Voice recording: You’re listening to the ACTS LAW Hour on 790 KABC. The attorneys from ACTS LAW are here to help you restore your property, your pocketbook and your sanity. Don’t delay, act now at 800-225-222.
Lorraine Love: Good afternoon, Los Angeles, this is Talk Radio 790 KABC. Welcome to the ACTS LAW Hour heard every Saturday at noon providing you solid information from our good friends Abir, Cohen, Treyzon and Salo the ACTS LAW firm that’s A-C-T-S LAW find them in actslaw.com. Knowledge is power and power is knowledge. The ACTS LAW Hour wants to empower you today. Now, here’s the host and managing partner of the ACTS LAW firm Danny Abir along with me, Lorraine Love.
Danny Abir: Hey, Lorraine, how are you?
Lorraine: Good, happy Saturday.
Danny: Happy Saturday, too.
Lorraine: It’s a great looking Saturday. It’s 63 degrees.
Danny: It’s warm, right?
Danny: Relative to what you see in the east coast.
Lorraine: Oh, my gosh, they’re saying they’re afraid some of the actors and actresses aren’t going to be able to make it out tomorrow night for the Golden Globe‘s?
Danny: I forgot about that.
Lorraine: Yes, Golden Globe’s, big night in Hollywood.
Danny: I saw a clip yesterday of a fire truck going through city of Boston. It was scary. The amount of snow and it was trying to plow it through there. It was absolutely scary. We have Doug Rochen here with us.
Lorraine: Hey, Doug.
Danny: Finally after so many weeks.
Doug Rochen: Hello.
Lorraine: Welcome back. [laughs]
Doug: Thank you.
Danny: Happy New Year.
Doug: Happy New Year to you too.
Danny: Did you have a good holiday?
Doug: It was nice. We did not have nearly the same problems that they’d had back east. Most of my family who’s back east got snowed in. In fact, my sister said, I think it was, New Year’s Day was one degree.
Lorraine: Oh, my goodness and where is she?
Doug: She’s in Detroit.
Lorraine: Detroit, wow, one degree.
Danny: One of my sisters lives in Michigan too.
Doug: Their dog wouldn’t even go outside because of how cold it was. Actually, it was getting frost bite on its paws.
Lorraine: How sad.
Danny: The dog is saying, “You think I’m going to step out here? No way.
Lorraine: I don’t think so. [laughs]
Danny: Not happening. We ended the last show. I’m sure you were listening, Doug.
Danny: Alex and I ended the show, the last show of the year with the most interesting and the most talked about and searched legal terms of 2017 and how it had legal ramifications. For example, number one, what do you think number one was?
Doug: Of the legal searched term?
Danny: No, the most searched term and then we talked about the legal aspects of it.
Lorraine: The most searched in 2017, what do you think the number one most searched thing was?
Doug: Donald Trump?
Danny: You would be surprised, that’s what I thought it would be. It wasn’t even the top 10.
Lorraine: No, it wasn’t.
Danny: It was not even the top 10.
Doug: What was it?
Danny: It was the hurricanes Irma, Harvey. Isn’t that interesting?
Doug: That is interesting.
Danny: Number two was shocking for me.
Doug: The fires?
Danny: No, number two was the Las Vegas shooting.
Doug: People must be really paying a lot of attention to natural disasters.
Danny: Things that are going around the world and number three was Matt Lauer getting fired and all the Harvey Weinstein stuff. A segway to some of the areas, your areas of expertise being sex abuse and sexual assault and so forth.
Doug: It’s crazy though because you see in the news one thing happen and then all of a sudden it’s a barrage, an avalanche of other news stories coming out. You turn on the news every day and it’s one after the other, after the other.
Lorraine: I said how long ago when this all started coming out. I said there’s going to be no guys on TV anymore. It’s going to be all women. Then all of a sudden, Hoda is now doing Today’s Show replacing Matt. I’m going, “Wow, okay.” A lot of guys are in a lot of big trouble. I have several friends in the business, but they were saying how a lot of guys who have done stuff in the past, and know what they’ve done are just sitting there going, “Oh, my gosh, is it ever going to come out? Is it ever going to come out?” Because it’s like Pandora’s box.
Doug: They should be nervous.
Lorraine: Yes, they should.
Danny: I think social media has a lot to do with it. The things that have come out, none of it is new.
Lorraine: No, some stuff 30 years.
Danny: It’s been around for decades.
Danny: No, not even that part of it. This behavior is still going on and has been going on for a long time.
Doug: Yes, it’s a public awareness that has always been there and it’s always in the —
Lorraine: That’s always been ajoke, right? The casting couch is a joke, right?
Danny: It’s no different in politics. That’s been there for a long, long, long time. People tend to sweep it under the rugs because nobody wanted to speak about it because again it’s was a person in a position of authority over somebody else, and “Who would believe?”
Lorraine: They were afraid.
Danny: The victim.
Lorraine: They were afraid to come forward. Let’s try to get anybody wants to call in and talk to us today, 800-222-5222. You’re listening to the ACTS Law Hour, that’s A-C-T-S law.com, we’re talking with of course Danny Abir and also Doug. We’re talking about whatever you want to talk about when it comes to law. Your cases firm does a lot of variety of different things.
