Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP http://www.kbklawyers.com Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP — Full Service Plaintiff’s Law Firm Mon, 20 Aug 2018 20:15:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 Trucking Companies Must do More to Keep the Roads Safe http://www.kbklawyers.com/trucking-companies-must-do-more-to-keep-the-roads-safe/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/trucking-companies-must-do-more-to-keep-the-roads-safe/#respond Fri, 17 Aug 2018 17:14:48 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19167 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck August 17, 2018 There’s a reason why many drivers are scared to share the roads with 18-wheelers. Large trucks are involved in one out of every 10 highway deaths and most fatalities involve passengers in smaller vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. On May 17th, a Texas jury returned a $90 million-dollar verdict against Werner Enterprises finding the company was negligent in a fatal crash that killed a seven-year-old in 2014. The incident involved a student truck driver who was driving during icy weather conditions. The collision happened on I-20 in Texas during freezing rain and black ice conditions. The large verdict raises concerns about whether trucking companies are doing enough to train their drivers and keep the roads safe for everyone. Every state’s Commercial Driver’s License manual instructs 18-wheeler drivers to slow down and get off the road during icy conditions. Shiraz Ali, the Werner student truck driver in this case, did not get off the interstate. Instead, he was driving at speeds of 60 mph for the 52 miles he was driving on icy conditions prior to the crash, and was traveling over 50 mph seconds prior to the […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck

August 17, 2018

There’s a reason why many drivers are scared to share the roads with 18-wheelers. Large trucks are involved in one out of every 10 highway deaths and most fatalities involve passengers in smaller vehicles, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. On May 17th, a Texas jury returned a $90 million-dollar verdict against Werner Enterprises finding the company was negligent in a fatal crash that killed a seven-year-old in 2014. The incident involved a student truck driver who was driving during icy weather conditions. The collision happened on I-20 in Texas during freezing rain and black ice conditions. The large verdict raises concerns about whether trucking companies are doing enough to train their drivers and keep the roads safe for everyone.

Every state’s Commercial Driver’s License manual instructs 18-wheeler drivers to slow down and get off the road during icy conditions. Shiraz Ali, the Werner student truck driver in this case, did not get off the interstate. Instead, he was driving at speeds of 60 mph for the 52 miles he was driving on icy conditions prior to the crash, and was traveling over 50 mph seconds prior to the collision. According to the Truck Safety Coalition, more than 250,000 crashes involving passenger cars and large trucks occur each year. In more than 70% of fatal crashes involving autos and big trucks, police report that the automobile driver contributed to the cause of the crash. Although many believe that accidents typically occur during bad weather, most crashes between autos and trucks happen during daylight hours on straight and dry pavement under good weather conditions. Because trucks are so much bigger and heavier than cars, the driver of the car is killed in fatal car-truck collisions four out of five times.

Even the trucking companies that have hired the safest and most experienced truck drivers want to ensure truck driver safety. Trucking companies that are aware of the importance of truck driver safety have started providing extensive training experience to their truckers. Many companies are taking the advantages that technological advances are bringing to the plate as well. They can contribute to truck driver safety, but on the negative side, technology can’t help with accidents that occur due to human error.

Some ways to reduce trucking accidents are to train drivers on the right protocol when it comes to driving in dangerous weather conditions. Looking at the forecast ahead of a trip could help the driver be prepared for any stops they might have to make in order to avoid driving in bad conditions. Trucking companies should also start to reinforce driver training and monitor the driving behavior of their truck drivers on a regular basis to ensure their safety as well as the safety of others sharing the road. Dash-mounted cameras are also another solution that trucking companies have started implementing, with the aim to ensure truck driver safety. These technologies have helped trucking company owners to track the movement of truck drivers. These tips could help protect truck driver’s safety, which in turn, would reduce the high driver turnover rate and the number of truck crashes.

Truck accidents have increased by 20% over the past two decades. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that in 2012, a total of 3,802 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a five-percent increase from 2011. The number of large trucks involved in crashes where someone was injured also increased by 22 percent, from 63,000 to 77,000.

