Hariri Law Group

California Civil Litigation Firm

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Walgreens To Pay $500K In San Diego Lawsuit

Posted – August 19, 2015

Walgreens agreed to a $500,000 settlement in a lawsuit brought by the city of San Diego. The lawsuit, which was only filed last month, was the result of an investigation revealing that Walgreens pharmacists had repeatedly failed to properly consult customers receiving new drugs, or those whose dosage had changed. State investigators found repeated violations at Walgreens locations in San Diego, Alameda, and Riverside counties.sub-banner-employment-law-competition

The settlement will be split amongst the counties and the State of California, with San Diego receiving the largest portion of the settlement at $159,600.

The lawsuit was brought under California’s Unfair Competition Law, which prohibits unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business practices. These laws can also be used by private citizens who have been injured by a business’s unlawful practices, such as false advertising. California also has other consumer protection laws, such as the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, to protect their citizens.

If you believe that you’ve been the victim of a business’s unlawful practices, feel free to contact the Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.

$9.2 Million Verdict In First Zimmer Hip-Implant Case

Posted – August 17, 2015

In July, a Los Angeles jury awarded a man $9.2 million in a case involving a defective hip implant. Gary Kline sued Zimmer, the manufacturer of hip implants, alleging that he received a defective implant, which even when removed caused permanent damage.

Mr. Kline had hip replacement surgery in May of 2007, and received a Zimmer Durom Cup metal hip. Zimmer had recently introduced their metal hip devices in the U.S. after a number of years of selling them in Europe. Mr. Kline alleged that he had continued pain after his surgery, so much so that he was prescribed home physical therapy rather than traditional in-office therapy. The pain eventually became so great that in September of 2008, Mr. Kline had a second surgery, and had the Zimmer hip device removed. The pain continued post-surgery, and doctors found that Mr. Kline had suffered permanent hip damage.

Mr. Kline’s lawsuit alleged that Zimmer had altered the coating of their Durom Cup hip device before its introduction into the U.S. He alleged that they did so without proper testing in order to rush their product to the market. Zimmer alleged that Mr. Kline’s pain was unrelated to their device. The jury disagreed, and awarded Mr. Kline $9.2 million, including $6.6 million for future pain and suffering.

Mr. Kline’s lawsuit was one of many brought against Zimmer by plaintiffs throughout the United States. The Durom Cup hip device was eventually recalled by the FDA in 2008.

If you’ve been the victim of a defective medical device, please contact Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.

BMW Manufacturing Co. Facing Racial Discrimination Lawsuit.

Posted – August 14, 2015

processBMW Manufacturing Co. is facing a racial discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and alleges that BMW’s criminal background check unfairly discriminated against black candidates. According to the lawsuit, BMW’s background checks had a “significant disparate impact” on black applicants and employees and were “not job related and consistent with business necessity.” 

Senior U.S. District Judge Henry M. Herlong Jr. recently denied the defendant’s request for summary judgment in the case. The lawsuit will not go to trial until after September 29.  We’ll keep you posted on the developments in this litigation! 

$550,000 Verdict for Custodian in Discrimination Case

Posted – August 7, 2015

In June, a custodian with the Chino Valley Unified School District settled a lawsuit against the school district based on his allegations that he was improperly terminated. Joseph Snead contended that he was fired after 16 years on the job after the district failed to accommodate him after a back surgery limited his ability to climb a ladder.

discriminationThe district argued that was an essential function of the job, while Mr. Snead argued that he requested a number of accommodations by the district that would allow him to continue in his position without using a ladder, which he claimed was very rare. The jury agreed with Mr. Snead and awarded a total of $550,000 for past lost wages and emotional distress.

Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, an employer cannot terminate an employee’s employment due to a physical disability as long as the employee can perform the “essential job functions” with reasonable accommodation. Under California Government Code § 12940(m), it is unlawful for an employer to “fail to make reasonable accommodation for the known physical or mental disability of an applicant or employee.”

If you believe you have been wrongly fired from your job due to a disability, please contact Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.

Judge’s Ruling Puts Football Helmet Lawsuit Back in Play

Posted – August 6, 2015

On August 3rd, a federal judge in New Jersey reinstated a class action lawsuit filed by parents who say they purchased Riddell football helmets believing they were safer than other brands.

The $5 million lawsuit alleges that the class members all paid a premium for Riddell football helmets based on claims by the company that the helmet was better than other brands when it came to preventing concussions. The lawsuit alleges that despite those claims, there is no evidence to prove that Riddell helmets are any better than other brands in preventing concussions. The lawsuit alleges that Riddell made claims that their helmets had technology to prevent concussions, while Riddell denies making such claims, and only argues that there is evidence to show that their helmets are superior to others.football-injury

In California, under the state’s Unfair Competition Law (specifically, Section 17200 and 17500), consumers could file a similar lawsuit for unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising. If a consumer had purchased a Riddell helmet in California based on a similar scenario, and Riddell made the statements knowing they were false, the company could be subject to liability. Although companies are permitted to use “puffery” or known exaggerations in their advertisements (e.g. calling a product “the best on the market”), they cannot make advertising claims they know to be false, or else that they could discover were false using reasonable means.

If you feel you have purchased a product based on false claims, feel free to contact the Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys

Former University of Virginia students File Lawsuit for Defamation and Emotional Distress

Post – July 31, 2015

Last week, we published an article about a doctor who had reached a settlement with Kaiser over defamatory comments made about him as part of a human resources investigation. Today, a group of former University of Virginia students filed their own lawsuit for defamation and emotional distress resulting from one of the most noteworthy instances of defamation in recent memory.

