BERMAN _ RIEDEL_ LLP - San Diego Personal Injury Attorney by pengxuebo


									                    BERMAN & RIEDEL, LLP
                  A T T O R N E Y S                                                              A T                      L A W

                                                                                 Practicing throughout the State of California

        Spring 2008                If It Could Happen to Him … American Space
                                   Exploration Pioneer Suffers Severe Neglect While
       Courtesy of
                                   in California Nursing Home, Resulting in Death
Berman & Riedel, LLP

                                                                                                       e is in death, just as he was in life, an icon in
Areas of Practice:                                                                                     American history. He is credited as being a
 • Serious Personal Injury                                                                             pioneer of the current American Space Pro-
 • Wrongful Death                                                                            gram – having served as the Co-Director of the United
 • Nursing Home Litigation                                                                   States Apollo Project which, under the direction of U.S.
 • Construction Site Accidents                                                               President John F. Kennedy, landed the first man of the
 • Serious Automobile Accidents                                                              moon. In fact, he was the last person to whom President
 • Bicycle/Motorcycle Accidents                                                              Kennedy spoke with before President Kennedy promised
 • Trucking Accidents                                                                        America that “we would land man on the moon before
 • Products Liability                                                                        the end of the decade.” President Kennedy called him
 • Burn Injuries                                                                             at home, before going live on American television, to
 • Premises Liability                                                                        obtain Dr. Kavanau's assurances that he could not only
 • ADA Claims                                                                                land a man on the moon, but more importantly, he
 • Insurance Bad Faith                                                                       could get our astronauts back safely, without incident.
 • Consumer Class Actions                                                                    Indeed, we did.
 Berman & Riedel, LLP                                                                           So imagine the surprise of his loving children when in
 12264 El Camino Real, Suite 202                                                             his old age, during what was thought to be a brief stay for
 San Diego, California 92130                                                                 rehabilitation therapy at a Southern California skilled
                                                                                             nursing facility (SNF), this proud American icon wasted
 William M. Berman, Esquire                                                                  away due the severe neglect of management and nurs-
 U. Kelley Riedel, Esquire         Dr. Lawrence Kavanau
 George R. Kindley, Esquire                                                                  ing staff at a “skilled” nursing facility. From contracting
 Christopher C. Walton, Esquire    painful bed sores, to severe contractures which crippled him, to suffering severe dehydration and malnutrition, his
                                   care was simply ignored. What was supposed to be a very brief stay at the facility so he could regain his strength
 Rita Cole, Admin./Paralegal       before returning home turned into his final days. If it could happen to him, it could happen to anyone.
 Valerie Ramirez, Paralegal                                                                                                       (Continued on page 3)
 Yvonne Sanchez, Legal Assistant
 Matthew Pare, Legal Clerk         LIGHTS OUT: Maienschein Fundraiser Event a Smash Hit!
 Phone: 858-350-8855                    evered San Diego City Councilman Brian Mainschein (District 5), who is termed out at the end of this year
 Fax: 858-350-9855
                                        he cannot run for re-election as a city councilman, has announced his bid to run against Michael Aguirre and         others for the position of San Diego City Attorney. With the support of many, including the partners of Berman &
                                   Riedel, LLP, his campaign recently kicked off with a bang!
Office Hours:                          On Saturday, March 8, 2008, Kelley Riedel and William
Monday - Friday                    Berman co-hosted a spectacular fundrasing event in sup-
8:30 am - 5:30 pm                  port of Brian Mainschein’s bid for City Attorney. Held at
                                   the beautiful Maderas Estates residence of Jerry and Patti
                                   Simonsen, Kelley and William teamed up with Shawne
                                                                                                                                                           PHOTO BY TED BRENGEL

