Wrongful Death Suit for Sunbathers

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

August 2, 2019, a group of sunbathers was enjoying themselves at Grandview Beach in the town of Encinitas, California when the bluffs overlooking the beach collapsed, according to Courthouse News. Tons of sandstone fell on the sunbathers, killing one, Elizabeth Charles, instantly. Two others, Charles's niece, Annie Davis Clave and her mother, Julie Davis, died later at the hospital. Their families are now suing the city of Encinitas and the state of California in San Diego Superior Court, claiming wrongful death because a city lifeguard had directed the group to set up directly underneath the bluffs.

The three victims died, by all accounts, horribly, with Charles having to be recovered in pieces and Clave and Davis having been crushed underneath the rubble.

Reasons for Claims

The plaintiffs claim that the unstable sandstone bluffs had been further compromised by a condominium development, a non-native, invasive ice plant, and a poorly designed irrigation and storm drain management system. Scientists and engineers warned that the bluffs were unstable, yet the state of California and the city of Encinitas did nothing to mitigate the danger, according to the suit, even to the extent of closing the beach.

The Bluffs

Indeed, only $400,000 has been secured from the federal government for the engineering stage of a project to make the bluffs more secure. The beach underneath the bluffs is still open, even a year after the accident that took three lives.

The problems with the bluffs and the development that has exacerbated their erosion have been known of since 1984. A plan to replace the non-native plants with native plants and a monitoring system have not been implemented. A proposal to use rock bolts to stabilize the cliffs has not been adequately implemented.

In short, the sudden tragedy was the result of decades of bureaucratic neglect, that continues to this day, according to court filings. The families are seeking both special and general damages from the court.


For more information on wrongful death and the services that Lederer Nojima offers, contact us.

Personal Injury Law and Medical AI

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

How will artificial intelligence in medicine affect personal injury law? Lederer Nojima explains. 

AI in Medicine

Artificial intelligence will increasingly be used as a tool for medical diagnosis. The technology will be able to deliver results far more accurately and rapidly than a trained doctor alone. The results will be a boon for all humankind as diseases are caught before they develop too much, resulting in better outcomes as treatments are brought to bear.

However, as with any other technology, AI can fail, leading to harm to the patient. How does one sue for a personal injury if a patient is harmed by a malfunctioning AI diagnostic tool?

MegaGadget suggests that a personal injury suit result from the failure of an AI tool will more resemble product liability action than a malpractice suit levied against a doctor or hospital. One cannot sue the AI tool directly because it is not a person, even though it has taken on the functions of a human doctor. However, one can and likely will sue the manufacturer of the AI tool if it returns a faulty diagnosis.

In the brave new world of AI medicine, an artificial intelligence diagnosis tool or clinical decision support system (CDSS) based on machine learning that returns a faulty diagnosis would be treated the same as – say – a pacemaker that malfunctioned, placing a patient's life in danger. In most cases the doctor using the tool would not be at fault.

Learn More About Personal Injury Law and Medical AI

Of course, as with most things, the treatment of an AI diagnostic tool as a product is a simple way to approach the question of who is at fault if something goes wrong. Using the example of a pacemaker, implants can and have been installed incorrectly, causing a personal injury, leaving the surgeon exposed to a traditional medical malpractice suit. An AI tool could be used inappropriately. If it returns results that a human doctor knows or should have known are faulty and the doctor uses the results anyway, the physician can still be held liable.

For more information contact us.

Who Is at Fault in Head-on Collisions?

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

Just one out of 50 traffic accidents involve head-on collisions. However, they cause a much larger share of serious injuries and deaths. These crashes can occur anywhere, but they're almost twice as common on rural roads. Depending on the circumstances, the determination of fault may be simple or complicated.

Potential Causes

Several different situations could lead to a head-on collision. It can happen when motorists travel in the wrong direction on one-way streets or swerve to avoid hitting children. Mechanical problems, distractions, fatigue, drugs and alcohol contribute to many of these accidents.

Proving Negligence

When someone drives in the wrong lane and triggers a head-on crash, this person is usually held responsible for the outcome. The driver on the wrong side is at fault if he or she entered the lane by mistake or because of a problem caused by poor vehicle maintenance.

A motorist who behaves irresponsibly will hold a larger share of the blame. Examples include drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs or sending text messages while driving. The same holds true for drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.

Complicating Factors

At the same time, it isn't always enough to establish that a motorist was distracted or traveling on the wrong side. Another car might have forced someone to leave the correct lane. Likewise, a large animal may have suddenly charged across the street.

