Articles Posted in Public Entities

Early last year, you might remember the case of Jesse Hernandez. Jesse was a 13 year old boy who was playing here in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park (between the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood) during a family Easter celebration, when his family suddenly noticed him missing. They searched all over the park calling his name without success. Eventually they realized that he may have fallen into a drainage pipe after a wooden plank he had been standing on gave way and he fell approximately 25 feet into the sewage line. A massive multi-agency search commenced on ground and in the air. Search and rescue specialists ended up dropping video cameras into the sewage lines and were able to detect hands marks on the walls of the underground pipeline which allowed them to narrow down the area he might be. For over 12 hours Jesse wandered the sewage system yelling for help and trying to find his way out.

The fire department, assisted by the LAPD, the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks, Park Rangers, the Department of Water and Power and the Department of Sanitation, eventually were able to locate him, gain entrance to the tunnel, pull him out of the tunnel, and get him proper medical care to treat his injuries from both the fall and from exposure to raw sewage and chemicals while underground.  All of this occurred because the city had simply covered up an exposed drainage pipe with some wooden boards at a poorly cordoned-off sanitation facility.

Public parks can also include sports facilities like tennis and basketball courts, public pools, city benches, volleyball areas by the beach, etc. The thing that they all share is that they are owned and operated by the city and as such, it’s the city’s responsibility to make sure that they are maintained in a state that is safe for anyone using those facilities.

Every parent knows the feeling of dropping their child off for their first day of preschool, nursery school, or daycare. Overcome with worry, we entrust the well-being of our children to childcare facilities and their staff. Most of the time, our trust is well placed. Everything is usually fine, and our kids learn how to interact with others, do arts and crafts, and get to play outside. Unfortunately, sometimes our children are injured while at child care facilities. These injuries typically consist of a scraped knee or a bump on the head, nothing that can’t be chalked up to “child’s play”. Sometimes, however, these injuries are serious, life-changing, and were preventable. In this article, we discuss what you need to know if your child is seriously injured while at a child care facility.

1. Get your child immediate medical attention. 

If your child is injured, the most immediate concern is his or her safety. This means that if the child care facility did not already get medical treatment for your child, you need to do so right away.  This is especially true for head injuries, where a child may have a concussion and the symptoms may not be apparent right away. Make sure that proper diagnostic imaging is performed at the urgent care or hospital.

If you are injured by an actor that is owned by a city, county, state, or even federal government, it is VERY important to know that there are special rules that you must follow in order to properly pursue your claim against a government entity. In this article, we discuss the basics of what you need to know if you are injured by a government entity.

Every state has their own time limits for bringing a lawsuit against those who may be responsible for injuries to another. These time limits are known as the “statute of limitations”. Typically, California has a two (2) year statute of limitations during which to file an injury claims agains a private party, such as a negligent driver or an insurance company. If the party you deem to be responsible is a government entity, however, there are different time limits and procedures that you must be aware of. These rules, known as the California Tort Claims Act (CTCA) have been codified, and can be found by clicking on this link to California Government Code. Continue reading ›

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