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Many California residents travel regularly for work or pleasure. The majority of these individuals stay in hotels or motels. At many large hotels, it's customary for an employee commonly referred to as a bell hop to assist overnight visitors and hotel guests with their baggage. While certainly considered a nice gesture, a recent premises liability lawsuit raises the question of whether or not a hotel is liable for not helping a hotel guest with their baggage.

A California woman recently filed a premises liability lawsuit against a large hotel chain related to a fall injury she sustained while struggling with her luggage. According to the lawsuit, the woman and her husband were staying at one of the business's hotels. Upon wheeling their luggage into the hotel lobby, the women asserts neither she nor her husband were offered any help by the hotel bell hops.

The couple was forced to struggle with their luggage and haul the large and heavy suitcases onto a moving escalator. Upon attempting to stabilize her large suitcase, the woman was thrown off balance and fell backward. As a result of her fall accident, the woman sustained numerous and painful injuries to various body parts.

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Tagged in: premises liability

California businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure their premises are free of objects or conditions that may prove hazardous to members of the public. Businesses that fail to exercise caution with regard to taking necessary actions to protect patrons, run the risk of people being injured and being the focus of a premises liability lawsuit.

Many California residents choose to get in shape and join a gym. In most cases, employees are trained on how to safety and effectively use workout equipment and ensure that gym patrons are safe. One woman, who sustained severe injuries while using a treadmill machine at her local gym, recently filed a lawsuit.

Upon visiting the fitness center, the woman attempted to use one of the treadmill machines. An employee was standing by, but failed to warn the woman that the machine was malfunctioning or broken. As the woman stepped onto the machine, the machine began moving at a fast pace. The safety mechanism that normally disables the machine in the case of an emergency was not working.

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Tagged in: premises liability

What kids think is funny tends to change over time. These days, some of what teens think is funny is truly dangerous. When a so-called prank involves more people than just those who are executing it, it shifts from comedic to carelessness.

A group of out-of-state teens has been engaging in planned acts that are careless on various levels. They are doing what the is now dubbed "gallon smashing," and putting unsuspecting shoppers in danger, as well as impacting business in the stores where they are pulling off the pranks.

The teens can be seen gallon smashing on the YouTube videos that they have reportedly posted of themselves committing the reckless act. Basically, they nonchalantly walk through an aisle of a supermarket while carrying two gallons of juice or milk. They intentionally throw the gallons of liquid so they break and spill on the floor. Then the teens fall down, making shoppers around them believe that they accidentally fell. They lie on the floor, liquid spilled all around and under them.

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Injuries from animal bites can be traumatic, especially facial injuries. The most common such occurrences in the U.S. involve dog bites. Government statistics reveal that about 2 percent of all people in the country are bitten by man's best friend each and every year, many of them in California. All told, there are millions of injuries, some quite serious, resulting from dog bites.

Over the past 16 years, federal statistics also show, the number of people having to be hospitalized as a result of dog bite injuries has skyrocketed, increasing by 88 percent. The seriousness of such injuries can be seen from the startling fact that around 15 people each year actually die as a result of dog bites and their subsequent complications. And not all of the victims are children, by any means. About two out of thee are minors, but the rest are adults of varying ages. Children under the age of 5, however, do make up around 70 percent of those suffering facial injuries from dog bites.

Treating such injuries is tricky and expensive, and frequently involves the need for very expensive cosmetic surgery and facial reconstruction in addition to the initial medical treatment. Precautions also must be taken against rabies and other diseases and infections.

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Millions of children in California and across the country celebrated Halloween this week with that rewarding tradition of going door to door for candy and other treats. But during Halloween and the upcoming winter holiday season, children may be especially susceptible to the risk of being injured during an encounter with a dog. In addition to trick-or-treating, children also visit the homes of friends, neighbors, relatives or classmates for a variety of holiday parties and other festivities. How can precautions be taken so that a child does not suffer a dog bite during these visits?

When it comes to trick-or-treating, children and their parents may want to avoid homes where they hear a dog barking or observe a dog running free off a leash in a yard. Even when they're visiting homes of people they know, children should be told never to approach or pet a strange dog, and to remain still if they visit a home where a dog appears or runs out when the door is open. A child wearing an unfamiliar costume may appear as a threat even to a dog who knows them.

It is clear that a dog, especially one unaccustomed to the child's presence, may become frightened or on edge when children run around or scream, especially when attired in Halloween costumes. A constant stream of visitors, whether it's for Halloween or a Christmas party, might also be unsettling to a dog's routine. Dogs may bark when they see visitors, so closing drapes may be helpful.

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John J. Garvey, III
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