Lorraine: Doug, you’re very familiar obviously, as Danny is with everything, out of everything you do what is your favorite thing to represent?
Doug: I do a variety of different types of cases, I know that I have talked on the air about doing sex abuse cases, I have a very robust practice in product failure and we talked about the NutriBullet-
Lorraine: NutriBullet, yes.
Doug: – which is a significant problem across the globe.
Danny: You’re talking about that little tiny blender that doesn’t hurt anybody.
Doug: The one that blows up and it continues to blow up. Even since the last time we talked about it, the numbers have skyrocketed.
Lorraine: How many do you have now? How many cases?
Doug: I think 58 in the office.
Lorraine: Oh, my gosh.
Doug: That’s a pretty statistical large number considering the number of blenders that have been sold. Nobody would ever expect their blender to blow up under any condition.
Danny: When you buy a blender you don’t think that it’s going to explode on you? How can you not think that way?
Doug: Unless it’s a grenade.
Lorraine: [laughs] Yes.
Doug: Or bomb, then I would expect it. We do other types of product cases that result in, most of the time, significant injuries to people; motorcycles tracking accidents. We have a very robust construction defect practice group which deals with large commercial properties or even large residential properties that have suffered a significant loss to the property as a result of a contractor or subcontractor not doing their job very well.
We obviously deal with a lot of insurance loss claims, fire, property when–
Lorraine: You guys dealing with a lot of stuff for the recent fires around here?
Doug: We’re getting a lot of inquiries regarding the fires that are around here because they’re trying to do a lot of root-cause analysis, I know PG&E is getting investigated up in the Northern California area because of those fires. My understanding is Southern California Edison is being investigated down here as pertains to the Ventura fires. I don’t know what’s going to come of that, but we obviously had some major fires over the last couple months which has been detrimental. I live out in Ventura County–
Lorraine: Were you evacuated?
Doug: I was not. We were on a watch list, the air quality was pretty poor. I’m not in the City of Ventura, but I’m in Ventura County. Schools were closed, people were not going outside, people were keeping their animals inside to the extent that you could leave, most people were asked to leave. It’s been significant with respect to the people who have lost their homes.
Lorraine: Did you stay or did you–?
Doug: We stayed.
Lorraine: You stayed in your house?
Doug: I stayed in my house. We were fine. I think the closest that the fire got to our house was about 10 miles
Lorraine: Okay, that was lucky.
Doug: We were fine. I know Danny had a big scare because he had the city the [unintelligible 00:08:22] fire which was really close to them.
Danny: Very close by [inaudible 00:08:25]
Lorraine: It was like a mile, right?
Danny: Yes, what I’m thankful about is that the fire went the other way as opposed to coming towards us. If it had come towards us it would have been so close, we could have easily been affected or evacuated.
Lorraine: It’s so crazy because it’s just was jumping the freeway and just doing the most random stuff, no rhyme no reason not that fire ever does, but I know people were just like you said, waiting if it would have went one way instead of the other, it would have been detrimental.
Doug: The conditions were perfect. A lot of times, listen, what does it take to start a fire? You have to have the right conditions and you also have an ignition source. It could have come from any number of reasons and one of the reasons that had been investigated in the past and I suspect they’re being investigated currently, is was there some type of event or circumstance or company or individual that began to that particular event.
Lorraine: Wow, wouldn’t that be something?
Doug: We have other types of practice areas which are very unique to the firm. Our business litigation practice group is very unique, not a lot of people do it and it’s dealing with partnerships disputes or contractual disputes, like our firm is working on one right now that has to do with a race track purchase acquisition in dealing with an agreement to share profits with the new acquired company and there was an NDA, a Non-Disclosure Agreement that prevented them from being able to utilize information that this individual who was assigned to the contract. Instead of including him in the equity, they actually purchased it without him and excluded him from the equity in that company. That’s a very unusual type of case and Boris Treyzon, one of my partners, works exclusively in those areas and he loves the business cases, loves them.
Lorraine: I think when he was here, he was talking about how he represented people against Tiger too, wasn’t that one of the things?
Danny: Hasn’t everybody represented people against Tiger? For some reason, I think Tiger is in the news being sued every single day. I think we are one of the only firms who’s actually collected from Tiger, which is, that’s the key.
Lorraine: You collected it from him twice.
Danny: We’ve collected from him twice, yes.
Doug: Collections is a big deal. A lot of people, when they have a judgment against them are very crafty with the way that they keep their assets unless there’s insurance involved. That’s another thing that our firm tries to do is figure out what those assets are or find ways to attach them and actually satisfy those judgments.
Lorraine: Not only do you help them get the money, but then you collect it to make sure they do get it?
Danny: Which is actually something that’s a specialty not every firm does that. We have to go to break, when we come back, we’ll talk more about some of the cases we have in the office that are interesting and we’ll take your calls on anything that is intriguing to you.
Lorraine: Yes we’re going to take a quick break. When we come back we will continue our conversation with Doug Rochen and we will continue with of course, Danny Abir. We’re going to talk about everything the ACTS law firm does with our guest lawyer, like I said, Doug Rochen. Call us at 800-222-5222. If you have any questions or concerns or if you want to know anything about anything we’re talking about, it’s the ACTS Law Hour with me, Lorraine love and Danny Abir on Talk Radio 790 KABC
Have you or someone you know been sexually harassed at work or school? There is a place to turn for confidential advice called the sexual harassment hotline at the Jenny Harrison law firm now at 213-805-5301. That’s 213-805-5301.
