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Legal Issues Blog

Sexual Harassment: What Is It?

Part 1 of 7 of a series on "How the Law Can Protect You from Sexual Harassment" by Randall E. Strauss, Esq., Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer

It's about time: Actor Kevin Spacey faces criminal charges; comedian Bill Cosby has been convicted; film mogul Harvey Weinstein and CBS president Leslie Moonves are on the Hollywood blacklist; and TV news personalities Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose are off the air.

But for most people not working in the upper echelons of Hollywood, sexual harassment continues to occur in the workplace. Three quarters of women in the military say they've personally experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment and Google employees worldwide recently protested their company's failure to take high-level harassment seriously.

When the #MeToo movement made headlines two years ago, the country was forced to wake up to the magnitude of a problem that had been kept secret for decades. "It's about time," wrote U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "For so long women were silent, thinking there was nothing you could do about it, but now the law is on the side of women, or men, who encounter harassment, and that's a good thing."

More women working in male-dominated fields

Increasing numbers of women are getting jobs in fields traditionally dominated by men. According to The New York Times, the number of women working in transportation and utilities, construction and mining has grown by more than 10 percent since 2016.

The link between medical malpractice and cerebral palsy

When infants aren't receiving enough oxygen during labor and delivery, it could lead to serious health problems, including cerebral palsy. Other causes of cerebral palsy during birth include asphyxia, trauma during birth, and premature delivery. Its lifelong impact on the child and parents is not only emotional but also financial. Even though some births resulting in cerebral palsy is no one's fault, approximately 10% of these births are due to medical malpractice.

What is cerebral palsy?

Woman's kidney mistakenly removed during back surgery

A Florida woman suffered from back pain for years after a car accident. In April 2016, she checked into a regional medical center to get her lower back bones fused to relieve her pain. However, a surgical error led to her leaving the Florida hospital with only one kidney.

New study finds Oakland, CA has high rate of distracted driving

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A recent study dug into the rate of distracted driving throughout the country. One portion of the study looked specifically at the rate of distracted driving incidents in big cities. It examined data from Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Miami, New York and other, similarly sized cities.

The researchers found that the Oakland area was one of the top locations for distracted driving practices.

Are California's medical malpractice damage limits going national?

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California laws governing how medical malpractice claims are handled legally were changed in 1975 in response to alleged concerns over rapidly increasing costs medical professionals faced for insurance coverage. Although limits on medical malpractice damages has been a conservative talking point in Congress for the last several decades, the debate has been kickstarted by medical provider advocacy groups and this time the U.S. Congress is listening.

New proposals are on the table that would force every state to institute or increase restrictions on lawsuits for medical negligence. California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) is often held up as the model which other states should be forced into following.

In this post, we'll take a look at one aspect of California's 40 year old MICRA and why it has been harmful to medical consumers since its passage.

Injured on vacation: is your hotel responsible?

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Every year, millions of people from around the world visit California for vacation, business or to visit relatives. Once here, visitors need a place to stay, so they spend millions of dollars on hotel rooms and similar accommodations.

No matter how much a guest spends on a hotel room here in the Bay Area, the hotel's owners have a legal duty to keep the guest reasonably safe. Rooms and common areas must be maintained and kept free of dangerous defects and conditions. Floors, parking lots and sidewalks must be kept dry and clear of debris to minimize the risk of a slip-and-fall accident. Elevators must be regularly inspected and maintained. Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers must be in working order.

Buyer beware: not all stem cell treatments are created equal

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Stem cell research has been a growing area of medical science for years-with real promise of bringing remedies to many of the world's incurable diseases. Scientists are exploring the practice of injecting patients with placental and umbilical cord blood-which is uniquely rich in stem cells. The treatment has life-saving potential for patients suffering from blood disorders, blood cancers and immune disorders-among other ailments.

In recent years, however, a different type of treatment has cropped up across the nation-which goes by a similar name but has potentially devastating consequences. Practitioners of this treatment, involving taking adult stem cells from one area of a patient's body and injecting them into another, problem area, admit that no applications, or potential applications, using these autologous stem cells are approved by the FDA, or are even effective. The theory behind the practice is that the injection of healthy cells will work to regenerate the unhealthy ones. This form of treatment has scientists and federal agencies legitimately concerned.

Possible link between brain injury, violent behavior found

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A blow to the head can cause a wide range of long-term effects, including memory problems, chronic headaches, sensitivity to light and mood swings. But can a brain injury change your behaviors or personality?

A growing body of research suggests that brain trauma is a major factor in violent crime. In other words, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) like a brain tumor, can change a person from law-abiding into a thief, someone who gets into fistfights -- even, perhaps, a murderer.

Car crashes through 2nd-story window in California

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Few people imagine being involved in a car accident while they are sitting in their living room. The road is where the vast majority of auto wrecks happen, of course. But no building close to the street is safe from reckless motorists. And if you or your love ones are in the wrong part of the house when the car crashes through the wall, someone could get seriously hurt.

Scary crash into a building

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