Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP http://www.kbklawyers.com Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP — Full Service Plaintiff’s Law Firm Fri, 11 May 2018 17:41:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 How Safe are Amusement Park Rides? http://www.kbklawyers.com/how-safe-are-amusement-park-rides/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/how-safe-are-amusement-park-rides/#respond Fri, 11 May 2018 17:35:57 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19061 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck May 11, 2018 America’s amusement parks are huge attractions, drawing tourists from around the world, especially during the spring and summer months. While many people have happy childhood memories of going to theme parks, there are thousands of children injured each year due to poorly maintained or dangerously designed roller coasters, water slides and spinning rides. Several high-profile injuries and deaths at amusement parks has put a spotlight on ride safety. In July 2017, a ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned, killing one man and sending at least seven others to the hospital. In August of 2016, a 10-year-old boy was decapitated while riding the world’s tallest water slide, the Verrückt slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. Currently, there are no federal regulations for investigating the rides at water parks and amusement parks. Mobile rides, like those found at circuses and traveling carnivals, can be inspected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, but theme parks with permanent rides like roller coasters and water slides are exempt from federal oversight. All theme parks with permanent rides, however, must disclose ride-related injuries that require immediate hospital stays. Some of the most common […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck

May 11, 2018

America’s amusement parks are huge attractions, drawing tourists from around the world, especially during the spring and summer months. While many people have happy childhood memories of going to theme parks, there are thousands of children injured each year due to poorly maintained or dangerously designed roller coasters, water slides and spinning rides.

Several high-profile injuries and deaths at amusement parks has put a spotlight on ride safety. In July 2017, a ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned, killing one man and sending at least seven others to the hospital. In August of 2016, a 10-year-old boy was decapitated while riding the world’s tallest water slide, the Verrückt slide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. Currently, there are no federal regulations for investigating the rides at water parks and amusement parks. Mobile rides, like those found at circuses and traveling carnivals, can be inspected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, but theme parks with permanent rides like roller coasters and water slides are exempt from federal oversight. All theme parks with permanent rides, however, must disclose ride-related injuries that require immediate hospital stays.

Some of the most common injuries are head, neck, and back injuries, which result from being whipped around on roller coasters, spinning rides, or rides that travel at high velocity. In some cases, lacerations, broken bones, and torn ligaments can occur. In more severe scenarios, amusement park and water park accidents have caused traumatic brain injuries, ruptured brain aneurysms, drowning, and death.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) there are several ways that injuries can occur. Mechanical failure can happen when the lap bar detaches mid-ride, a roller coaster car detaches, or a ride component breaks. Mechanical failure could be caused by a manufacturing defect or the park’s failure to maintain the ride. Operator error is another way injuries occur. For example, if the operator abruptly stops the ride or incorrectly latches a seatbelt, a person may sustain physical injuries, or worse, be ejected from the ride. Another common cause of injury is when a passenger misuses or fails to follow the operator’s instructions. An example of this can be when a rider intentionally rocks a car, stands up mid-ride, unlatches safety restraints, sits improperly, or holds a child above the safety restraint. Even without any mechanical defect, operation error, or rider misuse, an amusement park ride may still cause an injury simply because of the nature of the ride itself. For example, according to the CPSC, consumers have reported cases of cerebral and retinal hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, loss of consciousness, headache, and dizziness associated with the extremely rapid spinning of some amusement park rides.

Amusement parks are responsible for giving their customers a safe environment. An amusement park can be found liable for injuries to their customers in a few ways. If a park failed to act with reasonable care, such as failing to maintain or inspect a piece of equipment, and that failure causes injury, the park could be found liable for negligence. Other examples of negligence include: failure to give proper instructions to rider, not providing appropriate warning signs, or operating a ride incorrectly. Furthermore, amusement parks are typically responsible for their employees’ actions. If an amusement park improperly trains employees and that failure results in an injury, there could be grounds for a negligence claim against the park