Announcer: Has rain wind fire or flood damaged your property? The attorneys from ACTS Law are here to help you now, at 800-222-5222
Lorraine: This is Talk Radio 790 KABC. Welcome back to the ACTS Law Hour heard every Saturday at noon, providing you with solid information from our friends at ACTS law firm, that’s A-C-T-S law. Find them at actslaw.com. If you have any questions or you’re looking for any advice, give us the call right now. 800-222-5222.
I’m Lorraine Love along with Danny Abir and also we have Doug Rochen with us here. We always have Alex. Go see Alex. He can’t help himself, he’s texting us. Did you see that? Yes, he’s texting. Don’t forget about property loss. He sent me a text saying #goseeAlex. Don’t forget about property law #goseeAlex. He can’t quite stand that he’s not here with us having the fun.
Danny: This is funny because yesterday I said, “You want come to the show?” He said, “No take Doug,” I’m like, “You’re sure?” “No take Doug. I think I’ve been there enough for the past few weeks.”
Doug: So that we don’t disappoint Alex, property loss is something that we talk about a lot. We do a lot of it. What’s very unique with our particular firm is that we handle property loss at the claim stage, which most law firms don’t do.
Lorraine: Okay, so from the very beginning from the get go?
Doug: Yes, if you have a loss, if you have a water loss, if you have a fire loss, you have earth quake claim, anything that pertains to a potential insurance policy claim, we would help guide that particular victim through that process so that they are not taken advantage of by an insurance company and they get full value for that loss. In the event that they don’t satisfy that particular loss then we would handle the case in litigation with potential for it to be a bad faith claim.
Lorraine: Okay, all right. We talked about that too. Make sure you start it from the beginning and go all the way through with your firm because it makes sense. The other thing is it doesn’t cost anybody to use your firm. It doesn’t cost anybody to sit down and meet with you guys, right?
Doug: No. We’re a contingency which means we don’t recover if you don’t recover.
Lorraine: You don’t make money unless they do. What do they have to lose?
Danny: It’s not as much what they have to lose, it’s a question of being knowledgeable and knowing what your rights are. One of the things is, for example, I had a property loss years ago before I knew what Alex’s area of specialty was even. I called the insurance company and they said, “Well, we don’t cover this. This is not covered,” the funny thing was I didn’t think about, “Let me look at my policy and see what’s covered and what’s not covered.” I did the same thing as what most people do who are most insured do. They think, “This is my insurance company–“
Lorraine: They’re my friends.
Danny: They’re my friend–
Lorraine: They’re here to protect me.
Danny: They’ve taken me out to lunch, they brought in Christmas presents and if they are on my side, they’re telling me it’s not covered, it’s probably not covered. I didn’t think of it as simply as that, but when I talked to the person I didn’t realize that they have to come in at least inspect the loss before they do that. Insurance companies make money when they don’t pay, not when they’re paying. Their ammo is basically to say, “You know what? This is not covered.” Most people will just give up at that point and go away and the reason people don’t realize that, for example if they call us, we’ll be able to help them, is because they don’t realize what their rights are. They don’t know that they should be able to recover probably 90% of these losses that insurance companies just flat out reject.
Doug: You raised a very interesting point because oftentimes people think they can do it themselves. They call the insurance company and they’re like, “I suffered a really bad loss to my house. My toilet upstairs leaked and it flooded my downstairs,” or, “I’ve been in a really bad car accident and I can’t work right now and these are all my medical bills.” They’re assuming that they’re being protected and their rights are being protected and that they’re asking the right questions and they’re not being set up for failure. Oftentimes, they are because, like Danny said, insurance companies they make money by not giving it away right and so we’re able to help people get their maximum recoveries.
Lorraine: Exactly, because my experience has always been they ask the leading questions that is how you can mess it all up in the beginning. The insurance companies ask questions and then depending on how you answer it, is how you can move forward and when you say “I don’t know,” or “Yes, no, I think that did happen,” then later down the road they are like, “No, but remember when it happened you said this, this and this,” and you’re going, “I didn’t mean that.” If you have someone like you guys from the very beginning, you’re helping them so that they understand the questions, because a lot of times they don’t understand the questions because it’s not something we do every day.
Doug: A very simple example, somebody is on a car accident. The other insurance company calls them on the phone says, “Mrs. Smith, I’m really sorry you were in a car accident. Can we talk about your accident? You weren’t injured,” and they ask all these leading questions to get them committed and almost then they’ve got a recorded statement from this person who may be at the time, doesn’t even know about the nature and extent of her injuries. Maybe she hadn’t had a chance to have an MRI yet, or some type of a valid treatment. All of a sudden she comes to our office and Mrs. Smith walks in. she’s like, “Well, I gave the statement to the other person’s insurance company and we get it and it’s saying she’s making no claim for injury.” It’s very unfair to her because she’s not a lawyer, she doesn’t know that they’re trapping her.
Lorraine: She doesn’t understand. That’s the perfect word they do. They try to trap you.