When a trucking accident occurs in California, a lawyer who knows the rules and regulations under the laws of California is needed. Damages caused by a truck accident can be severe including death, brain injury, broken bones, disfigurement, burns, spinal cord injury, paralysis, and amputation. Victims of these severe injuries often endure multiple surgeries and therapies, and require long-term medical care which can lead to significant costs.

Many firms represent they are trucking accident attorneys yet their record is void of any results. If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury or even death because of a large truck accident, contact KBK, one of the leading truck accident attorneys in Los Angeles, without delay. We have the experienced truck accident attorney team in Los Angeles necessary to fight for your recovery.

 

 

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Do Consumer Complaints Matter? http://www.kbklawyers.com/do-consumer-complaints-matter/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/do-consumer-complaints-matter/#respond Fri, 10 Aug 2018 17:31:17 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19155 Written by Brian S. Kabateck August 10, 2018 Of all the personal injury cases over the years which have garnered media attention, the most misunderstood must be the “McDonald’s Hot Coffee” lawsuit. Few people know all the details from start to finish, only that a woman won a multi-million-dollar verdict after she claimed she was burned by a hot cup of McDonald’s coffee. In truth, an elderly woman suffered second and third-degree burns which required skin grafts because McDonald’s heated their coffee far above the industry norm. When the case went into the discovery phase, attorneys for the woman found out that there were hundreds of complaints against the fast food giant for the temperature at which they kept their coffee. Consumers enjoy few protections, especially with the current administration stripping away the protections they’ve enjoyed for decades. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency which regulates the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services, is slowly being gutted by the President and Republicans in control of Congress. A study was just released that shows an overwhelming majority of Americans (80%) are concerned about the Trump administration’s efforts to curb oversight of banks and payday lenders. Many […]

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Written by Brian S. Kabateck

August 10, 2018

Of all the personal injury cases over the years which have garnered media attention, the most misunderstood must be the “McDonald’s Hot Coffee” lawsuit. Few people know all the details from start to finish, only that a woman won a multi-million-dollar verdict after she claimed she was burned by a hot cup of McDonald’s coffee. In truth, an elderly woman suffered second and third-degree burns which required skin grafts because McDonald’s heated their coffee far above the industry norm. When the case went into the discovery phase, attorneys for the woman found out that there were hundreds of complaints against the fast food giant for the temperature at which they kept their coffee.

Consumers enjoy few protections, especially with the current administration stripping away the protections they’ve enjoyed for decades. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency which regulates the offering and provision of consumer financial products or services, is slowly being gutted by the President and Republicans in control of Congress. A study was just released that shows an overwhelming majority of Americans (80%) are concerned about the Trump administration’s efforts to curb oversight of banks and payday lenders. Many Americans remember how just ten years ago the free-reign of financial institutions crippled the world’s economy for years.

Another report, this time a survey, by the Consumer Federation of America stated that for the sixth consecutive year, consumers complained about automotive issues more than any other problem they faced. The question is though, do complaints matter and do they change things?

For the attorneys representing the woman suing McDonald’s, the complaints lodged against the company were absolutely vital to their case. It showed a pattern of behavior and negligence which ultimately led to their client’s significant injuries. In the past, consumer complaints have led to such government protections as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the CFPB and others. The flip side though is that it often takes overwhelming complaints by consumers before any significant action is taken by the federal government. The regulation of lead levels in drinking water, proper testing of foods and medicines by the Food and Drug Administration and other government protections only came after years of complaints.

Winning greater protections against violations by Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Big Oil, Big Pharma and others will only come as consumers raise their voices. Those of us who fight hard to protect consumer rights have seen consumer rights furthered only when they unite their voices through vocal protests, class action lawsuits, consumer protection non-profits and related action. While the current administration continues to hammer the rights of the average American, consumer protection agencies and consumer advocates have increased efforts to fight for protections for all.