If you or a loved one has experienced a catastrophic injury due to an amusement park ride, please call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP today for a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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$2 Million Settlement for Insurance Bad Faith and Personal Injury Case http://www.kbklawyers.com/2-million-settlement-insurance-bad-faith-personal-injury-case/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/2-million-settlement-insurance-bad-faith-personal-injury-case/#respond Tue, 01 May 2018 20:30:40 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19052 Our client, Marcos Rodriguez worked as a laborer for an appliance delivery company when he sustained severe orthopedic injuries and a mild brain injury after a refrigerator that he was unloading fell on top of him. When Mr. Rodriguez sought coverage for his treatment through workers’ compensation, the delivery company said that he was not considered an employee and that workers’ comp would not cover his injuries. Instead, the delivery company told Mr. Rodriguez to seek coverage through his occupational hazard insurance policy. However, that insurance company also denied coverage by claiming that Mr. Rodriguez is an employee. Our firm sued the insurance carrier for insurance bad faith. We also sued the delivery company for personal injury. Mr. Rodriguez sustained injuries to his face, shoulder, and knees in the accident. The head trauma from the impact also caused a mild traumatic brain injury. He went from being the sole provider of his lovely family to being totally dependent on his kids for financial and other support. He also suffered psychological injuries as a result of this terrible accident and the insurer’s subsequent bad faith. Between the two defendants, the case settled for $2 million.

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Our client, Marcos Rodriguez worked as a laborer for an appliance delivery company when he sustained severe orthopedic injuries and a mild brain injury after a refrigerator that he was unloading fell on top of him. When Mr. Rodriguez sought coverage for his treatment through workers’ compensation, the delivery company said that he was not considered an employee and that workers’ comp would not cover his injuries. Instead, the delivery company told Mr. Rodriguez to seek coverage through his occupational hazard insurance policy. However, that insurance company also denied coverage by claiming that Mr. Rodriguez is an employee. Our firm sued the insurance carrier for insurance bad faith. We also sued the delivery company for personal injury. Mr. Rodriguez sustained injuries to his face, shoulder, and knees in the accident. The head trauma from the impact also caused a mild traumatic brain injury. He went from being the sole provider of his lovely family to being totally dependent on his kids for financial and other support. He also suffered psychological injuries as a result of this terrible accident and the insurer’s subsequent bad faith. Between the two defendants, the case settled for $2 million.

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Brian Kabateck was profiled by The Armenian Mirror-Spectator for pursuing legal remedies for heirs of victims of the Armenian Genocide http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-profiled-article-armenian-mirror-spectator-commemorating-genocide-kabateck-still-pursuing-legal-remedies-historical-injustices-advocating-economic-boycott-o/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-profiled-article-armenian-mirror-spectator-commemorating-genocide-kabateck-still-pursuing-legal-remedies-historical-injustices-advocating-economic-boycott-o/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 21:47:26 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19041 The Armenian Mirror-Spectator April 19, 2018 Brian Kabateck is a Southern California attorney specializing in consumer fraud who frequently appears on television and other news media. He has played an important role in lawsuits against insurance companies withholding money from heirs of victims of the Armenian Genocide and is still involved in one such current lawsuit.  To read the full article, click here.

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The Armenian Mirror-Spectator

April 19, 2018

Brian Kabateck is a Southern California attorney specializing in consumer fraud who frequently appears on television and other news media. He has played an important role in lawsuits against insurance companies withholding money from heirs of victims of the Armenian Genocide and is still involved in one such current lawsuit.  To read the full article, click here.

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Makers of Self-Driving Cars Hit the Brakes http://www.kbklawyers.com/makers-self-driving-cars-hit-brakes/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/makers-self-driving-cars-hit-brakes/#respond Thu, 19 Apr 2018 19:35:19 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19033 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck April 19, 2018 It’s been nearly a month since California’s Department of Motor Vehicles gave the green to allow fully autonomous vehicles to operate on the state’s roads and freeways. But none of the approximately 50 companies in the state said to be working on self-driving cars, has applied yet to the DMV for the permits. It appears the self-driving car industry has hit the brakes on the rush to submit the paperwork that would let them put a driverless car on the open road. Uber, Waymo, and Tesla are some of the tech companies and automakers that have begun to expand testing of their self-driving vehicles in cities around the country. The companies claim that the cars will be safer than regular cars because they take easily distracted humans out of the driving equation. But the technology is still relatively new, and just now starting to experience the unpredictable situations that drivers can face. In March, an autonomous Uber car killed a woman in the street in Tempe, Arizona, in what appears to be the first reported fatal crash involving a self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian in the U.S. Tempe police said the […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck
April 19, 2018

It’s been nearly a month since California’s Department of Motor Vehicles gave the green to allow fully autonomous vehicles to operate on the state’s roads and freeways. But none of the approximately 50 companies in the state said to be working on self-driving cars, has applied yet to the DMV for the permits. It appears the self-driving car industry has hit the brakes on the rush to submit the paperwork that would let them put a driverless car on the open road.