Danny: When it comes to insurance policies, it’s even one step further than that. We have attorneys referring cases to us. We have attorneys as clients on property cases because reading and interpreting insurance policies, understanding whether there is coverage on an insurance policy, it’s a specialty. It’s a specialty that not every attorney has.
Lorraine: I didn’t know that.
Danny: The ability to actually read and comprehend the policy is a specialty within itself. It’s like either like an eye doctor going to a dentist and saying– You have eye problems and you go to a dentist. You need to go to a specialist to understand that and that’s the difference as a normal average job, does not understand what’s in the policy,
Lorraine: That’s a great point because how do we know what we don’t know.
Doug: There’s a legal term of ours called resultant damage that you see in property loss claims and it’s what is the damage as a result of something else. For example, like a mold claiming, not necessarily be covered in insurance policy, but water loss is almost always covered in a traditional residential policy. If somebody is not, with the sophisticated knowledge, we are able to understand the legal jargon within their insurance policy and to be able to navigate with the insurance adjuster, they may not be able to get coverage for those losses.
Lorraine: I just had a friend recently called me and she was saying she had a pipe burst and luckily the plumber who came out was really nice and said, “Don’t say that it was the pipe burst, say that it was a faulty pipe, because if you say the pipe burst, then it’s not going to be covered. If you say it was a faulty pipe, then it’ll be covered by your insurance company.
Lorraine: It’s the other way around?
Danny: No,, a pipe burst should be covered because it’s a sudden accident
Doug: A spontaneous pipe burst. We have one case in the office that I’m a little bit familiar with, where it deals with the city, I think it was the City of Los Angeles that was doing sewer dig and ruptured the main sewer line causing it to back up-
Lorraine: Oh my God, the sewer
Doug: -into this person’s house and there was fecal matter all over the floors and walls. Obviously it was a significant loss because you have to take out the drywall, redo the floors. One of the investigations from the homeowner was, “Hey, where did this rupture happen?” They learned that it actually happened on city property, and so the claim is against the city. In that particular scenario, we had to take a look at the homeowner’s policy and say, is this a loss that occurred on the property that would be covered under that policy? People wouldn’t know to even look at that.
Lorraine: I wouldn’t know.
Danny: The thing is most people think that they’re talking to an insurance adjuster, not to an attorney. The insurance adjuster has an attorney right behind him.
Lorraine: Sneaky, I didn’t know that. Was always
Danny: The insurance company has lawyers, they are layered up, they are ready to go,they know how to guide this and how to take this so that– We actually had a potential client at the office, I think it was about a year and a half ago. They had legitimately and comfortably, a $350,000 loss. The only reason they were denied and they had nothing– Because the things they said were inaccurate. The questions that they ask them made them answer it in a way that exactly like you said.
Lorraine: Leading questions.
Danny: Leading questions that it took it completely out of the context of what it was supposed to be. $350,000 loss became nothing because the insurance company would not cover it. It’s very, very important case.
Lorraine: Did you guys take that case?
Danny: We couldn’t at that point because it was too late.
Lorraine: That’s how important it is to start with you guys from the very beginning.
Doug: You really have to understand the lawyer really needs to understand the policy. Another case we are working on was a disability policy, it was an accidental disability policy and it says “in the event that you were injured at work, the policy will pay out $2.5m”, and then it had all these voluminous exceptions, like if you suffered a stroke, if you suffered a heart attack. Well, this client was on the roof. He fell and bumped his head, really bumped his head and suffered a stroke.
Lorraine: How sad
Doug: The insurance company said, well, he suffered a stroke so it’s excluded. No, it was the incident that resulted in the stroke and so we’re able to secure coverage for him and get him a recovery on his policy.
Lorraine: There’s so much to it we don’t know. We’re not attorneys. We’re just normal everyday people paying our insurance premiums every month,
Danny: Even outside the context of insurance, the importance of having a good lawyer makes a huge– Having a good lawyer is so important. For example, you have cases where there’s an auto collision, maybe very low policy limit and big injuries and people think, “Well, the only person that I can go after is the person who hit me with their car,” but then there are city issues and planning issues and then there are things that could have–
Doug: Product issues.
Danny: Product issues, for example, one of the cases we have in the office, it’s a motorcycle accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury.
Lorraine: How sad
Doug: We have a motorcycle case where if you look at the facts of the case, she ran into the rear end of a vehicle that was in stop traffic. If somebody didn’t pay attention that they wouldn’t know that there was another claim against the actual motorcycle itself.
Danny: This is actually a very interesting case. Let’s come back after the break and talk about it.
Lorraine: We’re going to take a quick break, when we come back, we are going to continue our conversation. We’re talking about everything that the ACTS Law Firm does. If you have any questions, anything at all, give us a call. We’re here with our guest lawyer, Doug Rochen, as well with Danny, Abir and myself. Call us at 800-222-5222 if you have any questions. You’re listening to the ACTS Law Hour with Danny Abir and me, Lorraine Love on Talk Radio 790 KABC.
Announcer: Has your home or business suffered a loss getting a run-around from the insurance company? Take action. Call the attorneys from ACTS Law now at 800-222-5222.