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Ventura Family Sues Farmers for Limiting Coverage for Smoke and Ash Damage and Jeopardizing Their Child’s Health http://www.kbklawyers.com/ventura-family-sues-farmers-for-limiting-coverage-for-smoke-and-ash-damage-and-jeopardizing-their-childs-health/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/ventura-family-sues-farmers-for-limiting-coverage-for-smoke-and-ash-damage-and-jeopardizing-their-childs-health/#respond Wed, 08 Aug 2018 20:40:42 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19153 VENTURA, CA (August 7, 2018)— Homeowners impacted by the devastating Thomas Wildfire filed a lawsuit in Ventura County Superior Court against Farmers Insurance for engaging in bad faith by failing to cover the costs associated with extensive smoke and ash damage. The plaintiffs–Sean Hellman, Anna Christina Marquez and their two children–ran for their lives on December 4, 2017 as the threat of wildfire chased them from their home. The fire left their neighborhood as one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the city of Ventura. Rows of homes on their street that sit near the hillside were incinerated and leveled in the blaze.  Fortunately, their own home narrowly escaped being destroyed by the flames. However, the landscaping and irrigation system burned and the house sustained extensive and dangerous smoke, soot and ash damage. Sean Hellman’s primary concern was the health of his youngest son, who suffers from chronic and severe asthma. “One of my requests was for testing of harmful contaminants, especially given the fact there was a public health warning that the ash burned from homes and other items will likely contain toxic substances like lead, chemicals, and asbestos,” said plaintiff, Sean Hellman. Hellman filed a claim with Farmers […]

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VENTURA, CA (August 7, 2018)— Homeowners impacted by the devastating Thomas Wildfire filed a lawsuit in Ventura County Superior Court against Farmers Insurance for engaging in bad faith by failing to cover the costs associated with extensive smoke and ash damage.

The plaintiffs–Sean Hellman, Anna Christina Marquez and their two children–ran for their lives on December 4, 2017 as the threat of wildfire chased them from their home. The fire left their neighborhood as one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the city of Ventura. Rows of homes on their street that sit near the hillside were incinerated and leveled in the blaze.  Fortunately, their own home narrowly escaped being destroyed by the flames.

However, the landscaping and irrigation system burned and the house sustained extensive and dangerous smoke, soot and ash damage. Sean Hellman’s primary concern was the health of his youngest son, who suffers from chronic and severe asthma.

“One of my requests was for testing of harmful contaminants, especially given the fact there was a public health warning that the ash burned from homes and other items will likely contain toxic substances like lead, chemicals, and asbestos,” said plaintiff, Sean Hellman.

Hellman filed a claim with Farmers and made requests for his home to be restored to the toxic free pre-fire condition.

According to the complaint, Farmers rejected these requests citing not all of the remediation was covered by his policy, despite the home being “yellow tagged” by the city which restricted access to the property.

“Our client paid his premiums and expected his insurance company to step up in his time of need,” said plaintiff attorney Brian S. Kabateck. “Instead, Farmers is doing everything it can to avoid paying these justified claims, in violation of their contractual obligations, to protect its own bottom line,” added Kabateck.

The suit in part challenges Farmers’ endorsement number 6965A, which imposes a sublimit of $5,000 for damage caused by wild fire smoke, soot, ash or odor.  According to Dennis Neil Jones, Kabateck’s Ventura co-counsel, the Los Angeles Superior Court has already ruled that sub-limits such as the one contained in the Farmers wildfire endorsement, are unenforceable under California law, because they are not substantially equivalent to the homeowner insurance coverage required by the California Insurance Code.

The Thomas Fire, considered the largest wildfire in California’s history, affected Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. It burned over 280-thousand acres and destroyed more than 1,000 structures in December 2017.

PDF of complaint: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O7TtPARgS8tUthvBmm7DyUOQEdxMTnP4/view?usp=sharing

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pedestrian Danger: Death by SUV http://www.kbklawyers.com/pedestrian-danger-death-by-suv/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/pedestrian-danger-death-by-suv/#respond Fri, 03 Aug 2018 17:15:30 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19148 Written on behalf of Brian S. Kabateck August 3, 2018 There’s disturbing new evidence about an increase in pedestrian deaths involving one of America’s most popular vehicles. Sports Utility Vehicles or SUVs are contributing to a stunning rise in pedestrian fatalities, according to federal safety regulators, who apparently have known about this trend for a while but have done little to curb the problem. A Detroit Free Press/USA TODAY NETWORK investigation revealed that pedestrian deaths are up 46 percent since 2009. The report states that nearly 6-thousand people, (including walkers, joggers and children) died either on or along a U.S. roadway in the year 2016—alone. It turns out, government regulators have known for years that because of the SUV’s higher front-end-profile, the vehicles are at least twice as likely to kill people than regular sized cars. A key factor supported by data, is that higher profile, blunt-nose SUVs are deadlier for pedestrians than cars. Because the front end of an SUV is taller, the vehicle strikes a pedestrian higher on their body, meaning a collision is more likely to be fatal by causing a serious head or chest injury. A lower profile car is more likely to strike an adult’s […]