Uber, Waymo, and Tesla are some of the tech companies and automakers that have begun to expand testing of their self-driving vehicles in cities around the country. The companies claim that the cars will be safer than regular cars because they take easily distracted humans out of the driving equation. But the technology is still relatively new, and just now starting to experience the unpredictable situations that drivers can face.

In March, an autonomous Uber car killed a woman in the street in Tempe, Arizona, in what appears to be the first reported fatal crash involving a self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian in the U.S. Tempe police said the self-driving car was in autonomous mode at the time of the crash and that the vehicle hit a woman, who was walking outside of the crosswalk and later died at a hospital. There was a safety driver inside the car at the time of the crash but was not paying attention to the street until seconds before the impact. Arizona governor Doug Ducey suspended Uber’s self-driving vehicle testing following the fatality. Ducey told Uber’s CEO that video footage of the crash raised concerns about the company’s ability to safely test its technology in Arizona. He said he expects public safety to be the top priority for those who operate self-driving cars. After the incident, Uber settled with the family of the pedestrian that lost her life. A lawyer representing the family of the deceased victim said that “the matter had been resolved,” but didn’t reveal the settlement terms.

Tesla Motors has also been in the spotlight for its fatal accidents that have stemmed from self-driving cars. It was the first company to disclose a death involving a self-driving car in 2016 when the sensors of a Model S driving in autopilot mode failed to detect a large tractor-trailer crossing the highway. The car drove full speed under the trailer, causing the collision that killed a 40-year-old man who was behind the wheel of the vehicle. In another incident, California police officers found a Tesla that was stopped in the middle of a five-lane highway and found a driver asleep behind the wheel. The man said the vehicle was in autopilot, and he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. In March, a 38-year-old man died after his Tesla model X which was on autopilot collided with a highway barrier in Mountain View and caught fire.

While ride-hailing giant Uber and electric carmaker Tesla are facing serious safety investigations, neither company is backing away from the autonomous vehicle technology that played a big part in the two recent fatalities. Despite this, Uber still envisions self-driving cars a key part of its business. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi stated that at the end of it all, self-driving cars will be safer than humans, but that at the moment, self-driving cars are still in the learning stage. Uber is coordinating with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), both governmental regulatory bodies. The tech executive said he has ordered a review of the safety processes of the self-driving-car testing program, which, he says, is still temporarily halted.

New technology in the auto business is favorable, but the innovations must not compromise the safety of people which is the main priority. Challenges for autonomous cars still remain, and the realistic time frames for getting them onto the road will likely be prolonged as a result of these recent accidents. Nevertheless, they still represent an important step forward in improving the overall safety of everyone on the road.

Brian Kabateck is a Los Angeles trial lawyer and a preeminent leader in the fight to ensure access to the justice system. By wielding his extensive legal and political skills, Mr. Kabateck has become an influential advocate in the courtroom and at the California State Capital for consumers’ rights and protections. He’s the incoming president of the Los Angeles Bar Association and a recent past president of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).

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Online Data Collection is the New Wild West http://www.kbklawyers.com/online-data-collection-new-wild-west/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/online-data-collection-new-wild-west/#respond Fri, 13 Apr 2018 17:46:42 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19028 Written on behalf of Brian S. Kabateck April 13, 2018 While most Americans are not shocked by revelations that outside companies obtained access to Facebook users’ personal data, they’re not happy about it. While Facebook has received the most intense scrutiny after admitting it improperly shared the data of 87-million users with political research firm, Cambridge Analytica, Google is also in the spotlight for collecting and storing massive amounts of personal data. A privacy firestorm is swirling as skeptical consumers call for more government regulation of social media and tech companies that appear to be amassing a treasure trove of our private information. Online data collection is the new wild west and we need a way to pull back the reins. Social media platforms have pushed the narrative that gathering and selling its users’ data is risk-free because the goal is to provide meaningful content and relevant marketing. While testifying this week before members of Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that users have complete power over their data based on its “Privacy” category citing the site’s “inline” controls that gives its users the option that says “Who should see this?”. However, that’s not the kind of creepy surveillance that […]