Lorraine: This is Talk Radio 790 KABC. Welcome back to the ACTS Law Hour heard every Saturday at noon providing you with solid information from our good friends at the ACTS law firm, that’s A-C-T-S Law, you can find them at actslaw.com. If you have any questions, have you been in a car accident? Is there any sort of product liability cases? Any sort of property damage? Give us a call, we would love to talk to you. 800-222-5222. I’m Lorraine Love along with our host, Danny Abir and our guest attorney Doug today.
Doug: We can even say if you’re using a blender–
Lorraine: Yes, a NutriBullet.
Danny: –and that explodes. [laughs]
Lorraine: Oh, my gosh. I know, I’m the NutriBullet nazi now. Any time I go in a friend’s house I’m like, “No, NutriBullet’s got to go. Get it out of there.”
Doug: I think companies underestimate people in general, because if something doesn’t work people are going to know it doesn’t work because it’s not working for them. They’re not armed with the same knowledge as the actual manufacturer, so they’re at a disadvantage. We were talking before the break about one of this motorcycle cases that I’m working on. I have a very severely injured young woman, I think she’s 25 right now, and she has a very severe brain injury despite being helmeted when the accident occurred.
Lorraine: Okay, so she was wearing a helmet. Okay.
Doug: A very robust helmet, significant enough that you could use it for racing.
Lorraine: So how fast was she going?
Doug: She was going within the speed limit. Traffic was stopped in front of her. Her brakes failed and she was not able to stop her bike. She did what you’re taught to do which is to lay down your bike. Because if you went straight into the rear end of the vehicle, you would fly through the air and land on your neck and probably die. She lied down her bike and she disconnected from her bike, she went one way, the bike went another.
Lorraine: Was she on a free-way or a–?
Doug: She was not, she was on a surface street. At first blush it’s like, “It’s really unfortunate. The traffic stopped in front of her.” To no big surprise, the police officers hold bicycles and motorcycles almost always at fault. I can’t recall a single police report that I’ve reviewed, and I’ve done hundreds of these, where I’ve seen that the bicycles or the motorcycles were not held at fault for their own accident.
Lorraine: I didn’t know that. That’s interesting, okay.
Doug: We we looked at it and ironically, this particular bike has a recalled master brake cylinder. That actually corrodes and prevents the brakes from working at full capacity and eventually stops working.
Lorraine: Did she know about this recall?
Doug: She did not. We have a whole issue with it. The bike was sold to her from a dealer with an open recall which is in violation of California law.
Lorraine: Of course you can’t just do that.
Doug: There’s a law that was passed in 2015. I don’t know the statute off top my head which literally says, “If you’re a dealer and you have to sell a bike that is used, you have an obligation to look for any open recalls that exist within 30 days of that sale and if there’s anything open you have an obligation to repair it.” Well this dealer did not. They sold her the bike with the recall part
Lorraine: Oh, my God and breaks of all things, how scary.
Doug: That’s something that we’re just starting to work on. We have a battle because we have to deal with this particular bike is owned by a Japanese manufacturer
Lorraine: You’re dealing with them, you’re dealing with the dealership.
Doug: We’re dealing with them, we’re having to serve them through the Hague Convention in Japan.
Lorraine: Oh, my gosh.
Dog1: Which has a process in and of itself. They know that and there’s not a lot of people out there that can wade through these waters to get this person the kind of justice that she needs in order to live. She will require 24-hour supervision for the remainder of her life. At 25 years old, that’s a very costly amount of money. Right now, she’s thankful that she’s got her family around. We have to assume that that won’t always be the case. Her mom is getting older and we need to make sure that she can be taken care of and that mom can be mom.
Lorraine: That’s what I love about the ACTS Law firm. You guys really take in your clients and I’m not trying to sound like a commercial, but because I’ve worked with you guys now for the past three months, I really feel like you guys do care about your clients and you do take your clients in and you do everything you can do to help them out because they are your first priority. It’s not just about getting money for the firm or anything like that. I think you guys really do care about them and you care about their well-being and I love that
Doug: We’re really blessed. I mean we just had the holidays and I had probably more former clients and current clients that reached out to me via text, via e-mail, via phone call just to wish me a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. That’s just nice to hear from them.
Lorraine: It sounds so much and you guys have so much referral business. They say that’s the biggest compliment you can ever have and you guys have more referral business than anything. The other thing I really like about your firm, is how you guys just kind of get around the whole way of serving people because I was laughing when you guys were talking about how you served Tiger that one time and how one of your process servers got a front row ticket to his concert and as he was up there touching the crowd, the process server served him. I thought that is so awesome.
Danny: The creativity actually in that particular service, the process, was not just in the service of process. It was also one other factor too. We had to set a debtor’s exam to get him to a debtor exam and what we had looked at in the past that every year on Kyle’s birthday, Tiger would take Kyle– They would leave the country.
[unintelligible 00:33:22] actually timed it anyway, so that when he got served with the notice and then he had to show up, he was out of the country. Then he didn’t show up, we got a-
Lorraine: Sneaky, I love it.
Danny: -bench warrant. He was in town when he should have been for the debtor exam. Then after that, when the bench warrant was issued, he was out of the country. To come back into the country when there’s a bench warrant for you, an issue in your name, is actually going to get him in trouble along with Kyle who would get into the airport at the same time.
