it is possible that an individual will be placed in a California nursing home or treatment facility until ready to return home. While a resident in one of these facilities, it is assumed that the individual will receive the care needed to recuperate and recover. Unfortunately, several California facilities have recently come under scrutiny and are now answering to complaints of wrongful death.

In 2014, a 68-year-old mother was released from the hospital after complaining of chest pains. She was placed in a nursing facility to give her the opportunity to recuperate and rehabilitate. Rather than get better, she developed pneumonia and suffered dehydration. Five weeks after being placed in the facility, she died.

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