News

B&K Welcomes New Attorney – Drew Pruitt

We are thrilled to welcome Drew Pruitt as the newest attorney here at Booth & Koskoff. Drew has spent the last three years at the California Department of Justice where, as a Deputy Attorney General, he handled a difficult case load of criminal matters, including felony appeals, taking on responsibilities far beyond what is typical …

A Hidden Danger in Swimming Pools

We are currently handling (along with our co-counsel Diana Spektor) a case involving the tragic drowning death of a seven-year-old boy in a hot tub. The boy’s death was caused by a danger that lurks in many swimming pools and hot tubs but is largely unknown to the general public. Going back at least to …

Defective EpiPen Devices Trigger Recall

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted consumers that Meridian Medical Technologies began voluntarily recalling 13 lots of Mylan’s EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. auto-injectors. That April announcement came on the heels of a separate recall of nearly 80,000 EpiPens in their Australia market. These recalls stem from a critical defect that can …

Establishing Organizational Liability for Sexual Abuse

It is a sad fact of life that there are sexual predators out there who prey upon vulnerable children. It is therefore incumbent upon organizations such as churches and schools to do everything in their power to ensure that children under their care are not victimized. It is no excuse for the organization to point …

Dependency Abuse Cases: When Counties Fail Foster Children

Our firm has developed a specialty in dependency abuse cases involving the physical or sexual abuse of children who are in the dependency system. Oftentimes, the defendants are County agencies, and the social workers whom they employ, who have failed to do their jobs. Sometimes there are also private agencies who have placed children into …

Plaintiff Immigration Status No Longer Admissible in PI Cases

In sharp contrast to the rhetoric heard during the recent presidential campaign, the California legislature has struck a blow for fairness in the treatment of undocumented immigrants in the court system. Evidence Code section 351.2, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, provides that “[i]n a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death, …

Oakland Warehouse Fire Claims Dozens of Lives

Friday night in Oakland turned tragic after a fire claimed 36 lives. The fire started on the first floor around 11:30pm on Friday night, just as a concert began above. Concert goers reportedly believed the smoke was part of the event, but realized it was an actual fire as smoke filled the warehouse. Victims struggled to escape, impeded …

13 Muertos y 31 Heridos en Accidente de Autobús en California

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif.– Justo antes del amanecer del domingo por la mañana, un autobús lleno de turistas se estrelló contra la parte trasera de un tractor-remolque, matando a 13 pasajeros, incluyendo al conductor, e hiriendo a 31 más. Los pasajeros del autobús, operado por USA Holiday, habían pasado la noche en Red Earth Casino …

13 Dead and 31 Injured in Calif. Tour Bus Crash

DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. — Just before dawn on Sunday morning, a tour bus full of tourists slammed into the rear end of a tractor-trailer killing 13 passengers, including the driver, and injuring 31 more. Passengers on the tour bus, operated by USA Holiday, had spent the evening at Red Earth Casino near the Salton …

Did LA County Fail Abused Boy?

The story is heartbreaking. A young boy, wrapped in a blanket, dead for hours, showing signs of severe malnutrition and physical abuse. His name was Daniel Aguilar. He was grossly underweight, had festering wounds, and had obviously suffered years of abuse. Despite multiple calls of reported abuse to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and …

Roger Booth Selected for 2016 NADC

Roger Booth, of Booth & Koskoff, has been selected to the 2016 list as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. NADC is an organization dedicated to promoting the highest standards of legal excellence. Its mission is to objectively recognize the attorneys who elevate the standards of …

Power Morcellator Lawsuits

In November 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a warning regarding power morcellators. These are medical devices that are used during hysterectomy procedures for the removal of a woman’s uterus, which is usually performed as a result of fibroids (also called leiomyomas) that have developed in the uterus. We are currently handling a …

Defective Airbags Trigger More Takata Recalls

The Department of Transportation has added more than 35 million cars to a list of vehicles that have defective Takata airbags installed in them. The airbags have an increased tendency to explode at much higher rates than intended because of the accelerant used to inflate the airbags. The announcement makes this the largest recall in US history …

Lead Levels Higher in Children Near Tainted Facility

Higher lead levels in children living nearby the now-shuttered Vernon battery recycling facility discovered in new analysis by California health officials. Analysis Shows Higher Lead Levels in Children Living Near Tainted Facility These newly released findings are sure to increase the already-growing pressure on local and state regulators to accelerate the cleanup efforts in Vernon …

Booth & Koskoff Selected for 2016 Super Lawyers Listing

Congratulations to Richard Koskoff and Roger Booth for their inclusion on the 2016 Super Lawyers list! The list includes the top 5% of practicing attorneys in Southern California and requires an extensive process that starts with peer nominations and then evaluations by an attorney-led research team. This is the thirteenth year of inclusion for Richard Koskoff, and the …

