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The filming of a commercial for the upcoming film "Straight Outta Compton" turned deadly on California streets in January 2015 when a dispute erupted among Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and other workers near the set. Knight, age 50, appeared uninvited at the commercial shoot, and the resulting fight ended with Terry Carter dead and three other people injured after Knight ran them down with his truck in the parking lot of a Los Angeles burger restaurant.

Carter's family has filed a wrongful death suit against Knight, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Universal Studios, and other named defendants. The lawsuit named the movie studio because it allowed the commercial to be shot in a dangerous neighborhood and also allegedly allowed gang members to be hired for security. Negligent hiring and premises liability are the basis for the claims against Universal .

Dre and Knight had at one time been business partners, founding the rap label Death Row Records. Their subsequent falling out was so severe that Dre eventually won a restraining order against Knight. Knight, whose real name is Marion Hugh Knight Jr., also faces criminal charges for Carter's death. Claiming self-defense, he has pleaded not guilty. In the civil wrongful death action, the family is seeking compensation for funeral bills, lost income and punitive and other damages.

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Tagged in: Wrongful Death

California drivers may be interested in some of the effects of speeding on fatal car crashes. While the overall number of auto fatalities has gone down, the percentage due to speeding has remained relatively steady.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is one of the biggest contributing factors to auto collisions. The NHTSA classifies a speeding-related crash as one where a driver involved was charged with an offense related to their speed, or where an officer indicated that racing or speeding was a factor in the accident. In the years between 2003 and 2012 the number of speeding-related fatalities dropped by around 3,000. However, these car accidents still make up a similar percentage of total vehicle fatalities. For example, speeding was a factor in around 31 percent of car crash deaths in 2003, compared to 30 percent in 2012.

Drivers in speed-related fatal accidents are more likely to be younger males, though nearly a quarter of female drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2012 were speeding at the time. The likelihood that speeding is involved in an auto accident decreases consistently with age. Alcohol was a factor in 42 percent of speed-related fatalities, according to the 2012 statistics. The blood alcohol content of drivers in the 21- to 24-year-old range was above the legal limit in 50 percent of fatal speed-related crashes.

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Tagged in: Car Accidents

While California is among 15 states that prohibits teenagers from driving with other teens as passengers, its laws governing young drivers are far from the strictest in the nation. According to a 2012 analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute, the state could potentially substantially reduce the rate of fatal crashes among 15- to 17-year-old drivers and the rate of collision claims for 16- and 17-year-old drivers by strengthening its laws to match the current best-practices system.

The IIHS reported that no state's laws perfectly mirror its prescribed best practices for a graduated licensing system, which include prohibiting teen passengers in young drivers' vehicles as well as bumping up the minimum age for obtaining permits and licenses, restricting night driving and establishing a minimum number of supervised practice hours that must be met before a young driver obtains his or her intermediate license. Even Connecticut, which the IIHS identified as having the most robust graduated driver licensing laws on the books, could stand to benefit significantly from establishing guidelines for practice hours, night driving and the minimum licensing age. The Institute predicted a 17 percent reduction in deadly crashes and a 13 percent drop in teen drivers' accident claims if that were to happen.

States with weak or no GDL provisions stand to benefit the most from strengthening or implementing them. The percentage of fatal crashes for drivers in the 15- to 17-year-old group in Iowa and South Dakota, for example, could plummet as much as 29 and 37 percent, respectively.

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Tagged in: Car Accidents

California motorists may have heard that the National Transportation Safety Board has once again called for collision avoidance technology in every new vehicle. On the subject of who should pay for the technology, the NTSB chairman explained that because drivers do not have to pay extra for seat belts, they should not have to pay extra for vehicles equipped with collision avoidance systems either. In its recent report, the NTSB suggests that collision avoidance systems could help prevent thousands of accident-related injuries and fatalities every year.

The agency believes that collision avoidance systems could significantly lessen the impact of or even prevent rear-end crashes. It went on to say that if the systems were made standard, the severity of more than 80 percent of rear-end collisions could be reduced. It has been estimated that this type of collision kills around 1,700 people each year and injures 500,000 more.

While the NTSB has taken a firm stance on whether automakers should equip all new vehicles with collision avoidance technology, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has taken a contrary position. Although it did not comment on the most recent NTSB report, the industry group has said in the past that consumers should be the ones to decide whether they want a vehicle with collision avoidance technology.

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Tagged in: Car Accidents

On May 28, it was reported that Bruce Jenner, who was involved in a car accident that killed a woman in California in February, asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit that was filed against him. The lawsuit was filed against Jenner in early May by the deceased woman's stepchildren.