                                   Merriman of the San Diego Chargers and several others
                                   to raise money in support of Brian’s candidacy. Over 150
                                   showed up to the event, which raised nearly $75,000.00
                                   in personal donations among those who attended, as well
                                   as those who supported the event despite their inability to (L to R) William Berman, Shawne Merriman of the
                                   attend.                                                       San Diego Chargers, and Kelley Riedel Co-Hosted a
                                                                        (Continued on back)      fundraiser event in Support of Brian Maienschein's bid
                                                                                                 for San Diego City Attorney
Recent Results of Interest                                                      We Proudly Introduce our Newest
                                                                                Associate Attorney
Slip & Fall Incident/Hip Surgery – A 54-year-old woman went to a
beauty school in North County San Diego intending to get a color and
cut. During her beauty appointment, she suffered severe injury after fall-
                                                                                B   erman & Riedel, LLP, is extremely
                                                                                    pleased to welcome the addition
                                                                                of its newest attorney, Christopher
ing upon a wet area on the flooring. Specifically, after receiving a rinse        C. Walton, Esq., as an associate at-
by a student hairstylist, the client slipped on a clear, gel-like substance     torney with the firm. Mr. Walton,
on the floor while returning to her chair. In the fall incident she broke        who is completing his fourth year of
her hip, requiring reparative surgery. During the litigation, defense           practice, joins the firm with a distin-
counsel for the school argued that the client fell when she mis-stepped         guished background. Having earned
trying to get back into her chair, and not as a result of any slippery or wet   his Bachelor of Arts degree in Com-
substance on the floor. Notwithstanding the contentious dispute as to            munication with a Minor in English
how the fall incident actually occurred, Berman & Riedel, LLP, was able         from Western Washington University
to settle the case for the client at mediation with the defense agreeing        in June of 2001, Mr. Walton went on
to pay the client $400,000.00 in cash settlement.                               to obtain his Juris Doctor from Cali-
                                                                                fornia Western School of Law, where Christopher C. Walton, Esq.
Auto Accident/Personal Injury – Berman & Riedel, LLP, represented
                                                                                he graduated cum laude in December
a young man who suffered permanent physical injury when the car in
                                                                                of 2003. While attending California Western, Mr. Walton was listed
which he was situated as a restrained passenger flipped and rolled-over          the Dean’s Honor List multiple times and awarded the Dean’s Merit
after the driver, who was intoxicated and a minor, tried to out-run the         Scholarship for superior academic achievement. He was further award-
police. The boys had been at a “room party” at a Palm Beach, Florida ho-        ed the American Jurisprudence Award of academic excellence in Trial
tel, where alcohol was knowingly allowed to be served to a large group          Practice, Advanced Mediation and for his Internship Seminar where he
of minors. The accident happened when several of the minors, includ-            gained invaluable civil litigation experience. In his final year at Cali-
ing the client, left the hotel with the intent to purchase more alcohol.        fornia Western School of Law, Mr. Walton was the winner of the Envi-
The client did not know the driver was intoxicated as the driver had            ronmental Law Negotiation Competition and was selected to compete
just arrived to the party after finishing his late evening work shift. In        nationally on behalf of the law school.
the roll-over sequence, the client broke his hand in several places and            Upon graduation, Mr. Walton accepted an offer to practice at the firm
severed multiple fingers, causing extensive tendon and nerve damage              where he completed his internship. Prior to joining Berman & Riedel,
and a permanent decreased range of motion. The accident happened in             LLP, Mr. Walton specialized in the defense of doctors in civil malprac-
Palm Beach, Florida, and after resolving a portion of the case, Berman          tice actions as well as in various administrative actions, including Medi-
& Riedel, LLP, brought in the assistance of prominent local Florida firm         Cal, Medicare and the Medical Board of California. In addition, Mr.
to help in filing suit and resolving the remaining portions of the case.         Walton also gained valuable experience handling both the prosecution
                                                                                and defense of class action lawsuits.
Eventually, the case settled with several different defendants, including
                                                                                   Given his strong background in the area of medical standards of prac-
the hotel operator, paying the injured client a sum total of $730,000.00
                                                                                tice involving serious medical injuries, Mr. Walton will concentrate his
