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Fatal California collision kills 10 people

On Thursday, April 10 ten people were killed in an explosive freeway collision involving a FedEx truck, an automobile, and a tour bus.

According to police investigators, a southbound FedEx truck crossed over a patch of grass on the interstate and then immediately hit the side of a car before crashing into the tour bus, which erupted into flames.

The bus that exploded during the crash had been one of three buses commissioned by Humboldt State University to give a tour to students of the Arcata campus as part of the university’s two-day Preview Plus program.

Included among the list of fatalities are Humboldt alumni and chaperones Michael Myvett, 29, and his fiancée, Mattison Haywood, 27, Humboldt admissions counselor Arthur Arzola, 26 and both drivers on the bus.

Lawyers seek to have judge who oversaw Toyota sudden acceleration case for GM lawsuits

Dana Taschner, one of the lawyers who filed a class action lawsuit against Detroit, Michigan-based automaker General Motors Co., has stated they requested to have U.S. District Judge James Selna, the one who handled Toyota Motor Corp.’s acceleration cases, to also preside over GM’s case. The request was filed in conjunction with a consolidation petition with the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington, D.C.

The lawsuit was filed last Monday, March 31 in Santa Ana, California, and is asking for $250 for every American GM vehicle owner, which amounts to over $350 million, and is in addition to punitive damages sought as a result of GM’s failure to disclose information regarding its defective auto parts.

GM more than doubled its recall-related expenses to $750 million on March 31 due to power steering defects in 1.5 million other vehicles in the United States, aside from the other vehicles it has earlier recalled. The defect was traced to the faulty ignition switch, which can cause the engine to stall and prevent air bags from deploying. It has been connected to at least 13 deaths in auto accidents.

At Ritter & Associates, we fight for the rights of people in San Diego who have been harmed by auto defects. If you are dealing with the consequences of such an injury, call us at 619-296-0123 today.

Public hearing held over regulating safety of self-driven vehicles

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) held a meeting in Sacramento to conceive of ways to regulate safety standards for self-driving cars. Self-driven cars aren’t yet on the market, but they are expected to be in circulation sooner than later.

At the Sacramento DMV meeting, questions were raised over safety logistics, namely, whether a person needs to be behind the wheel of the car, how insurance rates will change because of the new technology, and if the cars will really protect people from car accidents.

Under a 2012 California law, the state must create a set of rules that will enable these autonomous vehicles to drive on public roads and highways by this year.

Safety should be a priority for regulators and drivers. If you have been injured because of another driver’s carelessness, you could be eligible to pursue compensation. The attorneys at Ritter & Associates, represent San Diego injury victims. To speak with a member of our legal team call (619) 296-0123.


Permanente Medical Group, Inc., sued by car accident victims

Ali Moqadam filed a negligence lawsuit against the Permanente Medical Group, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., and Dr. Maryalice Ambrose, M.D. for allowing a seizure patient to drive. The driver, Alma Valencia, caused a car accident in June of 2010.

Dr. Ambrose recommended that the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles suspend Valencia’s license after treating her for a seizure disorder in 2005. In 2007, Dr. Ambrose rescinded her request, allowing Valencia to get her license back.

The plaintiffs claim that Valencia’s seizure disorder makes her a threat on the road. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that the medical institutions are responsible for damages from the car accident since they could have prevented Valencia from driving.

The attorneys at Ritter & Associates are dedicated to San Diego accident victims. If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness, you could be eligible to collect compensation. Call (619) 296-0123 to speak with a member of our skilled legal team today.

More stringent penalties for California drivers to be instituted starting this year

The state of California will be implementing stricter rules and regulations in its bid to prevent drunk driving and distracted driving road accidents.

For instance, transfer of vehicle ownership to a relative will now be disallowed until after the transferee has completely paid all his or her existing obligations, such as parking fines or penalties, to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Also, the use of hands-free mobile devices for teenage drivers under 18 will also be disallowed. Last year, this practice was accepted. This new rule also clarifies that the use of laptops or tablets are not permissible; last year only cellular phones had this distinction.

Should you ever find yourself or someone dear to you coming to harm’s way due to the negligent actions of other parties, you are likely eligible to take legal action against the party responsible for your losses. Call the attorneys of Ritter & Associates if you live in or around San Diego by dialing 619-296-0123 so we can discuss your case with you.

Toyota settles Vance case prior to Jan. 21 hearing

Though the Opal Gay Vance sudden-acceleration case was supposed to go to trial on January 21, Toyota Motors Corp. opted to settle out of court. Vance filed a lawsuit against Toyota after injuring her neck and back when her 2010 Camry suddenly accelerated and she crashed into a trailer.

Toyota started settlement arrangements to resolve more than a hundred sudden-acceleration cases in federal and state court in California on Friday, December 13 and  recently settled a separate lawsuit in West Virginia to keep the case out of court. To date, the largest settlement case regarding sudden acceleration was a $1.6-billion class action lawsuit from motorists who alleged that the sudden-acceleration issue in their Toyota and Lexus vehicles significantly undervalued their vehicles.

If you are hurt due to the usage of a defective product, like a vehicle, in San Diego, the attorneys of Ritter & Associates may be able to help you file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Find out more about your legal options by calling (619) 296-0123.

Toyota settles in sudden acceleration case

Toyota Motor Corp. reached a settlement on October 25 with the victims of a 2007 fatal crash, which included a woman who died and another one who was badly injured, after an Oklahoma jury found the company liable for sudden acceleration issues on October 24.

The jury was the first one to hold the company responsible for fatal accidents regarding these mechanical issues, as the Brooklyn, New York, and California juries sided with Toyota.

The Oklahoma trial was the first instance in which the plaintiffs argued that a car’s electronics – in this instance the 2005 Camry’s software connection to the electronic throttle-control system – caused the sudden acceleration.

The company began the recall of its vehicles in 2009 for these issues.

Legal experts said that the Oklahoma trial loss for Toyota might cause the company to prepare a broad settlement for the other lawsuits that have been filed against it.

At Ritter & Associates, our lawyers fight for people in San Diego who have been injured in car accidents due to vehicle defects. If this has happened to you, call us at 619-296-0123 to get the legal advice that you need.

Toyota settles for at least $1B with unintended acceleration complainants

Judge James Selna of the U.S. District Court for the Central District approved Toyota Motor Corp.’s at least $1 billion settlement with former and current Toyota owners who claimed their vehicles’ worth decreased because of the sudden acceleration incidents on Friday, August 2. However, Toyota did not admit guilt in the settlement. The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2010.

Many vehicle owners said some incidents of unintended acceleration were caused by problems in Toyota’s electronic throttle control systems, which National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists disproved as their investigation found that the problem could also stem from sticking gas pedals and incorrectly used or installed floor mats.

Aside from the class action, two separate cases of wrongful death lawsuits against Toyota were settled.

At Ritter & Associates, our legal team is dedicated to helping victims of auto defects and other defective products in San Diego. Call us at 619-296-0123 to find out how we may be able to help you if you’ve been injured due to such a product.

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