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September 2015 Archives

What options exist when a workers' compensation claim is denied?

Things do not always come easy for Los Angeles residents. When a person sets a goal, it is often met with several obstacles and challenges along the way that must be overcome in order to achieve that goal. Ultimately, with perseverance and the right set of skills, however, the individual may accomplish the goal.

Self-driving cars and car accidents: next steps after a crash

Self-driving cars created by Google have been on the streets of California for a few years. Now, there may be competition. There are rumors that Apple is now in discussions with the DMV about a self-driving car. Now, Google, Uber and Apple soon may all have their own self-driving vehicles on the road. 

New bill reduces gender bias in workers' compensation

Many Los Angeles residents work hard to make a living for themselves and their families. This hard work and sacrifice is demanding enough in and of itself, but it can be particularly difficult when individuals put in long hours in unsafe work environments. Safety issues can result in a worker getting injured on the job, which impacts the person's ability to continue working and earning an income.

California Supreme Court Grants Businesses' the ability to Exploit Consumers

On August 3, 2015, the California Supreme Court in a 6-1 decision in Sanchez v. Valencia Holding Co., LLC further opened the door to consumer exploitation through the use of one-sided contracts for goods and services. Sanchez alleged that the defendant automobile dealer made false representations relating to the condition of a used vehicle that Sanchez purchased from the defendant. The sales contract contained an arbitration agreement and class action waiver. This case dealt with the enforceability of that arbitration agreement and the a class action waiver found in the agreement. The Court, relying on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion and its interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act, determined such agreements, found in standard consumer contracts for good and services, are enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are heavily one-sided against the consumer, which means a single consumer would be unable to represent the interests of several consumers injured in the same manner in a class action. As a result, businesses utilizing such agreements can take advantage of consumers with little fear of recourse. Often the amount of damages involved in claims covered by these arbitration agreements are not economically feasible for a consumer to pursue on their own even with the assistance of an attorney. Without the ability to bring class actions, consumers will be subjected to unchecked abuse by businesses with which they contract. It seems now that the only counter to this abuse will be to amend or repeal the Federal Arbitration Act. 

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