in settlement.                                                                  practice at Berman & Riedel, LLP, in the areas of complex elder abuse/
Elder Neglect/Abuse/Wrongful Deaths – The families of two pa-                   neglect and catastrophic personal injury actions. To learn more about
tients who were admitted into a Southern California based Long Term             Mr. Walton’s background, or to find out what’s new at Berman & Riedel,
Acute Care Facility (LTAC) and died shortly after their admissions, due         LLP, please visit the firm’s websites at and
to a lack of receiving appropriate care, joined forces to simultaneously ★
file suit against the hospital facility, physicians and control persons re-
sponsible for their loved ones’ medical care. In one instance, the patient
went into cardiac arrest in the early morning hours and the facility,
                                                                                Results (Continued)
which failed to have anyone on duty who was trained to administer               Auto vs. Bicycle Accident/Hairline Shoulder Fracture – On April
CPR or Advanced Life Support, amazingly had to call 911 themselves to           11, 2007, a 54-year-old woman was injured while out for an early morn-
summons an ambulance to run a “code.” Unfortunately, the ambulance              ing ride with her husband when a vehicle turned in front of her and
took 20 minutes to arrive after the patient went into cardiac arrest, and       made her take evasive action. In taking an evasive action to avoid being
the patient died. In the second instance, the patient suffered a severe         struck, she lost control of her bicycle and fell. Although the automo-
internal infection when an indwelling catheter that was required to be          bile stopped short of hitting her, as a result of falling, the woman sus-
changed every 48 hours went unchanged and unmonitored for over 10               tained a hairline fracture to her shoulder which required immobilization
full days. During this time, the patient became septic, and died as a           and physical therapy. Surgery was not necessary, and the injury healed
result. Unbeknownst to the families, the facility had been the subject          without complication. On behalf of both the injured woman and her
of an ongoing investigation by the California Department of Health              husband who witnessed the accident, suit was brought by Berman &
Services (DHS) for several reasons, including issues of understaffing and        Riedel, LLP. During the litigation, the defense took the position that
failure to provide competent care. Soon after these incidents, the facil-       plaintiff caused the subject accident and her own injuries as a result
ity was permanently shut down. Following almost two years of extensive          of unsafely crossing the street in a manner that cause the defendant
litigation against the facility, physicians and control persons responsible     driver not to suspect or see her. Notwithstanding the disputed liability
for the patients’ medical care, Berman & Riedel, LLP, was able to obtain        or fact that plaintiff only incurred $4,300.00 in medical bills, Berman
settlement on behalf of decedents’ surviving family members for a sum           & Riedel, LLP, was able to settle the case through mediation with the
total of $1,125,000.00.                                                         defense agreeing to pay the clients $52,500.00 in cash settlement. ★
Severe Neglect (Continued)                                                   particularly recommending utilization of space resources, such as lunar
     Dr. Lawrence Kavanau was at the center of one of the most excit-        solar energy, to reduce our planet’s dependence on fossil fuels.
ing eras in our nation’s history: the era of space travel and exploration.     In addition to his many achievements with the federal space program,
Kids sat in front of their televisions, riveted by the coverage of each      Dr. Kavanau held a number of research and executive positions in the
launch into space. Parents dreamed that their children would grow up         aerospace industry, including Lockheed Aircraft Corporation Space and
to be rocket scientists just like Dr. Kavanau, forging ahead into what       Missile division, Ford Motor Company where he co-founded what be-
our country believed was the next great frontier. The thrill of watching     came the Ford Aerospace Corporation, and Executive Vice President of
and reading about America’s “Space Race” with our cold-war enemy,            North American Aviation, Inc., during the time they built the Apollo
the Soviet Union, instilled a great sense of fascination and pride, maybe    spacecraft. As an aerospace entrepreneur, he founded and directed sev-
like no other time in our nation’s history. Dr. Kavanau was listed in        eral small start-up companies, his most successful being SYS Technolo-
“Who’s Who in America” and was a recipient of the prestigious “Arthur        gies Inc., which evolved as a recognized industry leader for integrating
S. Fleming Award” in recognition of his being one of the most outstand-      systems analysis and engineering, especially related to information and
ing men in federal Government in 1962.                                       knowledge technologies.
   From a very young age, Lawrence Kavanau was intrigued with outer            By all accounts, Dr. Kavanau was a man of unparalleled distinction.
space. As a teenager “Larry,” as he was known to his close friends, would    He is described by colleagues as a man of legendary accomplishments, a
announce to people at parties that our country would one day “land on        person of substance and unlimited generosity, as well as a man of great
the moon.” To think that he himself was able to carry out his dream and      modesty and loyalty to friends and family.
make such a reality is come to fruition quite astonishing.                      Dr. Kavanau had the proud distinction of being one of the great men
