Three Men Lucky to Be Alive After Near Drowning

Posted by & filed under Premise Liability.

Three Men Lucky to Be Alive After Near Drowning

Part of living in the San Diego area is taking advantage of all the natural opportunities for fun in the sun. One of these is definitely going to the beach. Whether it be to soak up some rays, surf, kayak or go for a swim, just about everyone in the area makes their way out to the beach at some point throughout the year.

Unfortunately, the beach can also represent some very real threats. For those of us who find the setting familiar, it’s easy to take these risks for granted until it’s too late. However, three local men almost lost their lives recently in a near drowning. Had it not been for some nearby lifeguards who were practicing cliff rescues, they’d very likely be dead.

According to witnesses, two men around their mid-20s ran into the ocean near Sunset Cliffs at roughly 3:50 p.m. They were dressed only in jeans. It’s not known why they weren’t wearing swimsuits.

Almost immediately, though, they found themselves in trouble as a large surf and determined rip currents started working against them. A friend of theirs entered the water to help, but soon found himself in the same situation.

Many witnesses called 911, but some sought help from the nearby lifeguards who were in the middle of practicing rescuing swimmers who became stuck in just such a scenario. Fortunately, they were able to arrive on the scene in no more than two minutes and save the men’s lives.

One man had to be taken from the water by helicopter. Another was scooped out by a large crane that is mounted on the cliffs. The third was carried from the waves by stretcher.

While the men survived, their current condition remains unknown. They could have a lawsuit on their hands, though, if they can prove the area wasn’t adequately identified by the city as a safety risk.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/3-Involved-in-Drowning-Diving-Accident-in-Sunset-Cliffs-FD-280587622.html

La Costa Resort Sued for Negligence

Posted by & filed under Premise Liability.

La Costa Resort Sued for Negligence

Last May, a fire broke out at Omni La Costa Resort and Spa in La Costa. At first, the fire broke out close to the La Costa golf course’s seventh hole. It didn’t take long, though, for the fire to move on to claiming over 600 acres and 27 structures before it could finally be tamed.

In July, the chief fire investigator gave an interview where he said he believed the fire may have happened because of a golfer. Natural causes and arson were both ruled out and the fire’s origins were traced close to a cart path. Without cigar or cigarette butts nearby, they believed a golf club could have been to blame. A titanium golf club striking a rock may have been all the spark a fire needed to start.

The lawsuit alleges that the resort is responsible due to negligence. As a result of poor maintenance and operation of equipment and the entire property, the lawsuit claims the fire was able to start and spread. It also blames the resort for not safeguarding the neighboring community once the fire began to rage.

Multiple homeowners, renters, business owners, and others who lost property—or practically everything they own—are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Others suffered physical damage from the fire.

It should be reiterated that, at this time, the actual origin of the fire has not been isolated and probably never will be. However, if it was something as simple as a cigarette or cigar butt, the lawsuit claims it was the resort’s fault for not warning golfers about the dangerous conditions the course represented.

No matter what kind of business you own, there are risks involved—even unlikely ones like these—which is why it’s so important to have legal representation you can call at a moment’s notice.

Sources:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/10/13/poinsettia-fire-lawsuit-blames-la-costa-resort-for-negligence/

http://www.golfdigest.com/blogs/the-loop/2014/10/california-golf-resort-sued-ov.html

http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/west/2014/10/17/256416.htm

Inmate’s Family Sues Sheriff’s Department over His Death

Posted by & filed under Premise Liability.

Inmate’s Family Sues Sheriff’s Department over His Death

When an inmate enters prison, it goes without saying that they leave certain rights at the door. However, that doesn’t mean they have none at all. According to Shaunda Brummet, her son, Daniel Sisson, 21, died because staff at Vista Detention Facility didn’t respect his.

According to court documents, Sisson entered jail as a result of a heroin addiction. This was reportedly something he found himself with after looking for a means of dealing with Rider’s syndrome, a disease characterized by arthritis.

At first, Brummet says she felt relieved his son was behind bars, where she was hoping he would be safe from the temptations found in the outside world. She also hoped they might be able to help him with the addiction that landed him there in the first place.

Unfortunately, back in 2011, Sisson suffered an asthma attack while in his jail cell. Although footage from that day shows facility staff doing their regular checks, no one helped the inmate.