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Written on behalf of Brian S. Kabateck

August 3, 2018

There’s disturbing new evidence about an increase in pedestrian deaths involving one of America’s most popular vehicles. Sports Utility Vehicles or SUVs are contributing to a stunning rise in pedestrian fatalities, according to federal safety regulators, who apparently have known about this trend for a while but have done little to curb the problem.

A Detroit Free Press/USA TODAY NETWORK investigation revealed that pedestrian deaths are up 46 percent since 2009. The report states that nearly 6-thousand people, (including walkers, joggers and children) died either on or along a U.S. roadway in the year 2016—alone. It turns out, government regulators have known for years that because of the SUV’s higher front-end-profile, the vehicles are at least twice as likely to kill people than regular sized cars. A key factor supported by data, is that higher profile, blunt-nose SUVs are deadlier for pedestrians than cars. Because the front end of an SUV is taller, the vehicle strikes a pedestrian higher on their body, meaning a collision is more likely to be fatal by causing a serious head or chest injury. A lower profile car is more likely to strike an adult’s leg, which may cause a catastrophic injury, but is survivable.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study in 2015 concluded that pedestrians “are 2-3 times more likely to suffer a fatality when struck by an SUV or pickup truck” versus a passenger car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated an 81 percent rise in single-vehicle pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs between 2009-16.

The federal government says that hundreds of pedestrian lives could be saved through a variety of vehicle safety measures. However, stiff opposition from automakers has prevented implementing those fixes because the manufacturers are not required to do so.

NHTSA announced a plan, following the findings in 2015, to revamp its vehicle-safety rating system to include an updated score for pedestrian safety. The plan is to unveil an upgraded New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) sometime in either 2018 for 2019 model-year vehicles but there’s no sign of that happening anytime soon.

City leaders are doing their part, hoping to stem the tide of preventable deaths by stepping up pedestrian safety measures. Those include lowering speed limits, creating more midblock crosswalks and improving roadway lighting. New York has successfully cut its pedestrian death rate nearly in half by implementing some of these safeguards.

One of the more disturbing parts of the report finds that the surge in pedestrian deaths is happening in primarily urban cities, disproportionately affecting minorities. The high-risk cities are either in the industrial heartland or in warm-weather areas. San Bernardino, CA made the list of top ten cities with the highest per-capita pedestrian death rates in cities with populations of at least 200-thousand in 2009-2016. Detroit came in at number one followed by Newark, NJ; St. Louis, MO; Baton Rouge, LA; Miami, FL; San Bernardino; Birmingham, AL; Tampa, FL; Fayetteville, NC; and Phoenix, AZ.

A wrongful death claim arises when one person dies as the result of the wrongful act of another person or entity.

A civil lawsuit may be brought directly by the survivors of the deceased person, or by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. Different than criminal matters, fault is expressed solely in terms of money compensation.

Survivors of the deceased person include the surviving spouse, domestic partner and surviving children. If there is no surviving person in the deceased estate, then a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by anyone “who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession”; which can include the deceased person’s parents, or the deceased person’s siblings, depending on who is living at the time of the deceased person’s death.

Damages are determined according to whether they compensate the estate for losses associated with the death, or the surviving family members for the personal losses they suffered as a result of the death. Losses include, but are not limited to: funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses while alive, lost income of the decedent, the value of household services loss of anticipated financial support, and the loss of love, community, attention, affection, moral support, and guidance. Our wrongful death lawyers in Los Angeles are ready to take your call to see if they can help achieve maximal recovery for the death caused to your loved one.

