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Santa Monica Personal Injury Law Blog

Faulty G.M. Ignition Switch Just One of 'Array of Concealed Defects'

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Apparently, the only thing new about the "new G.M.," as it is known, is the fact that it survived the Great Recession after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Hilary Stout with the New York Times reports that G.M. currently faces the considerable weight of a 700-page "master complaint" filed in federal court, a class action behemoth of a case that alleges G.M. has "produced an inordinate number of vehicles with serious safety defects."

Catholic Dioceses Stagger Under Weight of Sex Abuse Settlements

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$1.2 billion: That's the number reported by the Catholic News Agency (CNA) last year regarding a rash of sex abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church in California. After the state legislature made a change to the statute of limitations in the 2000s, victims of sex abuse brought roughly 1,000 lawsuits that resulted in around $1.2 billion in damages.

Racism in the Workplace (In Case You Thought This Didn't Happen Anymore)

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No employee appears to have been fired. All but one resigned, as Victoria Prieskop reports for Courthouse News Service ("The Worst Boss in the World?"). The employer, an hotelier with four properties in his portfolio, apparently believed his employees' resignations would insulate him from being sued for employer misconduct.

He was wrong.

How to Regain Hope after Traumatic Brain Injury

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You or your loved one is seriously hurt in a major accident.

What happens next can mean everything to your survival and ultimate recovery. In the best of circumstances, first responders arrive shortly after the accident, render first aid, and deliver you to a Level I trauma center. At the trauma center, health care providers get you into surgery right away, relieve intracranial pressure on the brain (and otherwise perform to the best of their abilities), and get you stabilized.

However, if the crash caused a traumatic brain injury (TBI), being stabilized in the hospital - while crucial - is just the beginning.

BP's Lawyers Earn Bench-Slap for Not Getting to the Point

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Mark Twain (1835-1910) was the author of the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, among other famous works of fiction. Twain also wrote quite a bit of nonfiction and journalism in his career. Of writing, he famously said, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead."

This quote goes to the heart of what it takes to produce decent writing of any kind, including legal writing: editing down to the essential.

How the Government Mishandles Federal Employees' Discrimination Complaints

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Employees have certain rights, including the right to be free from discrimination in the workplace based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, and disability.

When a federal employee files a discrimination case, the complaint is initially reviewed by the federal agency for which the employee works. Federal agencies serve as "gatekeepers" for discrimination claims; review offices residing within those agencies (from Homeland Security to the U.S. Postal Service) decide whether to allow discrimination complaints to proceed or to dismiss them.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published a report that showed the most common errors federal agencies make in dismissing complaints.

Napa Quake Sends TV Flying, Causes Fatal Brain Injury

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As Rong-Gong Lin II reports for the Los Angeles Times, California's August 2014 earthquake in Napa - which registered 6.0 on the Richter scale - has claimed its first death. A woman was struck in the head by her TV, which came flying at her during the quake, according to the 65-year-old woman's daughter. (See: "Napa earthquake death: 2 weeks later, quake claims first victim.")

The woman, Laurie Thompson, died one week ago Friday from an intracranial hemorrhage.

The New Tiers of Children's Surgical Care

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Laura Landro with the Wall Street Journal reports that the American College of Surgeons has created a three-tier classification system that should help hospitals and parents make better decisions when it comes to children's healthcare in acute cases ("Programs Aim to Standardize Surgical Care for Children").

Take a look at the image below, provided by the Wall Street Journal, which depicts the three levels of care.

Fresno Heart Surgeon Sued for Malpractice, Again

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Dr. Pervaiz Chaudhry and Community Regional Medical Center have been sued by the family of a man, Gregory Riddle, who died shortly after Dr. Chaudhry operated on him. As Rick Montanez reported for KFSN News, the family hadn't known the Medical Board of California was investigating the case until the Board called at home.

This lawsuit makes it Chaudhry's fourth.

JFK Memorial Hospital and Palo Verde Hospitals Sued in Flesh Eating Bacteria Case

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Two California hospitals were recently sued by the family of a patient who died of necrotizing fasciitis, otherwise known as flesh-eating bacteria.

This case involves 45-year-old Cosme Camargo Jr., who was brought to the Palo Verde emergency room complaining of pain and swelling in his left arm. Surgeons at the hospital noted a blood flow blockage and operated on the arm to restore circulation.

The next day, the surgeons noted that Camargo's white blood cell count was high and rising. He was ultimately diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria) which can only be prevented by cutting off the impacted tissues.

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