Relatives Who Watched Victim Choke to Death Win CA Court of Appeals Case For Emotional Distress Claims

A state appeals court has upheld $375,000 in damages against a Berkeley hospital in a suit by two women who said they watched a relative choking to death after surgery while they waited for a doctor to arrive. Madeline Knox, in her 60s, underwent thyroid surgery at Alta Bates in September 2008 and was taken to a medical-surgical unit, where a nurse noticed breathing problems that indicated a possible obstruction in her upper airway. A jury awarded them $1 million for wrongful death, which was reduced to $250,000 under a state law limiting damages for medical malpractice. Justice Peter Siggins said in the majority opinion, the jury was entitled to conclude that Smith and Keys “observed Knox’s acute respiratory distress and were aware that (the hospital’s) inadequate response caused her death.”


The tort of Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress is available not only to persons who suffer physical injury but, to their relatives if they witness the victim suffering.  Such was the ruling in this California court of Appeals decision.

First Patient Sues Medical-Scope Maker Tied to UCLA Superbug Outbreak

In the first lawsuit stemming from the superbug outbreak at UCLA , an 18-year-old patient accused a major healthcare device maker of negligence for selling a medical scope prone to spreading deadly bacteria.


Not surprising that litigation has already commenced based upon personal injury suffered by a patient who caught a so-called “superbug” from an allegedly defective scope.  In California, medical negligence claims usually have many restrictions including caps on certain types of damages.  However, product liability claims like this one will likely not be subject these limits as the scope of the claims would be outside the parameters of the Medical Insurance Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).  I expect more lawsuits will probably follow against the manufacturer of these medical devices given that they have allegedly resulted in multiple infections including fatalities.

California Court of Appeal Rejects Yogurt-Labeling Lawsuit

(Reuters) – A California appeals court has declined torevive a proposed class action against Safeway Inc claiming thegrocery giant’s Lucerne brand of Greek yogurt does not meet theFood and Drug Administration’s


Safe labeling of our food should be a priority for all of us.  It is disappointing to see the California Court of Appeal reject a class action lawsuit that had the potential to make stores property label a product that does not meet FDA standards.

Carmakers to enlist help of multiple testing firms in air bag probe

A group of 10 automakers are expected to announce the hiring of a firm with aerospace experience


Obviously, air bags are not supposed to explode and shoot shrapnel into people.  This defect in the Takata air bag has apparently been the cause almost 70 injuries or deaths thus far. If it is found that the air bags were either manufactured or designed in a faulty manner, both the air bag manufacturer and, potentially, all persons in the “stream of commerce” including the car makers may be liable for personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Metro-North Engineer Tried to Slow Train Before Crash With S.U.V., NTSB Report Says

The National Transportation Safety Board released preliminary findings in its investigation, but answers to the main questions remain months away.


Far too many crashes still occur every year in and around railroad crossings.  A smash-up between a train and a car can cause derailments or other major mishaps which can cause multiple injuries or death.  The National Transportation Safety Board fully investigates these incidents and tries to reconstruct the events based upon accident data.  This type of investigation can prove invaluable to the injury victims in trying to present a claim for damages based upon negligence.

For more information on train accidents and related personal injury or wrongful death claims in California, visit our webpage .

What Do You Need to Know About the California ‘Superbug’?!?

The CRE bacteria kills up to half of infected patients


As medical science advances, so do the adaptations of bacteria and viruses.  This is a good article on the so called “California superbug” that has infected and killed patients at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Hospital.  The bacteria was apparently transmitted from a medical instrument during a procedure.

Distracted Drivers Being Ticketed By Officers In A Hearse Sends A Message

Toronto Police are using a hearse to catch distracted drivers in a week long campaign called “That Text or Call Could End It All”


Thanks to Atlanta Injury Lawyer, Laurie Robbins for the original share on this one.  I think more campaigns like this one are needed to wake up drivers as to the potential fatal consequences of distracted driving.