 

 

 

 

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What Consumers Should Know About Wildfire Insurance http://www.kbklawyers.com/what-consumers-should-know-about-wildfire-insurance/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/what-consumers-should-know-about-wildfire-insurance/#respond Fri, 27 Jul 2018 17:01:56 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19140 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck July 27, 2018 A record-breaking heat wave that hit Southern California not only brought high temperatures to the region, but it also brought wildfires. A fire broke out in Santa Barbara County dubbed the “Holiday Fire”, and a brush fire came dangerously close to the Griffith Observatory. With more fires anticipated this season, homeowners in California are just beginning to comprehend the devastation as they start to try and fix or rebuild their damaged property. The process of dealing with insurance companies following a wildfire can be exhausting, especially if you encounter denial of coverage by an insurance company that looks for ways to escape its obligation to pay you for a claim. Consumers who live in an area at high risk of fires should be prepared, and should make sure they have enough insurance, and what the protocol is after the damage has been done. Many homeowners are finding that their current insurance company are not offering renewals because their home is located in a high-risk fire or brush area. New home buyers in those areas are finding that getting the right coverage can be tough. If you own a home in these […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck
July 27, 2018

A record-breaking heat wave that hit Southern California not only brought high temperatures to the region, but it also brought wildfires. A fire broke out in Santa Barbara County dubbed the “Holiday Fire”, and a brush fire came dangerously close to the Griffith Observatory. With more fires anticipated this season, homeowners in California are just beginning to comprehend the devastation as they start to try and fix or rebuild their damaged property. The process of dealing with insurance companies following a wildfire can be exhausting, especially if you encounter denial of coverage by an insurance company that looks for ways to escape its obligation to pay you for a claim. Consumers who live in an area at high risk of fires should be prepared, and should make sure they have enough insurance, and what the protocol is after the damage has been done.

Many homeowners are finding that their current insurance company are not offering renewals because their home is located in a high-risk fire or brush area. New home buyers in those areas are finding that getting the right coverage can be tough. If you own a home in these areas, many companies may not be willing to write coverage for you. Insurance companies claim that wildfires in California have become so widespread and that the number of claims is so high, it makes it difficult to conduct business in the state. Insurers are using computer models to assess the risk of fires in certain areas and for individual homes and are deciding that they are exposed to too much risk.

It’s important that homeowners understand their insurance policies and ensure they have enough coverage. Wildfires are a “covered peril” in most homeowners’ insurance policies. Many homeowners do not have enough insurance to rebuild their home because although construction costs have increased substantially over the last two decades, most homeowners’ coverage has not. The policy should also cover accommodations while a homeowner is displaced until the house is repaired or rebuilt.

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed two bills that would provide additional consumer protections in the aftermath of the massive October wildfires, where many homeowners found themselves underinsured. Governor Brown signed AB 1799, which would mandate the specific information carriers are required to provide to fire victims after a loss. It includes the full insurance policy, any endorsements to the policy and the declarations page. Some victims claimed they had trouble accessing those documents from their companies after the destructive fires. He also signed AB 2229 which would require insurers to disclose any fire safety-related discounts offered by them. The bill will go into effect in 2020.

Dealing with insurance companies after a wildfire can be very stressful for homeowners, and they can find themselves struggling to secure affordable insurance or any policy that may be able to help them. Having to pick up the pieces after your home has been damaged or destroyed by a wildfire can be rough. But knowing what your insurance covers and what may not be covered may help you be better prepared.