More Clarity re: Medicare Set Asides

We have written in the past about the uncertainty surrounding whether, and under what circumstances, a plaintiff who settles a personal injury lawsuit must set aside a sum of money to cover future medical expenses that would otherwise be covered by Medicare. This has long been required in workers’ compensation settlements, but there is no …

Defining the Standards for Institutional Liability in Sexual Abuse Cases

The case of S.M. v. L.A.U.S.D has garnered some attention in the press because the defense lawyer for the L.A. Unified School District argued (successfully) at trial that the 14-year-old victim of sexual abuse by her teacher had consented to the sexual relationship and was therefore comparatively negligent, reducing the amount of institutional liability. The jury …

Plaintiffs Dodge a Bullet in Cal. Supreme Court Opinion re: Dangerous Roadway Cases

The California Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Cordova v. City of L.A. (case no. S208130) could have been a disaster for plaintiffs pursuing dangerous roadway cases against governmental entities. The narrow issue before the Court was whether, under Government Code section 835, a plaintiff could ever prevail when the precipitating factor for a crash was …

All New Client Testimonials on Our Website

Recently, a number of our clients have been kind enough to give video testimonials about our firm. In our most recent newsletter, we featured two videos from former clients. John Mahoney sustained multiple severe fractures while working as a rigger at the Hollywood Bowl. Here his wife talks about the challenges that he faced during …

Larry Booth Publishes Second Book

Booth & Koskoff founder Larry Booth has published a book about his college track coach and hero Mel Patton, who died in 2014. Patton won two gold medals at the 1948 Olympics and set the world record in the 100 yard dash before moving on to a brief coaching career and then a career in …

Two Booth & Koskoff Settlements Recognized by VerdictSearch

Our settlements in Sanchez v. Agri-Mix and Perez v. Mateut have been recognized by The Recorder legal newspaper and VerdictSearch in the publication “California’s Million-Dollar Settlements.” Sanchez v. Agri-Mix involved our client, Fernando Sanchez, who sustained life-threatening injuries after he was impaled by an improperly secured pole gate. During our investigation, it was revealed that …

Roger Booth Selected for NADC Membership

We are proud to announce that Roger Booth has been selected to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel for 2015. The list consists of the top 1% of practicing attorneys in the United States. The attorneys come from all types of legal practice, including personal injury, and are vetted and approved by a research team …

Admissibility of Plaintiff’s Immigration Status

Long before immigration became a hot button political issue, plaintiff’s lawyers worried about how jurors might respond if they learned that a plaintiff was in the United States illegally. Defense lawyers have often gone to great lengths to try to get this type of evidence in front of juries. Recently, the Court of Appeal for …

Booth & Koskoff Selected for 2015 Super Lawyers

Congratulations to partners Richard Koskoff and Roger Booth! Both have been selected for the 2015 Super Lawyers list, announced this month, which includes less than 5% of attorneys practicing in Southern California. Each lawyer must go through a extensive selection process. This starts with peer nominations, and then two-levels of evaluation in 12 categories by a third-party …

The Cost of Drowsy Driving

An estimated 100,000 reported accidents are the direct result of driver fatigue each year, which results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in financial costs. Reducing these types of accidents takes commitment from both individual drivers and the companies that require long shifts with little sleep. Source: www.drowsydriving.org.

$3 Million Settlement in Job Site Personal Injury Case

Our client Fernando Sanchez worked as a plumber at Grimmway Farms near Bakersfield, one of the largest carrot processing operations in the United States and Kern County’s largest employer. December 8, 2010 started out as just a normal work day for him on the job site. In the mid-morning, he was performing a routine task, …

An Explanation of Medi-Cal and Medicare Liens and Settlements

It seems as if every case we settle these days gets bogged down to some degree while we attempt to resolve liens with Medi-Cal and/or Medicare. The rules regarding Medicare reimbursement, in particular, have become more stringent in recent years, and no defendant or insurance company is willing to settle a case without written assurance …

A Cheat Sheet for Medi-Cal and Medicare Lien Procedures

The process of resolving a Medi-Cal or Medicare lien can be complex and confusing.  We created this “cheat sheet” to help simplify the process. To download this information in PDF form, click here. *updated September 2015*   Medi-Cal Lien Procedures 1. Opening up a case file To inform Medi-Cal of the existence of a case, go to: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/Pages/TPLRD_PersonalInjuryUnit.aspx. …

