Category: Blog

NFL to Refs: Be aware of head injuries

The NFL will instruct game officials to be more alert to concussion symptoms this week in the wake of the head trauma and subsequent seizure suffered by San Diego Chargers guard Kris Dielman on Oct. 23.

“We are taking the step on officials to make them alert to obvious concussion symptoms,” Greg Aiello, the NFL’s vice president of public relations, said. “We’re not trying to train the officials to be doctors, but we’re asking them to treat it like other injuries that may make it necessary to stop the game and get them medical attention, either on the field or by getting them off the field.”

Read more on ESPN.com

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Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

 

LA Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Train Cameras

As reported by the AP News, a Los Angeles judge has thrown out a lawsuit by Metrolink engineers objecting to onboard video cameras.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen had argued that the commuter rail system infringed on their due process rights and their privacy by installing cameras to monitor engineers. The rail service said the union failed to demonstrate an invasion of privacy. Metrolink spokeswoman Angela M. Starr said in a release that Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin dismissed the case Thursday.

The cameras were installed after a September 2008 crash that killed 25 people and injured 100 others. Investigators found the engineer was texting at the time and had just run a red light.

Generally, there is no right to privacy in a public place. Though the workplace, such as a cubicle or the cab of a locomotive, may provide some privacy to an employee, the courts generally consider the employer’s legitimate business needs and other factors, such as public safety, in deciding how much privacy there is.

The lesson here is, use common sense. Don’t assume you have any privacy in the workplace unless you are clearly in a private area (ie, a restroom, and even then there are limits).

As for allowing cameras in the locomotive cab, I think that’s an excellent idea.

The Metrolink disaster happened in my neighborhood. I remember the flower memorials and tears after the wreck. Safety is everyone’s business.

 

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

LaHood New Tour Bus Safety Measures

Recent fatal accidents involving tour buses spurred a Senate committee to order new safety rules. Secretary LaHood announced new commercial driver’s license standards, federal safety requirements, consumer tools, and stepped up enforcement campaign. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Transportation has put forth several new policy proposals designed to raise the bar for passenger carrier safety.

The best safety regulation is an enforceable requirement that all bus operators maintain sufficient insurance against death and serious injury. The old $1million policy standard is no longer adequate in a modern economy and accident victims should be protected. Plus, insurance companies are a first line of safety defense, since they have an economic incentive to enforce minimum operating standards in order to avoid claims.

If we truly want safer transportation for our seniors and children (the primary users of these buses), then let’s hold operators responsible for the damage they cause. Government can’t do the job and we don’t want to pay for larger bureaucracies anyways. Let the private sector operate in a free market. I’ll trust a for profit insurance carrier to enforce standards over government any day, they don’t want to pay claims after all.

 

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

Winning cases is great, however, you still gotta get paid

This week, a California appeals court granted the tobacco giant, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a reprieve from paying $700,000 in attorneys’ fees in a dispute with the state. This case alleged Reynolds violated a settlement agreement by “ ‘using or causing to be used’ any ‘cartoon’ in the advertising, promoting, labeling or packaging of tobacco products“. Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division One. No. D056589.

This goes to show the risk of the contingent fee. It is one thing to successfully bring a valid claim. It is another to actually recover money. Lawyers who do contingency fee work truly do risk their own capital and time to help people work out their disputes in a productive fashion, that is, in a justice system. Compare that free market system with what goes on in, say, China, and you begin to understand why the founding fathers put the right to a civil jury trial in our federal constitution.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

Walmart Stores v. Dukes Transcript

The Supreme Court heard oral argument Tuesday on a challenge to the certification of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of female employees against the giant retailer Wal-Mart.

This is an important case.  We are all waiting to see how the Supreme Court treats class actions in the context of gender discrimination.

Click here to read the Supreme Court transcript.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.
 

Class Cert. Denied In Lockheed OT Suit

Last week a California federal judge shot down a motion for class certification in an overtime suit against Lockheed Martin Corp., saying that the proposed class of industrial security representatives was too diverse in their actual duties to be certified.

Judge Michael M. Anello wrote the order denying class certification. He based his decision primarily on the plaintiffs’ inability to meet the FRCP Rule 23(b) requirement that common issues predominate.

Basically, plaintiffs argued all putative class members were public- safety employees who were entitled to overtime. Judge Anello wasn’t convinced. He found that the plaintiffs hadn’t put on evidence that all the putative class members were engaged in the same type of work. He then focused on defendant’s argument that each putative class member had different job duties depending on which project they were assigned to in denying certification.

The lesson is, do your discovery on Rule 23 criteria early and thoroughly. Plaintiffs have the burden and, if you forget that fact, the judge will happily remind you.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.

US Supreme Court Permits Waivers Of Class Action Rights In Arbitration Agreements

Supreme Court upholds class action waivers in AT&T v. Concepcion.

This is bad law. In effect, the US Supreme Court has created a safe harbor for corporate fraud, it’s sort of like licensing a tax on everything we buy. So long as the amounts stolen are too small to justify an individual case, crooked practices will be profitable.

At some point, corporate greed will demonstrate to all why this decision is wrongheaded. In the meantime, caveat emptor (ie, “buyer beware”), big time.

Bill Daniels is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA.  A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, he is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors, a founding member of Loyola’s Civil Justice Program and a past president of the Encino Lawyers Association.  Since 2007, he has been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine.  Mr. Daniels focuses his practice on serious personal injury, insurance and employment. For information, visit our website at www.daniels.legal or contact us through e-mail: Info@danielslaw.com.