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Santa Barbara Man Struck and Killed by Motorist

By Renee Nordstrand on May 18, 2010

A Santa Barbara man was struck by a car and killed on Saturday evening, the Santa Barbara Independent reports.   The accident occurred at State and Islay Streets around 8:30 pm.  The victim, who was homeless and whose identity has yet to be released, was crossing the intersection of State and Islay Streets as Javier Castillo, 23, proceeded northbound on State Street in a 2004 Mazda RX-8. Castillo told investigators he believed the man was going to make it across the intersection on foot before he reached it by vehicle; however, he miscalculated and struck the victim. 

The victim sustained a broken leg and chest wounds before passing away from his injuries at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. 

According to police, witnesses have substantiated Castillo’s account of how the incident occurred, and to date no criminal charges have been filed against him.  The investigation is still ongoing, however, and any witnesses to the accident should contact Officer Mark Hunt at (805) 897-3719.


If you’ve been forced to cope with sudden loss of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, we at the Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand understand your concerns and want to help.  Our resources, experience, and depth of legal knowledge consistently result in successful settlements for families who have experienced tremendous loss.   Contact Los Angeles and Santa Barbara wrongful death attorneys today for a free consultation.


Lawsuit Filed Against LAPD Following Deadly Crash

By Renee Nordstrand on May 17, 2010

The parents of Devin Leigh Petelski, who was killed following a car crash with a Los Angeles Police Department Patrol car on October 15, 2009, have filed a lawsuit against the police department, the LA Times reports. 

Petelski, who was 25 at the time of the incident and working as a substance abuse counselor, had entered the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Glyndon Avenue when a patrol car, driven by LAPD officers Ramon Vasquez and James Eldridge on Venice Boulevard, struck Petelski’s vehicle. The accident spun the police car, which slammed into a tree and traffic sign. Petelski was hospitalized and died two days after the accident from her injuries.


The Petelski’s lawsuit alleges negligence, citing that the patrol car was driving above the posted speed limit of forty miles per hour and that the officers were using neither lights nor sirens to warn other motorists as they sped.  According to LAPD Commander Stuart Maislin, the police department had recently implemented a policy before the crash that required all officers to use both lights and sirens when exceeding the speed limit in response to an emergency. Vasquez and Eldridge were responding to a burglary call, however they had not told dispatchers that they were responding to the call, and there was another unit that had already been dispatched to respond.

If you have lost a loved one in an a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, please contact experienced and compassionated wrongful death attorneys who will fight for your legal rights during your time of need.  At the Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand, we offer free consultations and you won’t pay legal fees until we successfully settle your case.


Thirteen Year old Pedestrian Struck and Killed By Car on the PCH

By Renee Nordstrand on April 14, 2010

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials are continuing to search for witnesses to a fatal car to pedestrian accident on the Pacific Coast Highway on Saturday.  According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, 13-year-old Emily Rose Shane was walking northbound on the right side of the Pacific Coast Highway near Kanan Dume Road when she was struck and killed by a car driven by Sina Khankhanian, 26.

Authorities believe Khankhanian may have purposefully crashed his vehicle, although he did not intend to strike the victim. Anyone who witnessed the accident or has information may call the investigating Sheriff’s Department at (323) 890-5500.

This article does not give many details on how the accident occurred.  Many questions arise from the lack of information, such as whether the driver was distracted, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or facing road conditions that may have caused him to swerve suddenly.  As the Sheriff’s Department continues their investigation, some of these details may come to light and help piece together why this terrible accident occurred.

If you have lost a loved one in a car to pedestrian accident, please contact wrongful death and car accident attorneys who can answer your questions and explain your legal rights.


Studies Shows Half of America’s 20 Most Dangerous Roads Are Located in California

By Renee Nordstrand on February 16, 2010

 A recent study by the Scripps Howard News Service finds that 10 of America’s 20 most dangerous roads (in terms of highest number of fatalities) are located in California, the Ventura County Star reports.  The top three most dangerous roads are all in Los Angeles.  What makes California susceptible to so many dangerous roads and traffic deaths? According to the California Department of Transportation; speeding, drinking, and unfastened seat belts are the common causes for California’s high ranking.