In February, Jenner reportedly collided with a Lexus, which resulted in the vehicle being pushed into oncoming traffic. The Lexus slammed into a Humvee, killing the 69-year-old female driver of the Lexus. Five individuals who were in the Humvee suffered injuries that were considered to be non-life-threatening. Jenner was reportedly uninjured in the crash. The plaintiffs claimed in their lawsuit that they suffered enormous damages and that Jenner was driving negligently when the accident occurred.

Jenner's legal team stated that the two plaintiffs, ages 57 and 60, were financially independent and that Jenner should not be responsible for any damages they may have sustained. No charges were filed against Jenner and it did not appear that he was under the influence when he collided with the Lexus.

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A California mental health care facility has been accused of negligence in a wrongful death lawsuit by the soap opera star Kristoff St. John and his wife. The litigation follows the 2014 suicide of the couple's 24-year-old son Julian. The young man took his own life after a long battle with schizophrenia. However, 'The Young and the Restless" star claims that the tragedy was foreseeable and could have been prevented if his son had received adequate care.

The wrongful death lawsuit claims that staff at the Long Beach facility attempted to cover up their allegedly negligent actions by falsifying documents. The St. Johns say that their son had tried to kill himself with a plastic bag three weeks prior to his suicide, which should have placed medical staff on high alert.

In addition to not taking adequate steps to protect their son, the St. Johns allege in their lawsuit that the facility altered records to show that several regular checks had been made on Julian. They say that the checks were recorded in the facility's books even though they did not take place. The lawsuit also claims that the facility continued to receive Julian's welfare checks after his suicide. A representative for the facility said that the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health had conducted an investigation and determined that Julian St. John was provided with care appropriate to his condition.

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Many California residents have been watching the latest developments from the Amtrak crash near Philadelphia with a great amount of interest. Now one of the conductors who had been at work on the train when it crashed and suffered tremendous injuries has chosen to file a suit against Amtrak, alleging negligence.

The man had been taking a break when the train derailed and crashed. The force of the collision broke the man's back, neck and both shoulders. The injured man was then forced to extricate himself from the debris. Although there were many Amtrak employees on the train, and at least one other has already filed a lawsuit against the rail company, he is the employee believed to have suffered the most severe injuries.

There is no clear consensus at the moment as to what caused the train to crash. The conductor of the train received a concussion in the incident and does not appear to remember what caused the train to suddenly accelerate. Both the Philadelphia Police Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have announced their intention to thoroughly investigate the accident.

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California residents may be interested to learn that the former mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young, was slightly injured in an accident in which a cement truck fell on top of his car as well as that of another driver. The man in the other car reportedly suffered serious injuries when both cars were crushed by the falling truck.

According to reports, the cement truck driver ran a red light and was allegedly driving too fast for conditions at the time of the accident. After losing control of vehicle, the truck fell on the two cars and spilled diesel fuel on the roadway. While Mr. Young reportedly was treated at the accident scene and then taken to the hospital as a precaution, the other man suffered serious injuries to his head and hands.

Authorities did not release the identity of the cement truck driver, although they did state that he was cited for failing to obey the traffic signal and with driving too fast. In addition to being the former mayor of Atlanta, Mr. Young was heavily involved with the civil rights movement and worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was also an United Nations ambassador and is currently 83 years old.

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As most California drivers know, some days are better than others for driving. In general, many of these days are associated with national holidays or other days where it can be expected that there will be more drivers on the road. However, some of the days may be more unexpected than others.

National holidays are always going to be more dangerous for drivers than other days. For example, on Memorial Day weekend, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are approximately 400 driving fatalities every year. New Year's Day, St. Patrick's Day and July 4th also sees a number of fatalities. For these three holidays, alcohol consumption appears to be a leading factor in any car accidents that occur. Thanksgiving and Christmas are also dangerous due to the number of drivers on the road. Many drivers during these two holidays also often drive while stressed, which potentially leads to more aggressive driving.

Other days where driving can be more dangerous may be more unexpected. For example, the start of daylight saving time, when many drivers lose sleep, the number of collisions rises. Collisions also rise on Black Friday and NFL game days. This may be due to the number of vehicles on the road or to aggressive driving. Finally, the number of car accidents appears to rise on Friday the 13th, though it is not known why.

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Recently, the California Highway Patrol released safety tips for motorcycle riders in response to rising fatality and injury rates in motorcycle accidents. In a joint effort with the Office of Traffic Safety, May has been deemed Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

There are more than 830,000 registered motorcycles in California alone, and 1.4 million motorcyclists. Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that motorcycle fatalities increased from 9 percent to 14 percent of all motor vehicle fatality accidents from 2004 to 2013.