Doug: We’re blessed, clients are the most important to us and we have a fantastic staff that makes our jobs even easier.
Lorraine: That’s awesome. That’s unbelievable.
Danny: I think one of the things is we are basically from the heart plaintiffs’ lawyers and plaintiffs’ lawyers always fight for David on behalf of David against Goliath. I think going against the Japanese manufacturer or against a huge company like NutriBullet that has sold 40 million units. These types of cases where you’re actually going against Goliath, you’re going against the huge company, it takes someone that does it not just for money they’re doing it because they care about their clients. I think that’s a huge factor. One of the things for example for Doug specifically, last time we talked about the sex abuse cases, but these cases take a lot of toll on you. I personally don’t know how you do it. You have to see the relationship the clients have with Doug. He’s almost like a family member.
Lorraine: That’s awesome.
Danny: Or a brother. Somebody who’s actually very close to them.
Doug: It’s sometimes hard to be objective. As lawyers, that’s what we have to do. When you’re dealing with children who have been taken advantage of by the system and by people in authority, you feel for them. A lot of these people come from broken homes, they’ve got issues already, and you become their Big Brother. You become their role model.
There are clients that I’ve represented in the past and there are clients that I currently represent, that I want to know what’s going on with them with respect to their school work, and how they’re getting along with their girlfriend or their fiance, or how their children are doing. It’s important for me to know that they are moving on with their lives and that what we did for them helped them close that book. We have another new practice area which is equally sensitive to me. We do a lot of birth injury cases.
Lorraine: Wait. Birth?
Doug: Yes, children that are injured at birth.
Lorraine: Oh my gosh.
Doug: I’ve done, for example, one it’s called bilirubin, but most people know it as jaundice. It’s a child who’s born with a hyper bilirubin. Sometimes they’ll be yellow, yellow around their eyes. If not treated at the time of birth, assuming that it’s a level that’s requiring treatment, it can develop into something called kernicterus which results in cerebral palsy.
Lorraine: Oh my gosh.
Doug: All of a sudden you have a child that’s born that is globally brain injured as to speech, finding gross motor, executive function. That child will have to be taken care of for the rest of that child’s life.
Lorraine: How sad. I had no idea.
Doug: We have several others that we work on.
Lorraine: When my daughter was born, she was a little bit yellow. We talked about the whole jaundice thing and I said, “Put her in the stroller and walk her around. Get her some sunlight, ” and that was the extent of it. I had no idea that it could result to much more severe things.
Doug: It’s horrible.
Lorraine: How sad.
Doug: I’ve worked on one case where the — it was the county. They sent this lady home with her baby within 48 hours of birth. The child’s bilirubin levels were off the charts.
Doug: Instead of doing anything, instead of saying, “Hey, let’s put you under the lamp. Hey, let’s give you the therapy, the medication that’s necessary,” they said, “Go and follow up with your primary care physician.” She’s like, “I don’t have one,” and they gave her a list. By the time she got to the primary care physician who finally got her an appointment-
Lorraine: That’s horrible.
Doug: –the baby was already brain damaged.
Lorraine: How sad.
Doug: Now, what’s worse about it is they had a seven-year-old at the time that this baby was born. They have a normal functioning seven-year-old and they have a child who doesn’t function normally. The mother is exhausted.
Lorraine: That’s horrible.
Doug: We had another one that I was working on where it was twins, that bled out as a result of the delivery process. Instead of rushing blood products to the children, they waited. They waited too long and the one kid suffered in a knock sick brain injury. You have twins. One is thriving and one is failing, and you have a mother that just doesn’t know how to deal with it.
These are very sensitive cases. Not a lot of firms will work on them because unfortunately, in California we’ve got caps on damages, where the maximum you’re going to get for pain and suffering in California is $250,000.
Lorraine: For what?
Doug: For their pain and suffering that they have to deal with.
Lorraine: That’s it?
Doug: That’s it.
Danny: It’s a very old law and unfortunately it has not been changed.
Lorraine: I had no idea.
Danny: $250,000 has been the cap for, what? 20-something years?
Doug: I think a little more than that, like almost 40, since 1974.
Lorraine: Wow, I had no idea.
Danny: $250,000 then is very different from now. Let’s go to our break. When we come back, I want to talk about some SJS cases too.
Lorraine: We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back, we’re going to continue our conversation with our guest lawyer, Doug Rochen, along with Danny Abir and myself. If you have any questions, give us a call. 800-2225-222. We would love to talk to you here at the ACTS Law Hour, along with Danny Abir and me, Lorraine Love, on Talk Radio 790 KABC.
Gary Garrison: Talk radio 790 KABC news update. I’m Gary Garrison. LA unified school district superintendent Michelle King, who’s been on medical leave since September, has revealed that she’s being treated for cancer and will retire by June 30th due to the progression of her illness. Actor Jerry Van Dyke, the younger brother of the legendary Dick Van Dyke, has died. His most memorable acting role was that of Luther van Damme on the sitcom Coach. Jerry Van Dyke was 86.
Astronaut John Young who went to the moon twice and flew the first space shuttle mission has died, John Young was 87. In sports the Los Angeles Rams will face the Atlanta Falcons at an NFC wild card game tonight, the first NFL playoff game at the LA’s Memorial Coliseum since 1994. KABC SoCal weather, mostly cloudy highs in the mid 60s to mid 70s. More news coming up in continuous coverage at KABC.com I’m Gary here on Talk Radio 790 KABC News.
