Summer is upon us and each year it’s important to revisit safety laws and best practices in regard to residential swimming pools and spas. Drowning is California’s second leading cause of death for children aged 1-4 and even nonfatal drowning injuries can result in long-term disabilities from irreversible brain damage. Since most drownings in young children occur in home swimming pools, it is especially important that owners of residential pools take proper precautions to keep unaccompanied children out and, in case a child does enter a pool unaccompanied, to prevent injury by the suction of pool pumps and filters.
Alexis writes: I live in Napa County and my property was damaged in the Atlas Fire last October. Thankfully, we’re alright but we wonder whether we should join one of the many lawsuits against PG&E to recover some of our losses. I saw that CalFire recently released its second report finding PG&E responsible for several of the fires, including Atlas, and was hoping you could give me a sense of what the report means for fire victims.
Today’s column continues where last week’s left off regarding legal responsibility for injuries caused by hazardously placed Bird, LimeBike and/or Spin electric scooters. Today, I will first discuss new legislation designed to reduce the risks these scooters present and next address responsibility for injuries caused when motorized scooters are driven on the sidewalk.
Tricia P. from South of Market asks: “I came out of my apartment front door and tripped over a Bird scooter and fell face first. I was able to catch myself on a nearby tree and wasn’t seriously injured but I could have broken my arm. Just a few days earlier someone was riding one of the green scooters and almost clipped me as I exited Starbucks. What gives? Who would be responsible if I had been smashed into or if I fell and broke my wrist?”
For the fifth consecutive year, the readers of SF Weekly have selected Chris Dolan as the best injury lawyer in San Francisco. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the readers of the SF Weekly for standing with them at the frontlines in the fight for justice”, Dolan stated.
I am a delivery driver for a company that offers door-to- door food service from restaurants to customers’ homes. I am classified as an independent contractor and paid on a piece-meal (no pun intended) basis, with no benefits or extra pay for working overtime. Some people at work say that we should be classified as employees instead and want to demand better employment terms. These legal categories are confusing to me, even though they seem to have a lot of impact on our lives. How can a worker tell whether they should be treated as an independent contractor or an employee? CJ
Today’s question comes from Kate, who asks “I have a friend recently terminated by a multi-billion-dollar company for not showing up to work. He had been 5150’d and was under psychiatric hold as required by his doctor. His then girlfriend called to let the employer know that he was in the hospital and would call as soon as he was able. He was fired anyway. Doesn’t the ADA require that he be given reasonable accommodation?”
This week’s question comes from Tracey F. in Hayward who writes: “My boyfriend works at Tesla’s manufacturing plant on the assembly line and is always in pain when he comes home. Often, he is required to work mandatory overtime and I have to give him a massage because his shoulders and arms hurt really bad.
People at Tesla are getting injured all the time. Last week a guy got rammed by a robot moving around the warehouse. It seems that while the robots are modern and can work all the time, the humans are just that, human, and they are getting worn out and hurt. Tesla is a tech company; shouldn’t they be able to do something with all that knowledge to protect the humans working in the facility? What rights do workers have when they get hurt?”
This week’s question comes from PZ who asks: “Hi, I discovered that the City of SF has deliberately put the public health at risk for quite some time. I would like to put something on the City of SF ballot placing restrictions on the City’s actions. I have never put anything on a ballot before. I have the following questions: 1) Can anyone, SF resident or not, get something on the ballot in SF; 2) how would I get started on this matter; 3) is there any agency or group of people that can help me?”
This week’s question comes from Nathan P. from San Carlos who asks: “My wife died suddenly. We were separated at the time of her death but hadn’t filed any kind of papers. We were just taking some time to figure out where we were at and where we were going after 20 years of being married. We had two children, aged 10 and 14. My 14-year-old son died in the same accident. I always told my wife that she needed to draft a will, but she believed doing so could invite death, so she has no will. Her mother is angry with me for our separation and is stating that she should get all her assets and the value of her share of our home which we owned jointly. What happens when someone dies without a will?”