The three students filed suit against Rolling Stone and author Sabrina Ruden Erdely over the 2014 article “A Rape on Campus.” The story gained national attention originally for its content and the discussion on campus rape that followed, and for the eventual decision by the magazine to retract it. The story, about an alleged 2012 rape that occurred on the UVA campus, was eventually almost entirely discredited, and no charges were ever filed.

The three men, who graduated in 2013, were members of the fraternity where the alleged rape took place. Although the men were not specifically named in the story, their lawsuit alleges that their names were all revealed online, specifically one of the plaintiffs who lived in the room where the rape allegedly took place. They all allege emotional distress as a result of being accused.

As this case indicates, technically you do not have to be named by a person you are suing for defamation. As long as the person(s) hearing or reading the defamatory language could reasonably understand it to be about you, you could have a claim for defamation.

If you believe someone has written or said something about you that has caused damage to your reputation or business, or has caused you emotional harm, contact Hariri Law Group.

EEOC Files Lawsuit Against UPS on Religious Discrimination Claims

Post – July 29, 2015

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In July, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service (UPS) over claims that they have been discriminating against certain individuals based on their religious beliefs. The EEOC suit claims that since 2004, UPS has discriminated against individuals whose religious practices do not conform with the company’s policy on appearance.

UPS requires that any employees that have contact with the public cannot have beards or long hair. Federal law, specifically, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of religion. UPS’s policy on prohibiting beards could potentially discriminate against religions such as Islam or Sikhism, which either encourage or require that male followers maintain beards.

Title VII requires that employers make exceptions to their normal requirements and practices to allow employees to adhere their appearance to meet the requirements of their religion. Once an employer is on notice of the requested exception to an appearance policy, they must make an exception. This is not a blanket exception to all requirements, as Title VII and the EEOC require employers to accommodate only those religious beliefs that are “sincerely held.”

If you believe that any adverse employment action has been taking against you because of your appearance as required by your religion, you should speak with an attorney. Any adverse action, including not hiring you, denying you promotion, terminating you from your position, requiring that you change your appearance, etc. could be a violation of federal law.

Hariri Law Group handles employment law cases, and can assist you if you have been a victim of religious discrimination.

Pregnant Women Denied Promotion – Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Post – July 28, 2015

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In June, a woman settled a lawsuit alleging that she was denied a promotion because she was pregnant at the time.  The plaintiff had sued the city of Belleville’s public library alleging that in 2014, she was denied a promotion because she was having a child that would make her eligible for a family health care plan, which would cost the city more. She also alleged that the city was concerned that her pregnancy leave could cause them to incur unwanted costs.

As part of the settlement, the Plaintiff received a year of back day, and the promotion, as well as attorney’s fees.

Federal law, specifically, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, forbids discrimination based on pregnancy. This covers any discrimination involved in the hiring and firing of a pregnant woman, but also covers other aspects of employment, including job assignments and promotions. In addition, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides additional protections for pregnant employees, specifically, 12 weeks of leave for employees (although certain qualifications must be met).  To read more about the case click here

If you feel that you have been discriminated against in the workplace due a pregnancy, you should seek an attorney’s help is discussing your rights. Hariri Law Group handles employment law cases, and can assist those who have suffered discrimination or adverse employment actions due to a pregnancy.

If you’ve been discriminated against at work feel free to contact the Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation.  We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.

Jury Awards Cancer Surgeon $1.75 Million from Kaiser After Alleged Firing and Defamation

Post – July 22, 2015

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In June, a post-trial confidential settlement was reached between Dr. Robert Wascher and Kaiser Medical Group after a jury had found in favor of Dr. Wascher. After a seven-week trial, the jury had found in favor of the Plaintiff, and awarded him $1.75 million. 

Dr. Wascher had filed suit against Kaiser in November of 2011, alleging he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for attempting to advocate on behalf of his patients, and that in the process, he was defamed by employees of Kaiser. Dr. Wascher claimed that he accepted a position to work as a surgeon for Kaiser at their Orange County locations. He alleged that he was hired with the promise that he would be performing complex cancer surgeries and attempting to establish Kaiser as a leader in cancer research. Dr. Wascher did this in part by establishing the “Center for Excellence.”

Dr. Wascher alleges that his relationship with Kaiser quickly soured. He complained to his superiors that untrained physicians were performing complex cancer surgeries, leading to higher-than-average instances of complications. He also argued that he was being forced to perform general surgeries unrelated to cancer, which led to longer delays for patients in need. Dr. Wascher then claims that during a human resources investigation into his complaints, partner physicians at Kaiser made defamatory statements about him.

To read more about this case, click here

If you’ve been defamed at work or on social media feel free to contact the Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation.  We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.

Uber Settles Lawsuit Over Fatal Crash

Post – June 16, 2015

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The family of Sofia Liu recently settled with Uber for an undisclosed sum over a fatal crash that occurred in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve, 2013.

Ms. Liu, her brother, and their mother were walking in a crosswalk in San Francisco when they were hit by Uber driver Syed Muzzafar. Ms. Liu died as a result of her injuries, while her brother and mother survived. Uber had initially denied any liability by arguing that Muzzafar had not actually been carrying any passengers at the time, and since he was only searching for fares at the time, Uber was not responsible. The family argued in their January 2014 lawsuit that Uber was responsible, since Muzzafar had been logged into the app at the time of the accident. Muzzafar was also charged with manslaughter.

Since the accident, a California law went into effect that requires rideshare drivers and companies have liability insurance coverage during all periods in which drivers use ridesharing applications such as Uber, including when they are searching for fares.

Uber has come under increased scrutiny lately for a number of issues, such as background checks of their drivers, insurance liability issues, driver pay, and how drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees.

For a free consultation regarding your claim contact the Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889. You can also visit us on the web at www.haririlaw.com.   We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.