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December 2012 Archives

Businessmen convicted of worker's comp. fraud

Recently, the owners of a security company that employed over 2,700 people throughout California were convicted for worker's compensation fraud. The president of International Protective Services Inc., who was also a reserve L.A. County Sheriff's Deputy, was convicted of insurance fraud and grand theft. He was also convicted of illegally possessing assault rifles. The company's vice president was convicted of failing to file tax returns as well as a weapons violation. The pair allegedly tried to hide the number of their employees by creating a shell company in order to get out of paying worker's compensation premiums to the State of Californias. The alleged fraud cost the state $10.1 million in lost premiums.

U.S. court tackles wrongful death suit in California

Recently, the 9th Circuit Court asked the California Supreme Court to weigh in on the question of whether retailers must carry defibrillators for their customers in the event of a medical emergency such as a heart attack. The case stems from a wrongful death suit by the family of a woman who suffered a heart attack at a Target in Pico Rivera, California while shopping. It took the paramedics several minutes to arrive, and the woman died at the scene. The family alleged that Target did not comply with its common law duty to care for the customers in the store.

California Law aims at preventing brain injuries in school sports

A new law recently enacted in California has as its goal the reduction of serious brain injuries in high school sports. The law requires all high school coaches to go through concussion awareness training every two years. Brain injury rates are the highest in football for boys and in lacrosse for girls, though they can happen in almost any sport as well. Ice hockey, soccer and lacrosse are also sports that have a high incidence of traumatic brain injuries. According to a study done by Purdue University, 67,000 high school football players out of a total of one million are diagnosed with a concussion, and a high likelihood of a similar number of undiagnosed concussions. Brain injuries are especially prone to occur at practices, where there is no medical staff present.

Judge: medical implants not subject to strict products liability

Recently, a California appellate court ruled that the legal doctrine of strict liability does not apply to medical devices that a doctor prescribed and implanted. The case involved an allegedly defective product, namely, a femur implant. The plaintiff in the case, a cancer patient, alleged that the femur implant that he had fractured because it was made with material that was too soft, forcing him to undergo surgery and endure an extremely difficult recuperation. Thus, the plaintiff argued that the maker of the implant breached a duty of care to him by selling a defective product. The judge ruled that the device was medically prescribed and thus, was exempt from the doctrine of strict liability for public policy reasons. The court, however, ruled that the plaintiff could recover damages for negligence and for the design defect.

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