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Jury Awards $4.69 Billion in Ongoing Johnson & Johnson Talc Litigation http://www.kbklawyers.com/jury-awards-4-69-billion-in-ongoing-johnson-johnson-talc-litigation/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/jury-awards-4-69-billion-in-ongoing-johnson-johnson-talc-litigation/#respond Fri, 20 Jul 2018 17:04:40 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19138 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck July 20, 2018 A St. Louis jury awarded 22 plaintiffs $4.69 billion in the latest verdict involving Johnson and Johnson-brand baby powder. The jury awarded $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages in a case where the plaintiffs claimed their ovarian cancer was caused by using J&J baby powder as a part of their daily feminine hygiene routine. This most recent verdict follows several eight and nine-figure verdicts in St. Louis, New Jersey and Los Angeles against J&J. In 2017, juries awarded more than $900 million in verdicts against J&J in lawsuits alleging their baby powder contained toxic elements which they knew about decades prior. In Los Angeles, a jury awarded $417 million, alleging that talc caused a woman’s ovarian cancer. Other lawsuits, mostly located in St. Louis, claim that the baby powder contained both talc and asbestos. Women who used the product on a daily basis claim that the prolonged use of the product in their underwear to combat moisture and odor allowed the toxic substances to travel up the vaginal cavity to the ovaries, ultimately causing cancer. The pharmaceutical giant lost seven out of ten verdicts in 2017, […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck

July 20, 2018

A St. Louis jury awarded 22 plaintiffs $4.69 billion in the latest verdict involving Johnson and Johnson-brand baby powder. The jury awarded $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages in a case where the plaintiffs claimed their ovarian cancer was caused by using J&J baby powder as a part of their daily feminine hygiene routine.

This most recent verdict follows several eight and nine-figure verdicts in St. Louis, New Jersey and Los Angeles against J&J. In 2017, juries awarded more than $900 million in verdicts against J&J in lawsuits alleging their baby powder contained toxic elements which they knew about decades prior. In Los Angeles, a jury awarded $417 million, alleging that talc caused a woman’s ovarian cancer. Other lawsuits, mostly located in St. Louis, claim that the baby powder contained both talc and asbestos. Women who used the product on a daily basis claim that the prolonged use of the product in their underwear to combat moisture and odor allowed the toxic substances to travel up the vaginal cavity to the ovaries, ultimately causing cancer.

The pharmaceutical giant lost seven out of ten verdicts in 2017, although two of the verdicts were later overturned by judges. J&J will surely appeal this latest verdict, but the hits keep coming as jury after jury continues to believe the science claiming the company’s baby powder contained cancer-causing agents. In fact, three of the top ten verdicts of 2017 were against J&J in talc-related lawsuits.

According to a CNN report, “Doctors have noticed that talc particles have been in cancer tumors for decades, but it’s been unclear how the contamination happened and if it led to the cancer.” While about a dozen of these cases have gone to trial, there are thousands more across the country on behalf of women who developed either ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after exposure to talcum powder products. One of the issues in the J&J trial in Los Angeles was labeling, as J&J products never contained any warnings on the bottles even when various health organizations around the world stated that talc was a possible carcinogen.

The juries in these cases face a variety of challenges in making their decisions. On the one hand, there are thousands of women who are suffering from, dying from or who have already died from ovarian cancer and/or mesothelioma. On the other side, J&J attorneys are lining up scientists, doctors and researchers claiming that talc could not have caused these illnesses. The plaintiffs also have science-based testimony and evidence; that, plus the emotional factor of the women who are literally dying while the trials continue has seemed to be the tipping point.

This will surely be an ongoing story as there is no end in sight either to the number of plaintiffs claiming talc gave them cancer or to J&J’s willingness to litigate these cases in court.

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California Leads Nation Towards Stronger Data Privacy http://www.kbklawyers.com/california-leads-nation-towards-stronger-data-privacy/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/california-leads-nation-towards-stronger-data-privacy/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 18:05:37 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19133 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck July 13, 2018 California lawmakers recently established restrictions on the tech industry, putting in place a privacy bill that will give consumers better protection over their data. Governor Jerry Brown signed data privacy legislation that gives consumers more control over how their private information is used and distributed. The California Consumer Privacy Act will let consumers ask companies what personal data they collect, and opt out of having their data sold, among other privacy provisions. The law only applies to consumers in California, and tech companies will likely shift their policies to conform to the new law. It could persuade Congress to consider turning it into federal legislation, after many complaints from consumers saying that the issue was not being taken seriously. California trial lawyers, including myself, worked hard at the state capital to find a way to help consumers recover damages and ensure they are not held to the nearly impossible standard of proving their stolen data was used for identity theft and caused them direct economic loss. What makes this law so impactful is that it includes damages up to $750 for each victim of a data breach, creating a powerful incentive for […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck

July 13, 2018

California lawmakers recently established restrictions on the tech industry, putting in place a privacy bill that will give consumers better protection over their data. Governor Jerry Brown signed data privacy legislation that gives consumers more control over how their private information is used and distributed. The California Consumer Privacy Act will let consumers ask companies what personal data they collect, and opt out of having their data sold, among other privacy provisions. The law only applies to consumers in California, and tech companies will likely shift their policies to conform to the new law. It could persuade Congress to consider turning it into federal legislation, after many complaints from consumers saying that the issue was not being taken seriously.