Announcer: Welcome back to the ACT Law Hour, helping you stop insurance company abuse, at 800-222-5222.
Lorraine: This is Talk Radio 790, KABC, welcome back to the ACTS Law Hour, heard every Saturday at noon providing you a solid information from our good friends at the ACTS Law firm, that’s ACTS Law, find them at ACTSlaw.com. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call. These guys handle it all and they really do care about you. Call us at 800-222-5222. I’m Lorraine Love along with our host Danny Abir. I just wanted to let you guys know, in the break the phones were ringing off the hook and I had somebody call and ask, “$250,000 in damages is all you can get.”
She said that her mom went into the hospital, she was a diabetic and they were supposed to amputate her left leg and they ended up amputating her right leg. She’s looking for an attorney and she said, is it only $250,000 in damages that she can get for that?
Doug: Yes, for the pain and suffering that’s what she’d be limited to so the doctor makes an error like that. There are potential economic damages that could attach it such as prosthetics which can be quite costly because you need a different prosthetic for different functions, but using your analogy, “If a mom goes into labor and the doctor commits an error where the baby dies and let’s assume for the moment that that’s established, that the doctor actually committed an error and the baby died. That mother’s loss is limited to $250,000, there’s no economic damages for the loss of a child. We see that a lot and unfortunately, those cases are nearly impossible to take because the cost to prove that death costs more than what the case potentially could be worth.
Lorraine: Because you have experts that come in and you have to pay them, right?
Doug: We do, and those cases are quite expensive.
Danny: The one thing, pain and suffering is limited, for example if you’ve actually had economic law and economic damages, that is still something you can recover. If she has loss of income as a result of it that she needs to be taking care of, that’s something that you can get additionally, but the pain and suffering is limited to 250.
Doug: Yes, of course. When we’re dealing with these brain-injured children that are going to live for a period of time, that are going to require cognitive therapy, rehabilitation therapy, attendant care and trick management because they may have respiratory issues or medical management, those are compensable as economic loses and we can board those. We can actually ask the other side for those monies and that is not limited, that’s not kept.
Danny: For example, for some of these the mother has to stay home and not work anymore [inaudible 00:45:35] –
Lorraine: Right, because she has to attend to the child.
Danny: Attend to the child. One of the reasons if they’re very important cases because the parents have a really hard time taking care of these children. Yes, it’s very expensive. One of the cases that we have or the type of cases that we deal with is Stevens-Johnson’s syndrome cases and I know-
Lorraine: Okay, what’s that?
Danny: I knew you were going to say that.
Lorraine: What is it?
Doug: It is a horribly, awful disease that is secondary to very rare side effects normally from medication.
Doug: It’s sometimes called Stevens-Johnson’s syndrome-
Lorraine: Is this in babies or?
Doug: It’s in anybody or the worst version of it is called toxic epidermal necrolysis. You’ve seen it a lot with Backstrom as a form of medication or sulfa-based medication. One of the main causes is anti-seizure medications like Lamictal. What happens is it’s a rare side effect. Rare in the sense that you don’t see it very often. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur, it may not necessarily be reported as such. People may come into the hospital with a rash not knowing that it’s an actually a reaction to a medication, but toxic epidermal necrolysis which is the worst version of it, is your skin literally dies.
Lorraine: Oh my gosh.
Doug: All of your skin. Inside your eyes, inside your cavities or your face.
Lorraine: Is there a cure?
Doug: There is a cure in the sense that you basically suffer third degree burns all over your body and you have to go through skin graphs and major treatment.
Lorraine: How sad.
Doug: The results traditionally are not very good for the victims that have those issues. How do we deal with it, is the preventative measures. There’s an obligation to provide information to a consumer or a patient when these are prescribed. I think sometimes people skate around their obligations by not giving that information whether it’s in writing or orally to satisfy that. It could be something as simple as, “Hey, I’m prescribing you this antibiotic. If you have a rash or fever or some other symptom that’s a pre-cursor, stop taking it immediately. Run to the hospital and let them know specifically-“
Lorraine: That you’re taking this.
Doug: “- hey, I took this drug. I need you to test me to see if there’s something going on,” because it’s preventable. It’s not like an [unintelligible 00:48:13] analogy, but it’s not like the NutriBullet where it just blows up on you.
Lorraine: And you don’t know.
Doug: This actually gives you warnings and a –
Lorraine: Right, a reaction.
Doug: -doctor or a pharmacist can tell you about those warnings. So manufacturers have actually put black patched warnings on the drugs that are potential for these conditions.
Lorraine: Yes, why don’t they have to put it on?
Doug: Because of the rareness and their position is it doesn’t happen often enough.
Lorraine: Jesus. This is like the NutriBullet.
Doug: No, and we talk about forensic epidemiology. A good friend of mine Doctor. Michael Freeman up in Portland who just wrote the book on Forensic epidemiology and we talk about the rareness of an event occurring was the vertebral arterial dissection which is the two arteries in the back of your neck that actually feed blood to your brain was the dissection as a result of the rear-end collision or as a result of him sneezing. You can go through the epidemiological studies to determine which is more likely than not which is what our proof is at law.