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Written on behalf of Brian S. Kabateck

April 13, 2018

While most Americans are not shocked by revelations that outside companies obtained access to Facebook users’ personal data, they’re not happy about it. While Facebook has received the most intense scrutiny after admitting it improperly shared the data of 87-million users with political research firm, Cambridge Analytica, Google is also in the spotlight for collecting and storing massive amounts of personal data. A privacy firestorm is swirling as skeptical consumers call for more government regulation of social media and tech companies that appear to be amassing a treasure trove of our private information.

Online data collection is the new wild west and we need a way to pull back the reins. Social media platforms have pushed the narrative that gathering and selling its users’ data is risk-free because the goal is to provide meaningful content and relevant marketing. While testifying this week before members of Congress, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that users have complete power over their data based on its “Privacy” category citing the site’s “inline” controls that gives its users the option that says “Who should see this?”. However, that’s not the kind of creepy surveillance that consumers are concerned about.

Facebook keeps all your data including every message you’ve sent or received, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages you’ve ever sent or been sent. Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things you’ve liked and what you and your friends talk about. Facebook can track where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your e-mails, your calendar and your call history.

To add insult to injury, Facebook has no idea what happens to its users’ information after an app gets access to it, like in the case of the personality quiz app that millions of Americans unwittingly downloaded which provided their data to Cambridge Analytica.

Search engine Behemoth, Google has an even wider reach when it comes to tracking and profiting billions of people around the globe. The company saves every image you’ve ever searched for and saved, every location you’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article you’ve read, and every Google search you’ve made. And it’s saved every YouTube video you’ve ever searched for or viewed.

We now know that when tech giants collect and store massive amounts of personal data, it can easily fall into the wrong hands and cause financial ruin and possibly even put consumers’ personal safety at risk. Companies must do a better job of securing the consumer data they collect and we must have more oversight and stronger authority to enforce privacy laws.

Two senators have introduced the CONSENT Act that requires edge providers to obtain opt-in consent to “use, share, or sell users’ personal information,” tell users about data collection and how the info is used, and protect it with reasonable measures. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) would enforce the rules. This is a good first step but more oversight is needed.

We thought that Facebook was using our information to sell us consumer products like t-shirts, instead we were sold lies, deceit and political despots. In the end, Facebook sold us out, stole our most private information and all the while kept the American public in the dark.

Brian Kabateck is a Los Angeles trial lawyer and a preeminent leader in the fight to ensure access to the justice system. By wielding his extensive legal and political skills, Mr. Kabateck has become an influential advocate in the courtroom and at the California State Capitol for consumers’ rights and protections. He’s the incoming president of the Los Angeles Bar Association and a recent past president of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC).

 

 

 

 

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Brian Kabateck spoke with The Sacramento Bee on the fatal accident where a woman was killed after bring struck by a self-driving Uber. http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-spoke-sacramento-bee-fatal-accident-woman-killed-bring-struck-self-driving-uber/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-spoke-sacramento-bee-fatal-accident-woman-killed-bring-struck-self-driving-uber/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 20:47:45 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19026 The Sacramento Bee March 19, 2018 Attorney Brian Kabateck, a consumer-advocate and president-elect of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, said he’s worried that “everyone is in such a rush, public safety is going to be left behind in the discussion. Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/back-seat-driver/article205853919.html#storylink=cpy

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The Sacramento Bee

March 19, 2018

Attorney Brian Kabateck, a consumer-advocate and president-elect of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, said he’s worried that “everyone is in such a rush, public safety is going to be left behind in the discussion.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/transportation/back-seat-driver/article205853919.html#storylink=cpy

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Brian Kabateck spoke to NBC Bay Area regarding the lawsuit against Worx http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-spoke-nbc-bay-area-regarding-lawsuit-worx/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-spoke-nbc-bay-area-regarding-lawsuit-worx/#respond Thu, 05 Apr 2018 20:37:53 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19024 NBC Bay Area April 5, 2018 Click link to read more: The mower maker Worx is now named in a class-action lawsuit filed by a lawyer representing other disgruntled customers.