An unusually narrow road can also complicate the situation because it doesn't have two full lanes. The driver at fault for the crash might have been driving too quickly or neglecting to use headlights in dim light. It's possible that both motorists contributed to the collision.


You may need professional assistance to determine fault, especially if any of these complicating factors were present. Please contact us today for expert legal advice that can help you minimize the financial consequences of a head-on crash.

What to Do When You Are in an Accident with a Truck

Wednesday, October 07, 2020

When it comes to automobile-truck accidents, the automobile almost always comes out on the losing end. This is simply because the average car weighs 4,000 pounds while the average semi-truck weighs 80,000 pounds. It is obviously best to try to avoid any kind of accident, but if you happen to tangle with an 18 wheeler, then here are a few tips about what to do.

Contact the Police

Make sure you call the police from the collision scene. The police will document the accident, issue tickets if necessary and produce a police report. This report is useful in that it contains the trucker's contact information, witness contact information and an official summary about what caused the accident. You will need this police report when you file a claim with your insurance company.

Take Pictures

Use your phone to document the scene.  Take pictures or a video of the truck, the damage to your vehicle, any skid marks, the road conditions or anything else that you think will help prove that the truck driver caused the accident.

Get Contact Information

Although the police report should contain the contact information of the truck driver and the witnesses, you should also get that information, just to be safe. This information includes not only the truck driver's name and phone number but also his employer's name and the name of his employer's insurance company.

Seek Medical Care

If you are injured, then you should seek immediate medical care.  he police may call an ambulance if they feel your injuries warrant it. Even if you do not suffer visible injuries, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Doing so documents your concern about being injured in the accident. Make sure you keep records of all medical visits.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company about the accident. Even if you do not plan to file a claim, notifying your insurer preserves your right to file a claim at a later date.  For example, if you have collision coverage, then you might get your car repaired sooner by filing a claim than by waiting on the trucker's insurance company.

Contact an Accident Attorney

The trucker's insurance company will want to settle with you, probably for much less than you deserve. An experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney can help you negotiate a larger settlement and ensure that all of your rights are protected.  

If you have been injured in a truck accident, then please contact us. Our team is standing by to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Car Accident Victim? Our Attorneys Can Help

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Traffic deaths caused by distracted drivers have continued to rise in the city of Los Angeles. In the past year alone, 244 people were killed in traffic collisions on city streets. These victims include 134 people who were walking and 19 bikers. The primary cause of these fatalities involve people texting while driving. If you or someone you know has become a victim of a distracted driver, a quality attorney can help you understand your rights and seek maximum compensation.

Rise of Accidents When Texting While Driving

Because Los Angeles is so traffic heavy, the area experiences a higher percentage of car accidents than any other city. Most of those accidents are caused by distracted drivers texting. Indeed, statistics indicate that accidents caused by distracted driving have surpassed drunk driving accidents. An initiative was created by Mayor Eric Garcetti in eliminating traffic deaths. However, progress has been slow due to fatalities continuing to rise in the city. Don't worry, there is hope for victims in seeking justice.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

When you or a loved one has become a victim of a car accident, you must seek legal action. A Los Angeles car accident attorney can work with you in seeking the maximum compensation that you are entitled to. You may also be able to collect punitive damages because distracted driving is illegal. These damages could discourage that person from driving while distracted ever again.

How Our Attorneys Can Help

Being in a car accident does more than cause you physical pain. You suffer overwhelming medical expenses and lost employment opportunities. Our distracted driver accident attorneys at Lederer Nojima are experienced professionals in seeking justice and compensation for you. We work hard to hold the responsible parties accountable for your injuries. Contact us today to seek the justice that you truly deserve.  

How You Could Recover From a Motorcycle Accident

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

In California, many motorcyclists are becoming victims of catastrophic road accidents. There's no doubt that these accidents affect riders physically and emotionally. Because of this, many are filing lawsuits in an effort to receive the compensation they are entitled to. At Lederer Nojima, we have the best lawyers who believe in helping people do this. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a motorcycle accident, there is still hope for recovery.

Take Immediate Action 

It's vital that you don't delay in taking action after your accident. The first thing you must do is to get a police report made. Then, make sure you take pictures of the accident as best as you can. It's also vital to collect the contact and insurance information of all parties involved. Be sure to contact your own insurance company as soon as possible. Speaking of this, our lawyers at Lederer Nojima used to be insurance lawyers. So, they know exactly how these companies work and how to counter their tactics.