The family’s attorney, Chris Morris, believes this video makes his case. According to him, the footage makes clear that staff were simply going through their paces and “don’t even break stride” when passing by Morris’ cell. Instead, Morris says, “they just walk right on by.”

On top of failing to follow standard of care, the family’s lawsuit against the San Diego Sherriff’s Department also claims the staff was being deliberately indifferent to Sisson’s medical needs.

They had their first day in court this past Tuesday, but reports haven’t followed yet.

Without seeing the footage, it’s tough to know how much of a case the family has. However, it’s important to understand that you should speak with an attorney before you or your loved one ever goes behind bars, to better understand what rights are still respected. This way you’ll know when it’s appropriate to press charges to prevent something like this from happening.

Source:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/10/27/family-of-vista-inmate-who-died-sues-san-diego-sheriffs-department/

Humvee Crashes near Camp Pendleton

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

Humvee Crashes near Camp Pendleton

Due to Camp Pendleton’s location in San Diego County, it’s not rare to see large vehicles making their way down local highways. Military Humvees are especially prevalent around this marine base. While the men and women who drive these vehicles go through a litany of training, that doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. Given the size of these vehicles, when they do, the results can be deadly.

Fortunately, there were no fatalities involved in a recent accident that resulted in a crash on Interstate 5 close to Aliso Creek. However, two of the marines involved left the scene with at least moderate injuries.

At this time, there’s no word on what caused the driver of the Humvee to crash into a truck while heading south on Interstate 5, though drugs and alcohol have been ruled out.

It was just before 10 a.m. when the accident occurred. Two marines were in the Humvee, both the passenger and driver were males in their 20s. According to the California Highway Patrol, the 45-year-old man behind the wheel of the truck saw a Humvee approaching his vehicle in the rearview mirror.

Before he could recognize that it wasn’t slowing down or stopping, the Humvee clipped the back right corner of the man’s truck. It hit with such force that the large military vehicle spun out of control. First, it headed up the embankment off the right shoulder and then crossed four lanes of interstate traffic before colliding with the center divider.

The passenger in the Humvee is said to have suffered the worst, being taken from the scene with major injuries. The southbound lanes of the freeway needed to be closed down so that a helicopter could take him to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. An ambulance took the driver away with moderate injuries.

Had it not been for the size of the truck he was driving (it was a tractor trailer), the driver could also be in a hospital right now.

Nonetheless, he should speak with an attorney immediately to ensure he recoups any damages he may be owed.

Source:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/10/26/military-vehicle-crash-shuts-down-traffic-near-camp-pendleton/

High Speed Chase Ends with Car Crashing into Home

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

High Speed Chase Ends with Car Crashing into Home

It should go without saying that if the police attempt to pull you over, your natural response should be timely compliance. Unfortunately, that’s not what a local Oceanside man did this past Sunday night.

Of course, that’s probably because Larry Frank Lopez, 42, was driving a stolen car. Police came across the vehicle and, upon running the plates, learned it had been reported as stolen six days earlier. When they attempted to pull Lopez over, he took them on a high-speed chase. This happened, despite the fact that the passenger in the vehicle was his 23-year-old son, Larry Frank Lopez Jr.

It was around 11:30 p.m. when Aaron Todd told police he thought he felt an earthquake that woke him up. When he reached the top of his stairs, however, he quickly realized he was mistaken. That’s because he was staring at the front of an SUV that had just crashed through his home.

Seeing the driver trying to escape the vehicle through its driver-side door, Todd went out the back of his home and helped the man get free through the back door. At this point, Todd said, his only concern was keeping the strangers away from his kids. Once free, the driver took off, only to be found not far away by Prairiestone Way. He had suffered obvious head trauma.

Emergency responders needed to pull Lopez Jr. from the vehicle. He had suffered life-threatening injuries and had to be taken to Palomar Medical Center.

Upon searching the vehicle, authorities say they also found handguns. While Lopez had originally managed to evade the police, the accident meant they found the two within 20 minutes.

Both men should contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Any one of the crimes we know they’ll be charged with come with lengthy sentences, meaning they’ll need all the help they can get.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Escondido-Fieldbrook-Pursuit-Chase-Crash-Yard-Living-Room–280510792.html

Gay, Transgender Inmates File Lawsuit against Prison

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

Gay, Transgender Inmates File Lawsuit against Prison

Prison is not known for its freedom, but inmates still have a number of rights that are to be respected. This is especially true where equal treatment is concerned. According to 15 plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit against Sand Bernardino County, though, this isn’t their experience behind bars.

