CZ&R Partner, John Carpenter, Wins $45 Million Award for Clients

- Andrea Kang

John Carpenter, a partner at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, won $45 million in damages for the four children of a woman killed when a drunk driver crashed into a crowd at a taco truck stand in Boyle Heights. The near unanimous verdict was reached on September 2, 2016, after only an hour of deliberations. In addition to the drunk driver, the jury also found the vehicle’s owner was liable for negligently entrusting her car to the drunk driver. The victim’s daughter and three sons were each awarded $11.25 million despite the drunk driver’s insurance company fighting the lawsuit for years, arguing that the dead mother’s life was worth little.

Notably, another person was also killed in the same incident. That family was not represented by CZ&R and they settled with the insurer before going to trial for just $15,000.

Read more here.

Nicholas Rowley wins $10.5 Million in case against Kern High School District

- jonlevy

We are very pleased to announce a $10.5 Million result for our client Mitch Carter.  Mitch sustained brain injuries when he was beaten at a Bakersfield High School pep rally in 2010.  He asserted that he was pressured to wear a chicken costume by school staff to mock a rival school’s football team.  He was subsequently piled upon by multiple students from the football team, which resulted in brain injuries.  The school was found to be 100% at fault in the incident by the jury.  Read more here.

Firm files wrongful death lawsuit against city of Santa Clarita

- jonlevy

Excerpts from this article appear in The Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Carpenter Zuckerman & Rowley filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Teresa Savaikie against the city of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County, Southern California Edison, the state and the man charged with vehicular manslaughter in the death of her 14-year-old son Wyatt who was killed on July 16 while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk near Bouquet Canyon and Seco Canyon roads in Saugus. The roadway, according to the lawsuit filed on April 8, was “dangerous and defectively planned, designed, drafted, engineered and constructed.”
“We’re hoping this litigation will make the streets safer for everyone in Santa Clarita,” said John Carpenter, lead attorney in the case. “The intersection is dangerous and didn’t give Wyatt a chance to see the car that hit him.”

Alleged dangerous conditions claimed by the suit include: deficient or insufficient line of sight; insufficient corner-site distance; insufficient stopping distance; lack of a traffic signal; lack of a stop sign; improper speed limits; and lack of illumination.  The suit claims the named defendants “and their agents, representatives and employees breached their respective and collective duties of care and allowed a dangerous condition to exist.”

The suit specifically names Southern California Edison, claiming the utility “owed a duty of reasonable care to place and manage their utility poles and other property in a safe and reasonable manner and so as not to obstruct motorists’ view of traffic signals, crosswalks and pedestrians.”
And, while the lawsuit names 74-year-old Ralph August Steger as the motorist who killed Savaikie’s son, the criminal case against Steger — who is charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter — is ongoing and has not been resolved.

Carpenter said the county and state were included in the suit because it’s often unknown if they share some level of responsibility for a road’s condition.

Seizure Suspected in Southern California Restaurant Auto Wreck

- adminbrand

Local authorities in the Los Angeles area are suspecting that a driver’s seizure caused a pre-holiday automobile crash at a restaurant in San Bernardino.

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, a local couple was dining at a San Bernardino pizzeria when a car came through the wall of the restaurant. The incident, which was captured on camera, showed a sedan crashing through the wall, sending tables, chairs and other debris flying.

Although authorities have not definitely pinpointed a cause of the incident, it was revealed in the ensuing days that a seizure was a contributing factor.

During the busy holiday season, those on the roadways need to exercise additional caution to compensate for increased traffic. Car accidents, though common, can be prevented, especially if drivers exercise additional caution and eliminate negligent behavior while behind the wheel.

How to Handle a Car Accident Situation

While unfortunate, car accidents are not uncommon. However, when they do occur, it is important that you take certain steps that help protect you and the people you love.

The first steps in any car accident scenario are getting driver information and notifying the proper authorities. Even if an accident is minor, with no serious damage or personal injury, it is important to involve the police from the start. A police officer can take statements at the scene to assess the situation and help determine fault. Police statements also help protect you if the other person wanted to change their story down the line.

In addition to involving police, if you have been injured it is recommended that you consult with a qualified personal injury attorney. Because California’s automobile laws are increasingly complex, enlisting the help of an expert attorney can provide a lot of clarity regarding your rights and protections. Attorneys can also advise on cases of negligence, as California is a comparative negligence state.

Negligence is one of the key issues that attorneys deal with regarding auto collisions. In fact, distracted driving continues to be of the primary causes of auto collisions, across the board. From texting and driving, to driving while drowsy, drivers today face a number of dangers when navigating area roadways.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another, the personal injury attorneys at Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP can help. We understand your rights under the law in the state of California, and are prepared to advocate on your behalf for full and fair compensation.

We are happy to offer a complimentary initial consultation to assess your case. Give us a call today at (310) 273-1230 to get started.

Proposed 100% Tour Bus Fleet Inspection after SF Bus Accident

- Paul Zuckerman

The double-decker tour bus that crashed into a San Francisco construction site late last year had not undergone maintenance checks, which has prompted calls for stricter regulations on carrier fleet inspections. City officials in San Francisco called the attention of the California Public Utilities Commission to conduct 100% inspection rather than a random sampling of a carrier’s fleet as it is currently required.

An attorney speaking on behalf of the beleaguered tour bus company previously stated that the bus lost control of its air compression brakes shortly before the bus crashed into scaffolding, injuring 20 persons – several seriously.

Tour Bus Accident

The accident occurred on Post and Stockton Streets in San Francisco where an electronics store was being constructed. Eyewitnesses say that the bus appeared to be running erratically and speeding shortly before crashing into several vehicles. The bus hit a bicyclist, several vehicles, and a construction site’s scaffolding which fell on more cars and people, causing serious injuries to 8 persons and other injuries to more than 10 people.

Mechanical Trouble

The bus that crashed into the construction area was a 2000 Orion VI bus, a model that has a history of troubled safety, including 2 fires and other mechanical problems involving air valve and braking problems. Another bus of the same make and model was involved in a prior incident where its undercarriage caught fire after the driver failed to release the brakes.

The reported incidents of mechanical trouble led to the permanent removal of this type of bus from the streets. The bus company that used a tour bus which was known for mechanical defects may be held liable for negligence for continuously operating this type of bus without conducting maintenance checks and procedures upon it.

Other factors that contribute to bus accidents include driver fatigue, driver inattention, and driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

Seeking Compensation after a Bus Accident

If you or a loved one is injured in a bus accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

In Los Angeles, California, our personal injury law firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLP is one of the largest in the city. We have years of proven experience in bus accidents, and helping clients recover compensation for their medical bills, lost earnings, ongoing treatment and therapy and for their pain and suffering.

We invite you to contact us today at (310) 273-1230 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your personal injury situation.