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NBC Bay Area

April 5, 2018

Click link to read more:

The mower maker Worx is now named in a class-action lawsuit filed by a lawyer representing other disgruntled customers.

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The Next Phase of Identity Theft: Stealing Your Likeness http://www.kbklawyers.com/next-phase-identity-theft-stealing-likeness/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/next-phase-identity-theft-stealing-likeness/#respond Fri, 30 Mar 2018 17:25:30 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19018 Written on behalf of Brian S. Kabateck March 30, 2018 Video plays a unique role in our legal system, possibly more important than at any time in history. Witness testimony can be picked apart, photos can be photoshopped, but video provides attorneys very clear evidence in a civil or criminal matter…but all that may change. Currently deemed the “infocalypse,“ a new type of identity theft has sprung up which may seriously impact how video is viewed and used in legal matters. These types of videos are called “Deep Fakes” and they involve a type of technology that can mimic a person speaking so effectively that it is incredibly difficult to tell the difference between the real and the fake. This poses numerous problems, from what will and won’t be allowed in as evidence as well as online identity theft. As one outlet put it, “Fueled by artificial intelligence, digital impersonation is on the rise.” This technology has already been used to make adult films “starring” celebrities who have never engaged in this type of activity. However, the next phase saw videos of President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama giving speeches with either the location altered or some other […]

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Written on behalf of Brian S. Kabateck

March 30, 2018

Video plays a unique role in our legal system, possibly more important than at any time in history. Witness testimony can be picked apart, photos can be photoshopped, but video provides attorneys very clear evidence in a civil or criminal matter…but all that may change.

Currently deemed the “infocalypse,“ a new type of identity theft has sprung up which may seriously impact how video is viewed and used in legal matters. These types of videos are called “Deep Fakes” and they involve a type of technology that can mimic a person speaking so effectively that it is incredibly difficult to tell the difference between the real and the fake. This poses numerous problems, from what will and won’t be allowed in as evidence as well as online identity theft. As one outlet put it, “Fueled by artificial intelligence, digital impersonation is on the rise.”

This technology has already been used to make adult films “starring” celebrities who have never engaged in this type of activity. However, the next phase saw videos of President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama giving speeches with either the location altered or some other major change. This is a truly dangerous new technology that could create an international crisis or cause someone to give a stranger money because they get a video request that looks all too real. Theoretically, a software developer would only need a high-resolution image of one individual to create havoc for the subject.

Aviv Ovadya, the same individual who recognized the danger Facebook and fake news might play in the 2016 presidential election spotted this potential nightmare as well saying that anyone could make it “appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did.”

The impact on the average consumer is incredible. If a consumer thinks he or she is watching their favorite celebrity promote a product, it could be a total fake. If the child of an elderly parent thinks they’ve gotten an urgent video message from their dying relative who needs money quickly, it could be a hoax. The role video plays in our culture will change radically and lead to a slew of lawsuits and potentially a complete distrust of any digital creation. While people are awed when deceased actors are revived in Star Wars, that same technology is now making online trust nearly impossible.

Undoubtedly, Congress and state legislatures will be called upon to create some guidelines and possibly even outlaw this technology for a time in order to protect against identity theft. Consumers must be protected from a technology that can recreate a very believable image. If you have any high-resolution images of yourself online, it might be smart to remove those as thieves currently need those in order to create a fake likeness.

How this will be handled and how it will impact the world remains to be seen, but the experts are warning everyone to be highly cautious.

Consumer protection laws are designed to ensure the rights of vulnerable consumers in society. The laws are a form of government directive intended to protect the rights of consumers.

Among some of these protection laws are the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Truth in Lending Act, Fair Credit Billing Act, the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Business and Professions Code 17200.

Our firm is committed to standing up to big businesses that engage in fraud or unfair practices from gaining an advantage over competitors. This includes protecting the public from false or misleading advertising in situations like “bait and switch” advertising tactics, warranty misrepresentation, defective products, forced arbitration clauses and identity theft. Class action lawsuits can provide recourse for consumers whose rights have been violated by companies that engage in abusive business practices.