During 2013, 475 motorcyclists died in collisions, while another 13,143 were seriously injured. This is of concern in California, as the state has the largest number of motorcycle riders and owners. One of the CHP's safety tips is that motorcyclists should always wear their safety gear and helmets. Motorcyclists should additionally follow the speed limits and never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They should also know their own driving limits and abilities and not fall to peer pressure to push themselves. Motorcyclists should also always drive defensively with the clear understanding that others may not be able to see them.

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An Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation into the death of a man in an industrial 35-foot-long pressure cooker resulted in charges against Bumble Bee Foods, a plant operations director and the former safety manager. The worker died in the Santa Fe Springs plant. Another worker did not know he was inside the cooker cleaning it when he filled it with 22,000 pounds of tuna.

The pressure cooker reached a temperature of 270 degrees after being turned on. During this time, a supervisor noticed that the 62-year-old victim was missing. Workers found his body two hours later when the tuna cooker was opened.

According to Los Angeles prosecutors, the charges specify that the two managers, along with the company, did not enforce a safety plan or establish rules for workers in confined spaces. If convicted, the managers could face a possible three years in prison plus fines up to $250,000. Fines against Bumble Bee Foods could reach as high as $1.5 million.

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On May 1, it was announced that a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against former Olympian Bruce Jenner. Jenner was accused of causing a car accident in California that left a 69-year-old woman dead.

In the accident, which occurred on Feb. 7, Jenner was driving a Cadillac Escalade while hauling an off-road vehicle on a trailer when he attempted to steer around vehicles that had slowed down in front of him. He collided with a Prius that was directly in front of him. The impact from this collision caused the Prius to be pushed into a Lexus, which was being driven by the 69-year-old woman. The Lexus was pushed into oncoming traffic, where it was struck by a Hummer.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the woman's two step-children, who claimed that they sustained serious damages. The amount of compensation they were seeking was not known. It was argued that that Jenner was driving negligently, which allegedly resulted in the crash, though videos of the incident reportedly showed that Jenner was not using a cellphone at the time the incident occurred. Jenner was not charged in the incident.

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Early in the morning on April 22, a Toyota Prius that was driving east in the westbound lanes of Highway 50 in Sacramento County collided head-on with a pickup truck in the westbound lane. The collision caused the truck to spin. A third vehicle collided with the truck, causing the truck to catch fire.

California Highway Patrol received a call about 2:30 in the morning that a Prius was driving the wrong way on westbound Highway 50. The Prius reportedly had been driving in the wrong lane for several miles before the head-on collision occurred.

The driver of the Prius and all three occupants of the pickup truck were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the third vehicle suffered minor injuries. Police are reportedly investigating whether there is any link between the crash and the use of alcohol or drugs.

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California residents may be interested to learn about a fatal car accident that took place at the Walt Disney World Speedway in Florida. The crash happened on April 12 and resulted in the death of a man who had been working at the Speedway for the past 14 years. Since 2013, he worked as the operations manager for the Exotic Driving Experience and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

The fatal car accident occurred at the Exotic Driving Experience section of the Speedway while a 24-year-old man was driving a Lamborghini. After losing control of the vehicle, the man hit a guardrail. His 36-year-old passenger, who was employed by the Speedway, was declared dead at the scene. The driver was treated for minor injuries at Celebration Hospital and then released.

The Walt Disney World Speedway is a park where guests have the opportunity to ride in or drive around a racetrack in NASCAR vehicles and exotic cars. The park is located outside of the Disney Transportation and Ticket Center, which not far from the Magic Kingdom. According to an announcement that was issued by Disney in February, the Speedway is going to be closed for the summer of 2015.

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An accident involving a motorcycle and a passenger car resulted in the death of two people on April 12. The fatal motor vehicle accident occurred in the San Fernando Valley at about 11 p.m. According to police, both the motorcyclist and the passenger car driver were declared dead at the scene of the accident.

Police say a 30-year-old man riding a motorcycle was traveling at excessive speeds near the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Collins Street. The motorcyclist collided with the driver's side window of a Honda Accord while the 60-year-old driver was starting to make a left turn. As a result of the impact, the motorcycle landed approximately 50 feet away, and the motorcyclist crashed through the car window.

A Los Angeles Police Department detective said that when the motorcyclist went through the driver's side window, the woman who was driving the Honda was impacted. The motorcyclist ended up on the passenger side. While investigators were looking into the details of the collision, the intersection was shut down until early the next morning. According to an LAPD detective, another fatal motorcycle accident involving speed had occurred in the same area only a couple days before.