Seek a Lawyer With Experience in This Area 

Every victim must fight for their personal injury rights. Every victim needs a qualified lawyer to help them do just that. Indeed, a qualified lawyer will have extensive experience in dealing with motorcycle accident cases. He will understand all aspects of motorcycle accidents, such as traffic violations and legal procedures, that help influence your case. By seeking a lawyer who completely understands the components of motorcycle cases, you will be on your way to getting what you deserve.


With motorcycle accidents being so prevalent, you need a qualified lawyer who can handle even the most complex case. What if you or a loved one has experienced severe injuries such as traumatic brain injury? An experienced, capable lawyer will be able to handle your case and help you get the maximum compensation you need. Our lawyers at Lederer Nojima have handled plenty of complex cases like this one. Contact us for a consultation to find out how we can help you today. 

Legal Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

It can be scary to be injured on the job. Not only could it be painful, but you may also worry about what is going to happen next. You may have a lot of questions going through your head. Will you lose your job? How much work time are you going to miss? What happens if you can't come back to work?

Before you get yourself too worked up, you need to come up with a plan. Here are some legal steps that you need to take if you are injured on the job.

1. Report the Injury

First, you have to report your injury. It is important that you let your employer know immediately that you were injured. Though, legally, you have ten days to report it, you should let him or her know right away.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Then, you need to get proper medical care. Indeed, you should seek medical help right away if you were injured at work. Some states require you to be treated in a certain facility to ensure that you are properly cared for. Others allow you to go to your normal doctor.

When you are there, you need to let your doctor know that it is a work-related injury.

3. Track Your Medical Costs and Missed Wages

Keep track of your medical costs (and how much work you are missing). It is important to keep track of all of your medical bills during this time. They should all be covered by workers' compensation.

You should also keep track of how much work you miss. Some of your missed wages should be covered under workers' compensation. For this reason, you need to write down and monitor how much work you actually miss.


Any time you are injured on the job, it is important that you let your employer know right away. You also need to get seen by a medical professional right away. You may want to consult a lawyer at this time to ensure that you get what you deserve. Don't hesitate to contact us today! We will help you get back on your feet (and back to work) as soon as we can.

Who Is at Fault When a Car Is Hit From Behind?

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Vehicles are struck from behind in approximately three out of ten crashes. These collisions often result in serious injuries and damage. Thus, it's crucial to correctly identify the at-fault driver because this determination has a major impact on compensation.

A motorist who hits the back of another car is frequently held responsible for the crash. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. In some cases, both drivers shoulder a portion of the blame.

Important Factors

When a motorist drives aggressively, commits traffic violations, uses illegal drugs, or drinks alcohol, this individual is more likely to be found at fault. The same goes for distracted driving behavior, such as talking on a cellphone or texting.

Foggy or slippery weather may play a role in a rear-end collision, but drivers are still held responsible for their actions. Motorists must compensate for these conditions by replacing worn tires, slowing down, and using lights appropriately.

Likewise, travelers need to leave space between themselves and other cars. A vehicle that stops abruptly isn't to blame for a rear-end crash if its driver has a reason for doing so. For example, a tree or animal may have suddenly blocked the road.

The motorist who is struck from behind is the at-fault party in some collisions. This driver might have neglected to fix faulty brake lights, failed to use the hazard lights in an emergency or rapidly came to a halt with no justification.

Chain Reactions

Some rear-end accidents involve multiple vehicles that hit each other in a chain reaction. The process of assigning fault becomes particularly complex in this situation. One or more drivers might be held responsible if they were tailgating or speeding.

When you need help with the financial and legal aftermath of a collision, turn to our law office for expert assistance. We can accurately identify at-fault parties and take steps to maximize compensation. Please contact us today for a legal consultation.

Drive Safely in Los Angeles

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Here in California, we have what lots of people consider 'summer weather' all year around, which tends to draw people in from all over. As a result, we have a lot of people on the roads, often resulting in some truly hair-rising traffic conditions. As it stands, California doesn't really have the best track record for road safety: according to the annual road safety report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 3,602 car accident fatalities in California in 2017. That translates to 9.1 deaths per 100,000 people! With all of the vehicles on the road, it's especially important to stay safe on the roads. We've got some helpful pointers to make sure that you and your loved ones stay safe while on the road.

Make a Driving Schedule

If you're traveling for an extended period of time, make sure that you rest. It's recommended that you rest for about fifteen minutes every two hours or so, and to either switch drivers or call it a day after eight hours. If you're feeling tired, take a break! If you drive while tired, your reflexes will be slowed, putting you in danger of not being able to brake fast enough; you won't be able to think straight, so making the right choice at the right time will be much harder; and finally, paying attention to your driving will become much, much harder.

