Deck Railing Collapses in San Francisco, 3 injured in fall on 1/25/15

A deck railing at a residential home in San Francisco collapsed on Sunday, January 25, 2015. People had been visiting the residence for a birthday party and some were on the deck taking pictures when the railing broke away, allowing them to fall nearly 20 feet and causing serious injuries.

Our firm has successfully handled several cases like this, obtaining compensation for the victims from the responsible parties.

The personal injury attorneys at the Weber & Nierenberg law firm are also well-experienced in automobile and motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents including those involving wrongful death, and will work hard and competently to obtain complete compensation for your injuries and losses.

If you or someone you know needs to know their rights regarding injuries or wrongful death from a pedestrian, auto, bicycle, motorcycle, bus accident, fall or other type of personal injury, call the attorneys at the Weber and Nierenberg law firm. Personal injury attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg will work hard to make sure your rights are vindicated. For a free consultation or to make an appointment, call 1-866-288-6010.

Not So Secure Security

Security Gaurd
When you enter a public place, like a hospital or mall, you are entrusting your security to that entity. Sometimes that trust can be misplaced.

The San Francisco Examiner reports that some security duties at San Francisco General Hospital are carried out by civilians who are only required to take an introductory, weeklong course in law enforcement, not the highly technical training that sheriff’s deputies receive, according to hospital records obtained by the newspaper.

The Examiner reports sheriff’s deputies do much of the patrol duties at the hospital, but those tasks are also carried out by “institutional police officers,” or IPOs, who are not certified peace officers, according to the Sheriff’s Department. During one recent two-week period, IPOs worked 17 percent of patrol shifts at S.F. General, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Other duties are carried out by Sheriff’s Department cadets who are also civilian employees.

Recent revelations detailing a series of mistakes concerning a missing patient and the later discovery of her body has raised questions about the effectiveness of all hospital security staff, including IPOs. The lawyer representing the patient’s family told the Examiner the fact that these undertrained security staff members could have contributed to the breakdown is disturbing.

The Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have much confidence in IPOs, at least in terms of their future. When the IPOs retire or leave their jobs, the Sheriff’s Department has and will continue to fill the positions with deputies, according to the Examiner.

Unlike deputies or police officers, IPOs are not certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, the Examiner reports. But they do carry firearms and can make arrests while on duty as “limited-function peace officers.” The training required to become an IPO is limited to a 40-hour introductory policing course.

Being a security officer is not an easy job. One has to balance being friendly and helpful to the public while being alert to dangers and appropriately responding to them. This is an example of the City of San Francisco trying to save money by not having the most trained people holding very important jobs (which include carrying firearms and the ability to arrest people).

Hospitals are responsible for the safety and well being of their employees, patients and visitors. They are places that reflect our too often violent society. According to estimates by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2,637 nonfatal assaults on hospital workers occurred in 1999, a rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers. This rate is more than four time higher than the rate of nonfatal assaults for all private-sector industries, which is two per 10,000 workers.

Without proper training security officers may over react to a situation and harm someone without good cause or not do enough and allow someone to fall victim to a crime (in this instance, a patient disappeared and was later found dead, the exact circumstances are unknown).

If you or a loved one have been injured due to the poor security of a business or organization, contact our office for a free consultation. Organizations and institutions need to held accountable for the security, or lack thereof, they provide.

The personal injury attorneys at the Weber & Nierenberg law firm are well-experienced in premises liability cases, automobile accident cases, including those involving wrongful death, as well as motorcycle, bus, truck, and pedestrian accident cases, and will work hard and competently to obtain complete compensation for your injuries and losses.

The Legal Responsibilities of a Pool Owner

No Diving
A pool can provide fun and relaxation for the whole family, as well as friends. But a pool is also an inherently dangerous condition, what the law refers to as an “attractive nuisance,” something that piques the curiosity of small children. Because of these concerns, the law imposes specific duties on pool owners.