According to the Star, there have been nearly 320 drunken-driving related deaths from 1994-2008 in Ventura County.  In the same time period, over 260 deaths have involved unfastened seat belts, and 220 have involved speeding.  37.6% of all traffic fatalities occurred on state highways, and nearly 200 fatalities  occurred on Saturday- the most fatalities of any day of the week.

Your Legal Options

The best way to practice driving safety is to take simple steps to ensure that preventable accidents caused by the most common factors do not occur.  However, even the safest drivers, who always wear a seatbelt, drive within the speed limit, don’t drive intoxicated, and limit driving distractions such as cell phones or eating while driving, aren’t immune to  car accidents. Sometimes accidents are simply unavoidable due to the conduct of other drivers and road conditions.  When an accident occurs beyond your control, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to cover your injuries and damages.  Experienced, aggressive personal injury attorneys will pursue legal action to obtain compensation for medical appointments, missed time from work, and future care and treatment. Call today to set up a free consultation.


Bail Set in Fatal San Diego Hit and Run

By Renee Nordstrand on February 15, 2010

Bail has been set for $2 million in the case of a fatal San Diego hit and run, the San Diego Tribune reports.  The defendant, Tiffany St Ives, is accused of striking and killing 17-year-old Marlene Resendiz in 2007, as Resendiz crossed East Grand Avenue near Rose Street on foot.  After striking the victim, St. Ives drove for 400 yards with the victim on the hood of her car.  After the victim fell off of her car, St Ives continued driving and did not stop, allegedly going to great lengths to hide guilt through secret car repairs. Since this incident, St Ives has been involved in four other traffic collisions.

St Ives has pleaded not guilty to hit and run driving with death, which carries a sentence of up to four years in prison.

The Law Office of Renee J. Nordstrand represents wrongful death victims and their families in civil court.  Our wrongful death cases include car accidents, bike accidents, train accidents, and dangerous property conditions.   If you have lost a loved on to any of these conditions, please contact experienced and aggressive wrongful death attorneys who will fight for the fullest and fairest compensation possible.


Orange County Wrongful Death Trial Underway

By Renee Nordstrand on January 29, 2010,0,4691075,full.story

The trial in a complicated case involving botox injections, cerebral, palsy, and a tragic death of a seven-year-old girl is underway in Orange County, the Los Angeles Times reports.  

Dee Spears, whose young daughter, Kristen, received Botox injections to calm leg spasms that resulted from cerebral palsy, is suing Botox manufacturer Allergan Inc.  Spears alleges that the company knew that one of the drug’s components, botulinum toxin, could cause “potentially life-threatening swallowing and breathing difficulties and even death”, yet encouraged pediatricians to use the drug in treating cerebral palsy patients.  Kristen died in November 2007 of breathing and swallowing difficulties and pneumonia that developed rapidly after she began receiving botox treatments in June of 2006.   Spears says Kristen’s health was stable before that time.

Kristen’s own doctor, Rolf Habersang, M.D., was trained by Allergan at a Texas seminar to use Botox to treat patients like Kristen.  Dr. Habersang testified that he was taught at the seminar to dose children with 15 units of Botox per kilogram of body weight.  According to an Allergan executive’s testimony, that dosage amount is nearly two times the amount of Botox that is safe to use in treating children, however Allergan never shared that information with physicians.

Court documents reveal that in 2005, a year before Kristen began Botox treatments, Allergan reported 38 patients who had suffered seizures following Botox injections to the Federal Drug Administration, including nearly 20 children with cerebral palsy.

As the trial continues to unfold, Ms. Spears will seek to prove Allergan’s negligence in the wrongful death of her young daughter.  

If a loved one has been the victim of a wrongful death situation, please contact compassionate and understanding wrongful death attorneys who will aggressively fight to bring your case to justice.  All initial consultations are free, and you won’t pay attorney fees until we win your case.