The plaintiffs are all gay, bisexual, or transgender, and believe that this status is keeping them from being treated like other inmates. Namely, they say that this status means they are housed in a segregated unit that does not permit equal access to work programs that would decrease their length of incarceration and give them the training they need to land jobs upon release. They also claim it denies them admission to rehabilitation services as well.

Filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, the lawsuit seeks to be treated with class-action status. It includes both former and current inmates who spent or are spending time in the alternative lifestyle tank at West Valley Detention Center.

They are being represented by a private firm as well as the American Civil Liberties Union. According to a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department, they have not yet seen the lawsuit, nor would they comment on any pending litigation.

Although the lawsuit is only focusing on a San Bernardino County, the ACLU hopes it will influence change all across California regarding how such inmates get treated.

While separating inmates of an “alternative lifestyle” are routinely separated from the rest of the population to prevent them from becoming victims of assault, it’s done so with the understanding that they will not be denied access to prison services while in custody of the state.

This lawsuit highlights why anyone heading to prison should contact an attorney first to ensure they understand their rights behind bars. If the plaintiffs in this suit are accurate, they may have served a greater amount of time than necessary because they couldn’t work to shorten their terms.

Source:

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/22/transgender-gay-inmates-sue-over-jail-rights/

Family of Rebecca Zahau Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Posted by & filed under Other.

Family of Rebecca Zahau Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Back in 2011, Rebecca Zahau’s nude body was found hanging from Speckels Mansion, a historic building located in Coronado. After an investigation, the sheriff’s department concluded Ms. Zahau had committed suicide after the death of her boyfriend, Max Shacknai.

However, a recent lawsuit brought forth by Zahau’s family alleges that she was actually murdered by the deceased boyfriend’s relatives.

The wrongful death lawsuit seeks $10 million and claims that the ex-wife and brother of Shacknai, Dina and Adam, planned, implemented, executed, and concealed a plot to murder Zahau. Dina’s twin sister, Nina, is also named in the lawsuit as having played a role.

An attorney for the Dina Shacknia, Kim Schumann, released a statement calling the lawsuit “baseless and senseless.” A motion had originally been filed to dismiss the case, but a judge denied it last week. Schumann’s statement clarified that this doesn’t say anything for the case itself, in terms of her client’s innocence.

The complaint the judge did accept is actually the fourth of its kind. Prior to it, the judge denied three others for lacking specific allegations. This current version alleges that Dina’s role involved attacking Zahau by striking her in the back of the head multiple times with a blunt object, during a confrontation that involved both parties and Nina. According to the suit, the two then involved Adam, with the trio binding and gagging Zahau, choking her to death and then hanging her from the building naked.

Adam is then said to have written the message investigators would find on the front door of the mansion, “SHE SAVED HIM. CAN YOU SAVE HER” under direction from Nina.

Keith Greer, who is representing the family, alleges that Dina believed Zahau had played a role in her son’s death.

While time will tell how much truth there is to these allegations, it’s a reminder that you always need a good lawyer. Even after what appears to be a clear-cut conclusion to a case, you could still find yourself in court.

Source:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Rebecca-Zahau-Lawsuit-Alleging-Murder-is-Baseless-Attorney-Dina-Shacknai-Jonah-Max-Adam-Nina-Rameno-280137602.html

Escondido Checkpoint Proves DUIs Are Still a Problem

Posted by & filed under Other.

Escondido Checkpoint Proves DUIs Are Still a Problem

As one of the oldest cities in San Diego County, Escondido has a rich history that plays an important role in the city’s past. Unfortunately, it recently contributed to the county’s present in all the wrong ways. A DUI checkpoint this past Friday set up in Escondido caught a massive amount of drivers who should never have been behind the wheel in the first place.

The DUI stop was conducted near the intersection of Juniper Street and Valley Parkway, according to Escondido Police Lieutenant Justin Murphy.

In all, the police stopped some 1,228 vehicles for screening. 64 of them were then ordered to a secondary screening either because the driver couldn’t provide a valid license or officers suspected them of being under the influence.

At the secondary location, two drivers were arrested for being under the influence. A further 43 were given citations. Of these, 26 were cited for unlicensed driving, 10 for not having insurance and seven for operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license. In total, nine vehicles were impounded.