If you believe you and many others like you have been somehow injured, cheated, or otherwise harmed by unfair business practices, give us a call and let us help you protect your rights. At Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP, we can help you explore all of your options and ultimately achieve for you the maximum compensation for your harm.

 

 

 

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Toxic L.A. Oil Pumps http://www.kbklawyers.com/toxic-l-oil-pumps/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/toxic-l-oil-pumps/#respond Fri, 23 Mar 2018 17:17:38 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19012 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck March 23, 2018 There’s growing concern about the health and safety threat to people who live, work and play alongside oil wells in Los Angeles. According to the community group Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling-Los Angeles (STAND-L.A.), since 2013, oil companies have used more than 98 million pounds of chemicals known to cause serious health problems in Los Angeles County. There are at least 5,300 oil wells in Los Angeles, with 3,400 of them actively producing oil and gas. Many of them are in close proximity to low-income or minority neighborhoods, parks, and schools. Some of the reported problems from residents living near oil wells include asthma, low birth weights, nosebleeds, eye irritation and neurological issues to name a few, as well as the constant noise and foul smells that can come from the wells. Those who live closest to oil and gas sites are at the highest risk of exposure to toxic chemicals and poor air quality. Drilling sites in South Los Angeles and Wilmington are on average 260 to 300 feet closer to homes than those in West L.A. and Wilshire, in addition to having fewer safety protections. An investigation was ordered […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck

March 23, 2018

There’s growing concern about the health and safety threat to people who live, work and play alongside oil wells in Los Angeles. According to the community group Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling-Los Angeles (STAND-L.A.), since 2013, oil companies have used more than 98 million pounds of chemicals known to cause serious health problems in Los Angeles County.

There are at least 5,300 oil wells in Los Angeles, with 3,400 of them actively producing oil and gas. Many of them are in close proximity to low-income or minority neighborhoods, parks, and schools. Some of the reported problems from residents living near oil wells include asthma, low birth weights, nosebleeds, eye irritation and neurological issues to name a few, as well as the constant noise and foul smells that can come from the wells. Those who live closest to oil and gas sites are at the highest risk of exposure to toxic chemicals and poor air quality.

Drilling sites in South Los Angeles and Wilmington are on average 260 to 300 feet closer to homes than those in West L.A. and Wilshire, in addition to having fewer safety protections. An investigation was ordered by the city of Los Angeles after complaints of headaches, eye and throat irritation, nausea and vomiting were received from residents of South Los Angeles, Wilmington and other unincorporated county areas in the past several years. The county worked with the Oil and Gas Strike Team which investigated several sites. The team found 15 with wells or tanks less than 300 feet from the nearest residence or school; two of those sites contained 60 wells.

Drill sites in Los Angeles are known to leak hydrogen sulfide gas, which is toxic to humans even at low concentrations. The oil industry is California’s largest industrial source of organic compound emissions, the key component of smog. Extraction sites emit known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Residents shouldn’t be exposed to these toxins in their homes, schools or places of work, but that’s exactly what’s happening in neighborhoods across Los Angeles.

Many people including celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio and groups such as STAND-L.A. have fought against neighborhood drilling. STAND-L.A. is an environmental justice coalition of community groups that seek to end neighborhood drilling to protect the health and safety of the residents of Los Angeles on the front lines of urban oil extraction. They believe that the City of Los Angeles is responsible for protecting every resident from the health and safety risks associated with drilling for oil in close proximity to their homes, schools and places of work. They argue that communities, not oil and gas corporations, should have the power to shape a safe and healthy future for their families.

In order to protect the residents of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Department of Health advises drilling sites to expand the minimum setback distance beyond 300 feet, as currently specified in local zoning code, and apply these requirements to the siting of new wells and to the development of sensitive land uses near existing operations. Aging oil and gas infrastructure in Los Angeles County, not only at abandoned wells, but also in active wells, pipelines, and associated infrastructure, raises an important public health concern. Regulatory agencies should explore opportunities to utilize the best available technology at oil production facilities in order to prevent public health impacts.

