Bay Area Personal Injury Blog - Mary Alexander & Associates

Can a Girl Declared Brain Dead File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Brain Injuries AttorneysIn December of 2013, a family took their 13-year-old daughter to Children’s Hospital in Oakland for a routine tonsillectomy. They couldn’t have imagined that their daughter might not pull through the common surgery, nor did they imagine the legal battle that would result. Now a medical malpractice lawsuit and the funds to continue life support hang on one question. Is their daughter dead or in a “minimally responsive state”?

Will a Declaration of Brain Death Hurt a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Here in California, damages for pain and suffering are capped at $250,000 when it comes to medical malpractice cases. However, if a victim has ongoing medical costs as a result of their injuries, juries can award unlimited economic damages. These unlimited damages cannot be claimed if the plaintiff is dead, which is where trouble begins for this California family.

During a routine surgery, the family’s 13-year-old suffered massive and irreversible brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. She suffered a cardiac arrest and was put on life support. A month later, the girl was declared brain dead and the coroner signed her death certificate, but the girl’s mother refused to take her off life support.

Why Is This Little Girl Still on Life Support?

The religious beliefs of the girl’s mother do not acknowledge brain death as actual death. And though most states do not accommodate such beliefs, New Jersey does. The girl was taken to New Jersey to remain on life support, and now a legal battle is being fought so that her care may continue back in California.

As the girl has been cared for in New Jersey, her parents and family members have claimed she is semi-responsive. They have posted videos online showing the girl twitching and allegedly responding to noxious smells. Though doctors back in California claim that even a brain-dead individual can occasionally twitch, a critic of brain death diagnoses has another opinion.

Doctor Alan Shewmon has examined the girl, and witnessed her reactions to smell, and he does not believe the girl is actually brain dead. He also claims the girl’s body has not deteriorated as it should have if the girl was brain dead. Another doctor who examines the girl every three months has even claimed the girl has reached puberty.

Will This Girl’s Death Certificate Be Overturned?

Based on this evidence and testimony, a judge here in California has ordered this case to trial. If the girl is declared dead, she may not return to California, but if her death certificate is rescinded, California doctors will be compelled to continue her treatment. Now only a jury can decide.

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, and the lives of families as they look to care for injured loved ones hangs in the balance. Experienced representation with a record of success can often be the better solution for these families in need. Don’t be afraid to contact a Bay Area medical malpractice attorney if you suspect your loved one received negligent treatment.

How Did the Nation’s Largest Mass Shooting Happen?

Las Vegas and the entire country are reeling over the horrific mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. At approximately 10 pm on October 1st, this Las Vegas country music festival became the site of America’s largest mass shooting to date.

What Happened the Night of October First?

As Jason Aldean sang for a packed crowd, gunshots rang out. The singer was forced to abandon the stage as bullets began to fly and stage crews shut off lights. Initially, festival goers thought the sounds of gunfire were helicopters or fireworks, but when people started to fall, the crowd ran for cover. Accounts from victims say the shooting lasted for 10-15minutes.

It is estimated that over 500 people were injured during the shooting, and as of this writing, at least 58 people are believed to be dead. That makes this shooting the largest mass shooting incident in our country’s history.

Who Was the Man Suspected of This Shooting?

Paddock was living in a Mesquite, Nevada retirement community about 80 miles north of Las Vegas. He was seemingly well off, owning an apartment complex in Texas with his brother. The man was not known for having any ties to terrorism or extremist groups, however, he was known to be a gambler. His brother described Paddock as a frequent visitor to Vegas, and he often bet large sums at the casinos. One such casino would become the site for his rampage.

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino was where Paddock checked in. Sometime during his stay at the resort, he brought in several guns and a large cache of ammunition, which he used to open fire from a 32nd floor room.

Could This Shooting Have Been Prevented?

Right now, authorities are covering every angle they can to figure out why anyone would commit such a heinous crime. Undoubtedly, the authorities will also be combing through security footage at the Mandalay Bay, and that may hold the key to several very important questions.

Were there any signs that Paddock was preparing for this shooting? Did he have any sort of help? How did he bring so many weapons into the hotel? These questions may prove important for more than just prosecutors and authorities, but for victims of this tragedy.