   In pursuit of fulfilling his dreams, Dr. Kavanau earned many academic      and women who made America’s dream to put a man on the moon a
degrees, including a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science from         reality. Dr. Kavanau was highly respected for his knowledge, foresight
his beloved University of Michigan, who bestowed its Sesquicentennial        and ingenuity, and he was truly an American hero during one of our
Award upon him in 1997 in recognition of his accomplishments and ser-        country’s brightest moments.
vices to the engineering profession and society. Upon graduation from          While the attorneys at Berman & Reidel, LLP, did not get the privilege
Michigan, he served in the U.S. Air Force as a guided missile test engi-     of getting to know Dr. Kavanau in life, they certainly got a close look
neer, followed by aerodynamic research at the University of Michigan         into his life history in representing him post-mortem. In representing
and California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He       him against the facility and care providers who so miserably failed him,
also received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of       the attorneys at Berman & Reidel, LLP, were honored to take up his
California at Berkeley in 1955.                                              cause, and find success in holding those who deprived Dr. Kavanau the
    In July of 1961, Dr. Kavanau, then a scientist employed by the De-       dignity he deserved in life, and in death, accountable for their actions.
partment of Defense, was tapped to be the co-chairperson of the DOD/         Almost exactly two years after civil litigation was initiated by Berman &
NASA Large Launch Vehicle Planning Group (LLVPG). The goal of                Reidel, LLP, the elder abuse and wrongful death claims brought on be-
the group was to recommend a booster rocket for the Apollo Project           half of Dr. Kavanau and his surviving family resolved successfully, with
and other large launch vehicle configurations to be used by NASA in           defendants agreeing to pay significant monies in confidential settlement
the future. The LLVPG made technical and policy recommendations to           beyond the statutory limitations imposed upon wrongful death claims
President John F. Kennedy regarding what was to become the Apollo            which result from acts of medical negligence. As Dr. Kavanau’s surviv-
missions program.                                                            ing family has expressed, some dignity has been restored – and Dr. Ka-
    Though there were several doubting critics along the way, Dr. Kava-      vanau can now again be thought of as an American icon rather than a
nau successfully convinced his colleagues and the U.S. government that       victim of elder abuse/neglect.★
the Saturn C-4 spacecraft which the LLVPG helped create was capable
of “lunar orbit rendezvous,” and that we could use it to “beat the Rus-                             A Cherished Word
sians” in the race to be the first humans to safely land on the moon. Dr.
                                                                                   This past Holiday Season, Berman & Riedel, LLP, received a lot of
Kavanau provided critical leadership, resulting in the president’s mo-          gifts in thanks. There were many baskets of cookies, candies, wines,
mentous decision and seminal speech in May 1961 when he announced               cheeses, and even a few “far-over-the-top” gifts we received from our
that the United States would put a man on the moon before the end of            clients. But perhaps the most cherished was in the form of a simple
the 1960s. Moments before President John F. Kennedy made his prom-              card sent from a former client which read:
ise to Americans that we would be the first country to put astronauts
                                                                                Dear Mr. Berman & Staff:
on the moon, Dr. Kavanau was called by the president and asked to                   Just could not forget to remember all of you, especially at this
assure him that it could be done safely. In response, Dr. Kavanau was           time of the year. I know this isn’t your typical “Happy Holidays”
unequivocal in stating, “We can do it sir…We can go to the moon and             card, but it is truly an expression of what my heart and my siblings
come back safely.” Dr. Kavanau’s confident assertions would be proven            hearts feel because of you. I know my Mom “sings” with us from up
correct when on July 20, 1969, the United States successfully completed         above, and thanks us daily. May you and yours have a blessed holi-
its mission to put a man on the moon, as commemorated by Astronaut              day. We will never forget what you have done for our mother, and
Neil Armstrong when he famously stated, “One small step for man; one            will always hold you fondly in our hearts.
giant leap for mankind.”                                                                        Sincerely,
   Dr. Kavanau’s dedication and commitment to our nation’s space pro-                              Mille M.
gram continued throughout his life. Dr. Kavanau was also involved in               It is the receipt of cards like this that make us at Berman & Rie-
the development of several successful space rockets, the Gemini and             del, LLP, continue in our efforts to help better the lives of those
Apollo spacecrafts, as well as influencing the Space Shuttle design to be        around us and provide the absolute best legal representation pos-
used in future decades. He was a passionate advocate for a permanent            sible.
return to the moon for its exploration, industrialization and settlement,
                       BERMAN & RIEDEL, LLP
                       A T T O R N E Y S                  A T     L A W
                       12264 El Camino Real • Suite 202
                       San Diego, California 92130