California trial lawyers, including myself, worked hard at the state capital to find a way to help consumers recover damages and ensure they are not held to the nearly impossible standard of proving their stolen data was used for identity theft and caused them direct economic loss. What makes this law so impactful is that it includes damages up to $750 for each victim of a data breach, creating a powerful incentive for tech companies that have been slow to implement security measures to prevent widespread data breaches.

This new California law is also aimed at protecting consumers from companies that charge them a premium if they don’t share their data. The law also prohibits a business from selling the personal data of anybody under the age of 16 unless the child agrees, and parental permission is required for children under the age of 13. In all, it gives consumers the right to have their personal data deleted, the right to know the commercial purpose for collecting their data and the categories of sources from which the data are collected. That alone could ring in great benefits for consumers. A lot of people are aware that their online activity is being tracked for targeted advertising, which is evident when we download an app and it asks for permission to view your information, but we don’t really know how exactly the data is used.

Consumers will now be able to ask companies to delete their personal information, which would stop them from selling any of their information. It’s similar to data privacy regulation in the EU, which allows consumers control over use of their data. This move comes after recent reports of large data breaches at companies like Equifax and Wells Fargo. Facebook also has faced scrutiny over revelations that consulting firm Cambridge Analytica collected data from millions of Facebook users without their knowledge. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020, and lawmakers say they’ll make alterations to improve the policy before then.

People should be in control of their information, and how it’s used online. Companies should be held to high standards in explaining what data they have and how they use it, especially when they sell the information. The law puts California at the forefront of improving privacy rights in the country, and hopefully this will be an example for other states, ensuring privacy and personal information are protected.

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.

Disputes involving private legal relationships between individual consumers and the businesses that sell those goods and services give rise to the very basis why consumer protection laws were put in place. These divergences are often plagued in the legal arena of product defects, privacy rights, unfair business practices, fraud, misrepresentation, and other business interactions.

Our firm is committed to standing up to big businesses that engage in fraud or unfair practices to gain 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.

 

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Smart Speakers and Privacy Concerns http://www.kbklawyers.com/smart-speakers-and-privacy-concerns/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/smart-speakers-and-privacy-concerns/#respond Fri, 06 Jul 2018 17:50:49 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19127 Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck July 6, 2018 Smart speakers have exploded onto the market, with Amazon and Google being the driving force behind making them common items in our households. The Amazon Echo powered by smart artificial intelligence Alexa has become a popular item for people who are looking into the latest advanced technology. But as the popularity of smart speakers grows, so does the safety and privacy concerns about a device that has the potential to listen to what you have to say and how it processes information using that data. Smart devices can play music, tell you the weather, tell you the news, and it can even get you an Uber or Lyft. There’s no doubt that they are great devices capable of doing amazing things, but many people are questioning just how intrusive they are when it comes to our privacy. Wired reported one case where one person’s Amazon Echo smart speaker sent audio clips of a private conversation, and a response was formulated and sent to a random person on her contact list. The woman said that one of her husband’s employees called them and said that he had received a text message containing […]

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Written on behalf of Brian Kabateck

July 6, 2018

Smart speakers have exploded onto the market, with Amazon and Google being the driving force behind making them common items in our households. The Amazon Echo powered by smart artificial intelligence Alexa has become a popular item for people who are looking into the latest advanced technology. But as the popularity of smart speakers grows, so does the safety and privacy concerns about a device that has the potential to listen to what you have to say and how it processes information using that data.