Hotels and other business establishments have a duty to provide a safe environment and protect guests and victims from foreseeable criminal attacks. In an instance such as this, if the hotel was negligent, then they could potentially be legally responsible, in part, for the wrongful deaths and injuries to the surviving victims . For now, we must wait to see what the investigation uncovers.

This news alert was brought to you by the Bay Area premises liability attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates.

Did Negligent Security Contribute to the San Francisco UPS Shooting?

Bay Area LawyerOn June 14th, the calm of the morning was broken by the crack of gunfire and screams. A lone shooter walked into a UPS facility here in San Francisco, and opened fire. Five victims were shot during the incident, but only two of these victims survived. The shooter later took his own life when confronted by police.

This tragedy shook the lives of families and workers, some of whom claim they cannot return to work due to resulting post-traumatic stress disorders. Even more astonishing, some of these workers claim that this senseless loss of life could have been avoided. Now they are taking these claims to court.

Will Witness Testimony Prove UPS Shooting Lawsuits’ Negligence Claims?

According to witnesses, when the shooter entered the UPS building, he passed through metal detectors. As he passed, a MAC-10 semi-automatic machine gun, an automatic pistol and ammunition hidden in a bag, set off a metal detector. However, the guards on duty allegedly let the man pass. This wasn’t the first time workers claimed to have witnessed such negligence.

Other incidents involving the presence of guns, and times when guards failed to stop unauthorized personnel were reported to supervisors and the company. Yet nothing was done, according to employees and family members who have filed these recent lawsuits.

Who Is Responsible When Security Fails to Protect?

Allied Universal (the company hired to man the metal detectors), Valacal Company (the building owner), and UPS have all been named in these lawsuits. These civil suits claim that the defendants were negligent of worker safety and did not provide adequate security, which resulted in the injury and death of several employees.

In California, as in most states, employers have a duty to provide a reasonably safe work environment for employees. This includes providing security in areas where it could be unsafe. If a company’s employees are attacked, hurt or even killed after their employer neglected to provide reasonable security, then that company could be held liable for damages suffered by the victims and their families.

As personal injury lawyers representing people from Oakland, San Jose, San Mateo and San Francisco, Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. has a deep understanding of workplace incidents such as this. Our record shows our passion for protecting victims of violence and negligence, so you can look to us for help and to keep track of the legal news you need to know as workers here in the Bay Area.

California Talc Powder Lawsuit News

image of the product involved in the talcum powder lawsuitA recent verdict was announced in a Los Angeles, California, lawsuit against manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, awarding $417 million to a woman who alleged that she developed ovarian cancer due to long-term use of the company’s talcum powder. The judgment included $347 million in punitive damages.

The California talc powder lawsuit was the sixth of its kind brought against Johnson & Johnson, with other plaintiffs also alleging that the company failed to warn both the public and the medical community about the risks of long-term use of the product for feminine hygiene, which has been shown to have a potential link to ovarian cancer. The previous cases were tried in St. Louis, Missouri. Four of the five previous lawsuits were ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, with a total of over $307 million awarded to the victims.

Details of the Latest California Talc Powder Lawsuit

According to the California talc powder lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the plaintiff who was awarded $417 million had been using Johnson & Johnson baby powder often twice a day for approximately 41 years. Upon being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the woman continued to use the talcum powder until she saw a news report concerning another woman who had developed ovarian cancer from talcum powder use.

During the trial, evidence was shown that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risks of developing ovarian cancer from talcum powder use as feminine hygiene as early as 1964. A spokesperson from Johnson & Johnson said the company plans to appeal the court’s decision.

More Baby Powder Lawsuits Being Filed

As of now, there are nearly 5,000 claims against Johnson & Johnson with regard to the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, with plaintiffs claiming that the company knew about, and chose to ignore, the risks of using their Johnson & Johnson and Shower to Shower products for feminine hygiene purposes. Undoubtedly, this will not be the last California talc powder lawsuit that Johnson & Johnson must deal with.

Because the risks and potential results of long-term use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder are individual and highly personal, California talcum powder lawsuits are not class action lawsuits. Each case receives individual attention for much higher potential monetary awards, concurrent with the damages, pain and suffering caused to the victims and their families.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer that is potentially linked to use of Johnson & Johnson or Shower to Shower products, the knowledgeable talc powder lawsuit attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

What are my Options as a Passenger Injured in a Car Accident?