A mass tort is a civil action that involves a large group of plaintiffs who’ve suffered injuries and consolidate their cases to sue one or a few corporations in state or federal court. In U.S. federal courts, mass tort claims are frequently consolidated as multidistrict litigation. While the plaintiffs may live in different geographical locations, they share a common injury or damage. Mass disaster torts, mass toxic torts and consumer product liability torts are the main categories associated with this cause of action.

KBK has many years of experience handling mass tort cases and multi-district litigation. If you or a loved one has experienced injuries due to a disaster, a dangerous drug or a defective product, contact one of our experienced attorneys at Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP to learn more about recovering damages and to explore your options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trans Rights and the Future of the Civil Rights Movement http://www.kbklawyers.com/trans-rights-future-civil-rights-movement/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/trans-rights-future-civil-rights-movement/#respond Fri, 09 Mar 2018 20:49:13 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=18992 By Brian S. Kabateck March 9, 2018 When the Civil Rights movement began decades ago, it was a battle for people of color to gain the equality they deserved. Today, as the movement has progressed, trans rights dominate headlines as governments, businesses, and individuals wrestle with gender identity and related issues. While transgender rights are a relatively new concept in terms of the specifics, the concepts of equality under the law are not. However, these rights are often under attack throughout the country. For example: On a state level, some state houses are working to suppress transgender rights. In the last six months, ten states have introduced legislation that would make life increasingly difficult for transgender people, including students who are simply attempting to use a campus restroom that will match his/her gender identity. In South Dakota, some conservative lawmakers are proposing a bill that would bar public school teachers from even mentioning gender identity or gender expression to students until they are in the eighth grade. In New Hampshire, there is a proposed bill that would have made providing transition-related medical to a minor a form of child abuse (although that bill died in committee). On the federal level, […]

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By Brian S. Kabateck

March 9, 2018

When the Civil Rights movement began decades ago, it was a battle for people of color to gain the equality they deserved. Today, as the movement has progressed, trans rights dominate headlines as governments, businesses, and individuals wrestle with gender identity and related issues.

While transgender rights are a relatively new concept in terms of the specifics, the concepts of equality under the law are not. However, these rights are often under attack throughout the country. For example:

On a state level, some state houses are working to suppress transgender rights. In the last six months, ten states have introduced legislation that would make life increasingly difficult for transgender people, including students who are simply attempting to use a campus restroom that will match his/her gender identity. In South Dakota, some conservative lawmakers are proposing a bill that would bar public school teachers from even mentioning gender identity or gender expression to students until they are in the eighth grade. In New Hampshire, there is a proposed bill that would have made providing transition-related medical to a minor a form of child abuse (although that bill died in committee).

On the federal level, the U.S. Department of Education confirmed that it will no longer be investigating civil rights complaints from any transgender students who claim they were prohibited from using the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. The current administration’s view is that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity which is at odds with the previous administration’s interpretation.

California is one of the states on the forefront or protecting the rights of all citizens, including individuals within the trans community. A law passed in 2017, SB 396, requires all California employers to post a “Transgender Rights in the Workplace” poster starting January 1 of this year. The bill also requires sexual harassment training to include a larger component regarding gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

Nationally, the lack of legal clarity is causing chaos in everyday walks of life. For example, in Texas, a transgender boy won the Texas girls 6A wrestling championship because of a law in Texas requiring individuals to compete as the gender on his/her birth certificate. So even though Mack Beggs identifies as a male, is receiving low doses of testosterone for the gender transition process, he had to wrestle against girls. In reality, the Texas legislature created this quagmire by restricting the rights of someone like Beggs who would much rather wrestle boys but who is prohibited by law from doing so.

The battle for transgender rights, like all civil rights battles, is ongoing. No community, whether it be African American, Latino or LGBTQ, is satisfied with the current state of things, and so the battle continues. Employees, members of the military and others will continue to fight for the rights of the trans community, and attorneys like myself will always be there in the thick of that fight.

The attorneys at Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP have honed specialized skills in handling employment law matters including workplace discrimination. Workplace discrimination against transgender people is against the law. If you or a loved one are experiencing workplace discrimination, give one of our experienced personal injury attorneys at Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP a call today to learn more about recovering damages and to explore your options.

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