The good news is that more drivers weren’t found to be driving while under the influence. However, if you do the math, it’s likely that Escondido would have more than their fair share of drunk drivers throughout the course of the year.

On average, roughly 16,000 drivers are arrested each year in San Diego County for driving under the influence. Males make up a significant amount of this population, with 13,000 of those arrests.

Given that the state of California is able to convict nearly 80% of those arrested for DUI, these statistics can’t be labeled the result of over vigilance.

Obviously, you should never take the wheel when you are intoxicated. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand when this is the case and risk their lives and the lives of innocent people. If you find yourself arrested for DUI, it’s vital that you contact a lawyer immediately.

Sources:

http://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2014/10/25/police-arrest-2-cite-43-escondido-dui-checkpoint/

http://www.topgundui.com/san-diego-dui-enforcement

Eight Vehicle Accident Occurs on I-8

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

Eight Vehicle Accident Occurs on I-8

With so many commuters taking to San Diego freeways at all hours, unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before an accident occurs. This is why it’s so important that you always have the contact information for a qualified attorney handy, so you can act fast in securing the representation you need.

This past Monday, a rather scary accident occurred on Interstate 8, while it was particularly busy. It happened just before 4 p.m., meaning the evening rush hour had begun in full swing.

At this time, there are no reports on what caused the crash. All we know is that it happened on eastbound I-8 and that, by the time it was over, eight vehicles were involved. Whether due to the number of cars, the severity of the injuries or both, four of the six lanes had to be closed down for roughly 45 minutes. We know there were at least minor injuries involved, but that’s about it.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing is nothing new for I-8. Last week, there was a crash on the interstate reported around 6:10 a.m. Witnesses said that after being cut off, an SUV with a toddler on board flipped over. The SUV itself and a center divide were damaged in the process. Traffic was backed up for miles while emergency responders processed the scene.

About an hour later, an MTS truck broke down, disabling another lane for the next 60 minutes or so. Fortunately, the snarled traffic didn’t result in any further difficulties beyond the obvious delays.

While it’s always important to practice safe driving, there’s only so much you can do. As the driver of the SUV found out, sometimes it’s someone else’s bad driving that becomes your problem. Although we don’t know what triggered the eight car pile-up, chances are it was one person’s mistake.

Sources:

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/8-Vehicles-Crash-on-I-8-Sig-Alert-Issued-280590092.html

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/27/eight-car-pileup-interstate8-interstate-15/

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/oct/20/crash-interstate-8-SUV-rollover/

DUI Leaves Driver with Severe Burns

Posted by & filed under Auto Accidents.

DUI Leaves Driver with Severe Burns

It’s never a good idea to get behind the wheel when you’ve had too much to drink. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop at least 16,000 people in San Diego County from doing it every year, and those are just the people who get caught. Although many people see drinking and driving as a harmless enough act, the truth is just the opposite as one driver recently found out in Carlsbad.

This past Saturday morning, a driver who is believed to have been under the influence of alcohol was traveling eastbound on Aviary Parkway. For some reason—again, it could have just been alcohol—he wound up losing control of his vehicle. According to Carlsbad Police Lieutenant, Mickey Williams, it was then that he crashed into some trees located in the center divider, just east of Cormorant Drive.

Things got much worse, though, after his vehicle finally came to a stop in the westbound lanes on the other side. It was then that the vehicle burst into flames.

Although he was eventually able to escape, reports say the driver didn’t get away without incurring major burns. He was quite fortunate to even be able to exit the vehicle alive.

Nonetheless, his injuries were bad enough that a helicopter needed to fly him to UC San Diego Medical Center for treatment at their Burn Center. Firefighters were also needed to put out the vehicle’s fire. Aviara Parkway was closed down from Batiquitos Drive to Cormorant Drive while emergency crews responded.

Again, alcohol is not yet confirmed as a factor in the crash. However, if it is, the man will be facing charges in a state that convicts on DUIs 80% of the time. While you never want to take the wheel when intoxicated, this should highlight why, should you be charged with a DUI, you need to speak with an attorney immediately.

Sources:

http://timesofsandiego.com/crime/2014/10/25/suspected-drunk-driver-seriously-hurt-fiery-crash/

http://www.topgundui.com/san-diego-dui-enforcement