That’s something that we look at and we look at NutriBullet as a good example. Let’s assume for the moment that they actually have sold 40 million units per their advertisements. We represent 58 clients just in our office. That’s separate and apart from the other individuals that we’re aware of that have suffered injuries as a result of exposures to these particular vendors.
Danny: Over a period of years.
Doug: For a period of years. That’s at least one to two per million. That statistically is so significant when you’re talking about exposure to a product. Even auto-mobile manufacturer says, “We’re going to sell a bunch of these cars and out of every million people are going to suffer catastrophic loss by driving our car,” car manufacturers may have problems with that.
Lorraine: Yes. I think most people would have a problem with that. Wow. I know a friend of mine called and said, “I was listening to the show and I have a Magic Bullet. I had one like seven years ago, and it blew up on me so I threw it away.” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh. You didn’t call anybody and tell anybody about that?” She said, “No. I didn’t. I just didn’t even think about it.” I was like, “Wow.”
Danny: The problem is even if they call the company, the first thing the company says is, “It’s your fault. You did something wrong.”
Lorraine: User error.
Danny: We had an interview with Gayle King in the morning on the CBS show.
Lorraine: I saw that.
Danny: What she said at the end of that piece was very telling. She said, “The company said to us, this is only 22 out of 40 million that we’ve sold.” Gayle King at the end of the piece said, “Yes, but imagine if you’re one of the 22 people who got hurt. I don’t think they feel that way.”
Lorraine: Right. You, your wife, your kids, your mom, your dad. Anybody you know is one of the 22.
Doug: That’s at risk assessment. We talk about, “Never put yourself in the shoes of somebody else.” In certain realities, you kind of have to. How would you feel if it was your wife or your child that was put in that position, that all of sudden they don’t have their fingers, or they’ve got secondary burns all over their body, or they’ve suffered some other type of catastrophic loss secondary to something that could have been prevented by just designing a proper product or providing sufficient warnings? Really straightforward stuff.
Danny: In a lot of these cases just like Doug said, there is a prevention that is not that difficult to do. For like a NutriBullet, you can have an on-off switch.
Lorraine: What will that cost? 50 cents? A minimal amount probably to add that to every product.
Doug: Maybe. When we look at these two, it is about risk assessment. There’s something called the cost-benefit analysis. Is it so costly that it outweighs the benefit of the product? Of course, the manufacturers from [unintelligible 00:52:08] will say, “Yes, it costs too. It costs too much to make that fix, and we’re willing to assume the risk.”
I had one where it was an automobile manufacturer. The cover of the airbag would shatter-
Lorraine: Oh my gosh.
Doug: – and throw particles of the airbag cover into the person’s face when it would go off. I had a client that was blinded by it.
Lorraine: How sad.
Doug: They knew when they designed this, that it was a problem. The reason they knew was within the documents. It was in the design documents, but the cost to redesign it would have been having to redo the entire front dashboard, and that was too costly for them in order to assume the risks associated with having a failure.
Lorraine: Oh, my gosh. That’s crazy.
Danny: Companies do that all the time.
Lorraine: That’s unbelievable.
Danny: They look at it as pure business. That’s the sad part, is that you’re looking at basically — In one of our negotiations, we’ve had a company come to us and say, “Well, you know the US government pays like what? $2,500 or something, for somebody who’s innocent, that they kill innocently. So why should we pay any more than a $1,000 for somebody who lost a finger as a result of something?”
Lorraine: Or lost their eyesight.
Danny: That’s the point of view of some of these companies.
Doug: It was in the context of, what is nuisance value? What is the value of human life? These are things that it’s very hard for us to argue as putting value on it. If you asked me, I would say human life is priceless.
Lorraine: Priceless, absolutely.
Doug: We as lawyers have to put value on that, to help compensate for that loss. What did that person give? When you come to me and you say, “Hey, listen. It’s unfortunate that we caused your client’s scars, but they’ve healed,” the visible scars may have healed, but the trauma, and the shock, and the emotional stress–
Lorraine: Those never go away.
Doug: Never go away. You’re always in fear.
Danny: I want to thank Doug for taking time on your Saturday to join us.
Lorraine: Thank you, Doug. Welcome back. Thanks for hanging.
Doug: Thanks for having me.
Danny: Thank you again, Lorraine, as usual–
Lorraine: Thank you.
Danny: —for being my mate in this show. I hope and wish everyone a wonderful weekend, and go Ramps. Let’s have one of our LA teams make it to the SuperBowl.
Lorraine: Wouldn’t it be awesome?
Danny: That would be fantastic.
Lorraine: Love that. Thanks so much for joining us today at the ACTS Law Hour. Knowledge is power and power is knowledge. We hope that we have empowered you today. Tune in every Saturday at noon to hear more from our friends at Abir Cohen Treyzon Salo, the ACTS Law Hour. For more information from our stellar team of lawyers, you can find them at actslaw.com. That’s A-C-T-S law.com.
Thank you to our host Danny Abir, and our guest attorney Doug Rochen for the great content, and of course to you our listeners. We do it for you. We hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’m Lorraine Love. You’re listening to 790 KABC Talk Radio.