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Walkup Law Blog

WALKUP ATTORNEYS OBTAIN $4,000,000 VERDICT IN S.F. PEDESTRIAN FATALITY TRIAL

A Walkup Law Firm trial team including partner Matthew Davis, associate Jeff Clause and headed by senior partner Michael Kelly obtained a $4 million verdict in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 against the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District arising from the wrongful death of Lori Helmer, a 51 year old finance executive who was struck and killed by a Golden Gate Transit bus on November 6, 2014 at the intersection of Van Ness and Lombard streets while she was out for a morning jog. When she was fatally struck, Ms. Helmer was crossing Van Ness from west to east when a left turning Route 54 bus ran over her, crushing her abdomen and pelvis with the rear dual wheels, resulting in her death two hours later at San Francisco General Hospital.

2016 in product recalls

The year 2016 was a big one for product recalls, with perhaps the massive recalls of Takata airbags and the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 making the most headlines. Many of these recalls were the result of consumers suffering serious injury because of the product was defectively designed or manufactured.

13-year-old dies of brain tumor missed by hospital

Failure to take a patient's symptoms seriously or to obtain a complete and thorough history of symptoms enough can lead to catastrophe. That is what the family of a teenage girl who died of a brain tumor in 2016 say caused her death. They are suing the hospital and three doctors for medical malpractice for failing to diagnose the tumor in time to treat it.

San Francisco unveils 1st 'protected intersection'

San Francisco's Vision Zero campaign includes an effort to avoid personal injuries to citizens by, in part, changing city's streets to better protect pedestrians and bicyclists. City officials optimistically hope to eliminate traffic fatalities in San Francisco by 2024.

10 injured, 5 seriously in car wreck at Chinatown bus stop

Even waiting at the bus stop in San Francisco is not as safe as you might think. Minding your own business on the curb still can put you in the path of an out-of-control car or truck and expose you to serious injury.

Ikea settles dresser death litigation for $50 million

Low-cost furniture chain Ikea has announced that it is settling litigation related to the deaths of three young children caused by unstable dressers. The company has reportedly agreed to pay $50 million to the families of the deceased.

Uber's driverless gamble debuts in San Francisco

The debate over safety, accessibility, reliability and consumer's acceptance of autonomous vehicles has grown heated as multiple tech businesses have pushed their efforts to get driverless vehicles on the road. Uber jumped to the forefront of the controversy in the Bay Area today by announcing that self-driving cars are part of their etaxi services starting now. Despite the absence of a testing permit from the California DMV, Uber is moving ahead with a select number of Volvo XC90 vehicles that do not require a driver although an attendant will be present in the vehicles.

License and registration

Uber claims that it doesn't need a testing permit because those permits apply to cars driving without the aid of a human driver to control or monitor them. The limited program in San Francisco has "monitors" in the front and back seat gathering data and standing ready to take control if something goes wrong. Whether state regulators take a similar view of California's regulations remains to be seen. 

California dental clinic allegedly sickened children

Going to the dentist should help children stay healthy and pain-free. But an attorney for dozens of California families say that one clinic harmed at least 57 children in the name of profits.

Bad weather and deadly car accidents

November ushers in the rainy season in San Francisco. Inclement weather starts to be a major problem in many parts of the U.S. this time of year. While extreme weather conditions (think hurricanes and tornadoes) inspire headlines, car accidents caused by bad weather kill many more people per year across the country. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, roughly 22 percent of all vehicle crashes involve hazardous weather. That translates to nearly 6,000 deaths per year in accidents caused by rain, fog, snow, ice and other weather phenomena.

Common cause of weather-related crashes

Over the past decade, wet pavement and rain were listed as the most common factors in weather-related crashes. While wet roads make collisions more likely, the real culprit behind many of these crashes is limited visibility. A hard rain or dense fog can take drivers by surprise. Visibility can drop to a few feet with little or no warning. If drivers do not adjust their speed accordingly, rear-end collisions are the likely result.