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Stolen Wage Lawsuit Results in Job Reinstatement for Two California Truckers

Recently, two Long Beach port truckers who had been misclassified as independent contractors, when they were really employees, achieved a landmark victory. Green Fleet Systems in Long Beach was not thrilled with the federal judge’s ruling against them, as they were ordered to cease illegal job misclassification activity, or face contempt of court. The court’s decision is the first of several injunctions in support of misclassified workers’ rights in U.S. history.

Misclassifying workers in order to pay them lower wages is not just a problem in California, occurring nationwide. According to the Teamsters’ General President Jim Hoffa, truckers were being treated like regular workers but illegally paid independent contractor wages for years.

The two truckers were fired by Green Fleet Systems last January for questioning whether their job classification was legal, for filing claims for stolen wages with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and for publicly standing up for the Teamsters Union. Such unjust dismissal is referred to as retaliation, an illegal action in violation of labor laws. The court’s decision to censure Green Fleet Systems acts as a warning to the trucking industry that workers have the right to union representation and cannot be fired for filing wage claim thefts.

Workers who feel they are misclassified as independent contractors should seek legal counsel and find out how the local labor laws apply in the specific situation.

Call us today at 916.486.1712 or visit http://www.lawbarron.com.

Inter Resident Violence and Aggression Common in Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse is an ugly and often hidden phenomenon in many U.S. long-term nursing facilities. All too often, the abuse is at the hands of home staff and aides. However, staff and management are not the only sources of abuse. Inter-resident violence occurs frequently in many facilities and is often not reported or managed successfully by caregivers.

A new report by Dr. Karl Pillemer, professor of gerontology at Weill Cornell College of Medicine, reveals widespread aggression, conflicts and violence are common in U.S. nursing homes. In fact, one in five residents reported having confrontations of one type or another with other patients at least once a month.

Consider some of the stories involving resident-against-resident violence: an elderly lady in a wheelchair, constantly harassed by another resident who wants intercourse, the violent roommate with dementia who bullies everyone and gets away with it, or the elderly man with a flashpoint temper who lashes out at everyone when he does not get his own way. Behavior like this seems to be an every day occurrence in nursing facilities.

In a sample of some 2,000 nursing home patients, virtually 16 percent got into verbal flare-ups involving yelling, screaming, cursing and other forms of verbal abuse. Nearly 6 percent actually got into a physical confrontation with another resident where biting, kicking and hitting were the norm. And one percent experienced unwanted sexual behavior in the form of aggressive advances from another resident.

The most shocking issue involving elder abuse is that fact that it does not just happen in nursing facilities, but also at home and in other private residences. It is a vastly underreported problem that appears to not have any kind of a readily available solution. Caregivers with more oversight and training may be a place to start. Better understanding of cognitive issues would also go a long way toward helping those in care. Dementia is not something people can control and patients do odd things often as the result of mental dysfunction.

Nursing home and elder abuse are issues that the nation needs to look at with the honest intention of doing something about it, not hiding it.

Exploding airbags lead to wrongful death lawsuit

Recent news has brought many stories of deaths caused by defective car parts, ranging from ignition switches to, most recently, air bags. Takata Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are to be the defendants in lawsuits filed alleging their responsibility for exploding airbag deaths. Manufacturers are now recalling millions of vehicles for the defect.

The risk of Takata Corp. produced airbags exploding and spraying metal shards inside the vehicle, putting the driver and passengers at risk of serious injuries, first received official response in January 2014. Various automakers worldwide have recalled nearly 16 million cars to address this issue. The first known instances of the problem in fact occurred as early as 2008.

In Orlando, Fla., Hien Tran’s family recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Takata and Honda. On Sept. 29, Tran’s vehicle collided with another car and the airbag exploded. She died three days after the accident. The statement of claim suggests Honda failed in its duty to keep customers safe by warning them about the potential danger of the airbags, despite Honda’s awarenesss of the issue. The company knew of at least eight serious airbag injuries between 2009 and 2014.

What initially baffled investigators about this accident was the fact that Tran had stablike wounds, causing an accident investigation to become, temporarily, a homicide case. Those wounds, later determined to be airbag shrapnel by the Medical Examiner, contributed to her death. Neither corporation has commented to the media, other than to indicate that owners of recalled vehicles need to get their vehicles fixed as soon as they can.

There have been at least four deaths in the U.S. linked to Takata airbags in Honda vehicles. Shockingly, the Tran statement of claim also alleged an email from Honda headquarters suggesting dealers not contact customers about the issue, as there were not enough replacement parts.

Any California residents who may have been in an accident and been hit by flying metal shrapnel from the airbag, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to potentially file a lawsuit for wrongful death and for knowingly installing a defective product in vehicles and not warning consumers in order to receive compensation for injuries.