Driver Strikes and Kills Wheel-Chair Bound Man

By Renee Nordstrand on January 21, 2010

San Diego police officers are considering misdemeanor manslaughter charges against a driver who ran a red light, struck another vehicle, drove up onto the sidewalk, and crashed into an elderly man in a wheelchair, the San Diego Tribune reports.

After extensive surgeries, 69-year-old Willie Robinson died from his injuries in late November, six weeks after the accident occurred on Ninth Avenue and E Street in San Diego on October 13, 2009.

 Reports have not yet been confirmed that the driver was talking on a cell phone at the time of the incident. Although these reports are still pending confirmation, cell phone use while driving is a serious problem that causes an increasingly high number of accidents each year. Should the driver be found to have been using a cell phone at the time of the crash, he or she may also be found negligent and criminally liable for causing the crash and Mr. Robinson’s subsequent injuries and tragic death.

If you have lost a loved one due to another driver’s negligence, please schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options with compassionate, experienced wrongful death attorneys today.


Faulty Railing May Have Caused Elderly Man’s Fall

By Renee Nordstrand on November 21, 2009

A faulty railing at an Alexandria Hotel apartment may have given way and caused an unidentified elderly man to fall to his death from the 10th story, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The fall occurred early this morning.  The coroner’s office has disclosed that a piece of the fire escape was found on the sidewalk, indicating that the man may have been leaning over a fire escape railing when it gave way. 

Although this article did not give very many details regarding the fall, it is possible that the building may have been poorly inspected or maintained as the railing was in sub par condition.  In that case, the building owner could potentially be held liable were the man’s family to bring a wrongful death suit against the owner.

In tragic situations such as this, experienced personal injury  and wrongful death attorneys can help explain your legal rights and the potential courses of action to take to enact justice and receive compensation.  Personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation.


UPDATE: Huntington Beach Junior Lifeguard Tragedy Will Not End in Criminal Charges

By Renee Nordstrand on November 19, 2009

After reporting last week that the tragic death of junior lifeguard Alyssa Squirrel during a training activity in Huntington Beach would not result in criminal charges against the lifeguard who operated the boat that struck Alyssa, the Orange County Register now reports that the Squirrel family has filed a wrongful death claim against the city of Huntington Beach. 

The claim seeks over $10,000 in damages for personal injuries and emotional distress.  It alleges that lifeguard Lt. Greg Crow negligently operated the boat so as to cause Alyssa’s death.

Alyssa had jumped into the water from a boat driver by Lt. Crow during a training drill when the boat unintentionally struck her as she swam. 

After the loss of a loved one, families deserve to be compensated for funeral expenses and the trauma and emotional distress of their loss.  While no amount of money can ever replace a lost life, compassionate and experienced wrongful death attorneys will protect your legal rights and pursue fair compensation that will bring justice to your loved one.


Family of Drowning Victim Files $12 Million Claim against United Water Conservation District

By Renee Nordstrand on November 18, 2009

The family of 9-year-old Denise Arredondo, who drowned at Like Piru in May, has filed a 12 million dollar wrongful death claim against the lake’s owner, the United Water Conservation District, the Ventura County Star reports.

The claim alleges that the district knew the lake was unsafe and that there were no posted “no swimming” signs in the area to warn people who were unaware of the lake’s drop-offs and unidentifiable underwater cliffs.  Denise’s family went to the lake to swim at the suggestion of district employees.  Denise drowned after swimming into a drop off area.  

My thoughts are with Denise’s family in this time of sadness and grief. 

Although the article does not give very much detail regarding the liability in this situation, it appears that it is at least possible that the United Water Conservation District could be liable for recommending the family swim in an area they knew to be unsafe. 

Experienced personal injury attorneys will take actions that benefit and compensate family members who have been faced with the death of a loved one due to another party’s negligent actions.  In times of grief and insecurity, you need compassionate, skilled attorneys who understand the system and will do everything possible to help you regain a sense of stability.


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