Know Where You're Going

Is it truly a road trip if you don't get lost at some point? While having to pull over and get out the map or (*gasp*) having to ask a local for directions might seem like nothing more than an inconvenience, if you're unsure of where you're going, you can find yourself making sudden turns to get to an exit or attempting to merge back into high-speed traffic from a standstill on the side of the road. Before you leave, make sure that you know exactly how to get to your destination, along with alternative routes (after all, summertime is prime road construction season). If you're relying on a GPS or a cell phone for directions, make sure that you have an old-fashioned paper map handy, as well. If you have a breakdown or an unexpected dead battery, you're still going to need to be able to get to where you're going.

Age and Experience Are Important

If your teen is anxious to put that brand-new license or learner's permit to good use, use discretion when deciding when and where they can drive. While they might have a lot of practice driving around town or to and from school, teen drivers generally don't have the experience necessary to make the correct split-second decisions in a dangerous driving situation. Make sure that your child has plenty of experience driving around town before getting on the highway, and make sure that their first highway driving experience is as safe as possible. Rush hour traffic on I-4 is neither the best time nor the best place to introduce a teenager to the joys of interstate driving.

Wear a Seatbelt

Yes, they can be uncomfortable. Yes, they can be annoying. However, wearing a seatbelt can save your life--literally. According to the CDC, over half of the people killed in car accidents weren't wearing their seatbelt. If you don't wear a seatbelt, you run the very real risk of being ejected from your car during a crash, which gives you a 75% chance of being killed. Getting into a crash while wearing a seatbelt can result in some truly gnarly bruises, but trust us--it's much better than the alternative.

ALWAYS Drive Sober

This should go without saying, but sadly, 1,391 California drivers were killed while driving drunk in 2017, and that doesn't include passengers and other people killed by drunk drivers. That only includes alcohol-related crashes, not those in which drugs were involved. Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol results in impaired judgment--period. Alcohol slows down the central nervous system, which is responsible for your coordination and reasoning skills. Drugs can, depending on the substance, affect your reflexes, logical reasoning, and memory. It's just not worth it--if you've ingested either, get a designated driver. It can save your life and the lives of others, too.

Learn More About Driving Safely in Los Angeles

If you have been involved in a car accident, regardless of the cause, don't despair--the law office of Lederer Nojima is here to help. We specialize in personal injuries, and we are here to represent you and make sure that you are not taken advantage of. Personal justice and proper compensation for our clients are our goals, and we strive to provide the best legal services we can to the Los Angeles area. Questions? Let us know! We will do everything in our power to get you the justice that you deserve.

Wrongful Death Due to an Accidental Law Enforcement Shooting

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

According to the LA Times, a freak shooting accident that involved an out-of-control dog, a complaint about loud music, a group of sheriff's deputies, and an unfortunate young man in Palmdale is going to cost Los Angeles County $3 million dollars. The shooting, incidentally, cost Armando Garcia his life.

The Incident

The incident occurred at 3:40 am on June 22, 2017, when a group of sheriff's deputies arrived at an apartment complex in Palmdale answering a complaint about loud music from a party. The deputies requested that the occupants of the house turn down the music and also restrain a dog in the back yard. The dog, according to the account of the incident in county records, had attacked the deputies, biting one on the knee.

Garcia picked up the dog to attempt to restrain it. However, apparently agitated by the deputy's flashlights and cameras, the dog escaped Garcia's arms and attacked the deputies again. One of the deputies drew his weapon and fired at the dog four times. The dog turned on a sergeant who had been called to the scene, who fired twice. One of the shots ricocheted and struck Garcia, killing him.

The Lawsuit

The lawsuit, filed by Garcia's mother, stated that the shooting was unjustified. However, the rules on the use of force for the sheriff's department state that deputies are allowed to use deadly force on animals if they feel they are under threat of death or serious injury.

The $3 million settlement is part of an arrangement that will allow Garcia's family and LA County to avoid the cost and duration of litigation. Both the family and the deputies involved in the shooting incident will have to endure the lifelong emotional trauma caused by the incident.

Ironically, the dog, a 73-pound pit bull, survived the shooting, but was put down by authorities after the incident.


For more information from Lederer Nojima contact us.


Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers


David Lederer and John Nojima used to defend the insurance companies. Now they are on your side.

At Lederer & Nojima LLP, in Los Angeles, California, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with the highest quality legal services and advice. We recognize that our success is based upon our client's success — so we are absolutely committed to obtaining the results our clients want and need.

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