If you are a passenger injured in a car accident, you also have rights. In fact, you may be in a position to receive more compensation than any of the drivers. If for instance, both drivers are partly at fault, the compensation awarded may be limited. If you have suffered injuries as a passenger, you first need to establish who was at fault. This is where our personal injury lawyers in San Francisco, CA come in. In most cases, none of the drivers will admit fault willingly. There is a need for an investigation to ascertain the party liable to cover for your injuries.

Making Third Party Injury Claims

As a passenger injured in a car accident, you can make an injury claim to the following parties:

• The insurance provider of the owner or driver of the car you were traveling in.

• The insurance provider of the other driver involved in the auto accident.

A claim to any of these insurance policies is considered a third party claim because you would be making a claim to another insurance provider other than your own. As a passenger injured in a car accident, it is also possible for you to sue both insurers. This can happen when the compensation received is not sufficient to cover for the injuries you have suffered. Our lawyers can help you sue for full compensation and receive the maximum amount allowed in injury claims.

The Need for a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you get involved in an injury, one of the things you contemplate is whether to hire the services of an accident injury lawyer. It is important to note that, even in straight forward cases complications can arise along the way. Personal injury laws also differ from one state to another. In light of this, you need a lawyer who has extensive knowledge of the law. Another hurdle in these cases is calculating the compensation. You may not be in a position to know how much your case is worth. The competent lawyers of Mary Alexander & Associates will review your case and advise you on the best way forward. Contact us and let our experience work for you.

Premises Liability in San Francisco

You may have heard of the phrase premises liability, but you might not know what it means. Premises liability means that a property owner has to keep their property safe for the people who enter it. In San Francisco, the amount of care that a property owner must take depends on whether the property is for business or personal use.

What types of accidents count?

Premises liability isn’t just for slip and falls. While that’s a large area of premises liability, it also involves construction accidents, dog bites, and even falling objects. Any time a person suffers an injury because of an unsafe condition on a property, there may be premises liability in San Francisco.

Business Owners

Business owners have the highest duty to take care of their property. That’s because they’re inviting people to come onto the property for their own benefit. Premises liability in San Francisco can apply when a business owner doesn’t take care to inspect their property and discover conditions that might cause injury. That is, a business owner has an affirmative duty to find and correct potential dangers.

Property for Non-Commercial Use

Private people don’t have the same premises liability in San Francisco that business owners have. That is, when a person comes on a property for the mutual benefit of both the owner and the guest, the owner doesn’t have to inspect the property. In that case, the property owner has a reasonable period of time to find a danger. Then, they need to correct the problem or warn the guest.

What about trespassers?

A property owner owes the least duty to a trespasser. It’s true that a trespasser can ask for premises liability in San Francisco under limited conditions, but the standards are very high. A property owner just can’t leave traps or obvious dangers.


If a person gets hurt because of unsafe premises, they may be able to recover damages. These damages can include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. No two cases are alike, and a victim must carefully bring their case to court to make a full recovery. Contact Mary Alexander & Associates today for a free consultation.

Bike Accidents in San Francisco

The number of bicycle trips made in San Francisco per day is estimated to be more than 82,000. Despite its reputation as a bike-friendly city, there are still many bike accidents in San Francisco. Careless motorists can easily cause serious injuries when they collide with bicyclists. If you have been in an accident caused by a negligent driver and suffered injuries, Mary Alexander & Associates can help. Entire blog

Is There an Increase in Motorcycle Accidents in the Summertime?

As a motorcycle rider, you probably want to avoid an accident if at all possible. If you are thinking about hitting the road a lot this summer on your bike, you could be concerned about the potential for motorcycle accidents. Yes, it is true that they happen, but there are ways to protect yourself. There are also steps that you can take if you do get into an accident, such as working with a personal injury lawyer.

Are There More Motorcycle Accidents in the Summertime?

Believe it or not, there is actually an increase in both motorcycle accidents and automobile accidents during the summer months. A few things could contribute to this, including the fact that people can be more prone to head on long road trips or otherwise hit the road when the weather is nice. Entire blog

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