Smart devices can play music, tell you the weather, tell you the news, and it can even get you an Uber or Lyft. There’s no doubt that they are great devices capable of doing amazing things, but many people are questioning just how intrusive they are when it comes to our privacy. Wired reported one case where one person’s Amazon Echo smart speaker sent audio clips of a private conversation, and a response was formulated and sent to a random person on her contact list. The woman said that one of her husband’s employees called them and said that he had received a text message containing an audio recording of one of their conversations. This sparked the debate about whether privacy protections in smart devices were in order, and whether the benefits outweigh the risks of keeping a live mic that has the potential to record private conversations in your home.

Back in October, Google admitted that their Google Home devices were eavesdropping on its users. A tech blogger by the name of Artem Russakovskii discovered a bug in the software used by these devices that showed that they were saving audio recordings when the word “OK Google” wasn’t used. Smart speakers typically wait for a ‘wake’ word to indicate to the speaker that a command is being made, which prompts the device to record the audio, and then it’s sent to the servers.

Some ways you can protect your privacy from these devices is to unplug them when you want to make sure it’s not going to be eavesdropping. And if you feel that’s not going to do the job, you can exchange it for something that doesn’t have a microphone. Smart speakers are a new and exciting technology that gives us the ability of having our very own digital assistants, however there are still privacy concerns that need to be addressed and understood in order to protect the privacy of consumers.

A consumer class action is a lawsuit in state or federal court that is brought by one individual, or a few individuals, on behalf of a larger class of people similarly situated.

Typically, it seeks damages on behalf of the named persons bringing the suit as well as the members of the “class.” Class action claims can involve mass disasters, consumer product defects and failure, or even violations of state consumer protection laws.

The purpose for class actions is to combine the smaller-dollar claims of a large number of people in order to pursue the claims cost-effectively and improve the chances for success against large corporations.

When a case is brought as a class action, the court will first decide first whether it is a proper class action through a process called class certification. Then, the parties proceed toward trial on the basis of the claims in the case. Due to the nature of the case, the court must approve any settlement and will order notice to be given to any class action members who will be bound by a settlement agreement or a dismissal of the case.

The attorneys at Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP have honed specialized skills in handling class action litigation for several decades. Whether the suit is for a inoperative medical device, a deceptively designed printer cartridge, or an improper accounting at the bank, our attorneys have successfully represented thousands of clients in class action or similar representative actions.

 

 

 

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Brian Kabateck talked to KNBC about the impact of the SCOTUS travel ban ruling http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-talked-to-knbc-about-the-impact-of-the-scotus-travel-ban-ruling/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/brian-kabateck-talked-to-knbc-about-the-impact-of-the-scotus-travel-ban-ruling/#respond Wed, 27 Jun 2018 20:44:11 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19106 KNBC 4 June 27, 2018

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KNBC 4

June 27, 2018

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$1 Million Settlement for Insurance Bad Faith Involving Flooded Home http://www.kbklawyers.com/1-million-settlement-for-insurance-bad-faith-involving-flooded-home/ http://www.kbklawyers.com/1-million-settlement-for-insurance-bad-faith-involving-flooded-home/#respond Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:42:01 +0000 http://www.kbklawyers.com/?p=19098 KBK attorneys secured a 7-figure settlement on behalf of a Beverly Hills couple who purchased a “Superior Property Policy” which allegedly offered top-of-the-line homeowners coverage for large losses. When the couple sustained extensive damage to their family home in 2014 from flooding caused by wind-driven rain, the insurance company offered a fraction of the cost to make repairs and arbitrarily refused to pay its remaining obligations. Our legal team negotiated this agreement by uncovering the fact that top executives at the company were involved in a deliberate effort to fabricate a basis for denying coverage to the policy holders.  

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KBK attorneys secured a 7-figure settlement on behalf of a Beverly Hills couple who purchased a “Superior Property Policy” which allegedly offered top-of-the-line homeowners coverage for large losses. When the couple sustained extensive damage to their family home in 2014 from flooding caused by wind-driven rain, the insurance company offered a fraction of the cost to make repairs and arbitrarily refused to pay its remaining obligations. Our legal team negotiated this agreement by uncovering the fact that top executives at the company were involved in a deliberate effort to fabricate a basis for denying coverage to the policy holders.

 

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