                               In This Issue:
                              • Dr. Lawrence Kavanau
                              • Fundraiser A Smash Hit!
                              • Recent Results of Interest
                              • Meet our Newest Attorney
                              • A Cherished Word
                              • 2008 Padres Tickets

                       Newsletter/Advertisement For Marketing Purposes

                         Disclaimer: The receipt of this Newsletter is not intended in any way to form an attorney-client relationship. Furthermore, this Newsletter
                        and its articles are not intended to constitute legal advice, but rather, are provided for informational purposes only. Should you have any legal
                            questions arising from the materials contained herein, please feel free to contact an attorney with the firm of Berman & Riedel, LLP.

                       Maienschein Fundraiser                     (Continued)                        Catch a 2008 Padres Game on Us
                          Brian initially became known to the partners at Berman & Riedel,                  pring is here
                       LLP, on a professional level while serving as an attorney                            which means
                       in practice here in San Diego, specifically when, defense counsel, he                 the 2008 Ma-
                       opposed William Berman on a very serious personal injury matter. In           jor League Baseball
                       professionally and ethically representing his client’s best interests while   season is upon us
                       recognizing the clear liability and high exposure his client faced, Brian     begin. This should
                       encouraged the matter to resolve early during litigation and the injured      be an especially
                       plaintiff received a very favorable compromised settlement. All parties       exciting season for
                       benefited from the early settlement and through Brian’s handling of that       our San Diego Pa-
                       matter, the partners at Berman & Riedel, LLP, developed a great admira-       dres, who during
                       tion for his work ethic and integrity. In thereafter developing an extreme-   the off-season added
                       ly close relationship with Brian on a personal level which has carried        several veterans to San Diego's Petco Park: Home of the San Diego Padres.
                       through during his entire time in public office, the partners at Berman &      their already tre-
                       Riedel, LLP, believe that there could not be a more suitable and qualified     mendous pitching staff, including San Diego-raised All-Star righthander
                       person for the responsibilities and ethics entrusted within the position of   Mark Prior (Chicago Cubs) and lefty Randy Wolf (Philadelphia Phillies
                       San Diego City Attorney. The election will be held June 2, 2008.              and Los Angeles Dodgers). Together with 2007 Cy Young award-winner
                         We encourage you to support Brian Mainschein in his bid for San Diego       Jake Peavy, Chris Young, Greg Maddux, and Justin Germano, these vet-
                       City Attorney. If you would like to know more about Brian and his bid for     eran acquisitions are expected to form a pitching staff which could be one
                       San Diego City Attorney, we invite you to view his campaign web site at       of the best in all of baseball.
              In addition to supporting Brian by voting              If you would like to experience the thrill of a San Diego Padres game
                       for him in the upcoming election, if you are interested, you can make         this season, we invite you to take part through the use of Berman & Rie-
                                                                               a donation to his     del, LLP’s firm-owned seats. Berman & Riedel, LLP has four Field-level
                                                                               campaign through      seats located in Section 107 behind the Padres' Dugout, and another four
                                                                               his web site.★        Founders Club seats located in Section 203 of the exclusive Toyota Ter-
                                                                                                     race Club of the Padres’ Petco Park. While all of the seats are great, the
                                                                                                     Club-level seats provide possibly the best view in the entire stadium as
                                                                                                     well as provide food service at the seats and access to several exclusive

                                                                                                     restaurants and bars located throughout the Toyota Terrace Club level.
                                                                                                     The Field-level seats are special in that they provide an intimate close-
                                                                                                     ness to the action and the Padres players.
                                                                                                        Our firm tickets have been specifically purchased for use by our clients,
                                                                                                     colleagues, vendors and guests on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are
                       (L to R)William Berman and Shawne Merriman with                               interested in experiencing the excitement of Padres baseball, please call
                       City Attorney Candidate Brian Maienschein                                     us; we would love to treat you to a game! ★

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