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On April 7, a San Jose man was killed in a car accident that may have been caused by a drunk driver. According to authorities, the man was driving in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 in a Ford Taurus when a 2011 Nissan pickup rear-ended him. The pickup then reportedly left the scene of the crime by taking the Great America Parkway exit. The collision left the Taurus stalled on the highway.

Following the initial accident, the driver of a 2008 Ford pickup came across the stalled vehicle; however, he was unable to avoid striking the Taurus. The impact of the collision caused the Taurus to travel across multiple lanes of the freeway before striking a wall. The vehicle then caught fire. The vehicle was reportedly fully engulfed in flames when the rescue authorities arrived at the scene, killing the 37-year-old driver.

The vehicle that reportedly caused the accident was recovered at a nearby IHOP by local authorities. It has sustained major damage to its front end and tires. Once the local authorities contacted the State Police, the vehicle was ultimately linked to the hit-and-run accident. The driver was taken into police custody where he was charged with manslaughter and DUI.

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A 44-year-old man was killed and a woman was critically injured in a two-vehicle accident near Santa Cruz on March 28. The crash occurred at approximately 2 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Authorities said a 1991 Ford F-150 pickup truck was driving northbound on Empire Grade Road north of Llama Ranch Road when it crossed the double yellow lines into southbound traffic and struck an oncoming 2001 Chevrolet van near the north entrance to the University of California at Santa Cruz.

The driver of the pickup truck, who lived in the unincorporated area of Aptos, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The driver of the van, a 20-year-old woman, suffered critical and life-threatening injuries. She was airlifted to a nearby trauma center for treatment. Authorities said the pickup truck was traveling at a high rate of speed at the time of the crash, but the van was traveling within the posted speed limit.

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California residents may have noticed that the number of high-rise construction projects being undertaken in the stare has increased recently as the economy slowly recovers from the 2008 financial crisis. Many of these projects use scaffolding systems that are raised or lowered mechanically because they are simple to put into place and relatively easy to dismantle after the work has been completed. However, the systems were developed after OSHA implemented its scaffolding safety rules, and some safety experts feel that protocols should be updated in light of the new technology.

Mast-climbers are platforms that are raised or lowered after being attached towers connected to the wall of a building, and they are often used by window installers or masons to perform finishing work. However, the systems are complex to use, and workers require specialized training before they are able to operate them safely. Some observers have speculated that a lack of this type of training may have contributed to a March 2015 construction accident in North Carolina that claimed the lives of three Latino construction workers.

The North Carolina accident also brought attention to a disproportionate injury rate among Latino workers in the construction industry. It is believed that language barriers on construction sites may contribute to a higher number of workplace injuries among Latinos, and some point out that these workers are sometimes reluctant to file complaints about unsafe conditions.

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Any California driver who becomes involved in a car crash is at risk for suffering a severe back or spinal cord injury. These types of injuries, which are often permanent, can result in the loss of movement or sensation in the arms and legs. If the injury is severe enough, the injured person may even lose the ability to control their bodily functions.

It is estimated that 250,000 to 500,000 people worldwide suffer a spinal cord injury every year. Men are at least twice as likely than women to suffer a spinal cord injury; while men mostly risk injury when they are between ages 20 to 29 and 70 or older, women are most at risk during the ages 15 to 19 and when they are 60 years and older.

Someone who has suffered a serious spinal cord injury is more likely to die prematurely than someone who did not suffer an injury. This is likely because there are a number of secondary conditions associated with spinal cord injuries, including osteoporosis, respiratory complications and deep vein thrombosis. Further, mental illness, such as depression, is not uncommon, as many who suffer injuries are less likely to participate in school or be employed.

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A major crash in California claimed the life of a 13-year-old girl. The accident happened on March 14 in Madera County on Highway 41.

According to law enforcement authorities, a 70-year-old man driving a pickup truck crossed the centerline of the highway, striking an oncoming sedan head-on. The 13-year-old girl was reportedly riding in the backseat of the sedan. She succumbed to her injuries. A 19-year-old woman who was also riding in the car suffered injuries reported as major. She had to be extricated from the vehicle by emergency personnel. The sedan's 48-year-old driver also suffered injuries characterized as major.

The pickup truck's driver and his wife both suffered minor to moderate injuries in the accident. Law enforcement officials indicated they do not believe alcohol was a factor in the collision. Police were still investigating the accident's cause at the time of the report.

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