Because of the risks associated with a pool, the California legislature passed legislation requiring homeowners with pools to take certain precautions. Under the Swimming Pool Safety Act of the California Health and Safety Code, for any pool constructed or remodeled after January 1, 2007, the pool must have at least one of the following drowning prevention safety features:
The pool must have an enclosure that prevents access to other homes. The enclosure must be at least five feet high, with no more than two inches gap from the ground to the bottom of the enclosure. There can be no gaps in the enclosure of four inches or greater. There can be nothing on the outside of the enclosure that would serve as a foothold or handhold to allow a child of less than five years of age to climb over the enclosure. All access gates must open away from the pool, must be self-closing and self-latching, with a latch at least 60 inches from the ground.

  • The pool may incorporate removable mesh pool fencing, provided it meets ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) specifications, and has a self-closing, self-latching gate that can accommodate a key lockable device.
  • The pool has an approved safety pool cover that meets ASTM specifications
  • The home has exit alarms on all doors that lead directly to the pool
  • All doors that go directly from the house to the pool have self-closing, self-latching devices with the release mechanism at least 54 inches above the floor
  • The pool is equipped with alarms that are placed in the pool, and that will go off when there is accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water
  • Any other means of protection, provided the degree of protection is equal to or greater than that provided by any of the means above, as long as the means of protection has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory.

The statute defines swimming pool to include any structure that contains water over 18 inches deep, and that is intended for swimming or recreational bathing, such as spas, hot tubs and whirlpools.

Contact Weber & Nierenberg

We offer a free initial consultation to anyone who has suffered a personal injury. Call our office toll free at 1-866-288-6010
or send us an e-mail to set up an appointment.

A Lack of Security Creates Liability in Criminal Attacks

It’s an unquestioned assumption in our world today that crime can happen anywhere to anyone. As a result, there’s a perception that victims of criminal attacks and sexual assault were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Consequently, when people fall victim to a criminal attack in a parking lot or parking garage, on a BART or Caltrans platform, or inside an office building, they don’t always stop to ask themselves whether there was a lack of adequate security at the time. While no business, government agency or building manager can be expected to completely eradicate all criminal activity on their premises, they do have a duty of care to take steps to minimize security threats.

Inadequate Security and Premises Liability

Law enforcement professionals and plain common horse sense tells us that certain conditions are attractive to criminals. Darkened parking garages, remote stairwells and an absence of security cameras or security guards are likely to attract criminals intent on mugging or assaulting someone. Areas adjacent to high-crime neighborhoods, highways or vacant property can also attract certain kinds of criminal activity. When building managers, retailers or parking garage owners don’t install security measures to protect their patrons, they’re ignoring dangers and foreseeable risks.

Liability and the Issue of Foreseeability

While it may not be possible to completely prevent crime, if there are certain dangers or risks present that a retailer or property manager should have foreseen as contributing to crime, failure to take steps to remove or minimize those risks may constitute negligence.

For example, customers leave shopping malls and retail stores with items they’ve just purchased, some of them quite expensive. Store owners and property managers should recognize the increased risks patrons face when headed to their cars with shopping bags or electronics equipment. While it’s likely that malls and retailers have cameras and security guards inside stores to protect themselves against theft, they should foresee the existence of a similar threat in their parking lot or garage. Failure to provide cameras, proper lighting or security in the parking lot may be a violation of a duty of care businesses have toward patrons.

Have You Been Injured in a Criminal Assault? Contact Weber & Nierenberg

Even if you’ve been assaulted in your apartment building or place of work, there may be grounds for holding your building manager or employer liable for what happened. At the San Francisco personal injury law office of Weber & Nierenberg, our premises liability attorneys can evaluate your case and determine if you have grounds for legal action. It’s also important to remember that while your physical injuries may heal, there may be emotional and psychological scars that affect your quality of life and ability to function in the world. Working with psychologists and other experts, our personal injury attorneys demand compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

To schedule an appointment and discuss your case, contact San Francisco premises liability lawyers at Weber & Nierenberg today.

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1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
P. 415-788-3900

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P. 510-663-6000

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