Archive for the ‘Michael J. Crowley’ Category

Government Entity Defendants

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

When a potential defendant in a personal injury case is a government entity (state, local, municipal, school district, community services districts, etc.) special rules apply before one can even file a lawsuit against that entity in Superior Court.  Let’s discuss a recent case handled by Janssen Malloy LLP to illustrate. A Del Norte resident was riding his motorcycle along a street in Crescent City and had the right of way, with no traffic controls for his direction of travel.  A California Department of Corrections employee (this was close to the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City) parked alongside the edge of the road suddenly attempted a U-turn in front of the motorcyclist, causing a collision which threw the motorcyclist over his handle bars, resulting in bilateral hand fractures requiring surgical intervention.


1/4 Million Settlement in Wrongful Death Action

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Janssen Malloy LLP by partner Michael Crowley recently obtained a $260,000 recovery in a wrongful death matter arising out of a motorcycle/vehicle collision near Lakeport, California.  The plaintiffs were the adult sisters of the motorcyclist, 57 year old David Criswell who was driving his motorcycle on Soda Bay Road near Clear Lake when the defendant driver ran a stop sign at Park Road, causing fatal injuries to Mr. Criswell.  Mr. Criswell died unmarried, with no children, so his two sisters were his sole heirs.  The defendant driver was driving within the scope of his job with his employer at the time of the incident.  The case was filed in Contra Costa County Superior Court because the defendant driver and his employer were based out of Walnut Creek.


Representing Children: What’s Best for the Child?

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Janssen Malloy LLP has extensive experience in representing children who have been injured through the careless conduct of others. There are special considerations unique to representing children (minors under the age of 18, or legal majority).   First of all, the Statute of Limitations (S/L) for a minor is different than that for an adult. Generally, the S/L for an adult in a personal injury matter is two (2) years from the date of injury, which means that a lawsuit against responsible defendants must be filed within two years from the date of the injury. For minors, that S/L is “tolled” (suspended) during the time the minor is under the age of legal majority (their 18th birthday). This means minors have longer to file an action (lawsuit) for personal injury. Further, because the child is not yet an adult, a responsible adult must be appointed by the court to act on behalf of the minor.  This individual is designated as the “Guardian ad Litem” (GAL). The GAL is usually one of the child’s parents (or a grandparent). In order to properly file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of a minor, an appropriate GAL must be appointed by the court, and then the complaint must be filed in Superior Court.


$250,000 Policy Limit Recovery

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Janssen Malloy LLP attorney Michael Crowley recently obtained the $250,000 insurance policy limit in a motorcycle crash case for one of his clients.   Plaintiff Kitty Braley, a 49 year-old community college student from Olympia, WA, was a passenger on a motorcycle that crashed on Highway 299 outside Arcata, CA. The motorcycle’s driver lost control of the motorbike, and Ms. Braley was ejected, sustaining a serious left shoulder injury, an acromioclavicular separation which required reconstructive surgery.  Unfortunately, post-operatively Ms. Braley developed an infection in the surgical wound site, requiring a second surgery.  Her post-surgery course included several months of antibiotic infusion therapy via a skin portal to resolve the problem.


The Problem of the Uninsured Employer

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

A laborer on a home construction site falls from a second story platform, suffering serious orthopedic fractures which require air ambulance transport and surgery.  Only after the injury does the injured worker learn that his employer failed to carry worker’s compensation insurance coverage for his employees.  Such a scenario is not hypothetical;  it describes a current case being handled by Janssen Malloy LLP.

California’s Labor Code requires employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. Ordinarily, if an employer carries the required worker’s compensation insurance coverage, a worker’s compensation claim is the “exclusive remedy” for the injured worker.  In exchange for worker’s compensation insurance benefits, the injured worker is precluded from suing his employer for his injuries.


Policy Limits Recovery for Victim of Drunk Driver

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Janssen Malloy LLP recently obtained the defendants’ combined insurance policy limits for a client who was the victim of a drunk driver in Eureka, California.   Plaintiff, Paula Paine, was driving on Broadway near Pierson Building Center when a drunk driver lost control of her vehicle, striking Ms. Paine’s vehicle head-on.  Ms. Paine’s vehicle was totaled in the collision, and she was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital, where she was hospitalized for four days.  In addition to abdominal, shoulder and knee injuries, she also lost time from work.


$1,000,000 Settlement in Mendocino County Case

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Janssen Malloy LLP recently resolved a case for a Eureka resident for the defendant’s million dollar policy limit arising out of a head on collision that occurred in Southern Mendocino County last year. Janssen Malloy LLP’s client was a passenger in a Jeep Cherokee that was struck by a truck that crossed the median directly into their path, causing a head on collision.  Plaintiff sustained serious injuries, and required two hip surgeries.

The case was filed in Mendocino County Superior Court, and resolved shortly after the deposition testimony of the investigating CHP officer.  Prior to that deposition, the defendant’s insurance carrier had offered to settle the case for $15,000.


Janssen Malloy LLP’s Building Renovation Project

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Janssen Malloy LLP has been in the process of renovating its building, which sits adjacent to the Humboldt County Courthouse in downtown Eureka.  Constructed in the late 1950’s, the historic building originally housed separate individual law offices, reflecting an earlier time when solo law practice was much more common than it is today.  As the Janssen Law Firm expanded over the years in numbers of attorneys, paralegal and support staff, it gradually took over almost all the space of the two story building.


Uninsured Motorist/Workers’ Comp Claims

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

An individual who is “on the job” at the time of an accident caused by an uninsured driver, has the additional challenge of dealing with the workers’ compensation system.   A recent case handled by Janssen Malloy LLP illustrates the challenges involved.

Janssen Malloy LLP represented a Humboldt State University (“HSU”) Fisheries Technician employee who was injured when an uninsured driver struck his vehicle with enough force to cause it to roll over.  Because the injured driver was within the scope of his employment with HSU at the time of the incident,  a parallel workers’ compensation claim proceeded after his injury.


The Impact of the Howell Decision

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The California Supreme Court recently significantly limited the ability of injured plaintiffs to receive the full measure of their damages by its ruling in Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc. (2011) 52 Cal. 4th 541.   The Supreme Court ruled in Howell that an injured plaintiff could only be compensated to the extent of medical expenses actually paid, rather than the amounts that were billed for the treatment of the plaintiff’s injuries.  The differential between the “billed” versus “paid” can be enormous, and leave a seriously injured person woefully under compensated.