Personal Injury Practice: A Checklist for Auto Accident Cases

Oftentimes, the big issue in auto accident cases is where the money is going to come from to fully compensate the plaintiff. If the plaintiff’s injuries are significant, the adverse driver’s insurance coverage (if he has coverage) may be inadequate. If that is the case, then the plaintiff’s lawyer must be creative in looking for …

“The Great Helmet Myth” by Larry Booth published in Advocate

An article written by Larry Booth, a founding partner of Booth & Koskoff, on helmet safety guidelines was published in Advocate, the monthly publication of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. In it, Mr. Booth details how our dependance on hard hats for safety on jobs and while playing sports actually provides little protection. Some …

Welcoming Carly Sanchez Back to Booth & Koskoff

We are thrilled to welcome Carly Sanchez back to Booth & Koskoff. Carly worked as a law clerk at our firm from 2010 to 2012, after receiving her undergraduate degree from USC. While at B&K, she played a key role in a number of trial and settlement victories for our clients and discovered a real …

When It Comes to Damages, It’s All in the Details

Over time, trial lawyers can get sloppy. We use terms like “pain and suffering” so often that we can forget what these words really mean and what this item of damages is really all about. This is particularly dangerous in this day and age of “tort reform,” when the insurance companies and corporate defendants have …

Record Setting Settlement Featured on Advocate Capital

Our friends at Advocate Capital featured our record-setting settlement we obtained last month in the wrongful death case involving a truck driver who died when he was struck by another driver. You can read more about the wrongful death case by clicking here.

More Liberal Telephonic Appearance Rules Adopted

The advent of telephonic court appearances has dramatically changed civil litigation practice. Routine appearances that used to require hours of freeway driving can now be accomplished without the lawyer having to leave his or her office or home. The lawyer can even take care of other work while waiting for his or her case to …

Booth & Koskoff at the CAAA 2014 Convention

Last month, attorneys from Booth & Koskoff had the pleasure of attending and displaying at the CAAA Convention in Rancho Mirage, California. The convention is a great opportunity for networking amongst fellow attorneys and showcasing expertise in specific divisions of law. We operated a booth related to third party worker’s comp cases. These are difficult …

Third Party Cases

Dear Workers’ Comp Attorneys, At Booth & Koskoff, we have decades of experience handling the most difficult 3rd party cases involving catastrophic injuries and death. We have repeatedly success finding 3rd party liability where other lawyers have not. We have achieved over 80 seven and eight figure verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. …

2014 Southern California Top Attorneys Announced

Roger E. Booth and Richard B. Koskoff have been named Top Attorneys on the 2014 Super Lawyers Annual List. The well-respected list was announced earlier this month, and includes less than 5% of the practicing attorneys in the Southern California legal field. Both attorneys were listed in the personal injury field. The selection process for the list …

Schultz Verdict Featured in CACI Handbook

The newest version of California Civil Jury Instruction Companion Handbook has recently been published by Thomson Reuters. Written and compiled by retired Court of Appeal Justice Elizabeth Baron, this book discusses the CACI jury instructions for civil cases, using 40 real cases as examples of how the CACI instructions (as well as some special instructions) …

Booth & Koskoff Achieves One of the Top “Big Money Wins” of 2013

At the end of 2013, the National Law Journal published a list of the top “Big Money Wins” of the year. Our $5,000,000 settlement in the Krienke case ranked as the 25th largest reported settlement. That case involved a 63-year-old gentleman who was struck by a tractor-trailer while riding his bicycle and sustained a major …

Don’t Settle That Intersection Broadside Collision Case Too Quickly!

For many years, lawyers have settled catastrophic side impact collision cases for policy limits, thinking that nothing else could be done for their clients. Some forward-thinking attorneys tried to obtain adequate compensation for brain and spine injuries by suing the auto manufacturers for defective side protection. But it was always extremely difficult to convince a …

Personal Injury Handbook updated for 2013/4

Recent updates to Personal Injury Handbook, released in November, include a wealth of new material, such as: 1. A new chapter on roadway design and maintenance cases. 2. New sections on how to counsel clients on use of social media during litigation. 3. Substantially revised chapters on automobile crashworthiness cases and motor vehicle accident cases. Visit …

Settlement in Boom Lift Accident Case

We just settled (for a confidential amount) a case on behalf of a father and son who were injured while operating a boom lift on a construction site. This is the latest in a long series of cases that our firm has handled involving inadvertent activation of controls on industrial equipment, such as boom lifts, …

The Facebook Defense

Social media is no longer just a harmless way to connect with friends and acquaintances. It has become an arsenal of information that defense counsel can use to derail even the best personal injury cases. Back in the “old days,” we used to worry about defense investigators hiding in the bushes and obtaining video surveillance …

Stricter rules for hospitals trying to collect liens

When a person receives treatment at a hospital, but is unable to pay for that treatment, the hospital may assert a lien against any recovery that the injured person obtains from a negligent third party that caused the injuries. See Civil Code §§ 3045.1-3045.6 (the Hospital Lien Act). The hospital is entitled to recover the amount of …

Don’t inadvertently waive your client’s right to a jury trial

There have been some very significant changes recently in the rules affecting when a party must demand a jury trial and post jury fees. This has become a real trap for the unwary. Code of Civil Procedure section 631, which was amended effective September 17, 2012, provides that a party demanding a jury trial must …

eFiling Comes to the O.C.

In a victory for efficiency, cost savings, conservation and common sense, the Orange County Superior Court now requires (effective January 1, 2013) that all documents in civil cases be electronically filed with the court.  The process is simple, and a conformed copy of the filed document is typically received almost immediately.  When filing a complaint …

More clarity (and not in a good way) regarding medical bill evidence

Two years ago, the California Supreme Court issued its landmark opinion in Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal.4th 541, holding that a plaintiff in a personal injury case can only recover, as damages for her past medical bills, the discounted amount that was paid by her health insurer, rather than the total amount …

Airbag Cases Take Center Stage Once Again

Last week, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda issued a recall on more than 3 million vehicles because of defective airbags. Auto makers have long denied major issues with airbags. In the 1990’s, Booth & Koskoff handled airbag cases where small children were killed by deployed air bags. It’s shocking that the article below is still relevant, …

New Requirement Re: Justifying Privilege Objections

Until recently, when a party in litigation refused to produce certain documents on the grounds of privilege or work product, the opposing party was often left to wonder what exactly was being withheld and whether one or more of the withheld documents might be a “game changer” in the case. Sometimes the responding party would …

Five Keys to Success in Dangerous Roadway Cases

The most recent issue of the Advocate, the publication of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, includes an article by Roger Booth entitled, ” Five Keys to Success in Dangerous Roadway Cases.” This article is based on the $4 million verdict that we obtained earlier this year in a dangerous roadway case against the County …

Don’t Procrastinate When It Comes to Hiring Experts

The following is an excerpt from a brand new chapter on experts in the latest edition of our Personal Injury Handbook. This excerpt concerns the importance of hiring experts early in litigation. “It is generally a mistake to wait until the last couple of months before trial to select and retain an expert. There are certainly situations in …

L.A. Superior Court Goes Back to the Future

In response to the budget crisis that is impacting all aspects of state government, the Los Angeles Superior Court announced several weeks ago that it will be closing ten courthouses. More recently, the court has quietly announced some major changes to the way it will handle personal injury (“PI”) cases going forward. These changes are expected to go …

Personal Injury Handbook Revisited

We have substantially revised our practice guide Personal Injury Handbook (James Publishing). The revised version includes, among other things, a new chapter on experts and substantially revised chapters on discovery, trial and sexual abuse cases.  For more information, see the James Publishing website.

Medicare Set Asides – Coming to a Civil Case Near You

For years, I had heard about Medicare Set Asides (“MSA’s”), without really quite understanding what they were or whether I needed to pay any particular attention to them. It seemed that MSA’s were something that workers’ compensation lawyers dealt with and that, at least for the time being, I could safely ignore them. Well, that …

Duty to advise clients of collateral claims

In Nichols v. Keller (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 1672, the court held that a workers’ compensation attorney has a duty to advise a client of any potential remedies that he has,including a potential third party action arising out of his workplace accident. A recent L.A. Superior Court verdict (read here) illustrates the potential consequences that can …

Personal Injury Handbook favorably reviewed

Our recently-published practice guide, Personal Injury Handbook (James Publishing), received a very favorable review in the Advocate magazine, published by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. Read more.

Another blow to personal injury plaintiffs

As we discussed in a newsletter that we sent out at the end of last year, the California Supreme Court has had before it an issue of great significance in personal injury cases, namely the proper measure of damages for past medical expenses. Unfortunately, the Court has now spoken on the issue and issued a …

Dr. Yashwant B. Giri OC Anesthesiologist Pleads Not Guilty

Yashwant B. Giri, the OC Anesthesiologist accused of molesting patients while they were unconscious, has pled not guilty to two felony counts of sexual assault. The judge in the case also ordered Dr. Giri to cease practicing medicine. Giri faces up to eight years in prison if convicted of the crimes. He is accused of sexually …

Case selection – Don’t be afraid to say “no”

James Publishing has recently published a practice guide written by Larry and Roger Booth of our firm entitled Personal Injury Handbook. The following is an excerpt concerning the all-important task of case selection: “The hardest thing for any lawyer, especially a young lawyer, to do is reject a case that appears as though it might bring …

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